HOUSTON

Elder Bush hospitalized

Former President George H.W. Bush was in a Houston hospital Thursday for continuing treatment of a lingering cough. Bush, 88, has been in and out of the hospital recently for complications resulting from bronchitis, Methodist Hospital said. The hospital and Bush’s spokesman described Bush as in stable condition and said they expected the him to be released by the weekend.

AUSTIn, TEXAS

Cancer grant scrutinized

Leaders of Texas’ embattled $3 billion cancer-fighting effort approved an $11 million grant to a biomedical company even though the proposal wasn’t reviewed, according to an internal audit that deepens the troubles of a state agency that has been denounced in recent months by some of the world’s top scientists. The discovery was uncovered during an internal review of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, and its grant to Peloton Therapeutics Inc. in 2010 was among the first it handed out. The cancer institute is home to the nation’s second largest pot of cancer-research money, behind only the National Institutes of Health, and has awarded nearly $700 million.

SAN DIEGO

Water contract approved

A regional water agency approved a contract Thursday to buy the entire output of what would be the Western Hemisphere’s largest seawater desalination plant, clearing the way for construction to begin early next year. The San Diego County Water Authority board backed the 30-year deal with Poseidon Resources LLC, which needed it to sell investors on bonds that will finance more than 80 percent of construction of the $984 million project. The plant in Carlsbad is designed to produce 50 million gallons of highly purified drinking water a day, enough to supply about 8 percent of the region in 2020. The agency will pay $2,042 to $2,290 for an acre-foot of water, more than twice what it cost to bring water from Northern California and the Colorado River on hundreds of miles of aqueducts. But backers of the project say the premium is well worth the protection it provides against drought.

Compiled from wire reports.