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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
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Current location: Bryan, Texas
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About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Idaho insurers say stay in network or pay 6 figures

BOISE — Idaho health insurers are getting tough about patients sticking to their networks — the group of hospitals, doctors and clinics that come with certain insurance plans. Hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars tough.

Most of the plans that go up for sale Nov. 1 on the Your Health Idaho insurance exchange will have much higher “out of network” costs than Idaho consumers have seen before. Insurers say the changes are less damaging than their alternative: dropping out of Idaho’s exchange altogether, as some insurers have done in other states.

Idaho’s top insurance regulator calls the changes “concerning and certainly somewhat problematic.” But they are legal.

“It’s become extremely important that consumers look very carefully at their plan — first to determine if their provider of choice is in-network, and if he or she is not, they should consider whether or not they should change plans,” said state Department of Insurance Director Dean Cameron. “And they should look very carefully at what that might mean to them financially.”

Read more: http://www.idahostatejournal.com/news/local/idaho-insurers-say-stay-in-network-or-pay-figures/article_cf6d483f-22fd-5398-bd66-b7deacdeaabf.html

Idaho Democrats allege in complaint GOP broke campaign laws

BOISE, Idaho -- The Idaho Democratic Party filed a complaint Friday with the Secretary of State's office claiming that an official inside the Idaho Republican Party violated the state's campaign laws.

According to the complaint submitted, Idaho Republican Party Executive Director David Johnston coordinated with GOP candidate Mike Kingsley's campaign in creating a political attack ad against House Minority Leader John Rusche using funds from an independent expenditure.

The complaint is based on an email exchange obtained by Rusche's campaign manager Trae Turner, which is included in the complaint. Party spokesman Dean Ferguson said he quizzed Turner on the veracity of the emails and trusts they are not fabricated.

Idaho law defines independent expenditures as an expense not made in consultation with a candidate or campaign. There is no limit how much can be spent on an independent expenditure, unlike a direct candidate contribution which caps out at $2,000.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article111122022.html

Idaho Sen. Crapo’s DUI report provides new details on 2012 arrest

WASHINGTON -- Nearly four years after Sen. Mike Crapo’s conviction for drunken-driving, the Idaho Republican got a chance to see the police report in his case on Thursday.

Police officials and the city attorney in Alexandria had kept the report under wraps since Crapo’s arrest, citing a Virginia state law that allows prosecutors to withhold police records, even from defendants.

But after the city denied a request by the Idaho Statesman and McClatchy to gain access to the report under the Freedom of Information Act, Crapo intervened, asking the prosecutor who handled the case to release the report to him.

He then shared it with McClatchy.

It didn’t paint a pretty picture of Crapo, describing how he struggled to walk and hold his head still as a police officer conducted sobriety tests on Dec. 23, 2012, in Alexandria, Va.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/election/article111062872.html

Man dressed as Freddy Krueger shoots 5 people at Halloween party

SAN ANTONIO — A Texas Halloween party became a nightmare Saturday when a man dressed as Freddie Krueger opened fire injuring five people.

Police said several men showed up uninvited to the party around 5 a.m. and started causing trouble, according to KHOU.

The homeowner asked them to leave and one of the men pulled out a shotgun from beneath his costume and opened fire, injuring four men and a woman, according to WOAI.

The male victims were taken to two different hospitals. An injured woman tried to drive herself to a hospital but wrecked her car.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/national/man-dressed-freddy-krueger-shoots-5-people-hallowe/nszpX/

Why Donald Trump’s fundraising efforts fell short in Texas

Houston billionaire Hushang Ansary and his wife, Shahla, last year each wrote $1 million checks to Right to Rise, the super PAC that raised more than $100 million to promote Jeb Bush for president. Over the course of the 2016 election cycle, the Ansarys wrote 113 more checks, totaling more than $2 million, to a vast array of Republican committees and candidates, right down to Texan U.S. Reps. Will Hurd of Helotes and Roger Williams of Austin, in hopes of keeping the House and Senate in GOP hands.

But one notable candidate missed the Ansarys’ largess — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In and of itself, that isn’t surprising. Trump mocked and humiliated the man the Ansarys hoped would be the third Republican president from the Bush family.

But the Ansarys closing their checkbook to Trump goes a long way toward explaining why the GOP nominee left so much money on the table in Texas, a state in which big Republican money is still closely entwined with the Bush family.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/why-donald-trumps-fundraising-efforts-fell-short-i/nszW8/

Wyoming Legislature discusses expanding health insurance to non-state employers

CASPER – Wyoming could save money if it expands the state employee health plan to local governments and private sector employers because a larger insurance pool would give the state more heft when negotiating with doctors, hospitals and clinics, a new report states.

However, the Wyoming Department of Health study also said the plan could cost the state more, under the scenario that sicker people would buy into the state’s generous health plan.

In March, the Legislature adopted a budget with a footnote requiring the Wyoming Health Department study the possibility of adding people to the plan who are not state employees. The Legislature in a different footnote asked the Health Department to study adding state employees’ medical insurance claims to a database that looks for cost savings and improvements in health care. The Health Department presented its findings to the Joint Appropriations Committee on Monday in Casper.

The overall goal of the two footnotes is to explore ways for the state, employers and individuals to save on health care, which is among the most expensive in the country.

Read more: http://www.wyomingnews.com/news/wyoming-legislature-discusses-expanding-health-insurance-to-non-state-employers/article_c842f20e-9d96-11e6-8442-6701a53e1e05.html

North Dakota to change rules for lawyer misconduct

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Supreme Court has approved changes to how lawyers are investigated and punished for professional misconduct.

The biggest change is that the disciplinary counsel's office in Bismarck will investigate complaints and then report back to regional committees, which currently investigate complaints from their regions with the disciplinary counsel's help. The committees will maintain their authority to rule on the cases, with punishments ranging from admonitions to disbarment.

The new rules, which are in part aimed at speeding up cases, will take effect March 1, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

The update comes after a 2014 American Bar Association review concluded that the disciplinary system could be more professional, streamlined and transparent. The association noted that inconsistencies among the regions and perception of bias may have developed because the nine-person committees investigate complaints from their own regions.

Read more: http://www.devilslakejournal.com/news/20161027/north-dakota-to-change-rules-for-lawyer-misconduct

Protest camp growing as tribal chairmen condemn law enforcement aggression

MANDAN, N.D. – Chairmen of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes condemned the aggression used against Dakota Access Pipeline opponents this week and said they’re considering taking legal action against law enforcement.

Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II said more than 40 people were injured, including broken bones and welts from rubber bullets and bean bag rounds fired by law enforcement Thursday, Oct. 27, when hundreds of officers removed people from the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“It’s just wrong to use that type of force on innocent people,” Archambault said Saturday, Oct. 29, during a press conference in front of the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

Cheyenne River Sioux Chairman Harold Frazier said he has heard reports of inhumane treatment while people were incarcerated and the tribe has attorneys considering filing a lawsuit.

Read more: http://www.grandforksherald.com/news/4147914-protest-camp-growing-tribal-chairmen-condemn-law-enforcement-aggression

Alaska's first pot shop opens to a long line of customers

Alaska's first marijuana retail outlet opened to a throng of customers Saturday, two years after voters approved allowing people 21 and older to recreationally use pot.

More than 250 people lined up outside Herbal Outfitters in Valdez, store owner Richard Ballow said. Customers came from as far away as Anchorage and Fairbanks, more than 350 miles to the north.

The opening Saturday at "high noon" marks the first time it's legal to buy pot under a voter initiative approved in November 2014. Voter approval made it legal under state law to possess up to an ounce of marijuana outside of a home.

"It's a historic moment," Ballow said. "I feel like I am blessed and honored to be a part of this."

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/alaska-shop-set-offer-states-legal-marijuana-sales-43157729

South Dakota Democrats look to overcome eight-year losing streak

Eight years and 22 races.

That's how long it's been since a Democrat won a statewide election in South Dakota.

Despite the overwhelming string of failures, one party leader and one of the state's more recognizable Democrats see reason for optimism.

As Paula Hawks, Henry Red Cloud, Jay Williams and Hillary Clinton make an attempt to become the first Democrat to win on a statewide ballot since former U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson and former U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in 2008, former U.S. Senate candidate Rick Weiland sees a ray of hope amid eight years of disappointment.

"I've lived at a time when we've had Democrats representing us in Washington, I mentioned (Tom) Daschle, Johnson and (James) Abourezk, and moderates like Sen. (Larry) Pressler," Weiland told The Daily Republic last week. "One time we had Tom, Tim and Stephanie, it was in recent memory here. So things have a tendency to sort of cycle around."

Read more: http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/news/local/4147845-sd-democrats-look-overcome-eight-year-losing-streak
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