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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 87,082

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

Unknown powder sprinkled into pit halts New York opera performance

NEW YORK (AP) — New York's Metropolitan Opera has stopped a performance after someone sprinkled an unknown powder into the orchestra pit.

Met spokesman Sam Neuman says Saturday afternoon's performance of "Guillaume Tell" was canceled during the second intermission because of the incident.

A police spokeswoman says the person who sprinkled the powder fled and is being sought.

Police say one person at the opera house requested medical attention. No details on that person's condition are available.

Read more: http://www.newspressnow.com/life/st_joe_live/ap/unknown-powder-sprinkled-into-pit-halts-ny-opera-performance/article_8c673e57-7cb3-5630-8ef5-369496efaceb.html

Phony telemarketers netted $10M, scammed many seniors, indictment filed in East St. Louis says

EAST ST. LOUIS • Nine people have been charged in federal court here for allegedly participating in a phony telemarketing scheme that netted more than $10 million, much of it from people older than 55, prosecutors say.

According to the indictment unsealed earlier this week, from sometime before 2013 and until July 2015, the defendants operated a telemarketing firm that sold false and fictitious “business opportunities,” a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Illinois said.

The Phoenix-based telemarketing business operated under multiple names and used multiple business entities, including Smart Business Pros LLC of Warson Woods.

Those charged are Michael McNeill, Joshua Flynn, Timothy Murphy, Shawn Casey, Thomas Silha, Jennifer Hansen, Dean Miller, Michael Silver and

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/phony-telemarketers-netted-m-scammed-many-seniors-indictment-filed-in/article_75337678-8880-582f-b76d-1eccb47d7217.html

Poll shows Missouri voters not fired up about raising nation's lowest cigarette tax

JEFFERSON CITY • Missouri voters appear poised to snuff out two proposed tobacco tax increases on this year’s general election ballot, according to a new Post-Dispatch poll.

In a telephone survey of 625 voters conducted Monday through Wednesday, the two ballot initiatives calling for raising Missouri’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax received scant support, despite more than $18 million in contributions to the cause from tobacco companies.

By contrast, the poll showed robust support for two other questions on the ballot, including one that would reinstate caps on campaign contributions and a separate GOP-led effort to require voters to present a photo ID before casting a ballot.

The poll surveyed voters on four of the six ballot initiatives facing voters this year. Other questions on the ballot include whether to keep a special sales and use tax that benefits state soil and water conservation programs and whether to prohibit the state from imposing taxes on services, such as haircuts and dry cleaning.

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/poll-shows-missouri-voters-not-fired-up-about-raising-nation/article_1d19c4ea-48af-58e7-ac78-40c24aaadbef.html

Kansas City proposes to settle several costly lawsuits

Kansas City municipal government is proposing to settle two costly lawsuits, although the payments would be made over several years.

The City Council is expected to consider the settlements next week.

The first settlement would resolve a class-action lawsuit over $25 warrant fees that many defendants paid to Kansas City Municipal Court to cancel their warrants. The members of the class argued the fee constituted a court cost above what was allowed by Missouri law.

An ordinance proposes to settle that case for $2.4 million, which the Finance Department said would be paid out over two years. Details of how people who paid the fees may be reimbursed are not yet available.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article110892082.html

Stakes high in races for Missouri lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer

There’s been an avalanche of national attention lately heaped upon Missouri’s campaigns for U.S. Senate and governor. The battle to become the state’s next attorney general isn’t far behind, with both candidates spending big to get their message out.

But despite getting far less attention, the stakes are just as high in a trio of down-ballot offices up for grabs this year.

In each of the races — for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and treasurer — Republicans hold fundraising advantages that give them a leg up on Democrats vying for offices that each play important roles in state government and often serve as a springboard to higher office.

But while Republicans are optimistic they can sweep all three races, Democrats have long enjoyed an advantage on the statewide ballot during presidential election years. And with the campaign of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump faltering nationally, the outcome remains very much up in the air.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article110925472.html

Johnson County leaders are critical of KanCare in new letter

A trio of Johnson County leaders have gone public with criticism about KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

In a letter dated Wednesday, Ed Eilert, chairman of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, signed on with two health leaders to list concerns about the program. The letter was also endorsed by the board, Eilert said.

“What we have seen is an underfunded system that is continuously being whittled away,” the letter says.

Earlier this year, cuts made by Gov. Sam Brownback to help balance the state’s budget took $56.4 million from Medicaid. That included a 4 percent payment cut to certain KanCare providers.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article111194832.html

Mental health crisis center opens in KC as alternative to jail, emergency room

The throng that gathered outside Friday at the ribbon-cutting of the Kansas City Assessment and Triage Center for people in mental health crises brought with them painful memories.

Police officers who had regretfully taken suffering people to jail were there.

Medical staffers who had strapped people with psychiatric disorders to emergency room gurneys were there.

So were mental health caseworkers who are forever running out of safe options for clients in emergencies.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article111139112.html

Man with sex abuse record charged with grabbing state worker

DES MOINES (AP) — An 88-year-old man with previous sex abuse convictions could spend the rest of his life in prison after being accused of grabbing a state mental-hospital worker between the legs.

William Cubbage faces a Nov. 15 hearing to decide whether he's competent to stand trial. Cubbage, who was convicted of numerous sex crimes from 1987 through 2000, is a resident of the state mental hospital at Independence.

He gained notoriety after he was accused in 2011 of molesting a 95-year-old woman at a Pomeroy nursing home, where state officials placed him without notifying other residents.

The latest charge against him is assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. The charge accuses Cubbage of grabbing the woman between the legs while she was showering him last January.

Read more: http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/man-with-sex-abuse-record-charged-with-grabbing-state-worker/article_07e50dd3-5751-5f7a-8778-5c85f273161c.html

Charges allege Cottage Grove pastor made porn with photos of children in congregation

An associate pastor at a Cottage Grove church told police he took “innocent” photographs of children in the congregation and used computer software to turn them into hundreds of pornographic images, according to criminal charges filed Friday.

The Rev. William Leonard Helker, 47, was charged with six felony counts of possessing child pornography. Investigators reported the images and video included children who appeared to range in age from younger than 5 to 10 years old. Helker told authorities he had thousands of images of child porn on his laptop and cellphone.

Helker, who lives in Pine City north of the Twin Cities, is charged in Pine County District Court. He had a first appearance in court Friday and is being held at the Pine County jail.

An attorney for Helker could not be reached immediately for comment.

Read more: http://www.twincities.com/2016/10/28/porn-charges-allege-cottage-grove-pastor-manipulated-photos-of-children-in-congregation/

Wisconsin mayor who called Obama a Muslim to quit term early

SUPERIOR, Wis. — The mayor of Superior says he plans to step down next year, two years before his term ends.

Mayor Bruce Hagen said Thursday the stress of the job has taken a toll on his health, and that he no longer has a passion to work in local government.

Hagen was re-elected in April 2015. He said he will retire at the end of April 2017.

Hagen drew protests and calls for his resignation late last year after he called President Barack Obama a Muslim who has “destroyed the fabric of democracy.” The mayor later apologized.

Read more: http://www.twincities.com/2016/10/27/wisconsin-mayor-who-called-obama-a-muslim-to-quit-term-early/
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