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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,960

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

Austin confirms first H1N1 death, another suspected

One person is dead in Travis County from H1N1 flu, and a second death is suspected of H1N1, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department announced today.

That is the same strain that killed nine here in 2009, when the swine flu was classified as a pandemic.

In Montgomery County, the deaths of four people from a flu-like illness are being investigated at Conroe Regional Medical Center. None of them had a flu shot, health officials said. Five others having a similar flu-like illness in Montgomery County are still living, and two of those were confirmed to have H1N1 flu, said Jennifer Nichols-Contella, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Public Health District. Investigations into all of those cases are continuing.

Officials are encouraging anyone six months and older to get a flu shot. The H1N1 strain is “a good match with this year’s vaccine,” said Dr. Phil Huang, medical director of the Austin/Travis County health department.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/breaking-news/austin-confirms-first-h1n1-death-another-suspected/ncQyN/ .

Dallas police seeking gunman after shots fired at Southwest Center Mall food court

Authorities were looking for a gunman Friday afternoon who fired shots in the food court area of Southwest Center Mall.

Police are still looking for the unidentified gunman. No one was injured in the incident which occurred at the Red Bird area mall about 1:20 pm. Friday.

An off duty officer heard the shots, police said.

http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2013/12/shots-fired-at-southwest-center-mall.html/

UT loses fight with Ryan O’Neal over Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett

Source: AP

LOS ANGELES —

An Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett belongs to actor Ryan O’Neal, not the University of Texas, a jury determined Thursday.

For nearly a month, O’Neal has been in a Los Angeles courtroom as lawyers for UT sought to gain possession of the portrait, arguing that Fawcett bequeathed the artwork to her alma mater.

O’Neal testified last week that the portrait was his closest remaining connection to Fawcett, who died in 2009. The actor’s descriptions of talking to the portrait and feeling the presence of the “Charlie’s Angels” actress were among the last words that jurors focused on, asking to hear his testimony again Thursday.

Within 90 minutes of reviewing the testimony, the panel returned a 9-3 verdict in favor of O’Neal, allowing the actor to keep the paint and silk-screen portrait in his beachside home. He wasn’t present for the jury’s decision, but his sons Patrick and Redmond O’Neal hugged after hearing the verdict.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/ut-loses-fight-with-ryan-oneal-over-andy-warhol-po/ncQLd/

Texas Windstorm Insurance Association official was racist, lawyer says

A Texas Windstorm Insurance Association lawyer told a South Texas judge recently that one of the quasi-governmental agency’s top officials was a racist and his bigotry might have been a factor in denying claims made by a 98-percent minority school district that suffered damages from a storm.

In a Dec. 12 pre-trial hearing, lawyer Andrew McKinney of Houston, who is working for TWIA, faced off against Steve Mostyn, a plaintiffs’ lawyer representing the Brownsville Independent School District for unpaid claims following Hurricane Dolly in 2008.

According to a transcript of the hearing obtained Wednesday by the American-Statesman, McKinney told Judge Benjamin Euresti Jr. in Cameron County that the insurer’s person in charge of claims in the Brownsville case — now deceased Bill Knarr — had sent emails within the association’s network that were “certainly over the line in terms of being racist” and disseminated others that were “just in poor taste.” McKinney said Knarr had “issues with people who aren’t white.”

“In my view, the fact that Bill Knarr was involved in this case and the fact that Bill Knarr is or was a racist, I think that puts us on the bubble, maybe yes, maybe no, that racism played a role in how this claim was handled,” McKinney said, according to the transcript.

More at http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/texas-windstorm-insurance-association-official-was/ncPQQ/?icmp=statesman_internallink_invitationbox_apr2013_statesmanstubtomystatesmanpremium (subscription required).

Are dildos really illegal in Texas? (and other weird sex laws)



Earlier this week, i09.com published the above map illustrating “the weirdest sex laws in the United States.” While acknowledging that many sex laws you read about online are “urban legends,” i09.com went on to say that in Texas, “you can’t own more than six dildos.”

Up until 2008, this was actually true. Under Section 43.21 of the Texas Penal Code, first passed by the Legislature in the 1970s, it was illegal to sell “obscene devices” — or any device “including a dildo or artificial vagina, designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs.”

However, in 2004, two adult store chains challenged the law, and in 2008, a federal appeals court struck it down as unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based its decision on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence. V. Texas.

“Because of Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), the issue before us is whether the Texas statute impermissibly burdens the individual’s substantive due process right to engage in private intimate conduct of his or her choosing,” the majority wrote. “Contrary to the district court’s conclusion, we hold that the Texas law burdens this constitutional right. An individual who wants to legally use a safe sexual device during private intimate moments alone or with another is unable to legally purchase a device in Texas, which heavily burdens a constitutional right.”

More at http://www.lonestarq.com/fact-check-dildos-really-illegal-texas/ .

Allegiance of candidate for Wendy Davis' vacated seat questioned; withdrawal urged

FORT WORTH — Five former Tarrant County Democratic Party leaders are asking George Boll — a Fort Worth attorney who is running for the Texas Senate 10 seat being vacated by state Sen. Wendy Davis — to abandon his bid for the party’s nomination.

The former chairs say Boll, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the post, has voted more often than not as a Republican and belongs on the GOP ballot.

Boll, one of the eight candidates seeking this post, admits he has a mixed voting history but said he’s not withdrawing from the race.

“I want strongly for the Democrats to hold this seat in November,” said Boll, 48, a former Colleyville City Council member. “I am not going to step down.

More at http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/12/18/5429762/democrats-question-party-allegiance.html#my-headlines-default?rh=1

Montgomery County Texas mystery illness likely H1N1 virus

Recent mystery deaths in Montgomery County could be attributed to the H1N1 virus.

Conroe Regional Hospital this month reported eight cases of a mystery illness to the county's public health department. Of the eight, four patients have died, according to Wednesday news release from Jennifer L. Nichols-Contella, spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Hospital District & Public Health District.

Of the remaining four patients, one has been diagnosed with H1N1, the release said. Two of the patients tested negative for all flu viruses.

Nichols-Contella said the 2013 influenza vaccine protects against the H1N1 virus.

None of the patients who died had received a flu shot, the release said.

http://www.chron.com/news/health/article/Montgomery-Co-mystery-illness-likely-H1N1-virus-5076406.php?cmpid=rrhoustontx

Cross-posted in Texas Group.

Montgomery County Texas mystery illness likely H1N1 virus

Recent mystery deaths in Montgomery County could be attributed to the H1N1 virus.

Conroe Regional Hospital this month reported eight cases of a mystery illness to the county's public health department. Of the eight, four patients have died, according to Wednesday news release from Jennifer L. Nichols-Contella, spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Hospital District & Public Health District.

Of the remaining four patients, one has been diagnosed with H1N1, the release said. Two of the patients tested negative for all flu viruses.

Nichols-Contella said the 2013 influenza vaccine protects against the H1N1 virus.

None of the patients who died had received a flu shot, the release said.

http://www.chron.com/news/health/article/Montgomery-Co-mystery-illness-likely-H1N1-virus-5076406.php?cmpid=rrhoustontx

Cross-posted in Health Group.

Houston doctor charged in $158 million Medicare fraud

A Houston doctor has been charged in a $158 million Medicare fraud case involving false claims for mental health treatment, officials said.

Sharon Inglehart, 56, made her first court appearance this week in the federal investigation that also resulted in related charges against others.

Inglehart was charged with four counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, officials said.

From 2005 to 2012, Inglehart took part in a scheme to submit about $158 million in false claims for treatment at a Houston hospital for patients with severe mental illnesses, federal prosecutors said.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-doctor-charged-in-158-million-Medicare-5076586.php?cmpid=hpbn .

[font color=green]Three cheers for the Medicare Fraud Strike Force for catching these criminals.[/font]

Former NFL, Longhorn player Russell Erxleben pleads guilty to fraud charges

Former football player Russell Erxleben pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges on Wednesday in a series of foreign trading scams — including a $2 million Ponzi scheme — that bilked dozens of investors over nearly four years.

Under terms of the agreement, Erxleben will get 90 months in federal prison and will have to pay full restitution, as determined by the court. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel accepted the plea and set formal sentencing to Feb. 24. The latest offenses come eight years after he was released from prison on fraud charges in a separate case.

Erxleben was a three-time All-American kicker at the University of Texas in the late 1970s. He was a first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints and played six seasons in the NFL, mostly as a punter. But since the latter part of the 1990s, he has become more famous for his financial and legal troubles.

He pleaded guilty in 1999 to federal conspiracy and securities fraud charges stemming from a foreign currency trading scam in which nearly 500 investors lost more than $30 million. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison then.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crime-law/former-nfl-player-russell-erxleben-pleads-guilty-t/ncPDm/ .
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