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TexasTowelie

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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: 76,959

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

DA: Sands Bethlehem on its own if it won't pay $10 million host fee

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli threatened to cut some of his office's support of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem if it refuses to honor a $10 million agreement it made with Lehigh Valley governments.

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling this year placed a key gaming law in limbo, endangering the $10 million the state's casinos pay to their host communities. While many of the state's gambling halls said they will honor their agreements even if a new law isn't on the books by April, Sands has avoided any such promises. Instead, Sands' officials have taken a wait-and-see approach.

But Morganelli said Tuesday that if the casino won't pay the $10 million host fee, he will no longer pursue charges against those who steal from the casino with bad checks, or who use sleight of hand to pocket poker chips illegally. Casinos' sharing proceeds with host communities was a key factor when Bethlehem and Northampton and Lehigh counties agreed to welcome the Sands to the former Bethlehem Steel campus in south Bethlehem.

"I would not in good conscience be able to justify the use of my limited resources to help a profitable billion-dollar corporation while the Sands maintains the position they are an island unto themselves," Morganelli said in a news release.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-morganelli-sands-crime-standoff-20161227-story.html

Scranton-area homeowners sue over undisclosed sewer lines

The largest investor-owned water utility in Pennsylvania closed Thursday on its $195 million purchase of Scranton's sewer system amid a lawsuit filed by homeowners who say the Scranton Sewer Authority offered them a pittance for easements that should have been acquired decades ago.

Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, bought the Scranton Sewer Authority's wastewater system. When the deal was announced in March, officials said the sale proceeds would be used to pay off the sewer authority's $70 million debt, with the balance to be split between the city of Scranton and Dunmore borough.

The lawsuit, filed last month in Lackawanna County Common Pleas Court, said the homeowners had no clue that public sewer lines ran underneath their properties until August, when the sewer authority informed them of the lines' existence. The authority offered each homeowner $100 for easements that would give it, and its successor, the right to perform repairs or maintenance on the previously undisclosed lines.

Six homeowners who received the letters sued, arguing the sewer system had no right to operate the decades-old lines in the first place. Their lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf of some 600 home and business owners in Scranton.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-homeowners-sue-over-mystery-sewer-lines-20161229-story.html

Researchers say Pennsylvania's electoral system among worst in country

Pennsylvania's electoral system has as much integrity as systems in Cuba, Bulgaria and Hungary, according to a recent analysis.

The Electoral Integrity Project, affiliated with Harvard University and the University of Sydney in Australia, evaluated states' electoral systems based on interviews with more than 700 political scientists. Researchers scored states on the perceived integrity of 11 aspects of the electoral process, from how congressional and legislative districts are drawn to how votes are cast and counted.

Pennsylvania's overall score of 56 out of 100 tied for fifth-worst among U.S. states, ahead of only Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Arizona.

It also tied the scores of Cuba, Bulgaria and Hungary in the Electoral Integrity Project's global research, which used the same criteria.

Read more: http://triblive.com/local/allegheny/11698552-74/electoral-pennsylvania-redistricting

Sears CEO to open his wallet again to keep retailer afloat

Sears Holdings Corp. Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert is opening his wallet once again to help keep the struggling retailer in business, a move that could help placate vendors after an uncertain holiday season.

Lampert, a hedge fund manager and Sears's biggest investor, will offer a $200 million letter of credit to the department-store chain through affiliates of his firm, ESL Investments Inc.

The amount could be expanded to as much as $500 million with the consent of lenders, according to a statement Thursday.

The move signals that Lampert remains committed to bankrolling Sears, even as the business suffers from dwindling sales and billions in red ink.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/11708041-74/sears-credit-lampert

Run-DMC sues Wal-Mart, Amazon for $50M

NEW YORK (AP) — The rap group Run-DMC has filed a $50 million lawsuit in New York accusing Wal-Mart, Amazon, Jet and other retailers of selling products that traded on the group's name without permission.

The group says the defendants are utilizing its name in the "production, advertising, promotion, marketing, sale and distribution of various products, including glasses, t-shirts and patches."

It says the retailers have improperly profited, diluted and harmed the Run-DMC brand, which it says has generated more than $100 million in revenue since its inception in the 1980s.

The suit was filed in the Southern District of New York on Thursday.

Read more: http://hosted2.ap.org/PAPIT/d3444c3add384b05a39deb3258f13309/Article_2016-12-30-US--People-Run-DMC/id-ce16f013b7c8467999f70926c9d6b4a4

Police Officer, Suspect Shot Outside North Texas Restaurant

A police officer and a suspect have been shot while scuffling outside a north Texas restaurant.

Weatherford Police say the shootings occurred during "an investigative traffic stop" of a vehicle with two males and a female in it about 9:15 p.m.

Police say officers were trying to arrest one of the males on a warrant when the scuffle broke out in the parking lot of the Tequila Bar Y Grill.

Officer Chris Bumpas and the suspect, who has not been identified, were both shot and taken to a local hospital.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/police-officer-suspect-shot-north-texas-restaurant-44465696

Sanctioned Russian accused in U.S. election hacking is under indictment in Pittsburgh

http://www.post-gazette.com/image/2016/12/30/ca0,0,2312,2312/Election-Hacking-1-1.jpg

One of the Russian individuals sanctioned Thursday by President Barack Obama has been under indictment in Pittsburgh since 2014 and remains on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, whose aliases include “lucky12345” and “Pollingsoon,” was named in an eight-count indictment here two years ago accusing him of conspiracy, wire fraud, computer fraud, money laundering and other crimes. He also has been under indictment in Nebraska since 2012.

Mr. Bogachev and five accused co-conspirators were also named as defendants in a lawsuit filed by prosecutors when they sought approval to shut down his Gameover Zeus computer network and the Cryptolocker virus which had infected computers around the world. Mr. Bogachev’s first name is sometimes spelled as the Russian variant, Yevgeny.

At the time, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said Mr. Bogachev was a “true 21st-century criminal” in carrying out borderless cybercrimes. U.S. Attorney David Hickton said that U.S. authorities needed be “bold, imaginative and relentless” in pursuing such sophisticated computer villains.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2016/12/30/Sanctioned-Russian-under-indictment-here/stories/201612300111

Pennsylvania prosecutors balk at $2 million bill from Porngate investigator

HARRISBURG - Kathleen G. Kane, the convicted former state attorney general, may be out of office, but a legal fight is just beginning over her signature quest to investigate pornography shared over state computers.

Top lawyers with the Attorney General's Office are balking at paying the full $2 million billed by the special prosecutor Kane hired last year to investigate the scandal.

Douglas Gansler, a Washington lawyer, has already been paid $385,000 for his work. But in a meeting last week, Gansler was told the office was only willing to pay him and his firm, BuckleySandler, less than half of the approximately $1.5 million more it says it is owed, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

The sources said the agency's highest-ranking officials, including Attorney General Bruce Beemer, are unhappy with Gansler's review and subsequent report on the emails, believing the report to be ineptly researched and unfairly careless about its impact on people's reputations. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the negotiations.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20161230_Pa__prosecutors_balk_at__2_million_bill_from_Porngate_investigator.html

Feds discover destructive pest at Camden port

Customs officials inspecting a large shipment of citrus at the Port of Philadelphia in Camden recently discovered the presence of Mediterranean fruit flies, "one of the world's most destructive agricultural pests," the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday.

The discovery was made Dec. 14 during a routine examination of 105,000 crates of clementines, a popular fruit similar to tangerines, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

A DHS spokesman said that the shipment had come from Morocco and that officials of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency of DHS, quarantined all of it.

"This is an extremely important find," Kevin Donohue, acting director of the Port of Philadelphia, said in a statement. Called "medflies" for short, the species has been responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in crop damage around the world.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20161230_Feds_discover_destructive_pest_at_Camden_port.html

Man charged in bomb threat at Camden County government building

A Runnemede man is facing charges for allegedly calling in a bomb threat that caused major disruptions over the summer at the Camden County Board of Social Services.

George Myers is accused of making the Aug. 3 bomb threat by phone, the Camden County Sheriff's Department said Thursday. He is facing a false public alarm charge.

The threat led to a total evacuation of the building at 600 Market Street in Camden, leaving the board unable to see clients, which created a delay in case management and benefit processing, officials said.

Authorities didn't disclose any motive for the threat.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/real-time/Man-charged-Dec-29-2016-in-bomb-threat-at-Camden-County-government-building.html
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