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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
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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

Probe of ex-Cabinet member 'highly active,' AG's Office says

SANTA FE – It’s been exactly one year since former New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla resigned after state investigators raided the agency she headed in search of tax documents connected to Padilla and her husband.

But no charges have been filed by Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office, which has been tight-lipped about the case.

“This remains a highly active, ongoing investigation, and we cannot provide any other details at this time,” Matt Baca, senior counsel at the Attorney General’s Office, told the Journal on Thursday.

Padilla, who was one of Gov. Susana Martinez’s first Cabinet appointees after Martinez was elected in 2010, initially denied allegations that she pressured department employees to give preferential treatment to a former client of hers, telling the Journal in July 2015 that the allegations were just a “bump in the road.”

Read more: https://www.abqjournal.com/1107099/probe-of-excabinet-member-highly-active.html

ACLU report slams Arizona charter school enrollment policies

PHOENIX — Hundreds of Arizona's state-funded charter schools use discriminatory enrollment policies to close their doors to certain students, according to a report released Thursday by a civil rights group.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona said an investigation found numerous schools had admission requirements that seemed intent on deterring students with certain vulnerabilities. They include disabilities, English-learning needs and past disciplinary issues, the report said.

"'School choice' means that families should be choosing schools, not the other way around," ACLU of Arizona executive director Alessandra Soler said in a statement.

The Arizona Charter Schools Association lambasted the report, calling it a "hit piece" and accusing the organization of going on an "anti-charter witch hunt."

Read more: http://tucson.com/aclu-report-slams-arizona-charter-school-enrollment-policies/article_62803545-eb00-59be-99c6-ec76313bd53f.html

Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity indicted on hazing charges after University of Houston pledge ritual

Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity has been indicted and charged with hazing after being accused of abusing University of Houston pledges during a three-day ritual last year that left one with a lacerated spleen.

A Harris County grand jury indicted the fraternity Thursday on a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of up to $10,000.

"Brotherhood and collegiate good times should be safe and hazing is not," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a written statement. "It is also illegal and that should be recognized by the dozens of fraternities and sororities on college campuses all over the Houston area."

UH in October suspended the Tennessee-based Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Inc. until 2023.

The indictment says one pledge was forced to roll in vomit, spit and feces and had to go without food, drink and sleep during the three-day ritual. He was tackled in the dark by fraternity members and later was hospitalized.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/local/education/campus-chronicles/article/University-of-Houston-Pi-Kappa-Alpha-fraternity-12431031.php

No resolution yet to University of New Mexico's athletics deficit

The University of New Mexico athletic department’s reckoning will have to wait until 2018.

The university has not presented the athletics deficit reduction plan that was expected this month, instead postponing any decisions until after the department’s new chief financial officer arrives, according to a UNM spokeswoman.

Rob Robinson, now at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, starts as athletics CFO in January.

In the meantime, budget forecasts indicate athletics’ debt to the university is on pace to grow by almost 28 percent during the fiscal year that ends June 30.

Read more: https://www.abqjournal.com/1106943/unm-athletics-deficit-growing-repayment-plan-not-determined.html

Ohio couple told again to get rid of 'support' goats

In this Friday, Dec. 8, 2017 photo, Amanda Held kisses her goat Loomis as her husband Justin Held watches in Grand Rapids, Ohio. The couple, who say their three goats have helped ease the husband's depression, have been ordered once again to get rid of them. The Held's were told during a court hearing Friday in Bowling Green, they must remove the animals from their property for a misdemeanor zoning violation to be dismissed. (Jeremy Wadsworth/The Blade via AP)

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — An Ohio couple who say their three goats have helped ease the husband’s depression has been ordered once again to get rid of them.

The Blade reports that Justin and Amanda Held were told during a court hearing Friday in Bowling Green they must remove the animals from their property for a misdemeanor zoning violation to be dismissed.

It’s not the first time the Helds and the village of Grand Rapids have butted heads over the goats. The couple removed the goats last year after the village cited them but brought them back earlier this year when a doctor certified them as emotional support animals.

The village cited the couple again in September.

Amanda Held says that while they’ll comply, she’ll continue fighting for the goats and her husband’s happiness.

Read more: https://www.abqjournal.com/1104517/ohio-couple-told-again-to-get-rid-of-support-goats.html

University of New Mexico Suspends Most Greek Life Activities

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico is suspending most social events by its fraternity and sorority chapters for the next two months.

The suspension comes after three fraternities were placed on "emergency suspension" while they are being investigated for allegations of hazing and alcohol violations.

According to a Dec. 8 memo from Vice President of Student Affairs Eliseo Torres, the "social restriction" will continue through Feb. 19.

During this time Greek organizations will not be allowed to hold events on or off campus that are open to anyone besides their own members. They will still be allowed to work on community service projects, conduct operational business, recruit and participate in Greek Week in February provided that the events do not involve alcohol.

(short article)

Wind farm agreement highlights New Mexico businesses, labor

ALBUQUERQUE — The state attorney general's office and advocacy groups have brokered an agreement with a utility that is planning to build a massive wind farm near the Texas-New Mexico border to ensure that businesses and vendors will have a shot at being hired once construction begins.

Xcel Energy and its subsidiary Southwestern Public Service Co. are seeking regulatory approval to build two new wind farms — one on the New Mexico side of the border in Roosevelt County and the other in Hale County, Texas.

The Sagamore Wind Project would be the largest wind farm in New Mexico, providing more than 520 megawatts of power once it comes online in 2020. That's enough to provide electricity to about 194,000 homes per year.

Under the agreement unveiled Thursday, 30 percent of plant costs would ideally involve subcontractors, vendors and labor from New Mexico.

Read more: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/wind-farm-agreement-highlights-new-mexico-businesses-labor/article_40f9630c-7c6c-5e96-819d-3f4f29e75f30.html

Navajo Code Talker Teddy Draper Sr. dies at the age of 96

Only 10 Navajo Code Talkers from World War II remain alive after Teddy Draper Sr. died Thursday morning in Prescott, according to the Navajo Nation.

Draper, 96, served in the 5th Marine Division, fighting in Iwo Jima and earning a Purple Heart and a Congressional Silver Medal, a release from the Nation said.

Draper continued his work to preserve the Navajo language after his time in the military, teaching classes at Rough Rock Community High School and producing materials used to teach Navajo language in schools.

“The Navajo Code Talkers used our language to save this country during World War II," Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez said in the release. “This is an example of the importance of passing down our language to our children. We are grateful and remember Teddy Draper not only for his efforts on the battlefield but in the classroom as well."

Read more: http://www.kvoa.com/story/37072475/navajo-code-talker-teddy-draper-sr-dies-at-the-age-of-96

Judge: Gov. Martinez Violated Public Records Law, Not Constitution

In a 65-page ruling handed down Thursday afternoon, state District Judge Sarah Singleton ruled that the governor violated no constitutional provisions in limiting the access of SFR (Santa Fe Reporter) to her administration. Susana Martinez' staff, however, did break the law three times in its tardy or non-existent responses to public records requests.

The long-awaited ruling, which comes after a three-day bench trial in March, presented a mixed bag, both for the newspaper and for the governor, who is entering her final year in office.

SFR filed suit in 2013, claiming the governor discriminated against the newspaper in retaliation for critical coverage, and that her office violated the Inspection of Public Records Act.

Reached Thursday evening, SFR attorney Dan Yohalem said he is reviewing the ruling and will meet with the newspaper to discuss the next steps. SFR Editor and Publisher Julie Ann Grimm said she was waiting to meet with the paper's attorneys before commenting.

Read more: http://www.sfreporter.com/news/2017/12/14/judge-gov-martinez-violated-public-records-law-not-constitution/

Gov. Gary Herbert unveils $16.7 billion budget proposal for Utah

KAYSVILLE — Declaring 2018 the "Year of Technical Education," Gov. Gary Herbert on Wednesday unveiled his $16.7 billion budget proposal at the Davis Technical College, emphasizing a fiscal package that dedicates 72 percent of new revenue to education.

Herbert's budget plan comes with no tax increase, new money to help the homeless, a funding plan to stave off tuition increases for college students, and a push to put more transportation dollars into mass transit options. It does not add any new debt and includes a rainy-day fund of $575 million.

The proposed budget is built on $382 million in new ongoing revenue, the lion's share of which will go to Utah's education system, including enrollment growth, teacher salaries, technology development and counseling. That new money — while a boost — represents less than 3 percent of the overall budget, Herbert said.

"{This budget} is rational, reasonable, responsible and reflective of the needs of the state now and into future," the governor said, speaking over the hum of massive computer-controlled cutting machines in a brightly lit classroom at the technology center.

Read more: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900005653/gov-gary-herbert-unveils-dollar167-billion-budget-proposal-for-utah.html
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