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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: 78,410

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

'It's out there, finally': After 20 years, WSU-developed apple makes debut

After more than 20 years of research and development, the shiny, orange-red Cosmic Crisp apple debuted this week in grocery stores, including at all of the Rosauers, Safeway and Albertsons locations in Spokane.

Kate Evans, a lead scientist at Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center in Wenatchee, said she hasn’t visited the apple in the store as of yet, though some of her colleagues have.

“It is a little surreal just to even think that it’s out there, finally,” Evans said.

The apple predates Evans.

The WSU Cosmic Crisp project, which Evans said aimed to “make a new, improved apple for the Washington industry that would be great eating experiences for consumers,” began in 1997 when – using cross-hybridization between Enterprise and Honeycrisp varieties – the original seed for the first Cosmic Crisp tree was made. Evans took over the project in 2008.

Read more: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/dec/03/its-out-there-finally-after-20-years-wsu-developed/

The Cosmic Crisp apple is officially in local grocery stores after decades of development. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Dec 4, 2019, 05:18 AM (7 replies)

As landlords fight back, Spokane council delays vote on tenant protections

The Spokane City Council will delay voting on a set of proposed tenant protections until at least March.

Amid outcry from landlords, the council balked Monday on new laws that would force landlords to pay for tenant relocation when they substantially increase the rent, and cite a specific reason for an eviction.

The laws had been set to go to a vote on Dec. 9, but the council voted Monday afternoon to delay the vote until March 1.

Councilman Breean Beggs said the additional time will allow for another meeting to solicit input from landlords and tenants. Although there have been four public forums on the topic, Beggs said there were people who didn’t attend who have now come forward with specific proposals.

Read more: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/dec/02/as-landlords-fight-back-council-delays-vote-on-ten/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Dec 4, 2019, 05:12 AM (1 replies)

King County puts $100K toward programs to bus homeless people out of the county

King County councilmembers this week approved allotting $100,000 toward programs that would bus homeless people out of the area for family reunification.

The funding, part of King County’s supplemental budget, is far more than the $37,000 the county currently spends on family reunification across five programs. But, it represents just a fraction of the $1 million Councilmember Reagan Dunn recently proposed putting toward a "Homeward Bound" program.

These programs help provide homeless people with bus tickets out of the area to reunite with family and loved ones so they can get access to permanent housing. These types of programs -- which are used in cities across the country -- have helped some people navigate out of homelessness, but they have also faced controversy and some officials have questioned how to ensure people are actually getting and staying in permanent housing after relocating.

Dunn, who wants to create a streamlined Homeward Bound program unifying all of the current services in the county, said the $100,000 in funding isn't enough in the long run, but it's a good start.

Read more: https://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/King-County-puts-100K-toward-programs-to-bus-14853329.php
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Dec 4, 2019, 04:58 AM (1 replies)

Lid I-5 or Get Rid of I-5?

Interstate 5 is not earthquake safe, and there's no money to fix it.

Within our lifetime, there's a good chance Seattle will feel the violent tremors of an unimaginably strong earthquake—and when that happens, Seattle's stretch of I-5 will likely be damaged beyond repair.

The route that the busiest roadway in the state takes through Central Seattle involves a series of raised structures. Those structures include some bridges supported by hollow columns, which are now known to be especially dangerous in an earthquake. Lawmakers in Olympia have not allocated any funding to update those hollow columns, and there are currently no plans to do so.

Given these vulnerabilities, the state's earthquake response experts have completely written off trying to use I-5 in the event of a major seismic event. First responders will instead deliver lifesaving supplies on other roadways.

Read more: https://www.thestranger.com/features/2019/12/04/42158072/lid-i-5-or-get-rid-of-i-5
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Dec 4, 2019, 04:35 AM (0 replies)

KC Man Guilty of $2.5 Million Tax Fraud Scheme

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Missouri, man has been convicted in federal court of a scheme to obtain more than $2.5 million in fraudulent federal income tax refunds, in part by stealing his children’s identities.

Michael A. Kheop, 52, was found guilty at the conclusion of a one-day bench trial before U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips on Monday, Dec. 2, of three counts of making false claims, two counts of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to evidence introduced in the trial, Kheop created a fraudulent business entity in 2013. He then created fraudulent W-2 forms that contained false income and withholding in order to fraudulently claim refunds in his own name and using his three minor children’s names.

Kheop filed 12 fraudulent claims for refunds on behalf of his three minor children for tax years 2014 through 2017. He filed three fraudulent claims for refunds in his own name for tax years 2015 through 2017.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdmo/pr/kc-man-guilty-25-million-tax-fraud-scheme
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Dec 4, 2019, 04:08 AM (0 replies)

Atlanta man sentenced in million-dollar diamond and high-end jewelry fraud scheme

ATLANTA - Cory Smith has been sentenced for defrauding more than a dozen diamond and jewelry dealers and wholesalers nationwide. Over the course of his scheme, Smith attempted to defraud these companies of nearly $1.2 million in diamonds and jewelry and successfully obtained nearly $570,000 in merchandise.

“Smith repeatedly exploited the trust of diamond and jewelry dealers to defraud them,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Identifying Smith took the collective effort and cooperation of the victim retailers and wholesalers, commercial shippers, and local and federal law enforcement, and I commend their work.”

“A lot of hard working citizens were victimized by Smith in his elaborate scheme that cost them over a million dollars,” said Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta Chris Hacker. “His sentencing should serve as a warning that no matter how elaborate a scheme, investigating FBI agents are determined to protect American citizens against such crimes.”

“I am proud of the hard work and dedication that the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and detectives along with federal agents exemplified during this investigation. Make no mistake, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office will always cooperate with state and federal authorities to bring criminals to justice,” said Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr/atlanta-man-sentenced-million-dollar-diamond-and-high-end-jewelry-fraud-scheme
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Dec 4, 2019, 03:59 AM (0 replies)

Grand Junction Weapons Manufacturer CAPCO To Pay Over $1 Million To Resolve Allegations Of Fraud As

Grand Junction Weapons Manufacturer CAPCO To Pay Over $1 Million To Resolve Allegations Of Fraud As To Grenade Launchers It Supplied To The U.S. Army

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that Capco, LLC (Capco), a manufacturer based in Grand Junction, Colorado, will pay the United States over $1 million to resolve civil allegations that it defrauded the United States Army in connection with contracts to manufacture weapons.

The allegations relate to grenade launchers, known as M320s, that Capco manufactured in Grand Junction and shipped to the Army. The United States conducted a civil investigation, with Capco’s cooperation, into whether Capco supplied the Army with weapons that did not meet contract specifications.

According to the United States, Capco knowingly shipped M320s with barrels that did not meet the contract specifications. Despite this knowledge, Capco certified to the Army that each shipment conformed to contract specifications. Also, as to two shipments, Capco had reason to know that it had used the incorrect steel in manufacturing the firing pins for the M320s. While Capco conducted an internal investigation into the potential use of incorrect steel, this investigation was inadequate and Capco did not disclose this matter to the Army. The United States concluded that this conduct, which involved M320s shipments from July, 2016 through March, 2018, gave rise to civil liability under the False Claims Act.

The United States was alerted to the problems in Capco’s production process by James Cole, who formerly worked as a quality engineer at Capco. Under the False Claims Act, private citizens with knowledge of a fraud against the United States may present those allegations to the government by bringing a lawsuit on behalf of the United States under seal. If the government’s investigation substantiates those allegations and the United States obtains a monetary recovery under the False Claims Act, the private citizen may share in that monetary recovery. Mr. Cole filed such a lawsuit here under the False Claims Act. Of the $1,025,429 settlement amount from Capco, Mr. Cole will recover approximately $235,000.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-co/pr/grand-junction-weapons-manufacturer-capco-pay-over-1-million-resolve-allegations-fraud
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Dec 4, 2019, 03:49 AM (0 replies)

Disbarred Attorney Admitted He Embezzled Millions of Dollars from Charitable Trusts and Filed False

SAN DIEGO – Former trustee and disbarred attorney, Earl Nelson Feldman, pleaded guilty in federal court today, admitting that he used his position of trust to steal millions of dollars from several charitable trusts, which he spent on personal expenses rather than donating to charities. In executing his scheme to defraud, he covered his tracks by filing false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.

Feldman entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo. Feldman pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing false tax returns.

According to his plea agreement, Feldman was the trustee of several charitable trusts as early as 1996. He was also an attorney and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the State of California. As early of January 2012 and continuing up to and including April 15, 2015, Feldman made more than $1.6 million in unauthorized wire transfers and withdrawals from the bank accounts of the charitable trusts under his control. To conceal his theft of trust funds, he filed false and fictitious tax returns with the IRS that inflated and falsely reported the amount of charitable gifts allegedly made by him as trustee of the charitable trusts. In lieu of making these authorized gifts, Feldman misappropriated trust assets for his own personal expenses, including but not limited to: paying his personal mortgages; paying taxes on properties he owned; making his personal federal and state tax payments; purchasing personal vehicles; paying contractors working on his personal residence; transferring funds from the charitable trust accounts to his personal brokerage account; and paying his personal credit cards.

In total, Feldman admitted he stole approximately $1,648,531.40 from the charitable trusts. Since his fraud was uncovered, Feldman has repaid approximately $1,547,444.16. As part of his plea agreement, Feldman agreed to repay the remaining balance of the restitution in the amount of $101,087.24 to over fifty individual charities. At the hearing, Feldman informed the court that he had written the check for the remaining amount of restitution and intended to deposit it today with the clerk of the court.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdca/pr/disbarred-attorney-admitted-he-embezzled-millions-dollars-charitable-trusts-and-filed
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Dec 4, 2019, 03:37 AM (0 replies)

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj: Why Billionaires Won't Save Us

Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Dec 4, 2019, 02:30 AM (0 replies)

$1 million: Idaho ordered to pay former corrections employee's legal fees

Earlier this year, a Boise federal jury awarded $1.8 million to a former Idaho prison employee.

Last week, a federal judge ordered the state to pay $1 million in legal fees the employee incurred successfully suing the state.

Cynthia Fuller, a former Idaho probation and parole officer, accused Idaho Department of Correction administrators of creating a hostile work environment and causing emotional distress after she reported a co-worker, with whom she had been in a relationship, raped her.

Fuller claimed she was raped by co-worker Herbt Cruz three times over a two-week period in 2011. Her lawsuit focused on how her supervisors at the Caldwell probation and parole office and IDOC’s top administrators handled her claims and other complaints by female employees about Cruz.

Read more: https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article237999824.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Dec 3, 2019, 05:12 PM (0 replies)
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