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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: 78,485

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

Ex-Guadalupe judge (and former state trooper) admits pot possession

Former Guadalupe County Judge Mike Wiggins, who resigned last April after being arrested in College Station on a misdemeanor pot possession charge, has pleaded guilty.

“I'm glad it's over,” Wiggins, 59, said today, declining further comment.

Defense attorney Shane Phelps said Wiggins considered going to trial because of “serious extenuating circumstances,” but instead took a plea last week and was placed on six months deferred adjudication, fined $1,000, and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.

“Judge Wiggins just wanted to get this behind him, to accept responsibility and to move on,” Phelps said.

Read more at http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Ex-Guadalupe-judge-admits-pot-possession-4287456.php .

[font color=green]His foot hurt and he couldn't sleep? ROTFLMAO!!!

This former judge was also a state trooper. I wonder how many people the self-medicated hypocrite arrested or convicted?

It took a year for this case to be resolved. That left plenty of time for more self-medication.

Previous story from February 2012 at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1078921 . [/font]

Diner owner may have thwarted another Obama mural attack

The owner of the Breakfast Klub on Sunday night may have stopped a possible vandal from damaging the much-defaced mural of President Barack Obama on the restaurant's storage building on the southern edge of Midtown.

Officers were dispatched about 7:45 p.m. to 3710 Travis near West Alabama after Marcus Davis called authorities saying he had spotted a man carrying an open can of paint near his restaurant, said Kese Smith, a spokesman for the Houston Police Department.

Smith said Davis detained the man until officers arrived.

Officers investigated the case and contacted the Harris County District Attorney's Office. The man was not taken into custody and no charges were filed because no crime had been committed, Smith said.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Diner-owner-may-have-thwarted-another-Obama-mural-4288008.php .

State Sen. Dan Patrick (R) files charter school reform bill (SB 2)

AUSTIN — On Monday, State Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) filed his charter school reform bill as Senate Bill 2.

"There is no one answer to transforming schools but lifting the cap to add high quality public charters will give Texas parents, including the nearly 100,000 currently on a charter school waiting list, more choices to find the best education for their child," said Senator Patrick.

SB 2 lifts the cap on charter schools, provides facility funding, strengthens the academic and financial accountability over charters, and creates an independent authorizer of charter schools.

Under the bill, an authorizing board will be allowed to grant an unlimited number of charters per fiscal year to charter holders located in Texas as well as successful charter holders outside of Texas. It also allows for the replication of highly successful campuses under a charter.

More at http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/cypresscreek/news/legislature-state-sen-dan-patrick-files-charter-school-reform-bill/article_45afa4be-7a03-11e2-a897-0019bb2963f4.html .

[font color=green]So much for public education.[/font]

Whooping crane flock size estimated smaller than last year

After weeks of waiting, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued its first count of the whooping crane flock using a new estimation technique.

The preliminary analysis estimates the flock to be made up of about 257 birds with a 95 percent confidence interval that ranges between 178 and 362 whoopers, according to a release issued Friday.

This is a disappointing development for longtime whooping crane enthusiasts, Chester McConnell, a trustee emeritus with the Whooping Crane Conservation Association, said.

"We watch these numbers religiously, and we were hoping the flock would reach 300 birds in the next few years, but now they're saying there are 40 less birds," McConnell said.

More at http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2013/feb/16/dw_whoopers_021713_202011/ .

NPPD: Keystone pipeline power won’t be done in 2014

Source: AP

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska utility said the new route for a proposed oil pipeline that would carry Canadian crude oil through the state will delay work on electric transmission lines for the pipeline.

Nebraska Public Power District officials said they won’t be able to build the transmission lines by the end-of-2014 deadline that TransCanada set.

NPPD Chief Operating Officer Tom Kent said there’s no way the transmission lines will be ready by 2015.
“We have a lot of work to do,” he said.

TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline will carry Canadian crude to the Gulf Coast if it can win President Barack Obama’s approval. The proposed $7 billion pipeline would cross Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. TransCanada also has proposed connecting the pipeline to the Bakken oil field in Montana and North Dakota.

Read more: http://www.omaha.com/article/20130218/NEWS/130219549/1707

Premont holds breath for state's decision on school district

PREMONT — The big question hanging over Premont for a year may soon be answered.

Will the school district, the heart of this tiny South Texas town, still be open in the fall?

With the state inching closer to an announcement, the town is growing restless for a decision. Some students left, even transferring to the district’s longtime rival, Brooks County ISD. Still others may leave even if the district stays open.

But many others have remain steadfast in their belief that Premont will thrive, and that the district has gone above and beyond the state’s requirements to continue to stay open.

The decision is expected any day.

More at http://www.caller.com/news/2013/feb/16/premont-holds-breath-for-states-decision-on/ .

[font color=green]According to the remainder of the article, it appears that the town has turned things around and invigorated the school with financial support. Hopefully, this school district will not suffer the same fate as the North Forest ISD near Houston when TEA commissioner Michael Williams decides whether the school stays open. Otherwise, the students will face long bus rides to the school district that absorbs Premont ISD.[/font]

Legislative Budget Board Calls for Medicaid Expansion; Return to the State Is $4 Billion

Three guesses who is turning backflips at this news. It's the freshman Republicans, who were facing the prospect of (a) voting for a $7 billion spending bill or (b) telling their hometown doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare providers to go fly a kite.

This is a no-brainer. The federal government would cover 100% of the cost of coverage for the 2014-2015 budget cycle. The state would have to put up $50.4 million to cover half of the administrative costs of the expansion. In return, the federal aid over the next two fiscal years would be $4 billion, according to the LBB. The state in its next budget would bear just 1.2% of the cost of the expansion.

This would bring to an end a shameful era in which the state's leaders did absolutely nothing to help people without health insurance and sent them instead to hospital emergency rooms, the most expensive care there is. This is the way the Legislature has handled health care for decades, under D's and R's alike. It was a hidden tax increase on property owners that pushed the cost onto local taxpayers instead of state taxpayers.

More at http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/lbb-calls-medicaid-expansion-return-state-4b .

As needy groups grow, state faces Medicaid funding crisis

AUSTIN — Every odd-numbered year, the Texas health and human services commissioner appears before state lawmakers hungry to cut spending on Medicaid, and at every meeting he or she shows them a chart of whose health services would suffer: impoverished children, senior citizens and the disabled.

That’s the moment when even the most hard-hearted lawmaker realizes that cutting the program, which accounts for a quarter of state spending, will be tougher than they thought. Texas already has one of the most restrictive Medicaid programs in the country.

But Texas faces a fundamental problem in that the number of poor children and impoverished elderly continues to grow, and federal law requires the state to provide a basic level of services to these people in return for matching funds that cover about 60 percent of the program’s cost.

This year, lawmakers will try to wring out every dime possible in efficiencies and fighting waste. Sen. Jane Nelson, chairwoman of the Health and Human Services Committee, has introduced bills to fight waste and fraud while rewarding great efficiency.

More at http://www.news-journal.com/news/state/as-needy-groups-grow-state-faces-medicaid-funding-crisis/article_bf20aa03-dd40-5449-ab03-ae31285e04ac.html .

Medicaid doesn't pay for couple's heartbreak

When Shontae Minor and boyfriend Khristian Rohena learned she was pregnant with quadruplets, they followed their San Antonio doctor's advice and sought a selective fetal reduction.

The procedure would have eliminated two of the fetuses while they still were in her womb, raising the chances that the remaining two would survive and be well, according to medical experts. The doctor also advised Minor, 22, that her own health could be in jeopardy if she carried all four to term.

But a state worker told the couple that Medicaid wouldn't pay the $4,000 bill for the fetal reduction.

On Jan. 15, Minor gave birth to two sets of identical twin boys 10 weeks early. One baby lived only 10 days; another, 23 days.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/local_news/article/Medicaid-doesn-t-pay-for-couple-s-heartbreak-4285414.php .

Doctors nationwide defaulting on loans

WASHINGTON — Payback can be a bitter pill for the nation’s deadbeat doctors.

The government has seized tax refunds and unemployment checks, claimed judgments against them in federal court, banned them from billing Medicare and Medicaid, even posted their names on a public shaming list.

Yet 930 medical professionals nationwide remain in default, owing the government more than $116 million for loans many stopped repaying more than 18 years ago. Among them:


The last loans in the program came in 1998. This year, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) budgeted $2.8 million for the program, with more than a dozen employees tracking the deadbeat docs and monitoring 30,000 other professionals paying back more than $730 million on time.

More at http://www.caller.com/news/2013/feb/17/bad-medicine/ .
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