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Profile Information

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: 85,934

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

Federal appeals ruling in 2009 Fresno police shooting could cost city even more money

A federal appellate court on Wednesday rejected the city of Fresno’s contention that the 2009 police shooting death of 23-year-old Stephen Willis was justified.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a federal jury in Fresno reasonably concluded in December 2013 that a former police officer had used excessive force when Willis was killed outside his southeast Fresno apartment. Willis was shot 14 times, including several times in the back, an autopsy revealed.

The ruling means Fresno could be on the hook for more than the $1.1 million the city has already been ordered to pay to Willis’ family and their lawyers, Walter Walker III and Peter Koenig of San Francisco.

In December 2013, the jury found that former police officer Greg Catton used excessive force and his negligence caused Willis’ wrongful death. The jury awarded $1.51 million in damages to Willis’ parents, Chris and Liz Willis. But jurors also ruled that Willis contributed to his own death, so his family was awarded only $302,000 in damages.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article135843338.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:50 PM (1 replies)

California pot growers now qualify for discounted PG&E rates

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced Wednesday that it will extend its discounted agricultural rate to marijuana growers in California. The rate is immediately available to those growing medical marijuana in accordance with local and state laws, and it will extend to recreational cannabis farms once that becomes legal on Jan. 1, 2018.

“Cannabis is a legal crop in our state, like almonds and tomatoes,” PG&E vice-president of customer service Deborah Affonsa said in a news release. “Agricultural growers now will be eligible for the same rate and energy efficient programs as farmers of other crops.”

Cultivators must have obtained a local permit to grow marijuana and at least 70 percent of their annual energy use must be for agricultural purposes in order to qualify for the program. Both indoor and outdoor farming operations qualify, but adults growing the up to six personal marijuana plants allowed by the state law do not.

PG&E also hopes to work out ways for the cannabis industry, which typically demands a lot of electricity, to build more energy-efficient farms.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/pot-in-california/article135821648.html

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:48 PM (0 replies)

Judge: Proof that wife helped Orlando shooter is 'debatable'

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- A federal judge in California said Wednesday that it is "debatable" whether the government has enough evidence to convict a woman of helping her husband plan the Orlando nightclub rampage, ordering her released from jail until trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu also said Noor Salman, 31, is not dangerous and there is no proof she has ties to the Islamic State group or holds extremist views. Her husband, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to several terror organizations during last year's attack that left 49 people dead at Pulse nightclub before police killed him.

"She herself is not charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization," the judge said, noting that Salman has no criminal record and that friends and former teachers called her "peaceful and nonviolent."

Salman has been charged with helping Mateen plan the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history and lying to investigators. She has pleaded not guilty and faces life in prison if convicted.

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:45 PM (0 replies)

Former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal gets new African name

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Former Spokane, Washington, NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, who resigned amid criticism that she was passing herself off as black, has changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo.

Court documents show a judge granted her request on Oct. 7, 2016. Her new name has origins in Africa.

The former Dolezal has acknowledged that she is "Caucasian biologically" but says she identifies as black.

Her race became a national topic of conversation in 2015 after a local news reporter questioned her on camera about her background.

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:43 PM (2 replies)

Florida looks to expand 'stand your ground' immunity

Florida doesn't just want to let people stand their ground, it also wants to make the state prove they didn't commit violence in self-defense before taking them to trial.

Florida has been seen as a leader in giving citizens immunity in cases of self-defense, its "stand your ground" law serving as an emotional point of debate after several high-profile shooting deaths, including that of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

While at least 22 states have similar laws that say people can use force — even deadly force — to defend themselves from threats, Florida could soon be the only one that spells out that prosecutors have to prove defendants weren't acting in self-defense before taking someone to trial.

That's under a bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Rob Bradley, who says his legislation "isn't a novel concept."

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/florida-expand-stand-ground-immunity-45850429
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:41 PM (1 replies)

California billionaire donates $5M to San Jose flood relief

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- A California billionaire has donated $5 million for flood relief efforts in San Jose.

Kieu Hoang is a one-time refugee from Vietnam who built a fortune in medical products. He presented a check to city officials Wednesday. The money will go toward a relief fund that counts the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army among its recipients.

City officials ordered more than 14,000 residents to evacuate part of the city last week as water flooded homes and temporarily shut down a portion of a major freeway.

Assistant City Manager David Sykes said earlier this week that an initial estimate put the damage costs at $73 million in the city alone.

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:38 PM (0 replies)

Federal judge tosses SEC suit against Texas attorney general

Source: AP

AUSTIN, Texas -- A federal judge on Thursday dismissed the U.S. government's securities fraud lawsuit against Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who still faces criminal charges of duping wealthy investors.

But the ruling by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant is a significant victory for Paxton, who is scheduled to stand trial in May on felony securities fraud charges. He has pleaded not guilty and faces five to 99 years in prison if convicted.

The lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was nearly identical to the case brought by criminal prosecutors. Both allege that Paxton of misled investors in a high-tech Texas startup by not disclosing he was being paid by the company.

Mazzant said in his Thursday ruling that Paxton had "no plausible legal duty" to disclose his arrangement. Last year, Mazzant had tentatively dismissed the case against Paxton but gave federal regulators another chance to strengthen their case. But he was again unimpressed.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/local/federal-judge-tosses-sec-suit-against-texas-attorney-general/u449oF6Ggty58UzIuQDSvM/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:36 PM (3 replies)

Golf cart chop shop found after $17,000 golf cart recovered, deputies say

Communities in the Palm Springs area of Riverside County are renowned for their golf resorts, so it's not a surprise someone would capitalize on the phenomenon by turning to crime.

Law enforcement officers earlier this week arrested La Quinta resident Justin Schultz on suspicion of stealing golf carts and operating a chop shop in which stolen parts would be resold or used to craft customized carts, according to a Riverside County Sheriff's Department news release.

Schultz is also suspected of possessing stolen property and methamphetamine, Sgt. Sean Brown said in the release.

On Monday, the Riverside Auto-Theft Interdiction Detail became involved in an investigation of a golf cart believed to be stolen from a resident in the gated community of Indian Wells Country Club.

Read more: http://www.pe.com/articles/capitalize-826581-resorts-communities.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:31 PM (0 replies)

PG&E pressured to remedy power bills that are shocking customers

SAN FRANCISCO — PG&E and state regulators should take steps to ease the sting of soaring power bills during the winter — a surge that could be followed by even worse rate shocks this summer and next winter — a key state lawmaker demanded on Wednesday.

The requests came after wide-ranging research by the staff of state Sen. Jerry Hill, a San Mateo County Democrat. The study determined that a new rate structure, flaws in how customer usage is tracked, higher regulator-approved power rates and a winter that chilled California, combined in a unpleasant mix to unleash bills that have skyrocketed for some customers.

“The research shows that the most vulnerable are being hit the hardest at a time when they need heating the most,” Hill said Wednesday.

The outcry over rising power bills has surfaced just weeks after PG&E was branded a convicted felon when it was sentenced for crimes it committed before and after a fatal explosion in San Bruno.

Read more: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/03/01/pge-pressured-to-remedy-power-bills-that-are-shocking-customers/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:27 PM (1 replies)

Alameda to consider impeachment resolution of Trump

ALAMEDA — The city of Alameda will consider a resolution Tuesday calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump over his alleged interactions with Russian officials and business dealings.

Last month, the city of Richmond unanimously backed a similar resolution, which activists say made it the first city in the nation to support steps that could lead to Trump’s impeachment.

“Our motivation is to absolutely preserve our democracy,” said Katie Cameron of Alameda4Impeachment, a group of residents who are spearheading the effort.

The City Council will take up the issue on Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/03/01/alameda-to-consider-impeachment-resolution-of-trump/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:15 PM (1 replies)
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