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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: 87,655

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

Retired Hayward police sergeant convicted of 9 felonies at highly contentious grand theft trial

HAYWARD — At a highly contentious trial in which jurors saw only a portion of the courtroom drama, retired Hayward police Sgt. Michael Beal was convicted Wednesday of nine counts of felony grand theft for cheating a mentally ill former police confidential informant out of up to $500,000.

Beal, 57, was taken into custody on Wednesday morning after the guilty verdicts were returned. He had been released from jail on his own recognizance during the trial by Judge Thomas Rogers, which is highly unusual in a felony case, despite having $420,000 bail. He faces up to eight years in state prison at his sentencing scheduled for March 29. He already served 19 months in jail while awaiting trial.

The jury heard more than two months of evidence and deliberated for almost three weeks, including over a week with a replacement juror, before finding Beal guilty as charged.

“The length of their deliberations showed there was ample reasonable doubt,” said Beal’s attorney, Austin Thompson. “I’m disappointed, but I think the appeals court will not have a similar delay in overturning the verdicts.”

Read more: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/03/01/verdict-returns-at-former-hayward-officers-bizarre-grand-theft-trial/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:10 PM (3 replies)

Oakland: Off-duty officer targeted in freeway shooting on I-880

OAKLAND — An off-duty Oakland police officer escaped injury after somebody fired shots at him as he drove on Interstate 880 late Wednesday night, police said.

Police said the officer was on southbound I-880 near 16th Avenue around 11:40 p.m. when someone in an SUV started shooting at his vehicle.

His vehicle was hit by a bullet but the officer was not injured, police said..

A Ford Explorer the suspect was in was recovered after a chase in East Oakland that ended at 55th and Brookdale avenues. Police set up a perimeter and searched the area but could not find any suspects.

Read more: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/03/02/oakland-freeway-shooting-on-i-880-targets-off-duty-officer/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:08 PM (0 replies)

Old mold from penicillin discoverer auctioned for $14,617

LONDON — How much is an old, dried out piece of mold worth? Apparently more than $14,600 if it was created by the doctor who discovered penicillin.

The nearly 90-year-old swatch of mold has a rather extraordinary history: It came from the laboratory of Dr. Alexander Fleming whose revolutionary discovery brought the world its first antibiotic, credited with saving millions of lives worldwide.

The patchy bit of mold from his niece's collection was auctioned in London on Wednesday for 11,875 pounds ($14,617). The buyer was not identified.

The mold is preserved in a round glass case and features an inscription by Fleming on the back, describing it as "the mould that first made penicillin."

Read more: http://napavalleyregister.com/news/weird-news/old-mold-from-penicillin-discoverer-auctioned-for/article_94ec9bb3-b6d6-5be0-b834-6ec19eca826c.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:02 PM (0 replies)

Police shooter linked to criminal Houston gang called 52 Hoovers

The burglary suspect who shot and wounded two police officers Tuesday has been linked to a criminal gang called the 52 Hoovers, a subset of the Crips with members in northeast, south and east Houston, a police union official said Wednesday.

The man - who has not been publicly identified - died at the scene after opening fire on Officers Ronny Cortez and Jose Muñoz.

Cortez remains hospitalized with a bullet lodged near his spine, and is expected to have surgery Wednesday. Muñoz, 34, a 10-year HPD veteran, was shot in the foot said Joe Gamaldi, second vice president for the Houston Police Officers Union. Muñoz was released Wednesday night.

Cortez remains at Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/houston-police-officers-shot-update-mayor-10968605.php
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 11:57 AM (3 replies)

Judge rejects effort to withdraw guilty plea in massive $100M Ponzi scheme

A federal judge in Sacramento on Tuesday rejected an effort by scam artist Lee Loomis to withdraw a guilty plea he entered a year ago – one that could send him to prison for 18 years.

After a 45-minute hearing, U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez told the former financial adviser that he saw no evidence to support Loomis’ claims that he was under duress at the time he accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty in January 2016 to a single count of wire fraud.

“In fact, Mr. Loomis’ demeanor was one of competence and calm ...” said Mendez, who presided when Loomis entered his guilty plea. “The fact is he pleaded guilty on Jan. 29, 2016, under oath and in open court.”

The finding moves Loomis, who has been in custody since September 2012 and is accused of bilking investors in six states out of as much as $100 million, one step closer to a federal prison sentence. Mendez set March 28 for sentencing, although Loomis, who is acting as his own attorney, suggested that date would not hold up because he plans to appeal.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article135557718.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 11:50 AM (0 replies)

Proposal to drop Napa High Indian mascot draws protests

Napa High School announced Wednesday morning that it may drop its Indian mascot name after a school district committee recommended it be changed. Students and alumni reacted emotionally to the news that spread quickly across social media and locally.

In a statement read in classrooms to students by faculty, Principal Annie Petrie said the Napa High School Mascot Committee “put forth a near unanimous recommendation that the Napa High mascot be changed.”

Petrie, who served on the ad hoc committee consisting of students, alumni, parents, teachers, administrators, school board members and activists, said the Napa Valley Unified School District Board of Education will discuss the mascot recommendation at a special meeting on April 6 from 6-7 p.m.

Residents will have the opportunity to speak at that meeting, Petrie said. She added a decision would likely be made at another school board meeting scheduled for April 20.

Read more: http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/proposal-to-drop-napa-high-indian-mascot-draws-protests/article_189e13f1-bdd3-5df0-a411-31b26b1e9b93.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 11:45 AM (0 replies)

Newsom Pens Letter to Trump in Opposition of Marijuana Crackdown

Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom sent a letter to President Trump Friday expressing his support for the marijuana industry. The letter comes after an announcement made by Press Secretary Sean Spicer Thursday, stating that the Trump Administration viewed recreational marijuana use as a flagrant violation of federal law, and hinting at increased enforcement.

Marijuana legalization in California passed under Prop. 64 last November, garnering 57 percent of the vote—equating to nearly eight million people. But this latest move by the federal government could throw a wrench in plans to expand the lucrative marijuana growing industry.

“When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming around so many states the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people,” Spicer stated. “There is still a federal law we need to abide by in terms of when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.”

Newsom slammed a crackdown on marijuana use, citing the “draconian” policies that have encouraged illegal underground sales of drugs and have been largely ineffective in keeping marijuana out of kids’ hands. “A 2014 National Institute on Drug Abuse study showed that, despite cannabis’ classification by the federal government as a Schedule 1 illegal substance, 34 percent of 10th graders had used cannabis – making the substance more prevalent among this age group than the highly regulated and legal tobacco industry,” Newsom stated.

Read more: http://www.sfweekly.com/news/newsom-pens-letter-to-trump-in-opposition-of-marijuana-crackdown/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 11:43 AM (0 replies)

Bay Area Might Adopt Worlds First Regional Oil-Refinery Emissions Caps

On May 17, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District will consider a proposal that would make the San Francisco Bay Area the world's first region to place limits on oil refineries' overall greenhouse-gas and particulate-matter emissions. This new regulation, Refinery Rule 12-16, would prevent oil corporations from making the East Bay a hub of Canadian tar-sands processing, because it would enforce a cap based on historic emissions levels at the five major Contra Costa and Solano county refineries.

Not everyone agrees with this approach.

As the Express reported last June, BAAQMD executive staff members oppose the emissions cap, which they say would be illegal under state law. They also say it could lead to oil-price spikes, a stance shared by the industry.

Gov. Jerry Brown's administration is about to weigh in on the debate, though. And at the February 1 BAAQMD board of directors meeting, Contra Costa County supervisor and California Air Resources Board director John Gioia noted that ARB Executive Officer Richard Corey is preparing a new letter detailing the agency's position on Refinery Rule 12-16 and other refinery-related air-quality protections that BAAQMD is considering.

Read more: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/web/Content?oid=5307846
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 11:40 AM (0 replies)

Allegedly Shady Super PAC Money Flowing Into LA City Council Race, Candidates Say

Campaigns for both City Councilman Paul Koretz and challenger Jesse Creed are crying foul, claiming the other is being supported by shady, unscrupulous super PACs — unlimited, difficult-to-trace donations.

The Koretz campaign has filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission against an independent expenditure committee (aka super PAC) supporting Creed, the 31-year-old attorney running against the two-term councilman in the Westside's District 5.

The complaint concerns a $15,000 donation made by Creed's aunt, Donna Optican, to the Committee to Protect Our Neighborhoods.

In Los Angeles, there are strict limits on how much money individual contributors can give candidates in local elections. But donations to independent expenditure committees are unlimited, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that these types of independent campaigns are free speech. According to state regulations, independent expenditure committees must identify, in any advertisement, who their biggest donors are. The independent expenditure committees (or I.E.s) also must be independent from the candidate's campaign; no coordination between the two entities is allowed. The California Fair Political Practices Commission considers any I.E. "established, run, staffed in a leadership role or principally funded by an individual who is an immediate family member of the candidate" to be coordination.

Read more: http://www.laweekly.com/news/allegedly-shady-super-pac-money-flowing-into-city-council-race-candidates-say-7965050
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 11:37 AM (0 replies)

California Is an Economic Battlefield for Women

California is a tough economic state for millions of working and middle-class folks because the cost of living, particularly housing, is so high. But the Golden State is especially difficult for women trying to make a living, according to a new analysis.

For its ranking of "2017’s Best & Worst States for Women," the personal-finance site WalletHub looked at 19 metrics encompassing economic health, social well-being, physical health and safety. The analysis was released ahead of Women's History Month in March. While California ranked in the middle — 21st overall — the state performed abysmally in key areas.

The Golden State was second to last in the nation (50th in a ranking that includes Washington, D.C.) for median earnings, which were adjusted for cost of living, according to the report. The state tied for the 46th worst female unemployment. It ranked 40th for its high school dropout rate for women. And it ranked 33rd for its share of women living in poverty.

California's best showing was third for women's life expectancy, the analysis found. The state also did relatively well for women's preventative health care (14th) and quality of women's hospitals (18th), according to the report.

Read more: http://www.laweekly.com/news/california-is-an-economic-battlefield-for-women-7977675
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 11:32 AM (0 replies)
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