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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: 87,082

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

Ferris State group cancels Rachel Dolezar event after backlash

BIG RAPIDS, MI – Following backlash from students and alumni, Ferris State University’s public relations chapter canceled an appearance by Rachel Dolezal, the controversial former Spokane, Washington NAACP chapter president accused of pretending to be black in 2015.

Dolezal, a white woman who said she identified as black after her race was revealed, was scheduled to speak Monday, March 25, at the University Center Ballroom.

The Ferris chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) apologized to the campus community on Facebook Thursday, Feb. 28, and announced the event was canceled.

“Dear Ferris Community: We failed. We’re deeply sorry for the pain and hurt we’ve caused by inviting Rachel Dolezal to our campus. We’ve heard you. Effective immediately the Rachel Dolezal event is canceled. We’re evaluating how we arrived here and how we can move forward with respect to the core values of our University,’’ according to the post.

Read more: https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2019/02/ferris-state-cancels-rachel-dolezar-event-after-backlash.html

Governor seeks to reimburse 500 still owed money from unemployment fraud scandal

About 500 Michigan residents wrongly accused of unemployment fraud by a state computer system from 2013 to 2015 are still owed money by the state.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel made a public appeal Thursday for help in finding the people who haven’t yet claimed their refunds from a scandal at the Unemployment Insurance Administration, uncovered through an audit.

“We are making sure we explore every avenue to return funds to each person owed monies resulting from unemployment insurance fraud determinations between 2013 and 2015,” Whitmer said in a statement. “And that means reaching out to our fellow Michiganders to help us in this statewide search for those who have not yet claimed their refund.”

The audit overturned 70 percent of the computer system’s findings of intentional misrepresentation by unemployment recipients. So far, the state has refunded more than $20.8 million to 40,000 residents.

Read more: https://www.mlive.com/news/2019/02/governor-seeks-to-reimburse-500-still-owed-money-from-unemployment-fraud-scandal.html

Michigan State raises $1.83 billion in latest fundraising campaign

EAST LANSING - Michigan State University wrapped up a seven-and-a-half-year fundraising campaign in December. The grand total: $1.83 billion from more than 250,000 donors.

The Empower Extraordinary campaign set out to raise $1.5 billion for building projects, scholarships and to fund 100 new endowed faculty positions. MSU hit its goal in September and continued to raise money through the end of the year.

Upwards of $376 million was raised in support of scholarships, which will assist an additional 3,500 undergraduates annually, according to information released by the university.

"It’s enhancing Michigan State’s ability to provide scholarships to students," Marti Heil, vice president for University Advancement. "It provides programs that enhance the student's experience. It provides for faculty positions and allows us to recruit and retain the best and most talented faculty to teach the students."

Read more: https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/2019/02/28/msu-fundraising-endowment-billion-eli-broad-minskoff-michigan-state/2914014002/

Seven things to know about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's debt-free college plan

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is pushing an ambitious revamp of Michigan’s college scholarship program. Administrative officials are working out details, and more changes likely would be at least debated in the Republican-led Legislature, which may or may not approve the proposal.

Here’s what you need to know:

Free community college for newly graduated high school graduates.

The Michigan Opportunity Scholarship would assure that recent Michigan graduates could attend the state’s 27 community colleges as full-time students without paying tuition or mandatory fees. While those costs vary by campus, that cost is currently around $3,000 a year.

Almost all students qualify – they just have to have graduated from a Michigan high school and have lived in Michigan for a year. Students have three years to complete 60 credits, which is the equivalent of two years of full-time study.

Read more: https://www.bridgemi.com/talent-education/seven-things-know-about-gov-gretchen-whitmers-debt-free-college-plan

Detroit EMS captain gets rank back after vile, racist social media posts

A Detroit EMS captain who posted nearly 200 vile, demeaning and sometimes threatening memes and comments on social media about Muslims, immigrants, African Americans, Asians, women, and gay people has returned to his supervisory position.

Capt. Tim Goodman was demoted to lieutenant in late 2017 and given a second chance through binding arbitration. The arbitrator ruled that Goodman could regain his captain title if he behaved for one year. Earlier this month, Goodman became a field supervisor with the rank of captain.

But records obtained by Metro Times show Goodman was accused in October of discriminating against a black medic and Asian medic. And three medics interviewed by Metro Times said they are worried Goodman will use his position of authority to retaliate against people who he suspects alerted the top brass to his bigoted Facebook posts.

After the election of Donald Trump, the posts became more egregious. In one, he suggested "snowflake pussies" should kill themselves, and he even endorsed the slaughter of Muslims.

Read more: https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2019/02/27/detroit-ems-captain-gets-rank-back-after-vile-racist-social-media-posts

Fiat Chrysler pumping $4.5B into Michigan with new auto plants

Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) on Tuesday announced plans to invest $4.5 billion into manufacturing five plants in and around Detroit, which could result in up to 6,500 new jobs in the region, the automaker says.

The planned investments are contingent on negotiating land deals and incentives with the cities of Detroit, Sterling Heights, Warren and Dundee, as well as the state of Michigan, according to FCA.

The city of Detroit has 60 days to deliver on an agreement to acquire about 200 acres of land where FCA plans to convert existing facilities into a new assembly site that would employ 3,850 people.

“This is the way the city of Detroit fights unemployment and poverty,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/2019/02/26/fiat-chrysler-pumping-4-5b-into-michigan-with-new-auto-plants/

Whitmer: Trump may not understand 'gravity' of tariff damage to Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had what what some would say was the best seat in the White House on Sunday, so she bent President Donald Trump’s ear on tariffs, the Great Lakes and infrastructure.

As the Advance first reported, the Democratic governor was seated right next to the Republican president at the Governors Ball dinner, so Whitmer “had quite a bit of time with him,” she said. Whitmer alluded to the Fiat Chrysler Automotive deal in Southeast Michigan that was announced on Tuesday, she told the Advance in an interview, although she was careful not to reveal any details to Trump.

“He was critically observing General Motors [for job cuts] and I had simply acknowledged that we were going to have some good news here in Michigan. And he asked, ‘What?’ and I said, ‘I’m not at liberty to discuss it,’” Whitmer recalled.

Sure enough, at a meeting with governors the next day, Trump said there will be some “very good news coming up soon” in Michigan.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/2019/02/27/whitmer-trump-may-not-understand-gravity-of-tariff-damage-to-michigan/

This College Junior Also Teaches Rice University's Hip-Hop History Class

Daniel Koh, a Rice University junior, teaches a class there called “The History of Hip Hop.”

The university has a process for students who are interested in teaching their own classes; Koh learned about it during his freshman year from a fellow student who taught a class about the television show “Survivor.”

“[The university] let me know about the process to teach my own, which was very simple and very intuitive – that’s how it all began,” Koh says.

He chose hip-hop because it was something he developed a passion for once he came to Rice.

“I wanted to create a class where even if you didn’t know a lot about the genre, that you would be able to get a lot of benefit from the course, and be able to meet a lot of really cool people and discuss music together,” Koh says.

Read more: http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/this-college-junior-also-teaches-rice-universitys-hip-hop-history-class/

Tuition at Rice University is nearly $45,000 a year or the equivalent of $1,500 a semester hour. The article does not mention whether students have to pay a separate fee for the class, whether credits are earned, or if the class is shown on the official transcript.

Texas Has Ample Money In Its Rainy Day Fund. Now The Legislature Has To Decide How To Spend It.

Texas’ Economic Stabilization Fund, commonly referred to as the rainy day fund, is approaching record levels. It reached $11 billion in 2018, and Texas’ comptroller estimates it will reach $15 billion by the end of 2021. During the current legislative session, some lawmakers are trying to decide if and how to use some of that money.

Ben Philpott, senior editor at KUT News, has been following the various proposals. He says lawmakers over the years have aimed to hold onto a “safe amount” in the rainy day fund in order to maintain the state’s AAA – or exceptional – bond rating. A high rating matters because it signals to investors that Texas is a safe place to put their money. During the last couple sessions, though, Philpott says the legislature decided that $7 billion or $8 billion in reserves is enough to maintain the state’s bond rating.

“They’ve set on about $7.5 billion to leave in there, as a minimum,” Philpott says.

Philpott says Texas’ Comptroller Glenn Hegar says Texas is being too conservative with the money, and as a result, it’s not being invested in a way that generates enough return to keep up with inflation.

Read more: http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/texas-has-ample-money-in-its-rainy-day-fund-now-the-legislature-has-to-decide-how-to-spend-it/

Man, 21, sentenced to probation after Texas State fraternity pledge's death

A 21-year-old man on Wednesday was sentenced to two years of probation after prosecutors said he gave a bottle of bourbon to a Texas State University fraternity pledge who later died of alcohol poisoning.

Matthew Ellis, a 20-year-old pledge of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, died in November 2017. Austin Rice, 21, pleaded “no contest” to a charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor. Both were 19 years old at the time.

As part of a fraternity tradition, prosecutors said, Rice gave Ellis the bottle of liquor when he revealed he would serve as his big brother in the fraternity. Rice said he took the bottle away from Ellis before leaving the party and drove him back to Rice’s apartment, according to prosecutors.

Friends found Ellis dead at Rice’s apartment the next day, prosecutors said.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20190227/man-21-sentenced-to-probation-after-texas-state-fraternity-pledges-death
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