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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: 77,735

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

Why does Idaho need an ethics czar? Democratic leader actually draws you a picture

Democrats in the Idaho House have been pushing to create an Office of Inspector General to oversee Idaho ethics laws for years but mostly have been unable to get a bill introduced, much less heard. So now they’re getting creative.

A video posted online by Boise Rep. Mat Erpelding, the Democratic House Minority Leader, gives an entertaining three-minute spiel on why an Inspector General is a good idea. It is done in the style of an animated whiteboard “explainer.” Erpelding, who has classroom whiteboard experience, takes to it like a natural.

“I was trying to figure out a way to do a different type of information delivery,” Erpelding said. A production company partly donated its services and Erpelding put up $300 of his own to create the video. It’s posted on various social media sites including YouTube and Facebook, and his own site.

“In terms of constituents, I’ve gotten great feedback,” he said, adding: “Most people have commented on the creativity of it as opposed the content.”

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/politics-blog/article135414834.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:59 AM (0 replies)

Bingham County pays hacker ransom to restore servers

Bingham County employees are able to use their work computers again — though not without a price.

Emergency dispatch officials noticed something awry Feb. 15 when they couldn’t access the county’s computer system.

Unknown hackers — likely from the Netherlands, Germany or Russia, county information technology manager Tracy Reifschneider said — attacked Bingham’s servers with ransomware.

To remove it, hackers demanded 28 Bitcoins: digital currency equivalent to about $33,000, according to Google.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/article135585498.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:57 AM (0 replies)

Faulty ID sent Idaho man to prison for life, Supreme Court says in freeing him

The Idaho Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that John D. Wurdemann received inadequate legal assistance when he was convicted of beating a woman forced off Interstate 84 west of Caldwell in 2000.

The high court upheld an August 2015 decision by Senior Canyon County Judge Renae Hoff that Wurdemann, now 46, received inadequate legal representation at his 2002 trial. Hoff threw out Wurdemann’s conviction and sentence and ordered a new trial.

“I am relieved by this decision for Mr. Wurdemann. He served nearly 15 years for a crime he did not commit,” said Elisa Massoth, a Payette attorney who represented Wurdemann in his appeal.

The state has the ability to retry her client, but Massoth — who said she believes in her client’s innocence — said it would be difficult to convict him without victim Linda LeBrane’s identification.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/crime/article135562273.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:54 AM (0 replies)

Nevada bill could switch early presidential caucuses in favor of primaries

Political parties might be able to do away with the presidential caucus soon if a bill in the state Senate passes.

Senate Bill 211, which was introduced on Monday by the the Senate Committee on Operations and Elections, opens up the possibility of switching from a caucus to a primary system. The bill does not require a primary election, but allows for one based on the choice of state central committees.

Current law only permits a caucus for presidential elections, currently held in February as one of the first four contests – the others being the Iowa caucus, New Hampshire Primary and South Carolina primary. It more closely resembles a town hall meeting where caucus-goers choose delegates instead of casting ballots and the amount of time people can vote is narrow.

The primary system outlined in the bill would still take place on a weekday in February picked by the secretary of state. It also requires an early voting period of three days before the election.

Read more: http://www.rgj.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/27/presidential-primaries-could-coming-nevada-soon/98498726/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:39 AM (1 replies)

Nevada Democrats want to treat opioid addicts with marijuana

Nevada lawmakers want to give people addicted to heroin, painkillers and other narcotics the option to treat their condition with medical marijuana.

Senate Democrats introduced a bill Tuesday that would allow registered nurses, psychologists, counselors and social workers who treat opioid addiction to prescribe those patients medical marijuana.

Currently physicians can make referrals by providing written testimony that pot would help treat a patient’s cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, seizures, spasms, chronic pain or nausea.

Very little research points to marijuana as a helpful treatment for opioid addiction.

Read more: http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2017/02/28/nevada-democrats-want-treat-opioid-addicts-marijuana/98545212/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:34 AM (0 replies)

Ammon Bundy testifies in second Oregon standoff trial

PORTLAND, Ore. — Ammon Bundy, who was recently acquitted in the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon, testified Tuesday that he felt "driven" to protest federal control of Western lands after learning that two Oregon ranchers were imprisoned for setting fires on public rangeland.

Bundy was brought to the federal courtroom in Portland from Las Vegas, where he is in custody awaiting trial on charges he led armed gunmen to block a federal cattle roundup near his father's Nevada ranch in 2014.

A defense attorney for Bundy's fellow occupier Jason Patrick of Bonaire, Georgia, walked Bundy through the series of events that led him and others to seize the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2, 2016. Bundy, his brother Ryan and five others were acquitted in the Oregon case last fall.

Duane Ehmer of Irrigon, Oregon; Darryl Thorn of Marysville, Washington; and Jake Ryan of Plains, Montana, are also being retried.

Read more: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/feb/28/ammon-bundy-testifies-in-second-oregon-standoff-tr/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:23 AM (0 replies)

FBI investigating bomb threat against Jewish center in Las Vegas

The FBI is heading an investigation into a bomb threat against the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada, according to Metro Police.

Police said they were alerted after the center in the 8600 block of Lake Sahara Drive received a threatening automated phone call about 4:30 p.m. Monday. About 10 employees evacuated the building before police arrived, Metro spokesman Danny Cordero said.

Officers searched the property with bomb-sniffing dogs and deemed it safe about two hours later, police said.

“We don’t believe the bomb threat at Southern Nevada’s JCC is credible, but it is important that we don’t become complacent and must continue to be vigilant,” Jolie Brislin, Nevada regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement.

Read more: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/feb/28/fbi-investigating-bomb-threat-against-jewish-cente/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:20 AM (0 replies)

Education committee pushes 5 bills through Nevada Senate

A bill that would provide legal immunity for parent volunteers serving on Clark County school organization teams was one of five proposals moved to the next stage in the legislative process Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Education.

Senate Bill 119, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said the possibility that members would be sued may discourage them from serving on the teams. The teams were created after AB394, passed in 2015, mandated the reorganization of the Clark County School District.

The teams, which include teachers, support staff, parents and community members, are responsible for helping direct finances and programs at the schools.

Other bills gaining preliminary approval include:

* Senate Bill 19, which would require all districts to have dual-enrollment agreements with an institution of higher education;
* Senate Bill 66, which would loosen restrictions on students completing internships;
* Senate Bill 38, which would allow districts to take advantage of the state’s Central Mailing Room;
* Senate Bill 76, which would revise how local agencies invest money.

Read more: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/education-committee-pushes-5-bills-through-nevada-senate
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 02:46 AM (0 replies)

Tesla files for $8M incentive tied to Reno factory

CARSON CITY — Tesla Motors has filed an application with state utility regulators to take advantage of an economic incentive authorized by the Nevada Legislature for its gigafactory east of Reno.

The application with the state Public Utilities Commission would allow the electric car manufacturer to implement and use the Economic Development Rate Rider, worth $8 million.

The rate rider program, created in 2013, allows the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to offer reduced energy rates to new, large-scale users as part of an incentive package. In 2014, GOED issued a pre-approval for Tesla for the EDRR.

The law was extended in the 2014 special legislative session to bring Tesla’s lithium-ion battery plant to Nevada. Tesla will get a discount on its energy bill for up to 25 megawatts of power over eight years of a 10-year contract with NV Energy.

Read more: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/tesla-files-8m-incentive-tied-reno-factory
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 02:43 AM (0 replies)

Nevada senators submit bill to ask Congress to give state millions of acres of land

CARSON CITY — A resolution asking Congress to transfer 7.2 million acres of federal land to state control will be taken up again this session.

The Nevada Senate on Monday introduced Senate Joint Resolution 7 to request the transfer. The measure was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

A similar resolution passed in 2015 with Republican support. The measure faces an uncertain future with Democrats in control of the Legislature.

The resolution says in part that “the paucity of state and private land in the State of Nevada severely constrains the size and diversity of the State’s economy.”

Read more: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/nevada-senators-submit-bill-ask-congress-give-state-millions
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 02:41 AM (0 replies)
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