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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 73,178

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

Tarrant County woman sentenced to five years in prison for illegally voting in 2016

FORT WORTH -- A judge sentenced a Rendon woman to five years in prison Wednesday for voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election while she was on supervised release from a 2011 fraud conviction.

Crystal Mason, 43, waived her right to a jury trial and chose to have state District Judge Ruben Gonzalez assess her sentence.

J. Warren St. John, her defense attorney, said after the verdict was rendered that an appeal had already been filed and he is hopeful his client will soon be released on bond.

"I find it amazing that the government feels she made this up," St. John told the court. "She was never told that she couldn't vote, and she voted in good faith. Why would she risk going back to prison for something that is not going to change her life?"

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article207176829.html

Red-state teacher rebellion hits Oklahoma, grows in Arizona

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A teacher rebellion that started in the hills of West Virginia spread like a prairie fire to Oklahoma this week and now threatens to reach the desert in Arizona.

In the deep red state of Oklahoma, the Republican-led Legislature approved money for teacher raises and more school funding, even hiking taxes on the vaunted oil and gas industry to do it. Republican Governor Mary Fallin rushed to sign the measures into law Thursday.

Oklahoma teachers were inspired by West Virginia, another red state where a 9-day strike led to 5-percent teacher raises. Oklahoma teachers haven't had a raise in a decade of Republican control and they won raises of between 15 and 18 percent. Now, teachers in Arizona thronged their GOP-run Capitol this week, demanding a 20 percent teacher pay hike.

-snip-

In Oklahoma, the tax hikes on cigarettes, fuel and oil and gas production will be enough for raises averaging about $6,100 annually, as well as funding boosts for schools, support personnel and state workers.

Read more: https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/ap/state/red-state-teacher-rebellion-hits-oklahoma-grows-in-arizona/article_193386ae-d9fa-588d-b264-b5b7d16dc311.html

Houston megachurch pastor and spiritual adviser to George W. Bush - indicted on fraud charges

A prominent Houston pastor and spiritual adviser to President George W. Bush has been indicted on federal charges that he sold millions of dollars in worthless Chinese bonds to elderly and vulnerable investors, according to federal authorities.

Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, 64, and Shreveport financial planner Gregory Alan Smith, 55, were charged with 13 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering.

Caldwell is accused of using his position as the senior pastor of the Windsor Village United Methodist Church to help lure nearly $3.5 million in investments into historic Chinese bonds that are not recognized by the Chinese government. He and Smith told investors they could see returns as high as 15 times their initial investment, according to the indictment.

The charges, filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, accuses the men of cheating 29 investors between April 2013 and August 2014 for the bonds, which are described in the indictment as “mere collectible memorabilia.”

Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Kirbyjon-Caldwell-Houston-megachurch-pastor-and-12792523.php?ipid=happening

Louisiana financial planner, Houston pastor indicted

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A federal grand jury has charged a Louisiana financial planner and a Texas pastor with bilking investors out of more than $1 million.

U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook said in a news release Thursday that a 13-count indictment was handed up against 55-year-old Gregory Alan Smith of Shreveport and 64-year-old Kirbyjon Caldwell of Houston. They're accused of wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy to commit those two offenses.

According to the indictment, Smith used his influence as operator and manager of Smith Financial Group LLC in Shreveport, and Caldwell used his influence as pastor of a prominent Houston church to lure investors to pay more than $1 million for Historical Chinese bonds that are not recognized by China's current government and have no investment value.

It says Smith and Caldwell promised high rates of return and instead of investing the funds they used the money to pay personal loans, credit card balances, mortgages, vehicles and other expenses.

https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/ap/state/louisiana-financial-planner-houston-pastor-indicted/article_772d6bfd-e96b-5bdd-bf18-68ed43dc7c96.html

Cross-posted in the Texas Group.

Louisiana financial planner, Houston pastor indicted

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A federal grand jury has charged a Louisiana financial planner and a Texas pastor with bilking investors out of more than $1 million.

U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook said in a news release Thursday that a 13-count indictment was handed up against 55-year-old Gregory Alan Smith of Shreveport and 64-year-old Kirbyjon Caldwell of Houston. They're accused of wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy to commit those two offenses.

According to the indictment, Smith used his influence as operator and manager of Smith Financial Group LLC in Shreveport, and Caldwell used his influence as pastor of a prominent Houston church to lure investors to pay more than $1 million for Historical Chinese bonds that are not recognized by China's current government and have no investment value.

It says Smith and Caldwell promised high rates of return and instead of investing the funds they used the money to pay personal loans, credit card balances, mortgages, vehicles and other expenses.

https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/ap/state/louisiana-financial-planner-houston-pastor-indicted/article_772d6bfd-e96b-5bdd-bf18-68ed43dc7c96.html

Cross-posted in the Louisiana Group.

Kentucky pension overhaul wins Senate approval

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on Kentucky bill to overhaul one of nation's worst-funded public pension systems (all times local):

10 p.m.

Defying angry teachers, the Kentucky Senate has approved an overhaul of one of the country's worst-funded public pension systems and has sent it to Gov. Matt Bevin's desk for his signature.

The Senate voted 22-15 Thursday to approve a bill that preserves most benefits for current workers. Most of the changes would impact new hires. But the bill still drew the ire of hundreds of teachers protesting in the Capitol, with many chanting they would vote lawmakers out of office in November.

Republican Sen. Joe Bowen said the bill puts the state on a pathway to paying down its debt while assuring the system's strong financial future.

But Democratic Sen. Ray Jones said the bill would destroy everything teachers have fought for for decades.

Read more: https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/ap/national/the-latest-kentucky-pension-overhaul-wins-senate-approval/article_a3d526d6-927a-5038-8c3c-5d019d1f8e93.html

Feline of duty: South Texas kitty cop lifts spirits and fights crime

The officers of the Port Lavaca Police Department know that when the Captain is around, they'd better pay attention — or risk getting bonked on the head or maybe being treated to an impromptu back massage.

That's what happens when the second-highest ranking member of the force is a 2-year-old American shorthair cat with his name helpfully etched on his cat collar tag.

As the Victoria Advocate reported, The Captain — so named by department evidence technician Karen Neal — outranks everyone but Chief Colin Rangnow. It was Rangnow who brought the cat into the department to evoke the community-friendly atmosphere he remembered from rural Victoria County, where feed stores often kept resident cats to keep customers happy and entertained.

In his first year on the force, The Captain has weathered a hurricane, ridden a squad car to make school visits and attended Rangnow's meetings with detectives. A feline of duty, you might say.

Read more and see a photo of Captain: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas/2018/03/29/police-cat-south-texas-department-enlists-feline-duty-lift-spirits-fight-crime

Judge dismisses Exxon's lawsuit, letting multi-state fraud investigation re climate change continue

Exxon Mobil Corp.'s attempt to derail a multistate fraud investigation into the company's public comments about climate change flamed out in a New York court.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan on Thursday dismissed Exxon's lawsuit claiming officials in New York and Massachusetts conspired with environmental groups in planning the securities-fraud probe and made up their minds about its outcome before it started.

In its tactic of suing in federal courts in New York and Texas to stop the state probes, Exxon was "running roughshod over the adage that the best defense is a good offense," Caproni said in her ruling.

The win provides headway for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and his counterpart in Massachusetts, Maura Healey, to finish their investigations, which have been delayed by legal wrangling. They'll ultimately decide whether there's enough evidence of wrongdoing by Exxon to sue the energy giant and seek damages.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/business/exxon-mobil/2018/03/29/judge-dismisses-exxons-lawsuit-letting-multi-state-fraud-investigation-continue

Mavs scandal allegations now extend to AAC: Sexual, gender issues and a hangmans noose

A woman fired by the company that runs American Airlines Center filed a federal complaint alleging gender, sexual and racial issues in January and now is seeking information from Mavericks owner Mark Cuban about an incident involving a noose found in the arena.

Michelle Newsome of Dallas, who worked at Arena Operating Co. from 2004 until March 21, 2017, claims the work environment at the building that houses the Mavericks and Stars was similar to the atmosphere in the Mavericks' front office that has spawned a broad investigation into sexual-harassment claims by several former employees.

"The Animal House culture that has been described at the Mavericks' office is very similar to what's going on at American Airlines Center, and they [arena operators] are very aware of it," Newsome said Thursday.

While the federal complaint was filed in January, the new information includes an allegation of a black employee finding a noose near Cuban's suite in the arena in 2011.

Read more: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2018/03/29/mavs-scandal-allegations-now-extend-aac-sexual-gender-issues-hangmans-noose

'Street preachers' with controversial signs draw large crowd on Univ. of North Texas campus

DENTON -- About 20 self-described "street preachers," some of whom held anti-gay and anti-Black Lives Matter signs, caused a stir Thursday on the University of North Texas campus, where more than 300 students gathered to counter protest or watch the ordeal.

The preachers had been attending the National Street Preachers Conference in Arlington, according to two preachers at the campus. One of the men, 26-year-old Sebastian Bryan, described the group as "regular Bible-believing Christians" who wanted to show people "their need for a savior to call people to repentance," he said.

At least two signs included Bible verses, while others included provocative phrases such as "Every Muslim is a Jihadist" and "AIDS: Judgement or Cure?"

https://twitter.com/JulianGillMusic/status/979450426360827904
Julian Gill
‏Verified account @JulianGillMusic

Here’s the ruckus at UNT near the library mall — “free speech area.” Protestors with anti-gay and anti-Black Lives Matter signs arguing with students.



The affair, which started about 11:30 a.m. along Highland Street near Willis Library, was mostly peaceful. More than a dozen UNT and Denton police officers were on hand but didn't arrest or detain anyone in the area, according to university officials. Some conversations among students and preachers became heated, but the crowd slowly dissipated after three or four hours.

Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/news/news/2018/03/29/street-preachers-controversial-signs-draw-large-crowd-unt-campus
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