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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: 78,357

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

Nucor Corp. to invest $1.35B to build Kentucky steel mill, creating 400 jobs

BRANDENBURG — Nucor Corp., the nation's largest steel producer, will invest $1.35 billion to build a new sheet mill along the Ohio River in Meade County, creating 400 jobs over 15 years.

The investment, announced by the company Wednesday in Brandenburg, is a huge coup for Kentucky and adds to the state's growing steel and aluminum manufacturing sector.

The 1.5 million-square-foot facility will be built along a swath of bottom land where a grain shipping port is now located.

Jobs created by the project will pay an average of $72,000 annually, Nucor CEO John Ferriola said Wednesday afternoon, during an announcement at Meade County College and Career Center.

Read more: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/money/companies/2019/03/27/kentucky-steel-mill-incentives-approved-400-jobs-expected/3279501002/

House Speaker Glen Casada removes embattled Rep. David Byrd from subcommittee chairmanship

Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro, faces allegations from three women that he sexually assaulted them in the 1980s when he was their high school basketball coach.

Citing bipartisan concerns over the controversy surrounding Rep. David Byrd, House Speaker Glen Casada has removed the Waynesboro Republican from his chairmanship of an education subcommittee.

The move, announced by Casada on Thursday, comes just two months after the speaker appointed Byrd — who has faced allegations that he sexually assaulted three women in the 1980s — to serve as chairman of the House Education Administration Subcommittee.

Byrd's demotion comes roughly a year after he first faced allegations outlined in a story published by WSMV highlighting the women's accusations.

The initial story included a recorded phone call made between the man commonly known as "Coach" at the legislature and one of his accusers, Christi Rice, in which Byrd apologizes to her, but never explicitly said why.

Read more: https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/28/house-speaker-glen-casada-removes-rep-david-byrd-subcommittee-chairmanship-amid-allegations/3297766002/

Bill to extend statute of limitations for child sex crimes advances in state House

State lawmakers are moving forward with efforts to extend the statute of limitations on child sex abuse crimes in Tennessee.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill Wednesday that would extend both civil and criminal statutes of limitations for these crimes.

"It expands it," said Rep. Bill Dunn, the Knoxville Republican sponsoring House Bill 0565. "Makes it easier for someone whose undergone sexual abuse to go ahead and bring charges."

A statute of limitations, intended to protect people from unfair prosecution, puts an expiration date on pursuing legal action.

Read more: https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/27/tennessee-bill-extend-statute-child-sex-crimes-advances/3290332002/

Unbreaking America

Cross-post with additional commentary:

Unrig Summit: democracy movement takes flight in Nashville

Unrig Summit brings together speakers and activists from politics, entertainment, and media to solve America’s growing political crisis.

More than 2,000 unlikely allies from across the political spectrum from all 50 states are meeting at Music City Center this Friday through Sunday at what’s being called the ‘SXSW of Politics’ to ‘Unrig the System’.

Unrig Summit brings together a strange bedfellows group of speakers and activists from politics, entertainment, and media for a solutions-oriented event to solve America’s growing political crisis.

As polarization and corruption grips a hopelessly gridlocked political system, there is a beacon of hope in the states.

A movement is on the rise to transform how candidates run for office, how we vote for them, and how politicians govern while in office.

Read more: https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/2019/03/27/unrig-summit-democracy-movement-takes-flight-nashville/3291954002/

Delay on controversial bathroom bill sparks criticism from top House Democrat

A bill some say would criminalize the transgender community in Tennessee faced criticism Tuesday after a House committee scheduled to take up the measure initially declined to do so.

The delay drew a sharp rebuke from the top House Democrat since it would have prevented those opposed to the bill from testifying before lawmakers.

With a pre-scheduled early morning meeting to accommodate several controversial bills, the House Judiciary Committee opted against taking up HB 1151 on Tuesday, citing time constraints.

The measure seeks to enhance the punishment for any person who commits indecent exposure in public restrooms and other places.

Read more: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/26/tennessee-bathroom-bill-delay-sparks-criticism-top-house-democrat-karen-camper/3278638002/

Knox County Commissioner Evelyn Gill named in ouster investigation request

A resident of Knox County Commissioner Evelyn Gill’s district mailed a letter to the county law director Tuesday asking him to initiate an ouster investigation against Gill after the News Sentinel reported the county settled a lawsuit involving her for $93,000.

Michael Covington wrote the letter to Law Director Bud Armstrong Tuesday, but as of Wednesday morning Armstrong had not yet received it. Covington emailed an electronic copy of the letter to the News Sentinel.

"Mrs. Gill, by her actions, has shown that she lacks the character and temperament needed to function effectively in her current role with the county," Covington wrote in the letter.


Gill is the only Democrat on the 11-member commission. She could not be reached for comment Wednesday. She declined to speak to a reporter about the settlement before Monday’s commission meeting.

Read more: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/27/knox-county-commissioner-evelyn-gill-named-call-ouster-probe/3286431002/

Puerto Rico Governor Signs Executive Order Banning Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors

Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossello has issued an executive order banning gay conversion therapy for minors.

Said Rossello in a statement: “As a father, as a scientist, and as the Governor for everyone in Puerto Rico, I firmly believe that the idea that there are people in our society who need treatment because of their gender identity or whom they love is not only absurd, it is harmful to so many children and young adults who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I strive for Puerto Rico to be a society in which everyone, regardless of whom they love, can be accepted and live without fear of persecution. This includes society’s most vulnerable, our children, who should be supported and loved. Conversion therapy in no way benefits anybody, it only causes unimaginable pain and suffering.”

(no more at link)

Amazon plans Austin expansion that will add 800 jobs

Adding to its already significant Austin presence, retail giant Amazon.com will add 800 tech-focused jobs at the its hub in North Austin, company representatives told the American-Statesman.

New employees will fill a 145,000-square-foot space Amazon has leased on four floors at Domain 10, a 15-story tower being built at the Domain, the North Austin business, shopping and restaurant development. Amazon’s new office will open next year, with hiring expected to take place over “the next several years,” the company said.

Seattle-based Amazon already employs more than 6,600 workers in the Austin area, including more than 1,000 corporate-level staff members, as well as more than 3,000 at a warehouses in San Marcos and an additional 2,600 through its ownership of Austin-based Whole Foods Market.

The expansion will strengthen an Austin hub that is already among Amazon’s largest locations in the United States and Canada. The company said new hires here will be focused in the software and hardware engineering, research science and cloud computing divisions. The company did not provide specific salary estimates for the new Austin jobs, instead saying that “Amazon offers competitive pay and comprehensive benefits to its employees, including health care, 401(k) with 50 percent match and flexible parental leave.”

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20190328/amazon-plans-austin-expansion-that-will-add-800-jobs

UT suspends Texas Cowboys for 6 years for hazing

The University of Texas has suspended the Texas Cowboys — a spirit group best known for firing “Smokey the Cannon” at home football games — for six years after an investigation into hazing at a retreat the night before a new member was fatally injured in a wreck on the way back to Austin.

The suspension, along with a two-year probationary period after reinstatement, was handed down Wednesday by UT’s dean of students office. The Cowboys have the option of accepting the sanction, appealing or requesting a formal hearing, according to a partially redacted copy of UT’s discipline report obtained by the American-Statesman under the Texas Public Information Act.

The university said the group violated rules that prohibit hazing, alcohol misconduct and behavior threatening health or safety.

“New members of the Cowboys were subjected to multiple forms of hazing, including physical brutality, physical activity, forced ingestion of unwanted substances, coerced consumption of alcohol and degradation,” the report said.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20190327/ut-suspends-texas-cowboys-for-6-years-for-hazing
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