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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,948

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

Two UH professors accused of lying to get research grants

Two University of Houston professors, accused of lying to get more than $1 million in federal research grants, have been charged with making false statements and wire fraud.

Abdelhak Bensaoula, 57, and David Starikov, 58, both professors in the University of Houston's physics department, surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning. The two face one count of conspiracy, seven counts of making false statements and 21 counts of wire fraud, all in connection with the federal Small Business Innovation Research program.

According to the federal indictment, the professors, who started a small business known as Integrated Micro Sensors Inc., allegedly made false statements in the application and proposal process for federal grants. They also did so in filing electronic claims for payment after they were awarded grants or contracts, the indictment says.

It is unclear if they used their positions as professors to win the grants.

However, from 2008 through 2013, the two professors and their business allegedly received at least five Small Business Innovation Resource contracts for approximately $1.3 million. They also applied for and received contracts from NASA, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and the United States Air Force, according to the indictment.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Two-UH-professors-accused-of-lying-to-get-5435416.php .

No fair! We the people demand perp-walk pix of "Mikey Suits" Grimm!

No fair! We the people demand perp-walk pix of "Mikey Suits" Grimm! (And where's Rudy Giuliani when we need him?)



So the big day finally arrived! DWT congressional fave "Mikey Suits" Grimm, the only Republican in NYC's congressional delegation, turned himself in to the feds, as planned, for the unsealing of what turned out to be a festive 20-count indictment.

Howie, who of course has been keeping tabs on Mikey, wrote about the progress of his case Saturday and will have a good deal more to say about where it's headed, probably tomorrow, so let me just note that, as sources have been suggesting, the charges in the indictment deal not with the investigative activity (including indictments) swirling furiously around Mikey's campaign-financing carnivals but with a whole heap of alleged naughtiness centered around Beefcake Mikey's Manhattan eatery, Healthalicious. Here's how Christian Science Monitor Washington Editor Peter Grier's shorthands the legal fun 'n' games on CSM's "DC Decoder" blog:

According to court documents unsealed Monday Representative Grimm engaged in a complex scheme that hid more than $1 million in Healthalicious receipts from tax authorities. Employees were paid with bills skimmed from the restaurant cash register; some got more than half their pay in cash, according to federal authorities. Grimm kept a separate set of books that tracked the restaurant’s true financial condition, and lied under oath when questioned on the matter after former employees sued, saying they had not been paid minimum wage.

Not surprisingly, the lying liars of the Right-Wing Noise Machine are squealing their piggiest squeal about poliitically motivated prosecution -- not so much in defense of their boy Mikey as in squealy dudgeon about the timing of the indictments, suspiciously soon after the deadline for candidates to file for the congressional primary, meaning the GOP in Staten Island and Brooklyn is stuck with their Mikey on the ballot.

I guess RWNM-ers would have preferred to have Mikey indicted after being reelected.

More at http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/ .

Molester asks for prison without 'a lot of murderers'

SAN ANTONIO — A man who sexually assaulted a girl for four years, starting when she was in kindergarten, was sentenced Monday to 18 years in prison.

Robert Lopez, 38, was initially charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child but pleaded no contest last month to a lesser charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child and accepted a deal that capped his possible punishment at 25 years in prison.

The first-degree felony offense usually is punishable by up to life in prison.

In a note sent to state District Judge Ray Olivarri prior to his sentencing, Lopez wrote that he was “remorseful” for the crime, according to court files.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Molester-asks-for-prison-without-a-lot-of-5436412.php .

[font color=green]No comment necessary.[/font]

First lady Michelle Obama to visit San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO — Mayor Julián Castro grabbed attention during the kick-off to a citywide week of college-going activities Monday morning by announcing that First lady Michelle Obama has scheduled a visit to San Antonio on Friday.

Obama will attend the Mayor's Signing Ceremony at the University of Texas San Antonio, he said. Styled after student athlete signing events, the ceremony on Friday is expected to draw about 2,100 area high school seniors, who will publicly commit to attend college.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/First-lady-Michelle-Obama-to-visit-San-Antonio-5434977.php

Mavericks and Spurs will wear black socks to protest Donald Sterling’s racist comments

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich talked before the start of Game 4 Monday night and both teams agreed to wear black socks to protest the racist comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

“We’re going to do the same thing that Houston and Portland did,” Popovich said before the game. “We’re both going to wear them in support.”

The Rockets and Trail Blazers wore black socks during their playoff game Sunday night. The Clippers also wore black socks, turned their shooting shirts inside out and removed their warmup shirts together at center court before the start of their Sunday game at Golden State.

“My understanding is that the whole league is doing it,” said Carlisle, who was wearing three black wristbands during his pregame press conference. “The fact that they’re together and doing it to basically say that this is not right, is something I respect,”

More at http://mavsblog.dallasnews.com/2014/04/mavericks-and-spurs-will-wear-black-socks-to-protest-donald-sterlings-racist-comments.html/ .

#wtfamerica

Abbott to talk education platform at Lubbock High School Tuesday

Attorney General Greg Abbott will promote the second piece of his education platform, “Educating Texans,” in Lubbock Tuesday.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate will present at Lubbock High School at 1:10 p.m. The event is not open to the public, according to Abbott’s press secretary.

http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2014-04-28/abbott-talk-education-platform-lubbock-high-school-tuesday#comment-330987

[font color=green]Abbott has been going around the state squawking about his education platform--last week he was at Victoria High School in the Coastal Bend area. The one thing that is consistent though is that "the event is not open to the public." Excuse the vernacular, but it is time for Abbott to "man up" and hold these discussions in the public to field questions from the voters and stop using high schools as backdrops for the photo-ops that he uses for his campaign signs. Please inform us how you (Abbott) plan to test pre-K students so that the schools can receive a pittance of the educational funding that was cut by Governor Perry and the Republicans in the Legislature. I doubt that he has the cojones to do it though.[/font]

Why Hasn't Greg Abbott Denounced Cliven Bundy Yet?

To their credit, many Republicans who initially supported Cliven Bundy's heavily armed refusal to allow the federal government to enforce federal law on federal lands backed away from the mini-militia man after he went on a truly horrendous racist rant.

Not Greg Abbott. He was asked about Cliven Bundy by Sean Hannity and chose to stay silent rather than condemn his remarks.

Abbott initially sent supportive tweets about the Bundy stand-off on federal lands, and equated the situation to Benghazi. (Nope, I'm not kidding.)

Abbott initially sent two tweets in support of Bundy. One is shown at right. In the other, he stated that "We should've used same effort to get Americans out of Benghazi as we do getting ranchers out of Nev."

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15153/why-hasnt-greg-abbott-denounced-cliven-bundy-yet .

MBA Students Work with Georgetown Police to Prevent Senior Citizen Identity Theft

This past semester, four Texas State University MBA students worked with the Georgetown Police Department (GPD) to find possible solutions to a persistent problem: senior citizens living in the Sun City retirement community are increasingly being targeted for identity theft and fraud. Dave Roshan is one of the MBA students working with the GPD to find a possible solution for the issue. Most surprising, Roshan said, is “what basic mistakes they are making,’’ including “[c]arrying their social security cards with them, leaving their checkbooks out in plain sight… They’re very trusting.”

Roshan, and group members Mario Hernandez, Elizabeth McWhorter and Kurtis White, made a number of suggestions for the GPD in dealing with the Sun City fraud problem. “The first one is basically upgrading the police department’s capabilities, and that includes working with Texas State’s criminal justice department for advanced analytics and regression analysis to see any trends that the data can help with,” Roshan said. Another program is called ‘S.A.L.T.,’ for Seniors and Law Enforcement Together, in which the police department works with senior citizens on ideas to prevent crime. To stave off loneliness in the senior population that can lead to vulnerability to crime, the group discussed “partnering with honor society students at the local high school to spend more time with them,” Roshan said. Laurie Brewer, the assistant city manager for Georgetown, saw the potential benefits of the partnership from the beginning. “We were really excited to develop some programs that would not only allow [the students] to do some business case analysis that’s real-world experience, but to also do something that would be useful to the city,” Brewer said. Brewer is impressed with the suggestions the group has for preventing the fraud, and hopes to implement them in the near future. “They had some good solutions,” Brewer said. “[S]ome may take a lot of time to implement, but yeah, I think we can definitely use some of those ideas moving forward,” he said. Matthew Painter, the director of the MBA program at Texas State University, sees two major benefits of graduate students working with agencies such as the GPD.

“The first is a cost savings, because if you were to compare this project to a police department working with a consulting firm, you’re talking about substantial amounts of money, “ Painter said. “The other benefit was that with the staff going through the process with these students, it kind of engages them from a different angle, and so irrespective of the results, just the exercise is beneficial for the staff.” GPD Assistant Chief of Police Cory Tchida said he was excited to get an outside perspective. “A variety of potential topics for them to research and make recommendations were discussed,” Tchida said. “The fraud project is a good one because of the number of seniors we have within the Sun City community and their propensity to be victimized by fraud crimes. Many of these fraud crimes are preventable so, with out-of-the-box thinking, there are ways to reduce the impact of this crime.” Tchida remains bullish on the idea of building partnerships between universities and public institutions like the GPD. “I would always suggest that [police] departments and nonprofits work with universities and colleges when given the opportunity,” Tchida said. “They are a treasure trove of research capability, understand the importance of evidence-based methodology, and can provide a different perspective outside of the traditional law enforcement realm.” Brewer is upbeat, too, about the partnership’s future. “It was a tremendously positive experience for all of us,” he said. “We’ve got some new ideas on real issues we were facing, and that’s just a very positive thing for us. We hope that we will be able to do this every semester.”

http://kut.org/post/mba-students-work-georgetown-police-prevent-senior-citizen-identity-theft

A year after West blast, less than half of donations given out

A year after the West disaster, the foundation overseeing about $3.6 million donated afterward has approved less than half of that for residents in need.

When I wrote in January about the slow pace of aid distribution, the West Long Term Recovery group had approved $650,266 in payments. At that point, the nonprofit’s director Karen Bernsen, had just resigned.

Later, the new director, Suzanne Hack, set a goal to reach $2 million by April 17, which marked a year after the explosion.

They didn’t make it. The tally of approved payments totals $1.6 million, according to an update from Hack.

More at http://watchdogblog.dallasnews.com/2014/04/a-year-after-west-disaster-less-than-half-the-donations-given-out.html/ .
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