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Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
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Current location: Bryan, Texas
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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

Missouri governor buys lake home in Innsbrook

JEFFERSON CITY • A month after moving into the Governor’s Mansion, Missouri’s new chief executive bought a lakeside home in a Warren County resort community.

Documents show Gov. Eric Greitens and his wife, Sheena, took out a loan for $675,000 to buy the six-bedroom, four-bathroom home in Innsbrook, which features lakes and a championship golf course.

Online real estate listings show the home sold for $750,000 in February.

Although the governor says he and the first lady and their two young children live in the capital city on a full-time basis, he told the Post-Dispatch they sometimes need to get away from the mansion.

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/missouri-governor-buys-lake-home-in-innsbrook/article_6a6138e2-49e0-5aa8-a89a-6614959cbce0.html

Declining enrollment adds to budget woes at the University of Missouri system

ROLLA, Mo. • State funding isn’t the only issue plaguing the University of Missouri System as leaders plan for the coming year.

A continuously declining enrollment isn’t helping either.

During a budget discussion Thursday at the Board of Curators meeting, interim chief financial officer at the system shared an anticipated tuition decrease of almost $9 million across the four campuses — Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City and Rolla.

Interim financial leader Ryan Rapp chalked it up to a drop in the number of freshmen expected to enroll this fall, as well as international students.

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/declining-enrollment-adds-to-budget-woes-at-the-university-of/article_3a1afcdd-b22d-50c1-8848-df0e15196f38.html

Top Kansas lawmaker suggests fee on utility bill for schools

TOPEKA, Kan. -- The Kansas Senate's majority leader is suggesting that the state impose an extra fee on utility bills to provide new dollars for public schools.

Overland Park Republican Jim Denning said Thursday that he's drafting a proposal to charge residential customers $3 a month on each of their water, electric and natural gas bills. He said he would seek a $10-per-month charge for businesses.


He outlined his idea as the House and Senate budget committees had preliminary discussions on budget issues before lawmakers return Monday from an annual spring break. Some lawmakers oppose increasing consumers' utility bills.

Kansas faces projected budget shortfalls totaling $889 million through June 2019 and the state Supreme Court has ruled that education funding is inadequate.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article147287789.html

Requirements for foster care workers too high, Kansas agency says

TOPEKA - Requirements to work in Kansas’ foster care system are too high, the agency in charge said Friday after a new audit found the state’s foster care contractors have difficulty employing enough workers.

Phyllis Gilmore, secretary of the Department for Children and Families, called the state’s requirements “overly restrictive (and) out of step with national trends.” She called on lawmakers to review the requirements.

Kansas requires foster care workers to be licensed social workers, and they must hold a bachelor’s degree in social work. Gilmore said nearly every other state does not require licensure, and that a handful of states do not require social workers to have social work degrees, but instead degrees in related fields, such as psychology.

“We believe we can further recruitment in Kansas by loosening restrictions,” Gilmore said.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article147426524.html

Missouri bill would allow electronic monitoring of domestic abuse defendants

JEFFERSON CITY - Rather than being jailed, Missourians convicted of domestic abuse could wear ankle monitor bracelets that would alert authorities if they got too close to their victims.

That’s the thrust of a bill that’s moving through the legislature. It cleared the Senate earlier this month and was heard by a House committee this week.

If a perpetrator violated a protection zone around the victim, the system would provide immediate notification to the victim as well as to law enforcement.

The electronic monitoring system also could be applied to people charged with but not yet convicted of domestic abuse or violation of a protection order.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article147429399.html

Marchers will carry a United We Stand banner to City Hall in Kansas City

Advocates for low-wage workers, immigrants and civil rights; labor organizations; faith groups; and other social activists are scheduled to rally Monday evening in downtown Kansas City in observance of International Workers’ Day.

Planned as a United We Stand, Divided We Fall day of action, the event is to begin at 5 p.m. at Barney Allis Plaza at 12th and Wyandotte streets, where speakers will address the topic of We Are America. At 6 p.m., marchers are scheduled to walk down 12th Street to City Hall, where Mayor Sly James is expected to read a proclamation in support of the movement.

Hundreds of participants, including a drum corps, are then expected to loop back through the Power & Light District to Barney Allis Plaza. Organizers said some traffic might be affected, but marchers are to use the sidewalks and keep the streets clear.

The United We Stand movement is part of national efforts to combat racism and wage inequality. Organizers say they are trying to build “political and social power to fight for and win guarantees of living wages, health care, decent housing, quality education, voting rights and voices on-the-job for all.”

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article147432389.html

Lawsuit alleges child abuse at hands of Kansas state employee was covered up

A federal lawsuit alleges that Kansas officials covered up the alleged abuse of a child at the hands of her father, a former state employee.

The suit, filed on behalf of the child Thursday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., does not name the alleged abuser.

The allegations in the new suit have been previously litigated in state courts and stem in part from a divorce case involving the child’s mother and father, a former employee of the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Thursday’s suit alleges that officials with the Kansas Department of Children and Families, formerly known as the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, not only failed to protect the child victim, “but began defending the abuser rather than the child abuse victim.”

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article147350064.html

Planned Parenthood plans to offer abortions at clinics in Springfield and Joplin

JEFFERSON CITY — Planned Parenthood is preparing to offer abortions in Springfield and Joplin following a favorable decision from a federal judge, though top Missouri Republicans are vowing to keep fighting.

The health care organization, which provides abortions at its St. Louis clinic, touted the opinion of Judge Howard Sachs, who granted Planned Parenthood's request for an injunction blocking two abortion-related rules.

These rules, relating to ambulatory surgical center (ASC) regulations and requirements for doctors to have certain privileges with nearby hospitals, are similar to those in Texas that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down last year. Planned Parenthood has argued that the rules are onerous and medically unnecessary, while the state defendants — including Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson — have made claims to the contrary.

In granting Planned Parenthood's request for relief, Sachs noted that "the Springfield-Joplin area is notably unserved" and said Randall Williams, director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, has made it clear that he would not voluntarily nix the rules in question.

Read more: http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/20/planned-parenthood-plans-offer-abortions-clinics-springfield-and-joplin/100689296/

Watchdog group asks U.S. attorney to investigate Missouri Senate leader

JEFFERSON CITY — A government watchdog group wants a U.S. attorney to determine whether Missouri's leading Republican state senator took money in exchange for legislation to aid a donor's legal battle.

Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., announced Wednesday that it filed a complaint with Tom Larson, acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, against Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin.

At issue is a $100,000 contribution in December to Richard's campaign from David Humphreys, president and CEO of TAMKO Building Products, and his wife Debra, both of Joplin.

The complaint notes that the windfall came less than a week after Richard pre-filed Senate Bill 5, which amends the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, a consumer protection law. TAMKO is facing a class-action lawsuit brought under the same law alleging the company sold bad shingles.

Read more: http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/21/watchdog-group-asks-us-attorney-investigate-missouri-senate-leader/100695662/

Abortion restrictions pass Missouri House

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed stricter requirements for tracking fetal tissue after abortions.

The bill passed Monday with a 117-40 vote. It now moves to the Senate.

The proposal prohibits anyone from donating fetal tissue from an abortion to scientific research and sets stricter standards for pathologists to record and track fetal tissue after an abortion procedure.

It would also require an adult consenting to a minor's abortion to notify the other parent in writing of the decision. The first parent doesn't have to notify the other in some circumstances, including if the second parent had been convicted of sexual offenses.

Read more: http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/24/abortion-restrictions-pass-missouri-house/100871388/
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