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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: 77,784

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

Judge denies deposition request of former Missouri Democratic party chairman in Greitens' invasion

Judge denies deposition request of former Missouri Democratic party chairman in Greitens’ invasion of privacy case

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled Thursday he would not allow Governor Eric Greitens’ lawyers to question the former Missouri Democratic party chairman.

In a hearing at Carnahan Courthouse, Burlison turned down a request from Greitens’ lawyer Ed Dowd to depose Roy Temple over whether or not he made payments to the Greitens accuser’s ex-husband, P.S., in the past, following an affair she had with Greitens in 2015 before he was elected.

Temple has denied making any payments multiple times. Dowd said he wanted to know what the ex-husband said to Temple.

Temple’s lawyer Joseph Bednar said his client’s deposition would not be relevant in the case and Burlison agreed.

“He was not in the basement of the defendant’s house,” Bednar said of his client.

Read more: https://themissouritimes.com/50599/judge-denies-deposition-request-of-former-missouri-democratic-party-chairman-in-greitens-invasion-of-privacy-case/

Senate OKs budget plan cutting back $50 million from education foundation formula

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has completed its work on the state’s $27.8 billion budget, but one thing remains clear: the Senate and House do not see eye to eye when it comes to how education dollars should be spent.

The Senate on Wednesday pushed forward with their position, coming up $50 million short of fully funding the state’s K-12 education system as the House had intended.

Just one year prior, a bipartisan group of senators pushed back against GOP leadership to fully fund the education foundation formula for the first time in the state’s history.

This year, however, their vote shortchanged the formula, instead allocating some of that money to other items, such as $25 million added to K-12 school transportation and about $15 million for nursing home facilities’ reimbursement rates.

Read more: https://themissouritimes.com/50585/senate-oks-budget-plan-cutting-back-50-million-from-education-foundation-formula/

GOP senators unveil 'responsible' $7.5 billion budget

DES MOINES — Senate Republicans on Thursday began piecing together a $7.48 billion fiscal 2019 state spending plan they said would fund priority needs while minority Democrats slammed it as a “starvation budget” intended to make room for tax cuts for wealthy Iowans and corporations.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved eight separate budget bills — mostly on 11-7 party-line votes — designed to fund education, environmental, judicial, infrastructure and public safety programs in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Majority GOP senators plan to address health and human services and standing appropriations next week as they work to complete the 2018 session.

“We’re still working on what the final level will be,” Senate President Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines, said in discussing efforts to reach agreement with the GOP-led Iowa House. “But we believe it’s a responsible amount that is fiscally responsible.”

Read more: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/gop-senators-unveil-responsible-75-billion-budget-20180426

Ex-Iowa teacher convicted of filming student in restroom allowed to volunteer at school

A former Iowa teacher who in 1998 secretly videotaped a high school athlete changing her clothes has been allowed to volunteer in an eastern Iowa school district and coach a spelling bee program that works with students.

Trent Yoder, now 47, pleaded guilty to exploitation of a minor for recording the student in a restroom at an Anita elementary school, where he was a teacher.

Mid-Prairie school officials say they are aware of Yoder's felony record, but they won't bar him from working with students.

A Cass County judge sentenced Yoder, then 28, to the maximum 10-year sentence and ordered him to register as a sex offender.

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/education/2018/04/27/iowa-teacher-sex-offender-exploitation-student-bathroom-film-record-volunteer-anita-mid-prairie/551253002/

Iowa Legislature once again imposes unnecessary job licensing

One-third of Iowa’s workforce must obtain a license from state government to earn a living. This is a higher percentage than any other state and three times higher than some states, according to a 2015 White House report on occupational licensing.

Iowans need approval from Big Brother to legally pluck an eyebrow, massage a back, interpret sign language and perform dozens of other tasks for pay. Some licenses have nothing to do with protecting public health and safety and everything to do with protecting current industry workers from competition.

In short, state-mandated job licensing requirements have run amok in Iowa. Both Democrats and Republicans, including former Gov. Terry Branstad, have acknowledged this. Overzealous and frequently unnecessary government requirements stifle economic growth, make it more difficult for Iowans to get jobs and discourage entrepreneurs.

If you want to open a bar for blow-drying hair, you abandon the idea when you find out wielding a dryer requires 2,100 hours of training at a for-profit cosmetology school. Small business owners offering simple teeth-whitening services were forced to close because dentists persuaded the Iowa Legislature that people need years of formal training to bleach teeth.

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/editorials/2018/04/26/iowa-legislature-once-again-imposes-unnecessary-job-licensing/546260002/

Class-action lawsuit alleges Capella University lied about time, cost of advanced degrees

Two former students say Minneapolis-based Capella University lied about how much time and money it would take to complete an advanced degree.

Kansas resident Carolyn Wright and Debbra Kennedy of Tennessee filed a class-action lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota.

Wright, who began pursuing a doctor of nursing practice in spring 2014, said she was told it would take two years and cost about $35,000. But Capella’s website later said the program takes 30 months, the complaint alleges, and that figure was then revised to 39 months.

Wright said she earned top grades and paid $53,000 before the online school assigned her a new instructor who said she’d “have to start all over” on her project. She tried to fight it but finally left for another school.

Read more: https://www.twincities.com/2018/04/23/class-action-lawsuit-alleges-capella-university-lied-about-time-cost-of-advanced-degrees/

Miners awarded $67.5 million in 3M dust-mask black-lung lawsuit

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky jury has awarded $67.5 million in damages to two coal miners who claimed defective 3M dust masks led to their debilitating black-lung disease.

Of the total, $62.5 million was awarded for punitive damages against the mask maker, Maplewood-based 3M Co., according to the verdict form. The remaining amount compensates brothers Leslie and Michael Cox for past and future pain and suffering.

The judgment is thought to be one of the largest ever in an Eastern Kentucky civil lawsuit.

Coal miners wear masks to avoid breathing dust that is generated during mining. Breathing in coal dust causes black lung, an incurable disease that chokes off breathing and often leads to premature death.

Read more: https://www.twincities.com/2018/04/25/miners-awarded-67-5-million-in-3m-dust-mask-black-lung-lawsuit/

Gun control bills are dead at Minnesota Capitol. Again.

The deaths of two gun-control measures — expanding background checks for sales and creating so-called “red flag” protective orders — were cemented Thursday at the Minnesota Capitol without any actual votes on the ideas themselves.

Both were shot down on the floor of the Senate in procedural votes, and the speaker of the House said Thursday that they’re “dead” in his chamber as well.

The blow for gun-control advocates shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, because Republicans control both chambers, and the prospects for stricter gun laws were always slim.

Nonetheless, called to action following the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting earlier this year, supporters of stricter gun laws pushed hard — and in different ways than previously.

Read more: https://www.twincities.com/2018/04/26/gun-control-bills-are-dead-at-mn-capitol-again/

Minnesota lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct

ST. PAUL -- A state representative, who often fights for agriculture and people with disabilities, stands accused of inappropriate behavior.

Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, was stripped of his committee chairmanship shortly after the incident became public on Thursday, April 26.

St. Paul police are investigating, but a prosecutor said that so far there is not enough evidence for criminal charges

Police said a Bemidji woman reported last Friday an incident in Hamilton's apartment that she said occurred a week earlier.

Read more: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/government-and-politics/4437315-minnesota-lawmaker-accused-sexual-misconduct

Superior oil refinery rocked by explosions, fire

A series of explosions and fires rocked the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior Thursday, sending a black plume of acrid smoke across the city, forcing massive evacuations and sending several people to local hospitals.

Essentia Health and St. Luke’s hospital officials said a combined 11 refinery victims were confirmed treated in Duluth and Superior facilities, one with a “serious blast injury.”

No fatalities were reported, and all employees and hundreds of contractors working at the refinery were accounted for.

No details were available on the extent of refinery damage or what caused the initial explosion that occurred just after 10 a.m., apparently in a tower near giant asphalt storage tanks. One of those tanks was punctured, spewing liquid asphalt onto the ground for hours.

Read more and watch video: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/fires/4437298-superior-oil-refinery-rocked-explosions-fire
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