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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: 77,874

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

Hawaii becomes 12th state to ban gay conversion therapy for minors

State lawmakers on Friday approved a ban on so-called 'gay conversion therapy' treatments conducted on minors.

Gay rights advocates say the practice, which is largely discredited by healthcare professionals, does more harm than good to those who are subjected to it.

"This has been a priority of the caucus for years," said Michael Golojuch, chair of the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. " (The measure) ensures that LGQTB youth will not be tortured by mental health professionals."

Several states, including California, Oregon and New Jersey, have already passed similar laws. Maryland passed legislation banning the practice earlier this month.

Read more: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/38062699/hawaii-becomes-12th-state-to-ban-gay-conversion-therapy-for-minors

Large field takes shape for special election to replace Blake Farenthold

Nine candidates, including the four candidates in the major parties' May 22 runoffs to replace former Congressman Blake Farenthold, have filed for the June special election to fill the seat temporarily, according to the Texas Secretary of State's office.

Republican runoff candidates Bech Bruun and Michael Cloud joined the June 30 special election field. So have Democrats Eric Holguin and Raul "Roy" Barrera, who will face off in their own party's runoff May 22.

The special election field also features five other candidates who hope to serve the final few months of Farenthold's term. Among them are one Democrat, one Republican, one Libertarian and two independents who are not in the runoff.

Judith Cutright, a Corpus Christi communications consultant, is running as an independent. Christopher Suprun, a paramedic who lives in Dallas, is also running as an independent. There is no requirement that a member of Congress live in the district he or she represents, but they must live in the state they seek to serve.

Read more: https://www.caller.com/story/news/local/texas/state-bureau/2018/04/27/special-election-field-takes-shape-replace-blake-farenthold/559303002/

Brownsville legislator arrested on DWI charge

BROWNSVILLE — State Rep. Rene O. Oliveira (D) was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated Friday, Brownsville police said in a press release Saturday.

The police reported the driver of a car linked to Oliveira left the scene of a collision before being questioned by police. The release also reported a woman at the scene told an officer no accident occurred.

Oliveira was released from the municipal jail in Brownsville on $2,500 bail Saturday, police department spokesman J.J. Trevino said.

According to the release, Brownsville police responded to an accident at 10:22 p.m. Friday in the 800 block of Boca Chica Boulevard.

Read more: http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_5d7df941-1ed8-52af-aab8-0df77359e21c.html

Will this incident cost Oliveira in the runoff election for the House District 37 seat?

More Twin Peaks case dismissals expected as prosecutors re-evaluate evidence

WACO -- Two dozen bikers indicted in the Twin Peaks shootout learned Friday the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office is re-evaluating their cases and likely will dismiss all but about 25 of the 154 indicted in the May 2015 brawl.

Judge Ralph Strother of Waco’s 19th State District Court summoned 24 members of the Cossacks motorcycle group or their support clubs to court to get answers about how the Twin Peaks cases, pending in court for almost three years, will proceed.

Assistant District Attorney Amanda Dillon told the judge that she and others on the Twin Peaks prosecution team have been re-evaluating the cases and likely will have recommendations on how to proceed to lame duck McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna by the end of next week.

Reyna, who directed the arrests of anyone associated with the rival Bandidos or Cossacks groups after the deadly shootout, did not attend Friday’s hearing. Since 177 were arrested on the night of the shootout, 154 have been indicted, including a handful who were not arrested immediately after the shootout. Only one case, which ended in a hung jury and a mistrial, has been tried.

Read more: http://www.wacotrib.com/news/courts_and_trials/more-twin-peaks-case-dismissals-expected-as-prosecutors-re-evaluate/article_01638f11-85b2-5eb8-81ee-11f5fe55fc3c.html

Explosive device found at Texas Starbucks

BEAUMONT, Texas—Police say a "legitimate explosive device" was found outside a Starbucks in Southeast Texas.

Beaumont police say a Starbucks employee found the package outside Thursday morning and took it into the coffee shop. Police say the employee noticed a note while trying to open the package and then notified law enforcement after taking the package back outside.

Police haven't released the contents of the note. Police also haven't said what the package contained.

Several law enforcement agencies responded, including the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Read more: http://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texas/story/2018/apr/28/explosive-device-found-texas-starbucks/723863/

Jefferson County Sheriff indicted on fraud charges

BEAUMONT, Texas—Authorities say the first black woman elected sheriff in Texas and two other candidates for the post have been indicted for criminal violations for fraud related to campaign contributions.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Friday that a grand jury in Chambers County issued the indictments.

Paxton said Zena Stephens, elected Jefferson County sheriff in 2016, was indicted on one felony count of tampering with a government record. The indictment says she reported at $5,000 cash contribution in the section for contributions of $50 or less.

She was also indicted on two misdemeanor counts of accepting cash contributions exceeding $100.

Read more: http://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texas/story/2018/apr/28/sheriff-indicted-fraud-charges/723851/

More prayer in Louisiana schools? State Senate backs proposal to allow it

The Louisiana Senate has backed a proposal that opens the door to school employees praying with their students during the class day.

Senate Bill 512 by Sen. Ryan Gatti, a Bossier City Republican, would allow teachers and other workers to pray with students during the workday, if parents of every student in attendance submit a signed request and if the prayer is student-initiated.

Senators voted 29-0 Thursday for the bill with no debate. The vote sent the measure to the House for consideration.

Current Louisiana law already allows school employees to attend and participate in student-led prayer events if they occur before or after their work day.

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/legislature/article_85ce27ea-49b1-11e8-91f2-133165fa3e7d.html

Woman suing Tom Schedler describes decade-long 'nightmare' in first interview: 'I had told him to

Woman suing Tom Schedler describes decade-long 'nightmare' in first interview: 'I had told him to leave me alone'

The woman accusing Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler (R) of sexual harassment described her longtime boss as a "nightmare" and a "creep," telling an interviewer on Friday that she has felt like "a prisoner in a cave" for the past decade.

In her first interview since filing a lawsuit, the woman, Dawn Ross, said she tried to be Schedler's friend and hoped "he would get that message, because most people do." She said she was disgusted when Schedler claimed publicly that the two had a "consensual sexual relationship."

"I just never was" interested, she told Louisiana Radio Network. "I had told him to leave me alone multiple times. I know I said more than that."

Ross' comments came the day after The Advocate published a series of sexually suggestive emails Schedler sent to Ross over several years. The emails showed he would make advances toward his onetime secretary during the course of regular business exchanges. He also invited her on cross-country trips and propositioned her with wine and hand-written Christmas and birthday cards.

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/article_10fb9484-4a51-11e8-a6c5-cbbe503d9535.html

Bill before Louisiana legislature aims to preserve, protect slave burial sites

A month after the dedication of two cemeteries in Ascension Parish that contain as many as 1,000 unmarked slave graves, the Legislature is taking steps to preserve and protect such sites in Louisiana.

A bill introduced by Rep. Ken Brass, D-Vacherie would create a special commission tasked with coming up with measures to identify historic cemeteries where former slaves and free people of color were buried, give them special recognition and designate them as tourist attractions.

Louisiana is dotted with unmarked graves and neglected cemeteries where formerly enslaved black men, women and children were buried, and advocates say that it’s past time to give them the recognition and respect they didn't get in life.

“We bury our animals better than what we've done for these people,” local genealogist Debbie Martin said.

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_fccb085c-4968-11e8-858f-b39ccf2e35fc.html

Gov. Edwards' plan to curb prison-worker turnover? A pay hike for prison officers worth $7M

Even as Louisiana struggles with a budget gap that threatens to shutter health services, Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration is asking lawmakers to give the state's prison guards a pay raise that would cost $7 million next year.

The Edwards administration says the increase is needed to stem prison-worker turnover rates that are so high they threaten public safety. The majority-Republican House Appropriations Committee spurned the request, refusing to add dollars in this year's budget to start the pay hike in May.

The Democratic governor didn't announce he was seeking the higher hourly salary for the officers. Money for the wage boost was included in an Edwards administration request to allocate $10 million in unspent cash this year to the Department of Corrections.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, the governor's chief budget adviser, said $1.3 million of that money would be spent to increase corrections officer pay, starting in May. The raises — varying from 2 percent to 5 percent — would cost $7.1 million in the budget year that begins July 1 when annualized, Dardenne said.

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/legislature/article_1b484fec-4a54-11e8-a6d4-737ff3761cc0.html
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