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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: 85,594

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

Texan gets 25 years in prison for Saudi envoy plot


A U.S. citizen-turned-covert Iranian operative was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday for plotting to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States by bombing a Washington restaurant.

Manssor Arbabsiar, a former used car salesman from Corpus Christi, Texas, had pleaded guilty in October to two conspiracy charges and a murder-for-hire count alleging he was directed by the Iranian military to hire a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the assassination. U.S. agents disrupted the plot.

Defense attorneys sought to convince the judge that their Iranian-born client deserved only a 10-year term. In court papers, they had argued his crimes were "the result of a severe mental breakdown caused by a long-standing, untreated bipolar disorder," and that he had no previous involvement in terrorism or "international intrigue."

Arbabsiar, 58, asked for mercy before hearing his sentence in federal court in Manhattan.

More at http://www.statesman.com/ap/ap/crime/sentence-due-in-ny-ambassador-plot-case/nX6hN/ .

Additional coverage at http://www.caller.com/news/2013/may/30/sentence-due-today-corpus-christi-man-accused-saud/ .

Tesoro to pay $1.1M to resolve clean air violations

San Antonio-based refiner Tesoro Corp. has agreed to pay $1.1 million to resolve claims that it failed to comply with Clean Air Act requirements at four refineries, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday.

The EPA alleged that Tesoro failed to comply with recordkeeping, reporting, sampling and testing requirements at facilities in Salt Lake City; Mandan, N.D.; Anacortes, Wash.; and Kenai, Alaska.

“EPA's fuels regulations are vital safeguards that protect our nation's air quality,” Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said in a statement. “By taking action against violations of these regulations, EPA is not only protecting people's health, but is also ensuring a level playing field for refiners that play by the rules.”

The settlement requires Tesoro to implement an environmental compliance and auditing plan.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/energy/article/Tesoro-to-pay-1-1M-to-resolve-clean-air-4562038.php .

Governor's ex-campaign manager indicted

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted Gov. Susana Martinez’s former campaign manager for stealing emails intended for her and her staff.

The 14-count indictment also accused Jamie Estrada, right, of lying to FBI agents when they questioned him last September.

Estrada, 40, of Los Lunas, managed Martinez’s gubernatorial campaign from July through December of 2009, the early stages of her race for the Republican nomination.

The government alleges that Estrada left Martinez's campaign with usernames and passwords for an Internet domain owned by Martinez’s political organization. Estrada took the information in defiance of Martinez’s request, via email, that he return everything related to the campaign, according to the indictment.

More at http://elpasotimes.typepad.com/newmexico/ .

16-year-old pleads guilty to 11 felony counts of making terroristic threats at Highland Park High

The 16-year-old boy who made a series of bomb threats at Highland Park High School pleaded guilty May 13 to 11 felony counts of terroristic threat and a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession, according to the Dallas County District Attorney’s office.

The former Highland Park High School student was sent to a placement facility for rehabilitation and will be released by court order, said Debbie Denmon, spokeswoman for the DA’s office. The 16-year-old’s family will pay for his placement in the facility.

The court will receive semi-monthly updates on the boy’s progress and after he is released, he will be on probation until age 18, Denmon said. The boy and his family must also pay approximately $35,000 in restitution to Highland Park ISD and the University Park Police Department, she said.

If the boy violates the rules and conditions of the facility or of his probation, he may be committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, Denmon said.

More at http://parkcitiesblog.dallasnews.com/2013/05/police-say-only-one-highland-park-student-made-bomb-threats-conclude-investigation.html/ .

Man gets 50-year sentence for rib theft

WACO, Texas (AP) — A jury has sentenced a Waco man convicted of stealing a rack of ribs to 50 years in prison.

Forty-three-year-old Willie Smith Ward was convicted and sentenced on robbery charges Wednesday. The Waco Tribune-Herald (http://bit.ly/15jX8iI ) reports that Ward's theft of the $35 rack of pork ribs turned into a robbery after he threatened a grocery store employee who tried to stop him in 2011.

The employee testified that Ward told him he had a knife.

The jury recommended Ward be sentenced as a habitual criminal. Ward has previous felony convictions for burglary, attempted robbery, aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident and possession of cocaine, and four misdemeanor convictions, including two thefts.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/texas/article/Man-gets-50-year-sentence-for-rib-theft-4561201.php .

Retired A&M mascot Reveille VII dead at age 13

Reveille VII, a retired collie mascot at Texas A&M University, has died, according to various news sources and social media.

University officials were not immediately available to confirm the reports.

The female canine retired in 2008 after about seven years on the job and had lived with a College Station-area family. She was 13 years old.

As the university mascots, the succession of dogs named Reveille appear at a host of events, from football games to weddings.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Retired-A-M-mascot-Reveille-VII-dead-at-age-13-4562256.php?cmpid=hpfsln .

Great-grandmother said Cherokee County boy who shot himself was looking for gum


Child Protective Services has taken custody of the other children who were living in the home in Cherokee County, where a two-year-old child shot and killed himself with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.

wo-year-old Trenton Mathis was pronounced dead on Wednesday afternoon at a hospital in Tyler, after the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said he shot himself in the face.

According to Trenton's great-grandmother Carolyn Mathis, Trenton had eaten two pieces of gum Wednesday, and he asked his great-grandfather for more. His great-grandfather told Trenton he could have some after dinner. Later, Trenton went into his great-grandparent's bedroom, looking for gum. Carolyn said Trenton's great-grandfather left his handgun on the nightstand, but he thought he had closed and locked the door. Carolyn said the door was locked, but it was not closed all the way. Trenton was able to go into the bedroom, and then he climbed onto the bed and searched the nightstand looking for gum. Instead, he found the handgun.

CPS said late last year, four children, one of whom was Trenton, were removed from their parents home in Harris County because of abuse and neglect. Three of those children, including two-year-old Trenton, a nine-month-old and a five-year-old, were placed with their great-grandparents in a home near Bullard. The other child, who will turn two next month, was placed in a foster home in Harris County, because CPS felt the child had medical needs that could not be met by the great-grandparents.

More at http://www.kltv.com/story/22457699/cps-fought-to-keep-child-who-shot-himself-out-of-cherokee-county-home .

Motorola making history and bringing 2,000 jobs to Texas making first US-assembled smartphones

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Cellphone pioneer Motorola announced Wednesday that it's opening a Texas manufacturing facility that will create 2,000 jobs and produce its new flagship device, Moto X, the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S.

The company has already begun hiring for the Fort Worth plant. The site was most recently unoccupied but was once used by fellow phone manufacturer Nokia, meaning it was designed to produce mobile devices, said Will Moss, a spokesman for Motorola Mobility, which is owned by Google.

"It was a great facility in an ideal location," said Moss, who said it will be an easy trip for Motorola engineering teams based in Chicago and Silicon Valley, and is also close to the company's service and repair operations in Mexico.

The formal announcement came at AllThingsD's D11 Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., from Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/texas/article/Texas-plant-to-make-first-US-assembled-smartphones-4559085.php?cmpid=hpfsln .

Exxon Mobil shareholders reject gay rights proposal

DALLAS — – Exxon Mobil shareholders voted down several proposals presented at the company’s annual meeting today, including a measure calling for the company to expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

That proposal, which had drawn increased scrutiny from activists in recent weeks, drew the support of just 20 percent of shares voted. The company, in advising shareholders to vote against the measure, said its policies already prohibit “all forms of discrimination” in all of its workplaces worldwide.

Other proposals calling for increased disclosures of environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions, were supported by 30 percent or fewer shares cast.

The meeting included an extended response by CEO Rex Tillerson to supporters of the greenhouse gas measure, which asked the nation’s biggest energy company to set specific goals for reducing emissions and addressing risks from climate change.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/05/29/4892218/exxon-mobil-shareholders-reject.html#storylink=cpy

Will Livestrong survive? Nike dumps Lance Armstrong’s cancer foundaton

The ubiquitous Livestrong yellow bracelet is dead.

The Livestrong Foundation has lost its lucrative partnership with Nike. Livestrong broke the news Tuesday on its website that Nike has decided to part ways. Well, sort of.

Nike will still continue to help fund Livestrong, but it will stop producing Nike – Livestrong clothing, shoes and accessories.

“Nike has made the decision to stop producing new Livestrong product after its Holiday 2013 line,” said Nike’s KeJuan Wilkins.

More at http://digitaltexan.net/2013/austin-local-news/livestrong-survive-nike-dumps-lance-armstrongs-cancer-foundaton/article53894/ .
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