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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
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Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 85,723

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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

Lawmaker's idea to target non-English-speaking students, 'turn them over to ICE' criticized

Broken Arrow lawmaker's idea to target non-English-speaking students, 'turn them over to ICE' criticized

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Republican member in the Oklahoma House is suggesting that tens of thousands of non-English speaking students in public schools be turned over to U.S. immigration officials as cost-saving measure in the cash-strapped state.

State Rep. Mike Ritze of Broken Arrow told News9 in an interview Wednesday that the newly created Republican Platform Caucus believes the state could save $60 million if it would identify what the caucus believes is 82,000 non-English-speaking students “and then turn them over to ICE” (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to determine if they are citizens.

It’s unclear from the segment if he was referring to turning over the students’ names or rounding up the children.

The state Department of Education said there are actually about 50,000 English learners in pre-K through 12th grade in Oklahoma public schools, but many of those students could be U.S. citizens.

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/state/broken-arrow-lawmaker-s-idea-to-target-non-english-speaking/article_0ebe35f6-634c-534f-b4a2-6febc6796eea.html

Oklahoma AG joins request for federal policy change on Medicaid fraud prosecutions

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has joined with counterparts from 36 other states in requesting a federal policy change that would expand their ability to investigate and prosecute Medicaid fraud, neglect and abuse cases that occur in non-institutional settings.

Federal funds that many state attorneys general use to operate Medicaid Fraud Control Units currently come with a policy restriction that limits their use to investigating and prosecuting Medicaid fraud, abuse and neglect cases that occur in institutional settings.

The attorneys general wrote a letter to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday asking that the restriction be lifted.

“In the last two years, the Attorney General’s Office has successfully filed over 30 charges against providers in Medicaid-funded nursing homes or state facilities,” Hunter said. “If investigators have the authority to expand their scope, they could potentially bring down more corruption and protect more senior citizens.”

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/oklahoma-ag-joins-request-for-federal-policy-change-on-medicaid/article_037836b1-d982-5e35-b691-e82352193374.html

House passes resolution calling on Oklahoma officials to treat abortion as murder

OKLAHOMA CITY — A resolution essentially calling on state officials to ignore U.S. Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a voice vote Monday afternoon.

No discussion or debate was allowed on House Resolution 1004, by Rep. Chuck Strohm, R-Jenks. Afterward, Strohm was allowed a few minutes of personal privilege, during which he said the Supreme Court had violated “every act of decency and law” and the nation’s founding documents by “forcing the murder of unborn children on our society” through abortion.

He called on state officials to fulfill their oaths to uphold the Constitution and “to exercise their authority as appropriate in their respective jurisdictions to stop the murder of innocent unborn children by abortion.”

As a simple resolution, HR 1004 is considered a statement of policy and does not carry the weight of law.

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/capitol_report/house-passes-resolution-calling-on-oklahoma-officials-to-treat-abortion/article_71f15546-e771-5151-86f7-3c49668d4ca4.html

House Republicans and Democrats strike revenue-raising deal, House speaker says

OKLAHOMA CITY — Republicans and Democrats in the state House have agreed on a plan to raise about $400 million in revenue, Speaker Charles McCall said Thursday.

The plan includes increasing the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack, said McCall, R-Atoka. The current tax is $1.03 per pack.

It also includes reducing some incentives given to the oil and gas industry but does not include an increase in the gross production tax or raising taxes on gasoline and diesel, McCall said.

Another element is a modification to some Class 3 gaming, but it would not expand the type of games allowed in tribal casinos, he said. The plan also includes limiting itemized deductions to $17,000 with an exception for charitable giving.

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/capitol_report/house-republicans-and-democrats-strike-revenue-raising-deal-house-speaker/article_f536d5f3-2a17-5dab-bdbe-0c9f76056170.html

Governor open to restoring food tax as part of reform bill

ALBUQUERQUE — Gov. Susana Martinez, who in the past vehemently opposed restoring a tax on groceries, told reporters Wednesday she would consider the idea if it is part of a comprehensive package of tax reforms.

Martinez spoke to reporters following a speech at the Economic Forum of Albuquerque at the Hotel Albuquerque in which she talked about the upcoming special session of the New Mexico Legislature, scheduled for May 24.

“I would not support increasing the taxes on food if it’s a standalone piece,” the two-term Republican said. “It has to be something that is going to be considered in a very broad tax reform that broadens that base, lowers the gross receipts tax for all the consumers [and] takes care of that business-to-business pyramiding.”

Martinez called on lawmakers to consider just such an approach when she set the agenda for a special session that became necessary to resolve a standoff between the governor and Democratic leaders in the Legislature over the state budget.

Read more: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/governor-open-to-restoring-food-tax-as-part-of-reform/article_f1951682-b74d-5358-9cbf-b7eac464638b.html

Legislature's petition to overturn vetoes denied

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Supreme Court isn’t going to wade into the budget confrontation that has left public universities and the Legislature in financial limbo for the coming year – at least not for now.

And a political resolution doesn’t appear particularly close – as Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and Democratic leaders in the Legislature on Thursday traded jabs over who was most at fault for the budget impasse.

The back-and-forth came after the state Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling Thursday, rejected the Legislature’s petition to invalidate the governor’s line-item vetoes of funding for higher education and legislative agencies.

The five justices said the dispute is not yet “ripe for review,” meaning it’s too early for a judicial decision.

Read more: https://www.abqjournal.com/1001966/supreme-court-denies-legislatures-petition-to-overturn-vetoes.html

Memorial Hermann to pay $2.4M after sharing patient name in press release

Memorial Hermann Health System has agreed to pay a $2.4 million fine and adopt a corrective action plan after being accused by the federal government of improperly disclosing a patient's name to news media in 2015.

The settlement announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stems from a September 2015 incident that drew national press attention and sparked an uproar among immigrant rights activists.

It began when Blanca Borrego, a 44-year-old woman from Mexico who had been living in the United States illegally for more than a decade, presented a fake Texas driver's license when she checked in for an appointment at a Kingwood-area gynecologist's office.

Memorial Hermann staff reported the suspected forgery to the Harris County Sheriff's Office; deputies arrived at the office more than an hour later and arrested Borrego, taking her away in handcuffs in front of her two daughters.

Read more: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Memorial-Hermann-to-pay-2-4M-after-sharing-11137038.php

Little Rock Air Force Base embezzlement admitted; ex-staff sergeant tells court he stole $360,000

A former staff sergeant at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville admitted Wednesday in federal court that he stole $360,951.94 in government funds to buy items that he then sold at a pawn shop for personal profit.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes accepted a plea to an embezzlement charge from Gabriel McCormick of Cabot, who admitted using a government purchase card to buy items between May 2011 and June 2015 from Alphapointe, an on-base vendor that sells only to authorized cardholders.

McCormick, who was attached to the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, was authorized to use the card to purchase up to $30,000 a month for items such as aircraft sealant and lubricants, according to his plea agreement. But the items he bought were supposed to be on a list of approved items used only by the squadron.

To buy unapproved items such as flashlights, multitools, high-end batteries and other personal tools, McCormick would send an email to his supervisor listing his planned purchases of approved items, and then would purchase a number of unauthorized items equaling the total on the approved list, the document states.

Read more: http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2017/may/10/air-base-embezzlement-admitted-20170510/

Band director no longer at Ascension middle school after racial slur on social media

A band director at an Ascension Parish middle school who used a racial slur in a Facebook post last week, later removing it and saying he was using it in a sarcastic response to the Confederate monuments issue, is no longer employed at the school, an Ascension Parish School Board member said Wednesday.

Board member Troy Gautreau confirmed that Dutchtown Middle School band director Richard Bresowar “is no longer at the school.”


The Facebook post by Bresowar was in response to a May 3 post by Ascension Parish Councilman Daniel “Doc” Satterlee, who asked what people thought about a bill in the state House that would prevent New Orleans from removing Confederate war monuments.

Bresowar’s post, which he later removed, said, “Core support would be about a hundred percent in this town. Got to keep those n****** in their place let them know the South will rise again.”

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/communities/ascension/article_42676262-35be-11e7-b6b6-6f9f2cc6a0bc.html

Angola inmate Corey 'C-Murder' Miller ordered to pay $1.15 million to family of slain teen

A Jefferson Parish judge has ordered Corey Miller, the rapper known as "C-Murder" who is serving a life sentence for killing a teenager at a Harvey nightclub in 2002, to pay the victim’s family $1.15 million.

Judge Glenn Ansardi of 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna had found Miller liable for the killing of Steve Thomas in a civil proceeding in 2013.

On Wednesday, he ordered him to pay $500,000 for each of Thomas’ parents, $150,000 to account for the suffering that Thomas, 16, experienced during the hour he lived after being shot, and $4,492 for the funeral costs.

Ansardi granted George and Delores Thomas the full amount sought by their attorney, Trey Mustian.

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/courts/article_9d275e44-35d9-11e7-877e-5bdb471e43e4.html
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