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TexasTowelie

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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: 77,611

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

Family of inmate who died of dehydration in jail cell paid $6.75 million settlement

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County and the company that formerly provided health care at the jail have paid $6.75 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the estate of Terrill Thomas, who died of dehydration in his cell in 2016.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported the proposed settlement in January. The payments, about $5 million from the county and $1.7 million from Armor Correctional Health Services, have now been made.

Lawyers for the estate said it was the largest jail death settlement in Wisconsin history and one of the largest in the nation.

"This settlement reflects not only the profound harm suffered by Mr. Thomas and his family, but also the shocking nature of the defendants’ misconduct in shutting off this man’s water and ignoring his obvious signs of distress as he literally died of thirst," the lawyers said in a joint statement.

Read more: https://www.reporternews.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/29/6-75-million-settlement-paid-terrill-thomas-jail-dehydration-case/1275283001/
(Abilene Reporter-News)

Breed announces proposal to prevent homelessness for transgender, gender non-conforming residents

Transgender and gender non-conforming San Franciscans may soon be able to get city-funded subsidies for affordable housing in a bid to curb the city’s homelessness, Mayor London Breed announced Wednesday.

Breed has proposed adding more than $3 million to the city’s budget to bolster LGBTQ services and initiatives, with $2 million of that going specifically toward housing subsidies for TGNC (transgender non-conforming) people.

“Transgender and gender non-conforming San Franciscans are almost 18 times more likely to experience homelessness than the general population in our city. Housing subsidies for our city’s trans community will help individuals remain housed and will provide a much-needed safety net for those who are at risk of homelessness,” Breed said in a statement.

“With the ongoing affordability crisis in our city and the constant attacks on trans people from the White House, we must remain united to make sure no one is erased,” she said. “This budget proposal shows that we’re committed keeping our communities housed and assuring our most vulnerable residents can thrive in San Francisco.”

Read more: https://www.sfexaminer.com/the-city/breed-announces-proposal-to-prevent-homelessness-for-transgender-gender-non-conforming-residents/

Mercury Insurance must pay $27.5 million in fines, Calif. appeals court rules

A state appeals court reinstated $27.5 million in state penalties against Mercury Insurance Co. on Tuesday for charging illegal broker fees in more than 180,000 transactions with auto insurance customers from 1999 to 2004.

The fines, imposed by the state Department of Insurance in 2015, were overturned in 2016 by a judge in Orange County, who said the fees had been legally assessed for insurance brokers’ services to customers, such as comparison shopping. But the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana said the purported brokers were actually insurance agents, working for Mercury, who provided no customer services and had no authority to charge fees.

Otherwise, insurance agents posing as brokers “could charge unapproved and unfairly discriminatory fees for alleged separate services that would increase consumers’ cost of insurance,” said Justice David Thompson in the 3-0 ruling. “This is contrary to the voters’ intent as expressed in Proposition 103,” the 1988 initiative that required state approval of rates for auto insurance and other property and casualty coverage.

The fees ranged from $50 to $150 per customer. The total of the penalties is one of the largest the Insurance Department has ever levied against an auto or home insurer.

Read more: https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Mercury-Insurance-must-pay-27-5-million-in-13827326.php?psid=7xfjh

California Assembly passes rent-cap bill

SACRAMENTO — In a dramatic victory for tenant advocates, the California Assembly narrowly passed a statewide rent-cap proposal on Wednesday night amid mounting pressure for lawmakers to protect renters from the steepest of increases in a hot rental market.

If the bill clears the Senate, California could become the second state in the nation this year to limit annual rent hikes, covering millions of properties not covered by local rent control rules.

In a final appeal to his colleagues, the bill’s author, Assemblyman David Chiu, said the bill would protect the most vulnerable residents who are a rent-hike away from eviction. “They are our neighbors,” he said. “They are our co-workers. They are our brothers and sisters. They are our grandparents.”

Assembly Bill 1482, which passed 43-28, would apply to most properties not covered by local rent control ordinances — including rented single-family homes and condos in cities with rent control. It was amended last week to exempt properties that are less than 10 years old, and — because of an 11th-hour handshake deal with a powerful trade group — it will undergo more key changes in the Senate.

Read more: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/05/29/california-rent-cap-bill/

Under fire in Texas, San Diego pathologist announces he will not renew contract with Lubbock County

The San Diego pathologist who is being sued in Texas for allegedly improperly harvesting organs from bodies during autopsies is canceling his contract with Lubbock County.

The decision, which follows a spate of unwelcome publicity and criminal investigations, was announced in a letter Tuesday from Evan Matshes, the San Diego pathologist who owns NAAG Pathology Labs in Sorrento Valley.

NAAG is under contract to handle autopsies and run the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s office. Its contract, worth $2.4 million this fiscal year, also includes providing services to 19 other Texas counties that contract with Lubbock County for medical examiner services.

Matshes said he would not seek to extend the agreement beyond Sept. 30, in large part due to interference from unspecified politically motivated people who made it difficult for him to attract new hires, the letter said.

Read more: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/watchdog/story/2019-05-29/under-fire-in-texas-san-diego-pathologist-announces-he-will-not-renew-contract-with-lubbock-county

Cryptocurrency exchanger at center of 'Bitcointopia' fraud sentenced to nearly 2 years in prison

SAN DIEGO — A cryptocurrency entrepreneur who dreamed up Bitcointopia, a city of the future in the Nevada desert, then sold plots of land he didn’t own to unsuspecting investors, was sentenced in San Diego federal court Tuesday to 21 months in prison.

Morgan Rockcoons, 31, first came to the attention of federal investigators in 2015 as San Diego’s most prolific bitcoin trader and seller. An undercover agent with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations posing as a butane hash oil manufacturer contacted Rockcoons through LocalBitcoin.com to make a transaction.

As a bitcoin exchanger, Rockcoons was supposed to follow the same set of rules as money transmitters, including registering with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, knowing the identity of customers and reporting transactions over $10,000 to the government. The rules are meant to combat money laundering.

But Rockcoons agreed to conduct the transaction anonymously, knowing the funds would be used for a marijuana business, and accepted the undercover agent’s lump payment of $14,500 without reporting to the government, prosecutors said. The 2017 transfer consisted of 9.998 bitcoins with a value of just over $9,200, with Rockcoons taking the remaining $5,200 as a transaction fee.

Read more: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/courts/story/2019-05-29/cryptocurrency-exchanger-at-center-of-bitcointopia-fraud-sentenced-to-nearly-2-years-in-prison

San Diego County goes to court to find missing fire truck as legal tussle with volunteer firefighter

A fire engine has gone missing in Julian, the latest casualty in the tug-of-war between the county and the volunteer firefighters who once served the rural area.

The $300,000 engine, E57, was based at a station staffed by members of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District, the county’s last volunteer fire department that was dissolved on April 8.

But when the county Fire Authority assumed control of the district, a decision that is being challenged by the volunteers, the fire truck was gone from the small station in Cuyamaca. And it wasn’t at the district’s main fire station in Julian, either.

Queries as to its whereabouts were met with shrugs.

So the county Fire Authority filed a missing/stolen vehicle report with the Sheriff’s Department, which is now investigating, officials say.

Read more: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/north-county/story/2019-05-29/county-goes-to-court-to-find-missing-fire-truck-as-legal-tussle-with-volunteer-firefighters-heats-up

AG fines Long Beach telemarketing company $1.5 million for allegations of fraud

A Long Beach-based telemarketing company was fined more than $1.5 million in a lawsuit alleging it fraudulently took money from unsuspecting Californians by giving them a deceptive sales pitch.

The fines were announced Tuesday by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who said in a news release that Consumer Rights Legal Services, its president, James Davitt, and three others offered investment recovery services to more than 150 people wherein the company claimed it could recover lost investment funds if given an upfront fee.

According to the state Justice Department, the victims – many of whom were elderly and had already lost money in previous investment schemes – were promised investment recovery if they paid the company several thousand dollars, but received nothing in return.

Consumer Rights Legal Services, known as CRLS, faces penalties of $930,800 and restitution fines of $567,774 and additional victim restitution fines of nearly $25,000, according to the release.

Read more: https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article230938398.html

California lawmakers approve UC wage bill after 'hundreds if not thousands' of missing paychecks

The University of California would be required to pay its employees on a regular payday under a measure moving through the California Legislature in response to the university system’s ongoing payroll problems.

Senate Bill 698, sponsored by Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, would mandate that employees paid monthly receive their wages no later than five days after the close of monthly payroll, while those employees paid on a frequent basis would get their wages according to a regular pay schedule.

It won unanimous approval in the state Senate and now moves to the Assembly. A UC system spokeswoman said that the university president’s office has been tracking the bill closely “and is in discussions with (Sen. Leyva) on the bill.”

“Hundreds if not thousands” of UC employees experienced missed, delayed or miscalculated paychecks as a result of their switch to the UCPath payroll system, according to Kavitha Iyengar, president of the United Auto Workers Local 2865, which represents nearly 19,000 student workers in the UC system.

Read more: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article230945598.html

Fresno Grizzlies lose big-name sponsorship because of Ocasio-Cortez video debacle

Sun-Maid, the popular raisin company with deep roots in the central San Joaquin Valley, has terminated its partnership with the Fresno Grizzlies.

Sun-Maid announced its termination Wednesday evening, citing the Grizzlies’ Memorial Day debacle when the minor league baseball club aired a video tribute that equated Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the likes of North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un and former Cuban president Fidel Castro.

“We are deeply disappointed by the Memorial Day tribute video the Fresno Grizzlies aired on Monday,” Sun-Maid said in an email sent to The Bee via public relations agency Havas Formula. “Sun-Maid does not support the views or sentiments expressed in the video, nor does it condone the airing of it.

“While the Grizzlies have apologized for this mistake, we are standing on the side of what we believe is right and terminating our sponsorship of the team.”

Read more: https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article230973768.html#storylink=topdigest_latest
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