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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: 78,471

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

Man sentenced to prison time in multi-million dollar embezzlement case

FLINT, MI – A former country club owner has been sentenced to prison time after embezzling millions of dollars from local couples.

Jason K. Bescoe, 48, was sentenced May 29 by Genesee Circuit Judge Richard B. Yuille to a minimum of 45 months in prison to a maximum of 20 years, with credit for 238 days served.

He pleaded guilty in October 2018 to two felony counts of embezzlement of over $100,000. The plea deal included the payment of nearly $2.5 million in restitution.

From 2008 to 2014, Bescoe used money given to him for investment in his company, Research Money Management, to buy plane tickets, hotel stays and meals, according to Flint Journal records.

Read more: https://www.mlive.com/news/flint/2019/05/man-sentenced-to-prison-time-in-multi-million-dollar-embezzlement-case.html

Enbridge offers new 2024 deadline for Great Lakes oil tunnel

After weeks of negotiations between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration and the Canadian oil company Enbridge, the latter has announced that it can complete construction on a planned buried oil pipeline within just five years.

Enbridge originally estimated a seven-to-10-year construction period for its proposed $500 million oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac that would replace the existing 66-year-old Line 5.

But discussions with Whitmer’s office and private “additional commitments” from Enbridge have shaved years off the projected timeline leading to an estimated completion date of 2024, Enbridge said in a statement Thursday.

The company still plans to retire Line 5 in favor of a new pipeline that would be encased in a tunnel 100 feet beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/2019/05/30/enbridge-offers-new-2024-deadline-for-great-lakes-oil-tunnel/

Abrams stays quiet on presidential ambitions, boosts 'civility'

Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and current Democratic Party rising star, has a message for the leaders of Michigan’s newly-divided government: Keep working together.

Abrams, who narrowly lost her gubernatorial contest last year and delivered the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in February, was a keynote speaker Wednesday at this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island.

Frequently discussed as a possible entrant into the Democratic presidential primary, Abrams declined to say whether she would put her hat in the ring when asked twice by interviewer Devin Scillian of WDIV-TV in Detroit.

Instead, she was one of several speakers who took the opportunity to beat the familiar drum in favor of “civility” at the annual conference, a popular theme for the confab attended by many of Michigan’s business and political elite. She shared stories about her six years as minority leader of Georgia’s House of Representatives, and how she worked closely with Georgia’s conservative Republicans.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/2019/05/29/abrams-stays-quiet-on-presidential-ambitions-boosts-civility/

More unknowns than knowns as Michigan enters brave new world of auto insurance reform

Charles Gaba knows his way around an insurance market.

A metro Detroit web developer who made a national name for himself in the early days of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) rollout by painstakingly tracking its enrollment numbers, Gaba has tracked health care market developments across the country since then on his website ACASignups.net.

So as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill today that kicks off Michigan’s bold experiment in drastically expanding the amount of choice available to consumers on the auto insurance market, the Advance talked to Gaba about his thoughts on the ramifications that might have for not only auto insurance, but for health care in Michigan writ large.

Gaba stressed that there are still plenty of questions to be answered about the consequences of the choices Michiganders might make now that the state’s long-standing requirement for unlimited personal injury protection (PIP) has been removed. But he pointed out that there are a few parallels between the adjustments being made and those that followed in the wake of the ACA.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/2019/05/30/gaba-more-unknowns-than-knowns-as-michigan-enters-brave-new-world-of-auto-insurance-reform/

Retired teachers file class action lawsuit over state benefits cut

Dean Dennis and Robert Buerkle spent much of their lives in the classroom. Between them, the two have more than 60 years of teaching experience in Cincinnati Public Schools.

After decades of instructing, grading and mentoring a generation of students, they expected to join many of their colleagues in relatively comfortable retirement. Dennis and Buerkle had paid into the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS) throughout their careers.

STRS is one of the largest public pension funds in the United States, serving nearly 500,000 active, inactive and retired public educators in Ohio.

Now, however, the two men are plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against STRS.

Read more: https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190524/retired-teachers-file-class-action-lawsuit-over-state-benefits-cut

Ohio school districts tired of losing state money are preparing federal lawsuit

After years of being denied millions of dollars as a result of arbitrary state funding caps, some school districts are preparing to take legal action if lawmakers don’t address the shortfall.

“I am sorry to inform you that, if the legislature does not address the gain caps in this biennium budget, a group of districts will be filing a federal lawsuit,” Delaware City Schools Superintendent Paul Craft told the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday.

Craft was among a handful of district officials to testify, including those from Olentangy, Whitehall, Pickerington and Licking Heights, all of whom are getting significantly less state funding than the current formula says they should receive.

The school-funding plan that passed the House as part of the two-year state operating budget does not address the funding caps. Instead, following Gov. Mike DeWine’s lead, the plan essentially leaves current funding in place with an extra $675 million over two years to districts based on student poverty concentrations. The funding is designed to support social and emotional services, such as counseling and after-school programs.

Read more: https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190529/ohio-school-districts-tired-of-losing-state-money-are-preparing-federal-lawsuit
(Columbus Dispatch)

Former VP Joe Biden to keynote gay rights dinner Saturday in Columbus

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden will visit Columbus on Saturday, his presidential campaign announced Tuesday.

Biden, who last visited Columbus in 2018 to stump for then-gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray, is one of about two dozen Democrats running for president in 2020. He will be the guest speaker at the Human Rights Campaign’s 2019 Columbus dinner, set for the Ohio Union at the Ohio State University. The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest LGBTQ rights organization.

Actor Jake Choi of the upcoming film “The Sun is Also a Star” and the TV series “Single Parents” will be receiving the Visibility Award.

“Vice President Joe Biden is a strong and visible ally to the LGBTQ community in our fight for full federal equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.

Read more: https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190528/former-vp-joe-biden-to-keynote-gay-rights-dinner-saturday-in-columbus
(Columbus Dispatch)

At least 17 tornadoes confirmed so far in Ohio outbreak

At least 17 confirmed tornadoes touched down during a series of storms late Memorial Day into early Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service in Wilmington announced late Wednesday night, and teams are continuing to survey damage across the state.

Survey teams were canvassing eastern Greene County and southern portions of Darke, Hardin and Miami counties on Wednesday to determine if tornadoes had touched down in the areas causing damage. Details on each confirmed tornado in terms of estimated winds, path, duration can be found at: https://www.weather.gov/iln/20190527.

A tornado near West Milton in southern Miami County was classified as an EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with wind speeds of between 111 and 135 mph.

Tornadoes near Laurelville in Hocking County, south of Vandalia in northeastern Montgomery County and northeast of Jamestown along the borders of Greene and Fayette counties were also classified as EF2s.

Read more: https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190529/at-least-17-tornadoes-confirmed-so-far-in-ohio-outbreak
(Columbus Dispatch)

Ohio State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent says she won't return to work, accuses staff of hostile acts

A Columbus Democrat says she will not return to the Statehouse or her legislative office until Ohio House leaders address what she calls the “disorderly, egregious and disrespectful actions of two rogue employees.”

Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent, who has had a troubled relationship with the House Democratic caucus and the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, filed a four-page complaint with the House this week alleging that caucus legal counsel and the minority deputy chief of staff prevented her from entering a caucus meeting. Kent said she was “forcibly pushed back” by Sarah Cherry and Andy DiPalma.

“I believe Cherry and DiPalma intentionally conspired to set me up to be arrested and charged with a crime,” Kent wrote in her complaint. “I also consider Cherry and DiPalma’s conduct to be racially discriminatory and a violation of my constitutional rights.”

This is the latest Statehouse dustup involving Kent, a two-term lawmaker representing the 25th House District, covering eastern and northeastern Columbus. In June 2018, House Democrats took the highly unusual step of voting her out of the caucus following an incident three months earlier when Kent sent a public records request to Columbus city officials on Ohio Legislative Black Caucus letterhead and included the signatures of 15 members of the caucus without their permission.

Read more: https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190530/ohio-state-rep-bernadine-kennedy-kent-says-she-wont-return-to-work-accuses-staff-of-hostile-acts
(Columbus Dispatch)

Former Ohio House speaker buys $330K house in Warren County amid federal investigation

COLUMBUS — Former Ohio House speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R) bought a $330,000 house in Warren County, purchased after his abrupt resignation amid a federal investigation into his interactions with payday lenders.

He arranged a mortgage for all but $792 of the purchase price, according to Warren County public records. Mortgage Resources LLC — a private entity — issued the $329,208 loan.

Built in 2014, the 3,249-square-foot house sits on a quarter acre and has four bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms.

On a financial disclosure statement filed Wednesday, Rosenberger said he had no sources of income in 2018 other than the legislative post that he quit in April and less than $1,000 in interest from a bank account.

Read more: https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/former-ohio-house-speaker-buys-330k-house-amid-federal-investigation/wbeaIdq5Bfl74cDDZCWxCK/

I wonder what interest rate he is paying to the payday lender financing the mortgage?
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