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Hometown: Texas
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Current location: Red Hell Texas
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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

CERS Looks at Separating From Kentucky Retirement System

Separating the County Employees Retirement System from Kentucky Retirement Systems was debated at a meeting Monday of the Kentucky Retirement Systems Administrative Subcommittee.

Representatives from the Kentucky Association of Counties, Kentucky League of Cities, Kentucky School Boards Association, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents and Kentucky Professional Firefighters, all members of CERS, testified on behalf of the separation.

The CERS is the largest system within KRS, with 236,000 members and $13.9 billion in assets, said Bryanna Carroll, the Kentucky League of Cities manager of governmental affairs. Yet they lack proper representation, she said.

“Despite being the largest system with 75 percent of the money and 63 percent of the membership, CERS only has 35 percent representation on the KRS Board – six of the 17 members,” she said.

Read more: http://www.k105.com/2018/09/25/cers-looks-at-separating-from-kentucky-retirement-system/

Braidy Industries' $15 million loan to CEO raises questions, experts say

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Braidy Industries Inc.'s disclosure this week that its CEO borrowed about $15 million from the company earlier this year should “raise some eyebrows,” according to a longtime expert in corporate governance.

Charles Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, told WDRB that corporations generally avoid lending money to their executives – and federal law makes the practice illegal for publicly traded firms.


While a private business, a significant portion of Braidy Industries’ initial capital came from Kentucky taxpayers when Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration invested $15 million in public money in the company last year.

Braidy Industries plans to build a state-of-the-art aluminum mill in Ashland, Ky., and to create 600 high-paying factory jobs when the mill opens in 2020.


The company is now looking to raise another $400 million through stock sales over the next six weeks so that it can have sufficient capital to borrow for the construction of the mill, estimated to cost $1.68 billion.

Read more: http://www.wdrb.com/story/39149217/braidy-industries-dollar15-million-loan-to-ceo-raises-questions-experts-say

First, Gov. Matt “Slick” Bevin convinced lawmakers to approve a $15-million investment of your money for an aluminum factory without revealing the purpose before they voted. Republicans typically moan about governments picking winners and losers, but not this time. Now, it turns out, Braidy Industries Inc. “hasn’t raised anything close to the $1.68 billion needed to complete construction of the plant,” WDRB’s Chris Otts wrote. So it needs to borrow up to $1 billion from the federal government and receive $500 million in credit from the German government… Does that make Bevin a Social Democrat? But even that won’t be enough government money. So now it wants investors to buy $400 million in stock, Otts wrote.


Geez, why would anyone think that something fishy is going on?

Cool Springs-Based Community Health Systems Pays $260M To Settle Fraud Case

A massive hospital chain with thousands of employees in Cool Springs and Antioch is on the hook for a quarter-billion-dollar settlement with the federal government. The payout is larger than expected for Community Health Systems, but it also lifts a cloud that has been hanging over the company by protecting it from criminal prosecution.

A company acquired by Community Health in 2014 has been the cause of most of its financial problems in recent years. They knew Florida-based Health Management Associates was in lots of legal trouble, but they were hoping to pay less than $262 million, which was the maximum set aside to resolve whistleblower claims.

HMA was accused of overcharging government insurance programs for outpatient care and paying physicians kickbacks for referrals. The Justice Department alleged a "corporate-driven scheme" in which physicians were incentivized illegally to admit more patients into the hospital, whether they needed the level of treatment or not.

"HMA pressured emergency room physicians, including through threats of termination, to increase the number of inpatient admissions from emergency departments — even when those admissions were medically unnecessary," Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said in a statement. "Hospital operators that improperly influence a physician’s medical decision-making in pursuit of profits do so at their own peril."

Read more: http://www.nashvillepublicradio.org/post/cool-springs-based-community-health-systems-pays-260m-settle-fraud-case

Three Key Exchanges From the First Bredesen-Blackburn Debate

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen and Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn faced off in the first of three U.S. Senate debates last night. In general, the hourlong event highlighted the way each candidate is approaching the pivotal midterm election: Bredesen is pitching himself as a pragmatic moderate, channeling voters' exhaustion with partisan bickering in Washington, D.C.; Blackburn is seeking to accentuate her support for President Donald Trump and posturing herself as a bulwark against the liberal agenda that awaits the nation if Bredesen and the Democrats take the U.S. Senate.

Here are three key exchanges from the night.

On Chuck Schumer

One of Blackburn's primary objectives in last night's debate seemed to be tying Bredesen to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. She said Schumer's name 11 times and continually asserted that Bredesen was "bought and paid for" by the New York Democrat.

Bredesen seems to have seen this coming. He closed his response to the moderators' first question — about what the candidates felt was the most pressing issue today — by pledging not to support Schumer for majority leader if the Democrats win control of the Senate. Here's that portion of Bredesen's response, and Blackburn's response to his comments, which foreshadowed her approach the rest of the night.

Read more: https://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/21024317/three-key-exchanges-from-the-first-bredesenblackburn-debate

Ahead of Trump Tennessee visit, Blackburn, Bredesen trade ad barbs

NASHVILLE — All eyes will be on Tennessee Monday as President Donald Trump makes his second trip to the state to boost Republican Marsha Blackburn in the increasingly raucous U.S. Senate battle between the GOP congress member and Democratic former governor Phil Bredesen.

His visit comes following Blackburn and Bredesen's first, attack-laced debate last week in their race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Chattanooga.

Tennessee has drawn national attention with the contest in a statistical dead heat, according to a Real Clear Politics summary of four polls. The two most recent surveys showed Bredesen with a two- to three-point lead but falling within the margins of error.

"President Trump so appreciates the people of Tennessee, and we look forward to welcoming him back to our state and having him on the campaign trail with us," Blackburn said of his planned trip to Johnson City.

Read more: https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/politics/state/story/2018/sep/30/political-notebook-ahead-trump-tennessee-visi/480123/

Former Pilot Flying J president sentenced to more than 12​​​​​​​ years in prison, fined $750K

CHATTANOOGA – A federal judge on Wednesday ordered former Pilot Flying J President to serve more than 12 years in federal prison as the mastermind of a five-year fraud plot to grow the firm's market share.

Senior U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier also ordered Mark Hazelwood to pay a $750,000 fine in addition to spending 150 months behind bars.

"The motive was hubris - his competitiveness ... his desire to capture more market share for Pilot," Collier said. "The defendant improperly took it upon himself to use the Pilot name and reputation ... This degree of commandeering ... the court is not aware of any reported case where such a situation has happened.

"Mr. Hazelwood abused the trust of Pilot and the trust placed in him," Collier continued. "The participants (in the fraud scheme) laughed and joked about it. They used extreme and offensive language. They used Pilot's email ... cellphones ... financial management system. They talked openly of this criminal activity ... He violated the law on a constant and repeated basis for half a decade."

Read more: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/crime/2018/09/26/ex-pilot-flying-j-president-mark-hazelwood-gets-150-months-fined-750-k/1412081002/

Debate 2.0: Blackburn, Bredesen to tussle in Knoxville next

Senate hopefuls Republican Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen fired shots back and forth at each other Tuesday night in their much-anticipated first debate.

The next and final time they debate will be in Knoxville.

The University of Tennessee's Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy announced Tuesday it will host the former governor and current Congressman for their second and last debate on October 10 at 8 p.m.

Tuesday's debate drew national attention as the two jostle to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker. The debate in Knoxville will likely bring more of the same. The seat is of critical importance to both parties — the Republicans want to keep their thin majority and the Democrats would like to take it back.

Read more: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/09/26/blackburn-bredesen-final-debate-knoxville/1433179002/

2 charged in high-speed chase in truck linked to search for Phil Trenary shooting suspect

Two teens have been charged following a high-speed police chase involving a vehicle that matches the description of a truck involved in the shooting death of Greater Memphis Chamber CEO Phil Trenary.

Shymontre Reed, 19, and Quandarius Richardson,18, were arrested after a pursuit at Mississippi Boulevard and East McLemore Avenue, according to police.

Their charges are related to an alleged vehicle theft and the police chase and are not related to the homicide. The original suspect description of the shooter was of a man with dreadlocks. Neither of the teens arrested in the crash appear to have dreadlocks in their mugshots.

Reed was charged with theft of property with a value between $10,000 and $60,000, evading arrest and a probation violation, according to jail records.

Read more: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/crime/2018/09/29/phil-trenary-shooting-2-charged-chase-vehicle-linked-search-suspect/1470623002/

Two Officers Dead in Mississippi Town

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) - Two police officers were shot and killed following an early Saturday morning confrontation in Mississippi, authorities said.

Warren Strain of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety said at a news conference that the officers were called to a house in the city of Brookhaven at about 5 a.m. for a report of shots fired.

Amid an exchange of gunfire, both officers were "mortally wounded" and then pronounced dead at a local hospital, Strain said. He identified the weapon used as a handgun but would not elaborate.

Authorities identified the deceased officers as Patrolman James White, 35; and Cpl. Zack Moak, 31. Both were wearing bulletproof vests at the time and were equipped with body and dashboard cameras. White arrived on the scene first, and Moak arrived next.

Read more: http://www.mpbonline.org/blogs/news/2018/09/29/developing-two-officers-dead-in-mississippi-town/

Nurse practitioner sentenced to 3 years for role in $400M compound pharmacy scheme

HATTIESBURG -- Susan Perry, a former nurse practitioner who faced 13 federal charges in a more than $400 million compound pharmacy scheme, was sentenced Thursday to 3˝ years in prison.

She also was ordered to pay $1.37 million in restitution related to the scheme that defrauded the government and health insurance companies. She also must serve three years of supervised release.

"This is not a victimless crime," U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett said. "Many people are affected by this in addition to the taxpayers. This wouldn't have happened if you didn't do what you did."

Starrett said even though she had led an exemplary life before getting involved in the scheme, she needed to accept responsibility for her crime.

Read more: https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/crime/2018/09/27/susan-perry-sentenced-3-5-years-role-400-million-pharmacy-fraud/1437128002/
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