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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: 78,379

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

University of Vermont Medical Center nurses ratify contract

The nurses at the University of Vermont Medical Center have ratified a contract with the hospital with 70 percent of voting nurses in support.

Just shy of 1,100 of the union’s 1,800 nurses voted in the election, which concluded Thursday night. The hospital and the nurses came to a tentative agreement Sept. 19 after more than six months of tense negotiations which included a two-day strike in July.

Molly Wallner, the nurses’ lead negotiator, said that the nurses were proud of the contract but that they were planning on pushing for “pro-patient and pro-nurse” legislation in the Legislature.

“We will always do what it takes to fight for our patients and the well-being of the community that we live and work in,” she said Friday morning.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2018/09/28/uvmmc-nurses-ratify-contract/

Rep. Greg Snowden arrested for refusal to take DUI test after getting into wreck

House Speaker Protem Greg Snowden (R) was arrested and charged with DUI refusal on Thursday after running into the back of another car at a red light near his home in Meridian.

But Snowden, R-Meridian, said he wasn't drunk and hit the car because he was texting and looking at his phone about the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings in Washington.

"We had received calls of an individual driving erratically and running people off the road," said Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose. "... We got there after the fact of the wreck. When the officer arrived on the scene, they stated they smelled alcohol, and he failed a field sobriety test. He refused to take the test at the station."

Neither Snowden, the second-ranking lawmaker in the state House, nor the other driver reported injuries, Dubose said.

Read more: https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2018/09/27/greg-snowden-republican-meridian-arrested-dui-refusal-car-accident/1448348002/

Alabama college suspends student after nooses found in trees

MOBILE — The University of South Alabama's president says a student has been suspended for hanging two nooses on campus and a cafeteria employee has been fired for an insensitive tweet that said it was a sign of their "killer" fried chicken.

University President Tony Waldrop said in a Wednesday night statement that the student was suspended after admitting to hanging two nooses and a bicycle in a tree on campus. The student will face a discipline hearing.

Waldrop said an employee of the university's food service vendor was fired for an "offensive tweet" about the situation.

The employee wrote on the university dining service's official twitter account that the rope was just a sign that, "our food is KILLER! Come get some fried chicken and tell us in different!"

The food vendor apologized.

(brief article)

Tarrant County CPS caseworker accused of seeking out kids online for sex

FORT WORTH -- A Child Protective Services employee was charged with online solicitation of a child as part of a countywide operation focusing on men suspected of seeking out children for sex.

Adrian Martinez, 44, was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Tarrant County Jail, where his bail is set at $5,000.

CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales confirmed Thursday that the Saginaw man had been an employee of the agency in Fort Worth since May 2016.

"As soon as we became aware of the arrest of Adrian Martinez, he was removed from caseworker duties and placed on administrative leave," Gonzales said in a written statement. "We are cooperating fully with law enforcement."

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/tarrant-county/2018/09/27/child-protective-services-caseworker-accused-soliciting-child-sex

State contractors spent $13 million, served fewer women than expected

A grant program intended to boost enrollment in a state health program for low-income women fell far short of its goal to serve 155,000 patients in 2017 even after contractors spent $13 million, according to data from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Among grant recipients that received the largest amounts was Round Rock-based Heidi Group, whose founder Carol Everett is a vocal opponent of abortions. The group, which received $1.6 million in fiscal year 2017, served 2,300 women in the Healthy Texas Women’s program even though its contract called for the organization to serve 51,000 the most of all grant recipients. The group also received $5 million to provide services in the state’s Family Planning Program, but ended up serving 1,000 women, a third of what was proposed. The group’s contract has been renewed and it will receive $3.2 million in fiscal year 2019.

Everett told the American-Statesman that data from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which oversees the programs, does not count the clients served by 16 of her providers; the agency said its data is accurate.

“The folks who were competing for this grant and who wanted to participate in this part of the grant program envisioned seeing many more women than they actually did,” said Stacey Pogue, senior policy analyst with Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities. “There might be some barriers the state can help reduce. It might have just been guesses that were not realistic from the outset.”

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/state-contractors-spent-million-served-fewer-women-than-expected/FfnjZZmiY3mzH66HuIFuCO/

Kavanaugh fight likely to scuttle second Cruz-O'Rourke debate, for now

The drama surrounding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to scuttle the second debate between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, at the University of Houston Sunday night, though the campaigns may seek to come up with a rain date.

After a long, dramatic day of testimony Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee by Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school, a charge he vehemently denied, the committee is set to vote Friday on the nomination followed by a preliminary vote by the full Senate on Saturday and final action next week. Cruz is a member of the committee.

Even before Thursday, Cruz had indicated the Sunday debate was in jeopardy, which O’Rourke confirmed to the Texas Tribune Thursday.

The latest developments seemed likely to seal the fate of Sunday’s event — the second of three scheduled debates — but no formal announcement on the cancellation or postponement of the event has been made. The first Senate debate was at Southern Methodist University last Friday. The third debate is scheduled for San Antonio on Oct. 16.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/kavanaugh-fight-likely-scuttle-second-cruz-rourke-debate-for-now/tsl7iHtGPa0nYkCgnGenCI/

The vote on Kavanaugh's nomination and McConnell's plans to keep the Senate in session during October will prevent Cruz from the campaign trail. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it will be enough to oust Cruz from office.

Vance ad says Parker will be 'another Roy Moore'

MONTGOMERY — Alabama chief justice candidate Judge Bob Vance has launched an ad saying Justice Tom Parker will be "another Roy Moore" if elected to head the state court system.

The ad centers on Parker's longtime association with Moore and asserts Parker will cause the "same chaos and controversy" as Moore if elected to head the state judicial system. A discipline panel twice stripped Moore of chief justice duties for misconduct after finding that he directly defied, or encouraged defiance of, federal court orders regarding same-sex marriage and the public display of the Ten Commandments.

The ad has a quote of Parker saying how he would "relish" being compared to Moore and notes the two ruled similarly in the so-called birther case that questioned Barack Obama's citizenship.

"Voters in Alabama need to thoroughly know and recognize the choices they have in this race for chief justice. And certainly the background, the philosophy of each of the candidates, my opponent and myself, are something that the voters should look at in making an informed decision on Nov. 6," Vance said Thursday.

Read more: https://www.decaturdaily.com/news/elections/vance-ad-says-parker-will-be-another-roy-moore/article_816756a8-bd5e-5bb5-b9e2-337c71671740.html

Joe Siegelman, candidate for Alabama state attorney general, says politics cannot influence role

State Attorney General candidate Joe Siegelman made several stops throughout the Wiregrass Thursday – all a part of his belief that public service and campaigning are about the people.

“There’s no alternative to seeing people face to face, eye to eye and making sure they get the sense that you are real … and you care about them and the issues that affect them,” he said in an Eagle interview at the Wiregrass Angel House. “I know of no other way than to be in front of people and have that personal contact. (I) want to make sure the people of Alabama know that there is a choice in the attorney general’s office this year.”

Siegelman, a Democrat, is campaigning against Republican Steve Marshall, the current AG after former Gov. Robert Bentley appointed him to the position in February 2017. While Siegelman officially has a “D” by his name, the son of former Gov. Don Siegelman said politics and parties should not matter when it comes to the particular office he seeks.

“What that office needs more than anything is independence,” he said. “The attorney general doesn’t make the law, can’t change the law, (has) limited opportunities to interpret the law. As soon as a political agenda gets in the way in making decisions, you’re not going to be doing the job that you’re supposed to do.”

Read more: https://www.dothaneagle.com/news/local/joe-siegelman-candidate-for-alabama-state-attorney-general-says-politics/article_73d23648-c2a7-11e8-9cab-1361c1fe2252.html

Rain doesn't dampen spirits during Jacksonville State University benefit concert

JACKSONVILLE — The weather can’t keep Jacksonville State University down.

In spite of a tornado that swept through the campus in March and dealt millions of dollars in damage to the campus, the school held strong. Volunteers from the Southeast gathered over the weeks following the storm to clean the campus of debris, downed trees and power lines. The devastated campus came back to life in the summer semester, and resumed normal operations by August.

So it may be no surprise that when rain kicked up a few hours before the Alabama & Friends benefit concert Wednesday night, neither bands nor their fans were stymied. It’s going to be a long time before rain gets respect again in Jacksonville.

“The rain doesn’t bother us at all,” said Shay and Daniel, a pair of fans seated on the field, decked out in raincoats. The two have been Alabama fans for most of their lives, they said, and they travelled from Alexander City to see the show.

Read more: http://www.gadsdentimes.com/news/20180926/rain-doesnt-dampen-spirits-during-jsu-benefit-concert

Follow-up: Nuclear plant gets go-ahead despite budget overages

ATLANTA — The owners of the last nuclear power plant still under construction in the U.S. say the project will continue after they resolved a disagreement about multibillion-dollar budget overages.

The primary owners, Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, said in a joint statement late Wednesday that they had come to an agreement that “mitigates financial exposure” in construction of the two new reactors at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Georgia.

The project is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

“While there have been and will be challenges throughout this process, we remain committed to a constructive relationship with each other and are focused on reducing project risk and fulfilling our commitment to our customers,” the owners said in a statement.

Read more: https://www.tuscaloosanews.com/news/20180927/nuclear-plant-gets-go-ahead-despite-budget-overages

Earlier thread:
Plant Vogtle expansion faces new pressures, Monday vote on future of last nuclear project in U.S.

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