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Profile Information

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

Hundreds turn out for Beto O'Rourke's town hall in Navasota

An enthusiastic crowd of hundreds filled VFW Post No. 4006 in Navasota and spilled outside for U.S. Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke's campaign town hall meeting on Saturday.

O'Rourke, who is hoping to defeat incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz in November's election, has been steadily making his way across the state and has visited all 254 counties, taking questions from voters.

"This is not surprising, to see so many people turn out," said Texas Supreme Court justice candidate Kathy Cheng, who had attended the meeting. "My understanding is that [several hundred] people were here today. That's a pretty good turnout for Navasota. And it's not surprising to see voter turnout from all parties. That's what's so great about the campaign; he's got Republicans and Democrats turning out."

O'Rourke covered a wide variety of topics in his discussion, first giving a short speech and then taking questions and comments from those in the audience. He spoke of widespread educational needs, treatment of veterans by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, health care changes, reform in the criminal justice system and more. The crowd applauded when O'Rourke responded to a question about Social Security with nearly two minutes of Spanish after the questioner said she did not speak fluent English.

Read more: https://www.theeagle.com/news/local/hundreds-turn-out-for-beto-o-rourke-s-town-hall/article_2a46d8b5-60b6-5e18-a34f-132b01430c83.html

When was the last time that Ted Cruz spoken in Spanish for two minutes?
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat Sep 1, 2018, 04:13 AM (3 replies)

Texas town is scrutinized over blocking Muslim cemetery plan

FARMERSVILLE, Texas—Federal officials are investigating whether a Texas town violated the law by halting a religious association's plans to build a Muslim cemetery.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the Farmersville City Council unanimously voted this week to
enter negotiations to reach a potential settlement that would allow the cemetery to proceed and avoid a lawsuit.

The Islamic Association of Collin County announced in July 2015 that it planned to create a graveyard on the land it bought in the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction. But the City Council denied the organization's preliminary plan last summer.

The city says the U.S. Attorney General's Office "has approved the filing of a lawsuit against the city under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act." The act aims to stop local municipalities from discriminating against land use decisions.

(brief article)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat Sep 1, 2018, 04:01 AM (0 replies)

Different judge sought in Arkansas Medicaid lawsuit

LITTLE ROCK— U.S. Department of Justice attorneys want a different judge to deciding a lawsuit challenging a work requirement for Arkansas' Medicaid program.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that a filing on Tuesday asks U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, who decided a similar lawsuit in Kentucky, to turn down the assignment and have a judge chosen at random

The filing says the Arkansas case is related to the Kentucky case. Boasberg ruled in June that Kentucky's work requirement violates law because it doesn't consider how it would affect providing health coverage, which he said is the intent of the Medicaid program.

Both cases were filed in Washington, D.C., by the National Health Law Program and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Jonesboro-based Legal Aid of Arkansas is helping with the Arkansas case.

Read more: http://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/arkansas/story/2018/aug/31/different-judge-sought-arkansas-medicaid-lawsuit/741212/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat Sep 1, 2018, 03:45 AM (0 replies)

Arkansas governor's nephew leaves state Senate amid charges

LITTLE ROCK—A nephew of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson resigned from the state Senate on Friday after being charged with spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds on personal expenses, including a Caribbean cruise, tuition payments and groceries, prosecutors announced Friday.

Former state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, a Republican who wasn't seeking re-election, is charged with eight counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns. Federal prosecutors allege that from 2010 through 2017, he used campaign money to pay for personal expenses that also included Netflix fees, jewelry, a gym membership and his utility bills. They say he tried to hide it by falsifying campaign finance reports and tax filings.

Hutchinson, who is due in court Sept. 18, issued a statement saying he will fight the charges.

"I do not agree with decisions that have led us to this place, but I am powerless to control those decisions. However, I continue to believe in our system of justice and will trust that it will produce a fair and just result in this case," he said.

Read more: http://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/arkansas/story/2018/sep/01/arkansas-governors-nephew-leaves-state-senate-amid-charges/741364/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat Sep 1, 2018, 03:16 AM (0 replies)

Task force finds meth in former Mexican cop's car

GEORGE WEST – A former Mexican police officer, whom officials say was smuggling drugs to Houston when he was intercepted in Live Oak County, is awaiting his appearance before a federal magistrate judge.

Agents from the Kingsville-based South Texas Specialzed Crimes and Narcotics Task Force and personnel from the Live Oak County Sheriff’s Office, George West Police Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection worked together in the arrest of Felix Guadalupe Lizcano-Villa folllowing a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 59 near George West. Lizcano-Villa, whom officials said told officers that he previously served 11 years as a state police officer in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, was driving a rented Kia Forte.

In the trunk of the vehicle, officers found a Rubbermaid cooler filled with beer and ice. However, within the insulation material in the cooler’s walls were six tightly wrapped bundles of methamphetamine, which sheriff’s Investigator Lance Rathke said were concealed with grease and soap. The total weight of the methamphetamine, which is believed to have originated in Mexico, was 24.095 pounds.

On the streets of Houston, task force Senior Special Agent Jason McGee said that quantity of methamphetamine could fetch $163,935.

Read more: https://www.mysoutex.com/the_progress/news/task-force-finds-meth-in-former-mexican-cop-s-car/article_4ca79a3c-ab0e-11e8-b9a3-c789f3f6d76b.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat Sep 1, 2018, 03:09 AM (0 replies)

Court upholds Texas high schools' right to add Bible verses to cheer signs

Kountze cheerleaders who sued their school district six years ago over religious scripture on spirit banners “won the final battle in Texas” on Friday, their attorneys said, praising the state’s highest court for upholding a ruling that said their signs were private speech.

The Supreme Court of Texas declined to review a Beaumont appeals court’s September ruling in favor of the cheerleaders, who sued after they were banned from quoting Bible verses on the paper signs that football players run through to start games.

David Starnes left his Beaumont law office in September 2012, heading to Kountze for what he thought would be a half-hour hearing on behalf of seven cheerleaders where he would “work things out” with Kountze ISD “and be done with this deal.”

Six years later, litigation at the state level appears to be over. Kountze had sought a review of the lower court’s ruling forcing school districts to choose between conflicting interpretations of the First Amendment.

Read more: https://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Court-upholds-Texas-high-schools-right-to-add-13197736.php
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat Sep 1, 2018, 02:40 AM (4 replies)

Dallas man defrauded children's nutrition program out of $2.5 million, authorities say

A federal grand jury has indicted a Dallas man who authorities say fraudulently took millions of dollars from a program intended to serve meals to children in low-income areas when school is not in session.

Michael Anthony Munson, 42, submitted reimbursement claims for 1.4 million meals he never served to recipients of the Summer Food Service Program from 2011 to 2014, according to officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FBI.

Munson is accused of paying another person to fake invoices for milk, juice and food from "Janus Wholesale Food Inc." to maintain the scheme. That person, whose name was not released, opened a bank account in Janus' name with a fake IRS Employer Identification Number and falsified documents that claimed Janus employees were doing business with Munson, authorities said.

Munson founded the Dallas-based Heloise Munson Foundation, which "passionately pursues a hunger free and healthy community by establishing free feeding sites and providing the community with programs promoting overall health and well being," according to its Facebook page. The foundation was the summer food service program sponsor for dozens of locations in the Dallas-area.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2018/08/31/dallas-man-stole-25-million-low-income-childrens-nutrition-program-officials-say

Texas teachers unions sue education agency over charter partnership law

By Aliyya Swaby, Texas Tribune

Two teacher associations sued Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath and the Texas Education Agency on Wednesday, arguing they rolled out a law incentivizing partnerships with school districts and charter schools in a way that weakened protections for public school employees.

The lawsuit, filed in Travis County District Court, centers on Senate Bill 1882, which lets traditional school districts partner with outside organizations — including charter schools and nonprofit organizations — to turn around low-performing schools and receive a temporary reprieve from harsh state penalties and gain additional state funding.

The Texas State Teachers Association and the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, a national teachers union, argue in the suit that Morath exceeded his authority in releasing schools seeking partnerships from existing state regulations — harming teachers who benefit from those rights.

"Contrary to legislative intent ... the Commissioner's rules challenged in this lawsuit reduces the number and type of charter operators that must abide by the rules that were put in place to protect public school employees in SB 1882 charter schools and relaxes the requirements that the school district and charter operator need to satisfy before they can qualify for the benefits available under the law," the lawsuit reads.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/08/29/texas-teachers-unions-sue-education-agency-over-charter-partnership-la/

Texas says it won't fund education for children in shelters

By Ted Armus, Texas Tribune

Texas’ top education officials told school district administrators Friday that they cannot use state funding to provide schooling for children housed in migrant shelters.

The announcement — issued in a letter sent to all school superintendents statewide — has raised concerns for both shelters and school districts, whose leaders say it highlights a broader pattern of push-and-pull between the state and federal government over regulating shelters.

Leo Lopez, the Texas Education Agency’s associate administrator for school funding, said in the letter that according to state law, Texas public schools can only fund education in shelters — where children are held by federal agencies — through external sources like tuition.

DeEtta Culbertson, a spokesperson for the agency, said in a statement that the responsibility of educating children in shelters “remains solely with the federal government.”

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/08/31/texas-education-agency-children-migrant-shelters/
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