Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


TexasTowelie's Journal
TexasTowelie's Journal
October 1, 2020

Man charged with driving truck toward Virginia Beach protesters arrested in Florida after missing

Man charged with driving truck toward Virginia Beach protesters arrested in Florida after missing court date

A Chesapeake man accused of driving his truck toward a group of protesters at the Oceanfront in May was arrested Wednesday night in Florida.

The arrest came a little over a week after a Virginia Beach General District Court judge issued a warrant for 20-year-old Emanuel “Manny” Wilder when he failed to show up for his trial for a second time.

Lake City police officers stopped Wilder on Wednesday night because he matched the description of a person they were looking for in connection with a battery investigation, Greg Burnsed, a spokesperson for the police department said in an email.

Wilder was not the person Lake City police were looking for, but when an officer ran his name they found his Virginia Beach warrant, Burnsed said.

Read more: https://www.pilotonline.com/news/crime/vp-nw-emanuel-wilder-arrested-florida-20201001-m46pkua6mbdx3dtihoczyktzrq-story.html
October 1, 2020

Push to bring coronavirus vaccines to the poor faces trouble

LONDON (AP) — An ambitious humanitarian project to deliver coronavirus vaccines to the world's poorest people is facing potential shortages of money, cargo planes, refrigeration and vaccines themselves — and is running into skepticism even from some of those it's intended to help most.

In one of the biggest obstacles, rich countries have locked up most of the world’s potential vaccine supply through 2021, and the U.S. and others have refused to join the project, called Covax.

“The supply of vaccines is not going to be there in the near term, and the money also isn’t there,” warned Rohit Malpani, a public health consultant who previously worked for Doctors Without Borders.

Covax was conceived as a way of giving countries access to coronavirus vaccines regardless of their wealth.

Read more: https://roanoke.com/news/world/push-to-bring-coronavirus-vaccines-to-the-poor-faces-trouble/article_e9f04965-13f7-5221-8a71-0cce8533caed.html

October 1, 2020

Charlottesville to seek proposals to remove Lewis-Clark-Sacagawea statue

Charlottesville plans to seek proposals to remove the West Main Street statue commemorating the Lewis and Clark expedition.

City Council discussed the statue in a larger work session about the West Main Streetscape project on Wednesday.

The statue depicts explorers Meriwether Lewis, who was born in Albemarle County, and William Clark, accompanied by Shoshone interpreter Sacagawea.

Native Americans have described its depiction of Sacagawea in a crouching, subordinate position, as defensive while others claim she is tracking.

Read more: https://roanoke.com/news/state-and-regional/charlottesville-to-seek-proposals-to-remove-lewis-clark-sacagawea-statue/article_93f7c1a7-f626-5d59-a49b-0820b5ef6725.html

October 1, 2020

Lawsuits challenge Virginia's sexual orientation protections

FALLS CHURCH — A conservative legal group has filed lawsuits challenging a new Virginia law that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The lawsuits filed this week in state and federal court by Alliance Defending Freedom argue that the new law infringes on their clients' religious freedoms.

In one case, a northern Virginia photographer filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Alexandria alleging that the law will compel him to photograph same-sex weddings in violation of his religious beliefs.

A second suit filed in Loudoun County Circuit Court says that the law will compel a nondenominational church to hire people who violate the church's beliefs against same-sex marriage and choosing a gender identity that differs from their biological sex.

Read more: https://roanoke.com/news/state-and-regional/lawsuits-challenge-virginias-sexual-orientation-protections/article_911b2df6-19d2-54b1-af1b-f885426323b2.html

October 1, 2020

Enrollment at Virginia colleges dipped only 1% this semester, avoiding disaster

The number of students enrolled in colleges throughout Virginia has declined 1.3% this year, which amounts to a large sigh of relief for university and state leaders, who feared a drop of as much as 20% because of the coronavirus pandemic. Low-income students account for a large cross section of enrollment losses.

There are 6,658 fewer students at Virginia’s public and private institutions of higher education this fall, according to colleges’ estimated figures that the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia released Tuesday. The largest drop was at community colleges, where enrollment sank an unexpected 10%. Enrollment at public four-year schools was essentially flat, and private schools saw an increase thanks to large gains made by Liberty University.

Colleges’ ability to attract almost as many students despite the pandemic that upended their educational and community models illustrates their durability in the face of many challenges.

“It’s still the best and most predictable pathway to a middle-class-or-above lifestyle,” said Tod Massa, policy analytics director for SCHEV.

Read more: https://roanoke.com/news/local/education/enrollment-at-virginia-colleges-dipped-only-1-this-semester-avoiding-disaster/article_cc3d40cd-045e-5698-b871-462c36c77497.html

October 1, 2020

Liberty pays severance owed to Falwell; further payment under dispute

Liberty University on Tuesday paid former President Jerry Falwell, Jr. the severance owed under his employment agreement, according to a statement from the university.

The university said Falwell is entitled to two years of his base salary and accrued retirement benefits, which likely totals more than $2 million, according to tax records and past statements by Falwell.

But Falwell, who resigned last month after a series of personal scandals, previously has said his contract entitles him to $10.5 million because the university board placed him on leave without cause, a violation of his employment agreement.

Falwell told several media outlets after his resignation the school owes him $2.5 million over 24 months — the equivalent of two years’ pay — and a lump-sum payment of $8 million after two years.

Read more: https://roanoke.com/news/local/education/liberty-pays-severance-owed-to-falwell-further-payment-under-dispute/article_fd49857a-2635-53eb-9200-d9b725f5b953.html

October 1, 2020

Gov. Northam among 12 governors vowing to count votes, protect democracy

RICHMOND — A coalition of 12 governors, including Gov. Ralph Northam, issued a joint statement Wednesday defending American democracy and the election process.

The governors vowed to protect the people of their states and affirmed that all votes will be counted accurately.

"That means all valid ballots cast in accordance with state and local laws must be counted, and that all states must properly appoint electors in accordance with the vote," the statement said. "We will not allow anyone to willfully corrupt the democratic process by delegitimizing."

The joint statement was issued in response to "recent threats to the democratic process and reports of efforts to circumvent the election results." A press release from the governor's office linked to articles outlining President Donald Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

Read more: https://www.newsleader.com/story/news/2020/10/01/virginia-gov-northam-among-12-leaders-vowing-count-votes-protect-democracy/5876388002/
(Staunton News Leader)

October 1, 2020

Virginia lawmakers warn of 'deteriorating' conditions in two federal prisons as COVID-19 spreads

WASHINGTON — Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation from both political parties are pressing the U.S. Department of Justice’s internal watchdogs to include two state correctional facilities in the agency’s ongoing inspections during the pandemic.

In a Sept. 24 letter to DOJ’s Inspector General, the lawmakers raised concerns about unsafe health and safety procedures, COVID-19 outbreaks and shortages of personal protective equipment for staff and incarcerated individuals.

The two facilities that lawmakers want included in virtual inspections are the Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg and United States Penitentiary Lee.

“Our offices have received numerous reports from employees and families of incarcerated individuals regarding the spread of COVID-19 and allegations of deteriorating health and safety conditions within both facilities,” the Virginia lawmakers wrote to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Read more: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/09/29/virginia-lawmakers-warn-of-deteriorating-conditions-in-two-federal-prisons-as-covid-19-spreads/

October 1, 2020

Henrico yanks funding for police oversight job after prosecutor hires Black Lives Matter supporter

Henrico County leaders quietly quashed plans to hire a prosecutor dedicated to investigating complaints of police misconduct after learning earlier this month the lawyer selected for the job made frequent social media posts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

The new position would have been the first of its kind in the state, according to Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor, an independently elected constitutional officer who said she was aware of the posts and saw nothing disqualifying about them when she extended the job offer to Misty Whitehead, an Army veteran who has been practicing law in the county for 13 years.

But in an unusual turn of events, Taylor was effectively overruled by County Manager John Vithoulkas, who has no formal say in hiring decisions in the prosecutor’s office but froze county funding for the position when he was alerted to Whitehead’s public postings on Facebook, where she wrote about the need for police reform, praised departments working to build bridges with activists and offered sharp criticism for departments resisting change.

“When I saw what I saw I immediately thought, you know, this is not what Shannon Taylor and I discussed,” Vithoulkas said, calling the writings a clear indication of anti-police bias. “A county manager can’t tell a commonwealth’s attorney who to hire, but he can recommend whether or not local funds are included to supplement that salary. And in this case, I absolutely will not do it under any circumstances.”

Read more: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/09/30/henrico-yanks-funding-for-police-oversight-job-after-prosecutor-hires-black-lives-matter-supporter/

October 1, 2020

Laredo eye doctor pays over $3M to resolve fraud claims

A Laredo optometrist has paid more than $3.2 million to resolve allegations of Medicare fraud claims for unnecessary tests and procedures, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. David Mora owns Mora Eye Clinic. A proactive analysis of claims data revealed that Mora was one of the most significant statistical outliers in the nation for certain categories of claims, authorities said.

Mora allegedly billed Medicare for medically unnecessary punctal plug insertion, sensorimotor testing, vision therapy/orthoptics and amniotic membrane placement from Jan. 1, 2013, to June 14, 2019.

Fraudulent claims added up to $3,234,900.50, authorities said.

“Medical need did not appear to support many of the claims. The patient’s condition did not warrant the service or test or many treatments were repeated on the same patient more often than what would be medically reasonable or necessary,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Read more: https://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/Laredo-eye-doctor-pays-over-3M-to-resolve-fraud-15606837.php
(Laredo Morning Times)

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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 107,719

About TexasTowelie

Retired/disabled 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 Entries

Latest Discussions»TexasTowelie's Journal