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Pediatrician kept child porn in locked drawer at Texas hospital, authorities say

A Central Texas pediatrician has been arrested after authorities reported finding child pornography at his office.

John Middlemiss Palmer, 55, faces one count of possession of child pornography and could spend up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted.

The investigation began after child porn was discovered on an online storage account Palmer used, the Texas attorney general's office said in a written statement.

On Wednesday, authorities searched Palmer's office at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children's Hospital in Temple, where he worked as a pediatric pulmonologist.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2018/04/20/texas-pediatrician-kept-child-porn-locked-drawer-hospital-authorities-say

Georgetown park with land donated by millionaire opens in June

The city of Georgetown will celebrate the grand opening of its largest park — with land donated by Jack and Cammy Garey — on June 9.

The 525-acre Garey Park, located along the South San Gabriel River at 6540 RM 2243, is about 1½ times the size of Zilker Park in Austin, said a news release from the city.

Garey and his late first wife announced in 2004 their plans to donate the ranch to be developed into a park. Garey — a millionaire retired from several careers as an attorney, construction company owner and real estate developer — has also contributed $5 million to help with park development.

Georgetown voters approved a bond in 2008 for $10 million for the park’s construction. Amenities will include a playground, a splash pad, a dog park, an equestrian arena, three miles of hiking trails, six miles of equestrian trails, restrooms and pavilions, the release said. They also include the Garey’s Tuscan-style villa which will be used as an events space.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/local/georgetown-park-with-land-donated-millionaire-opens-june/48U68T7UhM15H0PFCKEecK/

Lawsuit challenges residency of Arkansas House hopeful

LITTLE ROCK—A lawsuit has been filed challenging the residency of a Democrat who is seeking a state House of Representatives seat in south-central Arkansas.

Democrat Morgan Wiles is challenging Republican Rep. Richard Womack of Arkadelphia for the House District 18 seat, which covers parts of Clark, Dallas, Garland and Hot Spring counties. A lawsuit filed by Sarah Jo Reynolds, the executive director of the state Republican Party, claims that Wiles has not lived in the district for at least one year prior to the election.

Wiles tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he has provided copies of his lease and utility bills for his residence in Mountain Pine. But the lawsuit claims Wiles' voter registration listed an address in Hot Springs, which is not part of the district.

(short article)

ZTE protests US penalty, says it is seeking solution

BEIJING (AP) — ZTE Corp., one of China's biggest tech companies, warned Friday a ban on access to U.S. technology threatens its survival and said the company is looking for a legal solution.

State-owned ZTE "may enter a state of shock," which will hurt its employees and U.S. suppliers, its chairman said, according to Chinese news reports. A separate company statement said the ban "threatens ZTE's existence."

The ban was imposed Monday in a case involving exports of telecoms equipment to Iran and North Korea. U.S. companies are barred from selling technology to ZTE for seven years.

The penalty comes as tension mounts between Beijing and U.S. President Donald Trump over technology policy, though the case dates to before Trump took office in January 2017.

Read more: http://www.theeagle.com/news/business/zte-protests-us-penalty-says-it-is-seeking-solution/article_95a32d64-2845-545e-a69c-a0a6ddb45a67.html

Ex-Tamaulipas governor extradited to Texas, to be back in federal court Monday

The former governor of Tamaulipas who was captured in Italy last spring has been extradited to the United States to face federal drug trafficking charges, among others.

Mexican media first reported on the extradition of Tomás Yarrington Ruvalcaba, who left Florence, Italy, early Friday morning for Houston, according to the Mexico City newspaper Excélsior. The extradition was later confirmed Friday afternoon by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

Yarrington, 61, who had been in Italian custody since his April 2017 arrest in Florence, arrived in Brownsville early Friday evening, where a federal grand jury indicted him on 11 charges in 2013. These charges included racketeering, international drug trafficking, money laundering, bank fraud and tax evasion.

He is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan in Brownsville on Monday afternoon. The U.S. Marshals Service declined to disclose details of the extradition, citing operational security concerns.

Read more: http://www.themonitor.com/news/state/article_aa76cf2e-44b7-11e8-b014-7fe7b517a0a7.html

Former Cameron County employee sentenced to 50 years for fajita theft

A former Cameron County juvenile detention center employee said he started out stealing small amounts of fajitas bought with county funds, but his scheme soon ballooned, spinning out of control.

“I feel horrible. I wish I could take this back. It was selfish,” 53-year-old Gilberto Escamilla said during his sentencing hearing Friday morning. “It started small and got bigger and out of control. It got to a point where I couldn’t control it anymore.”

Escamilla pleaded guilty Friday to theft by a public servant in front of visiting State District Judge J. Manuel Bañales, who sentenced the man to 50 years in prison. The judge dismissed an additional theft charge after the sentencing.

Members of the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office Special Investigations Unit arrested Escamilla last year after a driver from Labatt Food Service in Harlingen called the detention center’s kitchen to let employees know their 800-pound delivery of fajitas arrived. Minor inmates at the DarrelB.HesterJuvenileDetentionCenter are not served fajitas.

The total value of the fajitas, which were stolen during a nine-year period, was $1,251,578. That figure does not include the brisket, pork chops, sausage and various types of chicken Escamilla also admitted to stealing, court testimony revealed.

Read more: http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_32b24b3d-bea1-5c49-befe-5197fa9970f8.html

Texas governor seeks ruling on when he can call special election for Blake Farenthold seat

AUSTIN — Saying Texans in the Coastal Bend vitally need representation in Congress, Gov. Greg Abbott is seeking a ruling on whether he can suspend certain laws to call a quick special election to fill the vacancy Blake Farenthold left when he resigned this month.

The governor said in a letter dated Thursday to Attorney General Ken Paxton state and federal laws are contradictory and confusing when it comes to filling a congressional vacancy, especially when circumstances require speedy action.

"It is imperative to restore representation for the people of that district as quickly as possible," Abbott said in the letter. "I am acutely concerned about this issue because many of the district's residents are still recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Harvey."

Farenthold, first elected in 2010 to represent Texas' 27th Congressional District, resigned under fire April 6. In December, it was learned that taxpayer money was used to settle a 2014 sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by a former aide. At the time, he promised to repay the treasury, but has not done so.

Read more: https://www.caller.com/story/news/local/texas/state-bureau/2018/04/20/texas-governor-special-election-blake-farentholds-seat/535581002/

Comedy Central roasts Matt Bevin over criticism of KY teachers. And his hairline.

Gov. Matt Bevin got roasted on Comedy Central Wednesday for his criticism of teachers protesting at Kentucky's state Capitol.

On "The Opposition with Jordan Klepper," the host — who plays a self-described "somewhat unhinged conservative talk show host" — pretended he was blasting the teachers who have been protesting in several different states for more school funding, better pay and pension protection.

"Bottom line: We value teachers exactly the right amount, which is to say, not at all," Klepper said in a segment called "Teachers Suck." "And you know who else knows that? Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a man so fearless, even his hair is scared of his face." Klepper showed a picture of Bevin's prominent forehead as the audience laughed. "I'll tell you, a large forehead is a sign of strength and virility! That's a fact!"

"Bevin saw this teachers' strike and said what we were all thinking," Klepper continued.

Read more and watch video here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article209424984.html

Ex-con Don Blankenship responds to 'lies' about him by asking court to invalidate his guilty verdict

Don Blankenship, the convicted former coal baron who is now seeking the Republican nomination in the West Virginia Senate primary, plans to file a motion on Tuesday to try to have a 2015 guilty verdict against him invalidated, even though he lost a similar bid last October to have the Supreme Court review the conviction.

Blankenship is currently on probation after serving one year in federal prison for conspiring to violate mine safety standards. In a press release published Monday announcing the pending motion to overturn the guilty verdict, Blankenship’s campaign website states: “Lies about Don do not serve any good for West Virginia or its miners.”

Blankenship, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run against Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), said in the statement that there is no way to predict the timing of any decision in response to his request to have the verdict “invalidated.” But the former Massey Energy CEO said his attorneys tell him that they expect the case will likely be “nullified or dismissed.”

A successful bid to get the guilty verdict nullified or dismissed could help Blankenship’s chances in a general election against Manchin if he wins the Republican primary.

Read more: https://thinkprogress.org/coal-baron-don-blankenship-seeks-to-overturn-conviction-b6df27564654/

Kentucky Retirement Systems ignored adviser's warning to avoid risky hedge funds, suit says

Frankfort -- Kentucky Retirement Systems lost public money on more than $1.5 billion in hedge fund investments in recent years, although its own advisers privately urged the agency to stay away from such “unacceptable risks,” according to new claims in a lawsuit brought by eight public employees.

“KRS is in crisis,” Louisville attorney Ann Oldfather wrote in a memo filed Friday in Franklin Circuit Court. “In the limited discovery plaintiffs have obtained thus far, it is becoming clear why. It is apparent now the current crisis could have been avoided had this information been made public earlier.”

Oldfather’s clients are suing several major investment firms — KKR & Co., Prisma Capital Partners, The Blackstone Group and Pacific Alternative Asset Management — to recover what KRS lost on hedge fund investments and management fees to those firms, plus damages. Also named as defendants are a number of past and present KRS trustees and executives.

The KRS Board of Trustees is debating whether to join the suit as a co-plaintiff. The firms are asking Judge Phillip Shepherd for a protective order keeping much of the information in the case confidential, something the public employees are opposing by arguing that Kentucky taxpayers have a right to know what happened at the publicly funded KRS.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article209128059.html
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