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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
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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

Accused Lumberton booster embezzler tells judge she is indigent

The Lumberton Band Booster Club treasurer who was arrested in December on an embezzlement charge made a court appearance on Wednesday morning in Hardin County.

Helen Cox, who is accused of gambling away more than $70,000 of the club's money at four casinos in five months, said in an affidavit that she is indigent and would need a court-appointed attorney.

Cox, 46, declined to comment after the court proceedings.


Police Chief Danny Sullins said in December that Cox began stealing from the club on June 6 and used the money primarily at the Golden Nugget Casino in Lake Charles and other casinos in Mississippi and Alabama. The thefts began one week after Cox was elected treasurer and given access to the club's accounts and debit card.

Read more: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Lumberton-booster-tells-judge-she-is-indigent-11036062.php

Hardin County woman accused of stealing $79,000 from her church

A Hardin County woman has been charged with a second degree felony of theft after confessing to stealing $79,000 from a Kountze church.

Gerralyn "Gerry" Michelle Coplen, 43, confessed last August to writing herself personal checks from the Kountze First Methodist Church, where she served as secretary, over a two year period, according to an affidavit released by the Texas Rangers earlier this month.

She said she used the funds to pay personal debts.

Coplen was arrested and booked into the Hardin County jail on March 9. She was released after posting a $25,000 bond.


West Orange-Cove investigating teacher for allegedly taping student to chair

A West Orange-Cove CISD teacher accused of taping a student to a chair is on administrative leave pending an investigation, the district said.

"Because this is a personnel matter, we are not able to share any further information," spokeswoman Lorraine Shannon said in a statement.

"At West Orange-Cove CISD, the safety of our students is our priority," she said.


Bell Helicopter ordered to pay $8.8 million to former engineer exposed to asbestos

A Dallas jury awarded $8.8 million to the family of a former Bell Helicopter employee who died from mesothelioma tied to workplace asbestos exposure.

Billy Dickson was routinely exposed to asbestos during his 38 years as a mechanical engineer at Bell’s plant in Hurst, according to the suit. Dickson died from mesothelioma, a type of cancer often linked to asbestos exposure, at the age of 74 in 2013.

The prosecution claimed that Bell knew it was exposing workers to dangerous asbestos levels in 1955, including levels up to 200 times the government-approved threshold, but failed to act until the 1970s. Dickson began working at the plant in 1963.


Officials: Callers saw truck swerving before Texas crash killing 13

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (AP) — Law enforcement officials from two departments say they received phone calls about a pickup driving erratically shortly before a collision between a truck and church bus in southwest Texas that killed 13 people returning from a retreat {near Leakey}.

One man called the dispatch line just past noon Wednesday to report that a white Dodge pickup was swerving on the road, Uvalde police Lt. Daniel Rodriguez said Thursday.

"The caller) was scared (the pickup driver) was going to cause an accident and asked us to send deputies," Rodriguez said. "Deputies were dispatched, but before they could reach the area, the same caller called 911 to report that the truck had been in an accident."

Dispatchers in Real County received a call from a woman who reported a truck was driving erratically on U.S. 83, county Constable Nathan Johnson said. Real County officials called Uvalde County officials to coordinate a response to send deputies. Then, the woman called back and said the truck that had been driving erratically had struck another vehicle before reaching Real County, Johnson said.

Read more: http://www.reporternews.com/story/news/local/texas/2017/03/30/officials-callers-saw-truck-swerving-before-texas-crash/99849578/

ETA: The driver of the truck survived the wreck.

Bethel protests 2 more liquor store applications

BETHEL (AP) — Two more businesses in Bethel will not yet have the opportunity to open up liquor stores after city officials protested their applications.

The City Council on Tuesday issued protests against proposals to open liquor stores from Steve Chung and the Alaska Commercial Company, KYUK-AM reported.

Council members said Chung’s proposal to convert his auto shop into Tundra Liquor Cache could increase traffic in the area. The site has also not received the required permit to open a liquor store, although the city Planning Commission is meeting Thursday to consider issuing the permit.

Chung’s proposal was protested despite him urging the council to approve his application because of his ties to the Bethel area.

Read more: http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2017-03-30/bethel-protests-2-more-liquor-store-applications

Legislative inaction on Real ID could be a real problem for Alaskans who travel or work on military

Legislative inaction on Real ID could be a real problem for Alaskans who travel or work on military bases

JUNEAU — A state-federal showdown over official identification appears increasingly likely to cause problems for Alaskans, whose driver's licenses could be rejected by airport security as soon as January without legislative action this year.

Alaska has an exemption from enforcement of the federal Real ID Act through June 6. After that, Alaskans' driver's licenses won't be enough to access military bases and other federal facilities — with the same restrictions kicking in at airports Jan. 18.

Alaskans would have to use another form of ID instead, like a passport.

Gov. Bill Walker this week has been pushing lawmakers to advance his bill bringing the state in line with Real ID's standards. But Alaska lawmakers from both parties have balked at it, arguing that its record-keeping and collection requirements enable the growth of the "surveillance state."

Read more: https://www.adn.com/politics/legislature/2017/03/23/legislative-inaction-on-real-id-could-be-real-problem-for-alaskans-who-travel-or-work-on-bases/

Ad campaign targets lawmakers as battle over income tax heats up

JUNEAU — A revised version of the Alaska House's income tax proposal is drawing new attacks from Republicans and the state's business community, with the state chamber of commerce launching an ad campaign against the legislation.

Leaders of the House majority coalition who drafted the tax bill say it would fill a deficit that would still be more than $500 million even after adopting a state Senate proposal to restructure the Permanent Fund and slice dividends in half.

But chamber officials argue that the impact of the income tax proposal — which includes a new tax on trusts and estates — would hurt businesses badly enough that they'd rather hold out for deeper spending cuts and a potential rebound in the price of oil, which could help fill Alaska's deficit.

"We want to see budget cuts," said Curtis Thayer, the head of the chamber. If the price of oil rises enough, he added: "We're out of a problem."

Read more: https://www.adn.com/politics/alaska-legislature/2017/03/29/alaskas-income-tax-fight-heats-up-with-attack-ads-from-state-chamber/

Ruling: State not bound to protect property from wildfires

PHOENIX (AP) — A court ruling in lawsuits stemming from a fire that devastated a rural Arizona community and killed 19 elite firefighters says the state doesn't have a legal duty to protect property from naturally caused wildfires.

In fact, the Arizona Court of Appeals said Thursday, finding that the state's firefighting efforts include a duty to protect private property would require the state to act as an insurer and could cause "perverse incentives" prompting public officials to try to shield the state from liability by simply doing nothing to fight wildfires.

"Such a result is contrary to the overriding needs of the public," Judge Kent Cattani wrote in the ruling by a three-judge panel.

The Court of Appeals ruling upheld a trial judge's dismissal of two suits filed against the state and its forestry division by homeowners whose property was destroyed.

Read more: http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/ruling-state-not-bound-to-protect-property-from-wildfires/article_52c9b506-15a2-11e7-a371-9b7a01c401ed.html

Alaska lawmakers are inching toward overtime again. Is the 90-day limit defunct?

JUNEAU — Amid widely diverging opinions in the Capitol about the proper length of the legislative session, most lawmakers seem to agree that the state's budget crisis has stretched the 90-day limit to its breaking point.

"The 90-day session is the law of the land," House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, said in an interview Monday. "But this session, we have extraordinary challenges in front of us that I think the public deserves the Legislature to take a very deliberative approach to."

In other words: "It seems more likely than not that we would go past the 90-day session at this point."

Three weeks before their deadline, lawmakers are beginning to acknowledge the obvious — they're unlikely to leave April 16, the 90th day. It's a concession that comes after two straight years in which the Legislature took months of extra time to finish its work.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/politics/alaska-legislature/2017/03/28/alaska-lawmakers-are-inching-toward-overtime-again-so-is-their-90-day-limit-defunct/
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