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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 73,083

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

New Mexico must shore up budgets, state senator warns

SANTA FE – The state Senate’s financial guru says New Mexico’s finances are “in crisis,” and he is prodding the governor and legislative leaders to start planning for a special session to fill holes in the state budget before they get any deeper.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, said Thursday that the state is facing a deficit of more than $150 million for the budget year that ended June 30, along with prospects of a shortfall in the new budget year of between $300 million and $500 million.

Smith has urged Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to talk to legislative leaders to begin to outline solutions.

He suggests holding a special session as soon as August.

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/812585/nm-must-fix-budgets-state-senator-warns.html

Woman given body cavity searches at border settles case for $475K



ALBUQUERQUE — U.S. Customs and Border Protection agreed to pay $475,000 to a New Mexico woman who accused agents of forcing her to undergo body cavity probes and then got charged for the exams, civil liberties advocates said Thursday.

The settlement in the case, which drew national attention three years ago, also will require new training for hundreds of customs officers, American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in Texas and New Mexico said.

The woman, a 54-year-old U.S. citizen, was “brutally” searched by agents in December 2012 after a drug-sniffing dog jumped on her at an El Paso checkpoint, according to a 2013 lawsuit. The woman, who was not named, was returning from a visit with a recently deported family friend in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico.

Agents strip-searched her and did cavity searches but found no evidence of drugs, court documents said.

Read more: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/woman-given-body-cavity-searches-at-border-settles-case-for/article_d3c69c35-0477-50cc-8b1c-bc78805aa5e2.html

Texas A&M gets $2.8 million grant to research critical health issues facing rural America

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Texas A&M Southwest Rural Health Research Center at the Texas A&M School of Public Health was awarded a 4-year, $2.8 million grant as one of seven cooperative research center agreements funded nationally by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to research critical health issues facing rural populations in the nation.

The center will be addressing, among other things, the effects of the Affordable Care Act ating areas on the rural health insurance marketplace; rural prescription drug (opioid) use and abuse, including behavioral health consequences; rural health information technology (HIT) and eHealth; maternal, child and infant poverty and rural-urban health disparities in breastfeeding; and rural environmental health contaminants and exposures in children.

The center is the home of Rural Healthy People 2010 and during this past year,released the much-anticipated update Rural Healthy People 2020, a companion document to Healthy People 2020. To receive a free electronic or hardcopy version, visit sph.tamhsc.edu/srhrc/.

Read more: http://www.ardmoreite.com/news/20160721/texas-am-gets-28-million-grant-to-research-critical-health-issues-facing-rural-america

Violent arrest of black Austin schoolteacher caught on video

Officials are investigating an Austin police officer’s violent arrest of an African-American elementary school teacher who was twice thrown to the ground during a traffic stop for speeding and comments by a second officer who told her police are sometimes wary of blacks because of their “violent tendencies.”

Video from the previously unreported June 2015 incident was obtained by the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV this week. The video shows the traffic stop escalating rapidly in the seven seconds from when officer Bryan Richter, who is white, first gives a command to 26-year-old Breaion King to close her car door to when he forcibly removes her from the driver’s seat, pulls her across a vacant parking space and hurls her to the asphalt.

Richter wrote in his report of the incident that he acted quickly because King demonstrated an “uncooperative attitude” and was “reaching for the front passenger side of the vehicle.” He didn’t know whether she had a weapon, he wrote. He said King resisted by pulling away from him and wrapping her hands and arms around the steering wheel.

Police charged King with resisting arrest, but the Travis County attorney dismissed the case after reviewing the police dashcam video.

RAW VIDEO: Click to see police video of Breaion King’s arrest
(video file type not supported on DU)

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/local/violent-arrest-of-teacher-caught-on-video-officers/nr3W6/?icmp=statesman_internallink_referralbox_free-to-premium-referral

State moves to shut down virtual charter school

Oklahoma education officials are taking their first action ever to shut down a virtual charter school, but the school is fighting the effort.

The five-member Statewide Virtual Charter School Board, the sole authorizer and sponsor of online charter schools, has moved to terminate its contract with ABLE Charter School for noncompliance with the law. ABLE, whose offices are in Oklahoma City, is the newest and smallest of five virtual charter schools in Oklahoma.

The board voted May 10 to terminate the contract based on a report from Executive Director Rebecca Wilkinson, who voiced a number of concerns with the school. Those concerns include inadequate financial reporting, failure to comply with the Open Meeting Act, inability to maintain a four-member governing board and inadequate organization.

ABLE Charter School’s superintendent, Kenneth Kuczynski, said he feels the termination proceedings are unwarranted given that the school is in its first year, serving sixth through twelth-graders.

Read more: http://www.theadanews.com/news/local_news/state-moves-to-shut-down-virtual-charter-school/article_e106edd1-8414-5d55-b3b0-66e1249f9bc1.html

Lawsuit seeks to halt November vote on Oklahoma grocery store wine sales

The Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma asked a judge Wednesday to block a November public vote on whether to allow supermarkets and convenience stores to sell wine and strong beer in Oklahoma.

"State Question 792 is unconstitutional because it denies to certain persons equal protection under the law," the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit, filed in Oklahoma County District Court, claims changes proposed in Oklahoma's alcoholic beverage laws would treat holders of liquor licenses less favorably than supermarket and convenience store operators.

The ballot measure would limit liquor store owners to two retail spirits licenses, but would allow supermarkets and convenience stores to obtain retail wine licenses and beer licenses "without limitation on number by retail locations," the lawsuit states.

Read more: http://newsok.com/lawsuit-seeks-to-halt-november-vote-on-oklahoma-grocery-store-wine-sales/article/5510473

Lawsuit seeks to halt November vote on Oklahoma grocery store wine sales

The Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma asked a judge Wednesday to block a November public vote on whether to allow supermarkets and convenience stores to sell wine and strong beer in Oklahoma.

"State Question 792 is unconstitutional because it denies to certain persons equal protection under the law," the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit, filed in Oklahoma County District Court, claims changes proposed in Oklahoma's alcoholic beverage laws would treat holders of liquor licenses less favorably than supermarket and convenience store operators.

The ballot measure would limit liquor store owners to two retail spirits licenses, but would allow supermarkets and convenience stores to obtain retail wine licenses and beer licenses "without limitation on number by retail locations," the lawsuit states.

Read more: http://newsok.com/lawsuit-seeks-to-halt-november-vote-on-oklahoma-grocery-store-wine-sales/article/5510473

Fallin says Trump can unite a divided and fearful country

CLEVELAND — Depicting Americans as divided and afraid, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said here Thursday Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump “will get this country on the right track.”

“We must make America one again and restore confidence in the strength of our nation,” Fallin said in a speech at the Republican National Convention.

The second-term governor spoke in prime time for a third consecutive national convention, though this was her first to speak on the final night.

Her speech touched on the racial and gender divides of her childhood in Tecumseh.

Read more: http://newsok.com/fallin-says-trump-can-unite-a-divided-and-fearful-country/article/5510606

Louisiana Senate race for Vitter's seat balloons to 21

Louisiana election officers are going to need bigger voting machines this fall if the U.S. Senate race keeps this pace up.

Six more candidates on Thursday joined the already crowded field jockeying to replace retiring Sen. David Vitter. That brings the total to 21 with one day left in the three-day qualifying period.

Most of the big names who have been campaigning for weeks signed up Wednesday, including U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, and John Fleming, R-Minden, Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, a Democrat, and New Orleans lawyer Caroline Fayard, also a Democrat. Former New Orleans congressman Joseph Cao, a Republican, also joined the race.

One notable absence: Retired Col. Rob Maness, R-Madisonville, who is attending the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He has said he will qualify Friday.

Read more: http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/07/louisiana_senate_race_for_vitt.html

Governor's office trims budget without layoffs

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' office pared back its expenses by about $1 million without people losing their jobs, his spokesman Richard Carbo has confirmed.

News of the looming cuts to the governor's office spread earlier this month after the new state budget cycle went into effect July 1.

While layoffs were initially a possibility, Carbo said that cuts were made to contracts for legal and information technology services and by eliminating seven positions that had not been filled since the change in administrations.

"Our plan was to try to avoid any pain it may cause on the staff level early on," Carbo said.

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/article_731acd78-4eaa-11e6-b39f-2f9aea102218.html
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