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Current location: Red Hell Texas
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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

Louisiana leaders weigh possible short-term loan to shore up cash flow

Louisiana leaders are developing a game plan just in case the state starts to experience cash flow problems in the coming months.

The State Bond Commission on Thursday agreed to give staff the authority to develop a short-term borrowing plan that could be implemented if the state isn't able to keep up with its bills. A final decision won't be made until August, when leaders are expected to have a clearer picture of the pace of revenue.

State Treasurer John Kennedy said the state's expenses and its cash intake timelines don't match up. Most of the state's money comes in during the second half of the fiscal year, while expenses are often "front-loaded," he said.

"This is the cash flow problem," he said.

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/article_01f00e76-4f75-11e6-ad50-37ed49cb2374.html

New Orleans finalizes $1.2 billion FEMA settlement for infrastructure repairs

More than a decade after Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans has announced a $1.2 billion agreement with federal authorities to repair roads and underground sewer, water and drainage structures.

City officials joined Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate to announce the agreement Thursday (July 21).

Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the settlement follows long discussions on what damage was attributable to the 2005 storm and what existed beforehand. Landrieu said the $1.2 billion settlement brings the total amount of new infrastructure repair funding secured by his administration to more than $2 billion. Landrieu took office in 2010.

Landrieu said that money, plus about $1 billion from increased sewer and water fees, covers about a third of the more than $9 billion needed to repair city roads and underground infrastructure.


State Supreme Court won’t reconsider ruling on execution law

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday denied a request from a group of condemned inmates to reconsider its recent decision upholding the state’s lethal-injection law.

But the court also granted a motion by the inmates to stay their executions so they can have time to pursue an appeal to U.S. Supreme Court.

In a one-page order, the state Supreme Court denied a petition for rehearing in the inmates’ challenge to the lethal-injection law. Justices Paul Danielson, Josephine Hart and Robin Wynne would have granted a rehearing — the same three justices who dissented from the court’s June 23 decision rejecting the inmates’ challenge to the law.

The eight inmates’ executions were stayed while their lawsuit was pending. In its order Thursday, the court also granted a motion by the inmates to stay their executions while they seek an appeal to the nation’s top court. Justices Karen Baker, Courtney Goodson and Rhonda Wood would have denied the motion.

Read more: http://pbcommercial.com/news/state-supreme-court-won-t-reconsider-ruling-execution-law

Judge orders mediation in civil suit over Bland's death

HOUSTON—A federal judge has ordered mediation in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the mother of Sandra Bland, who died last summer in a Texas jail after being arrested.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner ordered the mediation Wednesday. If the parties can't resolve their differences, the case will return to his Houston courtroom. The trial is set for January.

Bland's mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, filed the civil lawsuit against Brian Encinia, the ex-Texas trooper who arrested Bland during a traffic stop, and others involved in her detention.

Bland, who was black, died in the Waller County jail three days after being arrested. Authorities ruled her death a suicide. Encinia was charged with perjury after dashcam video appeared to show him yelling at Bland and escalating their confrontation.


Lawsuit accuses Arkansas police officer of using excessive force on man

In a lawsuit filed this week, a white Blytheville police officer is accused of using excessive force against a black man on the Fourth of July, including subduing him repeatedly with a taser as he lay on the ground.

Attorney James W. Harris filed the case Wednesday in Mississippi County Circuit Court on behalf of Chardrick Mitchell, who faces charges of obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct and refusal to submit to arrest.

The lawsuit states that on July 4, Mitchell denied his ex-girlfriend re-entry into his apartment to retrieve what she said was clothing left inside, prompting the woman to call police.

A responding officer later ordered that Mitchell allow his ex-girlfriend to get her left-behind belongings and to show his identification — requests that Mitchell “politely refused,” according to the document.

Read more: http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/jul/21/arkansas-police-officer-used-excessive-force-man-l/

Missouri treasurer race pits ex-lawmaker against diplomat

KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former state lawmaker and a one-time U.S. diplomat are vying for the Democratic bid to become Missouri’s next treasurer, a powerful check-writing position that serves as the custodian for state funds and is responsible for holding unclaimed property.

The winner between Judy Baker and Pat Contreras in the Aug. 2 primary will advance to the Nov. 8 general election against Republican state Sen. Eric Schmitt and Libertarian Sean O’Toole. Democrat incumbent Clint Zweifel is barred by state term limits from running.

The $108,000-a-year job also involves overseeing administration of a state college savings plan and manages special tax incentives for development-stage companies.

Baker, 56, of Columbia, served two terms in the Missouri House from 2005 to 2009, along the way losing to Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer in a 2008 race for a congressional seat. She then worked in President Barack Obama’s administration as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Read more: http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/missouri-treasurer-race-pits-ex-lawmaker-against-diplomat/article_3cefe23c-3a86-5df8-ad9a-8899ebd4d618.html

Obama endorses Judge in U.S. Senate race

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has endorsed former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge in her race against Sen. Chuck Grassley, who has led the GOP effort to block the president’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination.

In a statement, Obama praised the Democrat.

“Patty has never backed down from a challenge,” he said. “I have no doubt that she will carry this spirit with her to the United States Senate.”

Obama has not been afraid to jump into Senate races this year to support Democrats, endorsing Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania, Rep. Tammy Duckworth in Illinois and Rep. Patrick Murphy in Florida.

Read more: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/elections/obama-endorses-judge-in-us-senate-race-20160721

University of Iowa to close Sigourney clinic

University of Iowa Health Care will close its Sigourney clinic on July 27 after about 20 years of operation.

“The decision was made to focus on providing specialty services for cardiology, orthopedics, pulmonary and urology in the area, with an eye toward expanding specialty care options there,” UI spokesman Tom Moore said. “It was also determined that staff from Keokuk County Health Center had the capacity to take on the primary care services for patients who elect to switch to KCHC’s care.”

The primary clinic conducted about 7,000 patient visits last year, Moor said.

The decision to close the clinic surprised KCHC Chief Executive Officer Matt Iver as the UI clinic — which leases space from the hospital — still had seven years left on its lease.

Read more: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/health/university-of-iowa-to-close-sigourney-clinic-20160721

Transgender prison nurse accuses state of discrimination

A transgender male who is a longtime Iowa Department of Corrections nurse has filed a complaint against the state and his insurance provider alleging he was discriminated against because of his gender identity.

Jesse Vroegh, 34, who was born a female but has identified as a male since he was 7, alleged the department turned down his request to use men’s bathrooms and locker rooms and denied him health coverage for transition-related care, according to a complaint filed Thursday with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the state agency that investigates discrimination claims.

Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, who are representing Vroegh in concert with the ACLU LGBT Project and cooperating attorney Melissa Hasso, are arguing the denials violate the nondiscrimination in employment section of the Iowa Civil Rights Act as well as Vroegh’s right to equal protection under the Iowa Constitution.

“Rather than setting a good example for other Iowa employers, the state has denied me the use of gendered spaces as well as the health insurance coverage I need simply because I am transgender,” Vroegh said in a statement. Vroegh said he has been a staff nurse at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville for seven years.

Read more: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2016/07/21/transgender-discrimination-prison-department-corrections/87389040/

Iowa chiropractor's license revoked over groping allegations

A Keokuk chiropractor who was acquitted in February of a criminal charge of inappropriately touching a female patient has had his state license revoked because of similar allegations from six other women.

Andrew Kearse successfully fended off the criminal charge of simple assault, which was filed in 2015. That case involved a patient who told authorities that during a treatment, Kearse straddled the table, pulled her toward himself, unhooked her bra and grabbed her breasts, according to Iowa Board of Chiropractic documents released Thursday. The woman told authorities the chiropractor also put his hands in her underwear, told her she was “hot,” and added that “if you were mine I wouldn’t let you leave my bed for a week.”

The woman said he told her “he couldn’t help himself because he found her so attractive, but she couldn’t tell anyone because he would get into trouble,” the board documents say.

The woman went to police, who already had heard from another woman that Kearse had cupped her bare breast and told her that her fiancé was “a lucky man,” the board documents say.

Read more: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2016/07/21/iowa-chiropractors-license-revoked-over-groping-allegations/87383078/
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