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TexasTowelie

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, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 86,941

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

Lawmakers Consider Teacher Pay, Insurance Cost for Families

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi public school teacher with 15 years of experience providing health insurance for their family took home just under $30,000 a year in net pay in 2020, a “shocking number,” a policy adviser with the Southern Regional Education Board told state lawmakers Wednesday.

That's only a few thousand dollars more a year than first-year teachers who were paying for only their health insurance took home, the adviser said.

“All of these are shocking numbers to us — that a Mississippi teacher potentially serving 15 years, especially one who is a single parent, is taking home a wage that can barely cover housing and utilities," board policy adviser Megan Boren said.

A teacher with 15 years of experience took home an annual salary of about $29,680 after taxes and benefits in 2020, compared with about $26,580 for first-year teachers, according to data shared by the Atlanta nonpartisan nonprofit.

Read more: https://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2021/sep/16/lawmakers-consider-teacher-pay-insurance-cost-fami/

IHL Prohibits Mississippi Colleges, Universities From Mandating COVID Vaccines

The state board that oversees higher education in Mississippi voted today to prohibit all public colleges and universities from requiring COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of employment or enrollment. The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees made the decision following weeks of confusion over a previous vote in August.

“The individual universities have been prohibited by the Board from implementing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate as a condition of employment or enrollment except for clinical settings,” IHL Communications Director Caron Blanton told the Mississippi Free Press today.

The IHL had considered mandating COVID-19 vaccines during an Aug. 27, 2021, meeting, but voted against doing so. At no point during the August special meeting, though, did any board member mention banning individual universities from imposing their own mandates.

“I’d like to make a motion, and I’d leave it to the staff to provide the exact language and I assume there’ll be a press release of some kind to follow, but I’d like for us to point out our support for the vaccine and that it is by far our best form of protection for our schools,” IHL Trustee Chip Morgan said during the Aug. 27 meeting. “… I think we ought to say at this time it’s our view that that would not, we would not impose any requirement on the universities to mandate vaccination.”

Read more: https://www.mississippifreepress.org/16046/ihl-prohibits-mississippi-colleges-universities-from-mandating-covid-vaccines/

Pediatric Diabetes Surge In Mississippi: Doctors Concerned COVID-19 Is To Blame

Dr. Jessica Lilley is a pediatric endocrinologist at the Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine. For eight years she has seen children from across the state for pediatric diabetes and other hormonal issues. With each passing month of the pandemic, Lilley has grown increasingly concerned that COVID-19 is linked to a massive increase in new diagnoses of pediatric diabetes throughout Mississippi.

Lilley is not alone in her observation. In conferring with other pediatric endocrinologists across the state and nation, Lilley says the spike in new cases is widespread. “We are all seeing an increase in type 1 diabetes diagnoses as well as type 2 diabetes diagnoses. Those of us who tracked it have noticed anywhere from a 30% to 40% increase compared to (2019),” she told the Mississippi Free Press in a series of interviews in August and September.

The full measure of childhood diabetes emerging during the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown. But experts are deeply concerned across the nation. In late June 2021, at the 81st Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association, pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Brynn E. Marks of Children’s National Hospital warned of a “staggering increase in cases of type 2 diabetes,” as well as an “increase in the severity of (the disease’s) presentation.”

Researchers presenting at the conference reported a doubling of youth hospitalization rates for type 2 diabetes, compared with the pre-pandemic period. Researchers in that study hypothesized that the indirect effects of quarantines, closures, and unemployment may have exacerbated the incidence and severity of the disease.

Read more: https://www.mississippifreepress.org/15930/pediatric-diabetes-surge-in-mississippi-doctors-concerned-covid-19-is-to-blame/

Despite Waning Delta Wave, Mississippi ICU Capacity Still 'Effectively Zero'

While the delta wave has declined significantly in Mississippi, the state’s intensive-care units are still full due to weeks of sky-high viral transmission. Public-health officials met with the press on Thursday to acknowledge the continuing severity of the pandemic, reflecting on the long-term consequences of the pandemic, from diabetes to death.

State Epidemiologist Paul Byers warned that, although Mississippi’s overall situation is improving, the condition of hospitals in the Magnolia State was still poor. “When you look at our numbers for folks on the ventilator, or who are in the ICU for COVID, we’re seeing some decreases, but we’re still at overall very high levels,” Byers said.

Mississippi State Department of Health’s Director of Health Protection Jim Craig estimated intensive-care unit capacity to remain “effectively zero,” with 151 patients across the state awaiting a permanent placement in another hospital setting. Craig explained that 71 of those patients are in need of an ICU bed. Only six of the 71 waiting for beds as of Thursday morning were COVID-19 patients. All hospitalized Mississippians are struggling with the shortages resulting from the COVID-19 surge, even those without the virus.

Today, MSDH announced 2,321 new cases of COVID-19 and 49 deaths. Hospitalizations dropped below 1,000 for the first time since rising above that number during the delta surge. COVID-19 patients in the state’s ICU’s are down to 350 from delta peaks of nearly 500, although that number is still comparable to the worst days of the winter surge.

As a result, Mississippi’s hospital system remains under a system-of-care order, which severely restricts elective surgeries and centralizes patient transfers. Staffing remains the key issue restricting hospital capacity. “Efforts through our federal partners to increase ICU staffing capacity for the care of the COVID patients continue,” Craig said on Thursday.

Read more: https://www.mississippifreepress.org/16009/despite-waning-delta-wave-mississippi-icu-capacity-still-effectively-zero/

Alabama bill would let workers sue if they get sick from employer-mandated COVID vaccines

Three state lawmakers have filed a bill that would allow workers to sue their employers for any “adverse reaction” they receive from COVID-19 vaccines mandated by their job.

The bill, prefiled Sept. 1 for the 2022 legislative session beginning in January, “would provide a private right of action against an employer for any adverse reaction, injury, temporary or permanent disability, or death of an employee arising from an employer mandate that the employee receive a 13 COVID-19 vaccine,” according to text of the legislation introduced by Reps. Tommy Haynes, R-Scottsboro; Andrew Sorrell, R-Muscle Shoals and Arnold Mooney, R-Birmingham.

Should the employee die from the vaccine, their family would be allowed to sue their employer, according to the bill.

According to the CDC, adverse reactions from the COVID-19 vaccine are rare.

https://www.al.com/politics/2021/09/state-bill-would-let-workers-sue-if-they-get-sick-from-employer-mandated-covid-19-vaccines.html
(no more at link)

Alabama Democratic Party chair says prison plan 'putting old problems in new buildings'

Alabama Democratic Party Chair Chris England said today new prisons won’t fix the state’s overcrowded, understaffed, and violence-plagued correctional system.

England, who also represents a Tuscaloosa district in the House of Representatives, said criminal justice reforms are necessary if Alabama wants to fix prisons the Department of Justice says are riddled with violence, weapons, drugs and that hold men in dangerous conditions that violate the Constitution.

“It looks like we’re just kicking the can down the road,” England said. “Building prisons without engaging in real reform of the system is like history repeating itself in Alabama. Every time we come to this threshold, we always build prisons versus digging in and trying to figure out why we keep getting into this situation.

“For me, building prisons without dealing with your pardons and paroles system and the leadership there, building prisons without dealing with the lack of leadership in the Department of Corrections, and building prisons without sentencing reform that helps us properly identify who really deserves those long sentences, it’s just going to result in us putting old problems in new buildings.”

Read more: https://www.al.com/news/2021/09/alabama-democratic-party-chair-says-prison-plan-putting-old-problems-in-new-buildings.html

MyPillow's Mike Lindell to run 'tests' on Alabama voter list after meeting Merrill, Ivey

MyPillow founder and Donald Trump adviser Mike Lindell plans to conduct “tests” on Alabama’s voter rolls after purchasing the list, said Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who along with Gov. Kay Ivey met with Lindell on Friday.

Lindell, the founder and CEO of MyPillow who is Trump’s main attack dog in the former president’s battle contending the 2020 presidential election was stolen, is going to comb through the list of Alabama voters to determine whether the state has any ineligible people on it, including deceased residents.

Merrill said he doesn’t expect Lindell to find evidence that Alabama’s voter list, which is available for purchase by anyone, is tainted.

“We know we don’t put people on the voter rolls unless they’re qualified to be on the voter rolls,” the secretary of state told AL.com.

Read more: https://www.al.com/politics/2021/09/mypillows-mike-lindell-to-run-tests-on-alabama-voter-list-after-meeting-merrill-ivey.html

Alabama troopers escort workers past striking coal miners 'like they're working for the company,'

Alabama troopers escort workers past striking coal miners ‘like they’re working for the company,’ union says


Members of the United Mine Workers of America are calling attention to the use of the Highway Patrol Division of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency along the picket line at Warrior Met Coal in Tuscaloosa County.

More than 1,000 members of the union have been on strike against Warrior Met Coal since April 1, picketing for higher pay and benefits.

Union members say the use of troopers to escort workers past the picket line “just looks like they’re working for the company,” UMWA spokesman Phil Smith said. “There haven’t been any reason to be concerned about the buses going back and forth. It just looks like the company doesn’t need to hire its own security guards.”

ALEA spokeswoman Robyn Bryan said Warrior Met Coal approached ALEA when the strike began “relative to safety concerns for both their employees and citizens within the area.”

Read more: https://www.al.com/news/2021/09/alabama-troopers-escort-workers-past-striking-coal-miners-like-theyre-working-for-the-company-union-says.html

Alabama troopers escort workers past striking coal miners 'like they're working for the company,' un

Alabama troopers escort workers past striking coal miners ‘like they’re working for the company,’ union says


Members of the United Mine Workers of America are calling attention to the use of the Highway Patrol Division of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency along the picket line at Warrior Met Coal in Tuscaloosa County.

More than 1,000 members of the union have been on strike against Warrior Met Coal since April 1, picketing for higher pay and benefits.

Union members say the use of troopers to escort workers past the picket line “just looks like they’re working for the company,” UMWA spokesman Phil Smith said. “There haven’t been any reason to be concerned about the buses going back and forth. It just looks like the company doesn’t need to hire its own security guards.”

ALEA spokeswoman Robyn Bryan said Warrior Met Coal approached ALEA when the strike began “relative to safety concerns for both their employees and citizens within the area.”

Read more: https://www.al.com/news/2021/09/alabama-troopers-escort-workers-past-striking-coal-miners-like-theyre-working-for-the-company-union-says.html

Alabama providers no longer directly ordering monoclonal antibody treatment

The demand for monoclonal antibody treatments amid growing COVID-19 cases and the more contagious delta variant prompted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to stop allowing state medical providers to order the life-saving drug directly, and instead to require the Alabama Department of Public Health to divvy up the state’s supply among providers.

“During this transition, our highest priority will be to ensure that the ordering process for monoclonal antibodies is in place, so Alabama healthcare providers can be sent needed products as soon as possible,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said in a statement Wednesday.

The change went into effect Monday, according to a press release from ADPH, noting that the increase in COVID cases “has caused a substantial surge in the use of monoclonal antibody products.”

Monoclonal antibody treatment, manufactured by the company Regeneron, can cut the need to hospitalize a COVID patient by 70 percent, if given within 10 days of infection, according to medical experts. ADPH notes, however, that the drug is not a replacement for COVID vaccines, which have been found to be safe and effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death.

Read more: https://www.alreporter.com/2021/09/15/alabama-providers-no-longer-directly-ordering-monoclonal-antibody-treatment-due-to-surge-in-use/
(Alabama Political Reporter)
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