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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
Number of posts: 83,403

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

Here are the voices the giant drug distributors don't want you to hear

The nation’s largest opioid distributors are pushing to block testimony from West Virginians who want to speak out about how the addiction crisis has ravaged their communities.

The companies’ lawyers say “personal stories of addiction” have no place at an upcoming trial that seeks to hold the drug wholesalers accountable for the opioid epidemic. They argue that such testimony would be nothing more than hearsay — and inadmissible in court.

They also have asked a judge to muzzle potential witnesses who believe prescription painkillers acted as a gateway to street drugs like heroin and fentanyl. And they’re trying to put a lid on information about the recent conviction of one of their executives.

The Cabell County Commission and the City of Huntington, which are suing the distributors in federal court, have railed against the companies’ effort to exclude testimony from people who have suffered from the crisis. The two governments accuse McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen of unleashing the opioid epidemic by saturating the region with prescription pain pills. The witnesses’ stories are relevant and deserve to be heard, attorneys for the city and county say.

Read more: https://mountainstatespotlight.org/2020/12/23/here-are-the-voices-the-giant-drug-distributors-dont-want-you-to-hear/

Holcomb prioritizes economy, teacher pay, internet access for 2021 legislative session

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb’s fifth legislative session will focus on helping Indiana’s economy rebound from COVID-19 shutdowns, improving teacher pay and more, according to a list of goals released Thursday.

Holcomb shared the goals as part of his annual legislative agenda at the Dentons Legislative Conference Thursday. Many of the priorities are extensions of past goals by the administration, some of which Holcomb said are more pressing to achieve because of the ongoing pandemic.

“Every single thing on this agenda is very important to the growth of our state,” Holcomb said. “Every single thing on this agenda is big.”

While legislative leaders, including House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, said they support much of the agenda, Indiana Democrats said it ignores a more urgent reality that many Hoosiers are struggling because of the pandemic.

Read more: http://thestatehousefile.com/43673/holcomb-prioritizes-economy-teacher-pay-internet-access-for-2021-legislative-session/

Ohio teachers demand change as wages lag

Ohio teachers are adapting to COVID-19 learning, while also fighting for wages and benefits that are lower than professionals with similar education and experience.

Teachers from across the state shared their experiences in an event hosted by the progressive think-tank Policy Matters Ohio.

Tati Weaks, of the Greenfield Exempted Schools, which serves portions of Fayette, Highland and Ross counties, said investment in the community is an important part of being a teacher. But in an area that lost thousands of jobs when DHL pulled out of the Wilmington Air Park more than a decade ago, and saw the wealth in the area change to poverty as factories went elsewhere, she said keeping teachers engaged in the area isn’t easy.

Despite the fact that Wilmington Air Park has had investment since DHL left, the roller coaster of success and loss creates stress with a state public school funding system based on property wealth.

Read more: https://ohiocapitaljournal.com/2020/12/24/ohio-teachers-demand-change-as-wages-lag/

Nessel 'very confident' Michigan will prevail in fight to shut down Enbridge Line 5

Attorney General Dana Nessel fully expects a favorable outcome from the state’s lawsuit against Canadian oil company Enbridge, she told reporters in a year-end roundtable on Tuesday, which she is ‘optimistic’ will mean that the controversial Line 5 pipeline under the Mackinac Straits will be decommissioned by late spring.

Nessel also announced plans to pursue legal sanctions and other consequences against GOP-aligned lawyers who may have intentionally lied in their lawsuits to overturn Michigan’s election results.

She tipped off that the list will likely include Sidney Powell, a QAnon conspiracy theorist and former attorney for outgoing President Donald Trump, as well as official Trump campaign attorneys.

Line 5 case to ‘see some movement’ in 2021

Headed up by Nessel’s office, the state of Michigan’s legal battles against the powerful Canadian oil giant Enbridge have been ongoing since June 2019.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/2020/12/22/nessel-very-confident-michigan-will-prevail-in-fight-to-shut-down-enbridge-line-5/

Judge dismisses subpoena lawsuit but says senators can refile

The Senate president and a powerful committee chairman made the wrong argument in their lawsuit attempting to force the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to comply with subpoenas related to the 2020 election, but they’re welcome to try again with another, more “plausible” claim, a judge ruled Wednesday evening.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner dismissed a lawsuit filed by Senate President Karen Fann and Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, ruling that the remedy they asked him for is inapplicable.

The two lawmakers asked Warner for what’s known as a writ of mandamus, which requires public officers to perform an official act required of their positions. The supervisors are challenging two subpoenas demanding that they turn over voting machines, ballots, voter data, access to software and other materials from the general election to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which wants to conduct a full forensic audit.

In his ruling on Wednesday, several hours after hearing arguments in the case, Warner said the senators’ request was not appropriate because the supervisors’ duty to comply with the subpoenas stems from the subpoenas themselves, not from their elected positions.

Read more: https://www.azmirror.com/2020/12/23/judge-dismisses-subpoena-lawsuit-but-says-senators-can-refile/

Biden firm on uranium-mining ban around 'jewel' of the Grand Canyon

WASHINGTON – For four years, the Trump administration took steps to boost uranium mining for what it called national security reasons, a move environmentalists saw as an attempt to open the door to mining near the Grand Canyon.

President-elect Joe Biden may be ready to shut that door for good.

“I can’t believe I have to say this, but we can’t let Donald Trump open up the Grand Canyon for uranium mining,” Biden tweeted in August, after a Trump administration task force on nuclear fuel proposed relaxing restrictions on mining on federal lands.

In a statement posted at the same time, Biden called the Grand Canyon an “irreplaceable jewel” and blasted the Trump administration’s mining plan, saying he would focus instead on developing clean energy. While Biden did not lay out a specific mining plan, his statement was still enough for Kevin Dahl.

Read more: https://www.azmirror.com/2020/12/24/biden-firm-on-uranium-mining-ban-around-jewel-of-the-grand-canyon/

Arrests Possible - Senate Requests Contempt Order Against Maricopa County Supervisors

A judge will hear arguments Wednesday afternoon on why a State Senate committee wants a court order to hold Maricopa County officials in contempt, given that the legislature has had the same power for nearly 100 years.

Judge Randall Warner of the Maricopa County Superior Court was asked Monday by Senate President Karen Fann and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Eddie Farnsworth to order Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors to “comply in full” with two legislative subpoenas related to the 2020 General Election.

County officials announced last week they would not meet a Friday deadline set forth in the subpoenas. The Fann-Farnsworth special action complaint was filed one business day after Maricopa County officials asked another superior court judge to quash the legislative subpoenas for being unlawful.

The complaint seeks expediated handling of the case as Congress meets Jan. 6 to certify the U.S. Electoral College votes.

Read more: https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2020/12/22/state-senate-requests-contempt-order-against-maricopa-county-board-of-supervisors/

Judge hears arguments on voter approved tax on rich

The fate of a voter-approve tax on the rich to fund education could depend on whether a judge believes the money raised will be “grants” to school districts.

Attorney Andy Gaona representing Invest in Ed told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah on Wednesday that’s how he should read the language in Proposition 208. He said the initiative spells out in detail how the money raised will go out in “grants to school districts and charter schools.”

But Dominic Draye, representing Republican lawmakers and business interests trying to quash the levy, urged the judge to reject that interpretation.

“It’s torturing the language,” he told Hannah.

What Hannah concludes is crucial.

Read more: https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2020/12/23/judge-hears-arguments-on-voter-approved-tax-on-rich/

Arizona regulators approve sale of beleaguered utility

Arizona utility regulators approved a deal for EPCOR USA to purchase the beleaguered Johnson Utilities company and for customers to pay for part of the transaction with hikes in their monthly bills.

The decision Tuesday split the Arizona Corporation Commission 3-2.

EPCOR USA, a subsidiary of a Canadian company, will purchase Johnson Utilities, which has roughly 30,000 water customers and about 40,000 wastewater customers across the state, the Arizona Republic reported. Its territory encompasses about 160 square miles of land, a size bigger than the city of Denver.

The deal would mean customers will pay about $45 million more over 15 years. According to documents filed with the commission, in the final 15th year, customers can expect to pay anywhere between $5 to $12 a month more in fees.

Read more: https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2020/12/24/arizona-regulators-approve-sale-of-beleaguered-utility/

945 area code coming to DFW on Jan. 15

In 1999, Collin County was given a new area code to represent its geographical region in the Federal Communication Commission’s North American Numbering Plan.

This area code was 469, and it was created to accommodate the population boom in the region where two once-separate area codes, 214 and 972, started to overlap.

The exhaustion of this area code and its counterparts seemed imminent in February when the Public Utility Commission of Texas approved a new 945 area code to be designated to the North Texas region. According to mobile providers such as T-Mobile and Verizon, this area code will be assigned starting Jan. 15 in Collin County and neighboring areas.

“The growth of the population in Dallas and surrounding cities is a reflection of the continued economic vitality in the region and across the state,” said Gov. Greg Abbott in the PUC’s press release. “When the availability of jobs intersects with the quality of life in Texas, this kind of growth is to be expected. I applaud the PUC for taking this prudent step.”

Read more: https://starlocalmedia.com/allenamerican/945-area-code-coming-to-dfw-on-jan-15/article_87c9b47a-4543-11eb-bed8-17ac1cf5a56e.html
(Allen American)
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