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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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 81,309

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

Texas reports a record number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 as hospital beds fill up across

Texas reports a record number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 as hospital beds fill up across the state

As of Dec. 28, 11,351 Texans are hospitalized for the coronavirus.

-snip-

On Dec. 28: The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 is at a record level, having exceeded the previous highs reported this summer. Regions that include Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Laredo and their surrounding areas have all seen increases in hospitalizations. Meanwhile, health care workers have started receiving COVID-19 vaccinations and older Texans will be next in line.


Read more: https://apps.texastribune.org/features/2020/texas-coronavirus-cases-map/

Ohio Supreme Court delays collection of $170 million in fees involving House Bill 6

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Ohio Supreme Court on Monday postponed the collection of $170 million in fees involving House Bill 6, a move stemming from the legal fight over how state regulators set up charges to customers stemming from the tainted legislation.

The state’s high court ruled on litigation brought by the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association that challenged how the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio implemented the fees. The manufacturers’ group called the charges “unlawful, unjust and unreasonable.”

It has claimed that the fee structure of House Bill 6, a $1 billion bailout of two nuclear plants, will harm large businesses. The bill, which became law last year, is the focus of a federal bribery investigation.

The ruling means that the charges, set to begin next week, likely will be postponed until the justices make their decision. That could take two months or more.

Read more: https://www.cleveland.com/politics/2020/12/ohio-supreme-court-delays-collection-of-170-million-in-fees-involving-house-bill-6.html

Former Ohio University student activist launches bid for state Democratic Party chair

Will Klatt, an Ohio University graduate known for his extensive community activism, launched his bid this week to replace outgoing Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper, who is stepping down at the end of the year.

Klatt, part of the party’s more progressive wing, aims to make the Democrats more approachable for minorities. If elected chair, he also would work to shift the party’s focus toward retaining small donations from members, much like a union, rather than relying on big-dollar donations, he said in an interview.

“The reason I’m running is I believe that the Democratic Party needs to be inclusive, be democratic, and be kind to their own members,” Klatt said.

He’s one of five others who announced their bid for party chair, the winner of which will be voted on by the party’s central committee in mid-January.

Read more: https://www.athensnews.com/news/local/former-ohio-university-student-activist-launches-bid-for-state-democratic-party-chair/article_bd41f674-100c-5dca-aae0-488f03baa13a.html

Ohio's minimum wage to rise by 10 cents per hour in 2021

The Ohio minimum wage will rise by 10 cents to $8.80 per hour in 2021.

That will be the wage for non-tipped employees. Tipped workers will earn $4.35 per hour plus tips in 2021.

Ohio workers under the age of 16 will make the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour.

Ohio’s minimum wage rises gradually each year to match the rate of inflation, per a state constitutional amendment implemented in 2007. The minimum wage that year was $6.85; it has gone up nearly $2 in the 14 years since.

Michael Shields, a researcher with the left-leaning think tank Policy Matters Ohio, said this increase is not enough to help low-income Ohioans still suffering from the pandemic.

Read more: https://ohiocapitaljournal.com/2020/12/25/ohios-minimum-wage-to-rise-by-10-cents-per-hour-in-2021/

Buttigieg to inherit a crumbling network of roads, subways and rails at DOT

Pete Buttigieg as the incoming pick for U.S. transportation secretary would take office at a time when both state and local officials are deeply frustrated that not enough is being done to maintain and improve the country’s transportation networks.

But nobody seems to be able to solve the problem.

For example, two presidents have vowed to replace the aging Brent Spence Bridge between Cincinnati and northern Kentucky, but there’s still no plan to do so. In fact, the bridge closed down for a month because of damage it sustained in a November truck accident. Officials just reopened it a few days before Christmas.

Amtrak officials warn that passenger rail service that connects far-flung cities along the East Coast, from Boston and through Maryland to Washington, D.C., could stop anytime, if one of two 110-year-old tunnels underneath the Hudson River fails. The tubes were damaged when they flooded after Hurricane Sandy.

Nearly every state has its pain point: In Louisiana, Baton Rouge residents have been calling for a new bridge over the Mississippi River for years to cope with increased congestion. Missouri leaders have struggled for years to find money for road improvements, particularly for the heavily trafficked Interstate 70 corridor.

Read more: https://ohiocapitaljournal.com/2020/12/28/buttigieg-to-inherit-a-crumbling-network-of-roads-subways-and-rails-at-dot/

Lori Loughlin released from prison after 2-month sentence for college admissions scam

(CNN) -- Actress Lori Loughlin has been released from federal prison after serving a two-month sentence for her role in the college admissions scam, prison spokeswoman Sally Swarts said Monday.

Best known for starring as Aunt Becky in "Full House," Loughlin pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in May and admitted to paying the scheme's mastermind $500,000 to get her two daughters into the University of Southern California under false pretenses.

She began serving her sentence on October 30 at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California.

Her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge as part of a plea deal. He reported to the Federal Correctional Complex in Lompoc, California, on November 19 to serve a five-month sentence.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/28/us/lori-loughlin-prison-release/index.html

Euclid reaches $475,000 settlement with man tased by police during 2016 traffic stop

The city of Euclid has settled a federal lawsuit with a man pepper-sprayed and Tased by city police officers during a November 2016 traffic stop.

According to his attorneys, Lamar Wright will receive $475,000 as a result of the settlement.

Wright sued the city and the two police officers involved in 2017, about a year after the incident.

The incident involved in Wright’s case occurred on Nov. 4, 2016, when he was driving in Euclid and pulled over into a nearby driveway to safely use his cell phone to call his girlfriend.

Read more: https://www.news-herald.com/news/euclid-reaches-475-000-settlement-with-man-tased-by-police-during-2016-traffic-stop/article_d0e7fad8-446a-11eb-95d7-eb9a93e6a36f.html
(Willoughby News-Herald)

Aisha's Law Falls Short Of Passing Ohio Legislature In 2020

A bill in the Ohio legislature that toughens penalties for domestic abuse and creates more protections for victims will not pass the General Assembly by the end of the year. The bill's sponsor says she plans to reintroduce what's known as Aisha's Law in the new year.

House Bill 3 is named after Aisha Fraser, a Cleveland-area schoolteacher, who was murdered in 2018 by her ex-husband former state legislator Lance Mason.

The bill requires police to conduct a lethality assessment of alleged victims of domestic violence. That screening would determine if the victim and offender need to be connected to programs that assist in high-risk situations.

It also expands the offense of "aggravated murder" to include purposely causing the death of another when the victim was a family or household member of the offender and the offender has previously been convicted of domestic violence or an offense of violence that resulted in serious physical harm against that family or household member.

Read more: https://www.statenews.org/post/aishas-law-falls-short-passing-ohio-legislature-2020

Ohio attorney general joins lawsuit demanding religious schools be allowed to re-open

Ohio's attorney general thinks religious schools in the state can't be forced to close their doors even if a county health department bans all in-person instruction.

"This order violates the Free Exercise Clause," Dave Yost wrote in a brief filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Monday. "That clause prohibits the government from discriminating against religion."

The discrimination that Yost and a handful of religious schools near Toledo believe to be happening stems from a health order issued in late November by the Lucas County Regional Board of Health. It closed grades 7-12, both public and parochial, for in-person instruction until January 11 in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The problem that Yost and the four schools that sued in federal court have is that other businesses such as casinos, restaurants and gyms could all continue providing in-person service to their customers.

Read more: https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/2020/12/28/ohio-attorney-general-dave-yost-supports-lawsuit-open-religious-schools/4066240001/
(Columbus Dispatch)

Columbus FOP leader: Officer who shot Andre Hill has been terminated

The Columbus police officer who shot and killed an unarmed Black man last week has been terminated, according to leaders with the local Fraternal Order of Police.

A hearing on whether Officer Adam Coy should be fired concluded late Monday morning, and city officials promised a "prompt decision" on the officer's employment.

Brian Steel, Vice President of FOP Capital City Lodge 9, confirmed Coy's termination to The Dispatch late Monday afternoon.

Also Monday, a preliminary report from the Franklin County Coroner's Office determined Andre Hill's death to be a homicide. The preliminary cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds, the coroner's office said in a media release. A full autopsy report is expected in 12 to 14 weeks.

Read more: https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/crime/2020/12/28/hearing-concludes-columbus-officer-who-fatally-shot-andre-hill/4060582001/
(Columbus Dispatch)
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