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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

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: 70,590

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

How to be Ultra Spiritual

A hilarious video by JP Sears. Cross-posted in the Astrology, Spirituality & Alternative Healing (Group).

How to be Ultra Spiritual

A hilarious video by JP Sears. Cross-posted in the Lounge.

Pipeline Company Ghost-Wrote Texas Regulator's Letter

Last month, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter seemed keenly interested in an arcane dispute before the Federal Communications Commission.

“It was recently brought to our attention that a few oil and gas pipeline companies operating in Texas have been trying for more than four years to acquire frequencies from Maritime Communications/Land Mobile”— a bankrupt company being investigated for alleged misconduct while bidding on its licenses, a letter with Porter’s signature told federal regulators. “Unfortunately, the Commission’s processing of their applications apparently has been delayed by an ongoing hearing.”

The pro-industry letter took no position on Maritime’s legal troubles or the FCC's probe of the telecommunications company, which had stalled efforts by several oil and gas companies to tap wireless frequencies used to remotely monitor pipelines.

But the words contained in the letter weren’t really Porter’s, or those of anyone at his agency, which regulates oil and gas production, pipeline safety, mining and natural gas utilities. Lawyers for Enbridge — one of the pipeline companies stuck in the bureaucratic mud — drafted the letter some 1,500 miles away from Austin, according to a series of emails obtained by The Texas Tribune that illustrate the close ties between Porter and the industries he oversees.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/09/22/pipeline-company-ghostwrote-texas-regulators-lette/

Judge Temporarily Halts Cuts to Children's Therapy

Deep cuts to a therapy program for poor and disabled children will not take effect Oct. 1, a state district judge ruled Tuesday afternoon — the second such delay in recent weeks.

“Procedurally I'm not making a determination that these acts are valid or invalid,” said State District Judge Tim Sulak in his announcement that he would grant a temporary injunction to prevent the state from slashing payments to therapists. But he said he made his ruling in part because he’d been convinced the cuts could jeopardize the health of children receiving the therapy services.

It marked the first decision in a series of legal challenges filed by therapy providers and families of children with disabilities, who seek to prove that by slashing payments to therapists, the state will cause as many as 60,000 children to lose access to those services. The idea is that the low pay will force providers to drop out of the program.

State lawmakers this year ordered the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to reduce funding for therapy services by roughly $350 million in state and federal funds over two years. Those savings would primarily come from reductions in the rates paid to therapists by Medicaid, the public insurance program for the poor and disabled — in some cases by about 20 or 25 percent.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/09/22/judge-temporarily-halts-cuts-childrens-therapy/

A year later, Dallas' Louise Troh talks about how Ebola changed her life

DALLAS -- A year ago, Louise Troh had a job she liked, a cramped apartment filled with family and the anticipation of new and better times with the love of her life on his way to Dallas from Africa. A year after Ebola invaded her home, that’s all gone.

Thomas Eric Duncan got to Dallas from Liberia on Sept. 20. After living with Troh and her family in that tiny apartment for eight days, he was hospitalized and diagnosed with the deadly blood disease that was ravaging his homeland. On Oct. 8, he was dead.

In an interview, Troh ping-pongs between grief and gratitude, memories of her hopes and the crushing reality of her present. A pack of toddlers she cares for during the day — grandchildren and a niece — give her “inspiration and love.”

This week, as the anniversary of Ebola in Dallas approached, every time she saw a photo of Duncan on TV drove a new spike in her heart.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/ebola/headlines/20150922-a-year-later-dallas-louise-troh-talks-about-how-ebola-changed-her-life.ece

Cowboys trade for Bills QB Matt Cassel

The Dallas Cowboys have traded for Buffalo Bills quarterback Matt Cassel, according to Dallas Morning News reporter Brandon George.

The Cowboys traded a 2017 fifth-round draft pick pick for Cassel and Buffalo's 2017 seventh-round draft pick, according to Morning News sources.

The Cowboys were in need of another quarterback after starter Tony Romo went down in Sunday's 20-10 win over the Eagles.

Quarterback Kellen Moore will also be called up from the Cowboys practice squad. Moore will be the backup to Brandon Weeden Sunday as Cassel works to get up to speed with Dallas' offensive scheme, per a source.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/dallas-cowboys/headlines/20150922-source-cowboys-trade-for-bills-qb-matt-cassel.ece

Labor Department says Halliburton will pay $18.3 million in OT to workers misclassified as exempt

Halliburton has agreed to hand over nearly $18.3 million in overtime wages to 1,016 workers in one of the largest such payouts in years, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.

The Labor Department said in a news release that Halliburton had categorized salaried employees in 28 different job positions — including “field service representatives, pipe recovery specialists, drilling tech advisors, perforating specialists and reliability tech specialists” — as not eligible for overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours a week.

That was a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Labor Department said in the release, noting that “simply paying an employee a salary does not necessarily mean the employee is not eligible for overtime.”

The DOL also said that workers can only qualify as exempt from overtime pay if they’re paid more than $455 per week, and that “job titles do not determine exempt status.”

Read more: http://fuelfix.com/blog/2015/09/22/feds-say-halliburton-will-pay-18-3-million-in-overtime-to-workers-misclassified-as-exempt/#33909101=0

Cross-posted in the General Discussion forum.

Labor Department says Halliburton will pay $18.3 million in OT to workers misclassified as exempt

Halliburton has agreed to hand over nearly $18.3 million in overtime wages to 1,016 workers in one of the largest such payouts in years, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.

The Labor Department said in a news release that Halliburton had categorized salaried employees in 28 different job positions — including “field service representatives, pipe recovery specialists, drilling tech advisors, perforating specialists and reliability tech specialists” — as not eligible for overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours a week.

That was a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Labor Department said in the release, noting that “simply paying an employee a salary does not necessarily mean the employee is not eligible for overtime.”

The DOL also said that workers can only qualify as exempt from overtime pay if they’re paid more than $455 per week, and that “job titles do not determine exempt status.”

Read more: http://fuelfix.com/blog/2015/09/22/feds-say-halliburton-will-pay-18-3-million-in-overtime-to-workers-misclassified-as-exempt/#33909101=0

Cross-posted in Omaha Steve's Labor Group.

Lockheed rolls out first F-35 fighter jet for Norway

FORT WORTH -- Lockheed Martin marked another milestone in the F-35 program on Tuesday with the rollout of the first advanced fighter jet built for Norway.

Top government and military leaders from Washington and the Scandinavian nation gathered at Lockheed’s Fort Worth aeronautics complex, with officials praising Norway’s commitment to the program through years of technical delays and cost increases.

“In the face of challenges, one nation embraced the long view and stood steadfast with the program. And that was Norway,” said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed’s chairman and CEO, noting its position as a development partner and a later decision to boost its order.

But amid the celebration, there was also concern over how a looming budget crisis in Washington might affect the program.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article36194088.html#storylink=cpy

Killing of Abilene policeman at home linked to Craigslist

ABILENE, Texas (Reuters) - An Abilene police officer found dead in his Texas home in late August may have been murdered by a married couple with whom he had tried to arrange an encounter through Craigslist, police said on Tuesday.

Officer Don Allen is believed to have created the personal advertisement on the Internet site, according to an affidavit filed by Texas Ranger Danny Crawford. Phillip and Violetta Walter, who responded to the ad, were arrested in early September on suspicion of murdering the officer, police said.

"The meeting resulted in the death of the victim and property being stolen from his residence," Crawford wrote in an affidavit.

The Walters were apprehended on Sept. 3 and charged with first-degree felony murder. They are being held on a bond of $500,000 each, police said.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-killing-of-texas-policeman-at-home-linked-to-craigslist-police-2015-9

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