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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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 81,402

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

House Republicans vote to hike Indiana cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack

The Republican-controlled Indiana House has approved a two-year state budget proposal that, among other provisions, increases the state's cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack, and imposes a new 10% sales tax surcharge on vaping products.

Under House Bill 1001, the tax hikes on smoking and vaping would take effect July 1, if they are not removed by the Republican-controlled Senate and are signed into law by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Cigarettes sold in Indiana still would be a comparative bargain even after adding 50 cents to the state's current $1 per pack cigarette tax.

Indiana's proposed new cigarette tax rate of $1.50 per pack is lower than Illinois' $2.98 per pack cigarette tax, and cigarettes sold in Cook County ($3) and Chicago ($1.18) are subject to additional local taxes on every pack sold in those jurisdictions.

Read more: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/house-republicans-vote-to-hike-indiana-cigarette-tax-by-50-cents-per-pack/article_cc1acd82-5bf1-50ec-8f88-11480ed35caa.html
(Northwest Indiana Times)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 05:54 AM (0 replies)

Student sues Ball State fraternity over attack

MUNCIE, Ind. — A man has filed suit against a Ball State University fraternity, alleging he was attacked by its members.

In his Delaware Circuit Court 4 lawsuit — against Delta Tau Delta's Epsilon Mu chapter in Muncie, and the national Delta Tau Delta organization — Cesar Cholula alleges he and his friends were "viciously attacked" at the fraternity's house at 1001 W. Riverside Ave.

Cholula said he was enrolled as a student at Ball State on Oct. 2, 2019, when he and several friends "went to Brothers Bar and Grill, 1601 W. University Ave., and consumed alcohol."

While there, he reported, they encountered a friend who was a member of the fraternity and invited them back to the Riverside Avenue house.

Read more: https://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2021/03/01/student-sues-ball-state-fraternity-over-attack/6836599002/
(Muncie Star Press)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 05:47 AM (1 replies)

Pete Buttigieg is selling his house in South Bend to a theater director. 'Lot of memories there.'

SOUTH BEND — Pete Buttigieg, the newly minted Secretary of Transportation, and his husband, Chasten, are selling their South Bend home to the leader of a local community theater company.

Buttigieg said he considered trying to hold onto the house on West North Shore Drive, near downtown South Bend, after his confirmation last month to President Biden’s cabinet but ultimately decided it wouldn’t be feasible.

“Lot of memories there,” the former mayor said by phone Monday from Washington, D.C. “It was tempting to try to have our cake and eat it too. South Bend is always going to be home to me. But as a practical matter, we realized that it was time for the house to change hands.”

Buttigieg said he and his husband, Chasten, for now, are “getting used to apartment living” with their dogs, Buddy and Truman.

Read more: https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/pete-buttigieg-is-selling-his-house-in-south-bend-to-a-theater-director-lot-of/article_ec89f898-7ad1-11eb-908d-4bdce06233ee.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 05:38 AM (0 replies)

Ferris State University fires professor who tweeted slurs, called COVID-19 a 'leftist stunt'

BIG RAPIDS, MI – Ferris State University has fired a physical science professor who was placed on administrative leave in November for allegedly posting racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs on Twitter and calling the coronavirus pandemic a “leftist stunt” during a faculty meeting.

Thomas Brennan was discharged for serious misconduct on Thursday, Feb. 25, according to a termination letter from Provost Robert Fleischman, provided to MLive by Brennan on Friday.

University officials confirmed Brennan’s employment at the university was terminated Feb. 25. A spokesperson said the university had no further comment.

Fleischman said Brennan had continued a “pattern of unprofessional and harassing behavior” that created an intimidating campus environment, according to the Feb. 25 letter. The provost cited several examples of serious misconduct that reportedly led to Brennan’s discharge.

Read more: https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/03/ferris-state-university-fires-professor-who-tweeted-slurs-called-covid-19-a-leftist-stunt.html

Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 05:26 AM (0 replies)

A 22-year, 34-game losing streak comes to an end as Western stuns state champ

AUBURN, MI – Bay City Western just wanted to bury its last game in the past.

A victory for the ages should do the trick.

Still smarting from Saturday’s loss to Bay City Central that ended Western’s 14-game hold on the girls basketball rivalry, the Warriors bounced back in an epic manner.

Western knocked off traditional Saginaw Valley League powerhouse and two-time defending state champion Saginaw Heritage 47-36, halting a 34-game losing streak to the Hawks that dated back to 1998.

“That is awesome,” beamed Western coach Brian Merritt when informed of the history behind his team’s Monday night triumph. “I guess we gave up one streak, but we ended another one.”

Read more: https://www.mlive.com/highschoolsports/2021/03/a-22-year-34-game-losing-streak-finally-comes-to-an-end-for-bay-city-western.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 05:16 AM (0 replies)

Disability advocates condemn GOP senator protesting deaf Detroiters' eligibility for COVID vaccines

During an especially testy session Thursday in the Michigan Senate — which eventually ended with the passage of a controversial $727 million supplemental funding bill including conservative amendments — GOP lawmakers used their floor speeches to criticize the state’s vaccine distribution that prioritizes vulnerable populations based on factors like race and income.

State Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Potterville) also attacked Detroit’s initiative last week to open up the city’s vaccination queue to adults with disabilities, including those with vision or hearing impairments, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and others.

Research from Johns Hopkins University has shown that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across — all age groups — are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the rest of the population.

“Throughout committee testimony, we were promised that people would not be eligible to jump ahead of their priority group status to gain access to the vaccine before those who were more vulnerable were offered and given the option to receive it,” Barrett said on Thursday.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/2021/03/01/disability-advocates-condemn-gop-senator-protesting-deaf-detroiters-eligibility-for-covid-vaccines/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 04:52 AM (2 replies)

Warren sued after refusing to disclose names and pay

Macomb County's largest city is being sued after disclosing the pay of its employees but refusing to provide names, especially the identities, of some people in the fire department who were paid more than $200,000 in 2020.

Warren is violating Michigan's public records law and a series of court decisions, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation.

"It is essential that the public be able to track how its tax dollars are being spent," said Steve Delie, who focuses on transparency and open government at the Midland-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

An email seeking comment was sent to the city Monday.

The Mackinac Center said it learned that three fire department employees were each paid slightly more than $200,000 last year and another three were each paid more than $190,000. But no names were released by Warren, which has a population of about 134,000.

Read more: https://www.macombdaily.com/news/local/warren-sued-after-refusing-to-disclose-names-and-pay/article_965ea08c-7ad5-11eb-953c-db5c8f486d5b.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 04:33 AM (1 replies)

Group files records requests for Michigan school, state employee pension information

LANSING — Some Michigan public school retirees say they are unsettled by a nonprofit's recent public records requests for their pension information.

"I still have no idea what they're doing with that information," said Thelma Sain, a retired Michigan public school teacher who lives in Georgia. "It's more information than I would give."

Sain and other Michigan public school retirees who are part of the state pension system were notified this week their names and pension information were released through the Freedom of Information Act request, Department of Technology, Management and Budget spokesperson Caleb Buhs said in an email.

Steven Schupbach, who works for the Illinois nonprofit American Transparency, which tracks government spending, asked for retired public school workers' first and last names, middle initials, residential zip codes, last employer zip code and monthly payment amount.

Read more: https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/2021/03/02/two-transparency-groups-seek-salary-pension-information-michigan-workers/6834356002/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 04:26 AM (0 replies)

Detroit Whole Foods Shoppers Urged To Self-Monitor After Covid Infects 24 Workers

Whole Foods Midtown Detroit customers are advised to self-monitor for Covid symptoms if they visited the store between Feb.12-22.

The Detroit Health Department said 24 workers recently contracted Covid at the store at 100 Mack Ave., which closed for nearly two days.

"Anyone experiencing symptoms (such as shortness of breath, fever, cough, aching, chills, loss of taste or sense of smell) should isolate at home and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen," the Detroit Health Department says in a release. "Anyone who would like a rapid test may obtain one up to 14 days after possible exposure. Call (313) 230-0505 to make an appointment at the Joseph Walker Williams Recreation Center, 8431 Rosa Parks Blvd ."

The city said it knew of no customers that had contracted Covid as a result of the Whole Foods outbreak, first reported Thursday by Detour Detroit newsletter.

Read more: https://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/27448/detroit_whole_foods_customers_urged_to_self-monitor_after_covid_infects_24_workers
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 04:16 AM (0 replies)

Aretha Franklin estate reaches deal with IRS to pay off claimed $7.8 million tax debt

When Aretha Franklin died in 2018, a powerful creditor came calling: the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS claimed the singer’s estate owed more than $7.8 million in unpaid income taxes, interest and penalties, piled up from 2010 to 2017. Even while other thorny dramas in the Queen of Soul’s ongoing probate battle played out, sometimes pitting family against family, the IRS remained the mightiest hammer hanging overhead.

Now, in a major breakthrough, Franklin’s four sons and the IRS have reached an agreement that would speed up payment of the remaining tax burden — while giving the sons an injection of money from their late mother’s fortune.

At the moment, the heirs receive no money from the estate because of the IRS situation.

Read more: https://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/music/brian-mccollum/2021/03/01/aretha-franklin-estate-irs-tax-debt/6864913002/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 04:07 AM (2 replies)
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