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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: 77,894

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

Enrollment at Virginia colleges dipped only 1% this semester, avoiding disaster

The number of students enrolled in colleges throughout Virginia has declined 1.3% this year, which amounts to a large sigh of relief for university and state leaders, who feared a drop of as much as 20% because of the coronavirus pandemic. Low-income students account for a large cross section of enrollment losses.

There are 6,658 fewer students at Virginia’s public and private institutions of higher education this fall, according to colleges’ estimated figures that the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia released Tuesday. The largest drop was at community colleges, where enrollment sank an unexpected 10%. Enrollment at public four-year schools was essentially flat, and private schools saw an increase thanks to large gains made by Liberty University.

Colleges’ ability to attract almost as many students despite the pandemic that upended their educational and community models illustrates their durability in the face of many challenges.

“It’s still the best and most predictable pathway to a middle-class-or-above lifestyle,” said Tod Massa, policy analytics director for SCHEV.

Read more: https://roanoke.com/news/local/education/enrollment-at-virginia-colleges-dipped-only-1-this-semester-avoiding-disaster/article_cc3d40cd-045e-5698-b871-462c36c77497.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Oct 1, 2020, 07:54 AM (2 replies)

Liberty pays severance owed to Falwell; further payment under dispute

Liberty University on Tuesday paid former President Jerry Falwell, Jr. the severance owed under his employment agreement, according to a statement from the university.

The university said Falwell is entitled to two years of his base salary and accrued retirement benefits, which likely totals more than $2 million, according to tax records and past statements by Falwell.

But Falwell, who resigned last month after a series of personal scandals, previously has said his contract entitles him to $10.5 million because the university board placed him on leave without cause, a violation of his employment agreement.

Falwell told several media outlets after his resignation the school owes him $2.5 million over 24 months — the equivalent of two years’ pay — and a lump-sum payment of $8 million after two years.

Read more: https://roanoke.com/news/local/education/liberty-pays-severance-owed-to-falwell-further-payment-under-dispute/article_fd49857a-2635-53eb-9200-d9b725f5b953.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Oct 1, 2020, 07:46 AM (4 replies)

Gov. Northam among 12 governors vowing to count votes, protect democracy

RICHMOND — A coalition of 12 governors, including Gov. Ralph Northam, issued a joint statement Wednesday defending American democracy and the election process.

The governors vowed to protect the people of their states and affirmed that all votes will be counted accurately.

"That means all valid ballots cast in accordance with state and local laws must be counted, and that all states must properly appoint electors in accordance with the vote," the statement said. "We will not allow anyone to willfully corrupt the democratic process by delegitimizing."

The joint statement was issued in response to "recent threats to the democratic process and reports of efforts to circumvent the election results." A press release from the governor's office linked to articles outlining President Donald Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

Read more: https://www.newsleader.com/story/news/2020/10/01/virginia-gov-northam-among-12-leaders-vowing-count-votes-protect-democracy/5876388002/
(Staunton News Leader)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Oct 1, 2020, 07:35 AM (2 replies)

Virginia lawmakers warn of 'deteriorating' conditions in two federal prisons as COVID-19 spreads

WASHINGTON — Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation from both political parties are pressing the U.S. Department of Justice’s internal watchdogs to include two state correctional facilities in the agency’s ongoing inspections during the pandemic.

In a Sept. 24 letter to DOJ’s Inspector General, the lawmakers raised concerns about unsafe health and safety procedures, COVID-19 outbreaks and shortages of personal protective equipment for staff and incarcerated individuals.

The two facilities that lawmakers want included in virtual inspections are the Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg and United States Penitentiary Lee.

“Our offices have received numerous reports from employees and families of incarcerated individuals regarding the spread of COVID-19 and allegations of deteriorating health and safety conditions within both facilities,” the Virginia lawmakers wrote to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Read more: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/09/29/virginia-lawmakers-warn-of-deteriorating-conditions-in-two-federal-prisons-as-covid-19-spreads/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Oct 1, 2020, 07:00 AM (1 replies)

Henrico yanks funding for police oversight job after prosecutor hires Black Lives Matter supporter

Henrico County leaders quietly quashed plans to hire a prosecutor dedicated to investigating complaints of police misconduct after learning earlier this month the lawyer selected for the job made frequent social media posts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

The new position would have been the first of its kind in the state, according to Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor, an independently elected constitutional officer who said she was aware of the posts and saw nothing disqualifying about them when she extended the job offer to Misty Whitehead, an Army veteran who has been practicing law in the county for 13 years.

But in an unusual turn of events, Taylor was effectively overruled by County Manager John Vithoulkas, who has no formal say in hiring decisions in the prosecutor’s office but froze county funding for the position when he was alerted to Whitehead’s public postings on Facebook, where she wrote about the need for police reform, praised departments working to build bridges with activists and offered sharp criticism for departments resisting change.

“When I saw what I saw I immediately thought, you know, this is not what Shannon Taylor and I discussed,” Vithoulkas said, calling the writings a clear indication of anti-police bias. “A county manager can’t tell a commonwealth’s attorney who to hire, but he can recommend whether or not local funds are included to supplement that salary. And in this case, I absolutely will not do it under any circumstances.”

Read more: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/09/30/henrico-yanks-funding-for-police-oversight-job-after-prosecutor-hires-black-lives-matter-supporter/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Oct 1, 2020, 06:44 AM (1 replies)

Laredo eye doctor pays over $3M to resolve fraud claims

A Laredo optometrist has paid more than $3.2 million to resolve allegations of Medicare fraud claims for unnecessary tests and procedures, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. David Mora owns Mora Eye Clinic. A proactive analysis of claims data revealed that Mora was one of the most significant statistical outliers in the nation for certain categories of claims, authorities said.

Mora allegedly billed Medicare for medically unnecessary punctal plug insertion, sensorimotor testing, vision therapy/orthoptics and amniotic membrane placement from Jan. 1, 2013, to June 14, 2019.

Fraudulent claims added up to $3,234,900.50, authorities said.

“Medical need did not appear to support many of the claims. The patient’s condition did not warrant the service or test or many treatments were repeated on the same patient more often than what would be medically reasonable or necessary,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Read more: https://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/Laredo-eye-doctor-pays-over-3M-to-resolve-fraud-15606837.php
(Laredo Morning Times)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Oct 1, 2020, 06:18 AM (0 replies)

Contract awarded to build another 40 miles of border wall in Webb County

Two more construction contracts have been awarded to build the border wall in Webb County, together totaling 40 miles and a combined contract value of nearly half a billion dollars.

A contract for 27 miles was awarded to Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., for a contract value of $283,150,000. And another contract was awarded to Southwest Valley Constructors Co. to build 13 miles of barriers for a total contract value of $201,250,000, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday.

These contracts include a 30-foot steel bollard wall, all-weather roads, lighting, cameras and other technology. The government plans for construction to begin in September 2021.

This makes four construction contracts that the federal government has awarded for the border wall system in Webb County.

Read more: https://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/Contract-awarded-to-build-another-40-miles-of-15609735.php
(Laredo Morning Times)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Oct 1, 2020, 06:12 AM (3 replies)

Newly reported Texas coronavirus cases jump

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The number of newly reported cases of the coronavirus in Texas took a jump Wednesday as state health officials reported 5,335 new cases, 40% more than the 3,812 cases reported Tuesday.

That raised the total Texas caseload since the state began coronavirus tracking in March to 748,767. Of those, 69,767 cases were active and 3,344 were hospitalized Wednesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported.

The true number of cases is likely higher though because many people haven’t been tested and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

The state also reported 107 new deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. That’s a 51% increase from the 71 deaths reported Tuesday. The death toll in Texas is now at 15,711.

Read more: https://www.brownsvilleherald.com/2020/09/30/newly-reported-texas-coronavirus-cases-jump/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Oct 1, 2020, 02:25 AM (1 replies)

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Donald Trump Refuses to Condemn White Supremacy

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Oct 1, 2020, 01:49 AM (1 replies)

American Airlines says it will start furloughing 19,000 workers Thursday

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said the company will begin furloughs and layoffs for 19,000 workers on Thursday as planned after congressional leaders failed to come to an agreement on more payroll support for the struggling industry.

Talks in Washington were continuing, however, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin reported progress in a 90-minute meeting Wednesday.

Parker and other airline executives have pinned hopes on the federal government coming through with more aid to cover company payrolls. But despite bipartisan support and efforts from the White House, it’s mired in the larger pandemic aid package in Congress.

“You are all well aware that tomorrow, Oct. 1, the Payroll Support Program under the CARES Act is set to expire,” Parker said in a letter to employees Wednesday evening “As a result, tomorrow, we will begin the difficult process of furloughing 19,000 of our hardworking and dedicated colleagues.”

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/business/airlines/2020/09/30/american-airlines-will-start-furloughing-for-19000-workers-thursday-after-deal-for-aid-falls-through/
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