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Texas Supreme Court: petitioners’ rights ignored with Houston ‘equal rights ordinance’ challenge

A new Texas Supreme Court ruling found the city of Houston violated petitioners’ rights when it ignored a valid petition effort and, instead, passed a controversial equal rights ordinance. The city must now either repeal the ordinance or place it on the November ballot. In noting City Secretary Anna Russell’s certification of a 2014 petition Keep Reading…

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TEA Snapshot data offers view of Bell County ISDs (TX)

Newly released Texas Education Agency Snapshot: School District Profiles provide valuable district-generated data offering insight as to the performance and spending trends of our state’s 1,200+ school districts. These latest reports document the 2013-2014 school year. Their review can suggest to Bell County and other Texas parents, employers and engaged citizens just how much “bang” Keep Reading…

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Rest in Peace Latifa Ring

It is with sadness that we share news regarding the passing of elder and guardianship abuse activist Latifa Ring. From the Houston Chronicle: Latifa Sefiane Ring 1955-2015 Latifa Sefiane Ring, 59, of Houston went home to be with her Lord, Sunday, July 19, 2015. She was born December 23, 1955 in Morocco. She is preceded Keep Reading…

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Texas Ed Agency updates school district performance, spending ‘snapshots’

The Texas Education Agency has posted its Snapshot: School District Profiles data for the 2013-2014 school year. Not only does this district-generated data offer insight as to the performance and spending trends of the state’s 1,200+ school districts, but it can also help engaged taxpayers gauge their return on education dollars. A Snapshot summary gives Keep Reading…

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Texas cities offer immigration sanctuary

Sanctuary cities, along with select counties and even states, often shield criminal aliens from federal immigration law enforcement including deportation actions. They are the focus of new nationwide controversy as an alleged illegal alien suspect arrested in the murder of Kathryn Steinle, a 32-year-old woman shot dead July 1 in San Francisco, appears to have Keep Reading…

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State education proficiency gaps exposed

Proficiency gaps suggest an inflation of performance outcomes within today’s education industry. Sitting in a classroom doesn’t guarantee proficiency. Neither does a passing grade nor a diploma. From Watchdog Arena: Proficiency. It’s what makes an education useful. States track proficiency levels, but new research from Foundation for Excellence in Education shows how variances in state tests and Keep Reading…

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Texas financial health – a mixed bag

Some folks think government’s spending spree never has to end. And some folks just don’t think at all. Nonetheless, our latest drum-beating on the need for fiscal vigilance. From Watchdog Arena: Though problem areas bear watching, Texas’ financial health comes in at #19 among U.S. states according to a new Ranking the States by Fiscal Keep Reading…

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Will California vaccine mandate prompt action in Texas?

This is an issue to watch. Not like plenty of people haven’t been for many years, but it seems destined to ratchet up to new levels. From Watchdog Arena: An array of vaccination bills failed to gain traction in the recent Texas legislative session, but sentiments similar to California’s newly passed measure “designed to raise Keep Reading…

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School choice: The ‘missing link’ in Texas education freedom

The challenges Texas students face as they graduate high school, college or other post-K-12 educational pursuits once again reminds how school choice is the “missing link” when it comes to true education reform in the Lone Star State. The problem Many students are trapped in failing schools. Roughly one in four of today’s ninth-graders never Keep Reading…

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Summer hiatus ahead

July is here and so is the Estate of Denial® summer hiatus. A busy few months are ahead so while new columns will be posted over the upcoming weeks, archiving probate abuse articles won’t resume until shortly after Labor Day. Hope everyone has a great and safe summer!

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Spat over Vanderbilt mansion gets nasty; even descendant Anderson Cooper isn’t spared (RI)

NEWPORT, R.I. –  The Vanderbilt family has fallen into a full-blown public spat with the nonprofit organization that now owns their spectacular Rhode Island mansion called The Breakers. The conflict includes intimations that the Preservation Society of Newport County might sue or that it might evict the two Vanderbilts who still summer rent-free on the Keep Reading…

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Ohio Senate signs off on bill to allow probate judges to issue search warrants

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Senate signed off Thursday on legislation allowing probate judges to issue search warrants — a law change that was prompted by a court case in Stark County. SB 161 passed on a vote of 33-0 and heads to the Ohio House for further consideration. The legislation stems from a warrant obtained Keep Reading…

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Patrick Swayze’s family is at war with his widow — This time, they’re feuding over his estate

It’s been more than five years since Patrick Swayze passed away, but he still can’t rest peacefully — as his family and his widow, Lisa Niemi, are at war over the late actor’s ranch, Rancho Bizarro! A new report by Radar Online alleges the Dirty Dancing actor’s family wanted to turn his beloved ranch into Keep Reading…

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Report: Nearly half of Social Security disability beneficiaries were overpaid by government

Waste is a real and pressing issue in Social Security’s disability programs. According to a recent report by the Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration, 44.5 percent of beneficiaries received more money than they were supposed to at some point between 2004 and 2014. Recipients enrolled before October 2003 were overpaid Keep Reading…

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Sonoma Co. counselor arrested for elder abuse and theft (CA)

Santa Rosa police arrested a self-employed counselor for elderly clients on suspicion of defrauding $26,000 from a woman over the last four months, a police sergeant said. Andrew Ross, 46, of Healdsburg, became a trustee of the 86-year-old woman’s personal checking account in October and made several electronic transfers to his personal accounts, Sgt. Lisa Keep Reading…

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