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Taxpayer-funded lobbying under fire in Texas

Taxpayer-funded lobbying is a practice that both harms taxpayers and demeans the Texas legislative process. From Watchdog Arena: The tone was low-key, but stakes were high on Monday as Texas local governments squared off against taxpayer advocates in a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing on taxpayer-funded lobbying. SB 1862 seeks to not only stop Keep Reading…

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Missing millionaire’s mystery still unsolved (FL)

Almost like the opening scene of a mystery thriller, a motorboat washed ashore along nightclub row on Fort Lauderdale Beach on a warm June evening of 2012, lights on and outboard motors running. But there was no trace of its owner, multi-millionaire Guma Aguiar, only his wallet, cellphone and some clothing; no blood or other Keep Reading…

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Guardianship reform could offer new freedoms (TX)

Dawn Carlton is intellectually disabled, but she says she manages fine on her own. She lives in a cheery South Austin apartment with her cat, Bella, where she manages her rent and bills, as well as her medication. And although it took her six years to learn, she proudly says she knows how to drive and Keep Reading…

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Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s website denies she’s in coma

LOS ANGELES — Conflicting information about Joni Mitchell’s health was released Tuesday, with a longtime friend stating in a court filing that the singer was unconscious and unable to care for herself while a statement from the Grammy winner’s website stated she is alert and expected to make a full recovery. Mitchell has been hospitalized Keep Reading…

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Longtime Cleveland attorney charged with stealing $115,000 from estate (OH)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — An 84-year-old Cleveland attorney is accused of stealing $115,000 from the estate of a client, and using the money to pay his bills. Gerald Cooper is charged in federal court with wire fraud for stealing from the estate of Henry Luke. He used the money to pay credit card bills, sports tickets and mortgage Keep Reading…

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Liberia: Bassam ejected over Milad Hage’s estate

At long last, Lebanese businessman Bassam Jawhary has been booted out of the late Milad R. Hage’s estate after almost six years of legal battle over the property between him and the late Milad R. Hage’s wife, Oumou Sirleaf Hage. Documents including purported letters of testamentary which were in possession of Mr. Jawhary placing him Keep Reading…

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Tom Benson family feud: New keeper of trusts holding Saints, Pelicans steps in (TX/LA)

In the ongoing family struggle over Tom Benson’s fortune, a new attorney is now overseeing the trusts holding non-voting shares in the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans franchises – interests in the teams that Benson wants to take back, according to court records. Benson, controlling owner of the sports franchises, filed a lawsuit in federal court Keep Reading…

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Lawyer charged with deceiving family of dead man after he misplaced the will (NY)

Honesty wasn’t the best policy for an estate lawyer who strung along a grieving family for more than a year after he misplaced a dead man’s will — even going so far as to forge a fake receipt, prosecutors charged on Wednesday. James Robbins, 62, pleaded not guilty to possession of a forged instrument and Keep Reading…

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Chinachem begins new fight for Nina billions (HK)

Chinachem Charitable Foundation told the top court that as the beneficiary it has complete control over the HK$83 billion estate of late tycoon Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum. Opening for Chinachem, barrister Brian Green told the Court of Final Appeal that Wang’s 2002 will was an unconditional gift to the foundation, meaning it could take over Keep Reading…

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‘Liberty City’ movement finding home in Texas

Another one from the limited government/personal liberty front. From Watchdog Arena: Texans take freedom seriously. And despite a penchant for doing things “big,” big, intrusive government is one thing they’ve historically resisted. With this, the growing appeal of “Liberty Cities” – a new municipal government structure based on maintaining limited government, pro-free market policies and Keep Reading…

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Officer’s $2.7M benefactor had dementia, doctor testifies (NH)

DOVER — Geraldine Webber had dementia, had fallen several times and broken bones, and lost her ability to tell a dirty joke, said her physician, Dr. Ira Schwartz, on the first day of the hearing to contest Webber’s last will and trust. The hearing is being held at the 7th Circuit Court – Probate Division Keep Reading…

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Stuff it: Millennials nix their parents’ treasures

A seismic shift of stuff is underway in homes all over America. Members of the generation that once embraced sex, drugs and rock-and-roll are trying to offload their place settings for 12, family photo albums and leather sectionals. Their offspring don’t want them. As baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, start cleaning out attics Keep Reading…

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Rita LeBlanc gives support to film industry subsidies at Louisiana Legislature committee in Baton Rouge (TX/LA)

Ever since a protracted legal battle against her grandfather — Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson — erupted, Rita LeBlanc has kept a low public profile. But on Tuesday, she took a minute to describe how she’s been occupying herself since being fired from her job as a high-ranking executive with the Saints and Pelicans Keep Reading…

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Judge denies TRO in Waimanalo land dispute (HI)

HONOLULU —The Lorenzo family was very cooperative appearing before a judge in circuit court Monday. Click here to watch Catherie Cruz’s report. “We will help in any way we can,” said Windyscelaus Lorenzo. The family agrees little fire ants are a problem and they promise not to get in the way of inspectors surveying for Keep Reading…

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Texas officials loosen grip on ‘everyone’s private driver’ Uber

Many of us who value free markets, competition and  civil liberties have taken special interest in ride-booking companies’ entry into Texas markets. From Watchdog Arena: While Texas prides itself on being an economic freedom stronghold, local governments’ resistance to Uber and other ride-booking companies demonstrate one more liberty-related divergence existing between the state’s private citizens Keep Reading…

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