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The Speakes family battle goes south

Larry Speakes had one of those classic Washington careers. A small-town guy with a Mississippi drawl who was promoted amid crisis into a top White House job, he served longer than any other press secretary of the past half-century, wrote a controversial memoir — then receded into quiet corporate life. Now 69 and suffering the Keep Reading…

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County to respond to report citing deficiencies in Public Guardian’s Office (CA)

Riverside County supervisors voted 5-0 to receive and file the 19-member civil grand jury’s report on the Public Guardian’s Office and have the Executive Office address the jury’s findings by March 11. The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday directed staff to respond to a grand jury report that found Riverside County workers who manage the affairs Keep Reading…

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Battle Over Robert Rauschenberg’s $600 million estate continues (FL)

CAPTIVA ISLAND, Fla. (AP) — Before he died in 2008, pop artist Robert Rauschenberg asked three of his closest friends to oversee his $600 million estate. In a lawsuit that has dragged on for years with Rauschenberg’s family and charitable foundation, those friends are asking for $60 million in fees as compensation for administering the Keep Reading…

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If Sheffield opts out, Texas House District 55 debate to feature challenger White, empty chair

In 2012, Clint Eastwood captured attention at least of the political class with his Republican National Convention speech that featured the veteran actor and director addressing an empty chair representing the not-present President Barack Obama. A similar scenario may soon play out in Bell County if state Rep. Ralph Sheffield, R-Temple, opts out of a Keep Reading…

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Friend sues estate of former UMA professor over $100,000 check (ME)

AUGUSTA, Maine — John M. Nickerson left his friend Daniel A. Toto Jr. of Vassalboro his car, two gold watches and, according to Toto, a check for $100,000. But Toto has not been able to cash the check since Nickerson died seven months ago because a representative of the estate doesn’t believe it bears the Keep Reading…

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Tuition set asides: Texas higher education’s hidden tax

A new college semester kicks off this week for students across Texas. Rising college costs continue getting well-deserved attention, but unknown to many students in public higher education institutions – not all of their tuition paid is used to fund their collegiate experience thanks to a state-mandated mechanism called tuition set asides. In 2003 the Keep Reading…

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Accountant who claims he is Princess Margaret’s son wins court ruling (UK)

A man who claims he may be the illegitimate son of the late Princess Margaret has won a high court ruling that could advance his efforts to see the contents of the wills of the Queen’s sister and mother. Robert Brown, 58, an accountant from Jersey, is seeking to prove that Princess Margaret hid a Keep Reading…

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Texas public officials make ‘America’s Worst Bosses’ ranking

eBossWatch, a career resource that enables people to anonymously rate their bosses and evaluate potential employers, has published its fifth annual list of America’s Worst Bosses and within the 50-member listing, three are from Texas. Equally disturbing is that well over half of the list comprises “bosses” in government or other taxpayer-funded venues. Out of Keep Reading…

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Woman’s financial watchdog failed to pay taxes on house (AZ)

In a stark petition to the court last year, the Maricopa County public fiduciary asked permission to sell Cathy Jarnigan’s home of 41 years and move her to an apartment. The fiduciary’s office said the move was “prudent and needed” because the 52-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, lacked the funds to pay three years of Keep Reading…

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Turner announces House speaker challenge (TX)

Though a year out from the gavel dropping in a new legislative session, a Friday filing by state Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, that he’s running for Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 84th Texas Legislature is a move that undoubtedly kicks the upcoming campaign season into higher gear. While attending Texas Public Policy Keep Reading…

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Artist Calder’s heirs lose fraud suit (NY)

(Bloomberg) — Heirs of Alexander Calder, the American modernist who invented the moving sculpture known as the mobile, lost a $20 million fraud lawsuit against the estate of his longtime dealer, Klaus Perls. Many of the claims in the case amounted to “an incoherent stew of irrelevance and innuendo,” and the evidence failed to show Keep Reading…

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Trial alert! Courtney Love to defend controversial Tweet on Monday (CA)

This Monday, Courtney Love will go to trial in a groundbreaking case. The rock star will not only become the first celebrity to defend an allegedly defamatory tweet inside a U.S. courtroom, but she might have to address the wild and maybe uncontrollable way she’s acted in the past. She’s being pursued by Rhonda Holmes, Keep Reading…

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Doyle estate disputes use of Sherlock tales

(CHICAGO, AP) — It’s the kind of puzzle that might have amused Sherlock Holmes himself. Now that copyright protections have expired on nearly all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales about the pipe-puffing detective in the deerstalker hat, are writers free to depict the character in new mysteries without seeking permission or paying license fees? Keep Reading…

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Judge: Hard to believe depths of Cameron County corruption (TX)

BROWNSVILLE — An extensive federal investigation found corruption in the Cameron County’s legal system and judiciary to be so pervasive that most people probably wouldn’t believe it — “unless they heard it themselves,” U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen said in 2013. Hanen made his statement on Dec. 3, as he sentenced Austin attorney Marc Keep Reading…

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Combs lawsuit cost county $500K in fees (TX)

After eight years and more than $500,000 in legal fees, the Kaufman County vs. Jo Ann E. Combs saga is drawing to a close, according to Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood. It cost the county $710,048.59 in legal fees to defend itself against Combs claims of non payment. In 2002, Combs was awarded $143,168.95 by Keep Reading…

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