Count And The Amount Of The Scholarships Meted Out To Representative Johnson’s Kin And Associates

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

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The Dallas Morning News first report on the scholarships wrongly granted to family members of Dallas, Texas United States Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson was filed this past Sunday.  Now the reporter,  Todd J. Gillman, has filed an update with more information:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson awarded eight scholarships last year to her grandsons and a top aide’s children – bringing to 23 the number of awards she handed out since 2005 in violation of Congressional Black Caucus Foundation eligibility rules.

The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that over the last five years, the Dallas Democrat has awarded up to $20,000 in 15 scholarships to two grandsons, two great-nephews, and aide Rod Givens’ children between 2005 and 2008. The 2009 awards – reflected in a previously undisclosed list provided Monday by the foundation – push that above $25,000.

The representative says  she is not ashamed to have helped, but if any rules were broken by her, said breaking of rules was not intentional.  A thin story, but we’ll allow her statement, but still count it as a giant FAIL of the ethics category … since she certainly should have known.  She goes on to say she will make restitution by this weekend and will take steps to insure such will not repeat.

The representative said that had more students outside her family and close associates’ families been available to receive a scholarship, she might not have pick relatives with which to grant scholarships.  Nonetheless,  she did and others have plenty to say about her lack of attention to rules.  You can read the rest by clicking here.

Health Department Reports First Two Cases Of West Nile Virus In 2010 For NM

Culex mosquitos (Culex quinquefasciatus shown)...

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The New Mexico Business Weekly in a report dated August 27th announced that the New Mexico Health Department has announced the first two cases of West Nile virus for 2010:

In one case, a 67-year-old woman from San Juan County was diagnosed and hospitalized with neurological symptoms, the more severe form of West Nile virus.

A 47-year-old woman from Doña Ana County also had a positive West Nile test when she donated blood. Later, she developed mild symptoms. She has recovered.

You can read all of the story here to determine symptoms and precautions.  And you can click here for health department fact sheets in English and Spanish.