Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—The Texas Attorney General’s office resolved the state’s enforcement action against the Texas Highway Patrol Museum (THPM), two of its affiliate organizations and its managers.
Under the settlement, donations that the defendants falsely solicited for the benefit of fallen troopers’ survivors will be distributed to the victims’ families.
“With the settlement, donations that were supposed to benefit the families of fallen police officers will finally be used to fulfill their intended purpose,” the attorney general’s office said in a prepared statement. “Generous Texans opened their wallets to aid those whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice for our state – and the defendants took advantage of that generosity, spending donated funds as they deemed fit. The state took action to secure these funds and ensure they will actually benefit the families of Texas’ fallen police officers.”
In December 2011, the state charged the defendants with illegally soliciting charitable donations, falsely claiming that donations to the organizations would benefit the survivors of fallen state troopers, and breaching their fiduciary duties as trustees of a charitable organization. The State’s enforcement action named the THPM, the Texas Highway Patrol Association (THPA), THPA Services Inc. and several senior officials as defendants.
Court documents filed by the state show that the defendants claimed to provide death benefits to slain law officers’ families and fund scholarships for state troopers’ family members. However, state investigators found that few survivors actually received any financial assistance, and many of the purported scholarship funds were awarded to children of THPM’s board members.
After the state filed its enforcement action, the court approved a receiver to take possession of the defendants’ assets and real property. Under the agreement, the defendants’ property will be liquidated and the proceeds will be allocated to surviving family members who never received the $10,000 benefit they were promised. Remaining proceeds will be donated to the Texas Department of Public Safety Foundation and the Department of Public Safety Historical Museum and Research Foundation, which will use these funds to fulfill donors’ original intent. The settlement also imposes civil penalties of more than $2 million.
The settlement also prohibits the individual defendants – Kenneth Lane Denton, Timothy Tierney and Steven Jenkins – from any future involvement with non-profit or for-profit organizations related to law enforcement. Defendant Ruben Villalva Jr. and other former board members were also ordered to comply with similar restrictions.
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