Knoxville Hearing Officer Revokes Bar’s Beer Permit for Violating COVID-Related Curfew; Owners Can’t Reapply for 10 Years

A hearing officer on behalf of the Knoxville Beer Board revoked a bar’s beer permit for violating COVID-19 curfew mandates. The bar, Billiards and Brews, had accrued 18 curfew violations up to that point. The hearing officer, Gerald Gulley, issued the decision following a special hearing on Tuesday. According to the Knoxville City Code, businesses can’t apply for another permit for ten years after it has been revoked.

In the opinion, Gulley asserted that the city’s requested relief to suspend the bar’s beer permit for 75 days minimum and enforce fines per violation wasn’t going far enough. He cited the city code’s note that disorderly manner of operations necessitate the revocation of a beer permit, and declared that Billiards and Brews’ failure to heed curfews aligned with that standard of punishment.

Read More

FBI Billboards Nationwide Demand Tips on Suspects Who Allegedly Breached U.S. Capitol on January 6

FBI officials have erected several billboards throughout the United States seeking information about anyone at large who helped breach the U.S. Capitol on January 6. According to witnesses, FBI officials have placed many of these billboards along the nation’s interstates. The billboards ask for tips and inform people that they may submit information about suspects through either a website or a toll-free telephone number.

Read More

Facebook Says New Algorithm Will ‘Reduce Political Content’ on News Feeds

Facebook announced on Wednesday the social media platform will in the coming weeks start limiting the amount of political content viewers see on their news feeds.

The company is aware that “people don’t want political content to take over their News Feed,” Product Management Director Aastha Gupta wrote in a blog post on the site.

Read More

Commentary: Expose the False Narrative of the ‘1619 Project’ by Teaching Students About Federalism and the States

A few weeks ago, the civics curriculum wars reached the White House: Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission published its first report on a Monday, and Joe Biden’s administration disbanded the group by Wednesday, the new president’s first day in office. The Commission’s first and only act, the 1776 Report, was a conservative response to the New York Times’s 1619 project, which it criticized by name. Its aim was to lay the foundation of a proper American civics education. The U.S. civics curriculum is subject to constant badgering from the Right and the Left, and as this latest White House drama shows, each side restating its narrative at the other accomplishes little. Conservatives are correct to care about America’s founding principles. But by tripping over tweaks to the curriculum, we miss a bigger opportunity to help the next generation act on one of those principles: federalism. Focus on national narratives comes at the expense of state-level knowledge and action.

Read More

Sr. VP for State Advocacy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Todd Ziebarth Talks Federal Funding and State Rankings

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed VP of State Advocacy for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Todd Ziebarth to the newsmakers line to talk about federal funding and state ranking.

Read More

New Jobless Claims Increase to 793,000, Economists Expected 760,000

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 793,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Jan. 30, in which there were 812,000 new jobless claims reported. The number was revised up from the 779,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Read More

YouTube Deletes Top Pro-Life News Outlet’s Channel for ‘Violating Our COVID-19 Misinformation Policy’

YouTube deleted a pro-life news outlet’s channel for “violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy,” a spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation Wednesday.

LifeSite News announced the ban Wednesday morning, noting that it cut the site off from its 300,000 followers.

Read More

Biden Administration Expects to Rely on Trump-Era Private Detention Facility to Hold Migrant Teenagers at the Border

A Trump-era temporary private facility for holding unaccompanied migrant teenagers will reopen at the southern border as the Biden administration anticipates it will be needed within the next two weeks.

The spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human (HHS) Administration for Children and Families declined to answer when asked how the Biden administration’s treatment of detained children would differ from conditions during the Trump administration and instead pointed to President Joe Biden’s executive order on reuniting separated families.

Read More

Joe Biden Forces Out Donald Trump-Appointed U.S. Attorney in Memphis

U.S. President Joe Biden has requested the resignation of U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant, who oversees the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee and who was appointed by former U.S. President Donald Trump. U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Cherri Green told The Tennessee Star in an email Thursday that U.S. Attorneys “serve at the will and pleasure of the President.”

Read More

Commentary: The Real Life History of St. Valentine and His Unlikely Connection to Romance

On Feb. 14, sweethearts of all ages will exchange cards, flowers, candy, and more lavish gifts in the name of St. Valentine. But as a historian of Christianity, I can tell you that at the root of our modern holiday is a beautiful fiction. St. Valentine was no lover or patron of love.

Read More

California Refugee and Creator of the Blog Misrule of Law Mark Pulliam Warns Conservatives Not to be Complacent

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed retired attorney and creator of the blog Misrule of Law Mark Pulliam to the newsmakers line to talk about conservative complacency and his latest piece at The Federalist.

Read More

Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody Talks Vaccine Law Guardrails, the 10th Amendment, and Upholding the Constitution

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed State Senator Mark Pody to the newsmakers line to discuss the legislative session and bills he’s proposing.

Read More

Recall Effort Has the Signatures for a Vote on Gavin Newsom

Tom del Beccaro, leader in the ongoing effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom said they have reached the 1.5 million signatures needed to qualify for a statewide vote, Breitbart reports.

“EVERYONE: We have over 1.5 mill raw signatures but they are not all verified,” del Beccaro tweeted late Wednesday evening. “My message is that 1.5m sounds great but is NOT ENOUGH.” To ensure qualification we need 1.9 million.”

Read More

Report: WHO COVID Investigator Is Recipient of Chicom Grant; Worked with Wuhan Lab for 18 Years

An influential member of the World Health Organization who claimed to have no conflicts of interest regarding China, has accepted research grants from the Chinese Communist Party and runs a U.S.-based research organization that been working with the Wuhan Institute of Virology for 18 years, the National Pulse reported.

Read More

CEO and Founder Bob Woodson of The Woodson Center Talks About 1776unites.com and Focusing on the Student

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed CEO and Founder of the Woodson Center, Bob Woodson to the newsmakers line to talk about 1776unites.com and improving the education of children.

Read More

‘Mandalorian’ Actress Gina Carano Fired over Social Media Posts

Actress Gina Carano, who has a starring role in Disney’s Star Wars-themed series “The Mandalorian,” has been fired by Disney over her conservative views, according to Fox News.

The actress and former MMA fighter has frequently expressed conservative viewpoints on social media, ranging from pointing out voter fraud in the 2020 election to questioning certain government mandates related to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

Read More

Lee Denounces Biden Executive Order, Says Transgender Athletes ‘Will Destroy Women’s Sports’

Responding to a bill in the Tennessee Legislature that would ban transgender individuals from participating in girls’ middle school and high school athletics, Gov. Bill Lee said Wednesday that trans participation would “destroy women’s sports.”

Speaking to reporters at the state Capitol on Wednesday, Lee stopped short of voicing support for a Tennessee bill that would prohibit trans students from participating in middle and high school girls’ athletics, but he spoke to the issue.

Read More

All Star Panelist Dr. Carol Swain Weighs in on Joe Biden’s Lack of Transparency

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Carol Swain to the studio to discuss Joe Biden’s lack of transparency and the privilege of having the right last name.

Read More

New School Choice Measure Proposed: Tennessee ‘Opportunity Scholarships Program’ Would Allow Choice Between Public or Private Schooling

Newly proposed legislation would establish an annual scholarship program enabling students to choose private schooling. The bill, filed on Tuesday by State Representative Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna), would apply to students within Tennessee’s rapid growth school districts (TRGSDs) according to Tennessee’s Department of Education (TDOE). Any local education agency (LEA), or school district, that has two percent growth over the course of five years would be eligible.

The bill capped scholarship recipients at 1,000 students. If more than 1,000 students applied for the scholarship, then TDOE would select the recipients via lottery preference. Students who have enrolled previously or have siblings in any given participating school would receive preference in such a lottery.

Read More

Destroyed Minneapolis Diner Sues City Claiming Negligence During Floyd Riots, Seeks $4.5 Million

A Minneapolis diner sued the city for not stopping rioters from demolishing its property. The lawsuit is the first since the May riots, which resulted in roughly $500 million in damages to properties located in the Twin Cities.

Kacey White and Charles Stotts, on behalf of Lake Street Town Talk Diner & Gastropub, filed a federal lawsuit arguing Mayor Jacob Frey and the city “stood back and watched as their failure to follow the policies in place destroyed the businesses on Lake Street.”

Read More

Ohio Gov. DeWine Lifts Curfew and Last Call Order

During his COVID briefing, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine announced the statewide curfew – which had been amended to begin at 11:00 p.m. from its original 10 o’clock start – expired Thursday and that he would not extend the order.

Read More

Virginia Woman Sentenced to Jail for Laundering Mexican Cartel Money

A former business owner in Virginia has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to using that business to launder money for a dangerous Mexican cartel. 

“Ana Bella Sanchez-Rios, the former owner and operator of a Martinsville business used to launder more than $4.3 million in profits for an international drug cartel, was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court to 96 months in federal prison,” according to a press release from the Western District of Virginia. 

Read More

Virginia General Assembly Pushes Forward with Taxes on Forgiven PPP Loan Revenue

The Virginia General Assembly is moving forward with legislation that would effectively make employers who received Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loans liable for state taxes. Bills that would practically exempt all income from the forgiven loans have been replaced with legislation that caps how much of the loan is exempt. Business advocates warn that the taxes could surprise the struggling businesses that the PPP loans were meant to help.

The bills bring Virginia’s tax code into conformity with the IRS; Virginia’s tax law doesn’t automatically change to match federal law, so state legislators pass tax conformity bills.

Read More

Joint General Assembly Committee Review of Circuit Court Judge Candidates Turns Explosive

Judicial interviews with a joint meeting of the House Courts of Justice and Senate Judiciary Committee are normally calm formalities as legislators ask the judicial candidates perfunctory questions. But on Tuesday, a virtual meeting to interview 29 candidates for juvenile and domestic relations court, district court, and circuit court judges turned emotional.

Read More

Michigan Gov. Whitmer Draws First 2022 Republican Challenger

Michigan’s Democrat governor has drawn her first challenger of the 2022 election cycle, and that candidate is already raising eyebrows. 

“From a seemingly homemade podium on his virtual stage, 35-year-old Austin Chenge is amassing thousands of social media followers as the first Republican candidate to enter the 2022 race for Michigan governor,” FOX17 reported. 

Read More

Tennessee Legislators Propose Empowering General Assembly to Scrutinize Presidential Executive Orders for Constitutionality

Several state representatives and senators have proposed a bill to review the constitutionality of presidential executive orders. According to the bills, if Congress doesn’t affirm an executive order and isn’t signed into law, then the joint government operations committee of Tennessee’s General Assembly would review whether the order overextends its scope of authority. Upon concluding their review, the committee would decide whether to recommend the Tennessee Attorney General and Governor to reexamine or seek an exemption from the order.

Additionally, the bill proposed that no state agency, political subdivision, elected officials, or government employees could enforce the order if the Tennessee Attorney General determines it is unconstitutional. That portion of the proposed bill would specifically apply to orders concerning pandemics or public health emergencies; natural resource regulations; agricultural industry regulations; land use regulations; financial regulations concerning environmental, social, or governance standards; and Second Amendment regulations. 
Additionally, the bill proposed that no state agency, political subdivision, elected officials, or government employees could enforce the order if the Tennessee Attorney General determines it is unconstitutional. That portion of the proposed bill would specifically apply to orders concerning pandemics or public health emergencies; natural resource regulations; agricultural industry regulations; land use regulations; financial regulations concerning environmental, social, or governance standards; and Second Amendment regulations. 
Additionally, the bill proposed that no state agency, political subdivision, elected officials, or government employees could enforce the order if the Tennessee Attorney General determines it is unconstitutional. That portion of the proposed bill would specifically apply to orders concerning pandemics or public health emergencies; natural resource regulations; agricultural industry regulations; land use regulations; financial regulations concerning environmental, social, or governance standards; and Second Amendment regulations. 

Read More