Proposed Tennessee Valley Authority Transmission Line to Service New Facebook Data Center and Economic Development in Gallatin Will Impact Hundreds of Residential Property Owners’ Values and Raises Safety Concerns

A Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) proposed transmission line that will service the new Facebook data center and support future economic development in Gallatin will impact as many as 165 property owners representing about 225 parcels, lowering their property values and raising their concerns for safety.

TVA notified property owners affected by the proposed transmission via letters dated in mid-January, which invited them to access a virtual open house between January 21 and February 22 for further information and the opportunity comment on the project.

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Commentary: The Uniparty’s Wishful Thinking

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) committed a mortal political error on Saturday when, after voting to acquit President Trump on constitutional grounds, he accused the former president of the crime of being “practically and morally” responsible for the invasion and vandalization of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and the deaths of five people. 

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Crom Carmichael Discusses Cuomo’s Coverup and the Upcoming Battle Within the Democratic Party

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the lies of Governor Cuomo and the rise of an internal battle within the Democratic Party.

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Author and Political Writer Ben Weingarten on His Latest Book, American Ingrate, New Podcast, and What He Predicts from a Biden Presidency

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed author and political writer Ben Weingarten to the newsmakers line to discuss his new book and what he sees coming in a Biden presidency.

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U.S. Retail Sales Jump in January in Positive Sign for Economy

The U.S. retail sales were much higher than economists projected in January, ending a multi-month streak of underperformance, according to the Commerce Department.

Retail sales increased 5.3% and totaled $568.2 billion in January, according to the Department of Commerce report released Wednesday. Economists had predicted retail sales to increase by 1.2%, The New York Times reported.

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War Room: Steve Bannon Examines the Breaking of America’s Sovereignty Through the Southern Border

Stephen K. Bannon discusses the radical Democrats’ plan on War Room: Pandemic radio show to break the sovereignty of the United States of America through piecemealing an unpassable immigration bill that dismantles the southern border.

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Former State Rep. and Sr. Advisor to Governor Lee, John DeBerry Talks About His New Role and a Very Different Democratic Party

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed advisor to Governor Lee and former Tenessee State Representative John DeBerry to the newsmakers line to talk about being ousted from the new left-wing Democratic Party and where the party is headed today.

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Tennessee State Representative Mark White Talks About His Road to Politics and the Transgender Sports Executive Order

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Memphis Tennessee State Represenative Mark White to the newsmakers line to discuss his background and how Tennessee will respond to the transgender sports executive order.

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Representative Harshbarger Condemns East Tennessee State University Basketball Team for Kneeling During National Anthem

The behavior of East Tennessee State University (ETSU) basketball has caught the ire of their congresswoman. Freshman Representative Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01) criticized the basketball team on Thursday after the team’s practice of kneeling in protest to the national anthem was made known. 

ETSU Head Coach Jason Shay supported his team’s decision, stating that the country’s soldiers and people of color have experienced similar levels of “sacrifice, fear, pain, anxiety, [and] loss.” 

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U.S. Oil Production Crashes 40 Percent

The crash in U.S. oil production is growing worse as freezing temperatures and power outages in Texas prevent pumping the fossil fuels from the ground.

Bloomberg reported that oil production has plunged by close to 40% — the most ever, according to traders and industry executives with direct knowledge of the operations.

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Analysis: Biden’s New Dawn of Net-Zero Is Looking Like a Dark Day for Labor

Last Labor Day, candidate Joe Biden made an impassioned pitch to leaders and members of the AFL-CIO, America’s largest labor federation. Stressing that “the great American middle class was built by unions,” he jabbed his finger in the air for emphasis as he promised, “I’m going to be the strongest labor president you have ever had,” drawing a smile from his longtime ally and friend, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

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Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines May Offer Less Protection Against South African Coronavirus Variant

Recent studies indicate that the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines may have reduced protection against the South African coronavirus strain, according to reports in the New England Journal of Medicine, raising concerns that they could be less effective against future mutations.

Though both vaccines appeared to generate enough antibodies to neutralize the mutant strain, they both produced fewer antibodies when compared to the original virus. But experts warned that it was unclear just how much protection was needed to neutralize the variant, which scientists believe is more contagious than the original strain.

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Nearly 5,000 National Guard Troops to Stay in DC Until Mid-March Amid Concerns That QAnon Will Storm Capitol Again

The Biden Department of Defense will be keeping National Guard Troops in Washington, D.C. until at least mid-March in part because of a little known QAnon conspiracy theory that could spur another storming of the Capitol, a House Democrat suggested on Wednesday.

“Some of these people have figured out that apparently 75 years ago, the president used to be inaugurated on March 4. OK, now why that’s relevant, God knows, at any rate, now they are thinking maybe we should gather again and storm the Capitol on March 4. … That is circulating online,”  House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said during a  committee hearing.

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Tennessee Reports More Fatalities as Inclement Weather Continues into the Weekend

Tennessee remained at a Level Three State of Emergency Friday night as people in certain counties had no power during extreme winter temperatures, and officials reported more weather-related fatalities. In an emailed press release Friday, officials with the Tennessee Department of Health confirmed two weather-related deaths in Shelby County. TDH officials had previously reported two other fatalities in the county as well one fatality each in Maury, Williamson, Dickson, and Overton counties, bringing the total number of fatalities this week to eight.

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Steve Bannon Presents ‘War Room: Pandemic’

An all new LIVE STREAM of War Room: Pandemic starts at 9 a.m. Central Time on Saturday.

Former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon began the daily War Room: Pandemic radio show and podcast on January 25, when news of the virus was just beginning to leak out of China around the Lunar New Year. Bannon and co-hosts bring listeners exclusive analysis and breaking updates from top medical, public health, economic, national security, supply chain and geopolitical experts weekdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon ET.

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Commentary: Dems Close Ranks Around Newsom as GOP Recall Unity Frays

California Democrats are standing with Gov. Gavin Newsom as Republican unity around the effort to remove him from office is splintering over how to limit the GOP candidate field and thus pose the strongest recall challenge.

But proponents of the recall, considered a long shot most of last year, over the weekend celebrated a milestone: They reached the 1.5 million signatures needed by mid-March to qualify for a special election to remove the first-term governor. Yet with Democratic election officials expected to invalidate roughly 20% of all signatures gathered, recall organizers will continue working toward a goal of 1.8 to 2 million signatures by the deadline to allow for a buffer, a threshold they’re confident of reaching.

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Lincoln Project Co-Founder Rick Wilson Paid off $200K Mortgage After Weaver Allegations Surfaced

Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson paid off the massive mortgage on his Florida home only days after the New York Times reported on sexual misconduct allegations against co-founder John Weaver, public records show.

Wilson’s $200,000, 30-year-mortgage originated in 2007 and JPMorgan Chase Bank recently issued a certificate of satisfaction on the mortgage, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

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New Bill Would Mandate That Absentee Ballots Go Only to Registered Georgia Voters

Georgia legislators have filed a bill that would require that government officials mail absentee ballot applications only to registered voters. The Georgia General Assembly’s website identified State Sen. Max Burns (R-Sylvania) as the bill’s primary sponsor.

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Ohio Secretary of State Restricts Ballot Drop Boxes, ACLU Vows to Fight

Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State is catching heat from liberal groups, despite allowing the state to proceed with absentee voting via drop boxes.

“Even though Ohio law does not explicitly provide for the use of secure receptacles, commonly known as ‘drop boxes,’ for an absentee voter to return their ballot to the director, this Directive, once again, provides for the continued use of secure receptacles outside of the boards of elections,” Frank LaRose (R) said in a February 12 directive. 

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Macomb County Restaurants Sue Michigan Gov. Whitmer Seeking Damages for Nearly a Year of Restaurant Restrictions

A Macomb County restaurant group has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other state entities.

In the lawsuit filed Feb. 8 in Macomb County Circuit Court, the Macomb County Restaurant, Bar, and Banquet Association (MCRBBA) alleges top state officials violated the state Constitution’s Taking Clause by closing businesses for the past 11 months with just compensation and are seeking damages.

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Georgia Launches COVID Vaccine Registration Website

This week, Georgia rolled out a COVID-19 vaccination registration website, as the state gears up to begin vaccinating more residents. 

“COVID-19 vaccines continue to arrive in Georgia in extremely limited supply,” the site’s homepage says. “As we await additional vaccine supply from the Federal Government, we urge currently eligible Georgia residents to pre-register today.”

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Minnesota Gov. Walz Announces Plan for All Schools to Offer Some In-Person Learning by March 8

On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz updated Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan to allow more middle school and high school students to return to the classroom for hybrid or in-person learning as early as Monday.

Walz expects all schools to offer their students some form of in-person learning by March 8, but said he won’t force them to comply.

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State Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Reimburse Fines and Expunge Records for Ohio Businesses

  COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) introduced a bill Wednesday that would both expunge the records of businesses cited for COVID violations and return fines and penalties paid. Upon its introduction, House Bill 127 was assigned to the House State and Local Government Committee on Thursday. HB127…

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Bipartisan Effort to Create an In-Person Learning Bill Slowly Moving Through the Virginia General Assembly

Senator Siobhan Dunnavant’s (R-Henrico) SB 1303 requiring schools to provide both in-person and virtual learning options is still moving through the House of Delegates, but slowly. Dunnavant’s bill earned bipartisan support in the Senate, thanks in part to support from Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) and Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond.) But a House Education subcommittee initially introduced several amendments to the bill that would effectively leave the status quo intact, prompting opposition from House Republicans

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Minneapolis Lifts Bar Seating Ban, Still Requires Multiple Distancing Rules

Residents of Minneapolis received a small reprieve from stringent COVID-19 restrictions Friday, but plenty of rules still remain in place. 

“The city of Minneapolis has lifted its ban on bar counter seating just in time for the weekend,” Minnesota Public Radio News (MPR) reported. “Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the decision was based on public health data, showing a decrease in COVID-19 cases in the city.”

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Virginia GOP Fights off Two More Attempts to Block a Nominating Convention

Two attempts to force the Virginia GOP to reconsider its decision to hold a convention failed this week, the latest scene in the ongoing drama among the party’s leadership.

The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC) has voted to hold a nominating convention. Because the SCC can’t muster the three-fourths approval needed to declare an unassembled convention, it is stuck with a default in-person convention. The SCC has spent months rehashing the decision in formal Zoom meetings and private discussions.

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Proposed Bill to Protect Law Enforcement, Judges from Civil Rights Intimidation

Legislators are proposing that law enforcement and judges shouldn’t have to live in fear or face retaliation for their chosen profession. The bill would add those two groups as protected classes against civil rights intimidation, along with race, color, ancestry, religion, and national origin. 

Under the legislation, offenders would earn a Class D felony for injuring, threatening to injure, or coercing another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate based on the belief or knowledge that the victim is a law enforcement member or judge. That level of punishment would also be applicable if someone were to damage, destroy, or deface another’s property based on that belief or knowledge. Class D felonies are two to twelve years’ prison time, and up to $5,000 in fines.

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