Chattanooga Mayoral Race Heads to Runoff on April 13

Chattanooga’s mayoral race dropped down from 15 official candidates to only two following Tuesday’s election, with the top vote-getters preparing for a runoff election.

Tim Kelly and Kim White will runoff on April 13, The Chattanoogan said. Kelly, a former car dealer, received 8,562 votes, or 30 percent, compared to White’s 8,289, or 29 percent. White is former president of River City Co.

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Commentary: Job Creation, Not a $15 Minimum Wage, Will Reduce Poverty

Though the Senate parliamentarian rejected their efforts to include a $15-an-hour minimum wage in President Biden’s so-called COVID-19 relief bill, Senate Democrats are scrambling for a way to include it. Their efforts demonstrate the importance of this issue for the progressive left. But should they succeed, would such a measure truly help struggling Americans as promised?

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State Rep. Michael Sparks Talks About His New Bi-Partisan Bill Making Amazing Grace Tennessee’s Official State Hymn

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed State Rep. Mike Sparks to the newsmakers line to talk about this new bill proposing Amazing Grace as the official hymn of the state of Tennessee.

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Proposed Bill Would Make Judicial and Countywide Elections Nonpartisan in Shelby and Davidson Counties

The General Assembly is moving steadily on a bill that would make judicial and countywide elections nonpartisan in Shelby and Davidson counties. Last week, the bill reached the Senate State and Local Government Committee last week and the House Elections and Campaign Finance Subcommittee.

The bill would only apply to counties with a population of 500,000 or more. According to the latest census estimations, only Shelby and Davidson counties would be affected. State Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) and State Representative Tom Leatherwood (R-Arlington) introduced companion bills on the same day last month.

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The Great Dilemma for America: Crom Carmichael on the Democratic Party of Grifters and Looming Inflation

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to breakdown the economic ramifications of COVID and the Democratic Party grifters.

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Steve Glover Says ‘Nashville Better Wake Up’ After Metro Council Passes Costly Spending Plan

By a vote of 30 to seven, Metro Nashville Council members passed a nearly half a billion dollar Capital Spending Plan, although At-Large Council Member Steve Glover warned that his colleagues acted without caution. This, after Metro officials already imposed a 34 percent to 37 percent tax increase on residents.

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WHO Defends Appointing U.S. Scientist Mired in Alleged Conflicts of Interest to Coronavirus Origins Investigation

The World Health Organization is defending its appointment of a U.S. doctor with prior financial ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) to be a part of its investigative team that probed the origins of COVID-19 in China in early 2021.

Peter Daszak’s involvement in the WHO’s investigative panel has been described as a conflict of interest by U.S.-based epidemiologists and medical groups. Prior to the pandemic, Daszak, as president of the nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance, routed $600,000 in taxpayer funds to the WIV in the form of National Institutes of Health subgrants to fund studies into bat-based coronaviruses.

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Williamson County Man Arrested on Child Exploitation Charges

A man has been arrested in Williamson County on child exploitation charges.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) reported on its Facebook page that its Internet Crime Against Children Task Force (ICAC) recently completed an investigation that resulted in the arrest of Williamson County resident Phillip Anderson, 50.  Anderson is charged with four counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and three charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.

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Tennessee Republican Lawmakers Seek to Remove Davidson County Chancellor for Alleged Judicial Overreach During 2020 Election

Tennessee’s Republican lawmakers are seeking to remove Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle from office. A proposed resolution would establish temporary committees in both the House and Senate to consider Lyle’s removal. An overwhelming majority of the Republican side of the House has co-sponsored the bill, with the exception of State Representatives Bruce Griffey (R-Paris), Johnny Garrett (R-Goodlettsville), Sam Whitson (R-Franklin), Brandon Ogles (R-Franklin), Michael Curcio (R-Dickson), David Byrd (R-Waynesboro), and Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain).

State Representative Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro) proposed the resolution last week. It doesn’t have a companion in the Senate yet. In the preamble, Rudd recounted how last year’s General Assembly rejected legislation expanding absentee by mail voting. He explained that Lyle subsequently altered state election forms in June to expand access to absentee by mail voting. Rudd also noted that the state constitution grants the General Assembly the power to remove a judge from office with a two-thirds vote. 

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‘Vial of Death’: Louis Farrakhan Pushes Vaccine Conspiracy Theories in Videos Posted on Facebook, Twitter

Louis Farrakhan, the influential leader of the Nation of Islam, continued his crusade against the coronavirus vaccines over the weekend, calling the vaccine a “vial of death” during remarks at the extremist group’s convention, where other speakers falsely claimed that the vaccines have caused more than 900 deaths.

Videos of the convention, which was held for the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviours’ Day, are posted on the group’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, despite the social media companies’ policies against vaccine-related misinformation.

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At Least 10 Rockets Hit Iraqi Military Base Hosting U.S. Troops

At least 10 rockets were fired at an Iraqi military base hosting U.S. coalition troops in the Anbar province of western Iraq on Wednesday morning, the Associated Press reported.

It was unclear if anyone on the base was injured and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the AP reported. The attack did not cause significant damage to the Ain al-Asad airbase, according to the Iraqi military.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Three Winners at CPAC 2021

Matt Schlapp’s decision to move the Conservative Political Action Conference from Washington, D.C. to Orlando, Fla. was brilliant. No one knew how good this decision would ultimately be for the conservative movement.

Washington is the heart of the swamp. Its news media is toxic and focused only on propaganda. The lobbying firms, bureaucracies, and the social life are all dominated by Democrats.

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IWF’s Sr. Policy Analyst Patrice Onwuka Talks Biden Rubber Stamped Policies, Trump at CPAC, and the Hypocrisy of the Left

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Patrice Onwuka from the Independent Women’s Forum to the program to discuss the Biden administration’s broad legislation, Trump’s message at CPAC, and the hypocrisy of the left.

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Over 100 Illegal Immigrants Released by Border Patrol in Texas Have Tested Positive for COVID-19 Since January 25

Since January 25, 108 illegal immigrants released into Texas by Border Patrol have reportedly tested positive for Covid-19. According to a spokesperson for Brownsville, a town on the Texas border, that number represents 6.3 percent of those who have taken the test.  The migrants are tested at the city’s main bus station, where they are being released by the Border Patrol.

According to NBC News, several of the illegal immigrants “plan to travel to dozens of cities throughout the country” despite testing positive for the coronavirus.

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Commentary: Unions Take a Cut from Firefighters’ Annual ‘Fill the Boot’ Fundraiser

Thousands of “panhandlers” in oversized suspenders camp outside of town squares and churches and major intersections every Labor Day. Instead of fast food cups, they plead with passersby to donate what they can into large rubber galoshes, exhorting them to “Fill the boot!” Perhaps that is why they are so well-received by busy motorists. It also helps that these men are standing in front of fire engines.

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Biden: Enough COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Available for All American Adults by End of May

Enough COVID-19 doses will be available by the end of May that every American adult who wants one can receive it, President Joe Biden said Tuesday, though it might take more time to administer all of the doses.

The news came the same day that drugmaker Merck announced it would help Johnson & Johnson produce millions of doses of its recently approved vaccine.

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Exclusive: Gold Institute Founder Says Biden’s Foreign Policy Rejects Trump’s Successful Style, Substance

The founder and president of the Washington-based Gold Institute for International Strategies told the Star News Network that President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s foreign policy is doomed to fail, because unlike President Donald J. Trump, Biden treats the world as an extension of Washington’s Swamp.

“What President Trump realized is that Washington and the way Washington works is really only acceptable—I didn’t say good—I said it is acceptable—is on domestic matters,” said Eli Gold, who worked for worked in Washington’s think tank world for more than 10 years, before launching the Gold Institute May 2019.

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State Rep. Michael Curcio Talks Broadband Access and Criminal Justice

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed State Rep. Michael Curcio of district 69 to the newsmakers line to discuss his criminal justice legislation and updates on rural broadband connectivity.

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Four Months After 2020 Presidential Election in Georgia No Chain of Custody Documents Produced for 404,000 Absentee Ballots Deposited in Drop Boxes; Fulton County One of 35 Scofflaw Counties

Four months after the November 3, 2020 presidential election, state and county officials in Georgia have failed to produce chain of custody documents for an estimated 404,691 vote by mail absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes and subsequently delivered to county registrars for counting.

As of March 3, only 56 of Georgia’s 159 counties have provided ballot transfer form data to The Georgia Star News. The number of absentee by mail ballots delivered to registrars in those 56 counties total only 195,309, or 32.5 percent, of the estimated 600,000 absentee vote by mail ballots deposited in drop boxes and delivered to county registrars and counted in Georgia’s 2020 presidential.

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Ohio Ranks First in Nation for Attracting New Business, Report Says

One of the nation’s leading economic development publications ranked Ohio as No. 1 in its state economic and business attraction rankings for bringing more corporate facility projects per capita than any other state.

Ohio also ranked second for total projects.

Site Selection, a corporate real estate economic development magazine, recently announced its rankings as part of its 2020 Governor’s Cup.

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Virginia General Assembly Postpones Marijuana Legalization Until 2024

The Virginia General Assembly passed marijuana legalization bills on Saturday, a move that had been expected to make Virginia the first southern state to legalize marijuana. However, legislators from the House of Delegates and the Senate passed a compromise that delays legalization and retail sale of marijuana until 2024. The compromise, created in a conference committee, also requires another vote in 2022 to confirm parts of the bill.

While some legalization advocates said passage of the bill was progress, others criticized it.

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‘Automatic’ Voter Registration Bill Heads to Minnesota House Floor

A bill that would make voter registration automatic is headed the floor the of Minnesota House of Representatives. 

“Members approved two bills with nearly identical language that would implement automatic voter registration in Minnesota by using information being collected during transactions with government agencies, such as getting a driver’s license, to register those who are eligible,” according to the state House’s website. “People would have 20 days to decline the registration.”

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Glenn Youngkin Creates Virginia Wins PAC to Fund Republican Candidates Across the Ballot

Gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin announced Tuesday he is creating a Virginia Wins PAC to fund Republican political candidates across the ballot in Virginia.

“Youngkin’s investment and fundraising will build a team of local and statewide Republican leaders to restore the Commonwealth, and counter the liberal agenda driven in Virginia by George Soros, who in recent years funded left-wing candidates and efforts aimed at transforming school boards and prosecutor offices,” a campaign press release states.

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Minnesota Gives First Vaccine to 53 Percent of Seniors, Aiming for 70 Percent Goal by End of This Month

On Tuesday, state health officials reported 53% of Minnesotans ages 65 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The state set a goal to reach 70% of seniors given one vaccination by the end of March so it can move to the next priority category to continue Minnesota’s recovery.

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Georgia Lawmakers This Week Propose Additional Ways to Reform State Elections

Officials at the Georgia General Assembly this week proposed what they said were new methods to reform Georgia’s elections. House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) proposed that the Georgia Department of Driver Services offer state ID cards, free, to all eligible Georgians.

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U.S. Senate Candidate Josh Mandel Demands Ohio Gov DeWine Drop COVID Restrictions

Wednesday, U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel (R) called on Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine to remove all COVID mandates and re-open businesses 100 percent.
“Mike DeWine and Amy Acton have done a horrible job handling the COVID response and completely trampled on the freedoms, liberties, and livelihoods of everyday Ohioans. Today I call for Ohio to fully re-open and allow Ohioans to get back to work, get their kids back to school, and remove our statewide mask mandate,” Mandel said.

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Georgia Senate Introduces Bill Making It a Felony to Block Traffic During a Protest

After a summer of rioting nationwide, Georgia lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make it a felony to block a sidewalk or a street after being directed to disperse by a police officer.

According to the text of SB 171, “purposely or recklessly obstructing any highway or street in such a way as to render it impassable without unreasonable inconvenience or hazard and fails or refuses to remove the obstruction after he or she receives a reasonable official request or the order of a peace officer to do so,  shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by an imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years or a fine of not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00, or both.”

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A New Level of Voter ID: Proposed Bill to Require Fingerprint Match for Voting Moves Through General Assembly

Voter ID issues may become a thing of the past in Tennessee if the General Assembly approves new legislation proposing fingerprint readers. The bill proposes that the state implement fingerprint-reading technology to verify a voter’s identity. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and all state agencies share the contents of their fingerprint databases with the Secretary of the State to establish this new method of ID verification.

State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet) and State Senator Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) introduced the legislation last month. With certain exceptions, current Tennessee law only requires that voters offer federal or Tennessee state IDs containing their name and photograph, such as driver’s licenses, passports, and military ID – even if they’re expired. Those exempt from these current stipulations include those who vote absentee by mail.

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