Nashville Mayor Cooper Announces Significant Budget Investments During Annual State of Metro Address

Nashville Mayor John Cooper delivered the Annual State of Metro Address on Thursday morning at the Music City Center. Cooper said that the theme for the year is “city on the rise.”

The mayor asserted that “a city on the rise must rise to the occasion.” He said Nashville has proved its resilience, and has faced more challenges and helped more people than at any time in history.

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Local Williamson County Group Describes Required Elementary School Readings That Allegedly Push Critical Race Theory

Members of the group Moms for Liberty — Williamson County (ML-WC) have detailed examples of books that elementary students within the Williamson County School System must read that allegedly perpetuate Critical Race Theory (CRT).

ML-WC said last week they want to alert parents about this curriculum called, “Wit and Wisdom.” They have published a website detailing examples of CRT within the school system.

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Jobless Claims Fall to 553,000, Hit New Pandemic Low

Unemployment sign

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims dropped to 553,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the 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 April 17, when 566,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 547,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Coca-Cola Faces Challenge to Race-Based Hiring Quota

Coca-Cola

The massive soda company Coca-Cola is facing a challenge to its internal efforts to force diversity on law firms that are contracted to work for it, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

In January, Coca-Cola announced an initiative that would target law firms contracted to work on behalf of the company, wherein all firms would be hit with a 30 percent reduction in their overall payment unless 30 percent of that firm’s workforce was “diverse.” Of those 30 percent, 15 percent had to be black.

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Republicans Push Back After Biden Lays Out Democratic Agenda

Tim Scott

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and other Republicans are speaking out against President Joe Biden’s agenda, which has become increasingly more wide-ranging and expensive since he took office.

Biden addressed Congress and the nation Wednesday night, when he laid out a litany of aggressive gun control, taxes and spending proposals. He also spoke on the historic nature of his vice president’s race and gender, police reform, and the war in Afghanistan.

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Tennessee Senate Rescinds Bill Amendment Allowing Colleges, Universities to Mandate Vaccines; Passes Bill

COVID Vaccine

The Tennessee Senate reamended a bill to strike an amendment allowing higher education to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. Under the latest amended version of the bill, institutions of higher education may only mandate the vaccine for health care students. These public colleges or universities may enforce those mandates so long as they don’t own or control the health care facility. 

Essentially, the higher education mandate would only be necessary for certain students involved in a private health care facility that requires the COVID-19 vaccine. The amendment would apply to students in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or any other health care profession.

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‘No More’: Ted Cruz Stops Accepting Corporate PAC Contributions

Ted Cruz

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz vowed to no longer accept campaign contributions from corporate political action committees and urged his colleagues to do the same.

Corporations have consistently attacked conservative values while expecting Republicans to grant them political favors, Sen. Ted Cruz wrote in a Wall Street Journal editorial Wednesday evening. The Texas senator said “woke CEOs” like Republicans until any sign of controversy is sparked online, causing them to run away.

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Finance Expert and Fox News Contributor Liz Peek Weighs in on Reckless Federal Spending and Impending Inflation

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed financial expert and Fox News contributor Liz Peek to the newsmakers line to weigh in on fiscally irresponsible federal spending, inflation, and those industries in which we will see the repercussions.

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Bill Declaring Personhood Begins at Conception Passes Tennessee General Assembly

According to a bill passed Thursday by the Tennessee General Assembly, the unborn are people at the moment of conception. This was accomplished through changes to civil law, by extending wrongful death liability for the unborn all the way to conception. In effect, this legislation confers personhood the moment an egg is fertilized.

The legal change in the civil definition of personhood wasn’t presented in the caption text. It was mentioned once in a single sentence under the bill’s summary. Additionally, the name given to the bill by the sponsors – the “Prenatal Life and Liberty Act” – wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the bill’s language, caption text, or summary. 

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Nashville Metro School Board Member Talks Rapid Growth in District Six and Her Graduating Senior This Year

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Nashville Metro School Board member Fran Bush in studio who discussed the rapid growth and new schools projected in her district and her graduating senior son’s plans for the future.

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Teachers Unions’ Donations to Democrats Increased Amid Pandemic, School Closures

The largest U.S. teachers unions increased contributions to mainly Democratic politicians in 2020 amid a heated national debate over when to reopen schools during the pandemic.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) political action committee (PAC) donated $1.6 million to candidates while the National Education Association’s (NEA) PAC contributed $371,000 to candidates, according to Federal Election Commission data analyzed by Roll Call. The contributions represented a 3,456% increase for the AFT and a 38% increase for the NEA compared to the organizations’ 2019 donations given over the same period.

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Fran Bush on Charter Schools: ‘It’s All About Choice’

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Metro School Board Member for District Six, Fran Bush in studio to give her philosophy on charter schools and the process by which they are instituted.

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Commentary: Will Republicans Run as American First in 2022?

Republican leaders are salivating over their prospects for retaking Congress in 2022. Populists need to be even more fired up about the primaries. Getting involved now is the only way to ensure an America-first victory. Some quality candidates are already in the fight.

There’s a reason Democrats in Congress and even Joe Biden immediately glommed onto hyperpartisan issues from the get-go. They saw the red wave in down-ballot races in 2020, and they know another tide is coming in 2022. 

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Florida House Rep. Randy Fine Talks Recent Florida Legislation of Big Tech, Critical Race Theory, Pro-Police, and Anti-Rioting

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Florida State Representative Randy Fine to the newsmakers line to discuss current legislation on the table in the Sunshine State that will address Big Tech, critical race theory, pro-police policy, and anti-rioting.

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Twitter Blasted for Letting ‘Uncle Tim’ Trend After Scott Rebuttal

The term “Uncle Tim,” a play on the racist term “Uncle Tom” often used to deride African Americans perceived as working against their own racial interests, trended on Twitter Wednesday night after Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) gave his rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s joint address to Congress. 

Country music star John Rich of “Big and Rich” blasted the microblogging site’s CEO Jack Dorsey over the trend:

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In Debate, GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Discuss Amazon and Small Business

Six of the seven GOP gubernatorial candidates met for a debate hosted by the Virginia Federation of Republican Women on Tuesday evening. Candidates answered questions about Dominion voting machines, Second Amendment rights, transportation, and funding law enforcement. Organizers said Pete Snyder had a prior engagement.

Larry O’Connor asked the candidates, “Amazon is king right now in northern Virginia if you didn’t know any better. How will we expect small businesses to survive when government regulations that make it difficult for them are thrown out the window for literally the richest man in the world? How do you plan to protect key real estate in northern Virginia from being swallowed up by one company as well?”

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Minnesota Police Departments Saw Rise in Departures, Low Recruitment Numbers in 2020

Following the death of George Floyd last May, police departments across the state of Minnesota saw a drastic rise in retirements and departures, in addition to experiencing low recruitment numbers.

Two months after the death of Floyd, in which former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, 200 police officers out of the roughly 850 officers serving in the Minneapolis Police Department filed paperwork to leave their jobs with the department.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Outlines Vaccine Benchmarks to Lift COVID-19 Restrictions

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a reopening plan that ties lifting COVID-19 restrictions to Michigan’s vaccination rate.

The “MI Vacc to Normal” plan will use four vaccination-based milestones for Michiganders 16 years or older who have received a first COVID-19 vaccine to dictate reopening. The state aims to reach its goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders ages 16 years or older.

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Three-Day George Floyd Commemoration Planned for May

A foundation created to memorialize George Floyd has announced a three-day commemoration planned for the year anniversary of his death at the end of May.

“Over three consecutive days at the end of May, the George Floyd Memorial Foundation will host a series of events to commemorate Floyd’s death,” KMSP reported. 

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National GOP Targets Black-Owned Georgia Media, Describes How Major League Baseball Decision Hurt the State

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel this month said her organization will hold U.S. President Joe Biden and other Democrats accountable putting out false narratives about Georgia’s voter integrity law. McDaniel, in a press release, said Democrats’ distortions cost Georgia business from Major League Baseball and, subsequently, millions of dollars.

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Florida State University Failed to Disclose Foreign Relationships, USDOE Opens Inquiry

Florida State University

Florida State University (FSU) failed to disclose foreign relationships, gifts, or contracts among university entities and now faces a U.S. Department of Education (DOE) inquiry.

In a letter obtained by the Florida Capital Star to FSU President John Thrasher on January 15, the DOE notified the university of an inquiry into potential violations of Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

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Exclusive: One-on-One Interview with Dayton Mayoral Candidate Rennes Bowers

Three candidates are running to become the next Mayor of Dayton after incumbent Nan Whaley announced she would not seek reelection in 2021 – former Dayton firefighter and chief Rennes Bowers, former Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell and current Dayton city commissioner Jeffrey Mims.

The top two vote getters next Tuesday, May 4, will square off in the November general election and the winner will become the Mayor of Ohio’s sixth-largest city.

The Ohio Star conducted an exclusive one-on-one interview with Bowers to ask him what drove his decision to run, how he plans to improve Dayton and what he believes distinguishes him from his competitors.

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Florida’s Transgender Athlete Ban Resurrected

Florida Republicans resurrected a ban on transgender women from competing in women’s sports and attached it to a bill related to charter schools. Last week, Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-22) said her bill, which would’ve banned transgendered athletes from women’s sports, was unlikely to  move forward due to constitutional requirements to balance the budget.

However, Stargel did not resurrect the bill, but Rep. Kaylee Tuck (R-55), added the ban as an amendment to SB 1028. Stargel did voice her support for Tuck’s amendment.

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Wittman, Kaine Introduce SHIPYARD Act to Fund Navy Infrastructure, Including Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and Representative Rob Wittman (R-Virginia-01) announced the SHIPYARD Act to provide $21 billion to invest in the Navy’s four public shipyards, including Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The plan, announced Wednesday, would also provide $2 billion for new construction of private shipyards, and $2 billion to repair the Navy’s existing private shipyards.

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Virginia’s Minimum Wage Increases to $9.25 an Hour May 1

Virginia’s minimum wage is going up to $9.25 an hour on May 1. The change is the result of 2020 legislation, part of several pro-worker changes initiated by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly in 2020 and 2021. Advocates say the change will boost the economy by enabling more people to pay rent and spend money in Virginia businesses. But opponents say the increase violates free-market principles and will harm employers who have to increase their hourly compensation while dealing with a COVID-19 economy.

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Report: Former Florida Governor Crist Considering Run Against DeSantis

Rumors are swirling that Florida’s 44th Governor, then a Republican, might enter the 2022 gubernatorial race, this time as a Democrat. 

“U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist has opened a political committee named ‘Friends of Charlie Crist,’ which would allow him to start raising money for a 2022 state-level election,” one recent report said. 

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Constitutional Amendment Establishing ‘Right to Work’ Regardless of Union Membership Passed by Tennessee General Assembly

On Thursday the House passed the “Right to Work,” ensuring an individual’s right to work regardless of union affiliation. This protection would be enshrined in the Tennessee Constitution. Under the resolution, no person, corporation, association, or the state or any political subdivisions can deny anyone based on labor union or employee organization membership.

The resolution asserts that individuals have a fundamental civil right to either join or refuse to join a labor union or employee organization. State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) sponsored this resolution. The resolution achieved its first approval under SJR0648, passed last June and also sponsored by Kelsey.

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