Jeff Bezos Gifts $200 Million to Liberal Activists Van Jones and José Andrés

After completing a 10 minute flight to the edge of space, Jeff Bezos announced on Tuesday that he is gifting $100 million each to Van Jones and José Andrés.

According to Bezos, the new philanthropic endeavor, The Courage and Civility Award, awarded to the two “recognizes leaders who aim high, and who pursue solutions with courage, and who always do so with civility.”

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Shades of Clinton: Joe Biden Used Private Email to Send Government Information to Hunter

"This is one of those rare instances where my presence indirectly became a part of this reaction from those pictured in the photograph. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had just accidentally dropped all of her briefing papers onto the Oval Office rug and she, the President and Vice President all reacted in a way that indicated that surely I wouldn't get a photo of that to embarrass her."

In a communications backdoor reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s infamous private server, President Biden used a personal email account during the Obama years to send information he was getting from the State Department as vice president to his globetrotting, foreign-deal-making son Hunter Biden.

Messages, sometimes signed “Dad,” from the email account [email protected] were found on a Hunter Biden laptop seized by the FBI in December 2019 from a Delaware computer shop owner.

Some of the messages from the vice president to his son obtained by Just the News were deeply personal, others were political in nature, and still others clearly addressed business matters, often forwarding information coming from senior officials in the White House, the State Department and other government agencies.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Misery Index Rises

Biden Misery Index

This column is becoming a weekly checklist on the descent of American public policy and attitudes further into the depths of frivolity, chaos, and national self-dislike. I was honored to make a small contribution last week to the edition of this website celebrating its fifth anniversary. In the editors’ statement on that anniversary, they renewed their hostility to the ineptitude and moral decrepitude of the bipartisan ruling class, their “opposition to the unaccountable administrative state,” their dislike of an American oligarchy, particularly the “Big Tech monopoly to suppress disagreement,” and their contempt for “pernicious utopian ideologies.” It is a privilege to be associated with such opinions.

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Senior FBI Official Took Free Gifts from Media While Trump-Russia Probe Was Underway, Watchdog Says

FBI logo outside of building

The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice released the findings Tuesday of an investigation that found a former senior FBI official violated agency policy by having numerous unauthorized contacts with the media.

The investigation found that the official, who has not been named and has since retired from the agency, “had numerous contacts with members of the media between January and November 2016 in violation of FBI policy,” as well as accepted unauthorized gifts from media members, according to the report.

The senior official had unofficial contact with media officials during the opening months of the Trump-Russia investigation. That investigation by the FBI started in the months leading up to and after the Nov. 2016 presidential election. However, the report does not mention that this official was part of the investigation.

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Pentagon Contractor Paid to Tackle ‘Extremism’ Claims Searching for ‘The Truth About’ BLM Implies White Supremacist Behavior

The Pentagon is working with a contractor to reportedly look into web searches such as “George Floyd deserved to die,” “Jews will not replace us” and “the truth about black lives matter” as potential signals of white supremacism, Fox News reported.

Pentagon contractor Moonshot CVE (Countering Violent Extremism), which has ties to the Obama Foundation, is gathering data to determine which bases and branches of the military have the most troops searching for domestic extremist content, Defense One and Fox News reported.

The exact details of the project are not clear, but the data is expected to be available in three weeks, Defense One reported. Moonshot Founder and CEO Vidhya Ramalingam said the data suggested active duty troops are less prone than the general American public to searching for violent extremism information.

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Bipartisan Trio Joins Forces in an Attempt to Claw Back War Powers from President

Bernie Sanders, Chris Murphy and Mike Lee (U.S. Senators)

A bipartisan Senate trio is seeking to reassert Congress’ control over war authorizations and military power.

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Democratic Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Chris Murphy of Connecticut introduced the National Security Powers Act Tuesday, hoping to clamp down on presidential war powers that have expanded in recent years under presidents of both parties.

The bill requires the president to end foreign hostilities if they are not approved by Congress 20 days after they begin and cuts off funding if a president continues to act without congressional authorization. It gives Congress authority over weapons sales and allows it to prohibit the sale of weapons at its discretion, after former President Donald Trump irked lawmakers with his repeated sales to Middle Eastern allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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Tea Party Patriots Organization Publishes Guide to Push Back on Critical Race Theory

Members of the Tea Party Patriots organization published a guide for citizens to push back on Critical Race Theory (CRT) teachings in public education throughout the country.

The guide is meant to inform parents and concerned citizens on the fundamental beliefs of CRT and how the ideology is being spread through school systems.

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Jeff Bezos Reaches Space in Successful Blue Origin Launch

Screen cap of live video of Blue Origin lift off

Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and three other passengers successfully launched into space Tuesday aboard the billionaire’s Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft.

Liftoff!!

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launches, carrying the company’s first crew and heading toward space.https://t.co/kYI3pmFsLB #BlueOrigin #JeffBezos pic.twitter.com/Xs0TnjpVbE

— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) July 20, 2021

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Annual ‘Crime in Tennessee’ Publication Says COVID-19 Affected Crime Numbers

David Rausch TBI

Members of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) this week released the agency’s 2020 Crime in Tennessee publication, which reported that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the state’s crime numbers. The publication details the volume and nature of crime, as reported by Tennessee’s law enforcement agencies, according to a TBI press release.

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Rep. John Rose Joins Bipartisan Group of Colleagues Urging Reopening of International Travel

Representative John Rose (R-TN-06) tweeted Monday in support of a bipartisan group of fellow congresspersons asking President Biden to more quickly reopen travel to the U.S.

“We should fully reopen international travel to the U.S.,” Rose wrote. “I joined with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to urge President Biden to reopen travel to the U.S. in order to accelerate our economic recovery.”

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Commentary: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Journalism Professors Protest ‘Objectivity’ in News Reporting

Carroll Hall UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Journalism professors at UNC Chapel Hill are protesting a “core values” statement that upholds objectivity as a key tenet of news reporting.

Faculty members of UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media converged last week to bemoan a statement of values that’s etched in granite and is found in the lobby of their school.

The core values statement, installed two years ago, touts objectivity, impartiality, integrity and truth-seeking, and after their kvetching session that statement was reportedly scrapped from the school’s website, the News & Observer reports.

In 2019, Walter Hussman, a UNC alumnus and owner of a media conglomerate of newspapers and other media outlets, donated $25 million to the UNC journalism school. Part of the donation contract installed those values into the school’s wall and mission, according to UNC’s website.

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Nashville Nursing Home Loses License over Health Code Violations

Azalea Trace Assisted Living

After multiple complaints and health code violations, the Tennessee Department of Health (DOH) has temporarily revoked the license of Azalea Trace Assisted Living in Nashville.

That order said the nursing facility was closed to new patients as of February 1, 2021, while the DOH investigates and eventually hands down a punishment. 

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Tennessee Firearms Association Files as Amicus Party in 2nd Amendment Supreme Court Case

The Tennessee Firearms Association joined the Second Amendment Foundation in an amicus brief for a 2nd Amendment Supreme Court case.

According to the court, the ruling from the issues presented in the case could have significance to potential future challenges to Tennessee’s permitting and permitless carry laws.

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Commentary: Why Are Defense Department Schools Transitioning Students’ Gender Behind Parents’ Backs?

DODEA Schools Transgenderism

Our men and women in uniform are prepared to lay their lives on the line every day to uphold the Constitution and protect the nation from enemies who would do us harm, but what many service members may not realize is that a personal threat to their families exists much closer to home.

As parental outrage with “progressive” curriculums—for example, comprehensive sex education, gender identity, and “anti-racist” programs—sweeps across the country, military parents have good reasons to be up in arms.

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Andy Ogles Explains Penny Schwinn’s Egregious Well-Being Initiative That Is Rearing Its Ugly Head in Tennessee Curriculum

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Mayor Andy Ogles to the studio to reexamine his successful stifling of the well-being initiative that was instigated by Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

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Grant Henry and Mayor Ogles Weigh in on the ‘Inherently Self-Refuting’ Spending of Democrats

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Grant Henry and Mayor Ogles in studio to discuss the reckless spending and anti-business sentiment of the Democrats.

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Commentary: The Cuban Revolution Won’t Be Televised

Cuban Flag on Pole

Citizens charged their government with repression. The rebuttal came via a truncheon. Some people miss their own irony.

The Cuban government killed one protester, roughed up cameramen for the Associated Press, abducted citizens from their homes, and shut down the internet in response to demonstrations that erupted last weekend. “The order to fight has been given,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel announced. “Into the street, revolutionaries!”

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Americans for Prosperity’s Grant Henry Fired Up on Infrastructure Calls to Sign Notaroadsbill.com’s Petition

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed American’s for prosperity’s grassroots director Grant Henry in studio to discuss the Fiat currency of today’s intended infrastructure bill that has yet to be written.

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Commentary: Incommensurability in 2021 American Politics

American Flag at US Capitol

The ubiquitous term “paradigm” and the concept of “paradigm shifts,” were popularized by the historian and philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn. He used them to characterize, roughly, a scientific theory’s fundamental elements and the changes in fundamental elements that occur with scientific revolutions and changes in theory.

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American Professors Demand Closer Research Cooperation with China

Great Hall Of The People At Night

A group of 20 American professors signed a joint letter with a group of Chinese professors demanding that the United States work more closely with China on future research efforts, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The letter, which appeared in the most recent edition of the American Chemical Society’s journal of Environmental Science and Technology, was signed by 21 Americans and 19 Chinese. Of the 40 signatories, nine of the Americans had received their educations in Chinese universities; 18 of the journal’s editors have worked for institutions backed in some capacity by the Chinese government.

The letter’s authors claim that while “increasing geopolitical competition has generated greater mistrust between the U.S. and China…a great deal of this mistrust results from misunderstanding.” The letter recommends that American and Chinese “funding agencies should also seek opportunities to fund joint global research projects in SDG [sustainable development goals] areas for the common good.”

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Commentary: Despite What Biden Says, Guns Factor in Only a Small Percentage of Violent Crimes

Police Car

In response to sharp increases in violent crime, President Biden stressed again last week that his administration is focused on “stemming the flow of firearms used to commit violent crimes.”  But critics warn that this “guns first” approach ignores a basic fact – about 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms.

Although firearms were used in about 74% of homicides in 2019, they comprise less than 9% of violent crimes in America.

The vast majority of violent offenses – including robberies, rapes and other sex crimes – almost always involve other weapons or no weapons at all.

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Local Drug Enforcement Administration Chief Says Drug Cartels Are Doing ‘Anything and Everything’ to Smuggle Drugs Across the Southern Border

Houston Drug Enforcement Administration

Houston Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Daniel Comeaux says that the cartels operating south of the U.S.-Mexico border will continue to do everything in their power to get drugs into American communities, he told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an exclusive interview.

“Look, everyone needs to understand drug cartels are vicious, they’re violent and it’s all about the dollar bill. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2021 or 2020 or 2016, drug cartels are going to get their drugs across our border,” Comeaux said.

“They’re going to do everything and anything they can do to get their drugs across our border and that’s what they’re doing no matter what,” he added.

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Fauci Emails with World Health Organization Officials Heavily Redacted in Records Release

Dr. Anthony Fauci

The Department of Health and Human Services delivered 311 pages of heavily redacted emails Dr. Anthony Fauci and the World Health Organization and other documents regarding COVID-19 to Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation, according to a press release Tuesday.

The redacted documents included personal edits from Fauci on COVID-related funding measures, which were redacted under a trade secrets exemption, Judicial Watch said in the press release.

“The American people have every right to know key information on our government’s role in Covid,” DCNF President Neil Patel said in the statement Tuesday. “This sort of hiding, dodging and stonewalling is one reason why trust in national authorities is near all-time lows.”

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Host of ‘Pensive Politics’ Christian Watson Talks About Color Us United and His Recent Op-Ed

Christian Watson

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the host of Pensive Politics Christian Watson to the newsmakers line to talk about Color Us United, critical race theory, and the woke ideologies of Blackness

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Texas State Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Audit 2020 Election Results in Major Counties

Texas State Representative Steve Toth

ATexas state lawmaker on Monday unveiled legislation requiring a forensic audit of last November’s election results in his state’s most populous counties.

The House bill introduced by state Rep. Steve Toth, a Republican, would require forensic reviews of counties with more than 415,000 residents. The reviews would have to be carried out before Nov. 1, 2021, and completed before Feb. 1, 2022.

Toth’s legislation comes as the Texas legislature is in special session to consider new election integrity laws. The session has been interrupted by the departure of most state Democrat lawmakers in protest.

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Fort Lee to Temporarily House Afghan Refugees Who Aided U.S. Military for Operation Allies Refuge

Fort Lee

Virginia’s Fort Lee Army base will temporarily house about 700 Afghan citizens and their families who helped the U.S. military, beginning next week, according to statements from the State Department and the Department of Defense (DOD). The refugees served in roles including translation, and the first group will include up to 2,500 refugees.

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Twin Cities Pride Asking Minneapolis to Remove Requirement for Police at Large Events

Twin Cities Pride

The organization Twin Cities Pride is asking the city of Minneapolis to remove the requirement that large events be staffed with police officers. In a statement on the Twin Cities Pride website, it said it has “joined the chorus of community voices to strongly call on the City of Minneapolis to suspend the current requirement for event planners and organizers to contract with off-duty Minneapolis Police Department officers for security at large events.” 

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Open FCPS Submits 5,000 Signatures to Recall Fairfax School Board Member Elaine Tholen

Elaine Tholen for Fairfax County School Board, Dranesville

The Open FCPS Coalition submitted signatures to recall Fairfax County Public School Board Member Elaine Tholen on Monday. The petitions were launched during frustration about the school’s pandemic virtual learning policies.

“Today symbolizes the culmination of collective efforts of dozens of volunteers and thousands of parents, all to send a clear message to the Fairfax County School Board that our community must return to the business of putting the education and well-being of children first,” Open FCPS member Ian Tompkins said in a Monday press conference.

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Minneapolis Residents Voice Concerns After 50th Homicide of 2021

Minneapolis residents spoke about their concerns regarding the rising violence in Minneapolis after the 50th homicide of 2021. As was reported on WCCO, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arrandondo and Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson held a community conversation where they heard the concerns of the citizens of Minneapolis.

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Gov. Brian Kemp Appoints Verda Colvin to Georgia Supreme Court

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Tuesday appointed Judge Verda Colvin to fill a vacancy and serve on the state’s Supreme Court, after the resignation of Justice Harold D. Melton.

“It is an honor to appoint such an experienced and accomplished justice to our state’s Supreme Court. With Justice Colvin on the bench, Georgia’s highest court is gaining an immensely talented and principled judge who will help guide it in the years to come,” Kemp said of his decision to select Colvin.

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Ohio Senate Candidate J.D. Vance Endorses Constitutional Amendment to Keep Supreme Court Justices at Nine

J.D. Vance, an Ohio Senate candidate in the GOP primary to replace Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), pledged to support a constitutional amendment that would keep the number of Justices on the Supreme Court at nine.

“I proudly support the Keep Nine Amendment, so that the integrity and independence of the U.S. Supreme Court is preserved and continued. The Democrats are trying to undermine and radically transform our nation’s highest court, which is one of the pillars of our democracy, into a partisan entity controlled exclusively by them,” Vance said in a statement 

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Cincinnati Among Cities with Highest Homicide Rate During Pandemic

Cincinnati Ohio

One of Ohio’s largest cities had one of the country’s largest homicide rate increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent report.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, released a report that showed only New Orleans had its homicide rate grow more than Cincinnati as the country worked its way through the pandemic.

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David Ralston Proposes New Resources to Fight Atlanta’s Crime Problem

GA David Ralston

Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) this week proposed spending $3 million in additional state law enforcement resources to fight Atlanta’s worsening crime problem. This, according to an emailed press release.

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FBI Agent in Gov. Whitmer Kidnapping Case Arrested for a ‘Domestic Incident’ with Wife

Whitmer FBI Building

The FBI agent credited with stopping a kidnapping plot against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been arrest for ” intent to do great bodily harm, less than murder following a domestic incident with his wife Sunday,” the Detroit News reports.

FBI Special Agent Richard Trask, 39, of Kalamazoo was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond following arraignment.

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Chauvin Trial Cost Hennepin County $3.7 Million

Chauvin Trial Cost Hennepin

Hennepin County spent $3.7 million on the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, according to documents obtained by The Center Square via the Freedom of Information Act.

Securing the Hennepin County courthouse was the second-largest expense – $773,412 paying for barbed wire, razor fencing, barricades, and boarding up windows. The most significant expense was employee overtime costing $1.1 million.

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Maricopa County Official Known for ‘Sharpiegate’ Donated to Democrat Mark Kelly’s U.S. Senate Campaign

Kelly Dixon, assistant director for the Maricopa County Election Department’s recruitment and training division, who admitted she knew there were “issues and concerns” with voters marking ballots with Sharpies, donated to Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ). She earmarked a $100 contribution to him through a donation she gave to the Democratic campaign fundraising organization ActBlue, Headline USA reported on Monday. 

Maricopa County voters complained about poll workers handing them Sharpies on election day that bled through the ballots. Dixon knew ahead of election day that using sharpies to mark a ballot was an issue. In an email dated October 22, she wrote “Starting tomorrow, 10/23, and through 11/2, we are asking the Clerks hand voters BALLPOINT PENS rather than markers.” However, she then said “We NEED to use markers on Election Day.” She did not explain why. Republicans voted on election day in huge numbers last year, driven by fears of voter fraud. A Gallup survey found that 62% of Democrats said they would vote early last fall, compared to only 28% of Republicans. 

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Florida’s Doctors, Patients Face New Smokable Medical Marijuana Rules

Doctors and patients in Florida may be unaware of the new rules that took effect last week for smokable medical marijuana. Patients must resign a standardized consent form, which includes a new portion that explains the dangers of smoking near oxygen tanks and notifying patients of risks to exposure to mold in the marijuana.

Physicians are now required to conduct full, in-person assessments of the a patient including family, social history, and if they are pregnant.

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Florida First District Court of Appeal Dismisses Digital Ballot Lawsuit

Eight county elections supervisors were dismissed by the First Circuit Court of Appeal in Florida from a lawsuit proposing the requirement for county elections offices to save digital copies of paper ballots during elections, also known as Digital Ballot Copies.   

The suit was filed by The Florida Democratic Party and Democratic lawmakers against Secretary of State Laurel Lee, Division of Elections Director Maria Matthews, and the “Supervisors”. 

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Former Detroit Police Chief Bashes Whitmer in Speech to GOP Group

The former chief of police in Detroit slammed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in a speech to the Kent County Republican Party Monday night. 

“The young people of today don’t want to sit at home and get free money,” James Craig said. “They want to experience the world, and in fact, they want to change the world. You can’t change the world sitting at home in your pajamas getting free money waiting on Queen Gretchen to issue her royal decree.”

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Former Speaker Newt Gingrich Endorses Mike Collins in Race to Replace Rep. Jody Hice

Newt Gingrich

Former Georgia U.S. Representative and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich endorsed Mike Collins in the GOP primary to represent Georgia’s 10th Congressional District.

The seat, which Collins is aiming for, is being vacated by Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA-10). Hice, instead of running for reelection to Congress, has decided to launch a primary challenge attempt against embattled Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

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Florida’s West Coast Still Inundated with Red Tide

red tide

Red tide is continuing to linger along the western coastline of Florida, leading to hundreds of tons of dead marine life. The Florida Capital Star previously reported on the red tide surge in the Tampa Bay area around the time of Tropical Storm Elsa, but the tide has not yet abated.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) has been collected over 100 samples of water around the Tampa Bay area last week and found high concentrations of Karenia brevis, a bacteria known to be prevalent during red tide surges.

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Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Talks Booming Growth Ignited by Manufacturing Industry in the County

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to discuss the economic growth initiated by manufacturing and automotive distribution in Maury County.

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Virginia Redistricting Commission Fills Vacancy With Just a Month Left Before Receiving Census Data

The Virginia Redistricting Commission voted Monday to nominate Virginia Trost-Thornton as a Republican citizen member after Marvin Gilliam resigned two weeks ago.

“I can support either one of them. I know that Virginia Trost is from the Forest area, she is a chemical engineer and a lawyer and a math major and a pretty smart lady,” Senator Stephen Newman (R-Bedford) told the commission.

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Pro-Life Group Speaks Out Against Biden’s Planned Speech at Ohio Catholic College

A pro-life group in Cincinnati is speaking out against a Catholic college that is set to host President Joe Biden for a town hall Wednesday night. 

Mount St. Joseph University is scheduled to host the 46th president, much to the chagrin of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, a pro-life group that is asking local supporters of their cause to call Archbishop Dennis Schnurr in protest. 

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Tennessee AFL-CIO Rallies at Sens. Blackburn and Hagerty’s Nashville Offices for Bill Outlawing Right-to-Work

Tennessee AFL-CIO

Tennessee’s AFL-CIO chapter rallied Tuesday afternoon outside the Nashville offices of Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty in favor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

The legislation would forbid states from maintaining right-to-work policies which allow workers who chose not to join a union to decline to pay union dues. The bill would also redefine many independent contractors as employees for purposes of collective bargaining—thus placing what many consider a heavy burden on freelancers—and would impose numerous other pro-union provisions. 

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