No School Face Mask Exception for Michigan Child Getting Surgery for Breathing Problems

The mother of a 10th grade student says the superintendent of Riverview Community Schools has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to exempt her special needs daughter from a face mask mandate.

She says the superintendent refused a request for an exemption from the requirement, even though he received a doctor’s note stating her child is unable to wear a mask. She says the superintendent is further violating the ADA by not offering acceptable solutions and allowing her daughter to return for the current school year.

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Senator Marsha Blackburn Criticizes University of Memphis Course Changes

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Tuesday criticized the University of Memphis for awarding additional funds to educators as a part of their “Eradicating Systemic Racism and Promoting Social Justice Initiative.”

The new initiative will provide a $3,000 stipend to professors who alter their courses to incorporate “diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice” curriculum.

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Metro Nashville Expands COVID-19 Testing Hours

Metro Nashville is expanding COVID-19 testing hours, offering testing on the weekends for the month of January, starting Saturday.

Testing demand has been high. On Monday, nearly 1,300 individuals were tested at the Metro testing centers close to 1,600 were tested on Tuesday. That is only the number of people tested at Metro testing sites. It does not include people who get tested at other sites, like pharmacies, doctor’s offices, at home, or other places.

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Metro City Council Votes to Appropriate Millions in Funding for New Tasers for Metro Nashville Police Department

police belt with taser

Nashville Metro Council voted last night to give Metro Nashville Police Department $3.15 million dollars to fund the purchase of new tasers. That was far short of the $5.8 million that MPND had requested.

As previously reported, The Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) had requested a budget for new tasers, stating that the tasers in current use are obsolete and are not reliable.

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FW Publishing and Nashville Scene Reporter File Public Records Lawsuit Against Gov. Lee to Release Documents from $3 Million McKinsey Contract

FW Publishing, the parent company of the Nashville Scene, and reporter Stephen Elliot filed a public records lawsuit against Governor Bill Lee after the state failed to provide reports for the state compiled by consulting group McKinsey and Company.

The suit, which names both Lee and Tennessee Department of Human Resources Commissioner Juan Williams as respondents, argues the journalist is entitled to the documents under the Tennessee Public Records Act.

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Commentary: Democrats Are Making a Mistake Focusing on January 6

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats seem happy with their totally partisan Select Committee on Jan. 6. They will have activities this week including speeches by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the Capitol.

Let me be clear: Those who broke into the Capitol, attacked police, and threatened members of Congress last year should be tried and brought strictly to justice. Further, Congress should seriously investigate what happened and how we can prevent it from ever happening again. But that’s not what is happening on Capitol Hill this week.

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Ambush Attacks on Officers Up 115 Percent from 2020

Attacks on police officers hit a record high in 2021, according to a study by a national law enforcement advocacy group released Monday.

In 2021, 346 officers were shot while performing their duties, according to the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) report, marking more than a 10% increase from 2020 and an 18% increase from 2019.

Sixty-three officers died in the line of duty in 2021 by gunfire, although some passed as a result of wounds suffered as a result of attacks prior to 2021, according to the FOP report.

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Private Job Growth Surges in December, Doubling Expectations

Private firms’ payrolls increased by 807,000 in December, more than doubling expectations as COVID-19 cases rise, according to a major employment report.

The 807,000 jobs added marks a significant increase from the 505,000 jobs added in November, according to the ADP National Employment Report. December’s figure far exceeds the Dow Jones estimate of 375,000, according to CNBC.

“December’s job market strengthened as the fallout from the Delta variant faded and Omicron’s impact had yet to be seen,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, CNBC reported. “Job gains were broad-based, as goods producers added the strongest reading of the year, while service providers dominated growth.”

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Toyota Smashes GM’s 90-Year Streak as Top U.S. Car Seller

Japanese automaker Toyota overtook General Motors in 2021 as the top car seller in the U.S., breaking the American manufacturer’s 90-year streak, Reuters reported.

Toyota sold 2.332 million vehicles, while GM sold 2.218 million, automakers said Tuesday, Reuters reported. GM’s dethroning marks the first time the Detroit company did not secure the most sales since it overtook Ford in 1931.

GM‘s sales were down 13% from the year before, in part due to the computer chip shortage that forced manufacturers to focus on their most popular models, Reuters reported. In contrast, Toyota was up 10% and is believed to have weathered the shortage better than others in the industry.

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott Sues Biden Administration over National Guard Vaccine Requirement

On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) filed a lawsuit against the administration of Joe Biden over the federal vaccine requirement for members of the National Guard.

As reported by CNN, Abbott’s lawsuit declares that the vaccine mandate for the Texas National Guard infringes on “Governor Abbott’s authority as Commander in Chief and on Texas’s sovereignty,” and that “it is unlawful for Defendants to attempt to override the Governor’s authority to govern his troops, and then leave him to deal with the harms that they leave in their wake.”

The lawsuit is in response to a policy implemented by an August memorandum from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, declaring that all members of the American military must be vaccinated or else face discharge. Austin declared that the mandate would include non-federalized National Guard members, such as state National Guards, and that any states that defied the mandate would face a funding freeze or see members be prohibited from engaging in military duties.

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Dr. Carol Swain Talks Critical Theory Dangers and the Need for More Leadership in Tennessee’s K-12 Education

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Carol Swain in studio to react to critical theory incentives for University of Memphis professors and failed leadership in K12 Tennessee education.

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Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe Talks About the Build Back Better Bill’s Future and Reflects on the January 6th Riot

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star’s National Political Editor Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to update listeners on the status of the Build Back Better bill and questioned the curios situations at last year’s January 6 riots on Capitol Hill.

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Beacon Center Research Associate Jason Edmonds Explains Student Based Budgeting and Funding Formulas for Tennessee Students

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Beacon Center’s Jason Edmonds to the newsmakers line to discuss the mechanics of a student-based budgeting program in the state of Tennessee.

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Commentary: The Ridiculous Fantasy of a National Divorce

Every now and then an absurd idea enters the discourse and picks up a sort of memetic traction in spite of itself. The latest such idea is that of a “national divorce” in which Blue America and Red America decide they’ve had enough of each other and call it quits. It popped up most recently when U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) broached the idea on Twitter, but the idea has been entertained by liberal figures as well, most recently the comedienne Sarah Silverman.

The impetus for this proposal from conservatives and liberals alike is the recognition that division in our country has gone beyond disagreement and good-natured rivalry to outright hatred. Indeed, far from being united by crisis as we were at crucial points in the past, we are now at a point of schadenfreude—liberals reveling in suffering and disaster when it happens to conservatives, and vice versa.

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6th Circuit Takes Up Case of Nashville Homeowners Suing the City

It is now up to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to decide whether Nashville is violating the constitutional rights of homeowners by forcing them to pay for sidewalks in exchange for building permits. The 6th Circuit and other U.S. circuit courts are the second highest courts in the federal judicial system.

Nashville citizens Jason Mayes and Jim Knight have been engaged in an ongoing lawsuit with the city.

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Chicago Public Schools Forced to Cancel School After Teachers Union Votes to Move to Remote Learning

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted Tuesday to move to remote learning Wednesday, citing concerns over safety amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, the union said in a press release.

The CTU’s elected House of Delegates voted in favor (88%) of a resolution to return to remote education amid the surge of COVID-19 cases and the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant, citing a lack of safety guarantees, a union press release said. In the membership-wide vote, 73% of CTU’s members voted in favor of virtual learning, passing the two-thirds threshold required to enact the resolution.

The resolution outlines plans to work remotely until Jan. 18 or until the current COVID-19 wave falls below last year’s threshold for school closures, according to the resolution.

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Border Patrol Saw 134 Percent Increase in Fentanyl Seizures in Fiscal Year 2021

The lethal synthetic drug fentanyl has been increasingly trafficked into the U.S., and, in fiscal year 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a 134% increase in seizures of the illicit drug.

Fentanyl is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, and a lethal dose is about 2 milligrams, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which has recently warned about the increase in fentanyl-laced pills cartels in Mexico are manufacturing with chemicals provided by China.

The drug is fueling an overdose epidemic in the U.S., and is the leading killer 18-45 year olds nationwide.

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Commentary: Democrats Gin Up January 6 Hysteria to Pass Election Rigging Bill

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, Democrat leaders in Congress are ginning up hysteria in order to pass a bill that would transform our elections and give Democrats permanent majorities in all three branches of government. In addition, Democrats’ faux outrage deflects from the root causes of the breach which include four years of multiple attempts by Democrats to overturn the 2016 election results, loose election laws, and lax Capitol security.

But to pass their election rigging bill, Democrats first need to eliminate the Senate filibuster. That would allow them to pass the bill with only a simple majority of votes and not the 60 votes needed to overcome a presumed Republican filibuster.

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Carol Swain Discusses Upcoming Education Event Taking Place Next Week in Franklin

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Dr. Carol Swain in studio

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Middle Tennessee Sees Rise of Counterfeit Money

A Tennessee Police and Sheriffs Department have both reported a rise in counterfeit bills used in Tennessee. Hendersonville Police and the Giles County Sheriffs’ Department have both arrested men who were caught using fake bills. 

The Giles County Sheriff Kyle Helton spoke with WRKN News about the rise in his area. In the interview, Helton said the serial numbers on the bills totaling over $1,000 were identical. One man was arrested in Pulaski County after purchasing a car with counterfeit money, and another man yet to be identified in Giles County also purchased a car with counterfeit bills. 

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Lebanon Special School District Closes for the Week due to COVID

The Lebanon Special School District announced this week that they would be suspending in-person classes for the week due to the surge of Omnicron cases. The announcement includes Byars Dowdy Elementary, Castle Heights Elementary, Coles Ferry Elementary, Jones Brummett Elementary, Sam Houston Elementary, Walter J. Baird Middle, and Winfree Bryant Middle.

The announcement said due to an overwhelming number of positive COVID cases, the school “reached a level which makes us unable to staff our classrooms and buildings.” Based on information gathered, the school district decided that there would be too many teachers absent from school to be able to conduct class in a normal manner. 

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In West Virginia, the Enhanced Child Tax Credit’s Lapse Cuts Deep

As millions of families across the country grapple with the fact that the expanded child tax credit could lapse for months, if not permanently, those in few states stand to hurt more than those in West Virginia.

The monthly credit, amounting to as much as $300 per child, has been a lifeline to many across the state, which ranks 49th out of 50 in average income. The expansion, adopted in March as part of the coronavirus relief package, has especially helped those earning the lowest, many of whom were once partially or completely excluded from receiving it because their incomes were too low to qualify.

West Virginia had already struggled as coal mining declined and drug overdose deaths rose, but after being decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, economic recession that resulted and subsequent inflation as the state recovered, residents said that the expanded payments provided a sense of financial security when so much seemed uncertain.

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As More Schools Start 2022 with Remote Learning, Advocates Say 2021 Was ‘Historic Year’ for School Choice

As school districts across the U.S. start 2022 in remote-learning settings or are considering doing so because of a rise in COVID-19 cases, parents now have more options as 22 states expanded or created school choice initiatives in 2021.

That’s a silver lining, advocates say, as parents grow more frustrated by ever-changing mandates, failed virtual learning outcomes and conflicting views with school boards over a range of issues.

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Green Bay Mayor Asks for Sanctions Against Gableman in Wisconsin Election Investigation

The Mayor of Green Bay is asking for sanctions against Michael Gableman, with the Wisconsin Office of Special Counsel, for his actions in the election investigation. Eric Genrich’s attorney Jeffrey Mandell made the request in Waukesha County Circuit Court, claiming Gableman made “incorrect statements.”

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John Solomon: Whistleblower Admits He Was Paid $45k to Illegally Ballot Harvest in Georgia 2020 Presidential Election and 2021 Senate Runoffs

Just the News founder and Editor in Chief John Solomon appeared on The John Fredericks Show Wednesday morning to discuss his breaking story involving a massive ballot harvesting ring in Georgia exposed by the election integrity group True the Vote. 

In all, the number of illegally cast ballots could number as high as 1,000,000, at a cost, one whistleblower says, of $10 per ballot.

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Open Schools Advocate Schillinger Running for Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor

Clarice Schillinger, who last year helped to elect school directors across the state to get kids back into the classroom, announced this week she is running as a Republican for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor.

For the Franklin County native who now lives in Montgomery County with her husband and children, Schillinger and her family felt firsthand the impact of schools closing in her own Hatboro-Horsham School District in reaction to COVID-19. She started the Keeping Kids in School PAC to endorse school-board candidates and formed Back to School PA PAC to provide financial support to school-director campaigns across Pennsylvania.

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Ohio Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Announce Running Mates

Two Ohio Democrats running for Governor on Wednesday announced their running mates to serve as Lieutenant Governor for the state.

Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton, chose Cuyahoga County Council Vice President Cheryl Stephens, and former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley selected State Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo).

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Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidate Rebecca Kleefisch Releases New Campaign Ad, Knocks Evers for School Closures

Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch on Wednesday released her first campaign ad in 2022, pledging to allow in-person learning in the state.

The video, entitled “Open Schools,” knocked incumbent Governor Toney Evers for allowing districts across the state to remain closed and force students to learn virtually.

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Wisconsin Senator Johnson Responds After Backlash Regarding COVID Vaccine Comments

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) responded after backlash regarding his view on COVID vaccines. Johnson said, “I won’t apologize for being in awe of creation or for the assumption that immunity from COVID infection might outperform immunity created in a lab.”

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Virginia Gov. Northam Blames Drivers for Days-Long I-95 Traffic Jam

Outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has not taken any responsibility for Monday and Tuesday’s massive pileup on I-95 in the northern part of the state, choosing instead to blame motorists. 

“We gave warnings, and people need to pay attention to these warnings, and the less people that are on the highways when these storms hit, the better,” Northam told The Washington Post.

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Mayor of Yuma Explains Why Migrant Encounters Are Up 2,405 Percent, Offers Solutions

Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls is speaking up about the recent surge of migrants in the Yuma sector on Arizona’s border with Mexico, explaining why it’s occurring and recommending solutions. He believes there are several factors contributing to the 2,405% increase in migrant apprehensions, and says there are both long-term and short-term ways to resolve the problem.

“The ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy of the Trump administration was ordered put back in place by the courts, but that has not fully happened,” he told The Arizona Sun Times. “In 2019 and 2020, there were 50 to 60 migrants a day being returned under the policy. Now, there are only about 10 a day. With 1,000 coming across the border daily now, that’s only 1%.”

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Vernon Jones Says Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr Too Compromised to Properly Investigate New Claims of Ballot Harvesting

ATLANTA, Georgia – Republican and declared Georgia gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones on Wednesday called on the federal government – and not State Attorney General Chris Carr – to investigate new claims of ballot harvesting during the 2020 election. This, even though Jones and others allege that certain, unnamed individuals in Georgia broke state laws – and not federal ones.

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Youngkin Picks Trump EPA Chief for Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources

Former Trump EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler will be Secretary of Natural Resources, and former Federal Reserve System Chief Information Officer Margaret “Lyn” McDemid will be Secretary of Administration, Youngkin’s campaign announced Wednesday. Youngkin also announced that Michael Rolband will be Director of Environmental Quality.

“Virginia needs a diverse energy portfolio in place to fuel our economic growth, continued preservation of our natural resources, and a comprehensive plan to tackle rising sea levels. Andrew and Michael share my vision in finding new ways to innovate and use our natural resources to provide Virginia with a stable, dependable, and growing power supply that will meet Virginia’s power demands without passing the costs on to the consumer,” said Governor-elect Youngkin.

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Discrepancies in Ohio’s Official COVID-19 Data and Data from Other Sources

There are discrepancies in COVD-19 data provided by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and other prominent sources of information, The Ohio Star has learned. 

“According to our data, 1,704 Ohio residents died from COVID-19 in December,” Michelle Fong, a Public Information Officer for ODH said Wednesday. “Our report information is based on date of death when reported residence was inside Ohio.”

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Freshman Virginia Delegate Tim Anderson Aims at Gun Control

Freshman Delegate Tim Anderson (R-Virginia Beach) has pre-filed a suite of bills that, if enacted, will roll back many of Democrats’ gun control initiatives from recent years. Anderson’s four bills would eliminate fees for concealed handgun permits; reduce penalties for carrying concealed weapons without permits; remove the one handgun-a-month purchasing limit on people who don’t have permits; and remove authority for localities to implement their own gun bans on municipal property.

“As far as the Second Amendment bills, I am seeking to revoke the nonsensical one-gun-a-month bill for non-concealed carry holders because there is no evidence to support that someone is more dangerous without a concealed carry permit than someone who has one,” Anderson said.

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Gov. Whitmer Creates Michigan Office of Rural Development

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive directive establishing the Michigan Office of Rural Development within the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

The Office of Rural Development will focus on all rural matters.

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University of Florida President Kent Fuchs Announces Final Year at Helm

University of Florida President Kent Fuchs announced in a video that he is planning on stepping down from his current position in 2023. Fuchs desires to return to the classroom and be a professor.

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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody Addresses Organized Retail Thefts

A week before the 2022 legislative session in Florida begins, Attorney General, Ashley Moody – at a news conference with other state officials on Tuesday – doubled down on her stance regarding the crackdown on organized retail thefts that have been on the rise across the nation and now here in Florida.

During the news conference, Moody once again emphasized her proposal for a statewide task force and inter-jurisdictional database known as the Florida Organized Retail Crime Exchange, or FORCE, that she had previously announced on December 2nd.

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Minnesota Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Election Integrity Case

The Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in an important case that could change how cities and counties conduct future statewide elections.

The case, Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) v. Ramsey and Olmsted Counties, seeks to ensure that counties are following state law vis-à-vis absentee ballot boards and the appointment of election judges.

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Recently-Enacted Tennessee Law Requires Hair Stylists to Complete Domestic Violence Training

A new law took effect on Jan. 1 that will require cosmetologists to learn about the signs of domestic violence, in hopes that some will recognize those signs in their clients.

SB 216, passed in July, mandates that an applicant for a cosmetology license “successfully complete[s] up to one (1) hour of online or in-person training, at no cost to the applicant, by a nonprofit anti-domestic violence organization recognized by the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault on domestic violence that focuses on how to recognize the signs of domestic violence, how to respond to these signs, and how to refer a client to resources for victims of domestic violence.”

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