Stephanie Kang Alleges in Internal Memo Nashville Public Health Department Has Pattern of Sexism, Racism, Homophobia

A high-ranking and controversial Nashville Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) official apparently sent a memo to MPHD board members to complain about the department’s alleged instances of bullying, sexism, racism, and homophobia. The Tennessee Star obtained a copy of that memo on Monday. Stephanie Kang, who directs the MPHD’s Bureau of Racial and Health Equity, apparently distributed the memo last week.

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Bill Establishing Three-Year Residency Requirement to Qualify for Tennessee Primary Ballot in U.S. House of Representatives Elections Passes Key Senate Committee

Legislation establishing a three-year residency requirement to qualify for the Tennessee primary ballot in U.S. House of Representatives elections passed a key Senate committee.

Tennessee State Senator Frank Niceley (R-TN-08) is the sponsor of SB2616, which states that candidates for U.S. House and U.S. Senate must meet the same residency requirements as Tennessee state representatives and state senators in order to run in a primary in Tennessee. That means a candidate has to have to have lived in the state for three years.

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State Senator Niceley Describes Bill Establishing Three-Year Residency Requirement to Qualify for Tennessee Primary Ballot in U.S. House of Representatives Elections

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Senator (R-TN-08) Frank Nicely in studio to outline bill SB2616 to establish a three-year residency requirement in the state to run for the US House of Represenatives.

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Sandy Hook Families Reach Settlement with Gun Maker Remington: Reports

Nine families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting have reached a settlement in their case against the firearms maker Remington, according to several news reports Tuesday.

The settlement comes roughly seven years after the suit was filed, according to a court document filed Tuesday and reviewed by CNN.

Remington was the maker of the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used in the massacre in which the lone shooter killed 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut.

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States Want a $20 Billion Federal Top-Off to ‘Zuck Bucks’ for Future Elections But They’re Already Sitting on a Pile

Graffiti of Mark Zuckerberg "You've been zucked"

Drawing on research from a multimillion-dollar Mark Zuckerberg-linked initiative viewed as pivotal in the 2020 presidential election, 14 states carried by Joe Biden have appealed to him for billions of dollars more to secure elections for the next decade. But most of them have spent less than half their shares of previous federal funding to counter alleged Russian election meddling and other “threats” to election security.

The states’ letter to the president cites a report by the Election Infrastructure Initiative, a progressive nonprofit that estimates $53 billion in taxpayer money will be needed to ensure election security over the next decade.

The Election Infrastructure Initiative is an arm of the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which in 2020 distributed nearly $400 million in private grants – $350 million from Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan – to local election offices in 48 states and the District of Columbia for the pandemic-challenged presidential election.

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Nashville Courthouse Arsonist Scheduled to Be Sentenced Next Week

Wesley Somers

One of the Nashville Courthouse arsonists is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

The Middle District of Tennessee Clerk’s office has told The Tennessee Star that Wesley Somers of Hendersonville is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Aleta Trauger on February 22, 2022 at 1pm.

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Certain Candidates for Nashville’s Community Oversight Board Have Record of Hostility, Mistrust Toward Police

Members of the Nashville Metro Council are scheduled to vote on Tuesday on appointing or reappointing open seats on the city’s Community Oversight Board (COB). Several social justice advocates critical of law enforcement serve on the Nashville COB.

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Tennessee Libertarian Party Scorches ATF for Valentine’s Day Tweet

Libertarian candidate Spike Cohen

After a tweet from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) caused a Monday internet uproar, the Libertarian Party of Tennessee did not pull punches in its response. 

The ATF encouraged jilted ex-lovers to report criminal activity of their former partners as a form of revenge on Valentine’s Day. 

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Members of Tennessee’s Congressional Delegation Seek Greater Transparency Within the Tennessee Valley Authority

U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) on Wednesday reintroduced a bill that aims to improve transparency within the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

The legislation, known as the Tennessee Valley Authority Transparency Act, received bipartisan support among members of the Tennessee congressional delegation, as Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) and Mark Green (R-TN-07) cosponsored the measure.

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Legislation Targeting Organized Street Racing Continues to Progress Through General Assembly

Light of a Ferrari 458

Legislation targeting organized street racing continues to progress through the Tennessee General Assembly.

State Representative John Gillespie (R-Memphis-HD97) and State Senator John Stevens (R-Huntingdon-SD24) previously introduced companion bills targeting organized street racing, HB1661 and SB1673.

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Vermont Poised to Become First State to Guarantee Right to Abortion in its Constitution

With support from its Republican governor, Vermont is on a course to become the first state in the nation to guarantee a right to abortion and contraception in its constitution.

The Vermont House voted 107-41 for Proposition 5, a proposed amendment that would guarantee sexual and reproductive freedoms to Vermonters once it is placed on the ballot and voters give their support in November.

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Pelosi Evasive on Extending Individual Stock Trading Ban to Spouses of Lawmakers

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Democrats are weighing whether to extend an individual stock trading ban to spouses of lawmakers.

The Ban Conflicted Trading Act “prohibits a Member of Congress or certain congressional officers or employees from (1) purchasing or selling specified investments, (2) entering into a transaction that creates a net short position in a security, or (3) serving as an officer or member of any board of any for-profit entity.”

The legislation in its current form would not apply to the spouses of lawmakers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul has made headlines over the years with his millions of dollars in stock purchases, particularly with technology companies.

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Commentary: Protect Small Businesses from the Scourge of Stolen and Counterfeit Goods

Recent images from the Los Angeles railyards of a sea of cardboard wreckage, the remnants of thousands of stolen packages, have made national headlines. Union Pacific railroad said criminal rail theft in LA has increased by more than 2.5 times since December 2020. Yet while most media coverage focuses on this third-world scene, little has been made of the consequences for the small business sellers ripped off by this grand theft.

Whether it comes in the form of widescale package theft by criminal enterprises or organized smash-and-grab robberies at brick and mortar stores, theft has become a big problem for small businesses. A new survey finds that nearly all small business owners experienced an increase in theft in 2021.

This isn’t the shoplifting of your parent’s generation. Elaborate criminal networks steal and resell goods at below-market rates on internet marketplaces such as Amazon, Facebook, eBay, and Alibaba. The cost of lost inventory and ensuing cut-rate online competition puts tremendous pressure on small business margins that are already strained by the highest inflation in 40 years and severe supply chain disruptions.  

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Biden Administration Silent After Border Patrol Agents Rescue Illegal Migrants from Raging River

Border Patrol agents on Saturday morning saved the lives of an illegal immigrant family trapped in the Rio Grande River. The Biden administration has been publically silent on the daring rescue.

Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents at about 7:40 a.m. saw what appeared to be a family attempting to cross the river, according to a Customs and Border Protection press release. As the group neared the U.S. border, the ground collapsed beneath them. The family struggled to swim as the current carried them downriver.

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NFL’s San Francisco 49ers Hit by Ransomware Attack

The San Francisco 49ers team fell victim to a ransomware attack affecting key corporate operations, the team announced Sunday.

Hackers using BlackByte ransomware tools listed the San Francisco 49ers on a dark web site identifying the team as a target for extortion attempts, The Record reported. The team confirmed to The Record on Sunday that it had been the victim of a ransomware attack.

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Fast-Growing Number of Democrats Want Hillary Clinton Investigated for Her Role in Russiagate

An increasing number of Democrats believe Hillary Clinton should be investigated by special counsel John Durham in connection with her alleged involvement in manufacturing ties between 2016 presidential rival Donald Trump and the Russia, according to a recent survey.

The survey, by TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics, found 75% of respondents who follow the story think Clinton and her campaign advisers should be investigated for her role in so-called Russiagate, according to several news reports.

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National School Boards Association Executive Reportedly Knew About Attorney General’s Memorandum Targeting Parents Before It Was Published

A National School Boards Association (NSBA) executive reportedly knew about Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memorandum targeting concerned parents before it was published, according to new information obtained by Parents Defending Education.

Chip Slaven, then-interim executive director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) knew about Garland’s memorandum that called on the FBI to “use its authority” against parents who threaten or use violence against public school officials, according to an email obtained by Parents Defending Education (PDE) through a public records request.

“I understand Chip knew about the U.S. AG Directives before they were published,” Alabama NSBA member Pam Doyle told Florida NSBA member Beverly Slough in an Oct. 5, 2021 internal email exchange. “So much for communicating with the BOD,” she added.

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FDA Announces Postponement of Approval of COVID Vaccine for Babies and Young Children

Young girl with a blue shirt on getting a vaccine

Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday they are delaying their plan for Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its coronavirus vaccine for children under five years old due to insufficient data on the efficacy of a third dose.

Pfizer announced February 1 FDA had asked the drug company, and its partner BioNTech, to submit data on a COVID vaccine series for babies as young as six months old and young children up until age five.

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Tea Party Patriots Action Slam Clinton Campaign, Media over Campaign Spy Allegations

Tea Party Patriots Action slammed members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the media, after Special Counsel John Durham filed a motion that detailed Clinton’s team paid individuals to “infiltrate” servers in Trump Tower and the White House.

The filing comes after former President Donald Trump made similar statements in the past; however, members of the media quickly dismissed the claims.

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Commentary: Biden Nominee Reaps the Financial Rewards of Being ‘Connected’

Sarah Bloom Raskin

Who among us hasn’t made $1.5 million for sitting on an advisory board for two years? Not you? Come to think of it, me neither. Such money comes only to the well connected.

And “connected” is a good word to use in regard to Sarah Bloom Raskin, nominated last month by President Joe Biden to be Vice Chair for Supervision at the Federal Reserve System. Previously, from 2010 to 2014, she served as a Governor of the Fed, and then, from 2014 to 2017, she worked as Barack Obama’s Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.

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Independent Candidate for TN-5 Congressional Seat Rick Shannon: ‘I Want to Represent Just the People’

Person in a crowd, holding the American flag

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Independent Candidate Rick Shannon for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District to the newsmakers line to discuss why he’s running and top goals if elected.

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Host Leahy and All-Star Panelist Crom Carmichael Talk Tennessee’s 5th and the Bill Expected to Pass That Would Prohibit Certain Candidates From Getting on the GOP Ballot in August

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the new bill that would require candidates to be a resident of Tennessee for 3 years to run in a primary election.

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Moms for Liberty’s Robin Steenman Weighs in on Red Wine and Blue Leftist Group

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Robin Steenman of Moms for Liberty-Williamson County to comment upon the recent Washington Post article and upcoming school board elections.

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Fulton County May Not Have Retained Video Recordings Surveilling More Than 60,000 Absentee Ballots Deposited into Drop Boxes During the November 2020 Election

Downtown Atlanta

More than one year after the November 2020 presidential election, Fulton County election officials are offering conflicting accounts about whether video recordings, used to surveil drop boxes where absentee ballots were deposited in the November 2020 presidential election, have been destroyed and whether their actions comply with federal law that requires retention of all election records for 22 months.

The video recordings that may no longer exist would have monitored more than 60,000 absentee ballots being deposited into drop boxes during the majority 35 of the maximum 49 days drop boxes were allowed to have been deployed for the November 2020 presidential election.

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Crom’s Crommentary: The Spontaneous Left-Wing Countermovements and Their Big-Money Funding

Close up of 100 and 50 US Dollar bills on black background

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.

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Traffic Finally Flowing on Ambassador Bridge After Week-Long Protest

After a week-long blockade that shut down Ambassador Bridge connecting Michigan to Windsor, Ontario, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) maps show that the route is clear. 

The Canadian Freedom Convoy, a grassroots group of truckers who blocked the bridge in protest of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions, was broken up thanks to police efforts, according to The Detroit Free Press. 

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Minnesota State Senate Republicans Announce ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’

Four Senate Republicans announced bills they called the “Parent’s Bill of Rights.”

In a morning press conference, Sens. Justin Eichorn of Grand Rapids, Michelle Benson of Ham Lake, Paul Gazelka of East Gull Lake, and Roger Chamberlain of Lino Lakes announced the bills they said would increase school transparency.

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Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin Signs His First Bill

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed his first bill on Monday. HB 828, sponsored by Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham), was the first bill passed out of the 2022 General Assembly last week. It passed without receiving any recorded ‘no’ votes in either the House or the Senate.

In 2021, Delegate Wendy Gooditis (D-Clarke) sponsored a bill to create a state-run assistance program to help dairy farmers participate in the federal Dairy Margin Coverage Program that provides financial assistance for small and mid-sized dairy farmers when milk prices drop. In January, Wilt said in committee that the federal government didn’t have the program available in time, which meant that farmers would miss an application deadline at the beginning of February.

“So what this bill simply does is extend that time to May 15,” Wilt said.

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NFL Sideline Reporter Quits to Chair Minnesota Gubernatorial Campaign

Michele Tafoya

A well-known National Football League (NFL) sideline reporter who formerly worked for NBC has ditched her gig covering professional sports to join the campaign of a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate. 

“Sports broadcaster Michele Tafoya will be joining my campaign as co-chairwoman! I’m excited to work with Michele & hope you’ll join us as we focus on saving Minnesota,” candidate Kendall Qualls announced Monday on social media. 

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Arizona U.S. Rep Schweikert Signs Letter Urging Biden Administration to Take Action on Fentanyl Crisis

David Schweikert

Congressman David Schweikert, R-Arizona, was one of 116 Republicans in Congress to sign a letter uring President Joe Biden’s administration to address the country’s fentanyl problem.

The letter, sent to the administration on Feb. 10, urges the Biden administration to take action against the drug often made in China and enters the United States via the southern border. The letter urges the Biden administration to permanently classify fentanyl and related substances as Schedule 1 narcotics.

“Fentanyl is crossing our southern border at record levels, and with it has come tragedy for communities across the country,” Schweikert said in a press release. “In Arizona, this crisis has hit particularly hard, and the impact on our state has been devastating. To combat the fentanyl epidemic, we must give our law enforcement officers all the resources they need to take action and fight this harmful drug, and that starts by making fentanyl-related substances a permanent Schedule 1 classification.”

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Jody Hice Announces Election ‘Integrity Fly Around Tour’ for Georgia

Representative Jody Hice (R-GA-10), currently running to replace Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, will launch a statewide tour later this month to address election integrity and connect with voters. Hice announced that this Election Integrity Fly Around Tour will commence Tuesday, February, 22. No one from Hice’s campaign returned The Georgia Star News’ request for comment on Monday.

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Soros-Backed, Prosecutor’s Office in Virginia’s Loudoun County Hired a Registered Sex Offender Without Background Check

Close-up of barbed wire at a prison

The Virginia Office of the Commonwealth Attorney, in the state’s Loudoun County, unknowingly hired a registered sex offender, having failed to submit the successful applicant to a background check.

The unidentified male was hired as a paralegal and fired days later.

In an interview with a local Fox News affiliate, the man, identified only as John, said he is trying to rebuild his life following five years in prison, in which he spent his time studying legal issues.

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Thirteen Charged for Drug Trafficking Conspiracy That Sought to Distribute Illegal Drugs in the Akron Area

Fentanyl

Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that a federal grand jury returned an eighteen-count superseding indictment charging 13 individuals as part of a drug trafficking conspiracy that sought to distribute illegal drugs in the Akron area.

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House Republicans Deliver School Mask-Optional Bill to Youngkin

The House of Delegates passed SB 739, which will require schools to make masks optional. After Republicans were surprised by bipartisan votes in the Senate last week to amend the bill to include the mask clause and to pass the bill, Republicans hustled the bill through the necessary House committee hearing and through three required floor sessions, including a two-minute-long pro-forma session on Sunday. By 1 p.m. on Monday, Republicans had already delivered the bill to Governor Glenn Youngkin, who has committed to adding an emergency clause to make it take effect immediately.
After Youngkin adds the clause, both chambers can pass the bill and emergency clause with simple majority votes, setting up the bill to be law and in effect potentially by the end of the week, House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore (R-Scott) said on The John Fredericks Show Monday morning.

“Once we adopt his [Youngkin’s] amendments, he’s already signed it and sent it back, it’ll be the law, and we can put this behind us,” Kilgore told The Virginia Star’s publisher, John Fredericks.

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Northern Arizona University to Alter Admissions Requirements to Increase Accessibility

Northern Arizona University will alter its admissions requirements to reduce the number of the core courses mandated for guaranteed university admission.

The pilot program, approved by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR), will eliminate the foreign language requirement from the 16 core classes students must take in high school for consideration and be closely aligned to the state’s graduation requirements.

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Equality Florida Targets DeSantis, Parental Rights Bill in Political Ad

group of people recording a political ad

Equality Florida, an LGBTQ advocacy group, released a television advertisement on Monday “blasting” Governor DeSantis over the Parental Rights in Education Bill (SB 1834), which the group describes as “LGBTQ censorship and surveillance agenda.”

Critics of the Parental Rights in Education legislation labeled it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and have refused to answer questions about the other provisions of the bill, focused on parental rights. These provisions require parental notification related to certain actions taken at school and “adopt procedures that reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children.”

The ad, shown below, refers to a provision in the Parental Rights in Education bill that “prohibits a school district from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

The ad shows a student giving a classroom presentation.  When the student mentions she has two moms, alarms start going off in the classroom and she is asked to report to the office.

Equality Florida contends that “the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which bans discussion of LGBTQ in primary grades, would further stigmatize the LGBTQ community, chill efforts to create inclusive school environments, and isolate LGBTQ young people who are already at staggeringly higher risk of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation than their peers.”

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John Fredericks Interviews Delegate Terry Kilgore on the End of Virginia School Mask Mandates

Terry Kilgore

Monday morning on The John Fredericks Radio Show, host Fredericks welcomed House Delegate Terry Kilgore to the show to discuss the process of new legislation that will undo mask mandates will go through the House, Governor, and Senate.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Leaves in Place Ban on Ballot Box Use for April Election

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is allowing to stand a lower court decision that bans the use of ballot drop boxes for the April elections in the state.

However, the boxes will still be permissible in primaries next week, with the possibility that the high court will allow them to be used in future elections.

Last month, a judge in Waukesha County ruled that boxes could not be used, a decision that was met with an appeals court ruling allowing them to be used during the February primary.

The state Supreme Court then intervened, ruling 4-3 Friday that they could be used during the primary but declined a request from the state Elections Commission to extend that policy through April.

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COVID Restrictions’ Impact on Pennsylvania Still Felt, Forecasted to Persist

Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) on Monday issued a report on the state’s economy indicating COVID-era restrictions continue to make a negative impact.

The IFO composed the report to inform lawmakers as they begin a series of state budget hearings this week. The agency observes that the Keystone State’s labor-force-participation rate is at its lowest in 37 years and forecasts that jobs numbers won’t return to their December-2019 apex for at least another three years.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Blocks Use of Drop Boxes in April Election, Madison Mayor Decries Ruling

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled to uphold a temporary ban on the use of drop boxes for the state’s upcoming spring elections.

Opponents of the use of drop boxes argue the law only allows two specific ways to cast an absentee ballot in the state: through the U.S. mail or delivered in person to a municipal clerk.

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Governor Announces $91 Million for Panhandle Hurricane Recovery

Ron DeSantis announces "Happy to award over $91 million to communities throughout Northwest Florida for infrastructure projects, including over $60 million in Jackson County."

More than three years after Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) announced another wave of recovery dollars for rural communities. DeSantis said over $91 million will be distributed to numerous communities through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program.

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Former VA-2 U.S. Representative Scott Taylor Considers a Run for Old Seat

Scott Taylor

Former U.S. Representative for Virginia’s Second Congressional District Scott Taylor is considering a run for his old seat.

In an email, Taylor stated that he is considering running for VA-2. He also shared the results of a poll that showed significant support for him in a Republican primary.

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The Minnesota Department of Education Was Battling Two Nonprofits for Years Before the Alleged Free Food Scandal Broke

The Jan. 20 FBI raids on Feeding Our Future was just the latest escalation in a war between the state agency and two networks of nonprofits operating food giveaways to low-income children. The state Department of Education (MDE) has been battling Feeding Our Future and the related nonprofit Partners in Nutrition (aka Partners in Quality Care) in and out of court going back at least as far as 2017.

MDE oversees locally two federal government free-food programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Those two programs are meant to supplement the better-known school lunch program and provide meals to children at times they are not in class — after school and during summers, respectively.

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Eight Michigan Counties to Repeal School Mask Mandate

Eight Michigan counties will end school mask mandates on or before Feb. 28, citing lower COVID metrics.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan, which covers Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties, will repeal its mask mandate for schools on February 17, followed by Ingham County on February 19, and Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne County will drop their mask mandates on February 28.

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