Censored: Twitter Suspends John Solomon’s Account for Story on Peer-Reviewed COVID Study

Twitter on Thursday suspended the account of Just the News CEO and Editor John Solomon for tweeting a story about a peer-reviewed study on COVID vaccines published in a respected medical journal by a research university that has worked with the both National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization.

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ACLU Requests Tennessee Records on Announced Charter School Partnership with Hillsdale College

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Tennessee has asked the state of Tennessee to release all records regarding an announced charter school partnership with Hillsdale College.

The organization sent open records requests on Monday, requesting information about Governor Bill Lee’s (R-TN) “developing partnership with Hillsdale College to establish a number of publicly funded charter schools in Tennessee,” a press statement said.

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Metro Nashville Council Defers Action on Sanctuary City License Plate Reader Bill That Legislative Staff Said Was Illegal

Metro Nashville Council deferred action on a bill on second reading that council legislative staff said was illegal. In its current form, the bill bans License Plate Reader use for cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

When the issue came up at the meeting, Councilman Mendes asked for committee reports. The requisite committees recommended deferring the ordinance for two meeting. Councilman Mendes then moved to defer consideration of the ordinance for two meetings.

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Metro Nashville Health HR Department Strikes Back Against Controversial Equity Director Stephanie Kang

Members of the Metro Nashville Public Health Department’s (MPHD’s) Human Resources (HR) Office are fighting back against scathing criticism from their Racial and Health Equity Director Stephanie Kang. Kang last month distributed a memo to MPHD board members to complain about the department’s alleged instances of bullying, sexism, racism, and homophobia.

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Tennessee Stands’ Gary Humble Recaps Tuesday Night Shutdown of Patient Rights Act by General Assembly

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Gary Humble of Tennessee Stands to explain and recap Tuesday nights Tennessee General Assembly miss on a hearing for the Patient’s Rights Act bill in the House.

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Commentary: Ukraine Demonstrates the Need for Gun Protections

The question of upholding the right of self-defense shouldn’t be political. Even so, supporters of the Second Amendment and our right as free people to arm ourselves are constantly attacked as wild-eyed crazies and “gun nuts.” So imagine my surprise at seeing Ukraine, a country with strict gun laws, “handing out” guns to its citizens for use as protection against the Russian invasion. It’s almost as if guns in the right hands can be used for good.

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U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty on the State of the Union and the Top Three Things He Would Do If He Became Secretary of State

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty to the newsmaker line to give his take on the State of the Union and his top three priorities if Secretary of State.

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Zuckerberg-Funded Election Group Refuses to Allow Star News Network into Media Briefing

After registering through the appropriate channels and having its attendance confirmed, The Star News Network Wednesday was kicked out of media briefing by a left-wing election group that is funded by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. 

Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR) held a media briefing to discuss what it calls “efforts to undermine Democracy in several states,” including Wisconsin, where former state Supreme Court Justice Mike Gableman has been investigating 2020’s election integrity in the state.

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Tennessee House Subcommittee Advances Legislation to Protect Students from Obscenity and Pornography in K-12 Schools

At the end of meetings of the Tennessee House Criminal Justice Subcommittee held over two consecutive weeks where impassioned testimony was heard from nearly two dozen witnesses on both sides of the argument, a bill that seeks to protect students from pornographic and obscene materials in K-12 schools advanced Wednesday to the full House Criminal Justice Committee.

More than two hours of testimony was heard Wednesday from 15 members of the public, in addition to nearly an hour and three witnesses who testified last week including country music star John Rich, The Tennessee Star reported.

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Congressman Tim Burchett on State of the Union Address

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Congressman Tim Burchett live from the Swamp to comment upon Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

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WarRoom: Pandemic’s Steve Bannon Talks to The Star News Network CEO and Editor in Chief Michael Patrick Leahy About Local Level News and Hyperlocal Effects

Stephen K. Bannon welcomed The Star News Network’s CEO and Editor in Chief Michael Patrick Leahy on Wednesday’s WarRoom: Pandemic to discuss the launch of The Connecticut Star to the family of online news outlets with The Star News Network and the appetite for hyperlocal media. Bannon: I want to make…

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New Georgia Electric Car Manufacturer Connected to George Soros

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue said this week that incumbent Governor Brian Kemp provided state-backed financial incentives to an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer tied to George Soros. Bloomberg reported this week that Soros does invest in the EV company Rivian.

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Roanoke College Survey: Virginia Gov. Youngkin Approval at 50 Percent, Disapproval at 41 Percent

A new survey finds Governor Glenn Youngkin with a 50 percent approval rating and a 41 percent disapproval rating. Roanoke College’s Institute for Policy and Opinion Research (IPOR) survey also found that 47 percent of Virginians think the Commonwealth is headed in the right direction, and 47 percent think things are going in the wrong direction.

“This is consistent with his winning margin in November. This poll shows that Governor Youngkin’s initiatives have received bipartisan support. The governor will continue to hear directly from Virginians and is focused on delivering on his promises,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said in a statement.

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Whitmer’s Reinstatement of Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Draws Rebukes

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday announced she has reinstated Michigan’s controversial prevailing wage for government contracts.

The state’s prevailing law was repealed by the state legislature in June 2018, during the final year of the administration of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. Michigan was one of 24 states repealing the prevailing wage practice.

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Puskaric to Ask Pennsylvania Agencies to Ditch Social Media Platforms That Censor

Pennsylvania state Rep. Mike Puskaric (R-Jefferson Hills) indicated Wednesday he will urge state agencies to ditch social-media platforms he says engage in censorship.

In a memorandum asking fellow representatives to cosponsor his upcoming resolution, the Pittsburgh-area legislator argued that especially large information-technology companies violate the state and federal constitutions when they make politicized publishing decisions. He insisted government institutions and officials should respond by cancelling their accounts on such sites and signing onto more permissive online venues instead.

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Minnesota Republicans Release Plan to Address Public Safety

Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives on Tuesday released their plan to address public safety, unveiling almost a dozen different pieces of legislation.

The lawmakers argued that members of the opposing political party have not addressed the spike in crime that has been felt by residents of the state.

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Report Shows Connecticut Gas Prices Continue to Rise, Impact Residents

Person filling up red car with petrol/gasoline

Gas prices continue to rise throughout Connecticut, inflicting pain on residents throughout the state

According to data compiled by AAA, the state’s prices are above the national average, sitting at $3.75 per gallon. The number is an 8-cent increase from the previous week alone.

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Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson: Biden’s Failure to Promote Early Treatment ‘Cost Hundreds of Thousands of Lives’

President Joe Biden boasted in his State of the Union address Tuesday his administration “will continue to combat the [COVID] virus as we do other diseases,” but Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and numerous physicians say the suppression of early treatment by Biden and his political, media, Big Tech, and Big Pharma allies has already “cost hundreds of thousands of lives” in America.

Johnson said in a statement following the address Biden “seems oblivious to the harm his administration and policies have caused” Americans.

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Left-Wing Groups Sue Ohio to Prevent Abortion Law from Taking Effect

A host of left-wing groups are suing in a last-minute attempt to halt the implementation of new abortion legislation. 

“Lack of access to abortion services … clearly decreases patient safety and threatens patients’ health,” a lawsuit filed by the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says. “Continuing a pregnancy against one’s will can pose a risk to one’s physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as the stability and well-being of one’s family, including existing children.”

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Arizonans for Voter ID Act Makes Ballot, and 15 Election Integrity Bills Have Passed the Arizona House

The Arizona Legislature has voted to send the Arizonans for Voter ID Act to the ballot as a proposition this fall, and 15 more election integrity bills have passed the Arizona House. The Arizonans for Voter ID Act was initially launched as a citizens’ initiative by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, which would have required 237,645 valid signatures to get on the ballot. SCR 1012, which passed along party lines, bypasses that time-consuming and often difficult process.

State Senator Kelly Townsend (R-Apache Junction), told the Arizona Sun Times, “Today the Senate Republican caucus met to discuss which bills they can support. We were able to get through much of what we have been proposing and received support from nearly all the members with two absent and not weighing in. I’m excited to see good election reform moving forward, ideas that will fortify election security so that voters can feel more secure about their votes. Bills deal with securing technology, ballot paper, chain of custody, removing drop boxes, improving signature verification, cleaning of the voter rolls, and many other items that we are looking to fix.”

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Florida Election Officials Prepare for Impact of New Law

Florida election officials are preparing for the impact of a new law that will require, among other things, additional information for voters currently registered. These requirements are in addition to any new requirements that may pass in the closing days of the current legislative session.

The bill under current consideration, HB 7061, sponsored by State Representative Daniel Perez (R-Miami), is headed to the House floor after passing the House Appropriations Committee in a party line vote. An amendment to the bill during the meeting made it almost identical to SB 524, which passed last Thursday.

The amendment requires supervisors of elections to maintain voter roll lists annually instead of every two years, one of DeSantis’ requests. It also removed a section requiring the last four digits of a voter’s Social Security number, driver’s license or photo ID on vote-by-mail ballots. The amendment also adds a fine to organizations if a person collecting voter applications on its behalf changes someone’s party affiliation without consent. The fine is $1,000 per altered application.

A previous amendment removed additional requirements related to vote-by-mail procedures. Instead, the revised bill would direct the secretary of state to work on a plan to “prescribe the use of a Florida driver license number, Florida identification card number, Social Security number, or any part thereof to confirm the identity of each elector returning a vote-by-mail ballot.” The secretary of state would have to submit the plan by Jan. 1.

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John Fredericks Media Network Adds Radio Station in Philadelphia

The John Fredericks Media Network purchased WVCH AM 740 and 103.3 FM in Chester and Malvern, Pennsylvania and will operate 95.3 FM in Pennsauken, New Jersey.

The new stations will allow programming to reach Philadelphia and large portions of New Jersey and Delaware.

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Connecticut Supreme Court Picked Redistricting Maps That Maintain Partisan Makeup Status Quo of 5th Congressional District

The Connecticut Supreme Court picked redistricting maps that maintain the partisan status quo of the 5th Congressional District.

Prior to redistricting, CT-5 was given a partisan rating by Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight of D+3. The Connecticut Supreme Court approved the state’s new congressional maps on February 10, 2022 and the 5th district’s partisan rating remains the same. The court took control of the process after a bipartisan body of state legislators failed to come to an agreement on the lines.

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Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci Knocks Biden’s Discussion of Intel in State of the Union Speech

Jim Renacci, a former congressman and candidate running for Ohio governor, knocked President Joe Biden over his discussion of Intel during his State of the Union address.

In the address, Biden connected future investments made by the company to legislation that would increase funding for semiconductor manufacturing.

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Senator Johnson Responds to Biden’s State of the Union Ahead of President’s Visit to Wisconsin

Just before President Joe Biden visited Wisconsin on Wednesday, a U.S. Senator from the state released a scathing statement on the 46th president’s Tuesday night State of the Union address.

“In spite of President Biden’s inaugural speech promise that his number one goal was to heal and unify our nation, today, America is even further divided due to his mismanagement of the economy, our southern border, foreign policy, and COVID-19,” Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said in a statement.

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Virginia House Subcommittee Recommends Tabling Campaign Finance Reform Bill

A House of Delegates Privileges and Elections subcommittee voted five to three to recommend tabling Senator John Bell’s (D-Loudoun) bill to ban the use of campaign funds for personal use. The Senate passed the bill 37 to three but if the Privileges and Elections Committee follows the subcommittee’s recommendation, the bill will falter. That’s not a new pattern for Virginia — in 2021 when Democrats controlled both chambers, a similar bill passed out of the House with unanimous support but the bill faltered in Senate committee.

Bell told the subcommittee that his bill was the result of a summer campaign finance joint subcommittee.

“Over the years, I know we’ve had many bills in this subject area, frankly, by members of both parties. This is a really tough area to go into, I want to just say to the committee as we get into it. And We took the bill that started off, we heard testimony, and we work with stkeholders again and worked with members of both parties, and we dialed the bill back in a few areas,” he said.

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Florida House Passes Bill Making Churches Essential

The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill classifying religious institutions as “essential” during states of emergency. The bill was a result of the COVID pandemic, which saw many churches across the country forced to shut down due to pandemic-related conditions.

SB 254 already passed through the Senate in January with predominantly bipartisan support. Only three state senators – Sen. Lori Berman (D-Lantana), Sen. Tina Polsky (D-Palm Beach County), and Sen. Bobby Powell (D-West Palm Beach) – voted against the measure.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Keeps Mail-In Voting in Place

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tuesday ruled that controversial mail-in voting laws will remain in place for now.

Republicans argue that those laws, which have been in place for two years and were struck down by Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt on February 16, violate the Pennsylvania Constitution. 

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Apple Stops Selling All Products in Russia, Drops State-Backed Media Apps

Apple announced Tuesday it would pause the sale of all products in Russia, citing the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” Apple said in a statement. “We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.”

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School Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation Systems Assistance in Connecticut Bill

Connecticut public schools would be able to pay for upgrades to heating, cooling, and ventilation systems in legislation proposed by Gov. Ned Lamont.

The first-term Democrat announced the proposed legislation that would create and fund a grant program that would need $90 million to get the project off the ground to help schools make the upgrades in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Oil Hits 11-Year High as Big Oil Dumps Russia, White House Mulls Energy Sanctions

The price of crude oil touched its highest level in nearly 11 years on Wednesday amid the ongoing Ukraine crisis which has roiled energy markets.

The WTI index, the U.S. benchmark index, surged to $112.09 per barrel, its highest level since May 2011, early Wednesday before receding near $108 per barrel, marketplace data showed. The global Brent crude benchmark approached $114 per barrel then dropped below $111 a barrel.

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Ohio Gives $10 Million to Meat Producers to Help Supply Chain

Ohio is offering $10 million in grants to livestock and poultry producers across the state to help farmers increase capacity and ease growing stress on supply chains, Gov. Mike DeWine announced.

The plan is to offer 40 Ohio producers grants of up to $25,000, with half the money provided before projects start and the other half awarded after companies show the money was spent on eligible costs.

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Over 2,000 Ukrainian Civilians Reportedly Killed Since Invasion Began

Over 2,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since Russia first invaded the country on Feb. 25, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said Wednesday, CNN reported.

“More than 2,000 Ukrainians died, not counting our defenders,” the service said in a statement, CNN reported. “Children, women and our defense forces are losing their lives every hour.”

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Russian’s Financial Markets Remain Closed, as Punitive Ukraine Sanctions Go into Effect

Russia’s financial markets remain closed Wednesday for the third day in a row as the country’s economy continues to take massive hits caused by Ukraine-related sanctions from Western countries.

The closure of the Russian exchanges is the longest since since 1998, according to Bloomberg News.

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Federal Reserve Chairman Powell Announcing Increase in Interest Rates This Month

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will announce Wednesday that the central bank will begin raising interest rates this month – in an attempt to curb rising inflation expected to further increase as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In prepared testimony to a congressional committee, Powell says the Fed will “need to be nimble” in responding to unexpected changes resulting from the invasion and the resulting sanctions, according to the Associated Press.

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Record Number of Minnesota Gun Permits Issued in 2021

More Minnesotans received their permits to carry in 2021 than any other year since the state’s Personal Protection Act was enacted in 2003.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension released data Tuesday showing that Minnesotans applied for 110,078 permits. Sheriffs issued a total of 106,488 firearm permits in 2021. That’s up 10% compared to 2020 when 96,554 permits were issued, which was until now the all-time record.

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Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan Expected to Be Indicted

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is facing corruption charges more than two years after a federal probe first started, according to media reports.

The office of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch Jr. announced a news conference Wednesday to “announce an indictment in a public corruption investigation.”

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Bill Establishing Residency Requirements for Federal Candidates Passes Key Tennessee House Subcommittee

State Representative Dave Wright’s (R-Knoxville) version of the bill establishing three-year residency requirements for federal candidates was passed by a key subcommittee.

Before HB2764, the House version of Senator Frank Niceley’s legislation, was recommended for passage by the House Elections and Campaign Finance Subcommittee, it was amended on Wednesday. The amended version is significantly different than the Senate-passed version as it applies to all federal candidates in primaries and general elections, sets an effective date to one day after this year’s elections, and exempts candidates elected this year from that standard for future elections. The House version is now in conflict with the Senate-passed version.

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