Former Federal Prosecutor Sues Johnson City over Botched Serial Rapist Case

Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, reports attorney Kateri L. Dahl’s lawsuit against the Johnson City, Tennessee, police department and its Police Chief Karl Turner, in which the former special federal prosecutor claims Turner and his officers mishandled her investigation and attempt to bring to trial a serial rapist.

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Tennessee Civil Asset Forfeiture Brought in $16M in Funds in 2021, But Transparency Lacking

Police traffic stop

In 2021, law enforcement in Tennessee seized $16 million worth of cash and $15.8 million was forfeited in court. But according to annual reports from Tennessee’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security, departments used just $195,000 of those funds.

Each year since Tennessee law began requiring those disclosures in 2018, similar numbers have appeared.

In 2020, $15 million was seized, $8.4 million was forfeited in the courts but just $1,980 was recorded as being used. In 2019, $12 million was seized, $12 million was forfeited and just more than $300,000 of the proceeds were used.

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Rocky Road for Ben and Jerry’s as Company Ends Boycott in Israel

Ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s ended a boycott of the West Bank after a local franchise took over the brand, its parent company Unilever announced Tuesday.

“Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont no longer has any authority over Avi. They can’t stop him from selling Ben & Jerry’s ice cream,” Alyza Lewin, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which represented Zinger, told The Times of Israel.

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Commentary: The National Academies Have Abandoned the Sciences

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently held an event titled: “Structural Racism and Rigorous Models of Social Inequity.” The two-day conference seemed less of a workshop, as was advertised, and more of a struggle session against enemies of “equity.” The main takeaway from this event was that we must implement critical race theory (CRT) into every facet of science. This conclusion was not drawn from inference. Throughout the conference, multiple speakers advocated explicitly for the use of critical race theory. By doing so, however, one must ask: Have the National Academies abandoned the sciences altogether?

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WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter to Headline Early Voting Kickoff Event for Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs

Professional wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter is scheduled to headline an early voting kick off event for Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ reelection campaign on Tuesday, July 12.

In a tweet announcing the event, Jacobs said, “I’m excited to welcome my friend and @WWE icon, @_SgtSlaughter, to Knox County in just a few days! You do not want to miss my Early Voting Kick-Off event. Join us at @cottoneyedjoetn on Tuesday, July 12 at 6PM!”

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Abrams Nonprofit Says ‘True Freedom’ Exists for Few Americans

A non-profit founded by gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams Monday bemoaned what it says is a lack of freedom for many Americans. 

“Since our nation’s independence, true freedom has only ever existed for a small subset of people,” Fair Fight said on Twitter. “Today, when our basic rights are once again under attack, we’re celebrating those who continue the fight for freedom for every American—no matter their gender, race, or zip code.”

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Georgia Senate Committee to Examine Oversight of Local Developmental Authorities

A Georgia Senate committee is set to explore potential legislative solutions that could give the state more oversight of local development authorities.

Senate Resolution 809 created the five-member Senate Development Authorities and Downtown Development Authorities Study Committee.

In an announcement, Sen. Max Burns, R-Sylvania, said the committee will explore ways “we can maximize the benefit brought to our communities by local development authorities, while also ensuring proper safeguards are in place to protect taxpayers from abuse.”

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Virginia Traffic Fatalities Rose 16 Percent from 2019 to 2021

Traffic fatalities in Virginia rose 16 percent from 2019, to 2021, according to traffic research nonprofit TRIP, which reports that nationally, fatalities rose 19 percent during that same period. 963 fatalities in 903 crashes occurred in 2021, up from 827 in 2019 and 847 in 2020, despite a decrease in total miles driven, according to DMV data.

“The dramatic increase in roadway fatalities during the pandemic spotlights a national public health crisis that states have been working to resolve for years,” American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Executive Director Jim Tymon said in the TRIP press release.

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Gov. Doug Ducey Signs Legislation Easing License Costs for Arizona Veterans

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed two House Bills (HB) which aim to lower certain license costs for veterans, including business and hunting licenses.

“Our veterans give us so much and Arizona is dedicated to finding more ways to honor them,” Ducey said in a press release. “This session, we delivered. We followed up on our State of the State promise to launch a program to waive in-state higher education tuition for the dedicated husbands and wives of veterans who have served and sacrificed as well. Arizona will continue to lower barriers and give back to this selfless and courageous community.”

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Florida AG, FTC Taking Legal Action to Shut Down COVID-19 Scam Targeting Minority-Owned Small Businesses

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Federal Trade Commission have taken legal action to shut down what they say was a fraudulent scheme perpetrated by a company targeting minority-owned small businesses.

They filed a joint complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida where Judge Marcia Morales Howard issued a temporary restraining order against the company, preventing it from doing any more business.

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Ilhan Omar Booed by Crowd at Somali Concert in Minneapolis

Rep. Ilhan Omar was booed Saturday night by a large crowd gathered at the Target Center for a performance by Somali artist Suldaan Seeraar.

The concert was reportedly scheduled to coincide with Somali Independence Day celebrations. It was Seeraar’s first concert in North America and Omar was apparently invited on stage to present him with an award.

“Don’t do this. Don’t do this. Don’t do this, please,” one man said into a microphone as the crowd began booing Omar.

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OH-1 Democrat Nominee Greg Landsman Opposed Anti-Corruption Legislation

OH-1 Democrat nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives, Cincinnati City Councilman Greg Landsman opposed anti-corruption legislation in 2021, and later touted Cincinnati’s Office of Ethics and Good Government, saying that “we needed to do everything in our power to restore public trust” after a scandal involving text messages.

In September 2021, Landsman declared his opposition to a ballot measure creating an amendment to the city charter that was characterized by him and in the press as allowing for individual city employees to be liable “for some violations of open meetings and public records law violations.”

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Pro-Abortion Legislation Introduced in Pennsylvania House

Democrats in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives recently proposed two bills to guarantee abortion rights in the Keystone State in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturning. 

The first measure, sponsored by Reps. Danielle Friel Otten (D-Exton) and Liz Hanbidge (D-Blue Bell) is an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution guaranteeing the right to obtain an abortion, acquire contraceptives or refuse fertility care. 

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Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar Co-Signs Letter Slamming Grant to Fund the Promotion of Atheism in Other Countries

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar cosigned a letter recently sent to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (D) and President Joe Biden (D), which speaks against the Biden administration’s granting of funds to international organizations committed to the practice and spread of atheism and humanism.

“Of course, we all know that America was founded largely by Christians who wanted to escape oppressive dictators and the State Church of England,” Gosar said in his weekly update letter. “Beginning in the 1960’s, leftist activists posing as judges started to dismantle our Christian heritage and iconography. Crosses were ordered removed from parks. A prayer before school was limited then banned. The left did their best to remove our Christian culture from public life.   I am working to reverse that cultural cleansing with others in Congress and to restore our Christian heritage.”

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Eco Activists Sue to Stop U.S. Oil and Gas Lease Sales

Environmental groups sued the Interior Department Tuesday to challenge the first oil and gas lease sale on public lands during the Biden administration.

A coalition of environmental groups led by Dakota Resource Council filed a lawsuit in in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that the sales violate the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, which requires that the Interior Department prevent “unnecessary or undue degradation” of public lands.

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Regulatory Relief for Home Health Care Becomes Permanent in Pennsylvania

Temporary regulatory relief for some health care workers during the pandemic has now become permanent, removing a burden of uncertainty and giving health groups more flexibility to care for patients.

The legislation gives home health care workers who aren’t physicians the ability to order or oversee orders for home health care and allows supervisory visits by registered nurses to be virtual.

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Study: Teen Cannabis Use Increases, Mental Health Declines in States with Fewer Legal Restrictions

States that have legalized marijuana have seen increasingly strong THC products and a rise in mental health issues among teenagers, a newly released nationwide study reports.

The Drug Free America Foundation authored the study, given first to The Center Square, which reports on “an association between adolescent cannabis use, the use of high potency cannabis products, and increased risk of psychosis.”

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Federal Park Police ‘In Crisis’ After Being Understaffed and Underfunded

The union representing the U.S. Park Police (USPP) warned the Biden administration that staffing shortages will compromise the safety of visitors at national parks in a letter to the Department of the Interior.

The USPP is facing a “crisis of alarming proportions” in recruiting and retaining officers, Chairman of the Federal Parks Fraternal Order of Police Kenneth Spencer said in the letter sent to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

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Dem Governor Urges Biden to Use Military Bases for Abortions

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday urged the Biden administration to consider opening up military bases for abortions to women living in states that heavily restrict the procedure, ABC News reported.

Since military bases are considered federal lands, Hochul argued in a virtual meeting with President Joe Biden that federal law would allow them to override state bans, according to ABC. Her suggestion heeds widespread outcries from  Democratic politicians about loss of women’s rights following the Supreme Court’s decision on June 24 overturning Roe V. Wade.

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Ivy League Study: Boosters, COVID-19 ‘Rebounds’ Fuel Skepticism of Federal Narratives

As the nation’s most powerful and twice-boosted infectious disease doctor battles a COVID-19 “rebound” two weeks after testing positive, new research from the public health schools at Harvard and Yale suggests the boosted fared worse against the first Omicron subvariant than the non-boosted.

The FDA is so alarmed by the “waning effectiveness” of boosters, whose formulation is still based on the ancestral Wuhan strain, that it asked manufacturers Thursday to add a “spike protein component” from the fourth and fifth Omicron subvariants to this fall’s boosters.

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Former TDOC Officers Indicted for Alleged Assault, Coverup

Two former Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) officers are in legal trouble after allegedly assaulting an inmate and attempting to hide the evidence. 

“The Department of Justice announced that Javian Griffin, 36, and Sebron Hollands, 32, two former tactical officers with the Strike Force for the Tennessee Department of Corrections, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Memphis, Tennessee,” according to a DOJ press release. “Griffin is charged with using unlawful force against an inmate at Northwest Correctional Complex. Griffin and Hollands are both charged with obstruction of justice for writing false reports about Griffin’s assault.”

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