DOJ Admits ‘Mistakenly’ Taking Trump’s Passports, Offers to Return Them

In an acknowledgment the FBI over-collected evidence during the Mar-a-Lago raid, the Justice Department informed Donald Trump’s team Monday that agents seized the former president’s passports and are obligated to return them, Just the News has learned,

DOJ was making plans Monday evening to return the passports and have also alerted defense lawyers the FBI may have obtained materials covered by various privileges that will be returned in the next two weeks, two sources told Just the News.

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Freedom Rally Organizer Sharon Pawlak: August 21 Event Will Show How to ‘Generate Critical Thinking’ About Left-Wing Agendas

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed This Has to Stop Freedom Rally organizer, Sharon Pawlak to the newsmaker line to explain their mission of creating a wellspring of conservative resources this Sunday in Primm Spring, Tennessee.

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Principal Rachael Bradley of Thales Academy-Franklin Talks Enrollment Growth, Student Engagement, and Optimal Learning Environment

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Thales Academy-Franklin’s Principal, Rachael Bradley to the newsmaker line to talk about the school’s growth, teaching methodology, and high-quality air circulation for an optimal learning environment.

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Commentary: It’s Time to Take Down the Cult of Climate Change for Good

When you look at climate alarmists, there are really only two options: they either don’t know what they’re talking about, or they’re lying.

The “Little Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf’”-like cries of “existential threats” brought on by climate change would be hilarious, if it wasn’t for the disastrous impact from misguided actions to “fix” the problem. However, the fable about a youngster fabricating an emergency time and again isn’t that far off from today’s climate-change evangelists; they both need to recognize their stories are quickly losing credibility.

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Tennessee Residents Received $81.9M in FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

Tennessee residents have received $81.9 million in funeral expense assistance through COVID-19 funeral reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Just short of half of those payments were made this year. As of January, FEMA had sent Tennessee $47 million in assistance.

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Teachers’ Union Suggests Summer Reading About Kneeling for the National Anthem

The country’s largest teachers’ union suggested a book about kneeling for the national anthem as part of its August 2022 summer reading list, according to its website.

The National Education Association (NEA) listed the book “Why We Fly” by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal, which features marijuana use and tells of two girls on the cheerleading squad who take a knee for the national anthem after being inspired by a football star protesting in the media, according to the website. Discussion questions and related resources on athlete activism are also provided by the NEA to pair with the reading.

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Three Tennessee Projects Awarded $64 Million for Transportation Infrastructure by the U.S. Department of Transportation

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded three Tennessee infrastructure projects a total of $64 million from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program.

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Craig Huey Commentary: The Tennessee Supreme Court Picked an Outstanding Attorney General

The Tennessee Supreme Court decision to appoint Jonathan Skrmetti as the attorney general was outstanding. In fact, it could have powerful, transformative impact on our freedom, constitutional rights and religious liberty.

Why?

Because Tennessee must take the lead in stopping federal overreach and abuse of power.

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Unclaimed Property Becomes Revenue for Some States

Some states are making money from unclaimed property that people may not know the states have. 

South Dakota is one of the few states that send profits from abandoned property to their general budget. About 3% of the state’s general fund revenues come from unclaimed property, according to state budget officials. Some states, including Wyoming and Wisconsin, hold on to the property indefinitely. 

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Al Franken Endorses Liz Cheney, Quips It Will ‘Carry a Lot of Weight’ with Wyoming GOP

Former Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken endorsed Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney for reelection ahead of the primary this week.

“I’ve decided to endorse @RepLizCheney for the Republican nomination for the House seat In Wyoming it’s my first time endorsing in a GOP primary. But I think Al Franken’s support will carry a lot of weight with WY Republicans,” the former senator wrote Saturday in a tweet that garnered more than 100,000 likes, 12,000 retweets and 14,000 comments.

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Metro Council Considers Bill That Prohibits License Plate Scanner Use for Enforcement of Tennessee Abortion Laws

Nashville Metro Council is proceeding with legislation that prohibits the use of License Plate Scanner (LPR) technology to aid in the enforcement of “laws outlawing abortion or outlawing interstate travel to obtain an abortion as an allowed use of LPRs.”

On Tuesday, August 16, Metro Council will consider BL2022-1385, a bill on second reading that is an “ordinance amending Section 13.08.080 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws pertaining to the use of License Plate Scanner (“LPR”) technology to exclude assisting with enforcing laws outlawing abortion or outlawing interstate travel to obtain an abortion as an allowed use of LPRs.”

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Commentary: China Is Infiltrating Kids’ Video Games with Propaganda and Spyware

While many are rightfully concerned about the growing influence of video-based social media platform TikTok and the Chinese government’s ability to harvest incredible amounts of user data from it, China’s largest social media and video game studio, Tencent, has quietly been acquiring a commanding stake in the most popular video game companies around the world, and no one has seemed to notice.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis to Kari Lake: Florida Will Send National Guard Troops to Help Secure Southern Border

PHOENIX, Arizona – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke to a theater full of onlookers in downtown Phoenix Sunday at a Turning Point Action rally to support local Trump-endorsed nominees like Kari Lake and Blake Masters. Mentioning Florida would be willing to help Lake secure the border if she gets elected.

“What I’ve told Kari Lake, I said ‘look, if you’re willing to put people on that border, and keep ’em [illegal immigrants] from coming in to begin with, I’ll send National Guard to help with that,” said DeSantis.

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Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Accepted over $1 Million from Billionaires, Celebrity Donors While Attacking Her GOP Opponent’s ‘Special Interests’ Ties

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign has raked in donations from billionaires and Hollywood celebrities despite fundraising off her Trump-endorsed opponent’s ties to “special interests,” according to state records reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Michigan Democrat’s campaign has received over $1 million from billionaires and almost $48,000 from Hollywood celebrities since 2021, state campaign finance disclosures show. At the same time, the governor’s reelection campaign has criticized Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon for her ties to “special interests” and former Education Secretary and billionaire Betsy DeVos.

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Minneapolis Teachers Union Contract Calls for Layoffs of White Teachers First

A Minneapolis teachers union contract stipulates that white teachers will be laid off or reassigned before “educators of color” in the event Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) needs to reduce staff.

After the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) and MPS struck a deal on March 25 to end a 14-day teacher strike, the two sides drew up and ratified a new collective bargaining agreement complete with various proposals.

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Judge: Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Can’t Collect on Appealed Unemployment Overpayments

A Michigan Court of Claims judge ruled that the state Unemployment Insurance Agency can’t collect on claimants appealing a determination they were overpaid.

Court of Claims Judge Brock Swartzle ruled that his prior preliminary injunction stops UIA collection on all individuals who “timely” appeal UIA claims until they are resolved.

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Virginia Democrats Praise ‘Historic’ Inflation Reduction Act, Republicans Say the Bill Will Increase Costs for Americans

Virginia Democrats trumpeted the Inflation Reduction Act after the House of Representatives passed the legislation on Friday, putting President Joe Biden on the path to a key win on his goals ahead of the 2022 congressional midterms. At the same time, Republicans mocked the bill’s title and criticized its policies.

In a speech on the House Floor, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA-08) compared the bill to landmark legislation from the U.S.’ past.

“This is our generation’s signature contribution to American history. Our Social Security Act. Our Civil Rights Act, even the Bill of Rights,” Beyer said.

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Two Georgia Health Systems to Receive $300M in Federal Funds

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is sending more than $300 million to help Georgia bolster health programs at the Grady and Augusta University health systems.

The money will support Georgia’s Advancing Innovation to Deliver Equity program. Under the initiative, the two health systems will see higher Medicaid payment rates on services provided through Georgia’s managed care program.

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Florida Pushes to Recruit Military Veterans for Teaching Jobs

Gov. Ron DeSantis is encouraging military veterans interested in teaching at Florida public schools to consider applying through a new program.

“Florida is leading the way by bringing some of the best, the brightest and the bravest among us into our classrooms through a new program that helps military veterans become teachers,” he said in a video announcement Thursday. “If you served in the military for at least four years, were honorably discharged, have taken 60 college credits, and pass a subject area exam, we want you to be able to teach Florida students.

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State Representative Proposes Emergency Response Devices for Pennsylvania Schools

State Rep. Karen Boback (R-PA-Dallas) on Friday proposed legislation to equip Pennsylvania K-12 public schools with emergency response devices. 

The representative modeled her bill on “Alyssa’s Law,” named after Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who was killed in the mass shooting that occurred on February 14, 2018. Alyssa’s Law, which Florida, New York, New Jersey and Nebraska have already enacted, requires all elementary and secondary schools to install panic alarms which are connected to area law-enforcement agencies. 

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OH-13 Democrat Nominee Emilia Sykes Receives Donations from Pharmaceutical Companies

OH-13 Democrat Nominee Emilia Sykes has criticized Republicans for voting against capping costs for life saving drugs, and has promised to fight to lower drug costs but has taken over $12,000 from pharmaceutical companies that have raised the prices of lifesaving drugs, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On August 3, 2022, Emilia Sykes tweeted that as an elected official, she “will fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs.”

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Arizona Grassroots Groups Rally at ‘Redfest’ to Push Conservative Legislators for Leadership Positions in 2023

Freedomworks, one of the nation’s leading conservative grassroots organizations, recently launched a satellite office in Arizona and held a joint “Redfest Rally” with other Arizona conservative organizations Friday night to discuss getting conservative legislators into leadership positions in the Arizona Legislature. State Rep. Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale) is vying for Speaker of the House, likely facing off against House Majority Leader Ben Toma (R-Peoria), and State Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) is going up against longtime State Sen. David Gowan (R-Sierra Vista). 

Chaplik told the crowd that people don’t trust the “fractured caucus” that exists currently under the leadership of House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa), who lost his primary election earlier this month due to defeating numerous conservative bills including many election integrity bills. Chaplik called the legislature a “cesspool” of “sham favoritism,” and said Arizonans can expect a “more conservative caucus” in 2023. 

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Ashley Judd Found Mother Alive After She Shot Herself, Court Papers Say

Ashley Judd found her mother, Naomi Judd, alive after she shot herself, according to a court filing from the family as part of an effort to stop documents from being released about Naomi’s death.

Judd’s husband, Larry Strickland, and her daughters Ashley and Wynonna Judd filed a petition on Friday in Williamson County Chancery Court in Tennessee. The family argued that records from Judd’s death investigation would cause “significant trauma and irreparable harm” if they are released, according to The Tennessean.

The family asked for all video and audio evidence as well as personal medical information and police reports to be kept private.

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Commentary: A Decentralized Education System Keeps Hubris in Check

by Kerry McDonald   While the past two years have been characterized in many ways by top-down policy approaches and greater centralization of power, there have also been positive signs of decentralization and bottom-up solutions. This has been particularly true in education, as parents seek new learning options for their…

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Arizona AG Brnovich and Coalition of States Fight Against Mask Mandates on Public Transportation

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich joined 22 other states this week in filing an amicus curiae brief at the appellate level opposing the Center for Disease Control’s attempt to continue a mask mandate on public transportation, which includes airplanes and buses. He sued the CDC over the requirement with 20 other attorneys general in March.

“Upholding the law is especially important during times of emergency,” he said in a statement. “Federal overreach is most often attempted under the guise of addressing a crisis.”

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Four Alleged Cartel Members Charged with Sending Money to China for Fentanyl Production

Fentanyl

Four alleged cartel members were charged in connection with an international money laundering operation that involved sending funds to China to produce fentanyl.

The four New Jersey men, William Panzera, 49, Thomas Padovano, 48, Bartholomew Padovano, 71, and Sean Tighe, 46, were indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of New Jersey Wednesday, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

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West Point Cadets COVID Vax Religious Exemptions Denied En Masse, Given One Day to Respond

West Point Military Academy cadets were denied their Religious Accommodation Request appeals to the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate en masse on Wednesday but were not informed until Friday afternoon, when they were given 24 hours to respond, according to attorney R. Davis Younts.

A Developmental Counseling Form that was given to a cadet notes that the religious objector’s RAR appeal was denied on Wednesday and the date that cadet received counseling regarding the vaccine mandate was Friday. The form says that the objector has until 4 p.m. on Saturday to make a plan to receive the vaccine.

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MSNBC Contributor, Ex-Spy Chief Hint Trump Deserves Execution over Classified Records Dispute

Amid published reports that former President Trump is improperly holding classified papers, including nuclear documents, at his Florida compound, MSNBC contributor Michael Beschloss and former CIA Director Michael Hayden are intimating via social media that Trump should be executed.

The Washington Post has reported that the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago compound on Monday in order to retrieve “nuclear documents” they believed were improperly stored there.

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Commentary: Non-College-Educated Taxpayers May Soon Be Responsible for Billions in College Debt

Most Americans have been conditioned to accept some level of incompetence and inefficiency from government – but not to the extent that federal employees paid by our tax dollars simply admit that they are fundamentally incapable of doing their jobs. Yet shockingly, this is what we are now witnessing with the Department of Education’s failed and convoluted attempt to process claims for student loan cancellation. 

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Arizona’s U.S. Senate Seat Rated a Toss-Up by Election Forecasters

Incumbent Mark Kelly (D), Blake Masters (R), and Marc Victor (L) are running in the general election for Arizona’s Class III U.S. Senate on Nov. 8. As of August 2022, three independent race forecasters rated the race toss-up.

Kelly took office in December 2020 following a special election in November 2020. Before joining Congress, he served as a U.S. Navy pilot and astronaut with NASA. He and his wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D), founded Americans for Responsible Solutions (now known as Giffords) in 2013. Kelly’s campaign has focused on bipartisan compromise and a willingness to work across the aisle.

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Biden Admin Investigates College’s Doctoral Program Only for Black Students

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) plans to investigate the University of Utah for a doctoral program available only to black students, according to an OCR letter.

University of Michigan-Flint professor Mark Perry filed a complaint against the University of Utah regarding its African American Doctoral Scholars Initiative alleging the program, which only allows black students, violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national orientation, according to the July 26 OCR letter. The OCR confirmed they will investigate the university in a letter to Perry.

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Arizona Fills U.S.-Mexico Border Wall Gap with Shipping Containers and Razor Wire

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order on Friday directing the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to fill the gaps in the Yuma border wall starting immediately.

“Arizona has had enough,” Ducey said in a press release. “We can’t wait any longer. The Biden administration’s lack of urgency on border security is a dereliction of duty. For the last two years, Arizona has made every attempt to work with Washington to address the crisis on our border. Time and time again we’ve stepped in to clean up their mess. Arizonans can’t wait any longer for the federal government to deliver on their delayed promises.”

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