Anti-CRT Bill Takes Effect Friday in Georgia

A bill that restricts schools from teaching “divisive concepts” like Critical Race Theory (CRT) will take effect Friday. 

HB 1084, which passed the Republican-controlled General Assembly in April and was signed into law shortly thereafter, “require[s] local boards of education, local school superintendents, and the governing bodies of charter schools to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race [and] require[s] that curricula and training programs shall encourage such employees not to judge others based on race,” according to the text of the bill. 

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Mexican National Charged with Tax Fraud in Tennessee Arrested After Six Years on the Run

After six years on the run, a Mexican man who lived in Nashville when he allegedly defrauded the U.S. government has been captured by authorities. 

“Claudio Juarez, 40, was arrested at his residence in Bowling Green, Kentucky, this morning and transported to the Middle District of Tennessee.  He will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge later this afternoon,” according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). “Juarez and others were charged in 2016 with conspiracy to file false claims against the United States, wire fraud, and theft of more than $1,000 of public money.”

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Tennessee Laws Cracking Down on Violent Criminals Take Effect Friday

The Tennessee General Assembly is touting new “tough on crime” legislation that will take effect Friday. 

SB 2284, colloquially called the “Truth in Sentencing” bill, is one of those pieces of legislation. It will require violent offenders to serve 100 percent of their sentences before they are eligible for release. 

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Rep. Fleischmann Battles with Democrats over Wall Funding, Disinfo Board

A U.S. Congressman from Tennessee battled with Democrats on the Fiscal Year 2023 budget in an attempt to stop them from misdirecting funds appropriated for border wall construction, and to stop them from pursuing their “disinformation governance board.” 

“Rep. Fleischmann believes that both President Biden and [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas cannot be trusted not to try to restart any version of the disinformation board, which is why he offered an amendment to ban any funds in the Fiscal Year 2023 funding bill from establishing a disinformation board at DHS,” Justin Doil, the Communications Director for Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03), told The Tennessee Star. 

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102 Georgia Sheriffs Sign Letter Condemning Stacey Abrams as ‘Soft on Crime’

More than 100 Sheriffs in Georgia signed a letter blasting Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams as “soft on crime.” 

“Over the last four years, Governor Kemp and his family stood shoulder to shoulder with the men and women serving in Georgia’s law enforcement community,” the letter, touted on incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp’s website, says. “Working alongside our departments, Governor Kemp has championed legislation to recruit and retain more officers into the profession, strengthen penalties for criminals and help keep Georgia’s streets safe, and prevent rogue local governments from stripping critical funding and resources from police.”

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Bill Banning Transgender Athletics Takes Effect This Week

A Tennessee bill that bans biological males from participating in female athletic competition will take effect this week. 

HB 1895, which passed through the Tennessee General Assembly in April and was subsequently signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee (R), says “the commissioner of education to withhold a portion of the state education finance funds that a [Local Education Association] is otherwise eligible to receive if the LEA fails or refuses to determine a student’s gender, for purposes of participation in school sports, by the student’s sex at the time of birth…”

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Will Pause Construction for July 4th Weekend

Tennessee motorists will not have to worry about construction delaying their Independence Day plans, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). 

“With so many people hitting the road we want to do all we can to ensure they reach their destinations safely and without necessary delays,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley in a Monday press release. “We are doing so by suspending lane closures during this busy holiday travel time.”

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Georgia District Attorneys Say They Won’t Prosecute Abortion Cases

Two of Georgia’s major district attorneys say they will not prosecute abortion-related offenses in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

“It is my responsibility as the elected District Attorney to set priorities for the use my office’s resources,” said Fulton Count District Attorney Fani Willis. “I will not be using precious tax dollars allocated to this office to pursue prosecutions based on women’s personal healthcare choices.”

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Country Music Personalities React to SCOTUS Abortion Decision

Some of country music’s largest stars and personalities have spoken out against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in the days after the decision was made.

“Today, I hold my two year old son with tears streaming down my face because all my love and planning still wasn’t enough to protect him from being born in a country who could do this to women. Women, the ones who gave each Supreme Court Justice on the bench the right to be here, the dexterity of their pen hand,” Maren Morris, known for her hit song “The Middle,” said. “Tomorrow I will fight, but today I am grieving.”

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Arizona Mayors Say They Won’t Use City Resources to Uphold Abortion Laws

Mayors in two prominent cities in Arizona have signaled that they will not follow the state abortion laws after last week’s Supreme Court reversal of Roe V. Wade.

“I am deeply disappointed by today’s Supreme Court decision,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego (D). “Phoenix is a pro-choice city. A majority of the city council and I have no interest in using city resources to prevent women from accessing health care.”

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Two Women Escape from Tennessee Prison ‘Release Center’

Two women at the end of last week escaped from a Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) facility in Chattanooga. 

“The Tennessee Department of Correction is asking for the public’s help in locating two inmates who walked away from the Chattanooga Release Center Friday night and are now listed as absconders,” according to TDOC. 

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Blackburn Blasts Trans Sports on 50th Anniversary of Title IX

A U.S. Senator from Tennessee blasted transgender sports allowing biological men to compete against biological females Thursday, on what was the 50th anniversary of Title IX.

“Joe Biden is intent on erasing women and their historical accomplishments. No matter what the left says, men and women are created physically different – that’s a fact,” Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told The Tennessee Star. “What Joe Biden is seeking to implement in female sports will result in two teams – one team of men and another team of folks that used to be men. It is extremely unfair to female athletes like Riley Gaines, that have dedicated their entire life to a sport only to be defeated by an athlete that was a man just three years ago.” 

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Congressional Leaders Criticize DOJ for Silence on Pro-Life Org Attacks, FBI Say It’s Investigating

After Representative John Rose (R-TN-06) joined more than 120 lawmakers in sending a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) demanding an investigation into violence against pro-life groups, the DOJ responded with silence. 

“More than seven weeks ago, we woke up to headlines that the Supreme Court of the United States would likely overturn Roe v. Wade,” Rose said Thursday in a speech on the floor of the U.S. House. “I believe the leaker broke federal law in an effort to change the High Court’s ruling.”

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Underdog Insurgent Chris West Beats Well Financed Opponent Jeremy Hunt in GA-02 Primary

An underdog candidate who was massively outspent in his primary race in Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District walked away with a victory in Tuesday’s runoff election. 

Chris West, a pro-Trump candidate, notched a victory against Nikki Haley and Karl Rove endorsee Jeremy Hunt. The margin of victory was slim – less than 1000 votes – but was enough for West to advance to the general election against Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02). 

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TDOT Rolls Out Hotline for Motorists to Report Potholes

As part of the ongoing effort to battle potholes plaguing Tennessee’s roadways the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Wednesday announced a new hotline for drivers to report those potholes. 

“We all know it’s been a terrible year for potholes and here at TDOT we are always looking for ways to improve our customer service,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley. “For the citizens, this hotline will give them another convenient way to report maintenance problems on our interstates and state routes. For TDOT, this centralized way of receiving, processing, and tracking information will enhance our operations.”

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Tennessee House Leaders Ask Gov. Lee to Halt Vaccine Rollout for Children Under Five

Tennessee’s Republican House leaders this week penned a letter to Governor Bill Lee (R) asking him to halt the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of five.

“Governor, the COVID-19 emergency has long passed in Tennessee,” the letter, penned by State Rep. Jason Zachary (R-District 14), said. “Based on the data in the FDA’s own 66-page report, there is no concrete basis for amended emergency authorization to vaccinate small children.” 

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Tennessee Lawmakers Call for Safe Return of Marine Who Attempted Suicide in Venezuelan Jail

Elected officials in Tennessee are calling for the safe return of a U.S. Marine who is jailed in Venezuela after that Marine attempted to take his own life over the weekend. 

“The safe return of Matthew Heath must be the highest priority for the White House and State Department,” said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03). “Our government and the Venezuelan government must come to an agreement to medically evacuate Matthew. His life is in danger, and we cannot delay.”

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Defiant Kari Lake Says Arizona Won’t Enforce Unconstitutional Gun Laws After Controversial Vote

Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake struck a defiant tone Wednesday after 14 Senate Republicans crossed party lines and voted with Democrats on a gun control bill. 

“Arizona is a Second Amendment sanctuary state, and Kari Lake will ensure it stays that way. Republicans in Washington repeatedly fail to understand that, on every single issue, any deal we make with Democrats is just the first step on a slippery slope,” a spokesman for Lake’s campaign told The Arizona Sun Times. “They don’t make deals, they just take whatever ground Republicans are willing to cede and then keep marching forward with their leftist agenda.”

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After Arson at Tennessee Church, ‘Concerning’ Letters Lead to Amped-Up Security at Others

After a church in Chattanooga was burned to the ground last week, several others in the state have received “concerning” letters, according to one county sheriff’s office.

“The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office has received multiple reports of a very concerning letter being left on the front door of several local churches, a Masonic lodge, and at least one business,” the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office said Monday. “The letters did not speak about any direct threats, but it is being taken incredibly seriously because of the disturbing content. Because of the ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide any more details about the contents of the letters at this time.”

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Georgia Congressman Introduces Bill to Prevent Biden Admin from Canceling Student Loan Debt

A Georgia congressmen has introduced a bill that would prohibit the President Joe Biden’s administration from cancelling student debt, a caused championed by the progressive left. 

“Hardworking Americans are not responsible for paying off the student loan debt of others,” said Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA-03) in a press release. “The Biden Administration’s radical big government proposal would come at the expense of taxpayers – many of whom have fully paid off their student loans, worked hard to pay for their education, or chose not to enroll in college at all.”

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Tennessee Board of Education Solicits Parent Feedback on School Social Studies Programs

The Tennessee State Board of Education is asking parents for feedback about the state’s social studies programs, and will update those programs accordingly.

“The Tennessee Academic Standards are the grade- or course-level expectations for what students should know and be able to do,” according to the board’s website. “The State Board of Education (SBE) is charge in law with conducting a review of math, science, English language arts, and social studies standards on a rotating, six-year cycle.”

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Gas Prices See Slight Drop in Tennessee

Over the past week, Tennesseans have seen a slight dip in prices at the pump after those prices reached record highs in the state and across the nation. 

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average price for a gallon of gas in Tennessee was $4.58 on Tuesday. That’s a one penny drop from Monday’s average of $4.59. 

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Tennessee Democrats Suggest Some Americans Aren’t Free on Juneteenth

Tennessee’s Democrats on Sunday suggested in a tweet that some Americans are not free.

“On this Juneteenth, we commemorate the last group of enslaved Black people in Texas who learned that they were freed – two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Our fight is not done until all of us are free,” The Tennessee Democratic Party (TNDP) said on Twitter.

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Trump Scorches January 6 Committee at Memphis Rally

Former President Donald Trump Saturday took aim at his political rivals on the Select Committee on January 6, which for weeks has been holding televised hearings about the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. 

“This horrible, stupid crazy committee, which is totally partisan – did you ever see… actually the worst person is – by the way, [Wyoming Rep.] Liz Cheney is down 35 points,” Trump said, referencing the congresswoman who is a ringleader of the committee. “She’s actually the worst one on the committee.”

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Arizona Department of Education Directs Pre-Teens to Trans Online Chat Rooms

A “Student Resources” page on the website of the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) directs pre-teens to LGBT sources of information and support. 

“These resources are provided to assist in the support of LGBTQ students in our schools and communities,” according to the ADE. “They were collected by members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community as part of ADE’s Equitable and Inclusive Practices Advisory Council.”

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Blackburn Blasts ‘Woke’ Military During Pride Month

A U.S. senator Friday spoke out against the “woke” policies implemented by the military, which has become especially apparent during LGBT Pride Month of June.

“The United States military should be focused on one objective – creating the most lethal fighting force on planet Earth,” Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told The Tennessee Star. “Instead, Joe Biden’s military leaders are secretly attempting to turn our brave warfighters into social justice warriors. Communist China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea do not care how woke our military is or what our soldiers’ pronouns are.“

She echoed a similar sentiment on Twitter.

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Arizona Border Patrol Launches Initiative to Save Migrant Lives During Heat Waves

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Arizona has launched a new initiative to mitigate what has become a pattern of migrants dying in the extreme heat as they attempt to illegally enter the United States. 

“In collaboration with Tucson Border Patrol Sector, Three Points Station and Casa Grande Station personnel will be supporting the deployment of new Heat Stress Kits/Go-Bags that will be distributed to 500 agents,” said a CBP press release. “CBP has launched a feasibility study to enhance heat stress awareness among the workforce and minimize the impact of heat exposure along the southwest border for migrants attempting to make the dangerous journey.”

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Tennessee to Suspend Sales Tax on Food in August

As part of the state’s 2022-2023 budget, Tennesseans can expect that the state’s tax on food and “food related items” will not apply during the month of August. 

“As Americans see their cost-of-living skyrocket amid historic inflation, suspending the grocery tax is the most effective way to provide direct relief to every Tennessean,” said Gov. Bill Lee said upon signing the budget bill. “Our state has the ability to put dollars back in the pockets of hardworking Tennesseans, and I thank members of the General Assembly for their continued partnership in maintaining our fiscally conservative approach.”

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Poll Shows Kemp with Lead over Abrams

An early poll in Georgia’s gubernatorial election shows incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leading Democrat challenger Stacey Abrams. 

The poll, taken by East Carolina University (ECU), was conducted between June 6 to June 9 among 868 registered voters in Georgia.

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Biden Nominates Arizona Lawyer to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

President Joe Biden’s administration Thursday announced a slew of judicial appointees, one of whom is from Arizona. 

“Roopali H. Desai is a partner at Coppersmith Brockelman where she has practiced since 2007.  From 2006 to 2007, Ms. Desai was an associate at Lewis & Roca,” said a White House press release. “She served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Mary Schroeder on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 2005 to 2006. Ms. Desai received her J.D. in 2005, her M.P.H in 2001, and her B.A. in 2000, all from the University of Arizona.”

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Father of Teen Slain at LeBron James’ School Fires Back After Claim That School Is ‘Safe’

The father of a teen who was beaten to death near basketball courts at the LeBron James Foundation’s I PROMISE School is speaking out about the school’s security after the school assured the public that the school is safe. 

“It’s not safe. It’s not secure,” said Bill Liming, father of 17-year-old Ethan Liming. “The cameras are grossly insufficient. I mean, grossly insufficient for security.”

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Arizona Democrats Call for Permanent Solution on 10th DACA Anniversary

On the tenth anniversary of the implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a law that gives illegal aliens who were brought to America as children immunity from deportation, Arizona’s Democrats are calling for a permanent solution. 

Today marks the 10th anniversary of #DACA, said Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03). “It’s a reminder that we have a moral obligation to protect Dreamers in AZ and across the nation. We must guarantee certainty for those who have known no other home but this one.”

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Tennessee Says Students Upped English, Math Scores After 2022 Assessment

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) says that its students have rebounded after the COVID-19 pandemic, and that Math and English Language Arts (ELA) scores increased in the 2021-2022 school year. 

“Results from the 2021-22 TCAP assessments show that elementary students significantly improved their ELA scores and are performing at a level similar to pre-pandemic years,” said a TDOE press release. “Additionally, improved performance in math was evident for Tennessee students of all ages. Every student group showed an increase in proficiency as demonstrated on the 2022 TCAP assessments.”

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Tennessee Sheriff to Potential School Shooters: ‘We Will Eliminate You’

After a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas sparked a conversation about school safety, a Tennessee sheriff sent a strong message to those who might consider perpetrating violence in his county’s schools. 

“Due to the recent school shootings, the latest occurring in Texas, as your Sheriff, who provides the Student Resource Deputies in each of the public schools in Putnam County, I want to provide a message to anyone thinking about committing an act of violence that would harm our children or faculty at our schools,” Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris said in a statement. 

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Universal Basic Income Program Begins for Black Women in Atlanta

A program announced earlier this year that will provide universal basic income (UBI) for black women in Atlanta has begun, according to a Tuesday report. 

The program, which is being piloted by a nonprofit called the Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund (GRO), is called “In Her Hands.” 

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Tennessee Office of Reentry Touts Study About Rehabilitating LGBT Offenders

A department of the Tennessee state government dedicated to helping those who have been released from prison is touting a Vanderbilt University study aimed at understanding reentering LGBT people into society. 

“Thank you to Ms. Danait Issac out of or including us in the first part of her study on reentry efforts for the justice-involved LGBTQ+ population. These are important conversations and we look forward to your work in the future! #PrideMonth,” said the Tennessee Department of Reentry on Twitter, attaching the study. 

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Scottsdale USD Club’s Worksheet Encourages Students to Question Their Heterosexuality

An Arizona school district is under fire after a worksheet exercise asking students to reconsider their heterosexuality went viral online. 

“[Scottsdale Unified School District] reportedly hosted a student club to “promote leadership and diversity” which was actually a cover for teaching gender identity and sexuality,” popular Twitter account Libs of TikTok said, adding a photo of the worksheet. 

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Networks See Dip in Ratings During Primetime January 6 Committee Hearing Broadcast

According to reports citing Nielsen ratings, which keeps track of television viewership, primetime viewership of the first January 6 Committee hearing totaled more than 19 million across all networks. 

Nielsen said that ABC’s coverage totaled 4.8 million viewers, the highest of any network, while NBC’s coverage has 3.5 million viewers and CBS’s coverage had 3.3 million viewers. 

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Tennessee Politicians Blast Biden, Democrats for Surge in Inflation

Republican politicians in Tennessee are blasting President Joe Biden and Democrats after inflation numbers from May showed prices rising 8.6 percent year over year, a 40-year high. 

“I hope come November when folks head to the polls, they remember Democrats decided to put politics first instead of focusing on the real-life issues we all face today,” Rep. John Rose (R-TN-06) said Friday. 

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New Arizona Law Bans Homeowners Associations Regulations on Flag Flying

A new bill signed into law this week by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) protects flag-bearing Arizonans from nagging homeowners associations. 

HB 2010 says “Notwithstanding any provision in the condominium documents, an association shall not prohibit the outdoor display of any of the following:

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With Water Development Resources Act, Rep. Rose Secures Water Infrastructure for Rural Tennessee Counties

Using a law that has been passed by Congress every two years since 2014, a congressman from Tennessee promoted water infrastructure for three rural Tennessee counties. 

“Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, which includes language submitted by U.S. Representative John Rose to authorize environmental infrastructure projects in Trousdale, Macon, and Sumner counties and the cities of Carthage and Portland,” said a press release from Rep. John Rose (R-TN-06). “These projects will help these growing communities adapt their water infrastructure to meet the needs of increasing demand.”

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Georgia Rep’s Red Flag Bill Passes U.S. House

A bill written by a Georgia congresswoman that would provide for a host of gun control measures is making its way through the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.

“A family or household member of the applicable individual, or a law enforcement officer, may submit to an appropriate district court of the United States a petition requesting that the court issue an ex parte Federal extreme risk protection order or long-term Federal extreme risk protection order with respect to an individual,” says the text of H.R. 2377.

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Georgia Sheriff Pleads with Parents to Help Kids Avoid Gangs’ Influence

After a community member was shot and killed in what police determined to be a gang-related shooting, one Georgia sheriff is telling parents to be attentive to how they are raising their children. 

“Parents, if you have young men and young ladies who glorify the gang lifestyle and emulate what they see represented to them by those people, you need to step up, be a parent, and stop them now if you love them,” Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said on the office’s Facebook page. “If you don’t, chances are that you’ll end up as another parent with a child either in prison or in the ground. If you don’t believe me there are parents in this community that will testify to that fact to you.”

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Arizona Senator Fires Back After Tucson Vows to Ignore State’s New Abortion Law

A Republican State Senator fired back at the city of Tucson, whose Democrat leaders Tuesday passed a resolution saying the city will not enforce the state’s new ban on abortion after 15 weeks of gestation.

“This resolution is meaningless. The City of Tucson does not have the legal authority to block a state law regarding abortion, which is of statewide concern and subject to the sole jurisdiction of the State Legislature. Cities cannot decide the legality of any state law for that matter,” State Sen. Nancy Barto (R-District 15) told The Arizona Sun Times. “That’s outside the scope of their authority. The City of Tucson will be in the position of losing state shared revenues if they persist in this action. We’ve reached out to the Attorney General’s office for comment on this blatant disregard for law and overreach in regulating health professionals that have to comply with our state laws.”

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Entire Tennessee Congressional Delegation Urges Biden to Approve Lee’s ‘Major Disaster’ Request After Sevier County Fires

In a rare showing of bipartisanship, the entire federal congressional delegation from Tennessee this week signed a letter addressed to President Joe Biden (D) urging him to approve Gov. Bill Lee’s (R) request to declare a major disaster emergency.

An early April wildfire tore through 3,700 acres in Sevier County in early April, prompting the request for the federal declaration.

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Kemp Launches Ad Targeting Abrams over ‘Worst State’ Comments

As the race for Georgia’s governorship intensifies, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) Tuesday launched an ad attacking opponent Stacey Abrams for recent comments she made about living in the Peach State. 

“Georgia is the worst, according to Stacey Abrams,” the ad says. “Bless her heart.”

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Yuma Border Patrol Intercepts 33 Illegal Aliens Being Smuggled in Van

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Arizona’s Yuma Sector Tuesday announced that it apprehended more than 30 illegal aliens who were attempting to be smuggled into the United States in one van. 

“U.S. Border Patrol intelligence agents intercepted a smuggling attempt after National Guard members witnessed multiple suspected migrants load into a van Friday morning,” said Chris T. Clem, Chief Patrol Agent at the Yuma Sector. “Agents discovered 33 migrants inside the van. The U.S. driver and Mex[ican] passenger[s] were arrested.”

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