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    Both Gov. Jim Justice and Rep. Alex Mooney opposed the historic climate and health care legislation that is providing funding for energy projects in West Virginia. West Virginians are already reaping the benefits from President Joe Biden's 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which included a $369 billion investment in energy and climate change infrastructure. But two prominent Republican officeholders both strongly opposed the package: Rep. Alex Mooney, who in November announced a 2024 bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Joe Manchin, and term-limited Gov. Jim Justice, who is also mulling a Senate campaign. Senate Democrats passed the bill in August by a 51-50 party-line vote. Manchin helped write and voted for the bill; West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito voted no. A week later it was approved by the House by a vote of 220-207, again strictly along party lines. In addition to voting no, Mooney said the bill, which included hundreds of billions of dollars for measures to reduce the deficit, would "accelerate the inflation crisis created by President Biden." In a July 31 op-ed published...
    In a stunning legal ruling on Friday, a federal judge decided that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ conservative crusade in Florida can continue unchecked—a move that could embolden the MAGA disciple as he eyes a potential presidential run in 2024. Last month, DeSantis was on trial for undemocratically firing an elected local prosecutor for being “woke.” He pulled Andrew Warren from office over his refusal to enforce the state’s crackdown on abortion rights, and the attorney sued to get his job back as the Tampa area’s top prosecutor. But on Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle finally weighed in with an awkward conclusion: DeSantis was wrong but there’s no way to stop him. The federal judge ruled that DeSantis violated the state constitution and Warren’s rights to free speech. However, the judge wouldn’t step in, reasoning that DeSantis would have fired Warren even if he hadn’t spoken out against the state’s new abortion restrictions—and federal courts shouldn’t swoop in to save a state from its own constitution-shredding governor. “The governor violated the First Amendment by considering Mr. Warren’s association with...
    SACRAMENTO —  California voters approved a ballyhooed $7.5-billion bond issue eight-plus years ago thinking the state would build dams and other vital water facilities. But it hasn’t built zilch. True or false? That’s the rap: The voters were taken. The state can’t get its act together. Republicans and agriculture interests in particular make that charge, but the complaint also is widespread throughout the state. There’s some truth in the allegation. But it’s basically a bum rap. No dams have been built, that’s true. But one will be and two will be expanded. And hundreds of other smaller projects have been completed. It is true that government bureaucracies at all levels move at a glacial pace. I’ve always thought that’s because agency heads are too skittish politically. They’re pressured by their elected bosses not to make them look bad. So, they creep along cautiously. Also, there’s no profit motive to spur swift government action, unlike in the private sector. But the private sector isn’t always a great example of competence either. Southwest Airlines demonstrated that over the holidays and Pacific...
    A Texas man who shot and killed 23 people at an El Paso Walmart will not face the federal death penalty, prosecutors announced on Tuesday. Patrick Crusius, now 24, opened fire at the supermarket in August 2019, having posted a slew of racist material against Mexicans online. He will go on trial on 90 hate crime charges in January 2024, but will not be federally executed, after Joe Biden campaigned to end the federal death penalty and the attorney general instigated a moratorium in July 2021. Merrick Garland, the attorney general, said in a memo that 'serious concerns' have been raised about the use of the death penalty, 'including arbitrariness in its application, disparate impact on people of color, and the troubling number of exonerations in capital and other serious cases.'  In a one-line filing published on Tuesday, federal prosecutors wrote: 'The United States of America hereby notifies the Court and Defendant PATRICK WOOD CRUSIUS that the Government will not seek the death penalty in the instant case.'  Crusius could, however, still be executed by the state of Texas. A date...
    University of Alabama basketball star Darius Miles did not shoot a Birmingham mother, but did own the gun used to kill her, according to newly-released court documents. Prosecutors say Miles provided his friend Michael Lynn Davis, 20, with his gun after the two became involved in a 'minor altercation' with Jamea Jonae Harris, 23, early Sunday morning.  The mother-of-one apparently tried to flee in a Jeep when Davis fired on the vehicle — striking and killing Harris. The driver then fired back, hitting one of the suspects who sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities now suggest Miles knew Davis was going to kill Harris when he provided him with his gun. Both suspects have been charged with capital murder, which carries the possibility of the death penalty in Alabama. Miles, 21, a junior forward with the University of Alabama team, is accused of providing Michael Lynn Davis with the gun he used to kill Harris Harris, 23,  (pictured with her son, Kaine) had been visiting her boyfriend and cousin at the University of Alabama when she was shot dead in a car on Sunday...
    As the skies begin to clear and a relentless series of atmospheric rivers starts to move out, Californians are finally catching a break as they assess the aftermath of weeks of downed trees, landslides and devastating flooding. River levels are receding in some areas, top climate officials reported in a briefing Monday, and the worst of the rain appears to be over. One more storm system is forecast to roll through California on Wednesday, said California State Climatologist Mike Anderson, but it won’t pack as much of a punch as the previous ones. The rain, which isn’t expected to hit farther south than Santa Barbara, appears barely strong enough to qualify as an atmospheric river. But officials caution the public to remain vigilant. Landslides, sinkholes and other hazards could still strike because the ground has received such a soaking, and tree branches — dried up from years of drought and whiplashed by high winds — remain a deadly hazard. On Saturday, a woman was struck dead by a falling branch in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, bringing the...
    SACRAMENTO —  Gov. Gavin Newsom is arguably the luckiest California governor ever. But some of that luck will run out with the Republican takeover of the U.S. House. Newsom was immensely lucky that fellow Democrats controlled the federal government the last two years. President Biden and Congress showered California with tens of billions in economic aid, enough for the governor to avoid a budget crisis this winter. It’s doubtful the federal largess would have showed up if Biden had lost to then-President Trump in 2020 and if Democrats hadn’t controlled the Senate and House by razor-thin margins. “If it was up to, respectfully, the Republican Party, none of this would have happened. Not one dollar would have come our way,” Newsom told reporters Tuesday, referring to federal funding boosts as he unveiled a $297-billion state budget plan for the next fiscal year. In all, Newsom said, California has received $48 billion from two major federal bills: the $700-billion Inflation Reduction Act and the $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Much of the money was distributed to local governments and private...
    With a break in the storms, crews are cleaning up the mess left behind following the recent big surf and heavy rains that battered the region in the past week. The north end of Bolsa Chica State Beach’s parking lots, closed for nearly a week following a flooding of seawater that stretched across the sand and into Pacific Coast Highway, will reopen by Thursday, Jan. 11, following extensive clean-up efforts, said State Parks Superintendent Kevin Pearsall. Crews worked 17-hour shifts in recent days to remove debris and sand, he said, from the lots and the multi-use trail after the rain storm that hit last Thursday mixed with extreme high tides and a hefty swell to overwhelm the shore. “It’s insane the amount of trash and debris and driftwood,” Pearsall said. “We’re asking people to be cautious and courteous of the cleanup process and so far everyone has complied.” Pono Barnes, spokesman for Los Angeles County Fire Department lifeguards, said no major damage was reported at South Bay beaches, though there was some sand erosion due to the high surf. Workers...
    At the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory in Donner Pass on Wednesday, snow was piled so high that lead scientist Andrew Schwartz no longer needed stairs to exit the second floor. “We just walk directly out onto the snow!” Schwartz said. The nearly 11 feet of snow surrounding the lab was the deepest he’d seen so far this year. The piles of powder are the result of a series of powerful atmospheric river storms that have pummeled California over the last two weeks. The storms have claimed at least 19 lives as they topple trees, overtop levees and send people scrambling for higher ground. But while the storms have delivered chaos, they have also helped to make a dent in drought conditions. The state’s snow water equivalent — or the amount of water contained in the snow — was 226% of normal on Wednesday, marking a high for the date not seen in at least two decades. The last time snowpack neared such a high on Jan. 11 was in 2005, when it was 206% of...
    SAN FRANCISCO — Stephen Curry finally made his return to game action Tuesday after a monthlong absence from a shoulder injury, but Golden State couldn’t get the job done against the shorthanded Phoenix Suns, losing 125-113. The Suns had the Warriors’ number in their first two meetings this season, both in Phoenix. And despite playing without Devin Booker, Cam Johnson, Cameron Payne and Deandre Ayton, Tuesday was looking like it’d be no different for the Suns. They pulled away by 27 points in the third quarter and held a comfortable double figure lead for most of the fourth. It felt like a ballgame when Dario Saric made a layup with 2:16 left to put the Suns up 117-105. But the Warriors, led by Curry and Jordan Poole, attempted to rally, turning back-to-back Suns’ turnovers into a quick five points by Poole with under two minutes left. His 3 with 1:28 mark pulled the Warriors within six points, the closest they had been since early in the second quarter. Golden State’s comeback attempt fell short. Former Warriors guard Damion...
    SAN FRANCISCO — Andrew Wiggins felt like he was floating in early December. “Amazing” is the word he used to describe how he felt through the first 22 games of this season. “I felt like I was in a great, great rhythm. Every shot that I shot felt like it was going in.” Wiggins seemed to pick up this season right where he left off from the NBA Finals. He looked as confident as ever as he opened the 2022-23 campaign averaging 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals, while shooting a career-best 51.1% from the field and knocking down 45% of his 6.8 3-point attempts per game. But trouble struck early last month. Wiggins experienced some tightness in his right thigh after he walked away from his best game yet — a 36-point outing that included a career-tying eight 3s in a blowout win over the Rockets on Dec. 3. At first, he didn’t believe it was anything too serious. “I thought I was going to be out for a few games,”...
    SAN FRANCISCO — The Warriors welcomed back reinforcements Saturday night, with Andrew Wiggins and Andre Iguodala finally making their returns to the floor again. But as the two came back, Klay Thompson emerged as a last-minute scratch Saturday and the Warriors suffered a 115-101 loss to the Orlando Magic, booting the defending champs back down to .500. Two-way forward Anthony Lamb scored a career-high 26 points, Jordan Poole added 21 and Kevon Looney recorded his fifth straight 10-plus rebound game but it wasn’t enough as the Warriors endured back-to-back home losses for the first time this season, with both coming at the hands of lowly Eastern Conference teams. The Warriors missed Thompson’s offensive firepower as he’s been on a tear as of late. All signs pointed to Thompson playing. He went through his pre-game warmup as usual and was even announced as a starter before the game, but the team plucked him from the lineup moments later due to soreness in his left knee. It’s unclear the severity of Thompson’s lingering pain in his surgically-repaired knee, something that...
    Draymond Green re-booted his podcast and dropped a bomb about the aftermath of his altercation with Jordan Poole. After news broke that Green had punched Poole during practice on Oct. 5 and video of the punch was subsequently leaked, Green recorded a podcast to tell his side of the story. Ultimately, he decided not to publish the podcast. “I know everyone was looking for it and everyone wanted to hear it,” Green said on the latest episode of the Draymond Green Show. “Quite frankly, I wanted to allow you to hear what I had to say. I wanted to allow you a chance to kinda take a trip in my mind and just maybe understand more. When we recorded the episode, I hated the way I sounded. So we simply just didn’t release it.” The latest episode ended Green’s two-and-a-half month hiatus from his podcast. He posted two pre-recorded interviews with Patrick Beverley on Oct. 7 and De’Aaron Fox on Oct. 21 and went dark until this Thursday. He had been posting an episode of his podcast somewhat regularly until...
    SAN FRANCISCO — The Warriors looked to be heading into overtime for their second consecutive game after Klay Thompson hit a game-tying 3 with a second left Wednesday night. But Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey responded, nailing a dagger 3 as time expired to hand the Warriors’ a heartbreaking 122-119 defeat in front of their home crowd. Thompson scored 30 points and Jordan Poole added 24 but the Warriors couldn’t complete a fourth-quarter rally. Golden State had managed to pull out gritty wins in the first six games of this eight-game homestand, its longest of the season. Kevon Looney was the hero Monday night, making a walk-off basket in double-overtime against the Atlanta Hawks. But the Warriors ended on the opposite side of the result Wednesday night. A breakaway layup by Thompson put the Warriors up 99-98 for their first lead since early in the second quarter. The Pistons responded with a 7-0 run. But Golden State hung tough. The Warriors had a chance to take the lead as the clock wound down, but Poole lost the...
    A series of atmospheric river storms brought California heavy rains and an above-average snowpack across the Sierra Nevada, but experts say the state still needs many more storms to begin to emerge from drought. Snowpack across the Sierra Nevada now measures 174% of average for this time of year. But there are still three months left in the snow season, and the snow that has fallen to date remains just 64% of the April 1 average. “It’s definitely a very exciting start to the year and a very promising start to the year. But we just need the storm train to keep coming through,” said Andrew Schwartz, the lead scientist at UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory. Storms swept in from the Pacific last week, bringing torrential rains and triggering flooding in the Central Valley and other areas. The biggest of the storms, on Friday and Saturday, was a large and warm atmospheric river, called a Pineapple Express, which dumped rain and snow across the mountains. Nearly 6 feet of snow had piled up as of Tuesday at the snow...
    RESIDENTS say they discovered a shocking message spray painted on their road – but while it might be very rude, they love it. Disgruntled locals living in Ancaster, Lincs., took matters into their own hands after becoming fed-up with the state of a pothole-ridden road. 1One resident made their feelings clear about the state of the roadCredit: SWNS The messages daubed in massive white letters outside a row of residential homes on Ermine Street includes 'Fix Me. I'm f***ed' and 'Road tax?' Each pothole on the road was also individually circled by the mystery resident before being discovered on New Year's Day. Shannon Blankley, who lives in the village, said: "Waking up and seeing this made my day. Whoever done it big round of applause for you. "About time someone did something. We should all stand together on this. It's getting past the joke and just cost us money. "You can't even avoid the potholes anymore… we need 100 plus cones put one in each pothole soon get council talking then." Others have been complaining for months about the potholed...
    It’s a new year, but the Democratic politicians who dominate the state Capitol face a raft of old problems that, if anything, worsened during 2022. Despite a fairly wet winter – so far – California is still coping with a multi-year drought that’s devastating the nation’s most productive agricultural industry, the electrical grid struggles to meet demand, public school students are struggling with learning losses from COVID-19 school shutdowns, and the state’s chronic housing shortage underlies the nation’s highest rates of poverty and homelessness. Any one of these crises could be labeled as existential – something that threatens California’s economic and societal future – and collectively they should tell the state’s politicians, including the recently re-elected Gov. Gavin Newsom, that it’s time to stop promising effective responses and start delivering them. Just before 2022 ended, the state received two statistical jolts that should be wake-up calls on the need for decisive action. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that California’s population declined for the third straight year, largely due to hundreds of thousands of Californians voting with their feet, giving up on the state and seeking more welcoming,...
    SAN FRANCISCO — The Warriors won a game in double-overtime without Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins and most of their front court depth. This would have been hard to believe a week ago. Last week, the Warriors returned home from a 1-5 road trip without the star around which they orbit and little hope they’d have the resolve to piece together a win streak without him. Draymond Green pointed to a “fragile” mental state as the reason for their ineptitude. But after Tuesday’s short-handed and long-winded win against the Atlanta Hawks, Green changed his tune. “I think since I said that, we’re starting to build an MO. Which is being gritty, no matter the situation. This is a team that’s going to keep fighting,” Green said. “I don’t think this team had built an identity all year and we’re starting to build an identity. And it’s coming at a great time.” The Warriors have won five straight. They won this one because of some spectacular performances: Klay Thompson’s 54-point, 10 3-pointer performance; Kevon Looney’s 20 rebounds and game-winning put-back at the...
    The very top of the AP top 25 poll is holding steady, as both No. 1 South Carolina and No. 2 Stanford are taking care of their business. But everything else in women’s basketball is as chaotic as can be right now. The holidays didn’t stop the chaos, as the first big day of conference action (Thursday) saw three top 10 teams lose to unranked opponents — No. 4 Indiana at Michigan State, No. 6 NC State to Duke and No. 7 Virginia Tech at Clemson. No. 10 UCLA added a fourth top 10 loss to an unranked opponent on Sunday when Oregon State won in Westwood. But given that the Bruins were missing their best player, Charisma Osbourne, UCLA stayed in my top 10 this week. Here’s how the rest of my top 25 shaped up this week: South Carolina Stanford Ohio State Notre Dame UConn Utah Indiana Virginia Tech UCLA LSU Arizona Iowa St Oregon Oklahoma Maryland Kansas Michigan NC State Iowa Texas Florida St Duke Illinois Gonzaga Columbia Support the Hotline: Receive three months of unlimited access...
    ATLANTA (AP) — They are titans of the college gridiron, a pair of perennial powerhouses that, amazingly enough, have faced each other only once in their long, storied histories. Three decades ago, a quaint era before playoffs and RPOs and NIL, Georgia beat Ohio State in a bowl game that meant little more than bragging rights. They’ll be playing for a whole lot more on New Year’s Eve in the College Football Playoff semifinal Peach Bowl — a berth in the national title game. The top-ranked Bulldogs (13-0) are looking to take the penultimate step toward their second straight national championship, having barely broken a sweat on the way to the Southeastern Conference crown. No. 4 Ohio State (11-1) is a bit more fortunate to be in this position, having slipped into the final playoff spot without winning its division in the Big Ten. A resounding loss to Michigan in the regular-season finale knocked the Buckeyes out of contention for their conference title, but they made the playoff when USC lost in the Pac-12 championship game. All of it adds...
    Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Nov. 15, 2022.Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images Former President Donald Trump paid millions of dollars in state and local taxes from 2015 through 2020, according to income tax returns publicly released Friday by the House Ways and Means Committee. But while the returns show associated tax deductions were capped at $10,000 a year starting in 2018 — due to a tax law that took effect that year — experts say Trump may have been able to bypass the cap via a workaround involving certain business entities. Doing so would have given him a bigger federal tax break — and sidestepped a contentious tax policy in one of his signature legislative achievements, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, experts said. More from Personal Finance:Why egg prices surged in 2022What to know before tapping retirement savings to pay credit card debtWhat to do if you win the $640 million Mega Millions jackpot "Just because there was a $10,000 cap, there are ways for him to get around that limit post-2017," said Richard Winchester,...
    MILLIONS of Americans have already received tax rebates but there is still time to get the payment, officials have said. Refunds started heading to residents in Massachusetts who filed their 2021 tax returns on November 1. 1Americans in Massachusetts can still claim tax refundsCredit: Getty The state didn’t introduce a fixed rebate as Americans would receive 14 per cent of their personal tax liability instead. A worker that made $50,000 last year and paid the state $2,500 is likely to receive around $350, according to NBC Boston. And, those who made $1million are expected to have pocketed a $7,000 rebate. More than three million rebates were expected to be issued by December 15 but officials say there’s still time to claim the payment, WBUR reports. read more on direct paymentsFINAL COUNTDOWN Final two weeks to claim direct payments between $300 and $600 LAST CALL Final December direct payments worth up to $4,194 to be sent - see if you qualify The state also revealed that they plan to send rebates worth $150million to taxpayers who didn’t file by October...
    MILLIONS of dollars in "relief payments" were sent to Americans throughout the year, but some are still waiting on the money. Inflation barreled through the country pushing prices for everyday items out of reach for many. 1Millions of Americans faced delays with state payments Several states took it upon themselves to help out residents through relief payments. Delivery for many of the checks hit a few snags though, due to things like a paper shortage or officials butting heads on how much residents should receive. The US Sun has kept track of all these payments and when they should've hit bank accounts. Now we're rounding up which ones had a slow rollout and letting you know when you should get the money. Hawaii Hawaiians were hoping to have tax rebates of as much as $300 in their pockets by September 21. read more on direct paymentEXTRA CASH Nine states sending rebates between $75 and $1,700 before the New YearHELPING HAND Four direct payments going out in early 2023 worth between $300 and $1,050 However, a distribution...
    Nobody encapsulated the spirit of college football better and quite like The Pirate, Mike Leach. As the college football world is in mourning and flying Jolly Rogers at half-mast on flag poles all around the world, we must remember that The Spirit of The Pirate, Mike Leach, will live on forever. The last few days have been so hard. 61 years old is way too young. If there is any silver lining, at least Coach Leach went out on top as an Egg Bowl champion. In a weird way, it was the perfect capstone to a one-of-a-kind career that will never be recreated, duplicated or forgotten, only imitated, as in Wes Blankenship’s impression of Leach discussing the importance of the Egg Bowl. Mike Leach on playing Lane Kiffin in the #EggBowl pic.twitter.com/YeBDyTr5RE — Wes Blankenship (@Wes_nship) January 9, 2020 The Spirit of The Pirate will always live on because Coach Leach was truly a man of the people. Over the last few days, I’ve kept coming back to this one point. Mike Leach was college football.We must keep The Spirit...
    Winter storms that doused California with much-needed rain and snow over the last week have managed to ease some dire drought conditions, but experts warned that the state still has a long way to go to truly reverse its historic dry streak. For many, the massive storm system that soaked swaths of the West Coast with inches of rain and feet of snow was a reminder of seasons past as it snarled traffic, triggered rock slides and sparked a blizzard of “winter wonderland” posts on social media. But as the state’s climate grows warmer and drier, sustained periods of winter rain and snow are becoming increasingly sporadic, experts say. Many fear a repeat of last year, when a similarly soggy December gave way to California’s driest January through March on record. “December has started off obviously very well in terms of building snowpack and even soaking other areas with rainfall,” said David Rizzardo, hydrology section manager for the California Department of Water Resources. But “it’s definitely too early to tell, especially when right now it seems like we’re...
    A violent brawl broke out in the stands of a hockey game Friday night with footage of the shocking incident posted online. A massive fight among spectators took place at the Mullett Arena, Arizona, during the Coyotes 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins in the NHL. Several fans engaged in a shoving fight before swings and brutal punches were traded. A violent brawl broke out in the stands of a hockey game in Arizona on Friday night WARNING - GRAPHIC LANGUAGE  Insane crowd fight at the Coyotes-Bruins game last night. Excellent work from the cop in the foreground! pic.twitter.com/BQhFXtHG9g— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 10, 2022 RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Black Michigan State hockey player reveals Ohio State... Petr Cech signs one-year deal for ice hockey side Chelmsford... NHL defenseman Zdeno Chara retires from hockey after a... Former NHL All-Star defenseman and ex-fiance of superstar... Share this article Share Some ended up tumbling over the seats while one man floored a woman with a hard blow.  The force of the...
    by T.A. DeFeo   Georgia hasn’t collected its gas tax since March, as Gov. Brian Kemp has signed a series of legislation and executive orders to place a moratorium on collections. “Those prices have a huge impact on the economy as a whole,” National Federation of Independent Business Region Director Nathan Humphrey told The Center Square. “On top of all the other issues that small businesses were particularly struggling with from supply chain, inflation and [the] overall cost of doing business, the margins were just super tight, so when that hit, it really provided necessary relief.” Georgia typically collects between $160 million and $180 million in motor fuel tax revenues. Revenue numbers from the state show it hasn’t negatively affected the state’s revenues, even as it hasn’t collected roughly $1 billion since the moratorium started. “The fact that the governor has continued to keep that in place, I think it’s given us a competitive edge over many other states,” said Humphrey, who until recently was the group’s state director. “Our economy will be much better situated when we come...
    Alabama’s College Football Playoff hopes have been greatly overstated by Gary Danielson and fans are calling him out for it. No one was surprised to hear Gary Danielson beating the drum for Alabama to get into the College Football Playoff after USC and TCU lost in their conference championship games. But a whole lot of people were also quick to roll their eyes at the idea, particularly when presented with Danielson’s assessment of “Alabama’s unlikely path to the CFP” during CBS’s coverage of the SEC Championship Game. A graphic included check marks next to all of the things that Alabama supposedly needed to happen to make it in. CFB Twitter wasn’t buying it.Alabama fans are the only ones not tired of Gary Danielson’s playoff argumentI do not endorse this graphic. pic.twitter.com/shuYGXIfAP — Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) December 4, 2022 TCU loses to a team it already beat in overtime in a conference championship game, gets zero room for error. Alabama loses to good but not great Tennessee and LSU teams and gets 10 miles room for error. If that happens...
    by Andrew Powell   When Florida lawmakers return to Tallahassee in March to begin their 2023 legislative session, one topic that could be up for consideration is the state’s unemployment benefits. Florida’s current maximum unemployment benefit is $275 per week, the second-lowest in the U.S. Florida has kept it at this mark for 23 years. In 1999, the rate was raised from $250 per week to $275, where it has remained. Since that time, a number of other states – including red states – have increased their unemployment benefits. Only Mississippi has lower rates at $235 per week. Florida also allows the fewest maximum weeks of unemployment benefits, which is set at 12 weeks. Taking inflation into account, Florida’s 1999 unemployment benefit rate of $275 would be valued at $492 today. House Speaker Paul Renner, who represents the 24th District in Florida, told reporters last week that the legislature may take a look at jobless benefits, but he doesn’t want to raise them too high despite 40-year-high inflation because of what he said happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Renner...
    Friday is the application deadline for state residents who would like to serve on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. Fill out a form and answer some essay questions and you’ll be considered. But in the case of the complex and often inexplicable process created by state law to appoint the 12 people who form the legal governing body of the state’s flagship university, the “deadline” is more of a suggestion than a rule, because state lawmakers can submit names later. Applicants will be screened starting Dec. 9 by the 24-member Regent Candidate Advisory Council, which will recommend finalists to the Legislature after a week of interviews in January. But once the council acts, there are several steps during which members of the House and Senate can bring up their own candidates. A  joint legislative committee made up of members of the House and Senate higher education committees doesn’t have to work with the names the council sends them, however. Members can — and have — put other names into consideration. Sometimes those people win appointments. Article continues after...
    The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) released the 2021-22 State Report Card on Monday. The Report Card serves as an annual reflection of lawmakers’ desires to bring greater transparency into how Tennessee’s schools are serving students and families. State Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said in a statement about the report, “With the release of the State Report Card, Tennessee continues our firm commitment to providing families with clear, actionable information on how our districts and schools are serving students.” She added, “The Report Card allows stakeholders to access years’ worth of meaningful data through an interactive, easy-to-navigate online platform, and now the latest data is available to help Tennesseans to explore and learn about their local schools and districts.” Problems with testing have delayed the implementation of the A-F letter grades for schools In 2016, Public Chapter 680 required the Department of Education to develop a school grading system that annually assigns A, B, C, D, and F letter grades to schools based on data obtained from student performance on the annual TCAP tests and other student achievement measures. The original law required...
    RISHI Sunak has watered down his hard-line stance against China - just a day after a BBC journalist was beaten up by police in Shanghai. In a major speech at London’s Guildhall, the PM said that any idea trade with the Chinese Communist Party would lead to social reform abroad is “naïve”. 1Rishi Sunak declared the 'golden era' of relations with China over in a major speech tonightCredit: sky news But he added that “we simply cannot ignore China’s significance in world affairs”. Before becoming PM he called the communist superpower “the biggest-long term threat to Britain”, but tonight he would only brand them a “systemic challenge”. As protests erupted across China at brutal lockdowns, Mr Sunak insisted the UK and western allies must do more to talk to the Beijing regime.  Speaking at Mansion House, he added: “We recognise China poses a systemic challenge to our values and interests, a challenge that grows more acute as it moves towards even greater authoritarianism.” Mr Sunak also insisted the "golden era" of relations between Britain and China is "over". He said:...
    No one on planet earth is playing better basketball than Steph Curry right now. It’s early in the season, yes, but he’s making a strong case to win his third NBA MVP. Curry has been immense for the Warriors, who have righted the ship after a 3-7 start to the season. They’re now .500, winners of three of their last four games (the loss coming in a game they tanked), and while outside the playoff seeds, they’re three games back of first place in the Western Conference following a win over the Jazz Friday night. The Warriors look like the Warriors once again. It’s beautiful basketball. It’s team basketball. It’s winning basketball. “We are stabilized. We’re starting to play our brand of basketball on both ends of the floor,” Draymond Greens said Friday. And while yes, this turnaround is in large part Curry’s doing, it’s also Green’s. It’s Klay Thompson’s and Steve Kerr’s, too. It’s almost as if — and hear me out here — that group of four know what they’re doing in this league. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)  Related...
    You can’t win an NBA game in the first quarter, but the Warriors came awfully close Sunday night in Houston. The Warriors were putting a whooping on the Rockets. The kind of whooping once synonymous with the Warriors. Klay Thompson couldn’t miss, scoring 20 points in the first quarter, and the Warriors put 40 on a lowly and young Rockets team, taking a 12-point lead into the second quarter. It looked like the game was going to be easy work. That 12-point lead lasted less than three minutes into the second quarter. The Warriors’ second unit had failed again. Sunday’s second quarter was the Warriors’ biggest issue in a nutshell. And what Warriors coach Steve Kerr did the next time the second unit was called upon to play — the start of the fourth quarter — showed how Golden State can solve this massive issue. Steph Curry was on the bench for the first 5:33 of the second quarter. The Warriors were outscored by 13 points during that stretch, making 1-of-13 shots, committing four fouls, and turning the ball over...
    Unofficial results on the Connecticut secretary of state’s website suggest Democrats beat back Republicans in state races and in the entire congressional delegation, but the state Democrat Party apparently registered concerns that Governor Ned Lamont (D) underperformed in Connecticut’s large cities, areas in which its candidates typically win easily. Hearst reported Friday: While Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont handily won in the big urban centers of Bridgeport and New Haven, he ran up smaller margins against his opponent, Bob Stefanowski, than he did during the pair’s first contest in 2018. Lamont’s margins also fell in New Britain, where Republicans opened a community center to make inroads with the city’s large Hispanic population. While Lamont reportedly snatched towns such as Greenwich, New Canaan, and Southington from Republicans, his performance in the cities of Hartford and Stamford were far less than stellar. State Democrat Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo said the poor turnout in Waterbury and New Haven became apparent in the afternoon on Election Day. “I’m clueless as to why that happened, but it happened in every big city,” she said, according to Hearst. “If...
    This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News. RAPID CITY, S.D. — South Dakotans voted Tuesday to expand the state’s Medicaid program to cover thousands of additional low-income residents, becoming the seventh state to approve expansion via the ballot box. Article continues after advertisement But as other conservative states have shown, voter approval doesn’t always mean politicians and administrators will rush to implement the change. In Missouri, for example, experts said subpar publicity efforts and an outdated application system led to a glacial pace of enrollment after voters there approved Medicaid expansion in 2020. A similarly slow rollout could occur in South Dakota, said Tricia Brooks, a Georgetown University research professor who studies Medicaid. South Dakota’s Medicaid computer system “has a long way to evolve,” Brooks said. “Unless they’re going to really boost their eligibility [processing] capacity, then I think we’re in for a rough or rocky start to expansion.” That could leave some South Dakotans temporarily uninsured even after they become eligible for Medicaid coverage. Brooks said state administrators could face additional complications if the federal government ends the COVID-19...
    by T.A. DeFeo   A battery producer plans to spend more than $2.5 billion on a manufacturing facility in Coweta County. FREYR Battery plans to create 723 new jobs over seven years as a part of its investment. A spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Economic Development told The Center Square that the project is “still active,” a designation that allows state officials to decline to release details about tax incentives the state offered. “Electrification goes beyond EVs and mobility; it’s also changing the way we power entire cities,” Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said in an announcement. “To support electrification in home and commercial storage, we’re developing a battery ecosystem with manufacturers, recyclers, and customers. Georgia and its communities are ready to support a sustainable future for generations to come.” At its facility, located at the Bridgeport Industrial Park site and named Giga America, the company plans a first-phase production of approximately 34 gigawatt hours. According to a news release, the company is evaluating renewable power sources for the new facility, including solar power. “As...
    by T.A. DeFeo   An ammunition manufacturer plans to spend $60 million to build a new manufacturing and distribution facility in Bryan County, Ga. Georgia officials would not say whether the state offered any tax incentives to encourage Norma Precision to build its new facility in Georgia. A spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Economic Development told The Center Square that the project is “still active,” a designation that allows state officials to decline to release details about tax incentives the state offered. “It’s not often you are able to work with a company like Norma Precision, which is backed by the nearly 500 years of experience and tradition that comes with Beretta Holding,” Development Authority of Bryan County Chairman Jon Seagraves said in an announcement. Norma Precision, which produces ammunition for several sectors, including hunting, law enforcement and the military, will build its 300,000-square-foot facility at a so-called Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development certified site — Interstate Centre — in Bryan County. As a part of the project, the company expects to create 600 new jobs and has...
    Thom Reilly, Arizona State University Midterm voters in six states – Arizona, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico and Vermont – appear to have rejected extremist secretary of state candidates who denied the validity of the 2020 presidential election. Secretaries of state serve key roles as chief election administrators who oversee elections at the state level. Most people holding these jobs are selected through explicitly partisan processes, such as elections or political appointments. There were 27 secretary of state seats up for election on Nov. 8, 2022. This roster included nine Republican candidates who rejected the 2020 election results and proposed overhauls to how states should oversee elections. These potential changes include eliminating mail voting, ballot drop boxes and even the use of electronic voting machines, while giving more power to partisan election observers. Final ballots were still being counted in some races as of Nov. 9, including in some key states like Nevada,, where the race remained too close to call. In two other states – South Dakota and Wyoming – election deniers prevailed. But in the...
    The Democrats have averted disaster—for now. They might hold on to the Senate, thanks in large part to the efforts of John Fetterman. And as I write this it’s still just barely possible that they’ll hold onto the House. But it’s hard to avoid the feeling that their current strategy is running on fumes. Even as President Joe Biden and his party describe the GOP as “semi-fascist” and never miss an opportunity to remind the nation of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, early polling shows that Republicans have continued to pick up black and Hispanic support. Slogans like “democracy is on the ballot” play well with managers at non-profits listening to NPR in their cars, but they move the needle a lot less with working-class people who can tell perfectly well that the current version of American democracy isn’t doing much to improve their lives. And, while solid majorities of Americans have basically progressive views on social policy issues, using language so performatively inclusive that it sounds strange and synthetic to anyone who went to a state university—rather...
    Anything else?McEnany's implied suggestion — that Trump should stay away from Georgia — appears to be the prescription Republicans need. The Wall Street Journal editorial board demonstrated why this is the case. Across the board, Trump-endorsed personalities either lost election or won by significantly smaller margins than did Republicans in the same state who are not big Trump-backed candidates. "Since his unlikely victory in 2016 against the widely disliked Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump has a perfect record of electoral defeat. The GOP was pounded in the 2018 midterms owing to his low approval rating. Mr. Trump himself lost in 2020. He then sabotaged Georgia’s 2021 runoffs by blaming party leaders for not somehow overturning his defeat," the editorial board explained. "Now Mr. Trump has botched the 2022 elections," the board added. On the other hand, DeSantis has transformed Florida from a generational swing state into reliable GOP territory.
    Since the enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Black politics have been limited to either urban governance or representing congressional districts that follow the agenda of the national parties. The inability of leaders to exercise power in the states has been a weakness since the demise of the Reconstruction Era. But the 2020 midterms introduced an unprecedented number of state campaigns that challenged historic barriers of race and power. Most importantly, the midterms addressed a lingering question in the Black community since the Obama presidency: what political goals should its leaders pursue? As Democrats and Republicans assess the midterm results, it’s clear that the elections were a bellwether of change in Black politics. That’s because it charted a new course towards the equitable management of state governments, most notably in the South. The states oversee some of the most important aspects of material and cultural life. Looking ahead, if the McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility is right, state leaders would be wise to articulate an agenda for economic equity: “We estimate a $220 billion annual disparity between...
    A Pennsylvania state Representative won reelection with a landslide victory despite dying the month before the midterms. Democrat Anthony DeLuca, 85, had been the state's longest-serving representative before his death on October 9 from lymphoma – a disease he had previously beaten twice. He bested his opponent, green candidate Queonia Livingston, by more than 85 per cent of the vote despite his passing. There will be a special election in December decide who will get the seat, with his name not being removed from the ballot paper in time for the November 8 election.  Democrat Anthony DeLuca, 85, had been the states longest-serving representative before his death on October 9 from lymphoma – a disease he had previously beaten twice DeLuca, pictured at an event in May, represented the 32nd legislative district of the state for 39 years and serves as the Democratic chairman of the House insurance committee for 20 There is no protocol in place for those who pass away within a month of the election to be removed from the ballot paper Because his death was so...
    Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for US Senate, waves to supporters after addressing an Election Night party in Pittsburgh.Gene J. Puskar/AP Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.Before Tuesday’s election, the prognosis for democracy seemed bleak to outright apocalyptic. Republican election deniers were running up and down the ballot in key battleground states, threatening the future of free and fair elections. Armed vigilantes were guarding ballot drop boxes in places like Arizona, leading to fears of voter intimidation. Thousands of “Stop the Steal” activists had been recruited as poll workers and election officials, prompting worries of confrontations at polling places and vote counting centers. Those worst-case scenarios for democracy have been averted so far. Things largely went smoothly during early voting and Election Day. There were few flare-ups at the polls or while votes were being counted. Election deniers lost key races for offices like governor and secretary of state in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and New Mexico, with contests in Arizona and Nevada still close...
    SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – Election night is well underway in Arizona, and despite some issues during the day in Maricopa County, votes are currently being tabulated. At the time of writing, tallied votes show Democrats leading across the state, but a data expert said Republican victories are not out of the question yet. “We’re not going to have answers tonight. As anticipated, the early ballots – counted first – have favored Democrats. But as day-of ballots begin to be counted tonight and tomorrow, we can expect Republicans to make strong gains. With Election Day ballots that have been counted so far, Kari is winning them by a margin of 42%. But it will take time,” said Data Orbital Pollster George Khalaf in a statement shared with The Arizona Sun Times. The Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP) held an election results watch party on Tuesday for a crowd of eager onlookers. Throughout the night, Republican figures roused the crowd with a central theme: the coming red tsunami. AZGOP Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward started the night off strong by emphasizing how important this election is...
    SAN FRANCISCO — Steph Curry and Draymond Green met mid-court for a long hug as the Warriors celebrated. Confetti flew from the rafters. The Chase Center crowd exhaled in relief. “We knew we had to win that game,” Green said. “It was a breath of fresh air.” The scene at the final buzzer of the Warriors’ 116-113 win against the middling Sacramento Kings played out more like the aftermath of a must-win playoff game instead of Game 11 of the regular season. But the Warriors were so desperate to snap their five-game losing streak and pivot off their ugly 3-7 start that an early November win was worth celebrating to its fullest. The bitter bite to a sweet win shows in the box score. It took a playoff-type performance from Curry to eek out the win. Frustration triggered a technical foul in the third quarter, then fueled a mad 17-point flurry in the fourth quarter that flipped a daunting double-digit deficit into the kind of win the Warriors had seemed to forget how to play. The difference between their slim...
    The Powerball grew over the weekend to nearly $2 billion, after no winning tickets were sold in Saturday night's drawing. The $1.9 billion jackpot is the world's largest lottery prize ever offered, with an estimated cash value of $929.1 million, according to Powerball, but the odds of winning are just 1 in 292.2 million.  It comes after Saturday's $1.6 billion Powerball, which had a lump-sum option of an estimated $782.4 million, broke 'the world record for the largest national lottery jackpot in the Guinness World Records,' according to the California Lottery. The Guinness World Records' 'Greatest jackpot in a national lottery' had previously ben set by the Powerball in January 2016, when three tickets won a $1.586 billion jackpot. Powerball tickets are $2 per play and are sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The next drawing for the $1.9 billion jackpot is Monday at 10.59pm EST. DailyMail.com is here to break down any questions you may have about the lottery. Monday's Powerball lottery hit a world record-breaking $1.9 billion jackpotHow many...
    Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is running for Congress in the race for the state’s at-large House seat, but just four days before the election she was at Fox News headquarters in New York. Typically in the waning days of campaigns, candidates are busy making their final stump speeches and knocking on doors. Palin is vying with fellow Republican Nick Begich to unseat Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola, who won a special election in August to fill the seat by the late Don Young. He died in March after holding the seat for 49 years. Polls indicate Peltola holds the upper hand, which will be determined by Alaska voters using the state’s ranked-choice voting system. The former 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee appeared on Friday’s installment of Jesse Watters Primetime in New York, some 4,000 miles away from where she’s a candidate in Tuesday’s election. While many Alaskans utilize mail-in ballots and have already cast their votes, plenty of them vote in person on election day. Host Jesse Watters played a montage of person-on-the-street interviews with New Yorkers answering questions about...
    Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was heckled by protesters as he gave a speech Yale University last night. The interruption began when Pompeo discussed an individual who had described him as the 'worst Secretary of State in history.'  It was the perfect cue for one of the hecklers to get up from his seat yelling, 'Yeah, you're right. You are the worst Secretary of State in history.'  After the first heckler was removed from the room by security, they were quickly followed by two more protestors who were each seated around the auditorium.  One heckler yelled how he was from the 'deep state', 'destroying this country', a 'swamp monster' while another said he was the 'embodiment of evil'. Some members of the audience booed and jeered the hecklers while others clapped as Pompeo attempted to have a civil conversation with the disruptor.