Sunday, July 31, 2022

Samuel Sandoval, among last Navajo Code Talkers, dies at 98

Samuel Sandoval, one of the last members of the Navajo Code Talkers who encrypted critical U.S. messages during World War II, has died at 98.

Navajo Code Talkers famously used language based on the Navajo Nation's native tongue to transmit messages regarding Japanese troop placements and movements during U.S. Marine assaults throughout the Pacific. The Navajo language was unwritten at the time and U.S. enemies had virtually no means of deciphering the code.

Sandoval was among four remaining code talkers still alive today, from the hundreds who had been recruited during the war. The three others who are living include Peter MacDonald, John Kinsel Sr. and Thomas H. Begay.

Sandoval's wife, Malula, announced his death to the Associated Press on Saturday. He died at a hospital near his home in New Mexico.

STEELERS' ALEJANDRO VILLANUEVA REVEALS WHY HE HONORS ARMY SGT. 1ST CLASS ALWYN CASHE ON HELMET

"Sam always said, 'I wanted my Navajo youngsters to learn, they need to know what we did and how this code was used and how it contributed to the world,'" she said Saturday. "That the Navajo language was powerful and always to continue carrying our legacy."

FORMER NAZI GUARD, 101, GETS 5 YEARS IN JAIL ON MORE THAN 3,500 COUNTS OF ACCESSORY TO MURDER

Sandoval's death comes roughly a month after the U.S. lost its last Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.

Hershel "Woody" Williams, 98, was the last of the 473 American service members who received a Medal of Honor in WWII. Williams spent his final days with family at a hospital in his home state of West Virginia.

Williams last appeared in public on Memorial Day, where he participated in a veterans' event in Huntington, West Virginia. He remarked to local media at the time that the event gave him hope for a resurgence of patriotism in the U.S.

"I’ve been at this probably 25 to 30 times, but I believe today we had more honor wreaths than we’ve ever had before, and that’s encouraging," Williams told WSAZ. "It gives me encouragement that we’re coming back and that we will again be that United States of America that had so much patriotism and love of country."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kentucky flooding death toll rises to 26, with more 'bodies' expected to be found for 'weeks'

The death toll after widespread and catastrophic flooding in eastern Kentucky has risen to 26 people. 

"Our death toll right now is at 26, but I know of several additional bodies, and we know it's going to grow with the level of water," Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said during an appearance "Meet the Press" Sunday. 

"We're going to be finding bodies for weeks. Many of them swept hundreds of yards, maybe a quarter mile plus from where they were lost. Thus far, just those four children, I fear that will find at least a couple more as well.

Beshear noted that cellphone service remained "incredibly spotty" and that multiple state police posts were taking calls from loved ones still looking for missing loved one, so it will "take some time to get a firm grasp" on total numbers. 

In a Saturday news conference, the emotional governor told reporters that the deaths were spread across five counties, with some families having lost almost everyone in their household. 

KENTUCKY CHILDREN DIE DURING HISTORIC FLOODING AFTER BEING SWEPT AWAY, COUSIN SAYS

In addition, he said the number of children among the dead is believed to now be just four, instead of the six initially reported. 

"The original two children that were reported to us … turned out to be adults," he explained, noting that numbers would continuously fluctuate. 

Search and rescue efforts continued on Friday, with teams backed by the National Guard. Hundreds have already been rescued, according to the governor. 

Beshear viewed the devastation from a helicopter on Friday. His initial plans to tour the disaster area had been postponed due to unsafe conditions at an airport where he was to land. 

More than 330 people have sought shelter from the flooding, with homes completely underwater and vehicles trashed. 

There are 15 emergency shelters that are currently active. 

Mudslides also impacted roadways and Beshear said parts of at least 28 state roads were blocked.

More than 18,000 Kentucky residents were still without power on Saturday afternoon. 

Water outages were also reported by the governor's office, with systems in Jackson and Fleming-Neon non-operational and more than 20 other systems with limited operations.

KENTUCKY FLOODING DEATH TOLL REACHES 16 AND WILL 'GET A LOT HIGHER,' GOVERNOR SAYS

At least 14 counties and three cities have declared local states of emergency. 

President Biden declared a federal disaster and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell said the agency would bring whatever resources were necessary to support search and recovery efforts.

Parts of eastern Kentucky received between 8-10.5 inches over 48 hours, but some waterways were not expected to crest until Saturday.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackson wrote that the area will start to dry out through the day on Saturday, but that dry weather was expected to end on Sunday afternoon.

Scientists say that extreme rain events have become more common due to climate change.

Beshear also warned Saturday that it was going to get "really hot" in Kentucky next week. 

"If you’re able to hear us in Eastern Kentucky, we love you, and we’re going to make it," he said in a previous statement.

"We’ve been through so much these last few years. We’re going to stand next to you, now and in the years to come. We’ll get through this together," he pledged.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Wildfires in West explode in size amid hot, windy conditions

Wildfires in California and Montana exploded in size overnight amid windy, hot conditions and were quickly encroaching on neighborhoods, forcing evacuation orders for over 100 homes Saturday, while an Idaho blaze was spreading.

In California’s Klamath National Forest, the fast-moving McKinney fire, which started Friday, went from charring just over 1 square mile (1 square kilometer) to scorching as much as 62 square miles (160 square kilometers) by Saturday in a largely rural area near the Oregon state line, according to fire officials. The fire burned down at least a dozen residences and wildlife was seen fleeing the area to avoid the flames.

"It’s continuing to grow with erratic winds and thunderstorms in the area and we’re in triple digit temperatures," said Caroline Quintanilla, a spokeswoman at Klamath National Forest.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Saturday as the fire intensified. The proclamation allows Newsom more flexibility to make emergency response and recovery effort decisions and access federal aid.

HOUSE APPROVES BILL TO HELP WEST FIGHT WILDFIRES, DROUGHT

It also allows "firefighting resources from other states to assist California crews in battling the fires," according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Meanwhile in Montana, the Elmo wildfire nearly tripled in size to more than 11 square miles (about 28 square kilometers) within a few miles of the town of Elmo. Roughly 200 miles (320 kilometers) to the south, Idaho residents remained under evacuation orders as the Moose Fire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest charred more than 67.5 square miles (174.8 square kilometers) in timbered land near the town of Salmon. It was 17% contained.

A significant build-up of vegetation was fueling the McKinney fire, said Tom Stokesberry, a spokesman with the U.S. Forest Service for the region.

"It’s a very dangerous fire – the geography there is steep and rugged, and this particular area hasn’t burned in a while," he said.

A small fire was also burning nearby, outside the town of Seiad, Stokesberry said. With lightning predicted over the next few days, resources from all over California were being brought in to help fight the region’s fires, he said.

WEST WILDFIRES: CREWS MAKE PROGRESS IN IDAHO, CALIFORNIA

McKinney’s explosive growth forced crews to shift from trying to control the perimeter of the blaze to trying to protect homes and critical infrastructure like water tanks and power lines, and assist in evacuations in California’s northernmost county of Siskiyou.

Deputies and law enforcement were knocking on doors in the county seat of Yreka and the town of Fort Jones to urge residents to get out and safely evacuate their livestock onto trailers. Automated calls were being sent to land phone lines as well because there were areas without cellphone service.

Over 100 homes were ordered evacuated and authorities were warning people to be on high alert. Smoke from the fire caused the closure of portions of Highway 96.

The Pacific Coast Trail Association urged hikers to get to the nearest town while the U.S. Forest Service closed a 110-mile (177-kilometer) section of the trail from the Etna Summit to the Mt. Ashland Campground in southern Oregon.

Oregon state Rep. Dacia Grayber, who is a firefighter, was camping with her husband, who is also in the fire service, near the California state line when gale-force winds awoke them just after midnight.

The sky was glowing with strikes of lightning in the clouds, while ash was blowing at them, though they were in Oregon, about 10 miles (about 16 kilometers) away. Intense heat from the fire had sent up a massive pyrocumulonimbus cloud, which can produce its own weather system, including winds and thunderstorms, Grayber said.

CALIFORNIA’S LARGEST WILDFIRE OF THE YEAR BURNS NEAR YOSEMITE

"These were some of the worst winds I’ve ever been in and we’re used to big fires," she said. "I thought it was going to rip the rooftop tent off of our truck. We got the heck out of there."

On their way out, they came across hikers on the Pacific Coast Trail fleeing to safety.

"The terrifying part for us was the wind velocity," she said. "It went from a fairly cool breezy night to hot, dry hurricane-force winds. Usually that happens with a fire during the day but not at night. I hope for everyone’s sake this dies down, but it’s looking like it’s going to get worse."

In western Montana, the wind-driven Elmo fire forced evacuations of homes and livestock as it raced across grass and timber, according to The National Interagency Fire Center, based in Idaho. The agency estimated it would take nearly a month to contain the blaze.

Smoke shut down a portion of Highway 28 between Hot Springs and Elmo because of the thick smoke, according to the Montana Department of Transportation.

Crews from several different agencies were fighting the fire on Saturday, including the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Fire Division. Six helicopters were making drops on the fire, aided by 22 engines on the ground.

CALIFORNIA OAK FIRE SPREADS NEAR YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, FORCES THOUSANDS TO EVACUATE

In Idaho, more than 930 wildland firefighters and support staff were battling the Moose fire Saturday and protecting homes, energy infrastructure and the Highway 93 corridor, a major north-south route.

A red flag warning indicated that the weather could make things worse with the forecast calling for "dry thunderstorms," with lightning, wind and no rain.

In Hawaii, fire crews and helicopters have been fighting flames Saturday evening on Maui near Paia Bay. The Maui County Emergency Management Agency said roads have been closed and have advised residents and travelers to avoid the area. It is unclear how many acres have burned. A red flag warning is in effect Sunday.

Meanwhile, crews made significant progress in battling another major blaze in California that forced evacuations of thousands of people near Yosemite National Park earlier this month. The Oak fire was 52% contained by Saturday, according to a Cal Fire incident update.

As fires raged across the West, the U.S. House on Friday approved wide-ranging legislation aimed at helping communities in the region cope with increasingly severe wildfires and drought – fueled by climate change – that have caused billions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses in recent years.

GOVERNOR DECLARES EMERGENCY OVER WILDFIRE NEAR YOSEMITE

The legislative measure approved by federal lawmakers Friday combines 49 separate bills and would increase firefighter pay and benefits; boost resiliency and mitigation projects for communities affected by climate change; protect watersheds; and make it easier for wildfire victims to get federal assistance.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has sponsored a similar measure.

New Jersey councilwoman refuses to resign over video showing alleged hit-and-run crash with cyclist

Shocking video shows the moments a New Jersey councilwoman allegedly plowed down a bicyclist while speeding through an intersection and kept going in an apparent hit-and-run accident.

Jersey City Councilwoman Amy DeGise is accused of failing to slow or stop her car after striking the cyclist at the intersection of Forrest Street and Martin Luther King Drive last week. 

Traffic camera video released by city officials on Tuesday afternoon shows the black SUV allegedly driven by DeGise striking a man on a bicycle in the middle of the intersection on July 19 without ever slowing down before leaving the scene. 

The man, wearing a helmet, backpack, yellow shirt and jean shorts, flipped over and slides off the windshield and then onto the pavement after the impact. The video shows him slowly getting up afterward, his mangled bike lying on the opposite side of the street.

NEW JERSEY TO PAY CITIZENS TO PURCHASE AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE 

The cyclist, identified as 29-year-old Andrew Black, told police he had a green light and the right of way, NJ.com reported, citing a crash report. In an interview with HudPost.com, Black reiterated that he had the right of way and said he suffered deep bruising and anxiety crossing the street after the incident. 

WNBC reported that officials later said Black was mistaken, and he did not have the green light, but DeGise is still facing mounting calls to resign because she still did leave the crash scene. 

"[That] someone of prestige would fall to a point where they would ignore the law they are demanding to uphold, and they are trying to clean our streets or whatever they are calling it, they can’t even do it themselves — that really upsets me," Black told HudPost on Tuesday.

Despite facing criticism, a spokesperson for DeGise told news outlets on Friday that the councilwoman would not resign. 

"Councilwoman DeGise was elected overwhelmingly just a few months ago and she has no intention of walking away from the commitment she made to serve the people of Jersey City. She will not resign and plans to complete her full term and continue in public service," DeGise's spokesman, Phil Swibinski, said in a statement obtained by Patch.com. 

"Amy recognizes the calls that have been made for additional information and transparency," Swibinski said. "She would very much like to address this situation more comprehensively, but there is a legal process that must play out first and she will not be making any additional public comment at this time."

The statement added, "As she has said previously, she is thankful that no one was seriously injured and she fully intends to speak out more when the legal process is concluded. She will continue working hard to serve the people who elected her, just as she has since she was inaugurated in January."

In an interview with NJ Spotlight News on Monday, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop criticized DeGise’s move to leave the scene of the crash, describing it as a "tremendous mistake."

Fulop did add, however, that DeGise took some responsibility for the incident. 

The councilwoman at large reportedly claimed she hit her head during the crash and went to a police station several hours later to report the incident after leaving the scene. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

Fox News Digital reached out to Amy DeGise and her aides Thursday seeking added comment but have not heard back as of Sunday. 

Manchin dodges on whether he wants Dems to control Congress, again declines to support Biden for 2024

Appearing on multiple television programs Sunday morning, Sen. Joe Manchin refused to say whether he supported his fellow Democrats in upcoming elections.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/manchin-dodges-dems-to-control-congress-declines-support-biden-2024

Biden connects through FaceTime with veterans exposed to burn pits: there is 'sacred obligation' to help them

President Biden connected with veterans and their families on Saturday afternoon through FaceTime as they camp outside the Capitol urging the Senate to pass the PACT Act.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-connects-facetime-veterans-exposed-burn-pits-sacred-obligation-help-them

Boeing averts strike at three defense plants, for now

A union representing nearly 2,500 employees at three Boeing defense locations in the St. Louis area said on Saturday they will vote on the company's revised contract offer, canceling a strike that was set to start early Monday.

source https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/31/business/boeing-defense-plants-strike-averted/index.html

Manchin admits 'mistake'saying past spending bill wouldn't cause inflation, hopes he isn't wrong about new one

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is pushing for a new spending package, but admitted Sunday that he made a "mistake" in saying the American Rescue Plan would not cause inflation.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/manchin-admits-mistake-saying-past-spending-bill-wouldnt-cause-inflation

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Mega Millions jackpot winner can choose to remain anonymous

A ticketholder in Illinois won the $1.3 billion Mega Millions jackpot on Friday night, and has so far remained anonymous.

The winning ticket was sold at the Speedy Café Speedway gas station on East Touhy Avenue in Des Plaines, Illinois. The winning numbers were listed as 13, 36, 45, 57, 67 and the gold Mega ball was 14. The Megaplier was 2X.

"Congratulations to the Illinois Lottery for selling the winning ticket for the $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot," Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald said in a statement. 

MEGA MILLIONS LOTTERY DRAWING: IF YOU WIN, HERE'S HOW TO STAY SAFE AND SECURE

"We are thrilled to have witnessed one of the biggest jackpot wins in Mega Millions history. We’re eager to find out who won and look forward to congratulating the winner soon! Better still, this exciting jackpot run has had a significant positive impact on the revenues for good causes raised by our member lotteries."

MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT: HOW MUCH WILL WINNER OWE IN TAXES?

The identity of the freshly-minted billionaire may be released if the winner decides to come forward. However, Mega Millions allows winners to remain anonymous if they so choose — most often to afford negative attention or unwanted solicitations for money.

Individual states can have public disclosure laws that require the identity of winners to be published, but Illinois does not.

"If your prize is $250,000 or greater, you may request to keep your name and municipality of residence confidential by indicating that choice on the Illinois Lottery Winner Claim Form," according to Illinois Lottery rules. 

MEGA MILLIONS $1 BILLION-PLUS LOTTERY JACKPOT: WILL WINNING MAKE YOU HAPPIER OR NOT?

The regulations continue, "You must make this request at the time of claiming the prize. If you do not, to assure the public that prizes are won and awarded, the Illinois Lottery will routinely publish winner information, including the winner’s name, home city, and the amount won.

The Mega Millions lottery game is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game is coordinated by state lotteries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Biden slams 'MAGA policies,' proposals to sunset Medicare, touts efforts to lower prescription drug costs

President Biden on Saturday slammed Republican proposals and "MAGA policies" and touted his administration's efforts to give Medicare the "power" to negotiate lower drug prices.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-slams-maga-policies-sunset-medicare-touts-efforts-lower-prescription-drug-costs

Video appears to show migrants led from bus to D.C. church, located steps away from U.S. Capitol

Footage from video shot outside of St. Peter's Church in Washington, D.C., Friday appears to show migrants entering the church looking for assistance.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/video-appears-show-migrants-led-bus-st-peters-church-located-steps-away-capiotol

Marc Fogel: Family of Ohio teacher detained in Russia begs Biden, Blinken to add him to Britney Griner deal

The family of a man being detained in Russia is pleading with the highest ranks of the United States government to include the beloved Ohio schoolteacher in their deal with the Kremlin to have those in its custody safely returned to the U.S.

Marc Fogel, 60, is serving what attorneys have called an "exorbitant" 14-year sentence for being caught in Russia with medical marijuana that he used to treat a severe back injury. When news broke that the U.S. government was working on a deal to bring home Americans detained in Russia, his family and representatives had hoped Fogel would be on that list – and were devastated to learn otherwise. 

"[It] was heart-wrenching, hearing he wasn’t included," Fogel’s sister, Anne Fogel-Burchenal, told Fox News Digital on Friday. 

After staying quiet to avoid risking impeding Fogel’s case, his sisters and relatives are speaking out.

RUSSIAN OFFICIALS RESPOND TO US OFFER FOR BRITTNEY GRINER, PAUL WHELAN: 'NO AGREEMENTS HAVE BEEN FINALIZED'

"Our strategy was to play it low-key and cool through his sentencing, because that was what we thought was the right thing to do. But maybe it wasn’t. Maybe we should’ve been screaming and hollering all along," Fogel-Burchenal said, when reached by phone. 

Fearing the worst, they have since changed their plans for navigating the unimaginable.

"We are going to yell as loudly as we can and continue to until he gets home," she went on. We aren’t going to let it rest." 

Fogel had worked as a teacher at school in Moscow for nearly ten years when he was stopped at an airport upon his return to Russia. He was in possession at the time of medical marijuana that his doctor recommended he take for "severe chronic pain" that was caused by years of spinal injuries and resulting surgeries. 

US OFFERS ‘SUBSTANTIAL PROPOSAL’ TO BRING BRITTNEY GRINER, PAUL WHELAN HOME FROM RUSSIA

According to The Washington Post, he had approximately half an ounce of medically-prescribed marijuana when he was detained in August 2021. In June of this year, he was sentenced to 14 years in a Russian prison after he was convicted of "large-scale drugs smuggling," according to reports.

Then, this week, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken revealed that the U.S. had offered to make a deal with Russia in exchange for two Americans, WNBA athlete Brittney Griner – who was also detained at a Russian airport on drug-related charges – and Michigan security executive Paul Whelan, who is serving a 16-year sentence for espionage charges that his family has completely rejected. 

But Fogel was not included in the deal.

JACK BARSKY: WHAT A RUSSIAN SPY'S JOB MIGHT LOOK LIKE NOW, FROM ONE OF THE KGB'S 'BEST-TRAINED' DOUBLE AGENTS

An attorney assisting Fogel’s family with his case told Fox News Digital in an email that Fogel "fully cooperated with the investigation and prosecution; submitted substantial proof of prior medical treatment, of debilitating health conditions, and of his doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana."

His representatives shared dozens of references letters and evidence showing his lack of any criminal record.

"However, Marc’s exorbitant 14-year sentence, which is usually reserved to large-scale drug smugglers and murderers even in Russian courts, made it abundantly clear that Marc cannot obtain justice in Russia," the attorney wrote.

The family has asked the U.S. State Department to classify Fogel as "wrongfully detained." The designation, the attorney said, "which would commit additional US government resources to securing his release and move to the jurisdiction of the US government’s Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs."

"A request has been made for Marc’s Humanitarian Release due to his health conditions: given Marc’s age and health condition, a 14-year sentence in a Russian prison colony is, at best, a life sentence and, at worst, a death sentence," the attorney continued. "We strongly believe that Marc should be included in any exchange deal the U.S. and Russia are negotiating."

FAMILIES OF AMERICANS DETAINED IN RUSSIA AMID CONFLICT REMAIN HOPEFUL, DESPITE FEARS OF RUNNING OUT OF TIME

A State Department spokesperson said they were limited in what they could discuss because of privacy concerns, but said consular officers are working in many ways to help Fogel, whom they did not identify by name. The State Department is insisting that Russia continue to allow access to U.S. citizens detained there, and is urging the Russian government to ensure fair treatment and adequate medical care for detained Americans, the spokesperson said.

Ellen Keelan, Fogel’s niece, told Fox News Digital neither she nor her family has spoken directly to Fogel in "almost a year," and is instead limited to pre-screened and roughly translated letters that, in the end, don’t "even sound like him." And they don’t know what actually gets to him, and in what state their messages to him end up being, she said. 

"My understanding is he is okay … I don’t know if that is the right word," Keelan said. But "nobody has been granted a phone call. Nobody has heard from him or seen his face." 

She added: "It’s just been a black box in communication. Every time we think we are going to get an answer, we are sent down another path." 

In just weeks, he will have been detained in Russia for one year.

"A 14-year sentence being forced to do hard labor – it’s not like we’re going to see him when he is 75. He is simply not going to survive this. We are fighting for his life."

She said the situation has gone "from critical to dire."

"We are pleading with the Biden Administration to classify him as wrongfully detained," she added. "Remember this is a real person – a husband and father and an amazing teacher – and we can’t let this be the end of his story."

Fogel’s family has started a Change.org petition and is now trying to be as active as possible on social media. Keelan credited Griner’s case with "raising awareness" to Fogel’s story. 

His sister, Lisa Hyland, said she has been encouraged when she heard that Griner said to "bring all the wrongfully detained home." 

"This is above the State Department now," she said. "This is President Biden, Secretary Blinken, Jill Biden, even – she’s a teacher. They have to do what they can. Otherwise, we are never going to see him again."

Kentucky flooding death toll rises to 25, with more rain forecast for disaster areas

The death toll after widespread and catastrophic flooding in eastern Kentucky has reportedly risen to 25 people. 

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed the grim tally in a Saturday morning tweet. 

"We’ve got some tough news to share out of Eastern Kentucky today, where we are still in the search and rescue phase," he wrote. "Our death toll has risen to 25 lost, and that number is likely to increase."

"To everyone in Eastern Kentucky, we are going to be there for you today and in the weeks, months and years ahead," Beshear said. "We will get through this together."

KENTUCKY CHILDREN DIE DURING HISTORIC FLOODING AFTER BEING SWEPT AWAY, COUSIN SAYS

Previously, the governor confirmed that at least six children were among the victims.

"In some of these areas, it’s hard to know exactly how many people were there," he said. 

Search and rescue efforts continued on Friday, with teams backed by the National Guard. Hundreds have already been rescued, according to the governor. 

Beshear viewed the devastation from a helicopter on Friday. His initial plans to tour the disaster area had been postponed due to unsafe conditions at an airport where he was to land. 

More than 330 people have sought shelter from the flooding, with homes completely underwater and vehicles trashed. 

Mudslides also impacted roadways and Beshear said parts of at least 28 state roads were blocked.

More than 17,000 Kentucky residents were still without power on Saturday morning. 

Water outages were also reported by the governor's office, with systems in Jackson and Fleming-Neon non-operational and more than 20 other systems with limited operations.

KENTUCKY FLOODING DEATH TOLL REACHES 16 AND WILL 'GET A LOT HIGHER,' GOVERNOR SAYS

At least 14 counties and three cities have declared local states of emergency. 

President Biden declared a federal disaster and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell said the agency would bring whatever resources were necessary to support search and recovery efforts.

Parts of eastern Kentucky received between 8-10.5 inches over 48 hours, but some waterways were not expected to crest until Saturday.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackson wrote that the area will start to dry out through the day on Saturday, but that dry weather was expected to end on Sunday afternoon.

Scientists say that extreme rain events have become more common due to climate change.

"If you’re able to hear us in Eastern Kentucky, we love you, and we’re going to make it," Beshear said in a statement. 

"We’ve been through so much these last few years. We’re going to stand next to you, now and in the years to come. We’ll get through this together," he pledged.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Democratic Rep. Garcia lashes out at Twitter user with profanity, offensive term

Illinois Democratic Rep. Chuy García lashed out at a Twitter user who criticized a gun control bill, using profanity and a term that many consider offensive.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democratic-rep-garcia-lashes-out-twitter-user-profanity-offensive-term

Friday, July 29, 2022

The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk now has a date

Twitter's lawsuit against Elon Musk over his move to terminate their $44 billion acquisition agreement will go to trial on Oct. 17 and run for five days, a Delaware judge has ruled.

source https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/29/tech/twitter-elon-musk-trial-date/index.html

The online ad market is in decline and it's dragging down tech giants with it

Much of contemporary Silicon Valley was built on advertising dollars. That dependence made even the most powerful companies look at least somewhat vulnerable this week after reporting their latest earnings results.

source https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/29/tech/big-tech-ad-market-decline/index.html

House to vote on assault-style weapons ban Friday

The House will vote on a ban of assault-style weapons Friday, separating packages on gun control and policing laws that had been entwined, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday.

source https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/29/politics/house-vote-assault-weapons-ban/index.html

Biden administration to close border wall gaps in Arizona

The Biden administration said Thursday it had authorized US Customs and Border Protection to close gaps in a border wall in Arizona near the Morelos Dam in order to protect migrants from drowning and sustaining injuries while trying to cross the Colorado River into the United States.

source https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/29/politics/biden-border-wall-gaps-arizona/index.html

Electric cars don't need better batteries. America needs better charging networks

With electric cars, people often talk about "range anxiety," and how cars with bigger batteries and longer driving ranges will alleviate that. I just drove an electric car from New York City to Atlanta, a distance of about 950 miles, and it taught me something important. The problem really isn't range anxiety. It's anxiety around finding a convenient and working chargers on America's still-challenged charging networks.

source https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/29/business/mercedes-eqs-road-trip/index.html

Jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions now $1.1 billion, second-largest jackpot in game history

The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday has risen to $1.1 billion, the second-largest in the 20-year history of the game, according to a news release.

source https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/29/us/mega-millions-lottery-jackpot-friday/index.html

Pelosi to depart on Asia trip as world watches for possible Taiwan stop

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is departing for a multi-day diplomatic tour of allied Asian nations on Friday, but whether or not she will visit Taiwan remains up in the air.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pelosi-depart-asia-trip-world-watches-possible-taiwan-stop

Manchin won't commit to supporting Biden in 2024: 'Just have to wait and see'

Sen. Joe Manchin refused to give an unconditional endorsement of Biden for 2024, saying that he must wait and see all nominees to make his decision despite respect for the president.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/manchin-wont-commit-supporting-biden-2024-just-wait-see

Ted Cruz to headline national school choice forum in Nevada

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will headline a school choice forum with the Club for Growth in Nevada, a 2024 presidential caucus state, amid talk of a White House run.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ted-cruz-headline-national-school-choice-forum-nevada

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Boebert introducing resolution honoring Indiana mall hero, no Democrats sign on

A House resolution introduced by Rep. Lauren Boebert honoring the Indiana mall hero who took down an active shooter failed to pick up any Democratic support.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/boebert-introducing-resolution-honoring-indiana-mall-hero-no-democrats-sign

Ohio GOP Senate candidate argues 'violent', 'unhappy' marriages shouldn't end in divorce

Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance is once again being called out for making controversial comments. In today's episode of The Point, CNN's Chris Cillizza breaks down whether the Republican could be dropping the ball in his campaign.

source https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2022/07/28/jd-vance-divorce-cillizza-the-point-orig.cnn

Kentucky flooding ‘devastating,’ officials expecting loss of life, Beshear says

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear addressed what he called "one of worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky’s history" on Thursday morning, saying that officials expect loss of life as rescuers searched the rising waters for people stranded and unaccounted for.

Torrential rains unleashed flash flooding and mudslides in parts of Kentucky, slamming the eastern part of the state particularly hard after thunderstorms dumped several inches of rain over the past few days.

"The situation right now is tough. There are people in eastern Kentucky on top of roofs waiting to be rescued," Beshear, a Democrat, said, adding that the water in most places is not receding and has yet to crest.

He also said that there are "a number of people" that are unaccounted for as water rescues continued into Thursday morning.

KENTUCKY FLOODING DEVASTATES EASTERN COUNTIES

"And I’m nearly certain this is going to be a situation where we are going to lose some of them," Beshear said of those unaccounted for.

Beshear said the counties that have so far declared a state of emergency include Floyd, Breathitt, Clay and Pike.

Officials also expect "massive property damage," with potentially hundreds of families losing their homes, according to Beshear. He estimated it would take years for these families to rebuild and recover.

He said about 23,000 power customers statewide were without power. Water systems were down in several counties, with truckloads of water being brought to the affected areas.

Roads in many areas weren’t passable after as much as 6 inches of rain had fallen in some areas by Thursday, and 1-3 more inches could fall, the National Weather Service said.

With the possibility of more rain in the forecast, Beshear said: "We probably haven’t seen the worst of it."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., both responded to the catastrophic flooding on Twitter.

"My prayers are with the families in Eastern Kentucky facing heavy floods, mudslides, and power outages this week. My team is in close contact with local officials and I’m ready to provide any help I can. Thank you to the first responders who are helping Kentuckians stay safe."

Paul called the flooding "horrific" and said his team is here to help Kentuckians.

Local officials in hard-hit Perry County in eastern Kentucky said the flooding washed out roads and bridges and knocked homes off of their foundations.

"It’s a catastrophic event," said Perry County emergency management director Jerry Stacy, 54. "I’ve lived here in Perry County all my life and this is by far the worst event I’ve ever seen."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois tests positive for COVID-19

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said he tested positive Thursday for COVID-19 and was in quarantine with what he described as minor symptoms.

The No. 2 Senate Democrat, who said in a statement he was vaccinated and had received two coronavirus booster shots, planned to continue to work remotely.

The 77-year-old Durbin's announcement comes after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said last week he tested positive following travel to the White House, Maine and Florida. Earlier this week, Pritzker said on Twitter that he'd tested negative for the virus.

DICK DURBIN: 'EVERY SENATOR' MIGHT FACE 'THEIR OWN HIGHLAND PARK' WITHOUT GUN REFORM

HIGHLAND PARK SHOOTING: DICK DURBIN CALLS ON VOTERS TO ELECT PRO-GUN CONTROL POLITICIANS AFTER PARADE ATTACK

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden ended his COVID-19 isolation, days after he had also tested positive.

West wildfires: Crews make progress in Idaho, California

After ballooning in size over the weekend, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) reported that Idaho's Moose Fire had spread over 40,000 acres on Thursday.

The blaze was 15% contained and more than 870 personnel were assigned to the incident. 

The cause of the wildfire remains undetermined, but hot and dry conditions have persisted in the western U.S. 

A fire weather watch has been tentatively issued due to an increased chance of thunderstorms and erratic fire behavior. 

TEXAS FIRE DESTROYS 9 HOMES DAY AFTER BLAZE SPARKED BY LAWNMOWER BURNED 26 BUILDINGS

The threat continues on Friday, and the USFS warned of abundant lightning. 

Evacuations were ordered for residents in Carmen and North Fork. 

The Idaho Mountain Express reported that smoke from the Moose Fire has impacted air quality in the Lemhi, Sawtooth and Wood River valleys. 

This comes about a week after both pilots of a firefighting helicopter that crashed in the Salmon River died. 

Thomas Hayes, 41, of Post Falls, Idaho, and Jared Bird, 36, of Anchorage, Alaska, died due to from they sustained when their CH-47D Series "Chinook" went down.

The "highly experienced"pilots were employees of the Anchorage-based ROTAK Helicopter Services, which was contracted to help fight the Moose Fire.

Hayes and Bird were also military veterans.

CALIFORNIA'S LARGEST WILDFIRE OF THE YEAR BURNS NEAR YOSEMITE

While fires continue to blaze across the western U.S., firefighters have made progress on a California forest fire near Yosemite National Park.

Officials reduced some evacuation orders for nearby residents. 

The Oak Fire in Mariposa County has spread to more than 18,800 acres and was 36% contained on Wednesday. 

The weather there was expected to be hotter and drier for the next couple of days. 

At least 100 houses and structures have been destroyed.

Heavy smoke drifted more than 200 miles, reaching Lake Tahoe, parts of Nevada and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Officials were investigating the cause of the fire that sparked last Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Maine truck driver takes plea deal for detective's death

A truck driver is expected to accept responsibility for causing the death of a state police detective who was struck by a dislodged tire as he was assisting a driver alongside Interstate 95.

Scott Willett, 55, of Patten, reached a plea agreement in which he'll pay a fine and have his license suspended, the Bangor Daily News reported.

Detective Ben Campbell, 31, was fatally injured when a tire from Willett's truck fell off and hit him on April 3, 2019. He was headed to a training event when he stopped to help a driver in a snowstorm in Hampden.

JASON MOMOA INVOLVED IN HEAD-ON CRASH WITH MOTORCYCLIST IN CALIFORNIA

An investigation focused on the condition of the logging truck.

State police previously suspended the license of a mechanic, alleging that his inspection of the logging truck and trailer less than a month before the incident was inadequate.

JEFF GLADNEY DIED ALONGSIDE GIRLFRIEND IN CRASH, POLICE SAY

As owner and operator, Willet is charged with causing the death of a person while committing a traffic infraction, along with several trucking violations and operation of a defective vehicle.

Willett is due in court on Aug. 19.

DC TRUCK CONVOY TO RETURN TO BELTWAY, BACK UP TRAFFIC BUT WILL NOT ENTER CITY

The detective’s funeral at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland represented the largest gathering of Maine state troopers in history, officials said. It drew 3,000 mourners including law enforcement officers from as far away as Canada and California.

Hawaii couple accused of stealing dead babies' identities may have been KGB spies, prosecutors say

A Hawaii man and his wife were arrested for allegedly stealing the identity of two babies who died in Texas in the 1960s, with prosecutors claiming that the duo may have ties to the Soviet-era KGB.

"I still can’t believe it happened," 91-year-old John Montague, the father of one of the babies who died when she was 6 weeks old in 1968, told the Associated Press. "The odds are like one in a trillion that they found her and used her name. People stoop to do anything nowadays. Let kids rest in peace."

U.S. defense contractor Walter Primrose and his wife, Gwynn Morrison, both now in their 60s, are charged with aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit an offense against the U.S. and a false statement in an application for a passport, according to court documents unsealed last week.

The couple assumed the names of Bobby Edward Fort and Julie Lyn Montague, two Texas babies who died when they were under a year old. Prosecutors allege that Primrose used Fort's identity to fraudulently enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1994, eventually obtaining a secret security clearance and serving for more than two decades before landing a job as a defense contractor after his retirement in 2016.

RUSSIAN 'SPIES' AMONG US: A LOOK AT THE NEW YORK COMPOUND THAT HOUSES KREMLIN 'INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS'

Prosecutors applied to have the couple held without bail, using old Polaroid photographs of the couple wearing KGB uniforms as evidence that the duo is a flight risk. They also allege that Primrose, who was an avionics electrical technician in the Coast Guard, is highly skilled at communicating in secret.

Both Primrose and Morrison applied for and received passports under their fraudulent identities. Primrose was able to successfully apply for a passport under his legal name in 1999 while holding a passport in Fort's name at the same time. 

"While he held that secret clearance with the U.S. Coast Guard, defendant Primrose was required to report any foreign travel," prosecutors wrote. "Investigation has revealed that defendant Primrose did not report several trips to Canada while he did report other foreign travel."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Muehleck said in court papers that a "close associate" of Morrison's said that the woman, who is now unemployed, lived in Romania for a period when the country was part of the Soviet bloc.

PUTIN PUTS RUSSIAN SPIES WHO SCOUTED UKRAINE UNDER HOUSE ARREST, SUGGESTS GROWING DISTRUST OF KGB'S SUCCESSOR

Morrison's attorney, however, said the woman never lived in Romania and was not a Russian spy.

"She wants everyone to know she’s not a spy," attorney Megan Kau told The Associated Press. "This has all been blown way out of proportion. It’s government overreaching."

Kau said that the couple took photos of themselves in the same KGB jacket as a joke, while also arguing that the couple lived a law-abiding life for three decades despite living under the assumed identities.

Kevin O’Grady, a Honolulu defense attorney not involved in the case, told the Associated Press that the secret clearance Primrose was able to obtain gave him access to information that is "enormously valuable to our enemies," while also noting that the couple's location in Hawaii is a major military center that "is a prime target for a lot of espionage."

"The Coast Guard has a unique perspective on our vulnerabilities," O'Grady said.

Primrose and Morrison were born in 1955 and attended high school together in Port Lavaca, Texas, before attending college at Stephen F. Austin University, court records show.

The couple married in 1980, later assuming the identity of the two Texas children in 1987. Court papers do not indicate why the couple decided to assume the fraudulent identities, but an affidavit does note that the couple lost their Texas home to foreclosure that same year.

The couple is set for a bail hearing on Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Black Memphis theater to open tuition free school

A Black repertory theater in Memphis says it plans to open a tuition-free school for at-risk students and other groups in a historic church that will be renovated after falling into disrepair.

Hattiloo Theatre said the new program is expected to begin in late 2023. Students will be accepted based on auditions, and two-thirds of admissions will be reserved for low-income and marginalized students, the theater said Tuesday.

Hattiloo Theater School will host free audition workshops in at-risk neighborhoods. Programs will include youth courses based on experience level and age, a diverse abilities course and a senior citizen course, the theater said.

TENNESSEE TO HOST FREE STORYTELLING FESTIVAL AT NATIONAL PARK IN SEPTEMBER

TENNESSEE POLICE OFFICER HELD IN MEXICAN JAIL AFTER BRINGING GUN INTO COUNTRY

The school will be housed in the old Third Presbyterian Church, built in 1860. A community redevelopment agency plans to fund renovations. The church served as a hospital for federal Civil War troops, and it has changed names and congregations over the years, the theater said.

"We’re investing in a theatre program that will open pathways to the arts earlier and for more people with diverse backgrounds, from the Black community and other vulnerable communities to those with little to no theatre experience," theater CEO Ekundayo Bandele said in a statement.

NCAA SENDS TENNESSEE NOTICE OF ALLEGATIONS DETAILING RULES VIOLATIONS UNDER FORMER HEAD COACH JEREMY PRUITT

Bandele founded Hattiloo in 2006.

Biden tests negative for COVID-19, will end isolation, White House physician says

President Biden tested negative for COVID-19 Wednesday morning, completed his treatment plan, and will “discontinue” his isolation measures, White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor said.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-tests-negative-covid-19-will-end-isolation-white-house-physician-says

Georgia showdowns: Kemp tops Abrams, Warnock edges Walker, in new poll

A new Georgia poll show GOP Gov. Brian Kemp topping Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams by 5 points and Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock edging GOP nominee Herschel Walker by 3 points

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/georgia-showdowns-kemp-tops-abrams-warnock-edges-walker-poll

Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon hits back at Democrat election meddling following ad attacks

Michigan GOP gubernatorial hopeful Tudor Dixon is hitting back at a Democrat-backed group following the release of attack ads against her ahead of the Republican primary.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/michigan-gop-gubernatorial-candidate-tudor-dixon-hits-back-democrat-election-meddling-ad-attacks

House GOP leaders urge Biden not to 'reward' Russia, OPEC with energy policies

House Republican leaders penned a letter to President Biden on Tuesday, demanding he doesn't ban oil exports, saying such a move would increase prices for U.S. consumers.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/house-gop-leaders-urge-biden-not-reward-russia-opec-energy-policies

Dem governor of landlocked Colorado touts state's lack of shark attacks in fundraising push

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis celebrated Shark Week with an email touting the lack of shark attacks in his landlocked state. Polis requested $1 donations to spread the word.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/dem-governor-landlocked-colorado-touts-states-lack-shark-attacks-fundraising-push

Oversight Republicans following Hunter Biden's 'money trail' demand answers from financial adviser

House Oversight Republicans are demanding information from Hunter Biden's financial adviser Edward Prewitt regarding his suspicious business dealings flagged by U.S. banks.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/oversight-republicans-following-hunter-bidens-money-trail-demand-answers-from-financial-adviser

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles services are still offline

Some services of the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles are still offline, and it's not known when repairs to the system mainframe will be complete, the state says.

Customers should visit the DMV website for up-to-date alerts before they visit a regional office or try the online portal, the Department of Transportation said in a news release Monday.

The Office of Technology is working on the outage with assistance from third-party vendors, who are working around the clock, the release said.

WV DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR TEACHER OF THE YEAR

WV MAN DIES A WEEK INTO POLICE CUSTODY AFTER SISTER WAKES FROM COMA, ACCUSES HIM OF ATTEMPTED MURDER

The outage was first reported Wednesday.

California city votes unanimously not to enforce LA County mask mandate

The Beverly Hills, California, City Council voted unanimously not to enforce a Los Angeles County mask mandate should one be adopted.

"I feel it is our job to lead and I support the power of choice," Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse said after the voter Monday evening, according to reporting from Fox 11.

The comments come as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has publicly weighed the possibility of adopting an indoor mask mandate in the county, which has seen a steady rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The mandate was reportedly set to go into effect Friday, but Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told reporters cases in the country may be leveling off and "we are likely to want to take a pause on moving too quickly on universal indoor masking."

But Beverly Hills, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, decided not to wait around for a decision from the health department.

CDC 'COVID-19 BY COUNTY' TOOL HELPS YOU LOOK UP GUIDELINES BY LOCAL AREAS

"Our job is to be proactive and public about what we believe," Bosse said. "This is a united City Council and community that cares about health. We are not where we were in 2020, and now we need to move forward as a community and be part of the solution."

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger also opposed the potential move to mask mandates, issuing a statement Monday calling into question how effective mask mandates are in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

"I have not seen any empirical data that conclusively shows that masking mandates make a difference in decreasing or stopping COVID-19 transmission rates," Barger wrote in a statement Monday. "An analysis of Alameda County's June 2022 masking mandate, in fact, concluded it had no significant impact in comparison to its surrounding counties that did not impose a masking mandate. Alameda County dropped this mandate after only three weeks."

Texas police make arrest in 1989 cold case strangulation murder, officials say

A Texas man has been arrested in connection with a Dallas woman’s strangulation death more than 30 years ago, police announced.

David Rojas, 53, was nabbed Friday and charged with capital murder for the January 1989 cold case slaying of Mary Hague Kelly, the Dallas Police Department announced earlier this week.

According to police, officers responded to a report of a "dead person" at a home on North Frances Street near West 8th Street on Jan. 19, 1989.

"At the scene, Dallas Police found Mary Hague Kelly, who was pronounced dead at the scene," police said. "There were no signs of forced entry into the home, but Kelly’s personal belongings and her vehicle had been taken from the scene."

JONBENET RAMSEY CRIME SCENE DNA COULD BE IDED IN HOURS, COLD CASE RESEARCHER SAYS AS FAMILY PUSHES FOR ANSWERS

Investigators obtained DNA samples from Kelly’s remains. Meanwhile, a medical examiner determined Kelly had been strangled. 

More than 33 years later, DNA collected from Kelly’s body matched to Rojas, police said. 

CALIFORNIA MAN ARRESTED IN COLD CASE MURDERS OF WOMEN STRANGLED TO DEATH

It was not immediately clear how Rojas knew Kelly,if at all. Police did not specify a motive.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Kelly was 78 years old when she was killed. 

Jail records show Rojas was ordered held on $750,000 bond. 

Rojas' attorney, Sherrod J. Edwards, would not immediately comment when contacted on Tuesday.

Ohio medical helicopter crashes after hitting power lines on way to fatal accident

A medical helicopter responding to the scene of a fatal accident in southwestern Ohio crashed early Tuesday when it apparently hit some power lines, authorities said.

It was not immediately clear how many people were aboard the helicopter or if any them were injured, authorities said.

The helicopter was responding to a two-vehicle accident that occurred around 4:15 a.m. in Milford Township. The helicopter crash occurred a short time later.

OHIO SHERIFF'S DEPUTY FATALLY WOUNDED IN SHOOTING INSIDE MOBILE HOME

OHIO 16-YEAR-OLD BOY WANTED IN KILLING MOM OF FIVE KIDS CAUGHT IN CROSSFIRE

Authorities said one person was killed in the vehicle crash and three others were injured. The cause of that accident remains under investigation.

China competition bill clears Senate filibuster, on path for likely passage

A bill aimed at helping the U.S. compete with China cleared a Senate filibuster Tuesday, setting it on course to pass the chamber by the end of the week.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/china-competition-bill-clears-senate-filibuster-path-likely-passage

Elizabeth Warren accused pro-life pregnancy centers of 'torturing' women. Here's what they actually do

Pro-life pregnancy centers have been vilified by progressive politicians after Roe v. Wade was overturned, but the centers are dedicated to helping their patients and their families.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/elizabeth-warren-accused-pro-life-pregnancy-centers-torturing-women

Cruz endorses Trump-backed Cheney opponent Harriet Hageman in Wyoming congressional race

EXCLUSIVE: GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is endorsing Harriet Hageman, who is running against Rep. Liz Cheney in Wyoming's primary next month.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/cruz-endorses-trump-backed-cheney-opponent-harriet-hageman-wyoming-congressional-race

Florida teen girl's remains found at serial killer's home identified 42 years after she vanished

The remains found at a Florida serial killer's home more than four decades ago have been identified as missing teen Theresa Caroline Fillingim, local authorities said.

Seventeen-year-old Fillingim vanished in 1980 in Tampa, Florida, and her sister Margaret Johns, who reported her disappearance, finally has closure after 42 years.

"It gives me peace because I know I didn't lose her, that she was taken," Johns told WFLA. "The sad part of it is my whole family never knew what happened to her. My dad died without knowing, my mom died without knowing."

A year after Fillingim vanished, authorities found four sets of human remains at the 6-acre family home of Billy Mansfield Jr., which was dubbed by neighbors as the "House of Horrors," according to Tampa Bay Times.

CALIFORNIA KRISTIN SMART TRIAL FOR PAUL FLORES AND DAD BEGINS 25+ YEARS AFTER COLLEGE STUDENT'S DISAPPEARANCE

Two of the victims were immediately identified, but the other two were not.

Thanks to advances in DNA technology and a partnership with the University of North Texas and Parabon Nano Labs, one of the body's excavated from Mansfield's property was finally identified as Fillingim's.

Samples of her remains were sent to various labs over the years, but a DNA profile was not developed until 2020, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office announced in a press release last week.

The profile was entered into the national database but did not hit a match.

MISSING TEXAS MOM CHRISTINA LEE POWELL: POLICE FIND NO EVIDENCE OF FOUL PLAY OVER 2 WEEKS SINCE DISAPPEARANCE

Researchers tried again using Parabon's new "Snapshot DNA Phenotyping" services to produce trait predictions for the victim, the sheriff's office said.

The new profile was used to create their own "actionable leads," and a DNA sample taken from Fillingim's sister confirmed the missing teen's identity, according to the release.

Mansfield was convicted of murdering five women between 1975 and 1980 and sentenced to life in prison, which he is serving in California. 

After Mansfield was arrested for raping and fatally strangling 30-year-old Rene Sailing at a tavern in California in 1980, an anonymous tipster called Hernando authorities and told them to search the family property, which doubled as a junkyard.

Investigators uncovered the remains of 15-year-old Elaine Zeigler, a tourist from Ohio who vanished from a nearby campground, 21-year-old Sandra Graham, who went missing in 1980, and Fillingham. The fourth woman still has not been identified.

All four women were sexually assaulted by Mansfield, his younger brother Gary, and their father, William Mansfield Sr., the Tampa Bay Times reported, citing court records.

It was Mansfield, though, who ultimately killed the women and often dismembered them, according to the newspaper.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Washington men arrested after 91,000 fentanyl pills discovered hidden inside chip containers

Two Washington men were charged Friday in connection with smuggling 91,000 fentanyl pills inside potato chip containers, authorities said.

Juan E. Hernandez-Hernandez and Alejandro Macias-Velazquez were arrested after an investigation into the pair’s connections to a transnational criminal organization that imports bulk quantities of fentanyl pills into Whatcom County, the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office said.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents working with the sheriff’s office received information that Hernandez-Hernandez arranged for 91,000 fentanyl pills to be delivered in Bellingham, officials said.

Agents casing a parking lot in Bellingham spotted Macias-Velazquez delivering a duffel bag, which was later determined to contain 10 kilograms of fentanyl hidden inside cardboard boxes and potato chip containers, according to authorities.

ARIZONA BORDER PATROL AGENTS ARREST TWO AMERICAN CITIZENS FOR SMUGGLING MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS, DRUGS INTO US

Both men were arrested.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo warned that the street price of the illicit drug has plummeted as it has become more widely available in the community.

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest, said: "The dangers of fentanyl cannot be understated, more so in an area where there have been recent overdose deaths attributed to fentanyl-laced pills."

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that "is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic," according to the Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics estimates there were 107,622 drug overdose deaths in 2021, with 71,238 of those deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

WV Department of Education announces finalists for Teacher of the Year

Ten finalists have been chosen for West Virginia's 2023 Teacher of the Year, the state Department of Education said.

The finalists were picked from among each school district's Teachers of the Year and represent elementary, middle and high school educators from all regions of the state, the department said in a news release.

The finalists are Sarah Bailey of Buffalo Middle School in Wayne County, Lisa Bryant of Point Pleasant Primary School in Mason County, Charity Marstiller of Jefferson High School in Jefferson County, Amber Nichols of Eastwood Elementary School in Monongalia County, David Patrick of DuPont Middle School in Kanawha County, Angel Reed of Fairplain Elementary School in Jackson County, Shawna Safreed of Bridge Street Middle School in Ohio County, Cameron Shannon of Crescent Elementary School in Raleigh County, Tanya Stewart of Gilmer County Elementary School and Shari Tonkery of Lumberport Elementary School in Harrison County.

WV MAN DIES A WEEK INTO POLICE CUSTODY AFTER SISTER WAKES FROM COMA, ACCUSES HIM OF ATTEMPTED MURDER

WV MAN CHARGED IN DWI CRASH WHICH KILLED AN UNBORN CHILD

The state Teacher of the Year and School Service Personnel of the Year will be announced on Sept. 13 during a ceremony at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston.

Ghislaine Maxwell moved to cushy Florida prison that offers yoga and Pilates

Ghislaine Maxwell has been transferred to a cushy low-security federal prison in north Florida to serve out her 20-year sex trafficking sentence for procuring teen girls to be abused by her and late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The British socialite, 60, is now residing at the Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution, which houses about 755 female inmates, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons database.

Other notable prisoners who've called the sprawling brick complex home include Russian spy Maria Butina, terrorist Colleen LaRose a.k.a. "Jihad Jane" and nursing home serial killer Catherine May Wood.

Maxwell, who must wear a uniform of khaki pants and a shirt, can pass the time practicing yoga and Pilates or playing flag football, according to the facility's website.

GHISLAINE MAXWELL, JEFFREY EPSTEIN COHORT, HIT WITH 20 YEARS FOR SEX TRAFFICKING TEEN GIRLS

Popular indoor recreation opportunities include an artwork and hobby craft program and talent shows.

Maxwell will be able to spend up to $360 a month at the commissary, which offers toiletries like a collagen elastin facial for $6.22 and snacks, including smoked gouda spread for $1.80 and Nutella for $4.90.

Even sex offenders are safe at the Tallahassee FCI, according to Zoukis Consulting Group, a prison consulting firm. An inmate told Zoukis that all inmates can walk the outdoor recreation area known as the yard. 

"Sex offenders can walk the yard," said one inmate, according to Zoukis' website. Another prisoner added, "Everybody can walk, even women who killed their children or other people’s children. Nobody cares. And nobody cares about informants either."

GHISLAINE MAXWELL ASKS FOR SEX TRAFFICKING SENTENCE ‘WELL BELOW’ RECOMMENDATION 

Maxwell, through her lawyers, asked to be sent to FCI Danbury in Connecticut, which inspired the popular prison show "Orange is the New Black." But the Bureau of Prisons didn't honor the request. 

The disgraced Oxford graduate will likely welcome the change of address. She had been housed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since her arrest in July 2020 and has complained bitterly about conditions, filing dozens of complaints.

She was sentenced to 20 years in June after a Manhattan jury found her guilty of recruiting and grooming four teen girls for sexual encounters with Epstein between 1994 and 2004.

Epstein, a convicted pedophile, hanged himself in his jail cell at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Maxwell was the late billionaire's ex-girlfriend and longtime confidante.

Massachusetts DA responds to white supremacist group activity in Boston

A district attorney in Massachusetts announced Monday he's adding two positions to prosecute civil rights cases because he's concerned about organized white supremacist actions in Boston this year and anticipates more unrest during upcoming elections.

The district attorney for Suffolk County, which includes Boston, announced the addition of civil rights prosecutors for district and superior court two days after three men were arrested at a rally in Boston.

District Attorney Kevin Hayden said it was a gathering of the group known as NSC-131, or the Nationalist Social Club. The group protested in the diverse Jamaica Plain neighborhood, outside a historic home that had just hosted a children's drag queen story hour.

BOSTON-AREA MAN ARRESTED IN 'COWARDLY AMBUSH' KILLING OF NEW YORK POLICE OFFICER

"It’s clear to me that Massachusetts and Boston have become target destinations for groups that spread hate," he said in a statement.

The Anti-Defamation League says NSC-131 is a New England-based neo-Nazi group.

BOSTON TRAIN CATCHES FIRE, EVACUATING PASSENGER JUMPS INTO RIVER

Hayden said he's adding staff and renaming the office's civil rights team because there have been four organized white supremacist actions in Boston this year, a neo-Nazi group protest at the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston last year, and recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have roiled the nation, with the possibility of more to come.

The possibility of "societal strife" during the U.S. House and Senate races this fall and the 2024 presidential election, as well as statistics showing increases in hate crimes across the nation, were also factors, he added.

The High-Risk Victims Unit, which handles civil rights cases, hate crimes, and crimes against elders and people with disabilities, will now be called the Civil Rights/High-Risk Victims Unit. Hayden said adding two new prosecutors will help better coordinate and prosecute felony and misdemeanor civil rights and hate crime cases.

BOSTON MANHOLE EXPLOSION HOSPITALIZES 2 UTILITY WORKERS

The four incidents in Boston that Hayden cited were a neo-Nazi protest at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in February, an NSC-131 gathering at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston in March, a Patriot Front march on July 2, and the NSC-131 protest in Jamaica Plain on Saturday.

Michigan plane crash injures 3

Three people have been injured after the small plane they were in crashed in southeastern Michigan.

The plane went down shortly after taking off about 3 p.m. Sunday from Ray Community Airport in Ray Township, north of Detroit.

It reached a height of about 75 feet before crashing, according to the Macomb County sheriff's office.

SMALL PLANE CRASHES IN WATERS OFF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COAST

NORTH LAS VEGAS AIRPORT PLANES CRASH AFTER COLLIDING, KILLING 4, OFFICIALS SAY

The victims suffered severe injuries and burns and were taken to a hospital. A dog that was aboard the plane has not been found.

House conservatives prepare fight against bipartisan China bill, as Senate marches toward passage

The Senate is set to pass a bill aimed at helping the U.S. compete with China this week, but some House Republicans say it's too weak and spends too much.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/house-conservatives-prepare-fight-against-bipartisan-china-bill-senate-marches-toward-passage

'Wildly talented' illustrator of Stacey Abrams book shared post calling police 'pigs,' said 'f--k the police'

Kitt Thomas, the illustrator of Stacey Abrams' children's books, shared a post saying, "F--- the police" and calling police "pigs" during the George Floyd unrest of 2020.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/illustrator-stacey-abrams-book-shared-post-calling-police-pigs-said-f-k-police

Eric Swalwell's campaign continues luxury spending, including at upscale Paris hotels and restaurants

California Democrat Eric Swalwell's campaign has continued its luxury spending, dropping thousands more into the likes of Paris hotels and restaurants, flights and other accommodations.

source https://www.foxnews.com/politics/eric-swalwell-campaign-luxury-spending-upscale-paris-hotels-restaurants

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Buttigieg rips Rubio for having 'time to fight against Disney' but not for protecting same-sex marriage

Biden's transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg on Sunday lashed out at Republican Sen. Marco Rubio for having time to feud against Disney, while not backing a bill to codify same-sex marriage. 

During an appearance on CNN’s "State of the Union," Buttigieg, who shares twins with his husband Chasten Buttigieg, was asked if he had any message to Senate Republicans, namely to Rubio, R-Fla., who remarked to a reporter that a vote to codify same-sex marriage was a "stupid waste of time."

"If he's got time to fight against Disney, I don't know why he wouldn't have time to help safeguard marriages like mine," Buttigieg told CNN host Jake Tapper. "Look, this is really, really important to a lot of people. It's certainly important to me."

"I started my day as I try to do on weekends, I try to give Chasten a little bit of a break and do breakfast with both of our twins. And that alone, that's no small thing as every parent of small kids knows," Buttigieg said. "It was one of those days where the tray table wasn't quite fitting into the highchair, and I'm trying to make sure that they're busy enough with their little cereal puffs to give me enough time to chop up the banana and get the formula ready – and that half hour of my morning had me thinking about how much I depend on and count on my spouse every day." 

RICK SCOTT BLASTS PETE BUTTIGIEG'S ‘OUT OF TOUCH’ PUSH FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES: AMERICANS ‘CAN’T AFFORD IT'

"And our marriage deserves to be treated equally," he said. "And I don't know why this would be hard for a senator or a congressman. I don't understand how such a majority of House Republicans voted no on our marriage on as recently as Tuesday, hours after I was in a room with a lot of them talking about transportation policy, what I thought were perfectly normal conversations with many of them on that subject, only for them to go around the corner and say that my marriage doesn't deserve to continue."

"If they don't want to spend a lot of time on this, they can vote yes and move on. And that would be really reassuring for a lot of families around America, including mine," he added. 

During a midterm election year, Democrats have been campaigning to codify federal protections for contraception and same-sex marriage after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. 

In his opinion overturning Roe last month, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the court should now review other precedents. He mentioned rulings that affirmed the rights of same-sex marriage in 2015, same-sex intimate relationships in 2003 and married couples' use of contraceptives in 1965.

The House voted Tuesday to codify federal protections for same-sex marriage, with 47 Republicans joining all Democrats in backing the measure. 157 Republicans voted no on the so-called "Respect for Marriage Act." 

At least 10 Republicans will need to back the measure in the Senate to skirt the filibuster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Russian chess robot breaks child's finger during Moscow match

A chess robot broke a 7-year-old boy's finder during a match at the Moscow Chess Open last week.

Footage of the incident shows the robot, with its large mechanical arm, playing three simultaneous matches against various opponents. One opponent, the boy, reaches to move one of his pieces and the robot grabs his finger. The robot did not appear to make any severe twisting or other movements after grabbing the finger, however.

Several adults rushed forward soon after the incident and freed the boy's hand.

"The robot broke the child's finger," Moscow Chess Federation President Sergey Lazarev told Russian news outlets. "This is of course bad."

CHESS LEGEND MAGNUS CARLSEN UNMOTIVATED TO COMPETE IN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: ‘I DON’T HAVE A LOT TO GAIN'

NEW JERSEY 12-YEAR-OLD IS WORLD'S YOUNGEST CHESS GRANDMASTER

"The robot was rented by us, it has been exhibited in many places, for a long time, with specialists. Apparently, the operators overlooked it. The child made a move, and after that we need to give time for the robot to answer, but the boy hurried, the robot grabbed him. We have nothing to do with the robot," Lazarev continued.

It is unclear who manufactured the robot, and the boy's identity has not been released.

Biden's symptoms improve 'significantly' following COVID-19 infection, will continue to isolate, doctor says

President Joe Biden’s "symptoms continue to improve significantly" following his COVID-19 infection last week, the president’s physician said in a written update Sunday.

Biden completed his third full day of Paxlovid, an antiviral drug that helps reduce the chance of severe illness, on Saturday night, said Physician to the President Kevin O’Connor.

"His predominant symptom now is sore throat," O’Connor said. "This is most likely a result of lymphoid activation as his body clears the virus, and it thus encouraging. His rhinorrhea, cough and body aches have diminished considerably."

O’Connor said that while the president’s voice remains "a bit deep," Biden’s pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature all remain normal, and he has no shortness of breath. Biden’s oxygen saturation continues to be "excellent" on room air, according to the doctor, and his lungs remain clear.

BIDEN, WITH COVID, MAKES UNSCHEDULED VIRTUAL APPEARANCE TO TALK ABOUT GAS PRICES.

"The President continues to tolerate treatment well," O’Connor said, adding that Biden will continue taking Paxlovid as planned while remaining isolated

"As I’ve stated previously, the BA.5 variant is particularly transmissible and he will continue to isolate in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations," O’Connor said. "We will continue to monitor him closely, during this very common outpatient treatment regimen."

Biden tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday morning. O'Connor said Saturday that the president likely became infected with a highly contagious variant, known as BA.5, that is spreading throughout the country, and Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said Sunday, "It is the BA.5 variant."

That variant is an offshoot of the omicron strain that emerged late last year. It is believed responsible for the vast majority of coronavirus cases in the country. He has been isolating in the White House residence since then.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Following duel in the desert, Trump, Pence to give high-profile speeches in nation’s capital this week

Former President Trump returns to Washington, D.C, this week for his first visit since leaving the White House a year and a half ago.

The former president will deliver the keynote address Tuesday at a two-day summit hosted by the America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit organization and think tank formed last year by officials who served in the Trump administration.

While the event is invitation-only and not open to the public, the speeches, including the former president’s address, will be livestreamed.

Trump was last in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2021. He left the nation’s capital hours before Joe Biden was inaugurated, becoming the first departing president in a century and a half who failed to attend his successor’s inauguration.

2024 WATCH: TRUMP ONCE AGAIN USES A BIG SPEECH TO TEASE A PRESIDENTIAL RUN

On the eve of Trump’s Tuesday speech former Vice President Mike Pence will give what’s being billed as a high-profile address at the Heritage Foundation that will focus on his "freedom agenda" policy initiatives and his vision for the future of the Republican Party.

Pence joined the Heritage Foundation, one of the oldest and most influential think tanks in the conservative movement, as a visiting fellow last year, two weeks after the end of the Trump administration. The former vice president has been crisscrossing the country, helping fellow Republicans running in the 2022 midterm elections and highlighting his agenda, which could also serve as a theme for a likely presidential run of his own in 2024.

PENCE RETURNING TO NEW HAMPSHIRE NEXT MONTH IN ANOTHER 2024 SIGNAL

Trump’s been flirting with making another presidential run since leaving the White House and recently appeared to give his strongest signal yet of his intentions. The former president seemed to indicate in a recent New York Magazine interview that his 2024 decision is about when – not if.

"I would say my big decision will be whether I go before or after," Trump said in an interview published a week and a half ago, seemingly referring to the midterm elections in November. 

Saturday night, while addressing the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit of young conservatives, Trump continued his flirtation with a 2024 presidential campaign. 

After repeating his well-used line that "we may just have to do it again," referring to a 2024 presidential campaign, he added, "If I stayed home, if I announced that I was not going to run for office, the persecution of Donald Trump would immediately stop. … But that's what they want me to do. And you know what? There's no chance I do that."

The seeming competing addresses by Trump and Pence in Washington, D.C., this week come days after they held dueling events in Arizona.

Trump on Friday headlined a rally in Prescott Valley, Arizona — about 90 miles north of Phoenix — for former TV news anchor Kari Lake, who’s running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and three other GOP candidates the former president has endorsed: venture capitalist Blake Masters for Senate, Abe Hamadeh for Arizona attorney general and state Rep. Mark Finchem for Arizona secretary of state. 

Trump’s slate of candidates heavily supports the former president’s unproven claims that the 2020 presidential contest was "rigged" and "stolen."

PENCE AND TRUMP AT ODDS IN ARIZONA GOP GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY

Pence headlined events in the Phoenix and Tucson areas for real estate developer and Arizona Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson, who he endorsed just days earlier. Taylor Robson is a co-front-runner with Lake for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in the Aug. 2 primary in the race to succeed term-limited GOP Gov. Doug Ducey. 

Pence, who teamed up with Ducey at the two stops in Arizona, praised Taylor Robson, saying, "No one worked harder for the Trump-Pence ticket in 2016 or in 2020 than Karrin Taylor Robson. … She volunteered, she helped raise millions of dollars for our campaign. When we needed Karrin, Karrin was always there."

And he took aim at Lake, questioning her conservative credentials. 

"Look, I’m always happy to welcome converts to the Republican Party," Pence said as he referred to Lake. "But Arizona Republicans don’t need a governor that supported Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."

Pence, as he’s done in the past, encouraged voters to look to the future and not "the past," which appeared to be a veiled reference to his former boss’s refusal to accept Biden’s 2020 election victory.

KRISTI NOEM MAKES NEWS IN LAST WEEK'S FOX NEWS 2024 COLUMN

"Some people want this election to be about the past, but elections are always about the future. Democrats would love nothing more than for Republicans to take our eye off the ball and focus on days gone by," Pence added on Twitter following his Arizona stops. 

Trump heaped praise on Lake and his other endorsed candidates at his rally and once again slammed Ducey. Arizona’s conservative governor incurred Trump’s wrath for certifying Biden’s razor-thin victory in Arizona in the 2020 election. Ducey famously publicly silenced a phone call from Trump in December 2020 as he certified his state’s results.

Pence’s split with Trump in Arizona was his second high-profile one in GOP primaries the past two months. The former vice president endorsed Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and campaigned with the conservative governor outside Atlanta on the eve of the state’s May 24 primary. Kemp crushed Trump-backed former Sen. David Perdue in the primary. Trump had repeatedly targeted Kemp ever since the governor certified the 2020 election results in Georgia, where Biden narrowly edged Trump in a key battleground state.

But, unlike in Georgia, where Kemp was far ahead of Perdue when Pence endorsed the governor, the race between Taylor Robson and Lake remains very competitive.

The proxy battles between Pence and Trump in key battleground states such as Arizona and Georgia have implications for the GOP in November’s elections, but they also serve as a preview of a potential clash between the former running mates in the 2024 Republican presidential nomination race.

Unlike Trump, Pence’s trip to the nation’s capital Monday is far from his first since the end of the Trump administration. He was in Washington, D.C., last week, where he grabbed plenty of headlines.

After introducing House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy Tuesday night at a fundraiser for top Republican congressional candidates, Pence on Wednesday met with the Republican Study Committee, the longstanding group of conservative House members that Pence once led as a congressman from Indiana. The group’s current leader, Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, is a Pence ally and would likely be an early supporter of any Pence presidential campaign.

During the closed-to-press breakfast, some lawmakers thanked Pence for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by right wing extremists and other Trump supporters who aimed to disrupt congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory, with some chanting "hang Mike Pence." Pence refused Trump’s demands to overturn the election results. And some lawmakers, sources confirm to Fox News, then encouraged Pence to run for president in 2024.

Marc Short, a close Pence aide and adviser who served as the former vice president’s chief of staff, told Fox News Pence "has received a lot of encouragement from that audience" [the Republican Study Committee] in the past. But what made this past week’s visit different was that it was "in a more public setting … where they were offering that encouragement in front of others."

The comments in the press by some of those attending the Pence breakfast appears to be another indication that some Republican lawmakers who’ve long spoke in support of Pence in private are now more comfortable expressing that support in more of a public arena.

Pence headed directly to South Carolina after his stop in Washington, D.C., where he hailed the move by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that sent the divisive issue of legalized abortion back to the states. Pence, long a champion for social conservatives, highlighted the steps he’d like to see states take going forward to further limit abortion access. They were Pence’s first public comments on abortion since the blockbuster ruling last month by the high court.

Short noted that Pence has "been fighting this battle for decades. … he’s been in the forefront of it," and "he’s gratified that a lot of his efforts were fruitful."

But he emphasized that while "there’s a moment of gratification," the former vice president is addressing "this in a spirit of compassion for women who face unwanted pregnancies." Short said the GOP needs "to show that our party can reach out to women in crisis."

And he noted that Pence often uses crisis pregnancy centers as the location for his addresses on the issue of abortion and that more speeches at such venues are planned for later this year.

Pence’s stop last week in South Carolina was his sixth the past year and a half in the state that votes third in the Republican presidential nominating calendar and a state where social conservatives play an outsized role in GOP primaries.

Pence has also made numerous visits since leaving office to Iowa, whose caucuses kick off the GOP nominating schedule, and to New Hampshire, which votes second and holds the first presidential primary. 

In another sign that Pence is gearing up for a likely White House bid, he’ll return to the Granite State Aug. 17 to headline the New Hampshire Institute of Politics’ Politics and Eggs. For two decades, the St. Anselm College speaking series has been a must stop for presidential candidates and potential White House contenders visiting the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state. 

"There’s a tremendous amount of interest in hearing from the former vice president. I’m asked all the time, ‘When are you having Vice President Pence to the institute?’" New Hampshire Institute of Politics Executive Director Neil Leveque told Fox News.

And it’s likely Pence also will return to Iowa this summer.

Short called Pence’s travels an "aggressive schedule" and noted that, after four years of being vice president, "you’re used to that sort of a pace."

Utah construction worker rescued after being fully buried at site, fire officials say

A Utah construction worker was rescued after being "completely buried" in an apparent accident on Monday evening, authorities sai...