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Former President Barack Obama allegedly accuses Sarah Palin for taking “dark spirits” to the Republican Party in a recent book that has yet to be published.
In his 768-page novel, “A Promised Country,” Obama accompanied the former governor of Alaska and the 2008 vice-presidential candidate of GOP, according to CNN, which got an early copy of the memoir.
Obama, according to extracts, wrote that the 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s decision to appoint Palin to his ticket took bigotry and fear, among other items, to the centre stage.”
“Through Palin, it appeared as if the dark spirits that had long lured on the margins of the new Republican Party – xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, paradoxical conspiracy theories, antipathy to Black and Brown citizens – had made their way to the center stage,” Obama said.
Obama also speculated, according to a copy of the book, that if McCain had been offered a chance to do so, he would not have selected Palin as his running mate.
“Obama writes that he ‘wonder(s) often’ as to whether the 2008 Republican nominee John McCain would still have preferred Palin if he had realised ‘his dramatic rise and his validation as a contender would provide a blueprint for potential leaders, moving the core of his party and the country’s politics overall in the direction he abhorred,'” according to CNN.
“I would like to believe that, given the opportunity to do it again, he would have chosen differently,” wrote the former president.
He said, “I guess he truly put his country first.”
The 44th president, however, had not reserved his political critique for Palin alone.
Do you think that Obama is still angry over Trump’s 2016 election victory?
Obama also lashed out at President Donald Trump and other Republicans in quotes from the unreleased novel.
The former president argued that Trump succeeded in bending the law in a manner that Republicans like Sen. Mitch McConnell, currently the Senate Majority Leader, and former House Speaker John Boehner, could not do.
“There was not a disparity between Trump and Boehner or McConnell. They also realized that it didn’t matter if what they said was real,” Obama wrote.
He added, “In fact, the only distinction between Trump’s political style and [McConnell and Boehner’s] was Trump’s lack of inhibition.”
Obama also accused Trump of appealing to white Americans to worry that a black man will become president.
“It was as if my very appearance in the White House had caused a deep-seated fear, a feeling that the normal order had been broken,” Obama wrote in his memoir.
“What exactly did Donald Trump understand when he began peddling lies that I wasn’t born in the United States and therefore thus an unconstitutional president,” he said.
“For millions of Americans, terrified by a Black man in the White House, he promised an elixir because of their racial anxieties,” Obama said.
According to CNN, Obama concluded that racial feelings “moved from the fringe of GOP politics to the core.”
ST. LOUIS – BJC Healthcare in St. Louis is reporting a large percentage of its employees have complied with the COVID vaccine mandate.
A total of 99 percent of its 31,000 employees have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.
The company says this is great news for their team members, patients, and communities they serve. BJC Healthcare announced the mandate in June requiring that all workers to receive at least their first dose of the vaccine by Sept. 15.
Religious and medical exemptions are allowed. A spokesperson said a few hundred employees had not complied with the mandate and workers who missed the deadline may be suspended for up to 30 days.
BJC employees who are not vaccinated may be terminated.
The health care systems in the St. Louis area were among the first employers to issue vaccine mandates for employees. Mercy and SSM Health employees face a Sept. 30 deadline in their vaccine mandates.
St. Luke’s Hospital also requires its employees to be vaccinated.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Police video shows a Florida woman who disappeared during a cross-country journey in a converted camper van had an emotional fight with her boyfriend in a Utah tourist town before she vanished.
The video released by the Moab Police Department shows that an officer pulled over the van on Aug. 12 after it was seen speeding and hit a curb near the entrance to Arches National Park.
Inside was Brian Laundrie, 23, and his 22-year-old girlfriend, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, who was reported missing by her family a month later and is now the subject of a nationwide search joined by the FBI.
Police in North Port, Florida, where the couple lived, say Laundrie is a “person of interest” in her case. He’s not been charged, but he’s also not cooperating.
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison publicly vented his frustration over his lack of help on Wednesday, pleading for Laundrie’s lawyer to arrange a conversation. “Two people left on a trip and one person returned!” the chief’s tweet said.
The body camera video shows Petito visibly upset when an officer approached them.
“We’ve just been fighting this morning. Some personal issues,” she tells him, adding that she suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder that affects her behavior.
“Some days, I have really bad OCD, and I was just cleaning and straightening up and I was apologizing to him saying that I’m so mean because sometimes I have OCD and get frustrated,” she said.
Laundrie says on the video the couple got into a minor scuffle that began when he climbed into the van with dirty feet, and said he didn’t want to pursue a domestic violence charge against Petito, who officers decided was the aggressor.
“I’m not going to pursue anything because she is my fiancée and I love her. It was just a squabble. Sorry it had to get so public,” Laundrie says.
Ultimately Moab police decided not file any charges and instead separated the couple for the night, with Laundrie checking into a motel and Petito remaining with the converted sleeper van.
Petito and Laundrie started their drive across the U.S. in July from New York’s Long Island, where both grew up. They intended to reach Oregon by Halloween according to their social media accounts, but Petito vanished after her last known contact with family in late August from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, authorities said.
Laundrie drove the Ford Transit van back to Florida on Sept. 1 alone, police said. Petito’s family filed a missing persons report last Saturday with police in Suffolk County, New York.
Petito’s parents released a letter through their attorney on Thursday to Laundrie’s parents, asking them to help investigators locate Petito, despite their instinct to protect their son.
“We believe you know the location of where Brian left Gabby,” the letter said. “We beg you to tell us. As a parent, how could you let us go through this pain and not help us? As a parent, how could you put Gabby’s younger brothers and sisters through this?”
Laundrie’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, said the Laundrie family is hoping for Petito’s safe return, but he’s asked them not to speak with investigators.
“I can’t speculate as to why he’s not talking, but he has the pieces to the puzzle that we need to find Gabby,” Garrison said Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Garrison said at a news conference Thursday that the investigation remains a missing persons case, not a murder probe, and that no intensive searches have begun because it’s unclear exactly where authorities might look.
“We’re still trying to nail down geographic areas,” the chief said. “There’s a lot of information we are going through. Our focus is to find Gabby.”
The missing woman’s father, Joe Petito, also appeared at the news conference to urge anyone with knowledge about his daughter to come forward.
“What I want from everybody here is help. Whatever you can do to make sure my daughter comes home, I’m asking you to help. Nothing else matters right now,” Joe Petito said.
Authorities are also looking for any possible connection between Petito’s disappearance and the still-unsolved slaying of two women who were fatally shot at a campsite near Moab.
Their bodies were found Aug. 18, six days after the incident between Laundrie and Petito. The two women, Kylen Schulte, 24, and Crystal Turner, 38, had told friends they feared a “creepy man” they had seen nearby might harm them.
“They’re looking into that potential connection,” said Joshua Taylor, public information officer for North Port police. “I have not heard of any information that links these two cases together. I understand the timing is suspicious. You never know. I’m not going to say we’ve ruled it out.”
Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweethearts on Long Island before moving in 2019 to live with his parents in North Port, about 34 miles (54 kilometers) south of Sarasota.
An eight-minute YouTube video titled “Van Life: Beginning our Van Life Journey” features happy and romantic scenes from the couple’s trip.
Petito is white, 5-foot-5 (1.6 meters) and about 110 pounds (50 kilograms), with blonde hair and blue eyes, police said. She has several tattoos including one on a forearm that reads, “let it be.”
Associated Press writer Sophia Eppolito in Salt Lake City contributed to this story.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a $21.5 million gift from the foundation named for an alumna who was also the author of several influential nursing textbooks, school officials announced Thursday.
In honor of the gift from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation — the single largest cash gift dedicated exclusively to the Amherst campus — the university will rename its nursing school the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing.
“This gift is an endorsement of the vital role that our College of Nursing plays in preparing nurses for leadership in health care,” Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in a statement. “It comes at a time when our society is confronted with unprecedented challenges — challenges that we strive to overcome through innovation, learning and discovery inspired by one of our most distinguished and beloved graduates, Dr. Marieb herself.”
Marieb, a Northampton native who died in 2018 at age 82, earned master’s and doctorate degrees from UMass Amherst. She also taught at Springfield College and Holyoke Community College.
In response to complaints from her nursing students that the materials then available were ineffective, she authored or co-authored more than 10 bestselling textbooks and laboratory manuals on anatomy and physiology.
Her work has been read by more than 3 million nurses and health care professionals practicing today, according to the university.
The gift will be used to enhance the university’s nursing engineering center while providing support for student scholarships, an endowed professorship, and mentorship and research initiatives.
UMass Amherst has about 31,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
The gift is the third multi-million donation made to the UMass system this month.
The university announced a $175 million donation from the Chan family through the The Morningside Foundation to UMass Medical School last week.
And just prior to that, the university announced a $50 million cash donation from Robert and Donna Manning.
By STEVE KARNOWSKI
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday evening for voters in Minneapolis to decide on the future of policing in the city where George Floyd was killed, just ahead of the start of early and absentee voting.
The state’s highest court overturned a lower court ruling that rejected ballot language approved by the City Council. A district judge said the wording failed to adequately describe the effects of a proposed charter amendment that would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety that “could include” police officers “if necessary.”
But Chief Justice Lorie Gildea said in a three-page order that the justices concluded that the challenge to the ballot language did not meet the “high standard” that the court set in earlier cases. She said the court will issue a full opinion laying out its legal reasoning sometime later to avoid impeding the start of voting.
“Now voters have the opportunity to make their voices heard on this ballot question,” City Attorney Jim Rowader said.
The Supreme Court was under pressure to rule quickly because early and absentee voting opens at 8 a.m. Friday in the Minneapolis municipal elections. The ballots were already being printed when Hennepin County District Judge Jamie Anderson ruled against the language Tuesday. It was the second time she had struck down the council’s wording. Gildea put the case on the fast track Wednesday.
Lawyers on both sides said beforehand that they expected the high court ruling allowing the ballot language to be the final word, given the late hour. Leaders of the pro-amendment Yes 4 Minneapolis campaign have a rally set for Friday afternoon.
“We’re all very pleased that the system worked,” said Terrance Moore, an attorney for Yes 4 Minneapolis. “As ugly as it sometimes looks, the process went through from beginning to end and in the end the Supreme Court followed the law and its precedent. And the voters get to vote on the ballot question.”
The proposal has its roots in the “defund the police” movement, which gained steam after Floyd’s death last summer sparked protests, civil unrest and a national reckoning on racial justice. The amendment does not use the term “defund.” But it would remove the city charter’s requirement that Minneapolis have a police department with a minimum staffing level. Many details of how the new agency would work would be left up to the the City Council and mayor to decide later.
Yes 4 Minneapolis, which spearheaded the initiative, insists that the city would continue to have police if voters approve the amendment, but that the new department would be free to take a fresh approach to public safety that could reduce excessive policing against communities of color.
Opponents of the amendment, including former council member Don Samuels and his wife, Sondra, who were behind the court challenge, said the ballot language leaves too many important questions unexplained for voters about how the new department would be implemented, led, staffed and funded.
The All of Minneapolis anti-amendment campaign said it will start running its first ad on Friday. Its message is that the lack of a plan for what comes next if the proposal passes is alarming to many residents, especially given the track record of City Council members who have expressed varying degrees of support over time for defunding or abolishing the police.
Yes 4 Minneapolis argued in its filing with the Supreme Court that the Minneapolis Police Department would not automatically disappear if the amendment passed. The group said the department would continue to exist under current city ordinances until the City Council passed new laws to establish the new agency, and that the council could keep the force in place as long as necessary for an orderly transition.
NEWBURGH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State Police have arrested Jimmie R, Merritt, 38, of Albany on felony drug charges and possessing a loaded, stolen handgun. Police say Merritt was in possession of over 31 grams of cocaine.
Police say they pulled over Merritt on I-87 on September 14 around 10:30 p.m. in Newburgh for multiple vehicle and traffic violations. While interviewing him, they established probable cause to search the vehicle.
In addition to the cocaine, police say they found a loaded Smith and Wesson M&P pistol loaded with 7 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition, along with additional .40 ammunition found inside a bag. Police later found out the gun was stolen.
Merritt was taken into custody and charged with:
Merritt was arraigned and remanded to Orange County Jail in lieu of $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond.
ST. LOUIS – After a COVID cancellation in 2020, a wildly popular St. Louis event returns this weekend. We are talking about the Great Forest Park Balloon Glow and Race. Now in its 49th year, organizers are excited to welcome people back to the recently renovated Emerson Central Fields in Forest Park for the next two days. FOX 2 and News 11 are proud sponsors of the event.
Friday night, the Balloon Glow takes place, where spectators can roam among inflated, tethered balloons. The fun begins at 5:00 p.m. and the balloons will glow from dusk to 9:00 p.m. Fireworks cap off the night at 9:15 p.m.
The festival and race of 50 balloons is on Saturday. Central Fields opens at Noon with live music, great food, the Purina Pro Plan Performance dogs, and family activities. Skydivers perform at 3 p.m. The race is on at 4:30 with the launch on the “hare” balloon. The hound balloons give chase at 4:45 p.m.
Where the balloons will end up depends on the weather, which looks great for the weekend. Winds on Saturday are expected out of the northeast, so look for the balloons to drift south and west of Forest Park.
The balloons couldn’t launch in 2019 because of high winds. Last year, organizers created an alternative pandemic event called Lift Up St. Louis.
Just as builders anticipated, home buyers are pouring back into the market this fall, bidding for scarce resale homes and eating up the limited available inventory of new homes. At a KB Home neighborhood in Southeast Aurora’s Copperleaf master-planned community, that’s creating a last chance for some new single-family designs that figure Cherry Creek Schools into their equation.
“Buyers are telling us that they’re fatigued by the tight resale market,” says Randy Carpenter, Division President at KB Home Colorado. “Right now, new homes are looking particularly attractive to them compared to older ones.”
Along with an attractive offering of parks, trails, clubhouse, and other amenities, the schools serving Copperleaf have made the community a primary target for resale buyers, says Carpenter.
“Usually new homes come with a premium that reflects the choice in design and options, energy efficiency, and better technology they offer over older houses,” he adds.
“The ongoing shortage of resale homes has driven their prices up so much that a new home with the latest technology has never been a better value compared to resale.”
KB Home’s Shawn Cummings and Leslie Stokes can show you a home ready for move-in now—three bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths plus a loft, that has close to 2,200 sq. feet of finished space. It’s on a corner site and has a covered back patio, gourmet kitchen, and other upgrades. It’s priced at $638,896.
Carpenter says you can find a comparably sized older listing in Copperleaf that has a list price of around $595,000. “Once you figure in the likely bounce from a bidding war, the older house is pretty much a match to ours,” he adds.
Carpenter adds that buyers who have made Copperleaf such a fast seller have chosen this neighborhood due to its location so close to Parker Road and E-470. Many commute into the Tech Center or downtown; and some couples split their commute, with one using E-470 to reach Thornton or Broomfield.
If you can go a little higher, KB Home has a 4-bedroom/3-bath home, also ready for move-in, that shows a walkout basement and a main-level bedroom that’s perfect for an older parent returning home. It’s sized at around 2,400 sq. feet and is $671,714.
“We’ve experienced plenty of demand for multigenerational homes in this area,” notes Carpenter.
Among those remaining homes are a few opportunities to create a highly personalized home, using KB Home’s design center and working with a professional design consultant. (The two decorator models, including a ranch, will head to market soon.) Every KB Home is independently tested and certified to meet or exceed Energy Star standards so the monthly utility bill won’t break the bank.
When you visit, a quarter-mile south of E. Quincy Avenue on S. Picadilly, you’ll see how convenient Copperleaf is to shopping and dining at Southlands, to Aurora Reservoir with its trails and beach, as well as to Quincy Reservoir.
The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.
FOXBORO — Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy and offensive tackle Trent Brown missed practice for a second straight day Thursday.
Brown continues to recover from the calf injury he suffered last weekend against the Dolphins. Van Noy is dealing with a new throat injury that only recently came to light. All other members of the Pats’ active roster and practice squad were present.
After Brown left last Sunday’s opener, backup offensive tackle Yasir Durant and second-year lineman Justin Herron took snaps at right tackle. Durant repped with the starting offensive line during one period in the media-access portion of Thursday’s practice, a rare team drill made viewable to reporters. Despite Durant’s apparent edge, it’s unclear who would start at right tackle Sunday against the Jets if Brown can’t play.
Josh Uche or Chase Winovich would be first in line to replace Van Noy at outside linebacker, assuming Dont’a Hightower remains inside. Uche played 15 snaps in the season opener, while Winovich saw 12.
Citing the current political divide in the Stillwater community, Stillwater Area Board of Education Member Matt Onken announced Thursday that he is resigning from the school board.
Onken, who was elected in November, wrote in a statement that the political divide in the district “is beginning to impact my physical and mental health, as well as my work and home life.” His resignation is effective Friday.
Onken is the fourth school board member to resign during the past 14 months. Liz Weisberg resigned at the end of July, citing an opportunity to train to become a reading tutor. Shelley Pearson and Mark Burns resigned in July 2020.
Onken, an educational coordinator for the Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District, said being on the school board has meant he has not been able to give his students 100 percent lately “as (his) mind is on other things.”
“I take no pride in this decision and may be considered cowardly for doing it, but it is the right decision for me right now,” he wrote. “When I campaigned for this position, I felt I could bring some calm to board meetings. I like to think of myself as a reasonable and rational person who is willing to listen and discuss viewpoints regardless of the final decision or vote. I am not a politician and never want to be. However, I find the current situation untenable. Our community is a microcosm of our national political scene where misinformation looms, trust comes at a premium, and people use whatever information they want to fit their narrative. It is unfortunate, but there is a very vocal minority that is no longer interested in the idea of ‘we’ and only interested in the idea of ‘me.’”
Onken said he has almost walked out of school board meetings and finds himself struggling to maintain his composure.
“I am very confident in the votes that I have made and do not regret any of them, but I often spend hours after meetings rethinking my choices, as I am a pleaser and want to meet everyone’s needs,” he wrote.
Although he is resigning, Onken said he would continue to support two upcoming 10-year tax levy proposals that are on the November ballot.
In addition to a $390-per-pupil increase to its operating levy, the board will ask voters to approve a new $4.7 million capital project levy to upgrade the district’s classroom technology, beef up its network security and ensure every student and teacher has their own electronic device.
“I will do everything I can to support our upcoming levy in the next few weeks, as I do believe in the importance of public education and I believe in Stillwater Area Schools,” he wrote.
School board chairwoman Bev Petrie said the school board is expected to accept Onken’s resignation next week. His replacement on the board will be appointed until the 2022 election; the appointment process is expected to take about six weeks, she said.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) — Many New York attorneys agree that a recent court order to pause the state’s vaccine requirement for hospital workers will only apply to those who have legitimately claimed religious objections to the mandate. Everyone else is still expected to be vaccinated by the September 27 deadline, they say.
A federal judge in Utica ruled that the state not offering a religious exemption could violate civil rights laws. As attorneys for both sides of the issue prepare their arguments for a hearing on September 28, some hospital workers will get more time to get their vaccine.
Pope Francis encourages Catholics to get the vaccine, Jewish scholars say the Torah requires it. Muslim leaders endorse it, too, meaning that legitimate religious excuses for skipping the shot seem few and far between.
Employment attorney Laura Spring says, “The basis for a religious exemption would be if you have ‘sincerely held religious beliefs.’” The term “sincerely held” comes straight from equal opportunity employment law, referencing the Civil Rights Act.
People who claim religious beliefs as a reason not to get vaccinated need to prove it. Workers who apply for the exemption with their companies should expect their managers—or even the state—to verify their history of religious activities. They’ll be grilled about whether other vaccine requirements have previously been skipped for the same reason.
Spring says, “I think there’s always going to abuse situations, but I think the employer does have the ability to get more information that normally they wouldn’t.”
Medical doctor and health care attorney Andrew Knoll says the court’s temporary order is “part of there being due process in America, and delaying something a matter of weeks to sort it out is appropriate.”
When it comes to the legal challenge, Knoll says a similar issue was debated the past two years. During a 2019 measles outbreak, the State Legislature required students to get vaccinated without offering a religious exemption for the first time. The highest-ruling court did not stop the state.
Using that precedent, he suspects, the coronavirus challenge will fail, and the delay will end with the same result: a vaccine mandate for hospital workers.
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