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Missouri senator proposes bill to ban public funding for abortion facilities

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Federal appeals court to hear Missouri abortion law case

ST. LOUIS – A Missouri senator has proposed legislation that would prohibit abortion providers from receiving public funds.

Sen. Eric Burlison, R-Battlefield, recently announced that his pre-filed bill “would ensure no public funds would be affiliated with such providers,” including Planned Parenthood.

Medicaid funds are currently available to facilities where abortions are performed, although those funds are not being used for abortions, the press release states.

“It is unconscionable to think that taxpayer dollars could be used to provide support for those who provide abortions,” Sen. Burlison said.

“It is not enough for public funds to be restricted from funding abortions directly. We must take a stand for the unborn and cease public funding for these facilities and their providers altogether.”

Legislators began this week pre-filing bills for the upcoming legislative session.

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CSU Rams rally to beat Nevada, remain unbeaten at Moby Arena this season

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CSU Rams rally to beat Nevada, remain unbeaten at Moby Arena this season

Staring down the prospect of its first home loss of the season at Moby Arena, the Colorado State men’s basketball team responded.

The Rams rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit, then turned on the defense in a back-and-forth battle with Nevada for a 77-66 victory Tuesday night.

The win moved the Rams (16-1, 6-1 Mountain West) to 10-0 at Moby this season, and kept them within a game of first-place Boise State (16-4, 7-0) in a highly competitive Mountain West Conference race.

Isaiah Stevens led the second-half charge for CSU, with the junior guard scoring 14 of his 16 points in the game’s final 20 minutes, including a pair of 3-pointers. David Roddy had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Chandler Jacobs had 14 points and five rebounds.

Guards Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge Jr. paced the Wolf Pack with 16 and 23 points, respectively.

Nevada led by as many as 10 points in the first half, with a Roddy 3-pointer cutting the advantage to 34-27 entering the break.

CSU then opened the second half by scoring on each of its first five possessions, including back-to-back 3-pointers from Jacobs and Stevens, to turn that deficit into a 39-all game with 17:17 to go.

The two teams traded the lead seven times before the Rams held the Wolf Pack (9-8, 3-3) scoreless for more than five minutes as part of a 12-0 run to take a 75-63 lead with 1:03 to go.

CSU entered the night at No. 27 in the NCAA NET rankings, one of the primary metrics used by the NCAA Tournament selection committee to pick at-large teams. The win ensured the Rams go into Friday night’s showdown with UNLV riding a five-game win streak.

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Ramsey County confronting some 200 employees in violation of vaccination policy; most are in sheriff’s office

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Ramsey County confronting some 200 employees in violation of vaccination policy; most are in sheriff’s office

Nearly a third of the Ramsey County sheriff’s office employees are in violation of the county’s policy to either get vaccinated against the coronavirus or be tested weekly, county officials said Tuesday.

The county’s policy went into effect Nov. 1 for its roughly 5,000 employees who are either permanent, temporary, intermittent or seasonal. Under the policy, employees who do not comply could face a five-day suspension starting Feb. 14, County Manager Ryan O’Connor told the County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

According to the county, nearly 94 percent of the employees have certified to their vaccination status, with 82 percent of them providing proof that they are fully vaccinated, which means they’ve taken two shots.

As far as actual numbers, 276 employees have not certified their vaccination status with the county, O’Connor said. Of those employees, 24 said they are fully vaccinated and uploaded proof of vaccination, but did not certify. Another 19 intermittent employees are not working, but said they would certify their status if called upon to work. Another 51 employees are on leave status.

That leaves 182 remaining employees who have not certified their status, with 134 from the sheriff’s office, according to O’Connor.

“So we are seeing a localized challenge of compliance at this point,” he said. “We continue to work directly with the sheriff and his leadership team to seek compliance.”

Ann Feaman, Ramsey County’s human resources deputy director, wrote in a Tuesday update to the county’s executive team that all departments have reported that they either issued written reprimands to employees who remain out of compliance or they are in the process of doing so this week “with one exception — the sheriff’s office.”

“I have not heard anything official from the sheriff’s office except that they acknowledged receipt of HR’s message,” she wrote.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher did not return a call Tuesday seeking comment.

Allison Schaber, president of the Ramsey County Deputies’ Federation, said Tuesday night that it supports the policy, “while recognizing that it gives our employees the right to choose whether or not to be vaccinated or get tested.” However, she said, Tuesday was the first the federation heard of the scope of the noncompliance with the county policy.

“So for them to jump right to a five-day suspension without prior notice of noncompliance, we feel is excessive and out of step with progressive discipline,” she said.

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U.S. Senate debate: Michael Bennet’s GOP challengers talk immigration, spending, national defense and more

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Biden decries ‘big lie,’ blames Trump for insurrection

Republicans aiming to unseat U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet stated their cases Tuesday night to challenge the incumbent Democrat in November.

There’s a lot they agreed on: The country needs stricter immigration enforcement, more policing and more military funding. Government spending is out of control. Ronald Reagan was a hero. It’s important for Republicans to make greater efforts to connect with non-white and unaffiliated voters.

The debate, held at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, was hosted by the state Republican Party and was moderated by its chair, Kristi Burton Brown, and Michael Fields, who works to advance conservative fiscal policy and leads the newly formed Advance Colorado Institute. As a result, none of the candidates were challenged directly or made to field uncomfortable questions.

Participating Tuesday were Eli Bremer, a former Olympian and El Paso County GOP official; Gino Campana, a Fort Collins developer and Donald Trump appointee; Ron Hanks, a state representative from Fremont County who once ran unsuccessfully for Congress in California; Deborah Flora, a former talk radio host and parental rights advocate; Greg Moore, a political scientist who works at Colorado Christian University; and Peter Yu, a Loveland native who previously ran and lost the race for Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District.

Candidate Joe O’Dea, a construction company owner who has loaned himself about half a million dollars, recently took a break from campaigning to have back surgery and was absent for the forum.

Burton Brown has sought to cast the Colorado GOP as the party of affordability, low crime and educational opportunity. She has said she’s severed ties with FEC United, the grassroots conservative group that has an active citizen militia wing and many ties to 2020 election denial efforts. The line of questioning from she and Fields reflected the attempt to focus the party on “kitchen-table” issues in 2022.

But the issues that matter to FEC United’s leadership evidently matter greatly to many Republican voters, who at multiple candidate forums this year have chosen Hanks as their favorite in post-forum straw polls. They’re supported in elected office, too; just last week most state House Republicans voted on failed amendments to thank people who marched at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and to call into question the results of the 2020 election.

Hanks is the candidate among the bunch who is by far the most vocal in his belief that there was widespread voter fraud in 2020, and he marched in D.C. on Jan. 6.

He distinguished himself from the rest on Tuesday by speaking with a uniquely uncompromising tone — including when he proposed to do away entirely with permits for gun ownership and likened the government to a “cancer.” Asked which Republican official he identifies most with, Hanks said he’s his own person and doesn’t want to emulate anyone else.

To that same question, Bremer and Moore responded Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis; Campana responded U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton; Yu responded S.D. Gov. Kristi Noem; and Flora said she admires U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

“I could not wait to join him and take Fauci on,” said Flora, criticizing U.S. pandemic response.

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