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National Govt & Politics
GOP edge in Senate shrinks as two new Senators are sworn in
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GOP edge in Senate shrinks as two new Senators are sworn in

GOP edge in Senate shrinks as two new Senators are sworn in
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

GOP edge in Senate shrinks as two new Senators are sworn in

With the start of the Second Session of the 115th Congress, Republican control of the U.S. Senate shrunk to a narrow 51-49 margin on Wednesday with the swearing-in of Democrat Doug Jones of Alabama, as Democrats again celebrated their upset victory in the Yellowhammer State, which prevented controversial Republican Roy Moore from going to Capitol Hill.

Signaling the importance of the victory to Democrats, former Vice President Joe Biden - who served in the Senate - escorted Jones to his swearing-in.

Jones replaced Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), who lost to Moore in a hotly contested GOP primary runoff, giving Democrats an unexpected chance at a special election victory in December.

Along with Jones, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D-MN) officially became a Senator today; she was appointed by the Governor of Minnesota to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who left under a cloud over sexual misconduct allegations.

Smith's arrival means there are now 22 women in the U.S. Senate, the largest number ever in the history of that legislative body.

Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath to both new Senators, as the ceremonies brought out two former Vice Presidents as well.

Both Biden and former VP Walter Mondale served in the Senate; their time overlapped for a few years in the 1970's, before Mondale served as Vice President to President Jimmy Carter.

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News

  • Who will sit on the Iron Throne when “Game of Thrones” ends its run later this year? You can -- well, sort of. >> Read more trending news  A student at a Kentucky welding school built a 200-pound replica of the Iron Throne as a wedding gift for his wife, WLKY reported. He is also renting it out, the television station reported. Michael Hayes is a student at the Knight School of Welding in Louisville. He and his instructors spent nearly 110 hours over two months to craft the throne, which includes 400 swords, WLKY reported. The school funded the project, which cost $7,000. The throne is not made of iron or steel, but aluminum, otherwise “it would pretty much stay wherever it sat,' Hayes told the television station. Hayes said he made the throne as a wedding gift for his wife, Kacie Hayes. 'The show is one of the first things my wife and I bonded over,” Michael Hayes told WLKY. “It's a really important thing to us.” >>  Social media reacts to season premiere of ‘Game of Thrones’ The throne was a centerpiece at the Hayes’ wedding, and the couple struck a pose similar to ones by “Game of Thrones” characters Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. 'Besides the awesome fact that my wife pretty much does look like Daenerys, especially when she's in her get-up,” Michael Hayes told WLKY. “It made it all the more awesome when I could see her sitting in the throne and doing her thing. It's just been awesome.” Hayes said if you want to rent the throne, email him at mqhayes1@yahoo.com, WLKY reported.
  • “I am in the middle of the expressway with a donkey,” an Illinois deputy said Wednesday, agitated as she called for backup. >> Read more trending news  The Cook County Sheriff’s deputy was not referring to a driver on I-90. She was seeking help after a real donkey escaped from a trailer shortly before noon, WBBM reported. Body cam footage showed the deputy trying to coax the donkey, named Dusty, to the side of the road, away from vehicles barreling down the interstate, the television station reported. “Come here, come here, sweetie,” the deputy told the donkey. She then radioed her dispatcher, telling officials that “You wanna call the state or something, somebody lost their donkey, county,” WMAQ reported. >> Two donkeys found mauled to death in Louisville According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office Twitter account, Dusty, was safely returned to his owner.
  • An Australian man rescued his 14-month-old son Friday, after the child was dragged away from his bed by a wild dingo, 9News Australia reported. >> Read more trending news  The toddler was sleeping inside a camper on a remote area of Fraser Island in Queensland when two of the wild dogs entered the vehicle. One of them bit the child’s neck, Radio New Zealand reported. Paramedic Ben Du Toit said the dingo began dragging the child into the bush, 9News Australia reported. 'The parents awoke with the toddler crying and heard the crying getting further away from the campervan,' Du Toit told the network. The child’s father ran outside and rescued the boy from the jaws of the dog, CNN reported. The boy suffered two deep cuts to the top of his neck and minor cuts to his scalp, Radio New Zealand reported. He was airlifted to a hospital for treatment and was in stable condition, CNN reported. 'If it wasn't for the parents and their quick thinking and fighting off the dingoes, he probably would have had more severe injuries,' Lifeflight pilot Frank Bertoli said at a news conference.
  • A Texas woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to stealing $1.3 million from the Fort Worth Stockyards Rodeo, using the money to finance vacations and two motorcycles, WFAA reported. >> Read more trending news  D’Ann Elizabeth Wagner, of Fort Worth, was a bookkeeper for the rodeo, the television station reported. She was sentenced in Tarrant County District Court. According to prosecutors, Wagner used a PayPal account on the rodeo’s website she set up and was linked to her personal information, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. PayPal issued a debit card to manage the money, which Wagner used for her personal use, the newspaper reported. Investigators found more than 11,000 transactions between January 2014 and March 2017, totaling more than $1.3 million. She used the money for vacations and gambling, bought two Harley-Davidson motorcycles and made other unspecified purchases, WFAA reported. “This defendant stole more than six times the minimum threshold for this first-degree felony charge,” Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Brooke Panuthos said in a statement. “She had 11,000 chances to stop her criminal behavior and stop stealing from employers who trusted her. She showed no conscience and no remorse for her actions.”
  • A Michigan man accused of intentionally shooting his 2-year-old son in the face was arraigned in court Thursday, MLive reported. >> Read more trending news  Michael Christopher Glance, 32, is charged with three counts each of assault with intent to murder and felony firearms, the website reported. He is being held in lieu of a $10 million bond, WILX reported. The incident occurred in Blackman Township on Tuesday, the television station reported. It happened while Glance allegedly was arguing with Nicole McCarthy, the boy’s mother, MLive reported. “For whatever reason, Mr. Glance decided to take his anger out on his 2-year-old child that day,” Jackson County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kati Rezmierski said in court. During an argument between the couple, Glance allegedly held a pistol to his son’s temple and pulled the trigger, Rezmierski said. The gun did not fire, she said. McCarthy took the boy to her car and put him in his car seat, MLive reported. She was getting ready to leave when Glance allegedly came out of the couple’s home with a shotgun and fired at their son, according to the website. The child was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition, WILX reported.
  • City council members in a Denver suburb voted to approve a name change for a neighborhood that has been called Swastika Acres, KDVR reported. >> Read more trending news  Cherry Hills Village City Council members Tuesday voted unanimously to change the subdivision name to Old Cherry Hills, the television station reported. Swastika Acres was named decades before the symbol was adopted by the Nazis, KDVR reported. However, the subdivision’s name is only apparent in real estate closing documents, according to the television station. “Some buyers are savvy enough to read the documents and really dig in and understand what their legal description of their property is,” Cherry Hills Village councilman Dan Sheldon told KDVR. “That’s the only way you’d know.” According to Sheldon, the subdivision name derived from the Denver Land Swastika Company, which divided the land into plots at the turn of the 20th century. “There was nothing wrong with (the name) at that time,” Sheldon told KDVR.