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Latest from Jamie Dupree

    With just over a week left to meet the requirements set for a mid-September debate in Houston, ten Democratic candidates have already qualified for the ABC News-Univision event, with two more hopefuls on the cusp of being eligible, raising the chance that Democrats will have to hold a two night debate on September 12-13. The latest to qualify was Julian Castro, as the former Obama Administration official now has campaign donations from more than 130,000 people, along with four qualifying polls. Along with Castro, the other Democrats who have qualified are: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Beto O'Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, and Andrew Yang. Several other Democrats have met the donor requirement, including Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Marianne Williamson, and Jay Inslee - but they still need four polls where they have 2 percent. The closest at this point is Steyer, who needs just one more poll; Gabbard needs two more qualifying polls. If Steyer and/or Gabbard were to qualify by August 28, that would mean a debate field of more than ten candidates, which would then likely bring about a two night debate schedule. Those unlikely to make the debate stage next month include Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, Tim Ryan, John Delaney, and Bill de Blasio. Based on polls, Inslee and Williamson also may not be included in Houston. The first two Democratic debates featured 20 candidates, divided over two nights.
  • Echoing the campaign trail warnings of President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence told the Detroit Economic Club on Monday that if Democrats succeed in winning the White House in 2020, it would mean an economic catastrophe for many Americans. 'I honestly believe if any one of the Democrats on that debate stage wins the Presidency, the gains of the last two and a half years would be wiped out,' the Vice President said in a speech. 'Taxes would skyrocket. The stock market would tank. Jobs would vanish and we would get this recession that naysayers are talking about,' Pence added. Pence's message - part excitement about the Trump economy, and part gloom and doom about the Democrats - was much like that of President Trump's campaign stop last week in Manchester, New Hampshire, when he said the bottom line is simple: 'You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401(k)s go down the tubes, everything is gonna be down the tubes,' the President said about a Democratic victory in 2020. On Monday morning, Mr. Trump went on Twitter to rail against Democrats - charging they were rooting for a recession to drive him from office - and again jawboning the Chairman of the Federal Reserve - arguing once more for interest rate cuts to spur economic growth. In his Detroit speech, the Vice President gave no hints of any second-guessing about the current trade fight between the U.S. and China. which has spurred some volatility on Wall Street. 'At the President's direction, we've put tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods,' Pence said, making clear the Trump Administration is not going to back down - specifically tying the trade talks to the current unrest in Hong Kong. 'As the President said yesterday, it will be much harder for us to make a deal if something violent happens in Hong Kong,' Pence added.
  • As President Donald Trump returned to the White House following a summer break at his golf retreat in New Jersey, the President teed off on Fox News, expressing aggravation again with Fox News polls that showed him trailing some of the top Democrats running for President. 'My worst polls have always been from Fox,' the President told reporters on Sunday. 'There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now.' 'Fox is a lot different than it used to be,' Mr. Trump added, taking aim at their news division, but not the stable of conservative talk show hosts who have stood by him over the last three years. Asked about the most recent poll from Fox News - which showed him trailing the top tier of 2020 candidates for President - Mr. Trump was succinct. 'I don't believe it,' he said. 'Despite all of the Fake News, my Poll Numbers are great,' the President tweeted on Monday morning, as he blasted one of his former aides, Anthony Scaramucci, who had just been on CNN talking about finding someone to challenge Mr. Trump.  The President hasn't always been sour on polls from Fox News - as when the Fox polls have good numbers, then they are fine, and absolutely correct. 'Fox Poll say best Economy in DECADES!' the President tweeted in July. 'New Fox Poll: 58% of people say that the FBI broke the law in investigating Donald J. Trump,' Mr. Trump tweeted back in May. But sometimes the numbers just aren't good enough. 'President Trump’s Approval Rating on Economy is at 52%, a 4 point jump,' Mr. Trump tweeted about a Fox Poll in July. 'Shouldn’t this be at 100%?' he added. The latest Fox News poll also had some challenging findings for the President and Republicans on the issue of guns. 'In the wake of two mass shootings, overwhelming and bipartisan majorities of voters favor background checks on gun buyers and taking guns from people who are a danger to themselves or others, according to the latest Fox News Poll,' the network wrote in describing the poll's findings. On Sunday, the President appeared to threaten Fox News over their poll findings, and the network's place in any 2020 Presidential debates. 'I think Fox is making a big mistake. Because, you know, I'm the one that calls the shots on that -- on the really big debates,' Mr. Trump said.
  • A senior White House official on Sunday confirmed that President Donald Trump has raised the issue of the United States possibly trying to buy the island of Greenland from Denmark, even though Danish officials say the North Atlantic outpost is not for sale. 'Greenland is a strategic place,' top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said at the end of an interview with Fox News Sunday, acknowledging that the President is interested. 'The President - who knows a thing or two about buying real estate - wants to take a look,' Kudlow added. The comments came even as officials in Denmark and Greenland said the island was not for sale. Kudlow noted that President Harry Truman had raised the same possibility when he was in office, but the idea went nowhere. 'We're open for business, not for sale,' said Greenland's official representative to the U.S. in a tweet. Reaction from Congress to the news reports about the idea of buying Greenland was muted. GOP Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee said on Twitter that he wouldn't support such an idea during a time of budget deficits. “I think it's Trump's Folly,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). The New York Daily News may have had the most fun with the story, printing a headline on Saturday which echoed one of the tabloid's most famous headlines ever.
  • In the aftermath of the mass shootings this month in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee will meet in early September to act on a series of gun control measures, including ten round limits on ammunition magazines, red flag laws, and adding new reasons for blocking someone from buying a firearm. 'For far too long, politicians in Washington have only offered thoughts and prayers in the wake of gun violence tragedies,' said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. 'Democrats in the House will continue to make good on our promise to work to keep our communities safe,' Nadler added, trying to put more pressure on Senate Republicans to act on gun bills approved by the House. 'House Democrats are serious about protecting our communities from the epidemic of gun violence,' said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV). 'All of these gun violence prevention bills would save lives, and it’s really important that the House is taking action,' said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). 'We must act now to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country and keep our kids safe,' said freshman Rep. Joe Negeuse (D-CO). Democrats also tried to turn up the heat on GOP leaders in the Senate, where a bill to expand background checks to all private gun sales has been languishing for months. 'The Majority Leader should call the Senate back to Washington to debate and vote on gun violence legislation,' said Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). Some Democrats also want to force a vote on banning certain assault weapons - Congress approved such a measure back in 1994, but the expired after ten years. While the Congress isn't back for votes until the week of September 9, the announcement by the House Judiciary Committee will bring lawmakers back just after Labor Day for committee work - with the goal of votes on the various gun bills in the House later that month. 'Our community is relying on us to pass gun safety legislation, which is why we need a federal red flag policy to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,' said Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA). Some Republicans quickly made clear their opposition to some of the gun plans from Democrats. 'The problem with Red Flag laws is you’re guilty until proven innocent,' said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). President Donald Trump has held talks with some Democrats on the issue of expanding background checks, but his language at a campaign rally on Thursday night in Manchester, New Hampshire did not signal any compromise on guns, as he focused more on the issue of mental health. “It's not the gun that pulls the trigger. It's the person holding the gun,” the President said. The bills on the schedule in September before the House Judiciary Committee include: + H.R. 1186, the Keep Americans Safe Act. This bill would ban high capacity ammunition magazines. + H.R. 1236, the Extreme Risk Protector Order Act, designed to help states formulate 'Red Flag' laws. + H.R. 3076, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which would allow people to go into federal court to take a firearm away from a mentally unstable person. H.R. 2708, the Disarm Hate Act, which would add misdemeanor hate crimes to the list of items disqualifying someone from buying a weapon, under the current background check system. H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which stems from the mass shooting at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. In that case, the shooter was able to buy his firearms - even though he would have failed the background check - because the feds did not conduct a check within three business days. = Click here to read more stories from Jamie Dupree.
  • A day after the Israeli government refused to allow two Democrats in Congress to visit that nation this weekend, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) rejected a separate offer to visit her 90 year old grandmother on the West Bank, because Israeli officials would not allow her to speak out against the policies of the Netanyahu government during that trip. 'I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in - fighting against racism, oppression & injustice,' Tlaib wrote Friday morning on Twitter. 'Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me,' Tlaib said. The decision by the Michigan Democrat came a day after Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) had been blocked by Israel from an official visit - but then, the Israeli government allowed Tlaib to visit, only if she did not voice her support for efforts to boycott Israel. In the end, Tlaib backed out. In order to visit the West Bank, Tlaib had to promise not to engage in criticism of the Israeli government. 'I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my vist,' Tlaib wrote in a letter to the Israeli Interior Minister on Thursday. But in the end, Tlaib could not stomach those restrictions, even as she said, 'This could be my last opportunity' to see her aging grandmother. - Click here to read more stories from Jamie Dupree.
  • Offering no evidence to support a charge of major election fraud in the 2016 elections, President Donald Trump again claimed on Thursday that he lost the state of New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton because of widespread illegal voting, which he said involved 'thousands and thousands' of people coming in from other states to cast ballots against him. 'New Hampshire was taken away, it was taken away from us,' the President said at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.  'We should have won New Hampshire,' he told the crowd. Before flying to New Hampshire, the President made the same claim - again without any evidence - as he stood on the tarmac before boarding Air Force One. 'New Hampshire should have been won last time, except we had a lot of people come in at the last moment,' as the President once again repeated a conspiracy theory that voters from Massachusetts and other states came en masse to New Hampshire to vote against him in 2016. Granite State officials said last year there was no evidence to support Mr. Trump's claim of fraud. Back in 2018, Mr. Trump told reporters that Massachusetts voters came 'by the hundreds' in buses to vote against him - this time, he said it was in the 'thousands.' 'Thousands and thousands of people, coming in from locations unknown,' the President added, as he ignored questions from reporters about where the illegal voters were from. In 2018, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner undertook a full review of the votes cast in New Hampshire in the 2016 election - flagging 142 cases of possible fraud, not the 'thousands' President Trump has talked about. The New Hampshire Attorney General's office in 2018 found there were examples of buses with out-of-state license plates transporting voters to the polls - but no evidence that the voters on board those buses were from actually from Maine, Vermont, or Massachusetts. During his time in office, President Trump has repeatedly raised questions about voter fraud, claiming in February of 2019 that there was widespread evidence in California of illegal voting. 'They found a million fraudulent votes,' the President told reporters at the White House, after being asked about a GOP election fraud case which invalidated a Congressional race won by Republicans in North Carolina. But instead of fraudulent votes being cast, California has been removing over 1 million 'inactive' voters from the rolls - people who were registered to vote, but who had not cast a ballot in several elections. Just this week, the President re-tweeted a claim from a conservative activist, Charlie Kirk, that said the state of California has more people registered than the number of eligible voters. But the facts don't back that up. 'I'll retweet this stupidity and debunk it, only because the President retweeted it,' said elections expert Tom Bonier on Tuesday, as he showed how Kirk was talking about 'inactive' registered voters. 'Inactive, meaning they haven't voted (and often their mail ballots have been returned as undeliverable),' Bonier tweeted.
  • The race for President in the Democratic Party shrank on Thursday, as former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced that he was ending his long shot bid for the White House, unable to get any traction in the polls and debates with his more moderate brand of politics. 'In almost every regard, this journey has been more exciting and more rewarding than I ever imagined,' Hickenlooper said in a video released by his campaign. 'Although, of course, I did imagine a very different conclusion,' Hickenlooper said with a smile. In the first debates in June and July, Hickenlooper had made little in the way of any impact on the Democratic race, as he tried to argue that his colleagues were moving too far to the left on a number of issues. 'I think that the bottom line is, if we don't clearly define that we are not socialists, the Republicans are going to come at us every way they can and call us socialists,' Hickenlooper said in the first NBC debate in Miami. Hickenlooper repeatedly tried to break through in the debates with that more moderate message. 'I share their progressive values, but I'm a little more pragmatic,' Hickenlooper said in the CNN Democratic debate in Detroit, as he made the case that Democrats needed to slow down on the Green New Deal and Medicare For All. 'Last year Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the House, and not one of those 40 Democrats supported the policies of our front-runners at center stage,' Hickenlooper said at the CNN debate, as he criticized major changes in health care proposed by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others. 'You might as well Fed Ex the election to Donald Trump,' Hickenlooper said at the CNN debate. Unless there had been some kind of miraculous change in the trajectory of his candidacy, Hickenlooper was not going to qualify for the next two debates, as he was not registering in the polls, and not raising enough money. The Wall Street Journal also reported that Hickenlooper had spent more money in the last quarter than he raised - another red flag about a campaign which wasn't catching on. The lack of momentum for Hickenlooper was crystallized in a quiet moment at the CNN debate in Detroit that I witnessed. After participating in the first night of the CNN debate, Hickenlooper arrived at the press filing center the next morning to do interviews, but he attracted little in the way of attention from reporters as he walked through the work space with an aide. After chatting with former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Hickenlooper sat down at a press table to watch experts on CNN go over the first debate night. As he sat and watched the TV, his name wasn't mentioned for almost 15 minutes. To have candidates drop out at this point in the race for President is nothing unusual; it was happening four years ago at this time in the GOP race as well.
  • In a highly unusual move, coming a week after a visit of several dozen U.S. lawmakers, the Israeli Government has decided not to allow two Democratic members of Congress to enter the country this weekend, noting the anti-Israel statements of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Not long before the news was official, President Donald Trump tweeted his support. 'It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit,' the President wrote on Twitter. 'They hate Israel and all Jewish people.' In Jerusalem, the President's Ambassador to Israel applauded the move by the Israeli government. 'The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel is not free speech,' said U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who said the Netanyahu government 'has every right' to block Omar and Tlaib from traveling into Israel. 'The United States supports and respects the decision of the Government of Israel to deny entry to the Tlaib/Omar delegation,' the Ambassador added. While Mr. Trump labeled the two Democrats a 'disgrace,' their colleagues in Congress said the Israeli move was a mistake by the Netanyahu government. “Sadly, this is not a surprise given the public positions of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has consistently resisted peace efforts, restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, limited public knowledge of the brutal realities of the occupation and aligned himself with Islamophobes like Donald Trump,” said Rep. Omar in a written statement. “Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a statement. “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must have forgotten the Democracy memo — in an open and free society just because someone is critical of you it doesn’t give you the right to curtail their rights,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). Even some prominent Republicans broke with the President and the Israeli Government, like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). 'Nobody has to agree with their opinions, but it will inevitably harm U.S.-Israel relations if members of Congress are banned from the country,' said Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI). The move also drew opposition from the largest pro-Israel group in the United States. “We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution,” said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand,” the group added. Another pro-Jewish group, the American Jewish Committee, issued a statement saying that while they oppose the sentiments of lawmakers like Tlaib and Omar, “we nonetheless believe that the costs in the U.S. of barring the entry of two members of Congress may prove even higher than the alternative.” “Denying entry to members of the United States Congress is a sign of weakness, not strength,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. 'This is a craven, partisan, racist weaponization of the US-Israel relationship that will do lasting damage,' said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA). “I am stunned and outraged that Israel, our supposed ally, is barring entry to duly elected Members of the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). “Banning elected members of Congress hurts our alliance,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI). 'Banning Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib from entering Israel and Palestine is a sign of enormous disrespect to these elected leaders, to the United States Congress, and to the principles of democracy,' said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). 'Not allowing Reps Omar and Talib to enter Israel would be a grave mistake,' said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). 'Cooler heads must prevail.' 'Banning members of Congress from visiting Israel, where they can see facts on the ground with their own eyes, is counterproductive and plays into President Trump’s goal of politicizing support for Israel,' said Halie Soifer, a top official with the Jewish Democratic Council of America. 'First he tells Congresswoman Tlaib to 'go back' to 'her' country, and then he tells that country not to let her in,' said Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), as Tlaib is the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress.
  • After a second day of big stock losses this week - with traders concerned about the U.S. economy and an ongoing trade fight with Beijing - President Donald Trump on Wednesday again downplayed concerns about any impact on American consumers from new tariffs on Chinese imports, once more blaming the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates in 2017 and 2018 and expressing confidence in his trade negotiations. 'We are winning, big time, against China,' the President tweeted on Wednesday afternoon, a day after the White House delayed new tariffs on electronics imported from China, amid concerns that the tariffs could depress holiday sales later this year in the U.S. 'Our problem is with the Fed,' the President wrote. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped almost 400 points.  On Tuesday, the Dow Jones regained 377 points. But the volatility returned on Wednesday, as the DJIA went down 800 points, ahead of a 766 point loss on August 5. While the trade spat has clearly unsettled investors, President Trump used Twitter on Wednesday to point the finger of blame again at the Federal Reserve, as he argues that the Fed was wrong to raise interest rates in his first two years in office. A few weeks ago, the Fed cut interest rates for the first time - but it hasn't spared Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell from the President's verbal barbs. 'THANK YOU to clueless Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve,' Mr. Trump tweeted. Democrats said the President was simply looking for someone to blame - other than himself. “He will never accept any responsibility. So get ready to hear a lot about how the Federal Reserve is responsible for any economic downturn or stock market correction,” said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA).  “Total BS.”
  • Jamie  Dupree

    Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog.A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989. Politics and the Congress are in Jamie’s family, as both of his parents were staffers for members of Congress. He was also a page and intern in the House of Representatives. Jamie has covered 11 national political conventions, with his first being the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. His political travels have had him on the presidential campaign trail every four years since 1992, chasing candidates throughout the primary calendar.He is heard on Cox Radio stations around the country: WSB-AM Atlanta, WDBO-AM Orlando; WOKV-AM/FM Jacksonville; WHIO-AM/FM Dayton, Ohio; and KRMG-AM Tulsa, Oklahoma.Jamie and his wife Emily live just outside the Beltway with their three children. Some may know Jamie from his other on-air hobby, as he is a licensed amateur radio operator. When not at work or playing with his kids, you can often find him with a golf club in his hands.Follow Jamie on Twitter and Google+

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  • A Nebraska teenager paid tribute to her late father through her high school senior pictures. >> Read more trending news  Julia Yllescas, a senior at Aurora High School, wanted her father to be a part of her senior pictures. Her father, Capt. Robert Yllescas, died Dec. 1, 2008, in Bethesda, Maryland, from injuries he received from an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan. Yllescas had her senior pictures taken Saturday and sent them to photographer Susanne Beckmann to see if she could create an 'angel picture,' KOLN reported. Julie Yllescas loved the first two photographs that Beckmann worked on, They show her sitting and standing next to a faint shadow of her father in uniform, the radio station reported. 'Why it has hit my heart so hard is that I almost felt when I saw those pictures that he truly was there,” Yllescas told KOLN. 'And to have a piece of him with me throughout my senior year. Because sometimes it feels like where are you, why did you have to go.' Beckmann, whose husband has served in the Nebraska National Guard for 16 years, was only too happy to create the images. 'I was teary-eyed when I was editing them,' Beckmann told KOLN. 'All I could think in my head is I don't ever want to have to do this for my own kids.' Beckmann, who has run Snapshots by Suz for eight years, said she has known the Yllescas family since Julia was 9.  'I thought it would be a great idea to do these angel pictures for her as a special gift for her big milestone and to her family,' Beckmann told Cox Media Group by telephone Tuesday morning. 'I am an active duty National Guard wife, which is what inspired the idea and the vision. 'I take a lot of pictures of military families and it is always an honor for me to capture their special memories.' The photographs that include her father are a comfort for Yllescas 'Just to have that on my wall and be like, 'No, he is with me,' even though I can't physically see him,” she told KOLN.
  • A Texas elementary school teacher has a gift for her students.  Richelle Terry is promising no homework for her second- and third-grade math students for the entire school year, KBMT reported.  Terry is a teacher at Evadale Elementary. She had taught pre-K, but this is the first time she's taught the higher grade. >> Read more trending news  Instead of pouring over their math problems for hours at the dining room table, she wants her students to spend time with family and to enjoy their childhood.  'You see them, and they're like, 'I hate school. I don't like school. I don't like learning. That class is boring.' It's because they take the fun out of it. Everything is serious ... and it doesn't have to be that way,' Terry told KBMT. Terry said there should be enough time in class to finish assignments and the school has added a tutorial period for kids need extra help, according to KBMT. Terry said she will take a look at how her students are handling the no-homework rule throughout the semester. The school district allows its teachers to be flexible as long as students meet requirements, KBMT reported.
  • It will forever be called the 'great mattress migration of 2019' when the wind picked up and relocated dozens of air mattresses that were blown up for a movie-in-bed under the stars event in Colorado. >> Read more trending news  People in Stapleton, a neighborhood in Denver, couldn't believe their eyes when they saw the mattresses flying through the air and being followed by people who were trying to catch them, The Denver Post reported. Some of the mattresses that weren't caught became impromptu pool floats after they flew over a fence and landed in a pool area, KDVR reported. One man was able to record some of the craziness, uploading it to social media. Robb Manes said when he glanced over to the event's organizer she told him, 'This is a disaster,' he told the Denver Post. Manes and others spent about 30 minutes trying to catch the beds, he told the newspaper. 
  • A North Carolina man is accused of strangling his 15-year-old daughter before slitting her throat during a weekend visit at his home, sheriff’s deputies said. Joshua Lee Burgess, 32, of Monroe, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Zaria Joshalyn Burgess. Zaria was visiting her father when she was slain. Union County Sheriff’s Office officials said in a news release that Burgess walked into the agency’s lobby just before 9:30 a.m. Sunday and told a dispatcher he was there to turn himself in. The dispatcher began searching for warrants in Burgess’ name. “He stopped her. He said, ‘You’re not going to find my name. I just killed someone,’” Tony Underwood, chief communications officer for the Union County Sheriff’s Office, told WSOC in Charlotte. “At that point, the red flags started to go off.” After Burgess gave details of the killing and told them where to find Zaria’s body, deputies went to Burgess’ home at 5102 Hampton Meadows Road, near Wesley Chapel. Inside, they found the slain teen, authorities said. A reporter with WSOC was in the courtroom Monday for Burgess’ first court appearance, where authorities offered gruesome details of the girl’s death, including how her father reportedly killed her. Reporter Tina Terry said there was a “collective gasp” when the details were revealed, according to the news station. “It’s just pure evil,” Underwood said. No motive for the slaying was given. Burgess' Facebook page is filled with photos of his daughter, who he called his “mini-me.” “I love this little angel more than anything. Nothing beats quality time with my daughter,” he wrote on a post from 2015. >> Read more trending news  Zaria’s cousin, Dytaysha Wadsworth, told WSOC the victim was a sweet girl who loved her family. She was about to start her freshman year at Monroe High School. “She was just the type of kid that would come in a room or come in a house and say, ‘Hey everybody’ -- just wanting to make everybody smile,” Wadsworth said. “She was so young, and nobody deserves to leave this world like that, especially by someone they thought was gonna protect them and be there for them.” Burgess is being held without bond in the Union County Jail.
  • The Coast Guard is searching for two boaters who didn't return from a fishing trip Friday evening off the coast of Port Canaveral, Florida. >> Read more trending news  Brian McCluney and Justin Walker were last seen leaving the 300 Christopher Columbus boat ramp Friday in a 24-foot center console boat heading toward 8A Reef. McCluney is a firefighter with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and Wilcox is a master technician with the Fairfax County, Virginia, Fire and Rescue Department. Update 10:50 a.m. EDT Aug. 20: The wife of one of the boaters missing since Friday morning took her search efforts into the air Tuesday, WFTV reported. Natasha Walker caught a private flight from the Titusville airport to help comb the Florida coastline as the search continues for her husband, Justin Walker, and his friend, Brian McCluney. 'They know that we want them to keep fighting,' Natasha Walker told WFTV before boarding the plane. The U.S. Coast Guard said Monday afternoon that⁩ a volunteer found a tackle bag belonging to Brian McCluney about 50 miles off the coast of St. Augustine. 'This is still absolutely a rescue mission,' Jacksonville fire Chief Keith Powers said Monday at a news conference. 'We're talking about a decorated combat vet here. We're talking about a firefighter paramedic. These guys have the skills ... to survive for a long time.' Kevin McCluney, the brother of Brian McCluney, told WFTV that if any people were resourceful enough to survive, it would be these two men. 'Between the two of them, I know they've got it locked down,' Kevin McCluney said. 'It's just a matter of time.' Brian McCluney's wife, Stephanie McCluney, told WFTV he underwent survival training during his time in the U.S. Navy and that Justin Walker is one of the most resourceful men she knows. 'If I were ever stranded anywhere, those were the two men I'd want to be stuck with,' she said. Coast Guard officials continued to search for the McCluney and Walker on Tuesday. Update 6:44 a.m. EDT Aug. 20: The search for two missing firefighters will continue Tuesday morning, authorities said. The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department is calling on anyone who would like to help with the search and has the following items: A boat that can work in the range of 30-60 miles Binoculars A SAT phone (which is short for a satellite telephone. It’s a type of phone that connects to other phones by radio, orbiting through satellites.) Update 3:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 19: McCluney's wife said in a post on Facebook that her husband's tackle bag was found 50 miles off the shore of St. Augustine, WJAX-TV reported. The search for McCluney and his friend, Wilcox, continued Monday. Update 1:25 p.m. EDT Aug. 19: Officials with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said over 135 people assisted Monday with the search for McCluney and Walker. There were 36 boats searching from Brunswick, Georgia, to St. Augustine, Florida, on Monday, officials said. Searching for the missing boaters will continue until dark, JFRD officials said. Agency officials stressed Monday that the search was still a rescue mission. The missing men were raised on the water, according to JFRD. 'We're talking about a decorated combat vet here. We're talking about a firefighter paramedic. These guys have the skills,' a JFRD official said Monday at a news conference. 'These guys have the skills to survive for a long time.' Update 9:25 a.m. EDT Aug. 19: Authorities and volunteers continued to search Monday for McCluney and Walker. Coast Guard officials said Monday that crews have searched an estimated 24,000 miles since Friday. Authorities said they continued to search Monday from Port Canaveral up to Jacksonville. Officials with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department urged people in the area to contact authorities 'if you see something ... any debris, anything.' McCluney is a Jacksonville firefighter and Wilcox is a master technician with the Fairfax County, Virginia, Fire and Rescue Department. Update 3:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 18: Multiple agencies have joined the search, On Sunday afternoon, the Coast Guard said crews are investigating reports of a debris field 50 miles east of St. Augustine, Florida, WJAX reported. However, they have confirmed it's not related to the missing boaters. Earlier Sunday, Stephanie Young McCluney, the wife of one of the missing men, thanked the efforts of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department in a Facebook post. According to a tweet from the agency, 50 firefighters were assisting the Coast Guard with the search. The Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters has also set up a link for those wanting to help with search efforts.  'The donations will support the search efforts and ultimately the families of the firefighters,' according to the Jacksonville Firefighter Charities donation page. 'Thank you so much for your support and prayers!' Original report: In a Facebook post Saturday, McCluney's wife said the Coast Guard has suspended the air search until Sunday morning but will continue to search by boat and radar overnight. According to Stephanie McCluney's post, the search area will move north as the Coast Guard continues to survey the coast off Volusia County throughout the night. According to the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters, McCluney is a Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department firefighter from Station 31 near Oak Hill Park. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said in a Facebook post that Walker is a master technician at the Virginia fire department near Washington, D.C. The Coast Guard had deployed a search plane and several boats to look for the overdue boaters. The Navy and Brevard County Sheriff's Office are assisting with the search. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Command Center at 904-714-7558. The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • Golden State Warriors player Stephen Curry is establishing Howard University's first NCAA Division 1 golf program. According to a Monday news release from the university, Curry pledged to support the program for the next six years. Curry was led to establish the program after meeting Otis Ferguson IV, a golfer and senior at Howard, in January. Forbes reported that Curry was on campus hosting a viewing 'Emmanuel,' a documentary he produced on the 2015 Charleston church shooting in which nine African Americans were murdered. >> Read more trending news  'Utilizing his unique position, Curry will introduce and increase access to elite golf at a historically black college, furthermore calling on sport and community giants like Under Armour, Callaway, (he and wife Ayesha Curry's foundation) Eat. Learn. Play., among others, for help with equipment, uniforms, and more,' the news release said. Howard plans to debut the first women's and men's golf teams in the 2020-2021 academic year. 'Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful,' Curry said in a statement. 'It's a discipline that challenges your mental wherewithal from patience to focus, and is impossible to truly master, so when you hear about these passionate student athletes who have the talent but don’t have a fair shot at the game, it’s tough. I feel really honored to play a small role in the rich history of Howard University, and look forward to building their first men’s and women’s golf teams with them.' ESPN reported that Howard previously competed in Division II golf. University officials think the teams were disbanded in the 1970s. Curry was joined by Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, Ferguson, the university's athletic director, Kery Davis, and Calloway CEO Oliver 'Chip' Brewer for a tee-off Monday in Washington, D.C. School officials will start searching for coaches, playe