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Latest from Jamie Dupree

  • Despite running a surplus of $119 billion in the month of September, the Treasury Department reported Monday that the federal government chalked up a budget deficit of $779 billion for Fiscal Year 2018, the biggest yearly deficit since 2012, a 17 percent increase over the total amassed by Uncle Same in red ink for 2017. The final budget numbers for the month of September – which ends the fiscal year – represented the first monthly surplus since April, as the feds brought in $343.5 billion in revenues, while spending $224.4 billion. Those revenue figures were down $5 billion from a year ago, continuing a trend since the approval of a major tax cutting plan at the end of 2017; individual income taxes were down $4 billion from September of 2017, while the collection of corporate income taxes were down $21 billion from the same month a year ago. At $779 billion, the 2017 deficit was the largest since 2012, the last of four straight years of deficits over $1 trillion in the Obama Administration. The latest White House budget estimates predict several years of budget deficits over the $1 trillion mark – the big difference is that these deficits are occurring during a time period of economic growth. “The last time the deficit was this high, our country was recovering from the Great Recession,” Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee immediately proclaimed, denouncing the GOP as the “the party of tax cuts for the wealthy and fiscal irresponsibility.” Comparing 2018 to 2017 – revenues were up by $14 billion, from $3.315 billion to $3.329 trillion, while total spending went from $3.98 trillion to $4.108 trillion. The Treasury Department today reported the official fiscal year 2018 deficit was $779 billion, an increase of $114 billion, or 17 percent, from last year. See our statement https://t.co/Wq326p5y4T — CRFB.org (@BudgetHawks) October 15, 2018 “As expected, recent tax cuts and spending increases – all put on the national credit card – are making a bad problem even worse,” said the budget watchdog group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “This is bananas for an economy where unemployment is at a forty year low,” said Justin Wolfers, an economics professor at the University of Michigan. “It’s nuts.”
  • After the King of Saudi Arabia ‘firmly denied’ any knowledge of a government plot to kidnap or kill missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump suggested to reporters on Monday that ‘rogue killers’ could well have been responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance last week, when he visited the Saudi consulate in Turkey. “I’ve asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to immediately get on a plane, go to Saudi Arabia,” the President told reporters outside the White House, as he said the ‘world is watching’ and waiting for answers. But Mr. Trump made clear that the Saudi King made clear his government was not involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance. “The King firmly denied any knowledge of it,” the President said. “Maybe these could have been rogue killers – who knows?” Trump says the Saudi king “flatly denied” any knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance. “It sounded to me like maybe these could be rogue killers, who knows?” #tictocnews pic.twitter.com/cXS5GF7WZZ — TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 15, 2018 “We’re going to try get to the bottom of it very soon but his was a flat denial,” the President added about his phone conversation with the King. Asked by a reporter, “Do you trust him do you believe him?” – the President simply relayed the Saudi leader’s denial. “All I can do is report what he told me and he told me in a very firm way that they had no knowledge of it. He said it very strongly,” Mr. Trump added. The President left open the possibility that his Secretary of State would also go to Turkey, where Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate last week. Officials in Turkey have laid out a story where Khashoggi was killed – and then possibly dismembered – by Saudi agents, a story that the Saudi government has firmly denied. President Trump: 'I've asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to immediately get on a plane, go to Saudi Arabia. Go to other places if necessary, which he probably will.' pic.twitter.com/XJKpxQ1gKV — CSPAN (@cspan) October 15, 2018 A Saudi citizen, Khashoggi has been a critic of his government, leading some to believe he was targeted by the Saudi regime. “He firmly denied that,” the President said of the Saudi King.
  • With a number of communities and thousands of people still reeling from the severe damage done by Hurricane Michael, President Donald Trump on Monday will see some of the destruction himself, as he tours areas in both Florida and Georgia, getting an up close view of a recovery effort that’s also tinged with high-stakes politics, just over three weeks from key mid-term elections. “The destruction caused by Hurricane Michael is really incredible,” the President said in a video released by the White House, as he proclaimed his support for those who might not have the ability to even hear or see him, because of damage to the power and communications grid. “We are with you 100 percent,” the President added, as officials at FEMA touted their response, especially in the hard-hit Panhandle of Florida, where Michael made landfall last Wednesday afternoon. “FEMA has released more than 700,000 meals and more than 1.7 million liters of water to Florida to supplement local resources,” FEMA reported. “In Georgia, to fill state requests, FEMA has transferred more than 350,000 meals to the state; more meals have been shipped.” The State of Florida also set up a series of sites where residents could get food, water, and other recovery supplies – some far inland toward the Alabama and Georgia border, a reminder of just how wide a swatch the hurricane cut last week. Thousands remained without power on Sunday in portions of southeastern Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, and in areas of southwestern Georgia, where the storm still packed a strong punch, hours after roaring ashore near Mexico Beach, Florida. Helped by trucks and crews from around the nation, major power companies were doing all they could – but fully acknowledged it will take at days and weeks to get many customers back on line – but that it could be longer for others in severely damaged areas, as miles and miles of power infrastructure was taken down by Michael’s winds. “Hurricane Michael was an unprecedented storm,” said Stan Connally, the head of Gulf Power. “We know that our customers are counting on us, so they can begin rebuilding their lives.” Gulf Power announces that by midnight, Oct. 24, fourteen days after landfall of #HurricaneMichael, 95 percent of all Gulf Power customers who can accept electric service should be restored. #RestoringHope #PowerOfTeamwork https://t.co/68gKihurzb — Gulf Power (@GulfPower) October 14, 2018 Hanging in the background of the repair effort in Florida and Georgia was also a political component – in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott (R) is not only leading the post-storm effort, but also running for U.S. Senate against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who has also been on the ground in the Panhandle, helping with relief work. A debate set for Tuesday on CNN between Scott and Nelson was postponed because of the ongoing relief work. Meanwhile, Florida’s race for Governor involves the Mayor of Tallahassee, Democrat Andrew Gillum, who has been combining efforts to restore power and repair damage in his home city, postponing any campaign activities until Thursday – while his opponent, ex-Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), has been ferrying relief supplies to the Panhandle to help. Gillum said over the weekend that he would not be at a scheduled debate in Orlando on Tuesday. All four of those candidates are saying much the same thing – that it’s time to join together and help those in need – but the relief work comes at a critical time in Florida, for both the races for Senate and Governor.
  • Less than a week after ending a bruising partisan fight over the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the U.S. Senate joined the House in heading home for the November mid-term elections, as Democrats and Republicans agreed to allow approval of a package of GOP nominations, freeing those Senators who are up for re-election to return home to campaign. The House left town two weeks ago; both chambers will return for their next votes on November 13, a week after Election Day. Democrats cut the deal despite a lot of grumbling from their own side, as many more liberal activists wanted the Senate to stay in session, and have Democrats force votes and debates over any judicial nominee by President Trump. 15 judges were approved in the deal, which included three nominees to federal appeals courts, and a dozen federal district judges. While Democrats have forced Republicans to use extra debate time repeatedly on nominations, GOP leaders have been relentless in using time on the Senate floor for judicial picks by President Trump in 2017 and 2018, confirming 84 judges to all levels of the judiciary. And with the rules changes in the Senate – spearheaded by Democrats back in 2012 – which eliminated the use of the 60 vote filibuster against judicial nominees, there isn’t much Democrats can do to stop those Trump nominations, unless Republicans refuse to support the choices. “Trump and McConnell are confirming conservative judges at a breakneck pace in what’s sure to be Trump’s most enduring legacy,” said Brian Fallon, who worked for Hillary Clinton and the Obama Justice Department, and has tried to spur Democrats to fight harder to block President Trump’s nominees. “Senate Must Stop Rubberstamping of Trump’s Takeover of Federal Courts,” boomed a press release by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, as liberal groups denounced the deal. But without any votes from Republicans – Democrats are powerless to stop the GOP from confirming judges. Their best weapon is to simply win a majority in the Senate in the upcoming election. The Senate has confirmed President Trump’s judicial nominees at a historic pace – 84 total, including Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, 29 circuit judges, and 53 district court judges. — Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 11, 2018 A number of other nominations by the President were also approved late Thursday, including a series of ambassadors. As GOP Senators crowed about their record number of judicial confirmations, they also took aim at Democrats on the way out of town. “Senate Democrats must want to get out of Washington to campaign,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). One note – while the House and Senate will not conduct any legislative business until after the elections, but Congress is not officially in ‘recess’ – so, President Trump will not be able to make any recess appointments.
  • Wearing a signature red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap, rapper and producer Kanye West dominated a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House on Thursday, declaring that the hat made him feel ‘like Superman,’ as West extolled the virtues of the President, dropped an f-bomb before reporters, and talked about maybe running for President in 2024 – only after Mr. Trump has served two terms. West – who spoke for nearly ten minutes at one point – made clear again that he was a big supporter of the President and his policies, especially on North Korea. “You stopped the war,” West said at one point. As for West’s impromptu speech in the Oval Office, “I tell you what, that was pretty impressive,” the President said. “That was quite something.” “It was from the soul – I just channeled it,” West explained. Here is the full video of their Oval Office meeting, which included former NFL football great Jim Brown. Before the meeting began, the White House gave this explanation to reporters of what would be covered: “The discussion will be centered on President Trump’s historic work to benefit all Americans such as urban revitalization, the creation of Opportunity Zones, new workforce training programs, record highs in African American employment, the creation of manufacturing jobs, ideas from his meeting with African American pastors, potential future clemencies, and addressing the massive violent crime surge in Chicago,” said White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley in a statement.
  • For a third straight day, President Donald Trump leveled stern public criticism at the Federal Reserve, directly blaming a recent drop in the stock markets on increases in interest rates, as the President bluntly said the Fed is endangering economic growth under the Trump Administration. “I think the Fed is out of control,” the President told reporters in the Oval Office. “I think what they’re doing is wrong.” It was the third consecutive day that Mr. Trump had criticized the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates; last night in Erie, Pennsylvania, the President said the Fed ‘has gone crazy.’ “I think the Fed is far too stringent, and they’re making a mistake,” Mr. Trump added. “It’s not necessary in my opinion, and I think I know about it better than they do,” the President said of the decision to increase interest rates. Trump blasted the Federal Reserve and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell after Wednesday's market selloff pic.twitter.com/KQFtzGB2RV — TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 11, 2018 Asked if he would fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell – his own nominee – President Trump told reporters he was not considering such a move. The impact of the boost in interest rates might best be seen in the home sale market, as mortgage rates jumped to their highest level in seven years on Thursday, with a 30-year mortgage now at an average of 4.9 percent, up from 4.71 percent last week. The last time average mortgage rates were near the 5 percent level was in April 2011. One year ago it was just under 4 percent. 'I think the Fed has gone crazy,' Trump says after the worst day for U.S. stocks since February #tictocnews pic.twitter.com/K7pqH82LzN — TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 10, 2018
  • In a surprise announcement, the Trump Administration reported Thursday that the average price for benchmark health insurance plans under the Obama health law system would drop in 2019 by 1.5 percent, as statistics issued by the feds indicated the controversial health insurance exchanges were stabilizing in price and coverage. “President Trump’s Administration took action to address the skyrocketing price of health insurance, and now we are starting to see the results,” said Seema Verma, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But Verma made clear that President Donald Trump did not want to keep the current Obamacare health system in place. “Even with this reduction, average rates are still too high. If we are going to truly offer affordable, high quality healthcare, ultimately the law needs to change,” Verma added. CMS finds that the average premium for 2nd lowest cost silver exchange plans in 2019 will drop 1.5%, the number of counties with only 1 insurer has dropped from 56% in 2018 to 39%, and only 4 states will have just one insurer (compared to 10 in 2018) https://t.co/aScZsbrLEJ — Health Agents for America (@HAFAinc) October 11, 2018 “One big reason insurers are lowering premiums,” said Cynthia Cox of the Kaiser Family Foundation, is that “Individual market insurers are currently so profitable it would be hard for many companies to justify a rate increase.” “This profitability is also probably attracting new entrants and returning companies,” Cox added. While the overall average is a decrease of 1.5 percent in premiums for 2019, the state-by-state data varies wildly, with everything from a 26 percent drop in Tennessee to a 20 percent increase in North Dakota. Larger states like Florida (1.8 percent), Georgia (0.4 percent), North Carolina (-1.4 percent) and Texas (1.4 percent) are all around or above the average – some like Ohio (3 percent) and Arizona (4 percent) are above. The full state-by-state data is available at this site from CMS. Supporters of the Obama health law said it was more evidence that the system would work – if insurers and the Trump Administration would fully support it. The Trump administration just announced that average benchmark ACA premiums will decrease by 1.5% next year. The overwhelming factor behind that is that premiums increased so much this year — 36.9%. Insurers overshot in the face of uncertainty and are returning excess profits. — Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) October 11, 2018 The announcement of the average premium increase for 2019 came a day after Senate Republicans blocked an effort by Democrats to overturn a new Trump Administration rule which allows short-term insurance plans to be sold, which don’t follow all the coverage requirements of the Obama health law. Backers of the plan argue the lower-cost-but-less-coverage insurance policies are better for consumers than the higher-priced alternative under the health exchanges. In Senate debate, Democrats derided the plans as ‘junk’ insurance, arguing they often don’t cover emergency services or pre-existing medical conditions.
  • As Hurricane Michael continued to barge its way inland overnight, the White House said President Donald Trump would visit areas damaged by the storm early next week, as the President expressed confidence that his administration would be able to deal with the needs of damaged communities in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. “We have massive amounts of food and water that gets brought in immediately as it’s leaving. I mean, literally, we follow it right in,” the President told reporters after getting a briefing from FEMA officials on the progress of the storm. “It’s one of the biggest storms to ever hit our country,” he added. “It’s almost like a big – it’s like a big tornado, a massive tornado.” Trump says he’ll travel to Florida “probably Sunday or Monday” to survey #HurricaneMichael damage #tictocnews pic.twitter.com/yVrXhcL8ZH — TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 10, 2018 “We will spare no expense, no effort, no resource,” the President said, promising to help those hit by Michael. “We will always pull through,” Mr. Trump added. Last month when Hurricane Florence took aim at the Carolinas, the President scrapped a pair of campaign rallies in order to stay focused on the storm at the White House – but this time, he went ahead with a rally in Pennsylvania on Wednesday evening. “I can’t tell thousands of people that have been waiting – some of whom got there literally last night, in order to be and get into an arena at 7 o’clock – it’s hard to tell them, ‘By the way, you’ve been waiting all day. Go home,'” the President said, expressing confidence in the federal emergency response. “We have our people ready. We are really ready in Florida, and, frankly, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina. We’re very ready,” the President added. “And I think it’ll be just fine.” But that was a different tune than one the President had been singing back in 2012, when he went on Twitter to criticize then-President Barack Obama for campaigning in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Yesterday Obama campaigned with JayZ & Springsteen while Hurricane Sandy victims across NY & NJ are still decimated by Sandy. Wrong! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012 The President began his rally in Pennsylvania by offering his “thoughts and prayers” to those in the path of the storm. “I’ll be traveling to Florida very, very shortly, and I just want to wish them all the best,” Mr. Trump said. “God speed. God speed.”
  • Hours after the major American stock markets registered their biggest losses since early this year, President Donald Trump again publicly rebuked the Federal Reserve, arguing their move to raise interest rates has caused stock losses and even some uncertainty about future economic growth. “I think the Fed has gone crazy,” the President told reporters after arriving in Erie, Pennsylvania for a campaign rally, as he vented frustration again about decisions to raise interest rates, as Mr. Trump argued those tight-money policies will harm future growth. It was the second straight day that the President had publicly criticized the Fed’s policy decisions. “The Fed is doing what they think is necessary, but I don’t like what they’re doing,” the President said on Tuesday. “Because we have inflation really checked, and we have a lot of good things happening.” 'I think the Fed has gone crazy,' Trump says after the worst day for U.S. stocks since February #tictocnews pic.twitter.com/K7pqH82LzN — TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 10, 2018 “I like to see low interest rates,” the President said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped almost 832 points on Wednesday, and is down almost 1200 points in the last five trading days. Before the President made his comments about the Fed, the White House put out a statement to reporters that seemed to be an effort to calm the markets. “The fundamentals and future of the U.S. economy remain incredibly strong,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “President Trump’s economic policies are the reasons for these historic successes and they have created a solid base for continued growth,” Sanders added. Historically, interest rates are not high, and haven’t budged that much in recent years. The typical rate for a 30-year mortgage remains under 5 percent; those rates were down under 4 percent a number of times over the last 10 years. That’s a far cry from the early 1980’s, when mortgage rates remained in double digits for several years, peaking at over 15-18 percent for many home buyers.
  • 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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  • After Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston traded touchdown pass after touchdown pass, it came down to a few wacky flips near the goal line. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly pulled off a miracle. But, in the end, the Atlanta Falcons finally got a much-needed victory to bounce their way. Ryan threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak, holding off Tampa Bay 34-29 Sunday in Winston's return as the Bucs' starter. The Falcons (2-4) scored on their first three possessions and held off a wild comeback by Tampa Bay (2-3), avoiding their first 1-5 start since 2007. The Bucs lost their third in a row. 'It was all hands on deck,' Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said. Especially on the final play . Winston and the Bucs drove to the Atlanta 21 but were out of timeouts. With the Falcons dropping nearly everyone toward the end zone, expecting a pass, Winston took the snap and darted straight up the middle of the field. When he was about to be tackled at the 10, he pitched the ball toward receiver Adam Humphries, who was so intent on going for the winning score he couldn't hang on. The ball skipped to Mike Evans, who blindly flung it in the direction of DeSean Jackson along the sideline at the 5. Jackson might've had a chance to dive for the end zone, but he couldn't come up with another bouncing ball. It rolled harmlessly out of bounds to end the game. Jackson ripped off his helmet and kicked the pylon in disgust on his way to the locker room. 'The play is a play you run once,' tight end O.J. Howard said. 'It was a great call. We almost got it.' Winston, who was suspended for the first three games of the season and came off the bench in Week 4, threw for 395 yards and four TDs. His performance, though, was marred by a pair of interceptions, one a deep ball that was picked off at the Atlanta 1 and a deflected pass in the end zone that ricocheted high in the air and was grabbed by Brian Poole to deny a red-zone scoring chance. Ryan's three TD passes gave him 274 in his career, passing Joe Montana for 16th on the career list. 'Obviously it's very special any time your name is brought up with Joe's,' Ryan said. 'But I'm more excited about the win.' He also had a big scramble on third-and-9, powering for a 13-yard gain that set up his final scoring pass. Quinn made a gutsy call with just over a minute remaining, sending on Matt Bryant to attempt a 57-yard field goal with Atlanta clinging to a 31-29 lead. Bryant's kick just cleared the crossbar, extending the Falcons' lead. The 43-yard-old Bryant put everything into the kick and immediately grabbed his right hamstring before hobbling off the field. Quinn's decision forced the Bucs to go for a touchdown. 'I can't say enough about Matt Bryant and the kick he had,' Quinn gushed. 'He's definitely one of the most mentally tough players I've had a chance to coach.' JULIO'S DAY Julio Jones went another game without a touchdown catch. The Falcons didn't mind a bit. Jones had 10 receptions for 143 yards — his third 100-yard game of the season — and constantly drew attention away from his teammates. That allowed Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman to haul in scoring passes. Jones has gone 11 straight regular-season games without a TD since a Nov. 26, 2017, victory over Tampa Bay, when he had two scoring catches. BUC-KLING DOWN The beleaguered Tampa Bay defense, which is guided by former Falcons coach Mike Smith, was shredded in the first half for three touchdowns, a last-second field goal and 275 yards. It showed a bit of improvement after the break, actually forcing Atlanta to punt on three straight possessions. But, with the game on the line, the Bucs surrendered a 75-yard drive capped by Ryan's 6-yard TD pass to Coleman and a 36-yard possession that set up Bryant's long field goal. Tampa Bay came into the game allowing 34.75 points per game, more than any team in the league. INJURY REPORT Atlanta's receiving corps took a beating. Calvin Ridley, who was leading the Falcons with six touchdown catches, went out in the first half with an ankle injury and didn't return. Sanu was sidelined in the second half with a hip problem after hauling in a 35-yard touchdown pass. The loss of two receivers forced the Falcons to give more playing time to Justin Hardy, Marvin Hall and Russell Gage. Hardy had three catches and Gage came up with a big catch on Atlanta's touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. The Bucs lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who walked slowly off the field in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. Also, cornerback Ryan Smith was evaluated for a possible concussion. UP NEXT Buccaneers: Return home next Sunday to host the Cleveland Browns (2-3-1). Falcons: Host the struggling New York Giants (1-5) on Monday, Oct. 22, to close out a stretch of five home games in the first seven weeks of the season. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • A small plane crashed while taking off at the Gwinnett County Airport on Sunday afternoon, officials said. The two occupants of the plane were able to exit safely before the plane caught fire at about 12:40 p.m., according to a statement from the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services. The occupants, an instructor and a student, were not seriously injured, the fire department said. One was evaluated and released by paramedics at the scene, and the other said they were not injured. READ MORE: 1 reported dead in plane crash in Paulding County The Cessna 172 “experienced a nose dive and hard landing” while taking off from Runway 7 at Briscoe Field, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The plane went up in flames, but crews put out the fire shortly after 1 p.m., officials said. The aircraft was deemed a total loss. The crash occurred just a day after another small plane crashed in Paulding County, killing the pilot. In other news:
  • One person in Mississippi is in custody after the Bolivar County sheriff said that a baby was stabbed, WTVA reported. The baby was then placed in an oven at the home and baked, the sheriff told WTVA. >> Read more trending news  The person, whose name and relationship to the baby has not been released, is in the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility, according to Sheriff Kelvin Williams. Williams said deputies found the baby, whose age has not been determined, after being called to the home Monday evening, WTVA reported. They are unsure though when the baby died. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the crime lab are investigating.
  • A Massachusetts school employee is under investigation by the Secret Service for allegedly threatening President Donald Trump on social media. >> Watch the news report here The employee, a Fitchburg Public Schools paraprofessional who works with special-needs students, has also been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation. Her husband, a principal at Fitchburg's Longsjo Middle School, spoke only to WFXT about his wife's alleged tweet, which was captured in screen shots and shared multiple times on social media. At first, the tweet caught the attention of the local police force and subsequently of federal agents. 'People have their preferences, but sometimes you should just keep your 2 cents to yourself, you know?' said Roger Valcourt, a parent. The tweet, posted Oct, 10 which read, 'No just kill Trump,' has been generating controversy around town. Parents were shocked to learn what happened, saying both the principal and his wife are star educators. After the tweet was reported to Ashburnham police, the Secret Service launched an investigation, telling WFXT that they are aware of the incident and investigate all threats made against the president. 'I don’t know what was going through her head, I guess, but it’s not a good thing to say you want to kill the president,' said Alex Clemente, a parent. Clemente, a veteran who fought in Iraq, says the tweet went too far. 'Even though you don’t like him, you can’t say that,' Clemente said. >> Read more trending news  The employee's husband told WFXT in an off-camera interview she meant no harm, saying, 'It was lapse in judgment, a mistake. It was a bad choice of words that were taken out of context. My wife is not a malicious person, and has an impeccable work record. She’s embarrassed by this situation.' While Craig Chalifoux spoke to WFXT on the record, his wife isn't being identified because she is not facing any charges. The superintendent told WFXT that the employee has been placed on paid administrative leave, saying, in a statement, this 'is being done to protect her interests as well as the interest of the district [and] it will allow the investigation to conclude and minimize any disruption and distraction and protects her safety and security.
  • A U.S. Customs and Border Protection beagle named Hardy detected a roasted pig’s head in checked luggage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. >> Read more trending news  Hardy, a six-year-old rescue beagle, alerted his handler to a bag belonging to a traveler from Ecuador. Inside was the pig’s head, which weighed nearly 2 pounds. The director of the Port of Atlanta for Customs and Border Protection, Carey Davis, issued a statement saying the seizure demonstrates “the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States.” >> Related: Beagle rescued from abuse now detects contraband at Hartsfield-Jackson The agency seized the pig’s head and destroyed it, saying pork and pork products from other continents are prohibited from entering the United States to prevent the introduction of diseases like classical swine fever, foot and mouth disease and swine vesicular disease. Travelers are supposed to declare fruit, vegetable and food products to Customs and present them for inspection. Hardy, a member of the Customs and Border Protection “Beagle Brigade,” got his job in 2015 after training at the National Detectors Dog Training Center in Newnan, Georgia. It’s not the first time a beagle has intercepted a pig at Hartsfield-Jackson. In 2016, a K9 beagle named Joey detected a whole roasted pig in the baggage of a traveler from Peru.
  • A man in Cleveland County, North Carolina, was seriously hurt after he was shot by his own booby trap. >> Read more trending news  Edwin Smith booby-trapped a back door with a shotgun and posted an abrasive warning sign for intruders. >> Related: Business booming for man who invented booby-trap to detour package thieves He opened the door at about 11:30 a.m. to feed squirrels. The trap was sprung and he was struck in the arm. He is recovering in a hospital.