Denver Schools Facing ‘Unprecedented Challenge’ with Influx of Migrant Students

Alex Marrero

Denver’s public school system has been taking in as many as 250 new students a week since the new year, which it attributes to the increase in the number of migrants arriving in the city.

Denver Public Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero called the situation an “unprecedented challenge” in a message to the community posted on the district’s website. The district said the influx of new students will cost an additional $837,000 “to support additional needs across the system.”

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Trump Campaign Has Outraised Biden Campaign in Pennsylvania

Donald Trump Joe Biden Pennsylvania Fundraising

Donald Trump (R) has raised the most money from Pennsylvania state of all presidential candidates, with $2.14 million raised since the start of the campaign cycle. Trump raised $502,595 in the fourth quarter of 2023. Joe Biden (D) has raised the next most from Pennsylvania, with $1.5 million since the start of the campaign and $943,704 in the fourth quarter.

Twenty-three notable presidential candidates, including those who have dropped out of the race, raised a total of $6 million from Pennsylvania donors between Jan. 1, 2023, and Dec. 31, 2023. Thirty-five notable candidates raised $47.6 million in Pennsylvania during the 2020 election cycle, while 25 raised $25 million during the 2016 election cycle.

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Auto Executives: Chinese EVs Could ‘Demolish’ U.S. Production

BYD Electric Vehicle

Detroit placed the U.S. on wheels but if Motor City wants to go electric it faces fierce global competition.

Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD outsold Tesla in the fourth quarter of 2023. The foreign automaker said it produced more than 3 million new energy vehicles in 2023 compared to Tesla’s 1.8 million.

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Congressional Watchdog Questions Reliability of U.S. Financial Statements, Cites ‘Serious Financial Management Problems at the Department of Defense’

The Pentagon

A Congressional watchdog said Friday that it was again unable to determine if the federal government’s consolidated financial statements were reliable.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office, which is Congress’s research arm, said it was hampered by “serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense,” problems in accounting for transactions between federal agencies, weaknesses in the process for preparing the statements and inadequate support for the cost of loan programs from the Small Business Administration and Department of Education.

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Domestic Oil Production in U.S. Reached Record Levels

Oil Drilling

Domestic oil production in the U.S. reached a new record in November of 2023, hitting 13.31 million barrels per day, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The previous record was 13.25 million barrels per day. That was set in September 2023.

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Americans Unhappy with Biden’s Handling of Immigration

Illegal Immigrants

Immigration has become a toxic issue for President Joe Biden, with many voters citing it as their top problem with the president, according to newly released survey data.

Gallup released the poll, which was taken in January and found that only 41% of Americans approved of the job Biden is doing as president while 54% disapprove. Among those disapproving of Biden’s work, 19% cite immigration as the reason, far more than any other specific issue.

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Former CEO: High Interest Rates ‘Killing’ Companies as Layoffs Continue

Bob Nardelli

President Joe Biden is blaming corporations for high prices and “shrinkflation.” Business executives and many economists disagree, arguing the real problem is inflation created by federal deficit spending policies.

Ahead of the Super Bowl, Biden posted a video on X saying, “While you were Super Bowl shopping, did you notice smaller-than-usual products where the price stays the same? Folks are calling it Shrinkflation and it means companies are giving you less for every dollar you spend. I’m calling on the big consumer brands to put a stop to it.”

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Q1 2024: Most Illegal Border Crossers Apprehended at Northern Border in U.S. History

Illegal Immigrants

In the first quarter of fiscal 2024, more foreign nationals were apprehended illegally entering the northern border than at any time in U.S. history.

They totaled 60,602, according to new data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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Pennsylvania Sends $6 Million for Homeless Services, Emergency Housing

Homeless Person

About two dozen grants totaling $6.3 million will go to 25 counties in Pennsylvania to combat homelessness.

The Emergency Solutions Grants, issued by the Department of Community and Economic Development, can be used for prevention, emergency rehousing, street outreach, emergency shelter, and related uses.

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Nearly 243,000 Illegal Border Crossers Reported in January

Illegal Immigrants Desert

There were nearly 243,000 illegal border crossers reported in January nationwide, according to new data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

They include 176,205 illegal border crossers along the southwest border. The majority, 124,220, were apprehended between ports of entry.

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Pennsylvania Tax Credits Worth $400 Million Projected for Next Fiscal Year

PA Capitol

The use of tax credits and state subsidies has grown significantly in recent years, and the trend is expected to intensify in the near future.

A report from the Independent Fiscal Office noted that Pennsylvania awarded $857 million in tax credits in fiscal year 2022-23, and the IFO projects that $1.23 billion will be given away in 2023-24.

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U.S. Senate Passes $95 Billion Foreign Aid Bill to Ukraine, Israel

Chuck Schumer

The U.S. Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan after days of delay from Republicans who did not want to pass the funding without provisions to secure the southern border.

The legislation passed early Tuesday morning after a filibuster largely led by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., ended. Now the legislation goes to the House, where it remains unclear if they can get the votes.

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South Carolina House Republicans Plan Clean ‘Constitutional Carry’ Measure

The South Carolina House Republicans plan to introduce a clean “Constitutional Carry” measure after declining to proceed with an amended version the state Senate passed, exposing a rift within Republican ranks over one of the party’s top priorities.

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Biden Defends His Mental Fitness After DOJ Report Calls Him ‘Elderly Man with Poor Memory’

Biden Speaking

A visibly upset President Joe Biden addressed the nation late Thursday to respond to news that the special counsel tasked with investigating his handling of classified documents had chosen not to charge him, but also detailed numerous examples of his memory loss.

The blockbuster special counsel report, while clearing Biden, sparked questions about Biden’s mental fitness when it called him an “elderly man with a poor memory.” Biden is 81 years old.

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Pennsylvania Energy Policies Exacerbating Reliability, Blackout Concerns

Gene Yaw

Pennsylvania’s energy future isn’t only a question of renewables versus fossil fuels — it’s a question of whether the state can reliably provide enough energy to meet growing demand.

One problem is that power plants retiring is happening quicker than new, cleaner ones get built. The shuttering has been driven by state and federal rules to mitigate pollution, but getting projects approved and built takes years and years.

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Poll Shows Pennsylvanians Oppose Electric Vehicle Mandates

Tesla on Road

Polling from the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the leading trade association of fuel, shows seven states oppose gas car bans.

Polling from the presidential and senate battleground states of Arizona, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, shows most registered and likely general election voters oppose government efforts to ban new gas cars and impose electric vehicle mandates.

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States File Brief in Lawsuit to Force VA to Cover Gender Affirming Surgery

Doctors performing surgery

A group of states filed a friend of the court brief supporting a transgender veterans group that filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs seeking gender-confirmation surgery for 163,000 transgender veterans.

The Transgender American Veterans Association lawsuit, filed last month, seeks an order that the Department of Veterans Affairs act on the group’s 2016 rule-making petition for gender-confirmation surgery.

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Red Tape Closes Pennsylvania Power Plants Before Replacements Ready

Power Plant

Despite the key positions states like Ohio and Pennsylvania hold to solve future energy problems, shifting the power grid from coal and natural gas to wind and solar isn’t as easy as flipping a switch.

A cadre of Pennsylvania legislators trekked to Columbus for a joint meeting of three House and Senate committees from the two states to be advised by energy officials on PJM, the regional power grid to which both belong.

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Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Federal Bump Stock Gun Case

Gun Range

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a federal ban on bump stocks later in February, the latest opportunity for the high court to rule on gun violence and 2nd Amendment rights.

The case in question, Garland v. Cargill, came after the Trump administration banned bump stocks, attachments added to semiautomatic weapons to make them fire more quickly, classifying them as “machine guns,” which are banned by federal law.

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High Court Brushes Up Against Constitutional Abortion Access

PA Supreme Court Justices

A recent state Supreme Court ruling side-stepped the question of constitutional abortion access in Pennsylvania, reviving discussion over a would-be ballot referendum mired in legislative gridlock.

Five justices said Monday the Commonwealth Court erred when it dismissed a 2019 case brought by seven abortion providers challenging Medicaid coverage restrictions first established in 1982 and upheld in 1985.

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Texas Sheriffs to Trucker Convoy Heading to Border: ‘Don’t Come to Texas’

Texas sheriffs and some residents have a message for a trucker convoy scheduled to come to the Texas border on Feb. 3: “Don’t come.” Organizer of the “Take Our Border Back Southern Border Convoy & 3-state Rally” are calling on “all active and retired law enforcement and military, veterans, mama bears, elected officials, business owners, ranchers, truckers, bikers, media and law abiding, freedom-loving Americans” to travel to rural, hard-to -reach areas near Eagle Pass, Texas, Yuma, Arizona, and San Ysirdo, California.

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Impeachment Articles Target Mayorkas’ ‘Parole Programs’ that Released Tens of Thousands of Illegal Aliens into the United States

As part of making their case to impeach U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, House Committee on Homeland Security Republicans identified more than a dozen parole programs they argue Mayorkas illegally created to circumvent laws established by Congress.

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Denver Program That Pays Homeless People a Monthly Income is Open to Migrants

Denver Skyline

A program partially-funded by the city of Denver that pays homeless people a regular stipend is eligible to migrants as long as they meet the criteria, according to the city.

The Denver Basic Income Program, which was started in 2021 with the aid of $2 million from the city of Denver, announced it will go at least six months more beginning in February 2024.

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Natural Gas Industry Wants to ‘Break the Poverty Cycle’

Natural Gas Plant

The natural gas industry plans to push for more support of a federal program to cover energy costs for low-income families in 2024 while talking up safety and reliability.

“We need to break the poverty cycle by working together,” Jerry Norcia, chairman of the board of the American Gas Association, said in a press call on Monday. “Government, nonprofits and corporations can remove the barriers that prevent access to a prosperous future.”

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Inflationary Woes: More Chain Stores Closed in 2023, Continuing into 2024

Macy's Store

More chain stores closed in 2023 as a result of high inflationary costs, with the trend continuing in 2024 led by the iconic department store, Macy’s.

In 2023, retail stores, pharmaceutical and fast-food chains continued a trend of previous years: declaring bankruptcy and closing their doors or shutting down some locations to cut costs, citing inflation, higher costs, and profit losses.

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Continued Inflation Tops List of Worries for Democrats, Republicans

Grocery Shopping

A new poll shows that Democrats and Republicans are concerned more about inflation than other potential crises, but voters from the two parties don’t see eye to eye on other concerns, including the potential of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil or potential chaos after the 2024 election.

The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights found that Republicans (45%) were more concerned about inflation than Democrats (32%). Concerns that inflation could continue and further drive up prices were highest for voters with children under 18 (47%) and those 45 to 54 years old (47%).

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Pennsylvania Wants to Bet Big on Outdoor Recreation

Nathan Reigner

Pennsylvania’s economic future, state officials think, means growing the outdoor recreation economy.

Such was the discussion during the Department of Conservation and Natural Resource’s advisory council meeting on Wednesday. The newly launched Office of Outdoor Recreation touted the industry’s impact, calling it responsible for $17 billion annually and 164,000 jobs.

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Maine’s Highest Court Dismisses Trump Ballot Case Appeal

Trump Maine

Maine’s highest court has declined to take up an appeal of a ruling over a move to take former President Donald Trump’s name off the state’s GOP primary ballot.

In a decision issued Wednesday, the Supreme Judicial Court dismissed an appeal by Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, asking justices to overturn a lower court ruling delaying a decision on the ballot challenge. The court said it would be improper to rule on a case that has yet to be decided.

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Pennsylvania Bill Proposes Mental Health Days for Students

Sad Student

A proposal that recently cleared the House Education Committee would consider mental health days as excused absences for students.

The bill was one of three approved Thursday after lawmakers fielded testimony about the public education system’s struggle to offer comprehensive mental health support to students.

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SCOTUS Sides with Open Borders Biden Admin, Clears the Way for Feds to Remove Razor Wire Barrier in Eagle Pass, Texas

A divided U.S. Supreme Court sided with President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday, clearing the way for federal authorities to remove razor wire installed in Eagle Pass along the U.S.-Mexico border by Texas law enforcement.

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Poll Finds Americans Worried About National Debt

Congress Spending

Americans are worried about the national debt, according to the results of a new poll.

Americans have the national debt crisis as one of their top concerns along with war, inflation and crime. Those polled think the overspending has a direct impact on their personal security and also has an impact on the security of the United States, according to a recent study commissioned by Main Street Economics, a nonprofit group designed to educate Americans on the nation’s debt crisis.

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Maine Secretary of State Appeals Superior Court Decision

Maine Secretary of State

Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows has appealed to the state’s Superior Court decision to pause on a ruling to remove former President Donald Trump from the primary ballot.

Bellows is appealing the Superior Court’s ruling to not decide on the ballot case to the Maine Supreme Court. The court is awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Colorado.

Earlier this week, Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy issued the stay on the Maine secretary of state’s decision to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the primary ballot, citing the 14th Amendment. 

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Poll: Only 22 Percent of Likely Voters Confident Biden Is Innocent of Corruption Allegations

Joe Biden

One-third of Americans say that President Joe Biden is guilty of corruption and should be impeached, including some Democrats, according to a new poll.

The Center Square Voter’s Voice Poll found that 34% of likely voters say “Joe Biden is guilty of corruption and should be impeached.” An additional 35% said it’s not clear if the president did anything wrong but that a Republican-led House investigation into the president should continue.

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Forward Party in Pennsylvania Targets More Local Victories

Andrew Yang

A growing dissatisfaction with America’s two-party system might make voters more open to supporting an alternative candidate this year – something the Forward Party is banking on. 

Forward’s current goals are to get candidates on the ballot in swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, and achieve official party status – both statewide and nationally.

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Lawmakers, Veterans Say ‘Woke Diversity Initiatives’ Cost Taxpayers, Hurt Military

A growing concern about progressive ideology on race and gender at all levels of the U.S. military has sparked outrage and became the center of a Congressional hearing. Critics have launched a barrage of attacks on the progressive ideology they say is infiltrating the ranks, calling it a waste of taxpayer dollars and arguing it hurts morale, breeds division among troops, and hurts recruitment.

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Immigration Case Backlogs Reach Record Levels Despite Big Increase in Spending

The cost of processing applications of immigrants by the Department of Homeland Security has increased from $345 million in 2022 to $765 million in 2023 while the number of pending cases continues to increase.

The number of backlog immigration cases reached 3 million for the first time in November 2023, a 50% increase from the previous year. That increase comes despite the Department of Homeland Security doubling the number of full-time positions to address the issue since the first time in November 2023.

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Pennsylvania Funds $40 Million to Replace Diesel Trucks with EVs

The diesel-to-electric vehicle conversion continues as Pennsylvania coughs up the funds for localities and trucking companies to make an upgrade.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced on Wednesday $40 million in grants to 16 applicants to replace aging diesel vehicles with EVs.

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Poll: Democrats Would Rather See Michelle Obama in the White House than Biden

If Democrats had a magic wand, they’d put Michelle Obama in the White House.

The former first lady has more political star power than incumbent President Joe Biden and other famous and not-so-famous Democrats ahead of the November election, according to The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted Jan. 2-4.

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Inflation Rose More than Expected in Latest Data

Grocery Shopping

Consumer costs increased at an elevated level again in December, according to newly released federal economic data, raising new concerns about spiking inflation.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday released the Consumer Price Index, a key marker of inflation, showing the cost of a range of every day goods and services for Americans rose more than expected.

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Court Blocks Biden Effort to Tighten Regulations on Washing Machines, Dishwashers

Dishwasher

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals pushed back on a Biden administration effort to tighten regulations on dishwashers and washing machines.

In 2022, President Joe Biden issued an executive order on his first day in office that led to the Department of Energy replacing a less strict Trump-era rule on those appliances with a more stringent rule for energy and water use.

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Trump’s Legal Team Says Prosecutors are Harassing Ex-President to Help Biden

Trump Courtroom

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team alleged Thursday that federal prosecutors have deliberately violated a stay order in his Washington D.C. case to thwart his presidential bid.

In the defense’s clearest attack yet, they alleged special counsel Jack Smith and his team were trying to interfere with the 2024 presidential election.

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Police Officers Shot on the Job in 2023 Hit New High, Report Says

A new report shows the number of police officers shot on the job hit a new high in 2023.

The National Fraternal Order of Police, a national police group with nearly 400,000 members, released the report, which showed 378 officers were shot in the line of duty in 2023, up 14% from the previous year, when 330 were shot.

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Border Residents to Congress: ‘Stop Holding Press Conferences, Shut Down the Border’

Illegal Immigrants

As another Republican congressional delegation arrived in Eagle Pass, Texas, Wednesday to hold another news conference and meet local residents, many Texans living at the border say they are fed up and want Congress to shut down the border.

If Congress continues to use taxpayer dollars to fund policies that facilitate the border crisis, they argue, Congress is complicit in creating it and a national security threat.

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Pennsylvania Representative’s Candidacy Subject of 14th Amendment Lawsuit

Scott Perry

A new lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania asks the state court to scrub Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry from the upcoming primary ballot.

Gene Stilp, a Harrisburg-based activist, filed the legal challenge in Commonwealth Court on Tuesday, claiming Perry – who represents the 10th Congressional District in south-central Pennsylvania – violated the Constitution’s 14th Amendment for his support of 2020 election fraud “conspiracy theories.”

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Democratic Senator Charged with Aiding Qatar in New Corruption Charges

Bob Menendez

Embattled U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez is facing new federal charges alleging that he worked as an agent for Qatar in exchange for monetary bribes.

Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, was charged with receiving gifts from Qatar in a new superseding indictment made public Tuesday by the U.S. Justice Department that alleges the bribery and extortion scheme continued into 2023, nearly a year longer than initially alleged by federal prosecutors. 

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