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50 venomous snakes taken from church of reality TV pastor

The snakes were in the church of a pastor and reality TV star named Andrew Hamblin.

Hamblin presides over the Tabernacle Church of God and appears in "Snake Salvation" on the National Geographic Channel.

Hamblin quotes scripture as he explains he uses the venomous snakes during his church services and will continue to do so.

"In my name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents," he read to Fox 19.

Hamblin is part of a group trying to repeal Tennessee’s snake handling law and claimed he wanted everyone to know he was breaking that law.

He also claims his congregation hasn’t been and won’t be, in danger because the reptiles are always locked up.

"I'm the only one with a key," he said.

Wildlife officials say the snakes were in bad physical condition and hope they improve in their new home at the Knoxville, Tennessee zoo.

Hamblin says talking the animals won’t stop his church from continuing their unusual worship.

“One way or another,” he began “there will still be serpents to be took up at this church."

Hamblin is due in Campbell County Court November 15.

—Rick Couri is an on-air personality for radio station KRMG in Tulsa

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  • The budget bill passed by the special session of the Oklahoma legislature didn’t appear to make anyone happy, even those who voted “aye” last week. It certainly didn’t satisfy Gov. Mary Fallin, who vetoed nearly the entire package Friday,  a move that will likely mean another special session. For educators, it’s especially frustrating since despite much rhetoric and many promises, there is no raise for teachers in the bill.  Dr. Shawn Hime is Executive Director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. He tells KRMG he’s frustrated that despite constantly hearing how important education is from voters and from the state’s elected leaders, once again teachers got passed over for a raise.  “Everyone who runs for office, it seems like, does tout education as being very important, top of their list,” he told KRMG Friday. “Every poll from voters has education at the top of the list for the most important things to fund, most important things to improve, teacher pay. But at the end of the day, to date, we haven’t been able to hit the finish line with that because of political squabbling over what the revenue source is, where the revenue source comes from, where the money goes - any number of things.” He said the number of emergency teaching certificates issued this year serves as a stark example of the problem.  In 2012, the state issued a total of 32. “This year, through November, we already have over 1,800 emergency certified teachers that have been approved and are in our classrooms,” Hime said, “and that is a direct reflection of not adequately funding education, not giving teachers a pay raise for over a decade, and continuing to have this partisan bickering at the state Capitol instead of doing what’s right for Oklahoma.” Things will be dire when the legislature re-convenes in February.  Estimates of the budget hole going into that session range from $500 million to as much as $800 million. 
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Ron Johnson (R-WI) has said he wants major changes on how small businesses and pass through businesses are dealt with. Don’t count the bill out yet, but there is a lot of work to do. And one thing is for sure – someone will be watching them very closely. Republican Senators are working very hard to get Tax Cuts and Tax Reform approved. Hopefully it will not be long and they do not want to disappoint the American public! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2017 4. Some items you probably won’t see in 2017. One item that won’t be acted on this year is an infrastructure bill. President Donald Trump has talked about his grand $1 trillion infrastructure program since the 2016 campaign, but at this point, there is still no detailed plan, and there is no bill in the Congress. On immigration, there’s still lots of talk about wheeling and dealing on DACA and border security, but I’m not sure there’s the political will to do that. 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David McKinley (R-WV), who made the case for historic preservation tax credits, which were eradicated by the House GOP tax reform bill. “Without the credit, projects that transform communities in all 50 states, from West Virginia to Texas, to Wisconsin, simply will not happen,” McKinley said on the House floor, as he asked for Brady’s word that he would help reverse the decision. That didn’t happen. “I commit to working with him and continuing to work with him on this issue because I know the importance of it,” Brady responded, making sure not to guarantee anything in some of these floor exchanges. For Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), a staunch advocate of the GOP bill, he asked the Chairman of the House Ways and Means to do more in terms of tax help for the people of Puerto Rico, whose island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. “I look forward to working with you on ideas to best serve the people of this island,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who thanked fellow GOP lawmakers for their concerns, but made no promises. For Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), the issue was with a new excise tax from Republicans that would be levied on the endowments of private colleges and universities. Barr said that would harm Berea College in his district, a ‘work college’ that uses its endowment money to pay the tuition of all students. It was noted in press stories back home. Barr Fights for Berea College in Tax Reform Bill – https://t.co/YoBgs5CWvp – — BereaOnline.com (@bereaonline) November 16, 2017 “I was pleased to learn that the Senate version of the bill exempts schools with fewer than 500 tuition-paying students from the excise tax,” Barr said, urging Brady to accept that position in any House-Senate negotiation. 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Steve Knight (R-CA) echoed the concerns of Harris – all of them got a murky assurance of help. “I am happy to commit to working with both of them to ensure we reach a positive outcome for their constituents and families as we reconcile our differences with the Senate,” Brady said, making no promises. Other Republicans brought up education, and a provision in the GOP tax reform bill that would hinder colleges and universities from providing tax free tuition waivers and reimbursements, a matter that has drawn more and more attention in recent days. Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) – whose district includes Dayton University – and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) – whose district includes the University of Illinois – both appealed to Brady to make a change. “I believe that an unintended consequence of this bill would hinder middle class Americans pursuing a higher education degree in an attempt to better their lives,” Turner said. “I am worried it is going to have an impact on the custodians and the assistants in the Registrar’s Office who are just working at these institutions to be able to send their son or daughter to college,” said Davis. 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