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National News

    A white Texas school superintendent who posted online that 'You can't count on a black quarterback' in reference to Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has resigned. In a letter Saturday to the Onalaska Independent School District board, Lynn Redden says his comment posted earlier in the week on the Houston Chronicle's Facebook page was 'wrong and inappropriate.' He also apologizes to Watson, who is black, and points out that Watson could have criticized him for his comment but instead 'chose peace and positivity.' Redden had criticized Watson for letting the clock run down before completing a pass in a 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday. Redden's comment prompted the school board to convene a special meeting Saturday.
  • Blue Boy' is getting a long-awaited makeover, and the public can watch as one of the world's most recognizable paintings gets a little nip here, a nice tuck there and some splashes of fresh paint (blue presumably) just in time for the eternally youthful adolescent to mark his 250th birthday. Thomas Gainsborough's stunning oil on canvas featuring a British youth dressed nearly all in blue has been one of the most sought-out attractions at Southern California's Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens since its arrival in 1921. But it hasn't had a substantial restoration in at least 97 years, and over time it's become a bit torn and tattered, some of its colors have faded and, worse still, some of its paint is beginning to flake. All that begins to stop Saturday when The Huntington's senior paintings conservator, Christina O'Connell, goes to work armed with an array of 21st century tools to restore an 18th century masterpiece. She'll have a microscope that, at 6 feet (1.8 meters), is taller than she is and can zoom in on the painting's smallest details and magnify them 25 times. She'll have numerous digital X-radiography and infrared reflectography images of the work that she's been compiling and studying over the past year. And, of course, there will be paint created to match what Gainsborough was using circa 1770. With all that at her disposal she expects to have 'Project Blue Boy' completed about this time next year and the kid back on The Huntington's Thornton Gallery wall, alongside other stunning portraits from the era, sometime in early 2020. As O'Connell toils in the same area where 'Blue Boy' has hung for nearly a century, visitors will be able to walk up and watch what she's doing. And, during occasional breaks, she'll stop to explain it to them. 'One of the reasons why the painting hasn't undergone such an extensive conservation treatment before was because people always wanted to keep it on view. So this is a way to address the conservation needs of the painting while keeping it on view — so the visitors won't miss him,' she said with a smile as she took a break from her work in the gallery earlier this week. Indeed, 'Blue Boy' — whoever he was — has become a worldwide icon since Gainsborough put him on display to acclaim at Britain's Royal Academy exhibition of 1770. The artist titled the work, 'A Portrait of a Young Gentleman,' but when stunned viewers saw the full-length portrait of an adolescent dressed all in bright blue silk, from his tunic to the breeches extending just below his knees, they quickly gave him a nickname. Although Gainsborough, one of the greatest British painters of the 18th century, is renowned as a master of the brush, O'Connell says she won't be nervous while a crowd watches her every move when she takes up her own brush to add touches — inpainting, it's called — to replace what the painting has lost to the ravages of time. 'We're dealing with a lot of the usual suspects when it comes to a painting this age as far as condition issues are concerned,' she said, adding she's repaired much worse, including a painting that was once handed to her in pieces. Still, this is 'Blue Boy' so she'll take her time. When The Huntington's founder, railroad tycoon Henry Huntington, bought it in 1921, he paid a then-record sum of $728,000. Some Britons were reported to have cried when they learned their boy was leaving his native country. Art historians have never figured out exactly who 'Blue Boy' was, although they have a pretty good suspect, said Melinda McCurdy, The Huntington's associate curator for British art and O'Connell's partner in the restoration project. 'It could be an image of Gainsborough Dupont, who was the artist's nephew,' McCurdy said. 'He lived with the family so he would have been a readily available model. And we know that the blue suit was a studio prop that the artist owned.' Dupont, looking a few years older than 'Blue Boy,' but not that much different, appears in the same suit in other Gainsborough paintings. 'Blue Boy,' it turns out, also had a dog until Gainsborough painted it out of the picture. The kid's furry friend was discovered in a 1994 X-ray that also is on display at O'Connell's work station, along with X-rays that reveal nearly a foot-long tear in the canvas that was repaired so well it can't be seen with the naked eye. What can be seen was when the tear was fixed, it was painted over with a color that didn't quite match the original. O'Connell plans to fix that. She'll leave out the dog, however. You can still see its front paws, which Gainsborough cleverly turned into rocks when he blended the rest of the canine into the landscape. 'Composition choice, really,' McCurdy speculates on the artist's reasons for sacking the pooch. 'If the white fluffy dog was there in the painting you'd spend a lot of attention on it rather than looking at the figure of the boy.' The boy is indeed what many who visit The Huntington's picturesque grounds come to see, along with the institution's gardens filled with 15,000 varieties of plants, its library containing nearly a half-million rare books and its hundreds of other priceless paintings and sculptures. Which is why, says McCurdy, it's important that people see the care, which isn't cheap or easy, that must be taken to maintain such objects. 'We're not just a building with pretty things on the wall,' she says. 'We take care of them. We preserve them for the future.
  • North Dakota Republican Senate candidate Kevin Cramer says a sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is 'even more absurd' than Anita Hill's 1991 sexual harassment allegation against Clarence Thomas. Cramer says that's because unlike Hill and Thomas, Kavanaugh and his accuser were teenagers who 'evidently were drunk' when the alleged assault occurred at a high school party. Cramer, a U.S. representative, made the comments to a North Dakota radio station Friday, saying the incident was 'supposedly an attempt or something that never went anywhere,' according to a recording published by Talking Points Memo. Christine Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the 1980s. Kavanaugh denies it. Cramer is challenging Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, among the most vulnerable Democrats seeking re-election. Cramer's campaign didn't immediately return a telephone message. Heitkamp says Cramer's comments are 'disturbing' and don't reflect North Dakota's values. Hill, who had worked for Thomas, accused Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Thomas denied it and was confirmed.
  • Prosecutors are set to dismiss convictions against 18 more people that resulted from investigations by a corrupt Chicago police sergeant and his crew of tactical officers. The exonerations will take place Monday and will bring to 42 the total number of overturned convictions linked to then-Sgt. Ronald Watts since 2016, the Chicago Tribune reported . The latest reversals all involve drug cases brought between 2003 and 2008, court records show. The defendants received sentences ranging from probation to four years in prison, so any that were locked up were released long ago. Robert Foley, a spokesman for Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, confirmed that the cases would be thrown out but declined to comment further until then. The new cases set for dismissal include one in which the defendant alleged that Watts had framed him for narcotics possession because his brother had failed to pay $5,000 in protection money. Many such allegations that Watts and his crew extorted drug dealers and residents swirled around them for years, despite complaints to the police department and statements made during court hearings. Watts' and another officer were arrested in 2012 when they shook down a drug courier who turned out to be an FBI informant. Both pleaded guilty and were sentenced to federal prison. Watts, who received a 22-month term, was released in 2015 and later moved to Las Vegas, records show. Joshua Tepfer, who represented 12 of the men whose cases will be dismissed Monday, said the fact that Watts was allowed to operate for so long even though his corruption was an 'open secret' among police leadership illustrates a 'total failure of the system.' 'My clients told everyone about it, and no one believed them,' said Tepfer, an attorney for the Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School. 'They told police investigators, they told judges, defense attorneys and prosecutors. Their complaints were dismissed and ignored.' Men whose convictions were dismissed have filed at least 23 wrongful conviction federal lawsuits against Watts and the city. Those cases are pending, and the new dismissals will likely lead to more lawsuits. Chicago's troubled police force has been involved in series of scandals in recent decades and misconduct settlements, verdicts and legal fees that have cost the city more than $700 million in the last 15 or so years. ___ Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com
  • Italy's anti-migrant interior minister says the far-right political spectrum includes 'the true defenders of European values.' Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who leads the right-wing League party, said Saturday that during European Parliament elections in May 'we have the occasion to send a force into government in Europe that's not socialist.' Salvini, who is also a deputy premier in Italy's new populist, euro-skeptic government, was speaking at a political forum in Rome that was organized by a small far-right Italian opposition party. Later slated to speak at the forum was Steve Bannon, a former strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump. Bannon has been encouraging the formation of a united, transnational front to push politics in the European Union far to the right.
  • The Latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman accusing him of sexually assaulting her decades ago (all times local): 12:10 p.m. Vice President Mike Pence calls Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh 'a man of integrity with impeccable credentials.' Pence tells a gathering of evangelical activists in Washington that the appeals court judge's record and career deserve 'the respect of every member of the United States Senate.' The vice president says the way that some Democrats have conducted themselves during the confirmation process 'is a disgrace and a disservice to the Senate and the American people.' Pence also says that he and President Donald Trump are confident that Republicans will handle that process 'with the utmost respect for all concerned.' Pence says he believes Kavanaugh will soon join the high court. Pence made no reference to Christine Blasey Ford, whose accusations about Kavanaugh's behavior 35 years ago have roiled the confirmation. ___ 11:10 a.m. Saturday at 2:30 p.m. That's the new and latest deadline in the high-stakes confrontation over whether Brett Kavanaugh's accuser will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Christine Blasey Ford's accusations and the standoff over the terms of her appearance have left Kavanaugh's confirmation in limbo. The committee chairman, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, is shrugging off responsibility for the extension onto the Senate's Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer. Here's what Grassley says in a tweet: 'I feel like I'm playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor.' ___ 1:45 a.m. The brinkmanship over whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's accuser will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee has come to a standstill, for now. The committee chairman, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, has given Christine Blasey Ford more time to decide on the terms of her appearance. The Republican-led committee had insisted that if Ford missed a Friday night deadline to respond to the panel's latest offer, lawmakers would hold a vote Monday on recommending Kavanaugh's nomination for the full Senate to consider. Ford's accusations of Kavanaugh's behavior 35 years ago and the standoff over the terms of her appearance have captivated the nation as the appeals court judge's confirmation hangs in balance.
  • An argument over a plate led to a physical altercation between customers and a server, which resulted in a baby being punched in the head, police said. >> Read more trending news  The incident took place Tuesday at the El Matador restaurant in Denton, KDFW reported. Two women sharing a table asked for an extra plate and became upset at how long their request was taking, witnesses told police. One woman at the table knocked a plate of food off the table, then confronted the server, who was taking an order at another table. The woman hit the server, who fell onto a 9-month-old baby in a highchair, KDFW reported. The collision caused the baby to hit his head on the table, police said. As the server attempted to get up, the woman tried to strike her again but missed and punched the baby in the back of the head. The baby's mother confronted the woman, who punched the mother in the face, police said. The mother chased the women out of the restaurant. The suspects were gone by the time police arrived, KDFW reported. Police are attempting to identify the suspects.There were no serious injuries, The Dallas Morning News reported.
  • Authorities in New York City are facing a security and logistical challenge of epic proportions with the coming arrival of President Donald Trump and other world leaders for the United Nations General Assembly. Though there's been no credible threats against the event, the security concerns are so broad that the New York Police Department has considered how it would stop assassins armed with poison or killer drones. The NYPD's main line of defense will be thousands of extra police officers flooding the streets as part of a carefully coordinated effort with the Secret Service and other federal and local law enforcement agencies to protect both the United Nations and Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, said Police Commissioner James O'Neill. 'Since the end of last year's General Assembly, we've been planning how to best protect the various sites and all the people inside them, while also minimizing the impact on New Yorkers,' O'Neill said at recent news conference at a command center at police headquarters. The 73rd Session of the General Assembly began on Sept. 18, but the higher-level meetings start Monday. The security arsenal features police boats patrolling the East River near the U.N., aviation units overhead and teams of officers trained to respond to chemical, biological and other potential terror threats. About 50 city Department of Sanitation dump trucks filled with sand and 230 concrete barriers will be positioned at intersections and other strategic locations to guard against car or truck attacks like the one last year that killed eight people on a bike path in Lower Manhattan. Police said other preparations have included consulting with British authorities about the poisoning of a former Russian spy there earlier this year by way of a weapons-grade nerve agent. British officials say the attack was carried out by Russian operatives. Police have also studied an attack on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro last month using drones rigged with explosives. Maduro said this past week that he may have to suspend a planned trip to the United Nations because of concerns his opponents would try to kill him if he travels abroad. But the NYPD is expecting more than 200 other world leaders to show up, all needing to move around the city in motorcades with police escorts. Those foreign dignitaries flying state aircraft into New York's Kennedy Airport will be greeted with strict enforcement of security rules requiring the planes to depart within two hours of touching down. The crackdown comes after the indictment of an airport supervisor on charges he took bribes to let Qatar and other countries park their planes overnight during the gathering. Trump is expected to arrive for a rare hometown visit and a possible stay at Trump Tower, his longtime home he has rarely visited since becoming president. Outside the skyscraper, police plan to set up a series of barriers and security checkpoints. Police said they expect more than 60 demonstrations outside the United Nations, foreign consulates and Trump Tower at various times during the week. The bad news for motorists: Officials say all the activity will cause worse gridlock than the traffic jams during the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the tree-lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center and the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square. Authorities said they hadn't calculated the cost of the security operation. But they said there's been a $20 to $30 million bill for past General Assemblies, and that the federal government covers most of it. ___ Associated Press writer Michael Sisak contributed to this report.
  • Democrats looking to regain a foothold in state capitols largely led by Republicans had anticipated flipping control of up to a dozen legislative chambers during the last presidential election. It didn't work out that way. As Republicans remain in overwhelming control of state legislatures, Democrats are doubling their spending for this year's state House and Senate elections. It's a renewed and increasingly urgent attempt to put a dent in the Republican ranks before it's too late to influence the next round of redistricting, which is set to occur after the 2020 Census. 'To us, the next decade is on the ballot in November,' said Kelly Ward, executive director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which is being aided by former President Barack Obama and led by his former attorney general, Eric Holder. Voters will be deciding more than 6,000 state legislative races in a November midterm election held in the pervasive shadow of President Donald Trump and high-profile contests for the U.S. Senate and House, as well as 36 governorships. Of particular importance are more than 800 races spread across about two dozen states where voters will be electing state lawmakers to four-year terms in which the winners could play a role in approving new congressional or state legislative districts. State legislatures, which form the grassroots of the political parties, appear to have a greater percentage of Democrats on this year's general election ballots than at any point since at least 1992, according to research by the national Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and Saint Louis University political scientist Steve Rogers, who focuses on state legislative elections. 'I would attribute it to Trump,' Rogers said. 'When the president is less popular, members of the opposition party are much more likely to run.' Republicans remain hopeful they can rebuff a potential blue wave. In many states, candidates will be running in districts drawn by Republicans after the 2010 Census with boundaries shown by statistical analyses to benefit Republicans. ___ Partisan control is at stake in more than a dozen closely divided state legislative chambers. All told, national Democratic and Republican groups are targeting chambers in half the states. That includes some where they want to cut into the opposing party's dominance to deny veto-proof supermajorities or position themselves for a takeover attempt in 2020, the final election before redistricting. In many states, new districts will be drawn by state lawmakers and approved or vetoed by governors. In other places, governors or legislative leaders will appoint special panels to do the task. If one party controls the redistricting process, it can draw maps that give it an advantage for the decade to come. Republicans generally won the last redistricting battle. During the 2010 elections, the Republican State Leadership Committee spent about $30 million to help flip control of 21 state legislative chambers just in time for redistricting. Under those subsequent maps, Republicans posted a net gain of more than 950 state legislative seats during Obama's presidency. The GOP now controls two-thirds of the 99 legislative chambers across the country. It has full control of both chambers and the governor's office in three times as many states as Democrats. Since Trump's election, Democrats have regained a net of 36 state legislative seats through general elections in Virginia and New Jersey and special elections elsewhere. That's a reversal of less than 4 percent of the Republicans' gains, a modest amount that nonetheless has been touted by Democrats eager to highlight momentum. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has doubled its spending from 2015-16 to a planned $35 million this election cycle. Its goal is to flip between eight and 10 Republican-run chambers. It notes that a gain of just 17 total seats could reverse eight state Senate chambers — in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York and Wisconsin. ___ One of the Democrats' top targets is in the Denver suburbs, where state Rep. Faith Winter is challenging Republican Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik in a district that Democrat Hillary Clinton won by 5 percentage points over Trump two years ago. Winter said she has no particular beef with Martinez Humenik; the two even have co-sponsored bills. But Winter said legislation related to affordable housing and climate change would stand a better chance if the Democratic-led House weren't paired with a Republican-run Senate. 'I believe that Colorado would be better off — and our voters would be better off — with Democratic leadership in the Senate,' said Winter, one of 39 candidates endorsed by Obama in six states that are important to the Democrats' redistricting strategy. Martinez Humenik has emphasized her willingness to work across the political aisle as she tries to hold on to a seat that swung control of the chamber to Republicans during the 2014 election. Her campaign website declares: 'Focused on Results, not Political Parties.' 'I'm hopeful that what is going on in Washington, D.C., does not affect us here at the state level,' she said. Both parties also have targeted the Wisconsin Senate, where Democrats picked up two seats in special elections this year to narrow the Republican advantage to 18-15. One of November's key races pits Democrat Kriss Marion, who gained attention by successfully suing for the right to sell homemade cookies without state regulation, against Republican Sen. Howard Marklein. The rural southwestern Wisconsin district swung from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016. Marklein notes that he fared better as an Assembly candidate than the GOP presidential nominee in 2012 and better in 2014 than Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who is heading the ballot again this year. 'My guess is my hard work is going to result in me outperforming the top of the ticket again,' Marklein said. But Marion got more votes than Marklein in the August primaries, when both were unopposed. 'The momentum is certainly with us and with turnover,' said Marion, adding: 'We have to win this seat if we're going to flip the Senate.' ___ Wisconsin is one of five states — along with Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania — targeted by the Republican State Leadership Committee as essential to protect in its redistricting strategy because they have sent 18 more Republicans to Congress than Democrats. In Pennsylvania, Democrats have one-quarter more registered voters than Republicans statewide, yet Republicans won 13 of the state's 18 congressional seats in three straight elections before the state Supreme Court ordered new political maps for this year's elections, citing unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering by GOP lawmakers. The Republican State Leadership Committee plans to spend as much as $50 million on state legislative and down-ballot statewide races during the 2017-18 election cycle. That's up from about $38 million each of the past two election cycles. 'The fact that Republicans have had so much success doesn't have to do with our lines, it has to do with running better candidates who go out and govern in a way that's having a positive impact in their states,' said Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee. Though generally on the defensive, Republicans also have hopes of flipping some legislative chambers. Among their targets is the Connecticut Senate, where a Democratic lieutenant governor currently has tie-breaking power over an 18-18 partisan split. The outcome could come down to who is more unpopular — Trump or outgoing Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy, who has presided over a strained budget and sluggish state economy. Republican state Rep. Mark Tweedie has been making the case for change as he challenges Democratic Sen. Steve Cassano in a potentially pivotal race for control of the chamber. 'The Republicans need to take the majority in the House, the Senate and the governor in order to turn this state around,' Tweedie said. But Cassano thinks Trump, whom he describes as 'an embarrassment,' could have a greater influence on the election without Cassano even having to make the president a campaign issue. 'If I'm going door-to-door or I'm going to a meeting ... people mention Trump,' Cassano said. 'I have a simple response: 'Make sure you vote.'' ___ Follow David A. Lieb at: http://twitter.com/DavidALieb
  • Allman Brothers Band founding member Dickey Betts has had successful surgery after slipping and hitting his head while playing with his dog in Florida. The Dickey Betts website says the 'Ramblin' Man' and 'Blue Sky' singer-songwriter and guitarist underwent surgery Friday to relieve swelling on his brain. A statement posted Saturday on the website says Betts and his family said the 'outpouring of support from all over the world has been overwhelming and amazing. We are so appreciative.' Last month Betts suffered a mild stroke and had to cancel upcoming tour dates with his Dickey Betts Band, which includes his son, Duane Betts. A few weeks ago longtime friend David Spero posted that Betts was responding well to treatment for the stroke and was 'raring to go.
  • After posting a schedule for a Monday morning vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court, unable to work out an agreement for testimony from a woman who accused the judge of sexual misconduct back when they were teenagers, Republicans gave extra time to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to consider testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It’s not my normal approach to b indecisive,” Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) tweeted late Friday night from his home state of Iowa, as he tried to both press ahead with a vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, and hold open the possibility of testimony from Ford. The late night change of heart created an odd mixture of reaction, as even after Grassley said he was giving more time to Ford’s legal team, Democrats were still churning out news releases after midnight criticizing Republicans for their treatment of the allegations against Kavanaugh. “By blocking both an FBI investigation and a hearing where all three witnesses present during the assault could answer questions under oath, the Senate will fail in its duty to the American people,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w the statement she made last week to testify to the senate She shld decide so we can move on I want to hear her. I hope u understand. It’s not my normal approach to b indecisive — ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 22, 2018 With all the extensions we give Dr Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate I feel like I’m playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor — ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 22, 2018 As the sun rose on Saturday morning, it still wasn’t clear whether Ford would testify. “Dr. Blasey Ford has been clear in her desire to testify following an independent, thorough investigation by the FBI,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). But Republicans were still suspicious of the allegations brought by Ford, who says she was sexually attacked by Kavanaugh at a high school party in the 1980’s. “Their decision to reveal this allegation at the most politically damaging moment reeks of opportunism,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Under the timeline originally unveiled by the Judiciary Committee on Friday night, Republicans scheduled a vote for Monday morning on a list of judges, with one prominent name at the top of the list: “Brett M. Kavanaugh, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States,” it read. The recalcitrance, stubbornness and lack of cooperation we’ve seen from Republicans is unprecedented. And candidly, the dismissive treatment of Dr. Ford is insulting to all sexual assault survivors. — Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) September 22, 2018 Ford’s lawyers wanted her to testify next Thursday – Grassley and Republicans were offering Wednesday. There was also talk of Ford talking directly to investigators in California, instead of traveling to Washington, D.C.
  • Officially at the airport, the Tulsa area received 2.34 inches of rain on Friday and there is more in the forecast for today. Parts of Tulsa County received a whole lot more rain.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Plate breaks down who received the most. “In the Tulsa area, the heaviest rain was in the southern part of the city,” Plate said.  “It was in the south Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Bixby areas where four to six inches fell.   Statewide, areas around Ada were slammed by showers.  Plate tells us Fittstown received close to 14 inches of rain.  Road Flooding:  Showers in south Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Bixby caused multiple closures in the area. Police confirm South Yale Avenue between 61st and 51st was closed for some time because of water over the road. The same was true for 101st and Garnett in Broken Arrow. The roads have since been reopened. Savastano's at 106th and Memorial in Bixby announced on their Twitter page they were closed due to flooding.
  • Don't put away those umbrellas just yet. National Weather Service Meteorologist Sarah Corfidi says we have a chance for more showers in the Tulsa area today.  Right now, the NWS is predicting a 40 percent chance of rain.   “For Tulsa, it’s going to be mostly cloudy, with some showers still in the area,” Corfidi said.  “The high will be in the low 70’s.” Today is the first day of fall, but the temperature will be below normal for this time of year in our area.  Corfidi tells us the normal high is close to 82 degrees. Any rain we see today should stop by the evening hours.  The low Saturday night will be close to 60 degrees.
  • Ending several days of increasingly political battles over a woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee declared Friday night that they were unable to reach an agreement for the testimony of Kavanaugh’s accuser, and set a committee vote for Monday over the heated objections of Democrats. “It’s Friday night and nothing’s been agreed to despite our extensive efforts to make testimony possible,” said Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Democrats sternly disputed those assertions, charging that Republicans were doing all they could to avoid hearing from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party during their high school years in the early 1980’s. “It’s clear that Republicans have learned nothing over the last 27 years,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), referring to the confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas, which featured accusations of sexual harassment leveled against him by law professor Anita Hill. Just before the deadline, Ford’s lawyers asked for extra time. Ford lawyer: “The 10:00 p.m. deadline is arbitrary. Its sole purpose is to bully Dr. Ford and deprive her of the ability to make a considered decision that has life-altering implications for her and her family. She has already been forced out of her home…” — Nancy Cordes (@nancycordes) September 22, 2018 But Republicans said enough was enough. “Chairman Grassley has made every effort all week to find a comfortable way for the Senate to hear Dr. Ford’s story, including sending staff to her,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “Delay, delay, delay,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), as the Senate Judiciary Committee website listed a 10 am Monday “Executive Business Meeting,” where Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination was the first on the list. Democrats said like with Anita Hill, Ford’s charges merited a review by the FBI, and then hearings by the Judiciary Committee; but the White House and Senate Republicans resisted those calls. “This strikes us as simply a check-the-box exercise in a rush to confirm Judge Kavanaugh,” a group of Democratic Senators wrote in a joint letter. “The 11 Republican men on the committee are treating this like a hostage situation,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI). “They just don’t get it.” Democrats also expressed outrage about President Trump’s first real comments directed at Kavanaugh’s accuser, as the President took to Twitter on Friday morning to say that Ford should have gone to the police 36 years ago if something bad happened. “When women speak up about sexual assault they should be listened to and supported, not bullied, rushed, or given artificial deadlines,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who was elected partly in 1992 because of the political backlash to how Republicans dealt with Anita Hill’s allegations against Justice Thomas. To every survivor of sexual assault: WE BELIEVE YOU. WE HAVE YOUR BACK. https://t.co/Zx23ePG1ez — Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) September 22, 2018 If Republicans move ahead with a vote in committee on Monday, they could push the Kavanaugh nomination through the full Senate – even with Democrats using every delaying tactic in the book – by the end of next week, just in time to get the judge confirmed before the Supreme Court’s term begins on the First Monday in October.
  • A ferry that overturned on Lake Victoria has resulted in 100 deaths so far and hundreds feared missing, the BBC reported Friday. >> Read more trending news  Only 37 people were rescued Thursday before poor visibility ended the search, CNN reported. Forty-four bodies were recovered Thursday and the rest were recovered Friday, Reuters reported. The MV Nyerere ferry was headed from Bugorora when overturned near Ukara island, the BBC reported. The precise number of those aboard the ferry when it capsized was hard to establish, officials said, but it was believed that at least 300 people were on board. Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, touches the borders of Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.