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National News

    In a rare admission of fault, President Donald Trump said on “Fox News Sunday” that he made a mistake and regretted missing the Veterans Day services at Arlington National Cemetery last week. >> Read more trending news    “I should have done that. I was extremely busy on calls for the country. We did a lot of calling,” Trump told host Chris Wallace, who pressed the president on why he didn’t take a quick trip across the river to attend ceremonies honoring America’s war dead. “I probably, ah, you know, in retrospect I should have, and I did last year and I will virtually every year, but we came in very late at night and I had just left, literally, the American cemetery in Paris, and I really probably assumed that was fine.” Trump had just returned from ceremonies in France commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, where he also missed a service for American veterans buried in France. “I was extremely busy because of affairs of state, doing other things,” he said. >> Related: Former Fox News executive Bill Shine accepts post in Trump White House, reports say During the interview, Trump also doubled down on calling journalists “the enemy of the people,” and he criticized a retired Navy SEAL who commanded the mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Trump said it took too long to get bin Laden, and he complained that Pakistan didn’t help at all.  
  • The FBI and other police agencies are continuing their search to find a 13-year-old girl kidnapped from a North Carolina mobile home park. >> Read more trending news  The FBI said Saturday that agents are conducting searches on foot and using drones as part of the search for Hania Noelia Aguilar. Relatives say the eighth-grader went outside last week to start a relative's SUV to prepare to leave for the bus stop. Police say a man then forced her into an SUV and drove off. Authorities said the SUV was later found in Lumberton, several miles from the mobile home park. A total reward of $30,000 is being offered for information leading to the girl. The FBI said it has no reason to believe Hania has been spotted in Charlotte. On Tuesday, officials said someone in Charlotte called to report seeing a girl who looked like Aguilar. They said the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department was looking into the report, but at this point, there is no reason to believe it is accurate. On Tuesday, the girl's mother released a handwritten statement:  'I trust in God that my daughter will return. No one knows the pain I have in my heart. Despite all the criticism and speculation against me, I would never use my daughter’s name in order to take advantage of this situation. I thank all those people who have provided me help. Please, if you know something, call. I ask everyone not to make absurd comments. For the love of God respect my pain. I only want Hania, my princess, back. I miss her.' Investigators said they airlifted evidence to FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia so it can be analyzed and processed quickly in hopes of locating the missing teen. The FBI said investigators need help to identify a person seen walking near the area where Hania was abducted on Nov. 5. FBI officials said their plea grows more and more urgent by the minute.  >> Related: FBI poster released on Nov. 9 Search crews said they need to talk to anyone who lives near Rosewood Mobile Home Park and Quincey Drive and will be walking in the neighborhood to make contact with everyone. Police Chief Michael McNeill asked Monday for people to contact police if someone they know is acting strange. He said, 'Maybe they haven't gone to work, haven't come home or they aren't answering your calls or your text messages.' The FBI released a new missing person poster for the girl. On the poster, the photos that show her wearing red were taken the day before the abduction. Surveillance video the FBI released the day prior shows what appears to be a man wearing light-colored shoes, a light-colored shirt and a hoodie walking south on Lambert Street, then turning north on Highway 41/Elizabethtown Highway toward the Rosewood Mobile Home Park. FBI officials said surveillance images also helped them find the green SUV that was stolen and used in the kidnapping.  According to the FBI, the SUV was located around 8 a.m. Nov. 8 off Quincey Drive in Lumberton, 10 miles from her home. >> Related: 7 of 10 most stressed states in country are in the South; where do you rank? Officials said the FBI's Evidence Response Team processed the vehicle for any clues. The teen’s mother, Elsa Hernandez, is pleading for her daughter’s safe return. 'Return my daughter. I need her,” Hernandez said. “I am suffering for her. Her sisters, too.' Investigators have been collecting and analyzing surveillance video since Aguilar was taken from her home. An FBI release issued last week said investigators were following nearly 50 leads in the girl's disappearance.
  • Amazon is growing at breakneck speed across the nation and in Ohio, where it has created 6,000 jobs in the past seven years and has commitments to add 5,500 more employees. >> Read more trending news  Last week, the online giant said it would open a package-sorting “air gateway” at Wilmington Air Park, an airport 40 minutes southeast of Dayton that was decimated in the past decade when cargo carrier DHL announced it was leaving town. “We have all the right ingredients for companies to succeed in e-commerce here,” said Ted Griffith, a managing director at JobsOhio, the state’s economic development organization. The Wilmington announcement preceded the company’s biggest news in its history when it announced Tuesday that it had picked New York and Northern Virginia’s Crystal City over 238 U.S. cities to split its highly sought second headquarters. The company has said the headquarters come with a $5 billion investment and up to 50,000 jobs that pay, on average, $150,000 apiece. >> Related: Amazon’s newest expansion to bring 1,500 jobs to Ohio Although Ohio was not chosen for the second headquarters, the $178 billion company appears to have an affinity to the Buckeye State where it’s now one of the top 60 largest employers. In May, Amazon announced plans to open its sixth Ohio fulfillment center in West Jefferson, creating more than 1,500 full-time jobs by the end of 2019. This is in addition to fulfillment centers already operating in Etna and Obetz, with new fulfillment centers slated for Monroe and North Randall by the end of 2018, and another one in Euclid in 2019. The new Wilmington air gateway will retrofit existing space at the Air Park, in buildings F and A. In all, it will take up 1.2 million square feet and about 35 acres. The company would not say how many jobs will be coming with the new sorting center. “We think this operation will be consequential,” said Dan Evers, executive director of the Clinton County Port Authority, which owns and manages the Air Park. The nation’s biggest e-retailer has about 20 gateway operations, all part of the company’s national air cargo network. Geographically, Wilmington makes sense within Amazon’s network, given the facility’s proximity to the busy Amazon hub at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport, Evers said. Said Evers: “Air cargo is in our DNA.” Buckeye State growth Amazon has invested more than $2 billion in Ohio since 2011. But Amazon is not the only company drawn to Ohio and its strength in logistics. The roster of companies investing in large local distribution operations just in the Dayton area grows longer by the year — Caterpillar Logistics, Payless Shoe Source, Crown Packaging, Heidelberg, Spectrum, Purina, Chewy Inc. and many others. Griffith cites proximity to consumers, a “fantastic” labor force and road system, a tax regimen that does not tax inventory — plus, more than 25 universities in Ohio with logistics programs. Read more here.
  • A good Samaritan vessel and the Coast Guard helped rescue 15 people from a tilted liftboat Sunday. >> Read more trending news  The good Samaritan vessel, the Starfleet Guardian, brought six people aboard, while the Coast Guard crew from Station Grand Isle rescued the other nine people, WBRZ reported.  The liftboat reported control issues after a power loss, tilted to a 45 degree angle and could not correct itself, KATC reported. It had nearly 14,000 gallons of diesel on board but none of it has spilled. 
  • Your commute is too long. Your mortgage or rent is too high. You’re stressed. >> Read more trending news  Welcome to Georgia. >> Related: Georgia is one of the unhappiest states in US, report says A new analysis and ranking by Zippia, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2012-2016, puts Georgia as the No. 2 most stressed state in the country. >> Related: Georgia among the most stressed states in 2017 Being stressed out is nothing new to Georgians, though. Last year, WalletHub put the Peach State at No. 8 on its ranking. In 2014, Movoto ranked Georgia at No. 2 on its stress scale. For its study, Zippia used six criteria: Long commute times Unemployment Hours worked Population density Home price to income ratio Percent uninsured population Zippia then ranked each state from 1 (most stressed) to 50 in each category, and combined those rankings for one majorly stressed out score. That put Georgia at No. 2, right behind New Jersey.  >> Related: Florida, Georgia most stressed out states in 2014 According to Zippia’s analysis, “many Georgians must tackle a high unemployment rate, high uninsured rate, and a long commute.”  The state’s unemployment outlook is improving, however. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in July, its lowest level since 2001. >> Related: People who live in this Georgia city are among the most stressed in America, study says What about traffic? Anyone who drives to work — or a game, or a concert, or through Atlanta on their way somewhere else — will tell you traffic is terrible.  In 2017, the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard determined Atlanta has the eighth-worst traffic congestion in the world.  >> Related: Report confirms Atlanta has some of the world's worst traffic If you’re thinking of moving somewhere less stressful, don’t stay in the South. Seven of the top 10 stressed out states are southern. New Jersey  Georgia  Florida  California  New York  Louisiana  Maryland  North Carolina  Virginia  Mississippi The country’s least-stressed states are clustered in the north central part of the country: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota. 
  • Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Sunday he's donating $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to boost financial aid for low- and middle-income students. The Baltimore university said the contribution — the largest ever to any education institution in the U.S. — will allow Johns Hopkins to eliminate student loans in financial aid packages starting next fall. The university will instead offer scholarships that don't have to be repaid. University President Ronald Daniels said Bloomberg's contribution will also let the institution permanently commit to 'need-blind admissions,' or the principle of admitting the highest-achieving students, regardless of their ability to pay for their education. 'Hopkins has received a gift that is unprecedented and transformative,' he said in a statement, noting the prestigious school was founded in 1876 by a $7 million gift from Baltimore merchant Johns Hopkins that was, similarly, the largest gift of its kind at the time. By way of comparison, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Gates Millennium Scholars program in 1999 with a $1 billion commitment over 20 years. The Chronicle of Higher Education listed it as the largest private donation to a higher-education institution in the U.S. earlier this month. Bloomberg said he expects the money will allow Hopkins to offer more generous scholarships and ease the debt burden for graduates. 'America is at its best when we reward people based on the quality of their work, not the size of their pocketbook,' he said in a statement. 'Denying students entry to a college based on their ability to pay undermines equal opportunity.' The 76-year-old founder of the global finances services and media company, Bloomberg L.P., is among the world's richest people. He graduated from Hopkins in 1964, served as New York mayor from 2002 to 2013 and has for years weighed running for president — including in 2020.
  • Two pedestrians were struck and killed by a Christmas-themed train in Wareham, according to Massachusetts State Police. >> Read more trending news  Police and emergency workers responded to the scene at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday to discover two people had died near 72 Minot Avenue after being hit by the train. According to the Plymouth County District Attorney's office, the preliminary investigation revealed that the deceased victims were a 33-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man, both from Wareham. The victims are not being identified at this time. Massachusetts State Police confirmed they were assisting with the scene, and an Airwing was also called in to help. Investigators said the 'Train to Christmas Town' had more than 300 people on board, most of them children. No passengers were injured. According to the DA's office, the train conductor made attempts to stop the train and activated the emergency braking system before the collision occurred. Children on the train weren't told of the incident, but instead were told the train had run out of 'magic gas' and had to stop. Police said the incident doesn't appear to be suspicious and is being investigated by the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority Police and the Wareham Police Department. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • The Latest on Florida's election recount (all times local): 3:45 p.m. U.S. Sen Bill Nelson says in giving up his re-election bid that 'things worked out a little differently than ... I had hoped.' The veteran Capitol Hill Democrat conceded his razor-thin race Sunday to Republican Rick Scott with a video statement on the same day Florida's counties had to submit their official results from a sometimes bumpy recount. Those results showed the three-term incumbent had trailed Scott by more than 10,000 votes. Scott says in the statement that 'It has been a rewarding journey as well as a very humbling experience.' 'I was not victorious in this race but I still wish to strongly re-affirm the cause for which we fought: A public office is a public trust,' he added. Scott thanked all his supports, including those who worked his campaign and contributed time and resources to the election effort, adding, 'And with an optimistic heart, I wish to say something else: We may have been heavily outspent in this campaign, but we were never outworked.' ___ 3:15 p.m. President Donald Trump says Florida Republican Rick Scott 'never wavered' in his bid to wrest away a U.S. Senate seat from a veteran Democrat on Capitol Hill. U.S. Sen Bill Nelson ended his bitterly close re-election bid Sunday by conceding to Republican Rick Scott, Florida's outgoing governor. Nelson gave up the fight on a day when Florida's counties had to submit their official results after a sometimes bumpy recount. Those results showed the three-term incumbent trailed Scott by more than 10,000 votes. Trump tweeted Sunday in support of Scott, writing, 'He was a great Governor and will be even a greater Senator in representing the People of Florida. Congratulations to Rick on having waged such a courageous and successful campaign! ___ 3:05 p.m. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has ended his bitterly close re-election bid by conceding the race to Republican Rick Scott. Nelson gave up the fight Sunday to Florida's outgoing governor on a day when Florida's counties had to submit their official results. Those results showed that the three-term incumbent trailed Scott by more than 10,000 votes. Nelson's concession capped tumultuous days of recounting and political tension in the perennial presidential swing state. It also will likely end the long-running political career of the 76-year-old Nelson. He was first elected to Congress nearly 40 years ago and then to the Senate in 2000. Nelson and Democrats had filed several lawsuits over the recount, but a federal judge rejected most of them. Florida will not officially certify the final totals until Tuesday. ___ 2:40 p.m. Florida's Republican Gov. Rick Scott says incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson called him to concede defeat in their extremely tight race. Scott issued a statement Sunday saying Nelson 'graciously conceded' their Senate race shortly after the state's recount ended. The final results show Scott defeated Nelson by just over 10,000 votes out of 8 million cast. Nelson is scheduled to release a videotaped statement later Sunday. The defeat ends Nelson's lengthy political career. The three-term incumbent was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. Before that he served six terms in the U.S. House and as state treasurer and insurance commissioner for six years. Scott spent more than $60 million of his own money on ads that portrayed Nelson as out-of-touch and ineffective. Nelson responded by questioning Scott's ethics and saying he would be under the sway of President Donald Trump. ___ 2 p.m. Florida's official vote count shows a Democrat appears to have narrowly won the race for state agriculture commissioner. Results posted Sunday show after a recount Nikki Fried defeated Republican Matt Caldwell by 6,753 votes out of 8 million cast. That's about one vote out of every 2,000 cast. If the results are certified Tuesday, Fried will replace Republican Adam Putnam in January. He was barred from seeking a third term and ran unsuccessfully for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. The agriculture commissioner also oversees consumer services and runs the concealed weapons permit program. Fried would replace apparently ousted U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson as the only Florida Democrat holding statewide office. The governor, the other two Cabinet positions and both senators will be Republicans. ___ 1:10 p.m. Florida's recount is over and Republican Gov. Rick Scott leads incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in the state's contentious Senate race by more than 10,000 votes. Official results posted by the state on Sunday showed Scott ahead of Nelson following legally required hand and machine recounts. State officials will certify the final totals Tuesday. The results show that Scott is poised to end Nelson's lengthy political career. The three-term incumbent was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. Nelson has scheduled an announcement later Sunday afternoon. Scott spent more than $60 million of his own money on ads that portrayed Nelson as out-of-touch and ineffective. Nelson responded by questioning Scott's ethics and saying he would be under the sway of President Donald Trump. ___ Noon Florida counties have hit the deadline for submitting official results in this year's contentious midterm elections. Counties had until noon on Sunday to finish up recounts and turn final totals in closely watched races for U.S. Senate and governor. State election officials were expected to announce the totals later Sunday, and will officially certify the results on Tuesday. The deadline comes a day after Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded the governor's race to Republican Ron DeSantis. Previous totals showed Gillum trailing DeSantis by more than 30,000 votes. Counties were legally required to do a machine recount after the initial results showed the race for governor and U.S. Senate very close. State officials then ordered a hand recount earlier in the week 8:07 a.m. Andrew Gillum, who tried to energize Florida's young and minority voters through a Democratic coalition seeking to end two decades of Republican control of the governor's office, ended his hard-fought campaign Saturday as the state's first black nominee for the post. Gillum, whose refrain had been 'bring it home' as he recounted stories of growing up poor in the state, concluded his campaign with a Facebook video he recorded alongside his wife in a park. In his four-minute plus video, Gillum congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis and also vowed to remain politically active even though his term as mayor of the Florida capital of Tallahassee ends next week. Of his future plans, Gillum said: 'stay tuned.' Gillum, just 39 years old, earned national attention and financial backing from well-known liberal billionaires with his first bid for statewide office. He ran on a liberal platform that included expanding Medicaid and raising taxes to spend more on education even though both ideas would have been hard to pass through the GOP-controlled Legislature.
  • Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida political icon who first arrived on Capitol Hill in the decades when Democrats dominated this presidential battleground state, conceded his bitterly close re-election bid to Republican Rick Scott on Sunday after a bruising recount left Nelson thousands of votes short of the outgoing governor. Nelson gave up his quest after days of tense and often acrimonious recounting wrapped up at midday Sunday, when Florida's counties had to turn in their official results. Florida will not officially certify the final results until Tuesday, but the totals showed Nelson trailing Scott by more than 10,000 votes. 'It has been a rewarding journey as well as a very humbling experience,' Nelson said in a videotaped statement. 'I was not victorious in this race but I still wish to strongly re-affirm the cause for which we fought: A public office is a public trust.' The close of nearly two weeks of high political drama in the presidential swing state likely spelled the end of the political career of the 76-year-old Nelson. First elected to the U.S. House 40 years ago, Nelson had been a Democratic survivor in an era when Republicans swept to power in Florida in the '90s. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000 and was making his fourth bid at Senate re-election. A Florida native with a distinct twang, Nelson fought a hard race against Scott, a multimillionaire businessman and relative newcomer to the state who had been urged to run by President Donald Trump. A Scott victory will help Republicans boost their Senate majority. This marked the third time Scott, who did not jump into politics until eight years ago, has barely edged a Democratic rival. 'Now the campaign truly is behind us, and that's where we need to leave it,' Scott said in a statement after official results were posted. 'We must do what Americans have always done: come together for the good of our state and our country. My focus will not be on looking backward, but on doing exactly what I ran on: making Washington work.' Trump congratulated Scott on Twitter: 'From day one Rick Scott never wavered. He was a great Governor and will be even a greater Senator in representing the People of Florida.' Nelson was seen as a moderate, rarely making waves or gaining much national exposure as he focused on Florida-specific issues. One of his more notable moments came when he flew on Space Shuttle Columbia while serving in Congress. Florida's other senator, Republican Marco Rubio, said he would miss working with Nelson 'I knew Bill Nelson not just as a Democratic senator, but also as a man of genuine faith, integrity and character,' Rubio said in a statement. 'A man who served our country with a dignity that is increasingly rare in our modern politics.' This marked only the second electoral defeat of Nelson's long political career. He lost a Democratic primary for governor to eventual winner Lawton Chiles in 1990. Mac Stipanovich, a Republican strategist who once called Nelson an 'empty suit,' said he wasn't sure if Nelson would have a legacy like such well-known Florida Democrats as Chiles and former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham. He called Nelson 'something of a cipher,' saying it was 'remarkable how little space he occupies after such a long period of public service.' But Stipanovich also said Nelson doesn't fit in today's highly polarized political environment. 'I believe Bill Nelson is a first-rate human being and is a moderate in an age where there is no moderation,' said Stipanovich. 'There's much to regret about people like him leaving the public arena. We're not better for all of this anger and polarization and Nelson is the antithesis of it.' After it became clear the Senate race would head to a legally required recount, Nelson and Democrats filed several lawsuits that challenged everything from Scott's authority over the state's election division to deadlines for mail-in ballots. Amid the recount, Scott suggested that some county election officials were allowing fraud to occur. State officials had ordered a manual recount after a legally required machine recount showed that Scott led Nelson by about 12,600 votes. More than 8 million voters cast ballots in the race. Scott ran a harsh campaign against Nelson, calling the incumbent ineffective and out of touch. While the two disagreed on such key issues as gun control, health care and the environment, they focused primarily on character and competence. Scott repeatedly bashed Nelson in TV ads paid for by more than $60 million of his own wealth. Meanwhile, Nelson branded Scott as a Trump follower who had used the governor's office to pad his wealth. Nelson and his allies also ran ads that questioned Scott's ethics, pointing to his ouster years ago as chief executive of health care giant Columbia/HCA amid a federal fraud investigation. Although Scott was never charged with any wrongdoing, the health care conglomerate paid a then-record $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud. While the Senate contest was one of the marquee races of the U.S. midterm elections, it was shadowed by the governor's race: a bitterly close competition between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum that became a proxy battle between Trump and his Democratic opponents. Gillum, Florida's first African-American nominee for governor, conceded to DeSantis on Saturday after lagging in a legally required machine recount. State law requires a machine recount in races where the margin is 0.5 percentage points or less. Once that recount was complete, if the differences in any of the races are 0.25 percentage points or less, a hand recount is ordered.
  • A nurse used his Toyota Tundra to evacuate patients from the California wildfires at the intensive care unit he oversees.  >> Read more trending news  While Allyn Pierce was able to help get himself and others to safety, the truck, nicknamed “The Pandra” was not as fortunate. The fire’s heat welded the rear doors shut, the light covers were partially melted and the hood warped, the Washington Post reported.  “This truck literally saved my life today,” Pierce wrote in a post on social media. “My little town of Paradise was literally burning down around me and @the_pandra got me to safety where I could help others … twice.” The Camp Fire is one of the most devastating in California history.  Toyota found out about Pierce and the Pandra. 'We are humbled you'd risk your life and Toyota Tundra to drive people to safety,” their official account responded on Pierce’s post. “Don't worry about your truck, we're honored to get you a new one!' Later Toyota reiterated its commitment to get Pierce a new truck. 'Our hearts go out to the victims of the devastating California wild fires. We are extremely grateful to all of the emergency crews who are working tirelessly to extinguish the fires and helping people to safety,” officials told Motor Trend. “We are especially thankful to one hero in particular, Allyn Pierce, for risking his life and sacrificing his Toyota Tundra to drive people to safety. Toyota is so humbled by Mr. Pierce's selfless act that we're pleased to offer him a brand new Tundra.
  • After a post-election vote fight that showcased vote counting troubles in two south Florida counties, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) conceded defeat to Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Sunday, ensuring Republican gains in the Senate in the 2018 mid-term elections, and delivering a welcome piece of good post-election news for President Donald Trump and the GOP. “I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service,” said Scott in a statement. “My focus will not be on looking backward, but on doing exactly what I ran on,” Scott said. “Making Washington Work.” Florida elections officials on Sunday announced a final advantage for Scott of 10,033 votes – that was down from just under 15,000 in favor of Scott when the machine recount began, and lower than the nearly 12,500 edge for the GOP before the hand recount started on Friday. For Republicans, the hard fought win gives them a gain of two seats in the Senate for 2019, as the GOP will have a 53-47 edge, provided they can also win a special runoff election for Senate in Mississippi after Thanksgiving. The Scott victory was a rare piece of good news for Republicans since Election Day, as the GOP has lost a number of close House races in recent days. Democrats have now gained 37 seats in the House, with five GOP seats still undecided amid continued vote counting. Nelson becomes the fifth U.S. Senator to lose in November, joining three other Democrats – McCaskill in Missouri, Heitkamp in North Dakota, and Donnelly in Indiana – along with one Republican Senator, Heller in Nevada. While 5 Senators were tossed out by the voters in November, 27 House members – all Republicans – have been defeated. Several more could still lose in the five remaining House contests which are undecided. Hanging over the defeat for Nelson is what appears to have been a ballot design problem in one small part of Broward County, Florida, where thousands of voters did not cast a vote in the U.S. Senate race, which happened at a much higher rate than other areas in that county. The Florida Senate count is at Scott+10,033, right around the margin where the Broward County undervote/bad ballot design could have been decisive. We may never know https://t.co/Gg14C1heaV — Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 18, 2018 The ‘undervote’ problems in that area of Broward County were just part of a slew of post-election issues highlighted by the wrangling over the final tally in both the Florida Senate and Florida Governor’s race.
  • Over a week after being publicly ridiculed for losing her seat in Congress by President Donald Trump, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) on Friday night was on the verge of pulling off a stunning comeback in her re-election bid, as the continued counting of ballots in her Utah district finally pushed her into the lead by a slender 419 votes. “Hard to see how she relinquishes that now,” said Dave Wasserman, an elections expert who has been forecasting a possible comeback by Love for several days. Still being tabulated are thousands of provisional ballots in Utah and Salt Lake counties, which take time to verify, as Utah and a number of other states slowly push their way through the votes of the November mid-term elections. The jump into first place for Love came as a judge tossed out a lawsuit that she filed – which oddly would have stopped vote counting in Salt Lake County – a move that her opponent said ‘smacks of desperation.’ “Utah voters deserve better than this,” said Democrat Ben McAdams. With the Utah County numbers posting, Rep. Mia Love has taken a 419-vote lead over Ben McAdams. #utpol — #VoteGehrke (@RobertGehrke) November 16, 2018 But the McAdams lead over Love has slowly withered away in recent days, leaving Love favored by many to win re-election. A comeback victory would be filled with irony, especially after the mocking ridicule heaped upon Love and a number of other House Republicans by President Donald Trump, who said the day after the elections that Love and others were defeated because they refused to embrace him. “Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” the President said, almost seeming to enjoy the outcome. “Too bad. Sorry about that Mia.” President Trump lists Republicans who didn't embrace him and lost. 'They did very poorly. I'm not sure that I should be happy or sad, but I feel just fine about it.' 'Mia Love gave me no love and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that Mia.' pic.twitter.com/ZV7EKcWjLX — CSPAN (@cspan) November 7, 2018 Two weekends after the elections, a small number of races remained undecided – with some that could stretch until after Thanksgiving: FLORIDA SENATE – With a manual recount finishing up, and Florida’s 67 counties waiting through Saturday to deal with any other stray ballots, Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) seems headed for victory over Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). This will give the GOP a big victory, and a 2 seat margin in the U.S. Senate. From a statistical/electoral/historical perspective, Scott's defeat of Nelson is pretty much unmatched in recent political history. Beating a swing state opposition party senator without a hint of scandal in a midterm… It's quite impressive. — (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) November 17, 2018 CALIFORNIA 39 – This is the first of six (or maybe seven) undecided House races. After holding the lead for days, Republican Young Kim has now been swamped by late votes coming from both Orange and Los Angeles counties, and now trails Democrat Gil Cisneros by over 3,000 votes. This should complete what is a total GOP wipeout in Orange County, as Democrats would gain six GOP seats in the Golden State. Congressional districts in Orange County, Calif. in 2016 and in 2018 pic.twitter.com/TWRQ1pPzS4 — Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) November 16, 2018 CALIFORNIA 21 – This seat has already been called by the AP and other news organizations for the Republicans, but as the votes keep coming in, Rep. David Valadao’s lead keeps shrinking, and some wonder if he can hold on. This might be a long shot, but it bears watching. It’s hard to fathom that Democrats could gain a seventh seat in California. We've been watching CA-21 like a hawk for more than a week now, and the chance for Democrat T J Cox to catch up to Valadao has gone from remote but intriguingly possibile to plausible. We're moving this one to our uncalled races tab. https://t.co/FeGWU7SsoE — Daniel Donner (@donnermaps) November 17, 2018 UTAH 4 – As mentioned above, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) now has the lead. This would be a big save for Republicans, who have had very little to cheer about in the past 10 days since the elections. In fact, there has been an almost daily drumbeat of Democratic victories each night since then, as they edge closer to a possible pickup of almost 40 House seats, their largest gains since 1974 after Watergate. BREAKING: As expected, #UT04 GOP Rep. Mia Love (R) has pulled into the lead over Ben McAdams (D) by 419 votes. Hard to see how she relinquishes it now. https://t.co/nfsptUdHiN — Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 16, 2018 NEW YORK 22 – This seat can probably be called for the Democrats by the AP and other organizations, as absentee ballot counts on Friday went clearly for Democrat Anthony Brindisi, leaving Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) behind by over 3,000 votes in this northern New York district. This is not a spot where the GOP should have lost. @Redistrict Brindisi lead in NY22 has surged to more 3000 votes! I see no path to victory for Tenney. She's falling further behind as more ballots are counted, that's a losing combination, a larger deficit, and fewer votes left to count. https://t.co/ae1Ny8Osws — Kevin O'Connell (@Kevtoco) November 17, 2018 NEW YORK 27 – Indicted Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) still leads by over 1,000 votes in this western New York district, with one big cache of absentee ballots and provisionals to count next Tuesday around Buffalo. Democrat Nate McMurray has been winning a majority of absentee ballots in recent days in counties where he lost the Election Day vote, making some wonder if he has a chance to win this race at the last minute next week. This is the equivalent of betting a horse that’s maybe 9-1. It might win. Nate McMurray continues to gain ground in counties that he lost to Rep. Chris Collins in. Biggest test will be Tuesday when the Erie County absentee and affidavit votes will be counted. https://t.co/f5nincKkZx — WGRZ (@WGRZ) November 16, 2018 GEORGIA 7 – While the race for Governor is over, Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) has a 419 vote edge in this suburban Atlanta district, with all of the votes counted. Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux announced on Friday afternoon that she would ask for a recount. While a recount doesn’t usually switch the outcome, we have certainly seen in Florida and other states in recent days where there are tabulation errors uncovered – so you can’t say this is in the bag for the GOP – but they are favored. News: We will file for a recount of the 7th district race. With a margin of only 419 votes (0.14%), we want to make sure every vote was counted correctly & fairly. It is crucial that every eligible vote is counted & every voice is heard. #GA07 #GAPol — Carolyn Bourdeaux (@Carolyn4GA7) November 16, 2018 TEXAS 23 – Even though she’s behind by just under 1,000 votes, Cindy Ortiz Jones spent the week in Washington going through freshman orientation, but that may not work out for the Texas Democrat, as Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) seems like he’s in good position in this race, leading by 0.5 percent. Hurd’s people on Friday were declaring victory, but it wasn’t clear if Jones would press for any kind of vote review. Republicans are favored to hold on to this border district, but it was much closer than anyone had predicted. Bexar County has finished counting, leaving only six votes left to count (Kinney & Upton). @WillHurd has won by 928 votes, this race is over #TX23 — Connor Pfeiffer (@ConnorPfeiffer) November 16, 2018 Democrats right now have a net gain of 36 seats – they should win at least two of the undecided races left, and have an outside chance at others. Right now, the new Congress stands at 231 Democrats to 198 Republicans, with six seats undecided. One final note – this extended time of vote counting is totally normal. Reporters follow it every two years, but many partisans think there is something amiss.
  • Deputies say Rick Swan’s body was found in a burned travel trailer east of Claremore on Thursday. Investigators tracked down Kevin Foster, the victim’s stepson at his home in Bixby and arrested him for first degree murder and first degree arson. “He certainly denied the fact that he had been in Claremore yesterday,” said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton. “And we know by multiple sources and video that he was.” Sheriff Walton says it was well known that Foster and Swan had been in a feud.
  • A public memorial service is scheduled for country music star Roy Clark. His longtime manager, Jim Halsey, says the service will be at Rhema Bible Church in Broken Arrow on November 21st. Clark passed away yesterday at his Tulsa home after complications from pneumonia. He was 85-years-old. The legend was known for his music and his 24 years on Hee Haw. KRMG will be at the memorial. Tune to NEWS102.3 and AM740 KRMG for the latest.  
  • Ironically, the 2018 edition of the Blue Dome Arts Festival was the largest, best-attended, and by all accounts most successful in the event’s 15-year run. But when Jo and Chris Armstrong saw the sign go up that Santa Fe Square has begun leasing spaces, they knew that was the last nail in the coffin. “That’s great for Tulsa, it’s great for the Blue Dome District.  As a business owner down here, it’ll be great for our business, I’m certain of that. For the festival, it means more construction,” Jo Armstrong told KRMG Friday. More construction, and less space. The hotel which just opened nearby would have closed off a quarter of the space the BDAF once had. And while the Armstrongs considered moving the festival, they decided it just wouldn’t feel right. “If we move it, it’s just not the same. It’s not the Blue Dome Arts Festival. It’s more than the fact that we use the Blue Dome as our office. It’s that it’s this iconic landmark that is the heart of the festival, and it’s important to be near it. We could shrink the festival down and do things very, very differently, but unfortunately still yet the festival is diminished, and it’s only going to get more and more so while this stuff is happening for now, until new things can be figured out... potentially... maybe.” Another complication is the state’s new liquor laws, which no longer allow for “low-point” beer consumers to leave the premises from which it was purchased. That means they would have had to fence in the entire festival, at great cost, and face fines for every individual citation issued. She says while she knows closing the festival is the right decision, that doesn’t make it any easier. “This has been a hard day,” she said. “I’m not gonna lie.”