ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
75°
Sunny
H 92° L 71°
  • cloudy-day
    75°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 92° L 71°
  • clear-day
    88°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 92° L 71°
  • clear-day
    88°
    Evening
    Sunny. H 92° L 71°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

State and Regional News

    The winning numbers in Tuesday evening's drawing of the 'Mega Millions' game were: 24-33-45-47-61, Mega Ball: 17, Megaplier: 3 (twenty-four, thirty-three, forty-five, forty-seven, sixty-one; Mega Ball: seventeen; Megaplier: three) Estimated jackpot: $60 million
  • These Oklahoma lotteries were drawn Tuesday: 05-06-13-20-31 (five, six, thirteen, twenty, thirty-one) 24-33-45-47-61, Mega Ball: 17, Megaplier: 3 (twenty-four, thirty-three, forty-five, forty-seven, sixty-one; Mega Ball: seventeen; Megaplier: three) Estimated jackpot: $60 million 8-3-1 (eight, three, one) Estimated jackpot: $122 million
  • The winning numbers in Tuesday evening's drawing of the Oklahoma Lottery's 'Cash 5' game were: 05-06-13-20-31 (five, six, thirteen, twenty, thirty-one)
  • The winning numbers in Tuesday evening's drawing of the Oklahoma Lottery's 'Pick 3' game were: 8-3-1 (eight, three, one)
  • All 11 people on board a skydiving plane died when it crashed and burned at a small airfield north of Honolulu last week. It was the worst civilian aviation accident in the U.S. since 2011. The Honolulu Medical Examiner's office has identified seven victims, including a young couple from Colorado celebrating their first wedding anniversary, several skydiving instructors and a Navy sailor. Family members have confirmed the deaths of two others. JOSHUA DRABLOS The Navy said Lt. Joshua Drablos, 27, was 'an invaluable member' of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, based in Kunia, Hawaii. Drablos was a 2015 graduate of the Naval Academy where he studied quantitative economics, reported the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. Rory Quiller coached Drablos in track and field during his four years at the academy. He said Drablos had a passion for everything he did. 'Josh had an immediate and profound impact on people,' said Quiller, a volunteer assistant track and field coach. Quiller said the team always had Drablos take recruits around the academy because his personality would get them fired up about being there. WSET in Lynchburg, Virginia, reported Drablos was a skilled pole vaulter at Jefferson Forest High School in Forest, Virginia. His former high school coach, Michael Parker, said Drablos was fearless, fast and always up for an adventure. NIKOLAS GLEBOV The 28-year-old was a 'kind, sweet and gentle young man' who loved bicycling and the outdoors, said his stepfather, Mike Mostad. He loved and protected his little sister, who was eight years younger than him. Mostad called him 'the best big brother a little sister could hope for.' 'I loved him like he was my own son,' Mostad said. Glebov was born in Donetsk, Ukraine, and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, when he was 13. He was mature for his age and dedicated to his studies. He played tennis and rode his bicycle so much he went through three bikes in four years. 'Even in January in 2 feet of snow he rode his bicycle,' Mostad said. He attended college, but found it wasn't for him and enlisted in the Air Force at age 20. More recently, he went to work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on board a fisheries survey ship based in Kodiak, Alaska. Glebov was at the end of a one-month, six-island Hawaii vacation at the time of the crash. He was scheduled to return to Alaska on Sunday, two days after the crash. DANIEL HERNDON The Oklahoma native worked as a skydiving instructor at Oahu Parachute Center. Stacy Richmond told KTUL in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that her brother passed away doing what he loved. 'He told me when we were kids that he wanted to skydive when he grew up, and it's what he loved to do,' she said. She said Herndon's wife, Natt, would be spreading his ashes in the ocean because he loved the water. Oahu Parachute Center's website said Herndon had over 10 years of experience and had completed 4,000 jumps. He was a certified instructor and videographer. The website said he enjoyed sharing the sport with others, exploring the islands and scuba diving. Herndon's family plans a private memorial skydive in his honor. A public memorial service is scheduled for July 1 in Oklahoma. MICHAEL MARTIN The 32-year-old skydiving instructor also taught kite surfing. His girlfriend, Alex Nakao, visited a growing memorial near the crash site over the weekend, Hawaii News Now reported . 'He did get stressed out at work sometimes, but he loved what he did,' she said. 'He died doing what he loved.' JORDAN TEHERO Jordan Tehero, a 23-year-old from the Hawaii island of Kauai, took up skydiving a few years ago as a distraction from the breakup of a relationship, his father, Garret Tehero, said. Then his son 'went and fell in love' with the sport, he said. His parents were both worried about his new hobby. 'Because of our fear, we wanted him to stop,' the father said. 'But he didn't have the fear that we had, so he just continued.' Any fears he may have had were taken care of with prayer. 'He always told me, 'Dad, I pray before every flight, before every jump, I pray,'' the father said. ASHLEY and BRYAN WEIKEL The Colorado Springs, Colorado, couple were celebrating their first wedding anniversary at the time of the crash. Relatives told KCNC-TV that Bryan and Ashley Weikel were really excited to go skydiving but Bryan's mother, Kathy Reed-Gerk, said she had begged him not to go. Bryan was 27, and Ashley was 26 years old. They posted images on social media leading up to the flight, including a final post of a video of the plane pulling up to them. The family says the tail number on the plane in the video matched that of the one that crashed. Bryan's brother Kenneth Reed wrote on Facebook that his brother was 'the absolute best person in the world' and that his wife was his 'identical soul mate.' CASEY WILLIAMSON Casey Williamson's love of adventure led him to winter snowboarding in Vail, Colorado, and summer skydiving in Moab, Utah. A year-and-a-half ago, he found his way to Hawaii, where he could skydive year-round. The 29-year-old was his mother Carla Ajaga's only child, his cousin Natacha Mendenhall said. 'We're all very upset,' said Mendenhall, speaking from her home in Fort Worth, Texas. 'She cannot really talk right now. What she wants everyone to know is how full of life her son was, how loving he was.' Williamson, who was from Yukon, Oklahoma, worked as an instructor and as a videographer who filmed customers as they dove. He was trying to earn more jumping hours and learn the trade, Mendenhall said. The Honolulu Medical Examiner's office hasn't identified Williamson. But his family provided Honolulu police with Williamson's name and date of birth, and the police confirmed he was on the flight, Mendenhall said. ___ Associated Press writers Rachel D'Oro in Anchorage, Alaska, Colleen Slevin in Denver and AP Researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a man sentenced to death for a fatal stabbing during an Oklahoma City robbery nearly 20 years ago. Attorneys for 39-year-old Tremane Wood argued in the appeal that he received ineffective legal assistance during his trial over the 2001 killing of Ronald Wimpf. Attorneys for Wood, whose first name is spelled Termane in state court documents, claimed a court-appointed lawyer was 'struggling with substance abuse' at the time. The high court denied Wood's appeal Monday. In January it declined to review his sentence when lawyers argued people of color in Oklahoma are more likely to receive death sentences when victims are white. Oklahoma hasn't executed anyone since 2015 following mishaps including a botched lethal injection that left a man writhing on the gurney.
  • A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the spokesman for a group of armed civilians that patrols the U.S.-Mexico border will be released to a halfway house in New Mexico while he faces charges that he impersonated a federal agent there. U.S. Magistrate Judge Shon Erwin ordered James Christopher Benvie, 44, of Albany, Minnesota, to be conditionally released to a halfway house in Las Cruces, New Mexico, once authorities find a place for him. Conditions include that Benvie stop associating with the border group and find a job, wear a GPS monitoring device and stay at least 10 miles (16 kilometers) away from the U.S.-Mexico border. A grand jury in New Mexico indicted Benvie last week on two counts of impersonating a Border Patrol agent in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, on April 15 and 17. The FBI arrested Benvie on Friday outside the Logan County Courthouse in Guthrie Oklahoma, where he had appeared to face state charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and attempting to obtain money by false pretenses. Prosecutors alleged Benvie was a flight risk and a danger to the community and asked that he be detained while facing the New Mexico charges. But Erwin said he did not consider Benvie a flight risk because he has appeared for his court hearings on the state charges. The judge also said he does not consider Benvie particularly dangerous because he doesn't carry a weapon and he has never made specific threats. Prosecutors presented a 12-minute video narrated by Benvie and recorded at an undisclosed location along the southwestern border with Mexico. In the recording, Benvie complains that a gate in a privately funded border wall meant to keep immigrants from crossing into the U.S. illegally had been locked open in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union. 'We're not going to let this happen. We're going to fight,' Benvie says in the video. 'We're not going to let this gate stay open. They want war, they're going to get war.' Benvie was a spokesman for a group called the United Constitutional Patriots before becoming a spokesman for a splinter group called the Guardian Patriots. United Constitutional Patriots drew widespread criticism after frequent social media posts showing masked men in combat fatigues chasing migrants and ordering them to stay put until border agents arrive. Videos capture agents taking migrants into custody. The group was thrown out of its camp for trespassing in Sunland Park, New Mexico, near El Paso, Texas. Armed civilian groups on the border have portrayed themselves as auxiliaries to the Border Patrol off and on for years. But videos show U.S. authorities keeping them at a distance while also responding to reports of people illegally entering the country. Benvie's court-appointed attorney, Bill Earley, said Benvie 'considers himself a citizen reporter' who agrees with the views expressed by President Donald Trump that illegal immigration is 'a national crisis.' 'He's just exposing what he feels is a flawed system,' Earley said. Erwin said that in spite of the inflammatory language, the video seemed more like a fundraising tool and at one point referred to Benvie as 'a con man.' 'In some ways this is a First Amendment case,' the judge said. 'I don't think of the video as being particularly incendiary.' Benvie, who appeared at the hearing in a jail-issued jumpsuit and handcuffs, will remain in custody in Oklahoma until he is moved to the halfway house in New Mexico. Erwin set Benvie's bond at $5,000 and ordered him to report to federal authorities in New Mexico once he is relocated.
  • Oklahoma State has hired Cannen Cunningham as an assistant basketball coach. Cunningham, a former SMU star, spent last season at Tulane as the associate director of video operations under Mike Dunleavy Sr. He was responsible for acquiring, editing and distributing team film to the coaching staff and assisting with opponent scouting. As a player at SMU, Cunningham established a program record for games played with 134 and helped the Mustangs reach the 2015 NCAA Tournament. His 131 blocks ranked sixth and his 52.1 percent field goal percentage stood 10th in school history when he graduated. John Cooper will now serve as special assistant coach Mike Boynton. He has been on Boynton's staff the past two seasons. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • North Dakota's sole abortion clinic filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday over two state laws it believes forces doctors to lie, including one measure passed this year requiring physicians to tell women that they may reverse a so-called medication abortion if they have second thoughts. The complaint from the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of the Red River Women's Clinic and the American Medical Association also targets an existing law requiring doctors to tell patients that abortion terminates 'the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.' The suit says the laws violate the constitutional rights of doctors by forcing them to 'convey false information and non-medical statements' to patients. It asks a judge to block enforcement. 'The First Amendment prohibits the government from hijacking the doctor-patient relationship to advance a political agenda,' said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. A spokeswoman for North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said he was served with the complaint late Tuesday and was reviewing it. Stenehjem said earlier when asked about the possibility of a lawsuit that he will be required to defend the current laws. Cass County State's Attorney Birch Burdick, also named as a defendant, had not seen the lawsuit and said he could not comment. North Dakota is among eight states, including five in the last year, to pass or amend laws requiring doctors to tell women undergoing medication abortions they can still have a live birth after the procedure. The North Dakota law, scheduled to go into effect Aug. 1, also requires doctors to tell the patient that 'time is of the essence' if she changes her mind. Republican state Rep. Daniel Johnston said he sponsored the bill so that 'women having second thoughts' know they have options. He said the bill does not restrict abortions and couldn't see 'how anyone could be against it.' Johnston did not respond to phone and email messages. AMA President Dr. Patrice Harris told The Associated Press that North Dakota's law requires doctors to 'mislead and misinform' their patients and the consequences could undermine relationships between all physicians and patients. The AMA, which is the country's largest physician organization, sued the Trump administration in March over funding for family planning organizations offering abortion services. 'The AMA will step in when there is any interference with our ability to talk to our patients about legal, evidence-based medical procedures,' Harris said by phone from Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she was attending an event by the British Medical Association. She said AMA lawyers are monitoring all laws they believe infringe on doctor-patient relationships and decided North Dakota's was the next case to be 'actively involved in.' Other states that have passed similar laws that require patients to be informed about medication abortion reversal are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Utah. The suit says there is no 'credible, scientific evidence' that a medication abortion can be reversed and the drug that would be used in the procedure has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The other law requiring doctors to define a fetus is part of the state's longstanding abortion control act. The suit says the mandate is a 'controversial and ideological opinion about when life begins' and is meant to further the state's attempt to discourage abortion. Tammi Kromenaker, director of the Red River Women's Clinic, said the measures do not allow doctors to give honest and informed advice. 'North Dakota's laws are forcing us to say things that violate our medical ethics and will soon force us to say things that are simply false and not backed up by science,' Kromenaker said. Lawmakers passed another abortion bill this year that bans the method of so-called dilation and evacuation. It would make it a crime for a doctor performing a second-trimester abortion to use instruments such as clamps, scissors and forceps to remove the fetus from the womb. Opponents have called it 'human dismemberment abortion.' ___ This story has been corrected to show that the American Medical Association is monitoring all laws they believe infringe on doctor-patient relationships, not just abortion laws.
  • A motorcade will escort the remains of a sailor who died during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor from Denver to the burial site in Wyoming. The Laramie Boomerang reports the remains of Navy Machinist's Mate 1st Class George Hanson will be escorted Wednesday to Laramie, Wyoming for a burial Saturday. The sailor's remains were identified last December. Hanson was among the 429 crewmembers killed when the USS Oklahoma capsized after being hit by aerial torpedoes during the surprise attack on military installations in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. The Federal Protection Agency is overseeing the motorcade. Agency Director Leah Mondy says police, fire and emergency medical services personnel will be along the route to render honors. ___ Information from: Laramie Boomerang, http://www.laramieboomerang.com
  • Scientists at the University of St. Andrews taught three young gray seals to sing, literally. >> Read more trending news Seals, which generally bark, and other marine mammals are known for some of the sounds they make. Whales sing, dolphins click, penguins peep and walruses bellow. Researchers, though, were able to train the three young seals to bark out the notes to the opening bars of the theme from “Star Wars” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” The research is published in the journal Current Biology. It’s not just that teaching a seal to sing is an interesting project, St. Andrews scientists said they wanted to learn more about how seals communicate with each other, according to Smithsonian magazine. Knowing how seals communicate in the wild could become important in the future to conservation efforts.  
  • Climate change in the Western U.S. means more intense and frequent wildfires churning out waves of smoke that scientists say will sweep across the continent to affect tens of millions of people and cause a spike in premature deaths. That emerging reality is prompting people in cities and rural areas alike to gird themselves for another summer of sooty skies along the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountains — the regions widely expected to suffer most from blazes tied to dryer, warmer conditions. “There’s so little we can do. We have air purifiers and masks — otherwise we’re just like ‘Please don’t burn,’” said Sarah Rochelle Montoya of San Francisco, who fled her home with her husband and children last fall to escape thick smoke enveloping the city from a disastrous fire roughly 150 miles away. Other sources of air pollution are in decline in the U.S. as coal-fired power plants close and fewer older cars roll down highways. But those air quality gains are being erased in some areas by the ill effects of massive clouds of smoke that can spread hundreds and even thousands of miles on cross-country winds, according to researchers. With the 2019 fire season already heating up with fires from southern California to Canada, authorities are scrambling to better protect the public before smoke again blankets cities and towns. Officials in Seattle recently announced plans to retrofit five public buildings as smoke-free shelters.
  • First lady Melania Trump announced Tuesday that her director of communications, Stephanie Grisham, has been named as the new White House press secretary. >> Read more trending news  'I can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country,' Trump said in a statement posted on Twitter. The first lady said Grisham will also serve as White House director of communications, a position that's been vacant since former Fox News executive Bill Shine left the role in March. Grisham will replace the current press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. President Donald Trump announced two weeks ago that Sanders, plans to step down at the end of June. '(Grisham) will be an incredible asset to the President and the country,' Sanders said in a statement posted on Twitter. 'I’m sad to leave the WH, but so happy our team will be in such great hands. Stephanie will do a phenomenal job.' Axios reported President Trump wanted Grisham in the position and that he's said he likes and trusts her. The news site noted she's one of the few officials who has been with President Trump since his campaign. She will continue to serve as the first lady's spokeswoman as well, CNN reported. Grisham will become the fourth woman to serve as White House press secretary. Before serving as the first lady's spokeswoman, Grisham worked under Trump's first press secretary, Sean Spicer, The Washington Post reported. She also previously worked on Republican Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, according to the newspaper. “During the campaign, she developed a good relationship with the president, and that’s carried through,” Sanders said of Grisham in an interview late last year, according to the Post. “She has developed a great amount of trust from both the president and the first lady, which is a pretty high commodity here. There aren’t a lot of people who have a lot of regular interaction with both of them.”
  • The Forsyth County, Georgia sheriff's office has released body camera footage of the moments deputies rescued an abandoned newborn found in a plastic shopping bag. >> Read more trending news  Neighbors heard a baby crying and discovered 'Baby India' tied up in the bag earlier this month, WSB-TV reported.  The new video shows deputies tearing open the bag to find the newborn with her umbilical cord still attached. The video shows officers frantically wrapping the crying baby in a jacket. She has since been taken into the custody of the Division of Family and Children services' care and is in good health.  Deputies hope releasing the body camera footage will generate more leads and help find the infant's mother. WARNING: Graphic video below. Police are asking anyone with information to call the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office at 770-888-7308. Callers can remain anonymous. 
  • A sleeping passenger on an Air Canada flight said she woke up “all alone” in a “cold, dark” plane after arriving in Toronto earlier this month after a weekend trip to Quebec. >> Read more trending news  Passenger Tiffani Adams recounted what she called a “nightmare” in a social media post shared by a friend June 19. “I wake up around midnight (few hours after flight landed) freezing cold still strapped in my seat in complete darkness (I’m talking pitch black). As someone with an anxiety disorder as is, I can tell you how terrifying this was. I think I’m having a bad dream [because], like seriously, how is this happening!!? Adams said in the Facebook post. She first tried to call a friend, but her cellphone battery died and there was no power in the plane, so she couldn’t recharge it. She said she was “full on panicking” by the time she reached the cockpit looking for a means of calling attention to her plight, but nothing worked in the cockpit. >> Trending: Mysterious feline species called a cat-fox discovered prowling around French island She said she found a flashlight in the cockpit and tried shining the light out the windows but nobody came to her assistance. Finally, Adams managed to get a cabin door unbolted and was considering the steep drop to the tarmac below when she spotted a ground crew worker, who helped get her out of the jet. After realizing the mistake, Air Canada employees offered her a limo ride and a free hotel stay, but Adams said she refused the offer because she just wanted to get home. Now she’s having a tough time sleeping after the scary ordeal. “I haven’t got much sleep since the reoccurring night terrors and waking up anxious and afraid I’m alone locked up someplace dark,” she said. The airline said it is investigating how the flight crew missed Adams when they deplaned. >> Trending: Enormous, furry head of 40,000 year old Ice Age wolf found in melting Siberian permafrost  The airline confirmed the incident took place, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, but refused to comment on disembarking procedures or how Adams could have been left on the plane.

Washington Insider

  • On the eve of the first major gathering of Democratic Party candidates in the 2020 race for President, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) drew over a thousand interested Democrats to a town hall gathering at Florida International University on Monday, pressing the case for the federal government to do more to help working Americans find economic security in the future. 'I don't want a government that works for big corporations, I want one that works for families,' Warren said to applause, making the case for a higher minimum wage for workers, major ethics reforms for government officials, voting reforms, major tax changes, and more. 'Let's start with a wealth tax in America,' said Sanders, as she called for 'big structural change in this country,' rattling off a number of her policy ideas, getting big cheers for new limits on lobbying, action on climate change, and better wages for all workers. “A full time minimum wage job in America will not get a momma and a baby out of poverty,” Warren said.  “That is wrong, and that is why I am in this fight.” Of the ten Democrats on the debate stage Wednesday night, Warren is by far the strongest candidate in the first group, as she has been gaining momentum in recent weeks in a variety of polls. The four other top Democrats in the race will be on stage together on Thursday - Biden, Buttigieg, Harris and Sanders. Along with Warren, two other Democrats attracted press attention in south Florida before the Wednesday debate, as Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State talked about his signature issue of climate change, and ex-Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas rallied with teachers in Miami. 'It's a great opportunity for me to listen to you, to have the chance to introduce myself,' said O'Rourke, who is one of the better known names on the first night of the Democratic debate. The first debate night in Miami features three Democratic Senators (Booker, Klobuchar, Warren), two House members (Gabbard, Ryan), two former House members (Delaney, O'Rourke), one current mayor (DeBlasio), one former mayor and Cabinet member (Castro), and one Governor (Inslee). While some like Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) arrived in Florida on Tuesday afternoon - getting unsolicited advice along the way from fellow passengers on her flight to Miami - Inslee was for a second day hammering away at his main issue of climate change. 'Today we're announcing a new freedom in America, and that's freedom from fossil fuels,' Inslee said at an event in the Everglades. Inslee followed up his Everglades visit with a Tuesday evening event where he took shots at Big Oil. For most of the Democrats over the next two nights, there is a simple game plan.  'Our goal,' a memo to reporters from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said, 'Introduce Cory to Democrats tuning in for the first time,' noting that when you do the math, each candidate is only going to get between seven and eleven minutes of total speaking time. 'I can’t wait to share with you my vision for a more just and fair nation,' Booker said. Meanwhile, Warren was making plans for an impromptu visit on Wednesday to a facility south of Miami, where immigrant children detained by border authorities are being held. “I'm going to Homestead,” Warren said to cheers after being urged to focus on the issue by an activist at a town hall meeting in Miami. “If you can come, come and join us,” Warren urged the crowd, as her campaign set a 10:45 am visit on Wednesday, which seems all but certain to draw extra news media attention, just hours before the first night of the Democratic debates. While Warren was on the move, her colleague Sen. Booker was doing more mundane things at the same time back in Washington, D.C. - helping people put their suitcases in the overhead bin on his flight to Miami.
  • Pressing ahead with work on government funding bills for 2020, Democrats in the House approved a package of five measures worth $383.3 billion on Tuesday, funding an array of programs from the Justice Department to NASA, military construction projects and the VA, while also including a series of policy riders designed to rein in efforts by the Trump Administration to expand offshore oil and gas exploration. 'Offshore drilling anywhere near Florida represents an existential threat to our economy that we cannot risk taking,' said Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL), as all but one Republican from the Sunshine State supported an amendment to block new oil and gas leasing off Florida, especially in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. 'I saw the tar balls wash up on Florida beaches,' said Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), and he invoked the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico when he was Governor of Florida in 2010. 'I hope to never see that again.' But it wasn't only Florida lawmakers of both parties making the case against expanded drilling, as the bill also added amendments to block seismic blasting to check for oil and gas deposits in offshore waters along the entire Atlantic coast, along with a full moratorium on new oil and gas exploration on the Eastern seaboard, plus a plan to block any new oil and gas leasing off the Pacific Coast of the United States. 'The Central Coast has endured the devastating impacts of oil spills,' said California Democrat Salud Carbajal. 'I'll do everything in my power to make sure our community doesn't go through that again.' Supporters of expanded offshore oil and gas exploration accused opponents of using 'fear tactics.' 'I believe the ones who don’t want to see the areas mentioned in this amendment opened up for offshore leasing really just don’t want fossil fuel development,' said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC). But Duncan's home state colleague - from the Atlantic coast - had a much different view. 'Far too much is at stake in our State,' said Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), who argued for plans to squelch new offshore exploration. 'South Carolina’s tourism economy is worth $22.6 billion a year, and two-thirds of that comes from the coast.' 'This is an issue that has been supported by Republican Governor (Henry) McMaster, who has made it clear that he opposes offshore drilling,' Cunningham added. The approval of the underlying 'minibus' funding package means that nine of the twelve yearly funding bills have made it through the House of Representatives; one more could be voted on this week before lawmakers leave for a scheduled break. Those spending bills are supposed to be done by October 1 - but the House only has 25 scheduled work days between the July Fourth break and the end of the fiscal year. The Senate has one more week of work scheduled than the House - but there is little reason to think that Congress will finish its on time - by September 30 - for the first time since 1996. 'The current funding process is designed to fail. It doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked. It will never work,' said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who has been pressing for a full overhaul of the budget process.  'Since the Budget Act of 1974 was put in place, Congress has only funded the federal government on time four times, and the last time was 23 years ago,' Perdue added. The three funding bills not yet voted on by the House include the spending measure for Congress and the Legislative Branch, a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, and a measure funding federal financial agencies. The Senate has yet to bring any of the 2020 funding bills to the floor for action.
  • In a flurry of motions by prosecutors and lawyers for indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), government attorneys submitted to a federal judge a number of examples of how Hunter allegedly used money contributed to his campaign to instead pay for romantic outings with a series of women who were not his wife. 'Shortly after he arrived in Washington, Hunter began to use funds contributed to the Duncan D. Hunter for Congress Campaign to carry out a series of intimate relationships,' a new document filed on Monday detailed for a federal judge. 'At trial, the evidence will demonstrate that Hunter improperly used campaign funds to pursue these romances wholly unrelated to either his congressional campaigns or his official duties as a member of Congress,' prosecutors said in a 'statement of facts.' Stating there was a 'voluminous nature' of evidence against Hunter, the document set out an image of a Congressman who had affairs with lobbyists and Congressional staffers, paying for their meals, trips, and nights on the town with campaign funds. 'In March 2010, for example, the couple took a weekend “double date” road trip to Virginia Beach with their friends, one of whom was also a congressman. Hunter spent $905 in campaign funds to pay for the hotel bar tab and room he shared with (Individual-14) that weekend,' the documents related. The documents listed evidence about Hunter's relationships with: + Individual 14 - a lobbyist,  + Individual 15 - a staffer who worked in the office of a member of the House leadership,  + Individual 16 - a staffer in his Congressional office,  + Individual 17 - a lobbyist,  + Individual 18 - a lobbyist. The court submission sometimes left little to the imagination, as it noted Hunter engaging in 'intimate personal activities' with these individuals, which was not related to his campaign or duties as a lawmaker. The release of the information by prosecutors came as lawyers for Rep. Hunter asked the judge in the case to exclude a number of pieces of evidence, as Hunter has alleged he is the victim of a political persecution. 'The investigation of Congressman Hunter by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California began shortly after his public endorsement of candidate Trump,' Hunter's lawyers wrote in one of a series of evidence challenges, alleging that two prosecutors involved in the case were supporters of Hillary Clinton. 'Any explanation the Government gives now for initiating the investigation of Congressman Hunter should be viewed with total skepticism through the lens of their attempts to cover up the partisan political activities of the prosecutors that initiated the investigation,' lawyers for Hunter added.
  • Flanked by several progressive Democrats from the U.S. House, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) unveiled plans on Monday to zero out well over $1 trillion in college student loan debt held by Americans, part of a broader call by some lawmakers to make tuition much more affordable for students at public colleges and universities. 'If you can bail out Wall Street, you can bail out the middle class of this country,' Sanders said at a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol. 'We have a generation of people who are drowning in debt,' said Sanders, as he urged older Americans to realize that times have dramatically changed since they were able to use Pell Grants or a part time job to help pay their college tuition. 'It was literally easier for me to become the youngest woman in American history elected to Congress than it is to pay off my student loan debt,' said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). There were different pieces of legislation released today on the issue - one from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is titled the 'Student Debt Cancellation Act of 2019' - and focuses just on the issue of erasing student debt. Omar's bill would also prevent the loan forgiveness from being considered taxable income for an individual, and does not allow any refunds of payments already made. 'Corporations and the wealthiest Americans have repeatedly gotten tax breaks and bailouts,' said Omar. 'It’s time for a bailout for the 45 million Americans who are shackled with student debt.' The immediate reaction among Republicans and conservatives was skeptical - to say the least. 'Universities will be able to increase tuition at will if they know the gov’t is just going to forgive the debt anyway,' tweeted Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH). The plan from Sanders and others would apply to all with student loan debt - no matter their current income levels. His bill would also aim to drastically reduce the cost of tuition at public colleges and universities - with a total cost estimate of $2.2 trillion. 'The estimated $2.2 trillion cost of the bill would be paid for by a tax on Wall Street speculation,' Sanders said in a release about the legislation. The plan would institute a transaction tax of 0.5 percent on stock trades, as well as a 0.1 percent fee on bonds, and a .0005 percent fee on derivatives.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that a government ban on the registration of what federal officials believe are 'immoral or scandalous' trademarks violates the First Amendment, saying it was not right that free speech would protect 'good morals,' but not trademarks which 'denigrate those concepts.' 'The registration of such marks serves only to further coarsen our popular culture,' Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the Court. 'But we are not legislators and cannot substitute a new statute for the one now in force.' The case involved artist and entrepreneur Erik Brunetti, who wanted a trademark for his clothing like 'FUCT' - which he says is pronounced not as a word, but with the individual letters, F-U-C-T.  'But you might read it differently and, if so, you would hardly be alone,' Kagan wrote for the Court, as patent and trademark officials refused to approve Brunetti's request, labeling it a 'total vulgar.' This ruling overturned those decisions. While agreeing with the basics of the decision, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a concurring opinion that while the decision protects free speech, the results might offend many people. 'The Court’s decision today will beget unfortunate results,' Sotomayor wrote in a concurrence with Justice Stephen Breyer. “Everyone can think of a small number of words (including the apparent homonym of Brunetti’s mark) that would, however, plainly qualify,” Sotomayor added. The decision could have implications past trademarks, as states routinely reject vanity license plate applications because of certain words which would be used. You can read the full ruling here.