Girl, 7, and Driver Killed in Tennessee School Bus Crash, Several More Injured

At least two people have been killed after a school bus carrying children was involved in a serious crash on Tuesday in Tennessee, officials said. A 7-year-old girl and her bus driver were killed after the school bus collided with a utility service vehicle at 7751 State Highway 58 in Meigs County, about an hour northeast of Chattanooga. Their identities have not been released by officials. Five other children were injured in the accident, with one in critical condition, police said. They were being treated at Chattanooga’s Children’s Hospital at Erlange. There were 22 passengers on the bus at the time of the crash, officials said. The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating a double fatality crash involving a school bus and utility service vehicle at 7751 State Highway 58 in Meigs County, Tennessee. More info to come as updates become available. Our thoughts are with all parties involved. — TN Highway Patrol (@TNHighwayPatrol) October 27, 2020 The Tennessee Highway Patrol announced on Twitter that it is investigating the double fatality crash. At the time of the crash, the school bus was transporting the children home. The utility service vehicle reportedly ran into the bus head-on after swerving into the southbound lane. A student who was on the bus at the time of the accident told News4 Nashville that there was a “big bang” and “everybody was just screaming.” “There were people laying on the floor, glass everywhere,” the student said. The driver of the utility vehicle, from Service Electric, is being treated for minor injuries, The Associated Press reported. In a statement, the Tennessee Department of Education extended its condolences to the families of those involved in the collision. “I and the entire staff at the Tennessee Department of Education are deeply saddened to hear about the fatal bus crash in Meigs County earlier this afternoon. No words can express our sympathies for those lives that were lost,” said Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We send our deepest condolences to the students, families, school staff and leaders, district staff, and the entire Meigs County community affected by this tragic accident and wish healing for all those injured. The department has communicated with district leaders and staff in Meigs County and surrounding areas and is mobilizing to support this community in safety response and services.” I’m deeply saddened to hear the news coming out of Meigs County this evening about a serious school bus crash. My thoughts are with these children and their families. Until we have more information, we will hope for the best and keep them in our prayers. — Andy Berke (@AndyBerke) October 27, 2020 “I’m deeply saddened to hear the news coming out of Meigs County this evening about a serious school bus crash,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke posted on Twitter. “My thoughts are with these children and their families. Until we have more information, we will hope for the best and keep them in our prayers.”

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Trump and Biden offer sharply different visions to tackle Covid in final TV debate

Donald Trump and Joe Biden offered starkly different visions for combating the coronavirus pandemic during Thursday night’s final presidential debate in Nashville – perhaps the last chance for the president to shift the dynamics of a race that increasingly favors his Democratic opponent with less than two weeks until election day. The evening in Nashville began relatively calmly, with the rivals making their closing arguments to the nation amid a pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 Americans and infected millions more, including the president. In part due to the pandemic, more than 40 million Americans have already cast their ballot, shattering records and leaving Trump an increasingly narrow window to reset the debate. Trump continued to downplay the severity of the public health crisis, defending his response and predicting that a vaccine was imminent, even though his own public health experts have said one would likely not be widely available to the American public until next summer. “It will go away,” Trump said, offering a rosy assessment of the pandemic’s trajectory even as cases have started rising again across the US and public health experts warn that the US is on the precipice of a dangerous new wave. “We’re rounding the corner,” he added. “We can’t keep this country closed. This is a massive country with a massive economy,” Trump said. “There’s depression, alcohol, drugs at a level nobody’s ever seen before. The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself.” In contrast, Biden opened his remarks by acknowledging the grim toll of the coronavirus pandemic and warned that the nation must prepare for “a dark winter”. Biden said: “220,000 deaths. If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this. Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States.” The 90-minute debate was a far more civil affair than the first presidential debate last month, which devolved into a chaotic brawl with Trump incessantly hectoring his opponent and sparring with the moderator. On Thursday, Trump largely abided by the rules, allowing Biden to speak uninterrupted, and even complimenting the moderator, the NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker, who he spent the last week criticizing. Biden, too, was more restrained. When Trump made a false claim about his opponent, Biden looked skyward, as if calling on a higher power to keep him from reacting. But it didn’t always stop him. When Trump said Biden called his decision to impose Covid-19 related travel restrictions on China “xenophobic”, the Democrat shot back: “He is xenophobic, but not because he cut off access from China.” The candidates clashed sharply on their finances and family business entanglements, with Trump repeatedly leveling unsubstantiated claims about the president’s son, Hunter Biden. The Democratic nominee defended his son and categorically denied the accusations as he sought to turn the conversation back to policy. “There’s a reason why he’s bringing up all this malarkey,” Biden said, speaking directly to the camera. “He doesn’t want to talk about the substantive issues. It’s not about his family and my family. It’s about your family.”

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Biden: Muting Mics at Debate a ‘Good Idea,’ ‘More Limitations’ Needed

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden this week praised the decision made by the Commission on Presidential Debates to mute candidates’ microphones during the second and final debate with President Donald Trump in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday. “I think it’s a good idea,” Biden told WISN12 News on Tuesday. His comments came a day after the commission announced that candidates’ microphones would alternatively be initially muted for two minutes to allow each candidate uninterrupted response time to the six debate topics . The commission added that after each candidate speaks uninterrupted, 15 minutes of open discussion will follow without any muting. However, Biden said that he believes the debate changes should go even further. “I think there should be more limitations on us not interrupting one another,” he added. “If you noticed last time, according to Chris Wallace, he interrupted the president and me 148 times,” Biden continued. “I hope [Trump] is going to come prepared to talk about what he’s for, but my guess is, he’s kind of signaling that it’s going to all be about personal attacks because he doesn’t want to talk about why he’s taking away health care at the time we’re in the middle of a pandemic, why he has no plan for health care, why he hasn’t provided the money to allow businesses the ability to reopen, why he’s not dealing with unemployment, etc.” “But I’m going to try very hard to focus on the issues that affect the American people, and talk to them, and I hope they keep the rule—that uninterrupted two minutes,” he said. Read More Trump Says He’ll Try to Provide a ‘Much Cheaper System’ Than Obamacare Biden Says Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Would Undo Obamacare Trump, meanwhile, has said that he objects to changes for Thursday’s debate, calling them “very unfair.” “I will participate, but it’s very unfair that they changed the topics and it is very unfair that again we have an anchor who is totally biased,” the president told reporters aboard Air Force One on Monday. The Trump campaign said the president would participate “regardless of last minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate.” Trump’s remarks came after his campaign called on the commission to include foreign policy as one of the six topics that will be included in Thursday’s debate. “As is the long-standing custom, and as had been promised by the Commission on Presidential Debates, we had expected that foreign policy would be the central focus of the Oct. 22 debate. We urge you to recalibrate the topics and return to subjects which had already been confirmed,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien wrote in a letter on Monday. The commission said on Friday that moderator Kristen Welker of NBC had selected the following topics for the debate: Fighting COVID-19, American Families, Race in America, Climate Change, National Security, and Leadership. Biden campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo told reporters in a statement that “the campaigns and the commission agreed months ago that the debate moderator would choose the topics.” He added that “the Trump campaign is lying about that now because Donald Trump is afraid to face more questions about his disastrous COVID response.” Stepien accused the commission of trying to shield Biden from having to talk about foreign policy, coming after reports last week claimed that his son, Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma, tried to introduce an official from the firm to his father when he served as vice president of the United States. Biden’s campaign said the meeting never took place and Biden accused the claim as being part of a “smear campaign,” although neither parties have disputed the authenticity of emails surrounding the alleged meeting. “It is completely irresponsible for the commission to alter the focus of this final debate just days before the event, solely to insulate Biden from his own history,” Stepien’s letter said. Regardless of the format, Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller said that Trump would most likely bring up Biden’s family business ties during Thursday’s debate. The Trump campaign has repeatedly criticized the debate commission as holding bias against Trump. The debate is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.

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VIDEO: Hundreds Join Trump Car Parade Across Tennessee County

Hundreds of vehicles in Sullivan County, Tennessee, joined a car parade supporting President Donald Trump on Saturday. The event, dubbed the “Trump Train Parade,” started in Bluff City and stretched for 20 miles into downtown Bristol before ending in Kingsport, video footage of the parade showed. “We wanted to come out and show support for our president, and we just want to

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Rapper Who Boasted About Getting Rich Off $1.2 Million in Unemployment Arrested

A Tennessee rapper who boasted about getting rich off $1.2 million in unemployment fraud was arrested Friday in Los Angeles. Rapper Nuke Bizzle, who goes by Fontrell Antonio Baines, 31, in real life, “boasted in a YouTube music video about getting rich from committing unemployment benefits fraud,” the Justice Department said in a statement. Baines was arrested for allegedly obtaining California

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