House Republican introduces amendment to include farm aid in stopgap funding bill

Mike Conaway wearing a suit and tie: House Republican introduces amendment to include farm aid in stopgap funding bill

© Greg Nash
House Republican introduces amendment to include farm aid in stopgap funding bill

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, on Monday introduced an amendment to a stopgap government funding measure that would provide farm aid and extend child nutritional assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.

House Democrats earlier Monday introduced a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funding through Dec. 11.

Negotiators aimed to release a bipartisan stopgap bill on Friday, but talks collapsed after the parties were unable to reach an agreement on whether a provision to provide additional payments to farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), which is capped at a borrowing limit of $30 billion, should be included.

House Democrats ultimately opted to omit the language to provide more funding to CCC on Monday, a move that sparked strong backlash from Republicans in both chambers and leaving just over a week to come to an agreement and avoid a damaging government shutdown.

Conaway’s amendment would change the bill to include language to “reimburse the Commodity Credit Corporation for net realized losses sustained” and extend the increase in child food benefits through 2021.

“This amendment is simple and straightforward. It reflects the bipartisan agreement that was reached last week, and then reneged on by the Democratic leadership on Friday. My amendment replenishes the CCC, the Commodity Credit Corporation, and provides pandemic funding increases for SNAP,” Conaway said during a House Rules Committee mark up following the bill’s release.

“Up until recently, the CCC has been replenished on a bipartisan basis, without controversy. But once again, Democrat leadership has upended this long-standing practice, and I have no real idea why. Democrat leaders are mad at the Trump administration, because they’ve used the CCC dollars to provide trade aid to farmers or ranchers and dairy producers hurt by China, and apparently now the Democrats are mad that the administration is providing CCC dollars to help farmers or ranchers and dairy producers hurt by COVID-19.”

Democrats, however, argue a sweeping Democrat-led relief package that passed the House in May provided relief for farmers that have taken a financial hit as a result of the pandemic and allege the administration is using the funding for political gain.

“What the Trump Administration wanted added to the clean CR wasn’t help for farmers – it was more than $20 billion more taxpayer dollars that the Trump Administration views as a bottomless, unaccountable political slush fund,” one senior Democratic aide said.

Republicans have indicated that the Democrat-led bill faces an uphill battle without the CCC language. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to avert a government shutdown, and the showdown over the bill comes just weeks ahead of election day.

“House Democrats’ rough draft of a government funding bill shamefully leaves out key relief and support that American farmers need. This is no time to add insult to injury and defund help for farmers and rural America,” Senate Majority Leader

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Trump meets with potential Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett at White House

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has emerged as a favorite to be nominated for the vacant Supreme Court seat, met Monday at the White House with President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE, according to a person familiar with the selection process.

Barrett’s meeting with Trump further cements her status as one of the front-runners to replace Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgRegina King accepts Emmy wearing Breonna Taylor shirt, urges viewers to vote Ocasio-Cortez to voters: Tell McConnell ‘he is playing with fire’ with Ginsburg’s seat Mural of Ruth Bader Ginsburg pops up blocks away from White House MORE, who died Friday of pancreatic cancer. The meeting took place Monday afternoon before Trump left for a campaign trip to Ohio.

The president told reporters he was considering five women for Ginsburg’s seat. But sources familiar with the process say Barrett and Barbara Lagoa are the two judges being seriously considered.

“She’s one of the people that’s very respected, but they’re all respected,” Trump said of Barrett. “She is certainly one of the candidates, yes.”

Trump is expected to name his choice for the vacancy on Friday or Saturday, saying he plans to wait until Ginsburg’s memorial services conclude.

Barrett was a favorite among conservatives in 2018 when Trump was mulling who to nominate to fill then-Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat before he ultimately went with Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMcConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight Names to watch as Trump picks Ginsburg replacement on Supreme Court Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE. She remains popular among many Republican senators and conservative groups, and sources said she has an advantage having gone through the vetting process once before.

Trump said he plans to meet with at least a few of the candidates in person. The president said he “may” meet with Lagoa later this week when he is in South Florida.

“She has a lot of support,” Trump said of Lagoa. “I don’t know her, but I hear she’s outstanding. And she’s one of the people we’re looking at.”

Barrett, a former clerk for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, was nominated by Trump to serve on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. She was confirmed in a 55-43 vote by the Senate later that year. At the time, three Democratic senators supported her nomination: Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyNames to watch as Trump picks Ginsburg replacement on Supreme Court Momentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Barrett seen as a front-runner for Trump Supreme Court pick MORE (Ind.), who subsequently lost his 2018 reelection bid, Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineNames to watch as Trump picks Ginsburg replacement on Supreme Court Barrett seen as a front-runner for Trump

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Trustee wins back garden after 10-year legal battle

The Lady Muriel Blake Garden that was allocated in her honour in the 1950s. It is situated along Haile selassie/Lower Hill Road, Nairobi. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

Two private developers who had encroached on a botanical garden, established 64 years ago, have been ordered to pay Sh3.5 million and never set foot on the property. 

This is after the court established that the multi-million-shilling property within Nairobi’s Central Business District in honour of the daughter of England’s 11th Earl of Montgomery – Lady Muriel Jex Blake – was grabbed using a fake title.

High Court judge Loice Komingoi said the court cannot protect Anthony Boro and Qian Quo since the property, measuring 0.59 hectares, has not been sub-divided or transferred. The ruling has brought to an end a legal battle that has been in court for more than a decade.

“It was also not possible to have two genuine titles for the same parcel of land. Even if a trespasser mistakenly believes that the land is his, this would not be an excuse for him to trespass,” the judge said.

The registered trustee of Lady Murel Jex Blake Memorial Garden was issued with a letter of allotment for the piece of land by Sir Philip Euen Mitchell who served as a governor in Kenya between 1944 and 1956.

The grant was then signed by Governor, Sir Evelyn Baring on May 22, 1956 and since then the trustees have not given out the property situated between Haile Selassie Avenue and the corner of Lower Hill Road.

Susan Deverell told the court that Lady Muriel was a founder member of the Kenya Horticultural Society and when she died, the society wanted to do something in her memory and decided to open a memorial garden in her honour. 

However, in October 2008, the suit property was fenced by unknown people who cut down all the indigenous trees that have a rich history about the country, and the matter was reported to the police who advised the society to deploy security guards.

A surveyor engaged in 2009 to confirm the property’s beacons using the deed plan signed on April 26, 1953 only located four of them and re-established the missing ones.

The court was told a new fence was put up at a cost of Sh85,080, surveyor Sh96,579 and restoration of the garden Sh3,046,160.

The trustees then moved to court to stop Boro and Quo from entering the suit property and to pay the society special damages and for trespassing. They also sought a declaration that the trustee is the absolute and indefeasible owner of the parcel of land.

In his response, Boro told the court that he is the registered owner of the property having been issued with an allotment letter on January 4, 1999 and paid a premium of Sh1.3 million and stamp duty of Sh5,280 before being issued with a certificate on May 31, 2007. He also paid Sh250,000 for the deed plan and took possession of the land. He later sold

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Teacher Fights Ban on LGBTQ ‘Signage’ With Rainbow Classroom Decor

A Nevada teacher responded to her school district’s restrictions on LGBTQ “signage” by making a TikTok video that shows her classroom plastered with rainbow decor. 

Jennifer Leja, whom BuzzFeed News identified as a teacher of middle school students in Reno, Nevada, posted a video on her TikTok last week showing off her rainbow posters, teacher’s desk, and duct tape separating student desks. 

According to her TikTok video, the school said talking about LGBTQ issues would be considered “supporting a single political party.” 

“And if anybody asks, I just really like rainbows, like, I just really like rainbows,” Leja says.

She takes the viewers on a tour of different parts of her classroom, including a pen stand flaunting rainbow feathers and a sign above her classroom door, decorated in rainbow colors. 

“No politics in Ms. Leja’s classroom,” she says. “She just likes rainbows. Rainbows aren’t political, not at all, rainbows are just colorful.”

The video then lands on her wearing a face mask with a rainbow heart. She says, “What, this? This is not political, this is just that I really like rainbows.”

She told BuzzFeed News that students often come to her when they’re exploring their identities.

She has always kept a rainbow flag, but a new policy issued by the Washoe County School District bans political “signage” and “partisan political activities,” according to BuzzFeed News. 

In an email reviewed by BuzzFeed News, banned “political activities” include signs supporting LGBTQ issues, Black Lives Matter, pro-life, and pro-gun campaigns. An official for the school district said, however, that teachers are still allowed to share their sexuality or talk about same-sex partners with students.

Leja’s video has garnered thousands of “hearts” and comments, with many pointing out that one’s ability to love or identify with their gender is not a matter of politics.

Must-reads on the Daily Dot

H/T BuzzFeed News

*First Published: Sep 21, 2020, 4:48 pm

Samira Sadeque

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Santiam Canyon 911 dispatcher on duty as his own Oregon house burns


Dennis Schlies talks about his time working as a 911 dispatcher during the wildfires, while his home was burned down.

Salem Statesman Journal

SALEM, Ore. – Dennis Schlies worked the Sept. 7 night shift for METCOM 911, the dispatch center that handles emergency calls for the Santiam Canyon in Oregon. So he knew.

He knew before his boss delivered the news by phone, and before a colleague’s husband snapped nothing-but-rubble photographs.

He knew when he took one of the first calls about a fast-spreading fire sparked by downed power lines near an elementary school, the site of an incident command post for the Beachie Creek Fire.

The house he and his wife Denise have shared for nearly 20 years stood less than two miles from the school.

He could live without it, but not without her.

Dennis and Denise Schlies pose for a portrait with their dog Guni, on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 at a hotel in Salem, Oregon. Dennis Schlies is a 911 dispatcher known by many as the “Voice of the Canyon.” Schlies was taking calls the night the wildfires exploded, all while his very own home in Gates, Oregon was burning down.  (Photo: ABIGAIL DOLLINS / STATESMAN JOURNAL)

Dennis didn’t know her whereabouts. But he still managed to calmly direct resources to multiple new fires and advise his neighbors in the canyon how to get out alive.

He could only hope his wife had time to evacuate.

Fellow dispatchers couldn’t imagine being in his position while maintaining focus during a 12-hour shift, especially one so grueling.

Then again, they expected nothing less from the man they know as the “voice of the canyon.”

A survivor’s story: He survived an Oregon wildfire by perching on a rock in a river, fending off embers with a chair

Appreciating what they have

Dennis has been a dedicated dispatcher in the area for 41 years. He’s an anomaly in a profession where burnout contributes to high turnover.

Listening to the worst moments of people’s lives can be stressful. And for Dennis, it can get personal.

There are times he recognizes the voice on the other end of the call.

Dennis is a lifelong resident of the canyon, a region where widespread disasters are rare. A tornado ripped through 10 years ago this December, damaging 50 homes, but no one lost their lives.

Four people have been confirmed dead in the Beachie Creek Fire and an estimated 470 homes destroyed.

Dennis and Denise lost everything but are thankful for a roof over their heads, even though a small room on a bustling floor of a hotel is a far cry from their five-bedroom, 4,168-square-foot house on 23 tranquil acres.

“You can’t be depressed about it. Life goes on,” Dennis said over breakfast at Elmer’s, turning to his wife and tearing up. “We’re alive. We’ve got our animals.”

Dennis Schlies holds his dog Guni, on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 at a hotel in Salem, Oregon. The Schlies made it out of their

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UpStart Kitchen incubator opens in Sherman Park


UpStart Kitchen was scheduled to open this spring but pushed back its launch because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The food incubator for food entrepreneurs, UpStart Kitchen at 4325 W. Fond du Lac Ave., celebrated its official launch Sept. 15.

Since pushing back its opening, the commercial kitchen and business incubator in the Sherman Park neighborhood has been serving meals to people facing food insecurity.

UpStart Kitchen served as a meal production center for people who are homebound or food insecure throughout the spring and summer. It has served more than 25,000 meals since April. 

The kitchen has food storage and preparation space and offers support services like mentoring and community connections. The 24-hour kitchen can accommodate up to 40 entrepreneurs. 

The goal is to help aspiring food entrepreneurs start and grow businesses by using shared kitchen equipment on-site, instead of them having to make up-front investments in such things as commercial-grade ovens, grills and refrigeration. 

UpStart Kitchen has already helped 20 entrepreneurs earn licenses from the City of Milwaukee to use the kitchen. Another 20 entrepreneurs are in the process of approval. Around 75 entrepreneurs are on the waiting list. 

UpStart Kitchen is a project of Prism Economic Development Corp., an economic growth organization for the Sherman Park neighborhood. 

The project was funded in part with a $50,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

The UpStart Kitchen Emergency Meals program continues. Ascension Wisconsin has donated $50,000 to the kitchen to provide more than 6,000 meals a month through the end of the year. 

“The opening of the new UpStart Kitchen is an extremely critical addition for the residents of our community because it offers both an excellent place to purchase meals while also supporting their fellow members of the community by shopping at local small businesses,” said Ald. Khalif Rainey in a statement. “The potential this project has to grow local businesses in our community is unlike anything we have seen thus far, and I am beyond excited to welcome the new vendors at UpStart Kitchen and the partners at Prism EDC to the 7th District.”

Sarah Hauer can be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram @HauerSarah and Twitter @SarahHauer. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter Be MKE at 

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at

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5 Mistakes To Avoid With Your Quarantine Garden Before the First Fall Frost

If you’ve successfully created a garden this summer, here’s what you’ll need to know to keep it thriving into the next season—and beyond.


A lot of us started new hobbies this year, and if yours involved planting the ultimate summer garden, you may just be wondering what to do with it now that fall is here. But don’t throw in the trowel just yet. While your summer schedule may have been packed with all things gardening, fall has its share of gardening delights, too—as well as tasks you’ll need to do to get that garden ready for spring.

Here are five common mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your new garden going strong.

Mistake No. 1: Not planting after Labor Day

Cold-season vegetables like broccoli and kale should be planted in fall.
Cold-season vegetables like broccoli and kale should be planted in fall.


Just because the summer flowers are fading doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a few more blooms before winter arrives. In fact, there are quite a few flowers (and even vegetables) that are known to thrive during the fall season.

Susan Brandt, president and founder of Blooming Secrets, shares a few of her fall favorites. For instance, aster is a daisylike flower that blooms in late summer through fall, when other summer flowers are fading, she says. Calendula, also known as pot marigold, can have bright orange or yellow flowers, which also have culinary and medicinal uses.

“The petals are edible and can even be used in salads,” she says.

In addition, Brandt lists marigolds, pansies, garlic, kale, and even radishes as top contenders for fall.

And don’t worry if these seeds aren’t planted yet—there’s still time.

“Gardeners can plant fast-growing vegetables for harvest before frost,” says Jenny Vazquez of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. “Radishes, broccoli, turnips, and green beans are some great vegetables that will produce all the way up to the first frost.”

Mistake No. 2: Forgetting to water

The temperatures might be steadily dropping, but if your plants are still alive, then they still need water. Forgetting to water plants in the fall is a top mistake for new gardeners, but if you want to keep your garden healthy (and coming back next year), you’ll want to stick with your watering schedule right up until the first frost.

“Carefully watch the calendar and weather forecast for your area,” advises Richard Reina of “Continue watering trees and shrubs until the ground freezes. Although they may seem like they’re dormant, they’re still alive.”

Mistake No. 3: Not harvesting your garden

Harvest late-summer herbs and hang them to dry.
Harvest late-summer herbs, and hang them to dry.


All those herbs and veggies you’ve worked so hard to grow aren’t going to pick themselves. Before your first frost arrives, be sure to check your garden and harvest any last herbs and veggies, or any seeds you’d like to save. Herbs should be hung inside to dry, and

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Fairfield council questions SLO CA police chief’s record

Soon-to-be former San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell is facing scrutiny in Fairfield, just weeks before starting her new job — over her lost gun incident and the department’s handling of Black Lives Matter protests.

According to the Daily Republic newspaper in Solano County, two members of the Fairfield City Council raised concerns at a meeting Sept. 15 about Cantrell’s handling of the weapons incident, noting they received calls from city residents on the issue.

“I think we will have a better sense of the police chief when we meet her,” Vice Mayor Pam Bertani told the Daily Republic. “I have never talked to her or met her. … I think her presence will make a difference.”

Prior to her resignation from her post as head of San Luis Obispo Police Department in August, Cantrell was the subject of some high-profile local incidents.

In July 2019, she left her gun in an El Pollo Loco bathroom in San Luis Obispo. The follow-up search for her missing weapon led to an investigation and arrest of an unrelated suspect.

Fairfield Councilwoman Catherine Moy said at the Sept. meeting that she wanted to hear more from Cantrell on the gun incident and the subsequent investigation.

“My concern is the arrest of a person who did not at all look like the person who they believed took (the gun), and they got him for something else,” Moy said in the Daily Republic article. “I believe that is a violation of his civil rights.”

At the meeting, Cantrell was also criticized for the handling of Black Lives Matter protests in San Luis Obispo.

During as march in June, the San Luis Obispo Police Department fired tear gas at protesters. The department later arrested activist Tianna Arata and asked the district attorney to file eight criminal charges against her for leading a separate July protest.

According to the Daily Republic, Fairfield city manager Stefan Chatwin, who was responsible for hiring Cantrell, said he stood behind his decision, noting Cantrell was the clear favorite for the position after community, professional and staff panel interviews of the top candidates.

Cantrell began the recruitment process for the Fairfield chief job in May. Her last day with the San Luis Obispo Police Department will be Sept. 30.

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune

Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.

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Chepstow explosion: Man seriously injured in house blast

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Media captionWitnesses capture the moments that followed the explosion

A man has suffered serious injuries after an explosion in a house in Monmouthshire.

Gwent Police said homes have been evacuated following the incident on Lower Church Street, Chepstow.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said it had sent a large number of resources to a property after being called just before 18:30 BST.

Gwent Police said the man, who was inside the house, was taken to Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

The Welsh Ambulance said an air ambulance, two rapid response vehicles, an emergency ambulance and the hazardous area response team – a group of paramedics trained to go into the “hot zone” of incidents – had also been sent to the scene.

A cordon is in place, with police advising people to stay away from the area.

Image copyright
Liza Hawkins

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Smoke could be seen rising from the area

Footage, filmed from Tutshill Cliff, shows fire engines either side of the house spraying jets of water on the building to try and put the fire out.

Ben Powell lives opposite and was wearing headphones when he heard “a massive bang”.

“It shook my flat,” said the 27-year-old chef.

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Lisa Hutchinson

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A witness described hearing a “massive bang”

“I looked out my window and there were literally bits of the house opposite everywhere and people were screaming.

“The house looked like a bomb had gone off inside but then there was a little flame – and within two minutes the whole house had caught fire.

“It’s dreadful. I just hope everyone is OK.”

Wales and West Utilities said it attended the house following the explosion and was working with the emergency services to make the area safe and to investigate the cause.

Image copyright
Guy Hamilton

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Firefighters are on the scene at Lower Church Street

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Chepstow News Centre

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South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said it had sent a large number of resources to tackle the blaze

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House Democrats introduce bill to avert government shutdown

Sept. 21 (UPI) — House Democrats unveiled a stopgap bill Monday to avert a government shutdown, but Republicans immediately opposed it because it didn’t include bailout money for agriculture.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., introduced the bill, known as a continuing resolution, to extend federal funding past the Sept. 30 deadline and avoid a government shutdown weeks before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“The continuing resolution introduced today will avert a catastrophic shutdown in the middle of the ongoing pandemic, wildfires and hurricanes and keep government open until Dec. 11, when we plan to have bipartisan legislation to fund the government for this fiscal year,” Pelosi said in a statement.

The proposal omits a $30 billion commitment supported by President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers to refill a bailout for farmers through the Commodity Credit Corp.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., criticized the bill Monday, promising a fight between Senate Republicans and their colleagues in the House. Both chambers of Congress must approve identical bills before they can be signed by the president.

“House Democrats’ rough draft of a government funding bill shamefully leaves out key relief and support that American farmers need,” McConnell tweeted Monday. “This is no time to add insult to injury and defund help for farmers and rural America.”

The president announced more aid to farmers on his campaign tours, including a second round of $14 billion from the Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The new aid sought by the White House would replenish those funds.

Democrats called the farm aid an election-year giveaway for farmers hit hard by coronavirus and Trump’s trade policies.

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed in theory on a stopgap bill at the beginning of September, but details have not been hammered out as the clock winds down on an Oct. 1 deadline.

The bill is separate from a new proposed $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, passed by the House in May that has stalled in the Senate.

On Monday, the White House said it might accept a stopgap bill, even without the additional aid for farmers.

“We do prefer additional farm aid in the CR…Most of all, we want a clean CR to keep the government open,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told The Washington Post.

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