State Rep. Brian Elder faces Republican Timothy Beson for 96th House seat in Bay County

BAY CITY, MI – Voters in Michigan’s 96th House District in Bay County will decide the race between incumbent state Rep. Brian Elder and Republican challenger Timothy Beson.

The 96th District covers areas in central and southern Bay County such as Bangor Township, the cities of Bay City and Essexville, Bangor, Hampton, Frankenlust, Merrit, Monitor, Portsmouth and Kawkawlin Townships.

Elder holds a law degree from the UCLA School of Law, according to Vote 411. Elder is Democratic vice chair of the House Agriculture Committee and is a member of the Judiciary Committee. He is chair and co-founder of the Michigan Legislative Labor Caucus.

According to Beson’s campaign website, he is a lifelong resident of Bay County and the owner of Beson’s Market. He holds a degree in business management from Saginaw Valley State University and is serving as a school board member for Bangor Township Schools.

Beson won the right to face Elder after coming out ahead of two other Republican candidates – Allen Bauer and Martin Blank – during the August primary election.

MLive Media Group has partnered with the League of Women Voters of Michigan to provide candidate information and other voting resources to readers ahead of 2020 elections on Vote411.

Each candidate was given a list of questions relevant to the office for which they are campaigning. The voter guide can be accessed at

Beson did not respond to requests for comment by MLive about his candidacy and did not answer the Vote411 questions. According to his website, Beson’s campaign focuses on standing for parents and teachers in regards to a safe return to in-person instruction, supporting law enforcement and expanding skilled trades programs.

Here are the Vote411 responses given by Elder:

What is your position on the role of public funding of education in Michigan? What measures do you support/propose to improve educational outcomes and accessibility for all Michigan students?

Elder: The purpose of public education in the State of Michigan is create citizens who are knowledgeable about their form of government, understand math, science, literature and the arts, and are prepared to live as functioning adults. Preparing our students for their future careers is important, but so is making sure that we have citizens that can think critically and help our democracy thrive. We, as citizens, pay for such a system through our taxes, but we have shifted the tax burden away from the wealthiest and largest corporations onto the backs of average citizens. That is wrong.

What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents improve their economic positions, in general and given the pandemic?

Elder: As a two-term State Representative, I have consistently voted for and sponsored legislation to help businesses compete and create jobs. With appropriate benchmarks, like increasing actual payroll and requiring that local dollars be used for local companies when possible, we can and should help to grow our economy here in Michigan. In addition, I have consistently supported policies like Prevailing Wage that ensure that

Read more

Trump faces backlash for removing mask on return to White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump faced a fresh backlash on Tuesday for removing his mask when he returned to the White House and urging Americans not to fear the COVID-19 disease that has killed more than 209,000 people in the country and put him in hospital.

U.S. President Donald Trump poses on the Truman Balcony of the White House after returning from being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment, in Washington, U.S. October 5, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Trump arrived at the White House on Monday in a made-for-television spectacle in which he descended from his Marine One helicopter wearing a white surgical mask only to remove it as he posed, saluting and waving, on the mansion’s South Portico.

“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it,” Trump said in a video after his return from the Walter Reed Medical Center military hospital outside Washington where he was treated for the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“I’m better, and maybe I’m immune – I don’t know,” he added, flanked by American flags and with the Washington Monument in the background. “Get out there. Be careful.”

Trump, who was treated by an army of doctors and received experimental treatment, has repeatedly played down a disease that has killed more than 1 million people worldwide and left his own country with the highest death toll in the world.

The Republican president, running for re-election against Democrat Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election, was admitted to hospital on Friday after being diagnosed with the disease.

Trump has repeatedly flouted social-distancing guidelines meant to curb the virus’ spread and ignored his own medical advisers. He also mocked Biden at last Tuesday’s presidential debate for wearing a mask at events, even when he is far from others.

His decision to remove his mask after climbing the staircase to the White House South Portico – a perch that put him at some distance from others – and his insistence that Americans should not fear the disease horrified some physicians.

“I was aghast when he said COVID should not be feared,” said William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

“This is a disease that is killing around a thousand people a day, has torpedoed the economy, put people out of work. This is a virus that should be both respected and feared,” he added.

Democrats also weighed in. “This is a tragic failure of leadership,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons tweeted.

But Trump depicted himself as a man who vanquished the disease and emerged stronger.

“If the President bounces back onto the campaign trail, he will be an invincible hero, who not only survived every dirty trick the Democrats threw at him, but the Chinese virus as well,” he wrote on Twitter.

Biden quickly hit back on Twitter with side-by-side images of himself donning a mask and Trump removing his. A caption said, “Masks

Read more

Bill Barr Faces Criticism Over Refusal to Quarantine After Rose Garden Event

Attorney General William Barr is facing mounting criticism over his refusal to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19 at the Supreme Court nomination ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Saturday.

Chris Christie, Lavinia Wilson, C. Boyden Gray standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Attorney General William Barr greets former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the Rose Garden at the White House on September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.

© Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Attorney General William Barr greets former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the Rose Garden at the White House on September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Some fear the September 26 event was a possible catalyst of the White House coronavirus outbreak. At least eight attendees have tested positive since the ceremony. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were diagnosed with the virus one day after Hope Hicks, one of the president’s closest aides, became infected.

World Reacts To Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Testing Positive For Coronavirus



GOP Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis also tested positive, as well as former White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway—whom Barr was seen in close contact with during the event.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 14 days of quarantine for anyone who has been exposed to the virus, a rule Barr has apparently chosen not to follow.

“Barr’s refusal to quarantine after exposure is not ‘toughness,'” tweeted University of Michigan Law Professor Barbara McQuade, who’s also a former U.S. attorney. “It is arrogant, irresponsible, and reckless behavior from our nation’s attorney general.”

Andrew Weissmann, a longtime Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyer turned legal analyst, said Barr’s decision was “fitting” for an “enabler of presidential fictions and denier of facts.”

Video: Trump downplayed the coronavirus the same week he tested positive (The Washington Post)

Trump downplayed the coronavirus the same week he tested positive



“This is reckless and dangerous for any person—especially a person who wields power to summon others,” tweeted former federal prosecutor Elie Honig. “He’s putting DOJ staffers, and everyone else around him, at risk.”

Some attendees of the White House event last Saturday moved indoors following the official nomination of Barrett at the Rose Garden. While all guests tested negative for COVID before the event, face masks were not required at the reception and many guests were pictured mingling in close proximity without one. CNN political reporter Rebecca Buck shared an image of Barr standing close to Trump and the first lady at the reception.

Read more

Italy’s ex-interior minister faces possible charges for blocking migrants

Former interior minister and leader of the League Party Matteo Salvini attends a party rally in San Giovanni La Punta, near Catania, Sicily
Former interior minister and leader of the League Party Matteo Salvini attends a party rally in San Giovanni La Punta, near Catania, Sicily

Italy’s right-wing leader Matteo Salvini has appeared before a court in Sicily that will decide whether he will face trial for blocking 131 migrants for several days on a coast guard ship in 2019 when he was interior minister.

The hearing was adjourned until November 20, when Premier Giuseppe Conte has been summoned as a witness.

The court has also called foreign minister Luigi Di Maio, who was vice premier at the time of the standoff, as well as the current interior minister and the former defence and transport ministers.

Mr Salvini, who has largely faded from the public spotlight since being ousted as a minister, has turned the preliminary hearing into a political rally of sorts, staging days of events in a piazza in Catania to rail against Mr Conte’s government.

The League’s leader Matteo Salvini wearing a face mask, leaves after a hearing in court in the Sicilian city of Catania, southern Italy
Matteo Salvini leaves after a hearing in court in the Sicilian city of Catania, southern Italy (Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse via AP)

The Senate voted in February to lift Mr Salvini’s parliamentary immunity, paving the way for a possible trial on charges of kidnapping and abuse of power.

The Gregoretti was stuck at sea for days in July 2019 until a judge approved its landing in Augusta, Sicily.

The Senate has also lifted his immunity in a second case, in which he is accused of refusing to allow 164 migrants off a rescue ship in Sicily.

A preliminary hearing in that case is pending.

During his 14 months as interior minister, Mr Salvini repeatedly denied ships carrying rescued migrants access to ports.

The policy resulted in numerous standoffs, leaving migrants stuck at sea for many weeks before European countries could identify a willing port or courts intervened.

Mr Salvini says he wants to face charges in both cases to clear his name.

Yet he fought to maintain immunity in a third case that was brought while he was still minister, winning protection from prosecution for not allowing 190 migrants off another coast guard ship in August 2018.

Mr Salvini remains the head of Italy’s most popular party, even if it has shed about 10 percentage points in opinion polls since the 2018 elections.

The slide began when he lost his cabinet post in a failed bid to topple the Italian government in August 2019.

Instead, the 5-Star Movement formed a new coalition with the centre-left Democratic Party, pushing Mr Salvini’s League into opposition.

Source Article

Read more

Coronavirus live news: one million deaths worldwide; warning that Germany faces 19,200 cases a day | World news

Global deaths from Covid-19 have reached 1 million, but experts are still struggling to figure out a crucial metric in the pandemic: the fatality rate – the percentage of people infected with the pathogen who die.

Here is a look at issues surrounding better understanding the COVID-19 death rate.

How is a death rate calculated?

A true mortality rate would compare deaths against the total number of infections, a denominator that remains unknown because the full scope of asymptomatic cases is difficult to measure. Many people who become infected simply do not experience symptoms.

Scientists have said the total number of infections is exponentially higher than the current number of confirmed cases, now at 33 million globally. Many experts believe the coronavirus likely kills 0.5% to 1% of people infected, making it a very dangerous virus globally until a vaccine is identified.

Researchers have begun to break down that risk by age group, as evidence mounts that younger people and children are far less likely to experience severe disease.

“The death rate for people below age 20 is probably one in 10,000. Over the age of 85 it is around one in 6,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Gravediggers in Indonesia have struggled to cope with demand from Covid-19 deaths.

Gravediggers in Indonesia have struggled to cope with demand from Covid-19 deaths. Photograph: Ed Wray/Getty Images

What is a “case fatality rate”?

There has been an apparent decline in death rates when measured against the number of new infections confirmed by coronavirus testing. In places like the United States, that “case fatality rate” has fallen dramatically from 6.6% in April to just over 2% in August, according to Reuters statistics.

But experts said that the decline has largely been driven by more widespread testing compared with the early days of the pandemic, detecting more people who have mild illness or no symptoms. Improvements in treating the severely ill and protecting some of the highest-risk groups, are also credited with improving survival.

“We are much more aware of potential complications and how to recognize and treat them,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security in Baltimore. “If you are a patient who gets COVID-19 in 2020, you would much rather get it now than in March.”

A Covid-19 test being conducted in Guwahati, in northeastern India.

A Covid-19 test being conducted in Guwahati, in northeastern India. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

What does that mean for individuals, and governments?

That highlights the need for continued vigilance, as some countries begin to experience a second wave of infections.

For example, researchers in France estimate that country’s case fatality rate fell by 46% by the end of July compared with the end of May, driven by an increase in testing, improved medical care and a greater proportion of infections occurring in younger people, who are less likely to experience severe disease.

“Now, we are seeing a fresh rise in hospitalisations and ICU (intensive care unit) registrations, which means this discrepancy is about to end,” said Mircea Sofonea,

Read more

Kalamazoo County commissioner faces small business owner in 61st House District race

Republican Bronwyn Haltom and Democrat Christine Morse are facing off to represent the 61st District in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Morse is a current Kalamazoo County commissioner representing District 9. She has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

“Christine is Michigan native, former attorney, Kalamazoo County Commissioner, public school parent of 3, breast cancer survivor, and spouse of a Navy Veteran,” she said in her responses to the voter guide from the League of Women Voters.

Haltom Attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College and transferred to the University of Michigan, where she earned a bachelor’s degree.

“I was born here, educated here, and own a small business here. I believe in our community and am committed to serving our neighbors to move Michigan forward,” Haltom said in responses to the League of Michigan Voters voter guide.

Haltom defeated Tom Graham in the August primary election. Morse was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

The 61st District contains the city of Portage, Oshtemo, Texas, Prairie Ronde and Schoolcraft townships and the villages of Schoolcraft and Vicksburg in Kalamazoo County. Current GOP state Rep. Brandt Iden is term-limited.

MLive Media Group has again partnered with the League of Women Voters of Michigan Education Fund to provide candidate information and other voting resources to our readers. Each candidate was asked to answer a series of questions about their policy stances.

Information on all state and federal races and many of Michigan’s county and local races will be available at

Here’s a look how both candidates responded to questions from the League of Women Voters candidate survey:

EDUCATION: What is your position on the role of public funding of education in Michigan? What measures do you support/propose to improve educational outcomes and accessibility for all Michigan students?

Morse: As a public school graduate and parent, public education funding is my top issue. Teachers are vastly underpaid and class sizes are unreasonably high. In addition to rectifying the disinvestment we’ve seen over the last couple of decades, we are 50th in the country in reading growth. I believe we need to invest seriously in our public education – both through skilled trades programs, retraining, and higher education if we want our kids to be able to build a life here in Michigan. We also need to reevaluate our testing standards and make sure to involve educators in the process of rewriting.

Haltom: Public education is the most important investment the State of Michigan can make in our future, and I support robust education funding that prepares Michigan students for the jobs of tomorrow. The legislature must find long-term solutions to address Michigan’s third grade reading levels that bring together parents, teachers, administrators and students. I support measures to expand opportunities that empower parents and guardians to make decisions that best fit their student’s educational needs. We must also promote and invest in skilled trades and vocational learning as an additional path to

Read more

Pakistan: Former interior minister Talal Chaudhry faces harassment allegations

Talal Chaudhry is facing allegations of harassing Ayesha Rajab Ali.
Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Pakistan’s former interior minister and a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) from District Faisalabad, Talal Chaudhry is facing allegations of harassing a female Member of the National Assembly (MNA) of his own party.

The incident took place on the night of September 23 when according to Chaudhry he went to the house of MNA Ayesha Rajab Ali

in Faisalabad to discuss party matters, particularly for reorganization of the party in the district Faisalabad.

However, her family members minding his late night visit gave him a good beating and called police on the spot.

A video clip is viral on social media that shows the ex-minister standing outside a house complaining that his shoulder was fractured and asking the people present on the spot to call some senior police officer.

“They have snatched my mobile phone. They have recorded my movies . Take phone numbers of their women. My shoulder bone is fractured. When my phone set is recovered everything will be clear and I will see all of them,” Chaudhry can be seen pointing to the brother of Ali.


However, it was later reported by the police that neither of the two parties showed interest in lodging complaints and told them that it was the result of misunderstanding.

According to sources, the PML-N high command has forbidden both the ex-minister and Alito refrain from reporting the incident to police.

Chaudhry told police that he had gone to meet some PML-N workers in connection with PML-N’s “re-organization in the district” when he was attacked by unidentified men who fractured his arm. He said the attackers also took away his mobile. Chaudhry claimed the media was running fake news about the involvement of a woman MNA.

Ali’s brother too also issued a statement saying their family had nothing to do with this matter. “Talal Chaudhry is like a brother to us,” he said.

PML-N constitutes ‘fact-finding’ committee

Meanwhile, after the video clip went viral on social media, the PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah has announced to constitute a committee to investigate the scuffle.

Former Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar and Akram Ansar have been nominated to conduct a thorough probe, record statements of Chaudhry and MNA Ayesha Rajab and submit a report within three days.

PM’s aide demands action against Talal

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Shahbaz Gill while taking advantage of the tussle between two PML-N leaders urged the party leadership to suspend Talal from the party’s membership.

Harassing an honorable Member of the Parliament by Talal Chaudhry is regrettable and the government would take action on it, said Gill in a tweet demanding Faisalabad police to ensure security of the woman MNA’s house.

In another tweet, Gill alleged Maryam Nawaz daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was putting pressure on MNA Ayesha Rajab to settle the matter with Chaudhry.

Ali requests media shows restraint

Meanwhile, MNA Ayesha Rajab Ali in a tweet requested

Read more

Man In Bathroom Spying Case Faces Charges In Middle Twp.: Police

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP, NJ — A man accused of secretly recording girls at a middle school in Gloucester Township now faces similar charges related to the Cape May Technical School, authorities announced on Thursday.

Gregory Mahley, 51 of West Deptford, is accused of recording multiple people who used a bathroom at the school over the course of just over a year, Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland announced.

Sutherland believes the incidents occurred on Oct. 15, 2013; March 20, 2014; and April 22, 2014. The alleged victims who are now adults, have been identified and were contacted regarding this investigation, according to Sutherland.

Mahley has been charged with 10 counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child (manufacturing of child pornography) and 10 counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child (possession of child pornography).

Detectives from the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office and the Middle Township Police Department opened a joint investigation with the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office after it was learned that Mahley had set up cameras to record students using the girls bathroom at Glen Landing Middle School in Gloucester Township. Read more here: Man Used Mirror To Spy On Bathroom In Gloucester Township School: PD

Mahley will remain lodged at the Camden County Correctional Center pending court proceedings.
Anyone who may have information related to Mahley or the investigation in Cape May County is asked to contact the Middle Township Police Department at 609-465-8700 or the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit at 609-465-1135.

They may also report it anonymously through the Cape May County Sheriff’s Tip Line at and click on anonymous tip, or through the Cape May County Crime Stoppers, 609-465-2800.

Source Article

Read more

Woman faces drug charges after being found in laundromat bathroom – Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — A local woman found faces meth and heroin possession charges after police say she was found high in a laundromat bathroom.

Salisbury Police charged Dystanie Yolanda Richard, 23, whose address is listed as the streets of Salisbury, with felony possession of a controlled substance schedule I, felony possession of a controlled substance schedule II and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

A man alerted an officer that the woman was in the bathroom of the Speedwash Laundromat, 124 S. Avalon Drive, and appeared high.

The officer seized a Crown Royal bag that was inside another bag and contained sterilized water, a powder substance believed to be heroin and a spoon with a white substance on it. She admitted she was high when the officer spoke with her, police said.

She remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $3,000 secured bond.

Source Article

Read more

Plan for affordable housing in Leonidas, Lower Garden District faces neighborhood criticism; mayor, City Council in support | Local Politics

In a vote that could advance or delay plans to build affordable housing in rapidly gentrifying areas, the City Planning Commission will consider on Tuesday a key piece of a $20 million development plan for vacant sites in Leonidas, the Lower Garden District and other areas along the Mississippi River.

The Planning Commission will consider redividing several lots in the Leonidas area so that the Housing Authority of New Orleans can build affordable duplexes on the lots, which are owned by HANO.    

But the duplexes have been dogged by residents who say HANO’s designs are out of step with their neighborhood’s character. They told the City Council last week that HANO needs a more extensive federal review to ensure its buildings hew to historic standards.

Meanwhile, HANO and partner Iris Community Development say the project will help realize a broader effort to ensure the city’s most desirable areas remain accessible to people with lower incomes. And affordable housing advocates say resident criticisms are actually thinly masked objections to having poorer residents of color as neighbors.

Housing Authority approves new mixed-income developments in these New Orleans neighborhoods

Council members were briefed on the plans at the council’s Community Development Committee last week, but did not vote on them. But several members, and Mayor LaToya Cantrell, agreed with HANO’s take. 

“If we get to the point where certain segments of the community can no longer live here, we’re going to lose the magic that is New Orleans,” said Councilmember Jay H. Banks, who chairs the committee. 

Cantrell added in a statement that the project is “beyond needed,” and will bring “new affordable housing to high-opportunity neighborhoods.”

Two large former public housing sites in Algiers and the Upper 9th Ward would become mixed-income developments under proposals the Housing Aut…

HANO’s current effort is part of a plan to break up the concentrated areas of poverty that were standard under its previous public housing model, and to instead place lower-income residents in higher-income communities that are more likely to be near jobs and opportunities. 

The plan is also aligned with an Obama-era housing rule — which the Trump administration rescinded in July — that required local governments to try to make wealthy neighborhoods more diverse and to pump more money into poor ones. 

HANO wants to redevelop vacant “scattered site” properties it owns as two-family and single-family homes for low-income residents. The majority of the 117 units HANO wants to build are located in Leonidas, while several others are located in the Lower Garden District, East Riverside and West Riverside areas. 

Each of those areas has seen rapid appreciation since 2012, according to a market-value analysis the city last commissioned in 2018. Long-time Leonidas residents, in particular, faced an increasingly higher risk of being priced out from 2009 to 2018, the study found. Median home values in that neighborhood rose anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 between 2015 and 2017. 

Roughly 80 of the 117 homes HANO wants to build will be leased or sold to people earning at or below 80% of area

Read more