Cynthia Bailey and Mike Hill’s Wedding: Peek at the Decor

After saying “I do” on October 10, Cynthia Bailey and Mike Hill had the most lavish setup to celebrate with their loved ones. 

As seen in photos and videos posted to Instagram from the big day, The Real Housewives of Atlanta couple’s reception held at the Governors Towne Club in Acworth, Georgia, featured jaw-dropping details including luxe candles, gorgeous chandeliers, and a silver balloon display adorning a grand staircase where guests including Eva Marcille, Kenya Moore and Quad Webb posed for photos. 

Of course, there was no shortage of places for a photo op throughout the night. In addition to a photo booth, guests gathered in front of a stunning floor-to-ceiling white flower wall featuring the couple’s custom logo, an intertwined “C” and “M.” Hundreds of flowers were placed in different areas around the venue, including a vibrant floral arrangement decorating a prop tub as part of a custom Seagram’s Escapes drink display.  

The blue carpeted dance floor, where Mike and Cynthia spent plenty of time throughout the evening, was covered in social distancing dots. “Usually, my concern before the wedding would be more focused on a lot of the aesthetics of the wedding. However, because we are getting married in a pandemic, the focus has turned to: Do we have the thermometers for the temperature checks? Do we have sanitizer stations?” Cynthia told PEOPLE prior to the big day. “We aren’t messing around.” 

In addition to spacing out seating and hiring a team to deep clean the venue, Cynthia told PEOPLE that she and Mike would require guests to sign a COVID-19 waiver and undergo temperature checks. In an interview with Extra, Cynthia shared that they would also be “enforcing masks and face shields.”

Scroll down to see photos of the gorgeous décor at Cynthia and Mike’s celebration!

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Mike Pence couldn’t defend the White House’s coronavirus response, so he made up alternative facts

Mike Pence
Mike Pence

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence debates Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is the only scheduled debate between the two before the general election on November 3. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly made false claims about the Trump administration’s coronavirus response as he dodged, interrupted and obfuscated through the vice presidential debate on Wednesday.

Though the lone vice presidential debate was far more civil than the mind-melting presidential debate last week, it was not much different in substance. Moderator Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today, asked Pence and Democratic nominee Kamala Harris about a range of important issues but completely failed to press the candidates to actually respond to her questions. That allowed Pence to repeatedly dodge questions he did not want to answer about Trump’s health, racial justice and even abortion.

Pence also refused to say what he would do if Trump rejected a peaceful transition of power, instead echoing the president’s false claims about virtually non-existent voter fraud.

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The two candidates were divided by plexiglass barriers after President Donald Trump and numerous top aides tested positive for the coronavirus following a possible “super spreader” White House event where Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was formally announced. Pence’s unusually red eyes prompted speculation about whether he had “COVID pink eye,” and he was instantly turned into a meme when a fly sat on his head for a full two minutes during one of the segments.

Harris also dodged questions throughout the night as she was repeatedly interrupted by Pence. CBS News found that Pence interrupted Harris twice as much as she interrupted him. Despite avoiding questions about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s health and whether the ticket supports expanding the Supreme Court, fact-checkers concluded that Harris was far more honest than her Republican opponent, who repeatedly made false and misleading claims about the Trump administration’s coronavirus response. Pence heads the chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Harris called the response to the pandemic the “greatest failure of any presidential administration,” repeatedly pointing out the mounting death toll in the U.S. Pence responded by bizarrely claiming that the Obama-Biden response to the H1N1 swine flu in 2009 was a bigger “failure,” because that virus infected 60 million people.

But the swine flu was far less dangerous than the coronavirus, which has killed more than 211,000 people in the US. By comparison, fewer than 13,000 Americans died from the swine flu. Because it was less deadly, it did not require a lockdown, which allowed the virus to spread wider than the coronavirus has thus far. The regular flu typically infects more than 35 million people each year and kills far more

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Days before Rose Garden ceremony, Mike Pence met with maskless Republicans in Cobb County

Actually, you shouldn’t.

Perdue had made the same claim the previous day in a national radio interview. This weekend, the Georgia Republican Party picked up the accusation in a flyer apparently aimed at suburban women in metro Atlanta.

“Outrageously false,” ruled the Washington Post in a fact-check published this morning. Perdue and other Republicans are basing their claim on an account of the 2017 race for the Sixth District congressional seat that the CPUSA posted on its Facebook page:

“The Communist Party did not endorse him,” said Roberta Wood, a CPUSA board member. “It does not endorse candidates of other political parties.” She added, “Posting an article on Facebook does not mean it is an endorsement.”

The newspaper gave him Four Pinocchios:

“At this point, labeling a Democrat a “communist” is almost worthy of parody. But it’s especially smarmy when the “endorsement” he claims is based on a three-year-old Facebook post of a news article. Perdue should be ashamed of himself — and he should apologize.”

Perdue and super PACs behind his campaign have also relentlessly — and falsely — claimed that Ossoff wants to defund police, even as the Democrat has denied that’s the case. And we recently told you of a Senate Leadership Fund’s out-of-bounds attempt to portray Ossoff as a terrorist sympathizer.

Never mind the polls. This barrage is all the evidence you need that this U.S. Senate race is a tight one.

***

Peach County, Ga., adjacent to both Bibb and Houston counties in middle Georgia, was named as one of 10 bellwether counties to watch on election night in a piece by David Wasserman, an editor at the Cook Political Report. The piece was written for the New York Times:

The population is 52 percent white and 44 percent Black, and its voting is racially polarized. In 2012, Peach County voted by seven points for Mr. Obama. But in 2016, Black turnout dropped sharply, and Mr. Trump won it by three points. Peach County could be a good indicator of whether the addition of Senator Kamala Harris to Mr. Biden’s ticket improves Black turnout.

***

About a month ago, the Georgia Forestry Commission announced that Deputy Director Gary White had been appointed interim director by Gov. Brian Kemp, citing the departure of Director Charles Williams. This morning, the Athens Banner-Herald tells us the rest of the story:

The director of the Georgia Forestry Commission was arrested in August on a shoplifting charge in Jones County, the Athens Banner-Herald learned Monday. The Gray Police Department arrested Charles ‘Chuck’ Williams, 64, of Watkinsville on the misdemeanor charge Aug. 13, the day after the alleged shoplifting took place in the Ace Hardware store in Gray.

***

Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign launched three separate TV ads in Georgia and five other battleground states on Tuesday, aiming to increase turnout among Black voters in his quest to unseat President Donald Trump.

The spots come as polls in Georgia show Biden with about 85% of support

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Kamala Harris and Mike Pence Set to Debate as Virus Spreads at White House

(Bloomberg) — Mike Pence and Kamala Harris will take the stage Wednesday night under extraordinary circumstances that will elevate the oft-forgotten vice presidential debate to the highest-stakes running mate matchup in years.

With President Donald Trump fresh out of the hospital but still battling the coronavirus, both Pence and Harris will have to reassure voters that they can step into the presidency if either of the septuagenarians who top the tickets become incapacitated.

A week after Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden squared off in a combative and chaotic debate, Pence and Harris will meet at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City under dramatically different circumstances. Not only have the safety precautions become stricter since at least 10 people who live or work at the White House have become infected, but the tone is expected to be more civil as well.



Mike Pence, Kamala Harris are posing for a picture: Pence Harris duo


© Source: Bloomberg
Pence Harris duo

Mike Pence and Kamala Harris

Source: Bloomberg

The debate will be divided into nine discussion categories, each lasting about 10 minutes.

Although the Trump campaign opposed it, Harris’s staff won an argument to have a plexiglass shield separating her and Pence, who has tested negative for the virus that sent Trump to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for three days. The candidates will be a little more than 12 feet (3.7 meters) apart, and the moderator, Susan Page of USA Today, will also be that distance, the Commission on Presidential Debates said Monday.

Read More: Pence Urges Trump’s Re-Election With Law-and-Order Battle Cry

Anyone who refuses to wear a mask will be “escorted out,” the commission said. The first family and some of Trump’s guests refused to wear masks at last week’s debate.

“This VP debate will get a lot more attention than they usually do,” said Charlie Black, a veteran Republican strategist. “So it’s an opportunity for both candidates. I actually expect a good debate. Pence does a good job of presenting the president’s case, his accomplishments and his ideas in a calm, measured manner. Harris has proved to be a good debater.”

The candidates are also less likely to sling the ad hominem attacks that highlighted the Sept. 29 debate in Cleveland between Trump and Biden. Harris will have to restrain the punches she used in her own presidential run.

She has re-upped some of her lines since joining the Biden ticket, including calling Trump a “predator.” But with the president just a day or so out of the hospital, she is expected to shelve those attacks. That doesn’t mean she’ll hold back on criticizing the administration for what Democrats say is a gross mismanagement of the pandemic, especially given that Pence leads the White House coronavirus task force.

“It’s the perfect microcosm for the failure of the Trump administration on coronavirus,” Democratic strategist Joel Payne said. “They became their own super spreader. They didn’t follow best practices. Harris can really effectively use this last week as exhibit A of why Trump and Pence are dangerous and

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Utah Sen. Mike Lee tests positive for coronavirus 5 days after attending White House event announcing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett



Mike Lee et al. standing in front of a cake: Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, meets with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, at the Capito on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Al Drago/Pool via AP


© Al Drago/Pool via AP
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, meets with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, at the Capito on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Al Drago/Pool via AP

  • Sen. Mike Lee said on Twitter on Friday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing what he thought were “longtime allergies.”
  • “Unlike the test I took just a few days ago while visiting the White House, yesterday’s test came back positive,” the Republican senator from Utah wrote.
  • Lee attended a ceremony at the White House on Saturday during which President Donald Trump announced that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is his Supreme Court nominee. 
  • Pictures from the event show a tightly packed crowd of people, many of whom weren’t wearing masks, instead shaking hands and hugging each other.
  • Lee also met with Barrett on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and returned for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. He was seen maskless both times.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, announced on Friday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Yesterday morning, I was experiencing symptoms consistent with longtime allergies,” Lee wrote on Twitter. “Out of an abundance of caution, I sought medical advice and was tested for Covid-19.”

“Unlike the test I took just a few days ago while visiting the White House, yesterday’s test came back positive,” he added.

Lee said that he plans to isolate himself for the next 10 days, based on advice from a physician. “Like so many other Utans, I will now spend part of 2020 working from home,” he said.

Lee noted, however, that he plans to be “back to work to join my Judiciary Committee colleagues in advancing the Supreme Court nomination of Jude Amy Coney Barrett.”

Lee attended a ceremony at the White House on Saturday during which President Donald Trump announced Barrett’s selection. 

Images from the event show a large crowd with no social distancing and many people not wearing face masks. Some attendees hugged, bumped elbows, and shook hands with each other. Footage from CNN shows that Lee did so, too.

Lee met Barrett again on Tuesday, this time on Capitol Hill. Pictures show that neither Barrett nor Lee were wearing face masks or staying six feet away from one another. 

He was photographed, maskless again, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday about the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

The Senate is expected to begin Barrett’s confirmation hearings on Oct. 12. The staunchly conservative justice has been tapped by Trump to take the place of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died on Sept. 18.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein reacted to Lee’s diagnoses on Friday, calling it “unfortunate news, according to Bloomberg News reporter Laura Litvan.

“The unfortunate news about the infection of

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NHL let Florida Panthers handle abuse probe, discipline of former assistant Mike Kitchen

The NHL said it was aware of an incident where a Florida Panthers assistant coach allegedly kicked a player on the bench, but said that it left any investigation and punishment up to the team.

Canada’s TSN reported this week that coach Mike Kitchen, 64, kicked a Panthers player on the bench during a Jan. 20 game between Florida and the Minnesota Wild. The report claimed that Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Dale Tallon were made aware of the incident after the game.

The Panthers announced this week that Kitchen would not return to their coaching staff next season, though they didn’t specify why. After the incident, he remained on the staff through the March 12 “pause” due to COVID-19. Kitchen opted out of joining the team in the Toronto “bubble” for the restarted postseason. Florida was eliminated by the New York Islanders in the qualification round.

The alleged incident happened just over a month after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said there was a “zero tolerance policy” for teams not informing the league of incidents of abuse.

“Our message is unequivocal: We will not tolerate abusive behavior of any kind,” Bettman said at the December 2019 board of governors meeting in Pebble Beach, California. “Going forward, our clubs are on notice that if they become aware of an incident of conduct involving NHL personnel, on or off the ice, that is clearly inappropriate, unlawful or demonstrably abusive or that may violate league policies, either [deputy commissioner] Bill Daly or me must be immediately advised.”

Daly said the Panthers did reach out to the league about the incident.

“The team made me aware of the incident a while ago. We discussed with the team the appropriate approach,” Daly told ESPN on Saturday. “The team conducted its own investigation and made its own decision.”

Kitchen had been an assistant coach for 26 seasons, including with Quenneville on the Chicago Blackhawks bench from 2010 to 2017. He was head coach of the St. Louis Blues for 131 games from 2003-04 to 2006-07. He rejoined Quenneville in 2019-20, the head coach’s first season in Florida.

Tallon’s contract expired after the season, and he was replaced as general manager by Columbus assistant GM Bill Zito. Tallon is also under investigation by the NHL for allegedly using a racial slur while with the team in Toronto.

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Assistant Mike Kitchen fired by Panthers after report he kicked player

Assistant coach Mike Kitchen will not return to the Florida Panthers next season among a series of staffing changes announced Tuesday.

TSN reported Kitchen kicked a Panthers player on the bench during a game in January and the team held an internal investigation. A team spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email seeking confirmation.

Kitchen oped out of coaching in the NHL’s post-season for personal reasons, saying in July: “It was a difficult decision to say the least but the right decision for me and my family.” The 64-year-old rejoined coach Joel Quenneville behind the bench this season for the first time since 2016-17, and the two won the Stanley Cup together twice with Chicago.

TSN reported Quenneville and former general manager Dale Tallon were notified of the incident after the game. The team did not renew Tallon’s contract and last month hired Bill Zito as its new GM.

Beyond Kitchen’s departure, longtime NHL executives Rick Dudley and Paul Fenton were named senior advisers to the GM, and recently retired player Gregory Campbell is the new vice-president of player personnel and development after four years in player development with Columbus. Blake Geoffrion was named assistant to the GM, and P.J. Fenton has joined the scouting staff.

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Assistant coach Mike Kitchen won’t return to Florida Panthers amid report he kicked player

SUNRISE, Fla. — Assistant coach Mike Kitchen will not return to the Florida Panthers next season among a series of staffing changes announced Tuesday.

Canada’s TSN reported Kitchen kicked a Panthers player on the bench during a game in January, and the team held an internal investigation. A team spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email seeking confirmation.

Kitchen opted out of coaching in the NHL’s postseason for personal reasons, saying in July: “It was a difficult decision to say the least but the right decision for me and my family.” The 64-year-old rejoined coach Joel Quenneville behind the bench this season for the first time since 2016-17, and the two won the Stanley Cup together twice with Chicago.

TSN reported Quenneville and former general manager Dale Tallon were notified of the incident after the game. The team did not renew Tallon’s contract and last month hired Bill Zito as its new GM.

Beyond Kitchen’s departure, longtime NHL executives Rick Dudley and Paul Fenton were named senior advisers to the GM, and recently retired player Gregory Campbell is the new vice president of player personnel and development after four years in player development with Columbus. Blake Geoffrion was named assistant to the GM, and P.J. Fenton has joined the scouting staff.

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GOP lawmaker Mike Garcia seeks to cement hold on California House seat

Republican Rep. Mike Garcia and Democratic State Assemblywoman Christy Smith face off again in November after Garcia won a special election in May to represent California’s 25th Congressional District.

The seat was prematurely vacated by former Rep. Katie Hill, a freshman Democrat, who resigned from office on Nov. 3 after nude photos of her were posted online with stories describing her relationship with a young female campaign staffer and an alleged relationship with a congressional staffer. Hill disputed the latter claim.

One month before the special election, the Cook Political Report changed the district’s rating from “Lean Democratic” to “Toss Up.”

Garcia, the son of a Mexican immigrant, graduated from the United States Naval Academy after being nominated by then-Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican who previously represented the district. Garcia became the first Republican to pick up a House seat in California since 1998. He flew combat missions in Iraq and later served for 10 years as an executive on the board at Raytheon.

Smith is a former official at the California Department of Education. She climbed through the ranks of the department and raised $2 million in 2018 to win her state Assembly seat against a Republican incumbent, but her efforts against Garcia nearly two years later did not prevail when Garcia won by a 12-point margin.

Smith’s campaign took a hit during the special election when she slammed Garcia’s military service on a Zoom call with supporters. She later apologized for her comments.

Republicans previously held the 25th District, which spans northern Los Angeles County and part of neighboring Ventura County, for over two decades, mainly by McKeon and for two terms thereafter by his Republican successor, Steve Knight. However, in 2018 Knight lost by a 7-point margin to Hill, a first-time candidate who capitalized on the Democratic “blue wave” of the 2018 midterm elections.

House Republicans need to gain about 17 seats to reclaim the House majority they lost two years ago. Garcia winning reelection is a key part of that plan. The seat also has a certain emotional resonance because it borders on that of the Bakersfield-based district held by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, one of the most conservative parts of otherwise liberal California.

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Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard reports to jail to start prison sentence

Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard reported this afternoon to the Lee County sheriff’s office in Opelika to begin his prison sentence.

Hubbard turned himself in at 5:05 p.m., the online jail log shows.

Lance Bell, an attorney for Hubbard, said Hubbard was taken to the Russell County jail in Phenix City, where he is being held.

The Alabama Supreme Court denied Hubbard’s request for a rehearing two weeks ago, exhausting his state appeals.

Hubbard, 58, was sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 for violating the state ethics law. He has been out on appeal since.

Bell released a brief statement this evening.

“Mike Hubbard is a strong Christian man and has accepted the current situation but firmly believes in his innocence and looks forward to exploring other options to clear his name,” Bell said.

Joel Dillard, another lawyer for Hubbard, had said two weeks ago that the defense team would recommend that Hubbard file a federal appeal.

When the state Supreme Court turned down Hubbard’s request for a rehearing on August 28, the attorney general’s office said that left him with 15 days to report to jail to be turned over to the Department of Corrections.

A Lee County jury convicted Hubbard of 12 ethics violations. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld 11 of the 12. The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed six of the 11 and overturned five.

Hubbard was one of Alabama’s most powerful politicians until his conviction, which automatically removed him from office.

Related: 6-year saga: Timeline of Mike Hubbard’s ethics case

Prosecutors said Hubbard used his public office to enrich himself, partly through consulting contracts.

Hubbard has maintained his innocence since his indictment in 2014 and said the transactions that led to the charges were normal business activities not related to his public office. He testified for three days during his 2016 trial.

The six convictions involved consulting contracts with three companies that paid Hubbard a total of $525,000 while he was speaker, from 2012 to 2014.

Lee County voters first elected Hubbard to the House of Representatives in 1998, a time when Democrats controlled the Legislature. They would elect him to four more four-year terms.

Hubbard became state Republican Party chair and in 2010 helped orchestrate a campaign in which the GOP took control of the Legislature for the first time in 136 years. Hubbard’s House colleagues elected him speaker, a position he retained until his conviction in 2016.

Shortly after the 2010 election, the new Republican-controlled Legislature met in a special session to put tighter restrictions in the state ethics law, fulfilling a campaign promise.

Hubbard was convicted under the enhanced law that he helped pass.

The former speaker has maintained his innocence since his indictment by a Lee County special grand jury in 2014, which led to his trial two years later.

This story was updated at 3:03 p.m. on Sept. 12 to say that Hubbard is being held at the Russell County jail in Phenix City.

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