set up stakeouts to prevent illegal stuffing of ballot boxes. Officials overseeing elections are ramping up security at polling places.

Voting rights groups said they were increasingly concerned by Ms. Engelbrecht.

She has “taken the power of rhetoric to a new place,” said Sean Morales-Doyle, the acting director of voting rights at the Brennan Center, a nonpartisan think tank. “It’s having a real impact on the way lawmakers and states are governing elections and on the concerns we have on what may happen in the upcoming elections.”

Some of Ms. Engelbrecht’s former allies have cut ties with her. Rick Wilson, a Republican operative and Trump critic, ran public relations for Ms. Engelbrecht in 2014 but quit after a few months. He said she had declined to turn over data to back her voting fraud claims.

“She never had the juice in terms of evidence,” Mr. Wilson said. “But now that doesn’t matter. She’s having her uplift moment.”

a video of the donor meeting obtained by The New York Times. They did not elaborate on why.

announce a partnership to scrutinize voting during the midterms.

“The most important right the American people have is to choose our own public officials,” said Mr. Mack, a former sheriff of Graham County, Ariz. “Anybody trying to steal that right needs to be prosecuted and arrested.”

Steve Bannon, then chief executive of the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News, and Andrew Breitbart, the publication’s founder, spoke at her conferences.

True the Vote’s volunteers scrutinized registration rolls, watched polling stations and wrote highly speculative reports. In 2010, a volunteer in San Diego reported seeing a bus offloading people at a polling station “who did not appear to be from this country.”

Civil rights groups described the activities as voter suppression. In 2010, Ms. Engelbrecht told supporters that Houston Votes, a nonprofit that registered voters in diverse communities of Harris County, Texas, was connected to the “New Black Panthers.” She showed a video of an unrelated New Black Panther member in Philadelphia who called for the extermination of white people. Houston Votes was subsequently investigated by state officials, and law enforcement raided its office.

“It was a lie and racist to the core,” said Fred Lewis, head of Houston Votes, who sued True the Vote for defamation. He said he had dropped the suit after reaching “an understanding” that True the Vote would stop making accusations. Ms. Engelbrecht said she didn’t recall such an agreement.

in April 2021, did not respond to requests for comment. Ms. Engelbrecht has denied his claims.

In mid-2021, “2,000 Mules” was hatched after Ms. Engelbrecht and Mr. Phillips met with Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative provocateur and filmmaker. They told him that they could detect cases of ballot box stuffing based on two terabytes of cellphone geolocation data that they had bought and matched with video surveillance footage of ballot drop boxes.

Salem Media Group, the conservative media conglomerate, and Mr. D’Souza agreed to create and fund a film. The “2,000 Mules” title was meant to evoke the image of cartels that pay people to carry illegal drugs into the United States.

said after seeing the film that it raised “significant questions” about the 2020 election results; 17 state legislators in Michigan also called for an investigation into election results there based on the film’s accusations.

In Arizona, the attorney general’s office asked True the Vote between April and June for data about some of the claims in “2,000 Mules.” The contentions related to Maricopa and Yuma Counties, where Ms. Engelbrecht said people had illegally submitted ballots and had used “stash houses” to store fraudulent ballots.

According to emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, a True the Vote official said Mr. Phillips had turned over a hard drive with the data. The attorney general’s office said early this month that it hadn’t received it.

Last month, Ms. Engelbrecht and Mr. Phillips hosted an invitation-only gathering of about 150 supporters in Queen Creek, Ariz., which was streamed online. For weeks beforehand, they promised to reveal the addresses of ballot “stash houses” and footage of voter fraud.

Ms. Engelbrecht did not divulge the data at the event. Instead, she implored the audience to look to the midterm elections, which she warned were the next great threat to voter integrity.

“The past is prologue,” she said.

Alexandra Berzon contributed reporting.

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Politician Accused Of Killing Las Vegas Journalist Appears In Court

By Sean DeLancey

and Associated Press
September 9, 2022

County Public Administrator Robert Telles has been ordered to remain jailed without bail pending arraignment on a murder charge.

The DNA of a jailed elected official who was angered by past and upcoming newspaper stories was found on the hands of a Las Vegas investigative reporter who fought for his life while being stabbed to death outside his home, authorities said Thursday.

County Public Administrator Robert Telles stood handcuffed in court with bandages on his wrists and police officers at his elbows while a prosecutor told a judge that Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German’s death was a planned attack by an assailant who left his own cellphone at home and waited in a vehicle outside German’s home.

“The published articles regarding a public figure, the public administrator’s office, ruined his political career, likely his marriage, and this was him lashing out at the cause,” Chief Deputy Clark County District Attorney Richard Scow said of Telles.

Scow said German was stabbed seven times. His body was found Saturday.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Elana Lee Graham called a police report detailing the attack “chilling,” including the discovery of wounds on German’s arms and DNA believed to be from Telles in German’s fingernails.

“He was fighting for his life,” the judge said of the 69-year-old longtime journalist. “It appears from this report that Mr. Telles was waiting … and called (German) over to the side of his own home.”

Graham ordered Telles, 45, jailed without bail pending arraignment next Tuesday on a murder charge.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson called German’s death “brutal and meaningless” and the case against Telles important for the community. Wolfson said a decision about whether to seek the death penalty will be made in coming months.

Earlier Thursday, police officials described Telles’ arrest late Wednesday after a brief police standoff at his home.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Telles was hospitalized for what the sheriff called “self-inflicted” wounds, hours after investigators served a search warrant and confiscated vehicles in the criminal probe of German’s killing.

Telles had been a focus of German’s reporting about turmoil, including complaints of administrative bullying, favoritism and Telles’ relationship with a subordinate staffer in the county office that handles property of people who die without a will or family contacts. Telles, a Democrat, went on to lose his bid for reelection in the June primary.

Telles was identified early in the investigation as a person “upset about articles that were being written by German, as an investigative journalist, that exposed potential wrongdoing,” Las Vegas Police Capt. Dori Koren said.

In addition to Telles’ suspected DNA at the crime scene, Koren said investigators serving a search warrant at Telles’ home found shoes and a distinctive wide straw hat.

Koren said the items matched those worn by a person captured on security camera video wearing a blaze orange shirt and walking toward German’s home. He showed photos of the shoes and the hat and said they had been been cut up.

A murder weapon has not been found, but Lombardo said police have “distorted” video that shows the attack. He said investigators were attempting to enhance it.

Investigators said a distinctive maroon GMC Yukon Denali SUV was seen driving around German’s neighborhood Sept. 2, the morning of the killing, stopping several times. That vehicle, registered to Telles’ wife, departed Telles’ home around 9 a.m. and returned around noon, Koren said.

Police believe German was attacked about 11:15 a.m., and his garage door was open.

Telles was questioned by police Wednesday and then returned home, where he ignored reporters’ questions as he entered and did not respond to officers at his door until SWAT units and an ambulance arrived in the evening.

German joined the Review-Journal in 2010 after more than two decades at the Las Vegas Sun, where he was a columnist and reporter who covered courts, politics, labor, government and organized crime.

Telles, a lawyer who practiced probate and estate law, won his elected position in 2018, replacing a three-term public administrator. He lost his June party primary to Assistant Public Administrator Rita Reid, who faces a Republican challenger in November. Telles’ term expires Dec. 31.

Clark County officials said Thursday that Telles was suspended and banned from county offices or property pending a review of his position as an elected official.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Police: Las Vegas Journalist Dies In Stabbing Outside Home

By Associated Press
September 6, 2022

It appears an altercation between Jeff German and another person led to the stabbing, which is believed to be an isolated incident, police said.

A Las Vegas investigative reporter was stabbed to death outside his home and police are looking for a suspect, authorities said.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers found journalist Jeff German, 69, dead with stab wounds around 10:30 a.m. Saturday after authorities received a 911 call, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

German died of “multiple sharp force injuries” in a homicide, the Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner said Sunday.

It appears an altercation between Jeff German and another person led to the stabbing, which is believed to be an isolated incident, police said.

“We believe the altercation took place outside of the home,” Capt. Dori Koren, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spokesman, said at a news conference. “We do have some leads. We are pursuing a suspect but the suspect is outstanding.”

Police released surveillance images Monday of a possible suspect, although the images don’t show the person’s full face.

The images show a person wearing a wide straw hat, bright orange reflective long-sleeve shirt, blue jeans, gray shoes and carrying a black or dark blue shoulder bag.

Police are asking for the public’s help finding any additional surveillance footage as they continue to search for a suspect.

Glenn Cook, the Review-Journal’s executive editor, said German had not communicated any concerns about his personal safety or any threats made against him to anyone in the newspaper’s leadership.

“The Review-Journal family is devastated to lose Jeff,” Cook said in a statement. “He was the gold standard of the news business. It’s hard to imagine what Las Vegas would be like today without his many years of shining a bright light on dark places.”

German joined the Review-Journal in 2010 after more than two decades at the Las Vegas Sun, where he was a columnist and reporter who covered courts, politics, labor, government and organized crime.

He was known for his stories about government malfeasance and political scandals and coverage of the 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival that killed 60 people and wounded more than 400 others.

According to the Review-Journal, German held a master’s degree from Marquette University and was the author of the 2001 true-crime book “Murder in Sin City: The Death of a Las Vegas Casino Boss,” the story of the death of Ted Binion, heir to the Horseshoe Club fortune.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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New Data Shows How Americans Are Handling Inflation

As inflation rises, consumer confidence has risen, housing prices have slowed and there are now more job openings.

A slew of reports released Tuesday gave us an idea of how consumers are handling inflation.

Starting things off is the Case-Shiller Index on real estate, which indicated that single-family home prices are still high, but increasing at a slower rate.

Home prices in June were 18% higher than in the same month of 2021.

But the year-to-year gain was close to 20% in May.

Analysts say that cooling reflects the impact of rising interest rates.

In Las Vegas, broker Dawn Houlf says she’s felt a change in the last three months.

“There is going to be that negotiation between buyer and seller whereas three, four, five months ago it was all sellers and there were no negotiations, I have never seen it where people are waving appraisal contingencies, waiving appraisals, inspections, just to get into a house,” said Houlf. 

The new Consumer Confidence Index is showing an improvement.

The index came in at 103.2 in August. That’s up from 95.3 in July, and higher than what most economists expected at 98.

Experts point to lower gas prices as a key driver of that progress.

Meanwhile, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey shows almost 1 million more job openings than expected in July —11.24 million total. That’s 200,000 more openings than the month before and now two openings for every job seeker.

In Kansas City, Waldo’s Pizza is struggling to fill positions.

“It’s just a continuing battle. We’ll go through 100 applications and get maybe four to work here. And we’re lucky if all four of them stay the month,” said Aaron Kanatzar, the owner of Waldo’s Pizza. 

The tight labor market means employers are still competing for workers, and will likely have to raise wages to attract talent. That can add inflationary pressure to the economy which is something the Fed doesn’t want to see right now.

Fed officials will meet again in three weeks and another interest rate hike to keep cooling prices is expected.

Source: newsy.com

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WNBA Playoffs Head Into Semifinals With Increased Viewership

Viewership for WNBA games rose 16% compared to last year, along with increasing social media and website traffic for the league.

The WNBA playoffs are heating up semifinals kick off on Sunday. 

It’s down to the final four teams: The defending champions Chicago Sky will take on the Connecticut Sun, while top-seeded Las Vegas Aces will battle Seattle Storm.

And league officials say they’re encouraged by the points the league is scoring off the court, as well.

Officials say the 2022 season saw a slam dunk in viewership with a 16% rise over the previous year, making it the most watched regular season in 14 years at an average of roughly 379,000 viewers. Online social media engagement was up 36% from 2021, and website traffic was up 79% with 9.2 million visits in total.

“We’re going to implement a couple of things, because I feel confident in how we’re doing at the league level,” said Cathy Engelbert, WNBA commissioner.

The 26-year-old league is known for its play that emphasizes ball handling, competitive games and the marketing of player style. 

The year began with a $75 million investment by new investors, including Nike and the NBA. 

Mid-season, Engelbert announced that the league is trying to improve the lives of the women who play the game.

“For the WNBA finals, we’re going to provide charter flights to our players,” Engelbert said. “In the spirit of finding other ways to compensate our players, we’re planning to increase the post-season bonus pools by almost 50% to a half million dollars. That would almost double the bonus reach player who wins the championship.”

These changes to the player experience come amid conversations about how WNBA players are compensated compared to their male counterparts in the NBA.

On average, NBA players are some of the highest paid athletes in the world, with the average salary for this season coming in around $7.3 million. Meanwhile, the top players in the WNBA are reportedly making roughly $230,000 a year.

The driving force behind these conversations is WNBA star Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia on charges of drug smuggling. Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in prison by a Moscow court in August, had been competing in a Russian league during her WNBA off season and was reportedly earning about $1 million for doing so — a salary more than four times what she was making during her WNBA season.

Looking ahead to next season, Englebert says the league plans to play an all-time high of 40 regular season games, compared to this season’s 36. In addition, the league is eyeing opportunities to expand its reach by bringing new teams to cities around the country. 

“We have a lot of interest — I’d say probably 10 or 15 cities very interested in hosting a WNBA team,” Engelbert said. “So we’re meeting here and there, I’ll call it, with interested ownership groups. We are looking for the right ownership groups, with the right commitment, the right arena situation, the right city, to support the WNBA franchise.”

It’s a move the league says is backed by data showing growing public interest, which should be kept in mind during future media negotiations.

“When you look at our viewership versus the NHL, MLS, NASCAR and things like that, some ways on cable, we are at or above them, our social platform and stuff like that,” Engelbert said. “How do we get these qualitative metrics as part of the next media deal negotiation?”

Source: newsy.com

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Celebrities Are Overusing An Already Dwindling Water Supply

The Los Angeles Times obtained documents showing multiple celebrities are the biggest offenders when it comes to breaking water budgets.

The super-rich are way overspending their water allocations amid dire warnings about water use and restrictions on watering outside, and some of the biggest names in Hollywood are some of the worst offenders, according to the Los Angeles Times.

As water reserves dry up across the West, southern Californians are allowed to water outside only twice a week. Also, massive properties in the wealthy enclaves of Hidden Hills and Calabasas — near Los Angeles — have water allowances.

But documents the LA Times obtained show names like Dwayne Wade, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Hart and Kim Kardashian smashing those limits, ending up with warnings from the utility.

Now the Las Virgenes Water District could put “flow meters” on their water lines to track their use and effectively shut off outdoor watering when they reach their limit.

It comes as states across the West try to curb water use, while Arizona takes the biggest hit with a federal government-imposed 21% cut to its water allowance. It’s a concern for the state’s leaders, who are worried about its agricultural output.

“If Yuma County doesn’t have the water it needs to grow produce, then that means that those products are gonna be more expensive across the country,” said Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.

In California, basketball star Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union told the Times they have been working to fix leaks in their pool and transition to drought resistant landscaping. They went over their limit by 90,000 gallons, which is more than 1,400% of their allowance.

Sylvester Stallone and his wife Jennifer Flavin went 230,000 gallons over their limit, using more than 533% of the allowance. Stallone’s lawyer told the LA Times the actor needs to water more than 500 trees on his property, and he has allowed some grass to die. 

Newsy reached out to representatives for Hart and Kardashian but didn’t get a response.

“Across the west, across the nation, we need to have a conversation about how we’re pricing water and how we’re using water, especially for aesthetic purposes,” said Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network.

The water district acknowledges many landscapes in the ritzy neighborhood aren’t built for drought and can’t survive under the restrictions in place.

A spokesperson said it takes time to adapt entire properties to drought-resistence, but it still has to be done.

In Colorado, cities are turning grasses over to more drought-tolerant varieties.

“The reason it doesn’t need any irrigation is because once the roots are established they grow deep enough that they pull water up from underneath,” said Luc Hatlestad, public information officer of Arapahoe County, Colorado. 

“There’s a lot of need right now to save water for the Colorado River,” said Austin Krcmarik, water efficiency lead of Denver Water. “We really need to figure out new strategies outside of what we’ve traditionally done on how we can play our part of making the landscapes work for us and save water.”

It’s an example to Las Vegas, where golf courses and casinos are apparently struggling to keep their water use down as resorts fill up again after the 2020 shutdown.

“They have removed approximately 900 acres of grass from their courses that has helped them to better manage their water resources,” said Bronson Mack, public information officer of the Las Vegas Valley water district.

The dwindling water supply out west is pressuring the rich to turn down the flow and deal with the consequences.

“We have got to be in a position to use a significant amount of water less than we’ve used in the past,” said Gene Shawcroft, Colorado River commissioner of Utah. “We simply cannot continue where we are.”

Source: newsy.com

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