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In honor of Independence Day, Lebanon Express is providing unlimited access to all of our content from June 28th-July 4th! Presented by Western Interlock

    A member of the House Jan. 6 committee says more witnesses are coming forward with new details on the Capitol insurrection following former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s devastating testimony last week against former President Donald Trump. Illinois Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger says “there will be way more information" in two public hearings this month and to “stay tuned,” because people are emerging “every day.” Hutchinson testified that Trump wanted to join an angry mob of his supporters who marched to the Capitol, where they rioted. Hutchinson also said then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone was concerned Trump would face criminal charges if the Republican then-president joined them.

      Authorities in Virginia say the 17-year-old daughter of Toronto Blue Jays first base coach Mark Budzinski died in a tubing accident in Richmond over the weekend. A spokesperson for the Department of Wildlife Resources says Julia Budzinski was one of two girls who fell off a tube being pulled behind a boat on the James River on Saturday. As the boat operator returned to get the girls out of the water, the boat hit a wave. That caused it to be pushed on top of Budzinski and striking her with the propeller. Budzinski was a rising senior at Glen Allen High School who played soccer and other sports.

        The number of U.S. flights being canceled is slowing down, but plenty of travelers are facing long delays as they try to get home from trips over the July Fourth holiday weekend. By late Monday afternoon on the East Coast, more than 2,200 U.S. flights had been delayed and more than 200 were canceled, according to FlightAware. The good news is, that's fewer delays and cancellations than we've seen in recent days. Industry experts say airlines are struggling because demand for travel has recovered from the bottom of the pandemic faster than anyone expected. That's causing airports to be almost as crowded as they were in 2019, before the pandemic.

          Sacramento police say a man has been killed and four men were wounded in a shooting outside a downtown nightclub. Police Chief Kathy Lester told the Sacramento Bee that authorities received a call about shots fired shortly before 2 a.m. Monday after patrons left a club. Authorities say the victims were taken to hospitals where one was pronounced dead. Police say identified the man who died as as 31-year-old Gregory Grimes. Police released little information about the incident and are asking witnesses to come forward with additional information. Authorities did not immediately identify suspects in the shooting.

            Independence Day celebrations in the United States have been rattled by a shooting that left at least six people dead at a parade in Illinois. The shooting further rocked a nation already awash in turmoil over high court rulings on abortion and guns as well as hearings on the Jan. 6 insurrection. Police say at least two dozen other people were wounded in the attack in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. Authorities asked residents to seek shelter while they search for the suspect. News of yet another mass shooting came as the nation tried to find cause to celebrate its founding and the bonds that still hold it together.

            A Shawnee attorney elected last week to be the new district attorney for Pottawatomie and Lincoln counties has died. David Hammer's family announced in a Facebook post that the 47-year-old died on Sunday. No cause of death was given, and family members didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Hammer defeated incumbent District Attorney Allan Grubb and Tanya Roland in Tuesday's Republican primary with more than 58% of the vote. With no Democrats having filed for office, Hammer was scheduled to take office in January. The governor is expected to announce an appointment to fill Hammer's term.

            Across the U.S. West, rural residents have historically faced barriers in accessing abortion, such as long travel distances and lack of transportation. Now, abortion providers serving rural areas are concerned those pre-existing challenges could be further compounded by the overturning of Roe v. Wade, as more patients travel to their clinics from states where the procedure is now banned or greatly restricted. In Oregon, the sole Planned Parenthood clinic serving the eastern half of the state is hiring more staff in expectation of an influx of patients from neighboring Idaho, where a trigger law banning most abortions is expected to take effect this summer.

            California authorities say three men are missing and presumed dead after they swam into a river in an attempt to rescue a young boy over the weekend. The Los Angeles Times reports the boy was swept away Sunday at a popular Sacramento County swimming and boating destination called Three Mile Slough. The delta area of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers is about 40 miles south of Sacramento. Authorities says the boy was rescued and was not hurt but that three relatives trying to save him went underwater and haven't been seen since then.

            Frankfurter-munching phenom Joey “Jaws” Chestnut has gobbled his way to a 15th win at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest. Chestnut powered down 63 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes Monday at the annual exhibition of excess. Women's record-holder Miki Sudo took the women’s title after skipping last year’s frank fest because she was pregnant. Sudo downed 40 wieners and buns in 10 minutes to notch her eighth victory. A spectator wearing a Darth Vader mask momentarily disrupted the competition by rushing the stage. Chestnut put the protester in a brief chokehold before contest officials escorted the intruder away.

            Officials say a 13-year-old Canadian girl who was missing for more than a week has been found in Oregon and that a man accused of kidnapping her is detained. The FBI in Portland says its agents helped arrest 41-year-old Noah Madrano Saturday on accusations of luring the girl to the U.S. from the Canadian city of Edmonton. The girl was found in Oregon City, Oregon. Jail records say that Madrano is being held at the Clackamas County Jail on rape, sexual abuse and kidnapping allegations. Oregon City Police spokesman Matt Paschall said Madrano is being held on no bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

            Phan Thị Kim Phuc, the girl in the famous 1972 Vietnam napalm attack photo, is escorting 236 refugees from the war in Ukraine on a flight from Warsaw to Canada. Phuc's iconic Associated Press photo in which she runs with her napalm-scalded body exposed, was etched on the private NGO plane that flew the refugees Monday to the city of Regina, the capital of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Kim, 59, a Canadian citizen, says she wants her story and work for the refugees to be a message of peace. The refugees, mostly women and children, are among thousands of Ukrainians being offered Canada's humanitarian visas, in response to Russia's brutal invasion of their country.

            The Italian government has declared a state of emergency for much of the rain-parched north, freeing up 36.5 million euros (about $38 million) in funds for the heavily agricultural regions. Premier Mario Draghi's office said the aid was approved at a Cabinet meeting Monday night in Rome. The Po River, whose waters help irrigate rice paddies, farm fields and grazing land for cows, is at its lowest level in some 70 years. Emergency decrees were decided for five regions: Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto. Some cities and towns in the north have put restrictions on water use by citizens.


            Passenger railroads are coping with post-COVID re-opening along with the rest of the travel industry, although, as with most things railroad, a bit more slowly than the other players. Here's what I think we know as of mid-June.

            A shooting at a Fourth of July parade near Chicago is the latest incidence involving gun violence to stun the United States. Authorities say at least six people died and 24 were injured on Sunday when a gunman apparently opened fire on parade-goers from a rooftop using a rifle. The most deadly incident since May happened when a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at a school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24. And on May 14, a racist attack led to the deaths of 10 African Americans at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

            Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says flags at state buildings will be lowered to half-staff in honor of three officers who were killed when a man with a rifle opened fire on police attempting to serve a warrant. Beshear said in a new release that flags will be lowered Tuesday morning and remain at half-staff until sunset Thursday in remembrance of Floyd County sheriff’s deputy and Martin City fire Chief William Petry, Prestonsburg police Capt. Ralph Frasure and Prestonsburg police Officer Jacob Chaffins. The three were killed Thursday night in an hourslong standoff at a home in Allen, a small town in the hills of Appalachia in eastern Kentucky.

            French President Emmanuel Macron has reshuffled his Cabinet in an attempt to adjust to the new political reality following a legislative election in which his centrist alliance failed to win a majority in the parliament. Three ministers who lost their seats at the National Assembly last month were replaced on Monday, according to a statement from the French presidency. Damien Abad, the minister of policies for the disabled, who is under investigation for rape and sexual misconduct, was also replaced. The new Cabinet will meet later on Monday.

            A person used a flamethrower to set fire to a Pan-African flag flying on a pole outside the headquarters of a Black international socialist group based in Florida. Security video released by the Uhuru Movement shows the driver of a white sedan pulling up outside the group’s St. Petersburg headquarters on Saturday morning. The driver pulls a flame thrower from the trunk and shoots a tower of fire at the flag flying 30 feet above the ground. The group says the driver stopped when a worker inside the building yelled at him. The video shows the person putting the flamethrower back in the trunk and then driving away. Police are investigating.

            Amber Heard’s lawyers have asked a judge to throw out the $10.35 million verdict against her in the defamation case filed by ex-husband Johnny Depp. In post-trial motions filed last week, Heard's lawyers argued that the jury’s verdict was not supported by the evidence. They also claim that one of the jurors may not have been properly vetted by the court. Heard’s attorneys call the jury’s June 1 award of $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages to Depp “excessive” and “indefensible.” They ask the judge to set aside the verdict and dismiss Depp’s lawsuit or order a new trial. The judge reduced the punitive damages to $350,000 immediately after the verdict to comply with a state cap.

            Myanmar’s military government has hosted its first high-level regional meeting since the army took power last year, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and counterparts from Mekong Delta nations attending. State broadcaster MRTV says Wang met with his colleagues from Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation group meeting held under the theme “Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity.” Many in Myanmar suspect China of supporting last year's military takeover. Myanmar's shadow government says the gathering violates a peace plan by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Myanmar’s rulers have stymied ASEAN efforts to organize a meeting with ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

            Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the reconstruction of his country will become the “common task of the entire democratic world” after the war with Russia ends. The video comments came at a “Ukraine Recovery Conference" in Switzerland on Monday. Ukraine's prime minister Denys Shmyhal laid out a $750 billion, three-phase recovery plan that focuses on immediate needs, “fast recovery," then long-term reconstruction. He said up to $500 billion in frozen funds belonging to Russian oligarchs and others should help pay for it. A Swiss NGO says event host Switzerland should do more to help stop Russia's financing of the war.

            More than halfway through a tumultuous primary season, voters have rendered verdicts in a number of contests, many of which featured candidates arguing they best represented a continuation of policies favored by former President Donald Trump. While not on the ballot himself, Trump has played a role in several races, with candidates bearing his endorsement meeting a variety of electoral outcomes. There have also been tumbles by several incumbents, some taken out by Trump-backed challengers and others bested by fellow representatives in faceoffs forced by redistricting. So far, eight U.S. House incumbents have lost their seats after primary elections.

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