Government shutdown on anniversary of Trump inauguration

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 11:19 PM
Updated: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 8:12 AM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump phoned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss strategies to reopen the government.

Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley says Trump called the Republican Senate leader on Saturday morning. Gidley says chief of staff John Kelly is speaking with lawmakers and congressional leadership, while legislative affairs director Marc Short and budget director Mick Mulvaney are on Capitol Hill.

The shutdown is marring the anniversary of Trump's inauguration. For a businessman who made his career selling himself as a deal-maker, he is struggling to find consensus with Congress on a funding agreement.

The White House says Trump will not negotiate with Democrats over their demands to provide legal protections for roughly 700,000 young immigrants known as "Dreamers" until the government is reopened.

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11 a.m.

Junior White House aides are using their out-of-office messages to assign blame to Democrats for the government shutdown.

The automatic replies from White House assistant press secretaries Ninio Fetalvo and Natalie Strom say, "Unfortunately, I am out of the office today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding_including funding for our troops and other national security priorities_hostage to an unrelated immigration debate."

Hundreds of nonessential White House staffers are barred by law from working during the shutdown. The three deputy press secretaries are still working, however, as is press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

President Donald Trump had been set to leave Friday for a fundraiser Saturday at his Florida estate marking the anniversary of his inauguration but delayed the trip over the shutdown. It's unclear if he will attend.

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10:25 a.m.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is giving President Donald Trump an F for "failure in leadership" on the anniversary of his inauguration.

Pelosi also slammed congressional Republicans on Saturday as the government shutdown began.

In a speech on the House floor, Pelosi said Republicans who control the White House and hold majorities in the House and Senate are "so incompetent and negligent that they couldn't get it together to keep the government open."

Pelosi urged Republicans to "get down to business for everyday people in America."

She says Trump has tweeted that the country "needs a good shutdown." She says: "Your wish has come true for your one-year anniversary."

Republicans have blamed Democrats for the shutdown.

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9:50 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump will not negotiate immigration policy with Congress until the government reopens.

Spokesman Hogan Gidley says it's "disgusting" that Senate Democrats "decided to just throw our military under the bus."

Some government functions shut down at midnight Friday after the Senate failed to pass a short-term extension of government funding. Some Democrats voted against the bill because it did not include measures to shield from deportation immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Democrats demanded that immigration be included in the funding bill. The White House insists the issues be deal with separately.

Trump in a tweet Saturday accused Democrats of being more concerned about immigrants in the country illegally than about the military.

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7:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is blaming Democrats for the government shutdown — tweeting that they wanted to give him "a nice present" to mark the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.

He says Democrats "could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead."

And as part of a series of tweets hours after the shutdown began, the president is trying to make the case for Americans to elect more Republicans in the November elections "in order to power through this mess."

Trump is accusing Democrats of being more concerned with "Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous" border with Mexico.

He's also noting there are 51 Republicans in the Senate, and it takes 60 votes to move ahead on legislation to keep the government running — so some Democratic support is needed now.

In Trump's view, "that is why we need to win more Republicans" in the midterm elections.

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2:36 a.m.

The federal government has shut down.

That means a halt to all but the most essential operations. And the shutdown is marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration.

It's a striking display of Washington dysfunction.

Last-minute negotiations crumbled when Senate Democrats blocked a four-week extension. And that's led to the fourth government shutdown in a quarter-century.

Leading Republicans and Democrats are now trying to work out a compromise to avert a lengthy shutdown.

Congress has scheduled an unusual Saturday session to begin considering a three-week version of the short-term spending measure.

--

12:00 a.m.

The government shutdown is now official, as the deadline has been reached with no deal in place.

The White House released a statement on what they are calling the ‘Schumer Shutdown:’

“Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown. Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans. We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands.”

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11:25 p.m.

White House Press Secretary tweeted a response to the Senate failing to pass a budget.

“Democrats can’t shut down the booming Trump economy, they’ll shut down the government instead.”

--

11 p.m.

Senate Democrats appear to have derailed a Republican bill aimed at preventing a federal shutdown set to begin as soon as the calendar flips to Saturday.

Friday's late-night vote means at least a short government closure is all but unavoidable. There have been no clear public signs that the two parties have significantly narrowed their disputes over immigration and the budget.

The House approved the measure Thursday over Democratic opposition. It would keep agencies afloat through Feb. 16, but Democrats want a package lasting just days in hopes of intensifying pressure on the GOP to compromise.

Republicans control the Senate 51-49. The GOP needed 60 votes to prevail, but the tally was 50-48 as of 11 p.m. Eastern time. The Senate is awaiting a final vote from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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10:30 p.m.

The Trump administration will exempt several hundred presidential staffers from mandatory furloughs if the government shuts down at midnight.

Contingency plans released Friday night show that 659 Executive Office of the President staffers would be allowed to report to duty because they are considered essential workers. More than 1,000 of 1,700 staffers would be furloughed.

The number is higher than the Obama administration, which deemed 545 staffers essential in 2015.

The Executive Office of the President includes those who work in White House Office, the Office of the Vice President and the National Security Council, among others.

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9:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says efforts to avert a government shutdown are "Not looking good."

Trump says in a tweet late Friday evening that it's "Not looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the very dangerous Southern Border."

And he's blaming Democrats, saying they want a federal government shutdown "in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy."

Lawmakers are trying to hash out a deal to keep the federal government open. A partial shutdown will begin at midnight if Congress doesn't pass a funding bill.

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8:55 p.m.

Newly minted Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones is breaking ranks with party leaders and will vote for the House-passed Republican bill preventing a federal shutdown.

Jones tells The Associated Press he will "reluctantly" vote for the measure late Friday. He says he's backing it because the measure contains fresh financing for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which helps low-income children.

It will be Jones' highest-profile vote since he joined the Senate Jan. 3 after his upset special election victory over conservative Roy Moore.

Democrats say they have the votes to block the GOP measure. Republicans control the Senate 51-49 but need 60 votes to prevail.

Jones joins at least three other Democrats saying they'll support the bill: North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana's Joe Donnelly and West Virginia's Joe Manchin.

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7:30 p.m.

Administration officials say President Donald Trump would be allowed to travel to Davos, Switzerland, next week even if the government has been partially shut down.

Senior administration officials told reporters in a background briefing call that the president is permitted to continue to exercise his constitutional duties during a funding lapse. That includes carrying out diplomacy.

The officials declined to comment on whether the president would be able to travel to Florida this weekend to spend time at his Mar-a-Lago club.

Trump is planning to attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting next week in Switzerland. He plans to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May, among others.

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7:20 p.m.

The Senate has scheduled a showdown vote for 10 p.m. EST on preventing a federal government shutdown. Democrats are ready to block the Republican measure.

Unless Congress approves some legislation providing money, government agencies will begin shutting down at midnight.

The initial impact on most people will be slight, but the closure will raise the stakes in a partisan fight over immigration and the budget.

The House approved a bill Thursday keeping agencies open through Feb. 16.

Led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, most Democrats are opposing the measure.

Republicans control the Senate 51-49 but need 60 votes to prevail. More than enough Democrats appear ready to vote "no."

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5:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is striking an optimistic tone as the deadline for a federal government shutdown nears.

Trump tweeted Friday afternoon, less than seven hours before the midnight deadline, that he had "an excellent preliminary meeting" in the Oval Office with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

He is also praising the role being played by fellow Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Trump says negotiators are "making progress" and says a four-week spending extension "would be best." That's what the House passed Thursday.

Schumer told reporters after the White House meeting that progress had been made but a deal had not yet been reached.

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2:45 p.m.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer says he and President Donald Trump "made some progress" at a White House meeting, "but we still have a good number of disagreements."

The New York Democrat said "discussions will continue."

Trump asked Schumer to the White House for a meeting that lasted more than an hour.

The Oval Office session came with hours to go before a partial government shutdown at midnight.

Schumer'ss pressing for protections for younger immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, but the White House and Republicans say talks on that issue should be kept separate from legislation to prevent a shutdown.

___

2:30 p.m.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has left the White House after a lengthy meeting with President Donald Trump.

Trump invited the Senate's top Democrat to try to reach a deal to avert a government shutdown.

Schumer did not address reporters as he left the building.

___

12:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump has invited Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to the White House to try to reach a deal to avoid a government shutdown.

That's according to a person familiar with Trump's outreach who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.

Schumer is expected to meet with Trump shortly.

___

12:20 p.m.

The House has voted to remain in session — for now at least — while a Senate vote to avert a government shutdown looms.

Republican leaders planned to adjourn Friday after approving a four-week spending bill Thursday night that would avert a government shutdown. They changed course Friday after Democrats forced a formal vote on adjournment. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, said lawmakers have not completed their work and should not leave Washington.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans want to go to Davos, Switzerland "hobnobbing with their elitist friends instead of honoring their responsibilities to the American people."

A GOP aide said McCarthy won't attend the World Economic Forum in Davos if the government shuts down.

__

12 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Democrats will get the blame for a partial government shutdown that looks increasingly likely.

The Kentucky Republican says Senate Democrats will "own" the shutdown because they oppose a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open for a month.

McConnell says he looks forward to a vote soon, though Democrats and a handful of Republicans are expected to filibuster the measure.

___

11:45 a.m.

The Trump administration is minimizing the looming budget crisis that could produce a government shutdown, saying former President Barack Obama "weaponized" hardcore negotiating tactics.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters that any such shuttering of the government would "look very different" from the 16-day government closure in 2013 under Obama. He said the previous administration "weaponized" the government shutdown in budget negotiations and did not encourage agencies to lessen the impact with unobligated funds.

He says, "they chose to make it worse."

Mulvaney and Marc Short, the White House legislative director, spoke as the Republican-controlled Congress battled through budget negotiations in the shadow of a midnight deadline. If no resolution is reached, the government would shut down most operations.

___

11:40 a.m.

As a government shutdown loomed, the White House said Friday that President Donald Trump would not leave for a planned weekend in Florida unless a spending bill passes.

Trump had been set to leave Friday afternoon to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his inauguration at his Palm Beach estate.

Vice President Mike Pence still plans to travel to the Middle East on Friday night despite the potential for a shutdown of the federal government.

___

10:25 a.m.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is putting the chances of a government shutdown at "between 50 and 60 percent."

Mulvaney spoke to reporters at the White House Friday as the prospect of a shutdown loomed. He said he was "handicapping it" between 50 and 60 percent. But, he added, "we're planning for it as though it's 100 percent."

After the House passed a four-week, government-wide spending bill, Senate Democrats vowed a filibuster unless there's a deal to protect certain young immigrants.

Asked about a Plan B, Mulvaney noted talks over a shorter term deal, but said the House may be leaving which could create a funding lapse.

Still, he said that he's open to that. He says: "we'd like to keep the government open."

___

8:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump will not leave for a weekend at his Palm Beach estate unless a government shutdown is averted.

The White House said Friday that Trump will not head to Florida unless a funding bill passes.

Trump was set to leave Friday afternoon and planned to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his inauguration at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump tweeted Friday morning about the Friday night shutdown deadline, suggesting Democrats would be to blame.

___

7:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump says Senate Democrats are focused on "illegal immigration and weak borders" as a government shutdown looms.

Trump says on Twitter Friday: "Government Funding Bill past (sic) last night in the House of Representatives. Now Democrats are needed if it is to pass in the Senate - but they want illegal immigration and weak borders."

He adds: "Shutdown coming? We need more Republican victories in 2018!"

A divided Congress stared down a government shutdown Friday as Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked on immigration.

After the House passed a four-week, government-wide spending bill, Senate Democrats vowed a filibuster unless there's a deal to protect around 700,000 immigrants from deportation who arrived in the U.S. as children and stayed illegally.

___

1:08 a.m.

A bitterly-divided Congress is hurtling toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being deported.

Democrats in the Senate have served notice they will filibuster a four-week, government-wide funding bill that passed the House Thursday evening, seeking to shape a subsequent measure but exposing themselves to charges they are responsible for a looming shutdown.

Republicans controlling the narrowly-divided chamber took up the fight, arguing that Democrats were holding the entire government hostage over demands to protect "Dreamer" immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

 

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Parent’s cellphone video appears to show school bus driver texting and driving

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 8:12 AM

A parent said he saw a Georgia bus driver texting while driving. (Photo by WSBTV.com)
WSBTV.com
A parent said he saw a Georgia bus driver texting while driving. (Photo by WSBTV.com)(WSBTV.com)

A parent who didn’t want to be identified sent WSB video that appears to show a DeKalb County school bus driver looking down at her phone while on the road.

The parent said he saw the driver texting while driving on I-20 in Georgia and started filming. He said he believes the driver’s actions were dangerous and irresponsible.

>> Read more trending news 

The video shows what appears to be a cell phone in the bus driver's hand while she steers the wheel with her right hand. A student is seated on the bus.

Katrecia Lo, another parent, told WSB she’s also seen a DeKalb County bus driver on the phone while behind the wheel.

“To know they’re picking up phones and texting while our kids are in their care is gut-wrenching,” Lo said. 

“The DeKalb County School District is currently investigating what appears to be a bus driver using a phone while driving,” a statement from the district said. “This behavior is completely unacceptable. Not only is it illegal, it is not safe for other drivers, and it is a danger to the district’s staff and students. The safety of our students and staff is paramount to the DeKalb County School District.” 

There is no word that the district has taken any disciplinary action against the driver. The parent who recorded the video hopes quick action is taken so something like this never happens again. 

“No child should be in danger,” he said. “No child. That”s my first thought: the children.”

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Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein turns self in to face rape, other charges

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 8:30 AM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 8:30 AM

VIDEO: Weinstein Turns Himself In

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to authorities on Friday to face charges related to sexual abuse allegations in New York.

>> Read more trending news

Update 5/25 8:35 a.m.: Police confirmed in a statement released Friday morning that Weinstein has been charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct in cases involving two women.

Update 5/25 7:28 a.m.: Weinstein has turned himself in to police to face charges in a sexual misconduct investigation. He will be charged with first- and third-degree rape in one case and first-degree sex act in a second, CNN reported.

 

Reporters waited as Weinstein arrived at the police department just before 7:30 a.m. After booking, he will then be transferred to Manhattan Criminal Court to face his charges, NBC News reported.

The charges, according to sources close to the investigation, come from the allegations made by two women, NBC News reported. The women have not been identified, however, many big-name stars have accused Weinstein of various acts. Some of the women who have come out against the mogul include: Rose McGowan, Uma Thurman, Salma Hayek, Lupita Nyong’o and Ashley Judd, NBC News reported. Their speaking out sparked the #MeToo movement.

Update 5/25, 6:39 a.m.: Weinstein is expected to arrive at the NYPD’s 1st Precinct station Friday morning, WNBC reported. It could be as early as 7 a.m., according to Deadline

Police will fingerprint Weinstein, have mug shots taken and be given an arrest ID. Then he will be taken to his court appearance on felony complaint based on allegations of to women, WNBC reported. It is expected he will leave court on $1 million bail and will be issued an ankle monitor, sources told WNBCDeadline reported that Weinstein will also have to forfeit his passport.

Update 5/24, 8:47 p.m.:  Weinstein is expected to face first-degree rape and third-degree rape charges in one case, and a first-degree criminal sex act charge in another case, law enforcement officials told The New York Times.

The Times is reporting that the sex act charge is related to an incident with Lucia Evans, who told the New Yorker and investigators that Weinstein assaulted her during a casting meeting.

It’s unclear which of Weinstein’s many victims over two decades may be at the center of the rape case.

 

Original story: Two unidentified law enforcement officials told The New York Times on Thursday that Weinstein is expected to surrender to authorities Friday morning.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is expected to bring charges against Weinstein one day after a grand jury convened to hear evidence in connection to allegations of sexual abuse that have been levied against the well-known producer, according to WNBC

 

Dozens of women came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment and misconduct after the Times published a report last year detailing complaints of sexual harassment made against Weinstein over nearly three decades. Weinstein, who co-founded entertainment company Miramax, was ousted from his position at The Weinstein Company in the wake of the Times report. 

New York police opened an investigation into Weinstein in 2015, after Filipina-Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez told officers that she was groped by Weinstein without consent.

Authorities outfitted Gutierrez with a wire and had her meet with the producer. In an audio recording of the meeting obtained by The New Yorker, Weinstein could be heard apologizing after he’s confronted about the alleged assault.

>> Harvey Weinstein recording was not enough to charge him, DA says

Despite the recording, no charges were filed against Weinstein.

Prosecutors said that they were never consulted about the New York Police Department’s plan to get Weinstein to admit to the assault on tape and that the tape was not enough evidence to convict the 65-year-old. Police defended their actions, saying that the recording was one of multiple bits of evidence collected by officers and presented to the Manhattan District Attorney for prosecution.

>> Harvey Weinstein investigations launched in New York, London

New York City police said last year that they were working to learn of any additional complaints against Weinstein.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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Teen charged in crash that killed 3, including a baby: ‘I never saw anyone coming’

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 5:55 PM

Teen Charged After Crash That Killed 3, Including 3-Month-Old Baby

A metro Atlanta teenager who is charged in a crash that killed three people, including a 3-month-old baby, said she was looking at the road at the time of the deadly incident.

>> Read more trending news 

"I never saw anyone coming,” Zoe Reardon, 18, told WSB-TV. “My eyes were on the road,” she said.

Reardon faces eight misdemeanor charges that include vehicular homicide and the use of an electronic communication device under the age of 18 in connection with the Sept. 9 crash in Woodstock, Georgia.

Reardon's attorney, Manny Arora, told WSB his client texted her dad about dinner two minutes before the deadly accident. At the time, she was stopped in traffic elsewhere, he said.

However, investigators say Reardon "failed to exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle ... and engaged in the action of putting away her cellular telephone which distracted her," a point the teen disputes. 

“I wasn't doing anything,” she said.

>> Related: Teen charged in crash that killed hurricane evacuee, baby

Kaitlin Marie Hunt, 28, her baby Riley and family friend Kathy Deming, 61, of Marietta, were hit by Reardon’s SUV about 8 p.m. while trying to cross Arnold Mill Road, according to the sheriff’s office.

Riley died that night.

Days later, Hunt and Deming died.

Hunt, a Marietta native who was with the Coast Guard in Florida, had come to metro Atlanta to escape Hurricane Irma.

I see my family’s hurt, my parents' hurt,” Reardon said. “I can only imagine their families’ hurt must be four times what we’re going through.” 

Arora said investigators earlier told her family they saw no basis for charges. 

"No crosswalk and these people happen to be crossing, and she happened to be driving, and it's just tragic," Arora said.

Cherokee County Solicitor General Jessica Moss said she never told anyone there would be no charges.

>> Related: Florida mother who fled to metro Atlanta dies days after baby

Zoe Reardon told WSB that she is a straight-A student who has a partial scholarship to Southern Methodist University in Texas. But she now has the charges from the crash to deal with, and thinks of family members of the crash victims.

"I pray for the hearts,” she said, “and I pray for their healing."

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Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: Joey Picca talks the Storm Prediction Center 

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 7:55 AM

This week on Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast, Joey Picca sits down with Kirstie and McCall to talk about his role at the Storm Prediction Center.

LISTEN: Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans 

The SPC is part of the National Weather Service and is one of nine Centers for Environmental Prediction across the country. The SPC, especially in the spring and summer, is busy producing products that help give timely and accurate outlooks and watches for severe weather. 

Joey Picca is now an outlook/mesoscale forecaster at the SPC which is in Norman, Oklahoma. As a forecaster at the SPC, his primary duties include: issuing outlook and near-term forecasts for severe, fire, and winter weather across the contiguous United States. Picca first worked was a meteorologist at NWS New York, NY, where he supported operations for numerous high-impact events such as Hurricane Sandy and the Northeast Blizzard of February 2013. 

LISTEN: Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: WHIO TV Anchor Gabrielle Enright

Every day Picca has to tell the weather story of the entire country, first starting broad and zooming closer and closer until he is pin-pointing where severe weather could occur. The Convective Outlooks he produces are important in the Miami Valley and are just one tool the Storm Center 7 team uses when developing local forecasts each day. 

Picca gives an in-depth and honest look at the interesting job he has in the field of meteorology as well as some of the stressors he must overcome. 

“The atmosphere really knows how to slap you over the head and say, 'Oh, I've got many tricks up my sleeve,'" explained Picca.

 You can subscribe anytime to Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast so you won’t miss an episode. You can listen download episodes from Apple iTunes, Google Play, Sticher and right here on https://www.whio.com/whio-radio/on-demand/

Don’t forget to rate and review this podcast! 

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