Fox News 2024-03-08 16:03:46


Gold Star dad Steve Nikoui arrested after heckling president during speech

A Gold Star father who shouted out criticisms at President Biden during the State of the Union address has been arrested.

Steve Nikoui, 51, is the father of a U.S. marine who was killed during the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

Nikoui was escorted out of the House Galleries during Biden’s speech after he stood up and began yelling “Abbey Gate” repeatedly. 

DID BIDEN PASS OR FAIL? FORMER PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHWRITERS GRADE THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

The heckling was a reference to an attack at the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan that occurred during the military’s withdrawal from the country.

The surprise attack killed 13 U.S. service members and injured at least 170 civilians — including Nikoui’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui.

HEROES OF KABUL: LANCE CPL. KAREEM NIKOUI BELIEVED AMERICA WAS WORTH FIGHTING FOR, FALLEN MARINE’S MOM SAYS

Nikoui was confronted by security during his outburst, who demanded he stop. He refused and continued shouting.

He was removed from the House Galleries and arrested by Capitol Police on the misdemeanor charge of Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding.

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Nikoui was in attendance as a guest of Florida Rep. Brian Mast, who released a statement explaining his choice to bring the Gold Star father to the Capitol.

“By inviting Steve to join the State of the Union, I am reminding President Biden of the damage he has done to national security and American families,” Mast wrote ahead of the State of the Union address.

Mast is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Accountability and Oversight.

Fulton County ethics board turns around completely on Fani Willis complaints

A Fulton County ethics board scheduled to hear complaints filed against District Attorney Fani Willis on Thursday scrapped those plans after finding it lacked jurisdiction.

The Fulton County Board of Ethics was scheduled to hear two complaints against Willis after a co-defendant of former President Trump in the Georgia election interference case alleged Willis had an improper affair with special counsel Nathan Wade, whom she hired to prosecute Trump. However, days before the board convened on March 7, the meeting agenda was updated to remove consideration of those complaints. 

At Thursday’s meeting, Chairman Daraka Satcher announced the board lacked jurisdiction over the complaints because Willis is a state constitutional officer, not a county official, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“The Fulton County Code of Ethics, our code of ethics, only applies to county officers and employees,” Satcher said in a prepared statement. He said the Georgia State Ethics Commission is the proper body to review the complaints against Willis.

NATHAN WADE’S PHONE DATA SHOWS HE MADE MIDNIGHT TRIPS TO FANI WILLIS’ CONDO BEFORE HE WAS HIRED: ATTORNEY

Last year, Willis indicted Trump and 18 co-defendants, including Michael Roman, a GOP political operative who first filed motions alleging Willis financially benefited from her romantic entanglement with Wade.

A state judge is currently weighing evidence against Willis’ alleged impropriety and whether she and her team should be disqualified from the case. 

At the same time, state lawmakers have formed a special Senate committee with subpoena power to investigate claims against the district attorney. 

The two complaints filed with the ethics board are separate from the disqualification proceedings and the state Senate investigation.

GEORGIA PROSECUTOR ALLEGES FANI WILLIS ASKED BRADLEY NOT TO TESTIFY ON AFFAIR: ‘THEY ARE COMING AFTER US’

Two individuals, Gregory Mantell and Steven Kramer, filed complaints in January and February, respectively, alleging numerous ethics violations by Willis.

Mantell, who founded the Substack blog Investigative News Service, filed his complaint against Willis on Jan. 27. According to Newsweek, Mantelll claims the district attorney’s office improperly denied his records request for expense reports for 2021-2023 and all contracts and payments made to Wade during those years. He had also requested records pertaining to $14.6 million in awards for the Department of Justice, Newsweek reported.

Kramer’s lengthy complaint raises questions about the hiring of Wade, the affair, Wade’s compensation, money spent on dates and trips, the possibility that the relationship created a hostile workplace environment and whether taxpayer dollars paid to Wade might have been better spent, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.

TRUMP LAWYERS MAKE CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN DA FANI WILLIS ‘IMPROPER’ AFFAIR ALLEGATIONS: ‘IRREPARABLE STAIN’

“The extra resources and financial costs for the court and the district attorney’s office, both paid for by Fulton County taxpayers like me, are to deal with this improper relationship,” Kramer wrote in the Feb. 14 complaint. 

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a staunch Trump supporter, said she also filed two ethics complaints against Willis and was looking forward to the hearing. 

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Had the Fulton County ethics board found Willis to be in violation of the county ethics code, she would have faced a $1,000 fine. 

However, since the board determined Willis is outside its jurisdiction, she will not be reprimanded. 

Former president cements hold over Republican Party with RNC shakeup

HOUSTON – The Republican Party on Friday will formally once again become what in reality it has been for eight years – the party of Trump.

That is when the voting members of the Republican National Committee (RNC), who are gathering for a quickly called general session, are expected to overwhelmingly vote to confirm a key ally of former President Trump and Trump’s daughter-in-law to serve as national party committee chair and co-chair.

The RNC gathering, which was scheduled in the last couple of weeks, comes in the same week Trump swept 14 of the 15 GOP primaries and caucuses on Super Tuesday – which moved him much closer to officially locking up the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. It also comes just two days after Trump’s last rival for the nomination – former U.N. ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley – dropped out of the race.

“He’s the presumptive nominee. He’s going to be our nominee. He’s going to be the guy to beat Joe Biden, and it’s normal for the presumptive nominee of the party to run the RNC,” longtime RNC committee member from Mississippi Henry Barbour told Fox News on the eve of the meeting.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN PUSHES BACK ON TALK THE RNC WILL BE FORCED TO PAY THE FORMER PRESIDENT’S LEGAL BILLS

Additionally, New Hampshire GOP chair and former RNC committee member Chris Ager, who is also attending the meeting, emphasized that “Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee and this is the party of Trump.”

Longtime RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, whom Trump picked to steer the national party committee after he won the White House in 2016, is stepping down at the meeting. Her departure comes after Trump earlier this year repeatedly urged changes at the committee – after lackluster fundraising last year and his opposition to the RNC’s presidential primary debates – which essentially pushed McDaniel out the door.

TRUMP MEETS WITH MCDANIEL, THEN CALLS FOR CHANGES AT THE RNC

In her place, Trump picked North Carolina GOP chair Michael Whatley to succeed McDaniel. Whatley, the party’s general counsel, is also a Trump ally and strong supporter of the former president’s repeated claims that his 2020 election loss to President Biden was due to massive voter fraud.

The former president also picked his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, for RNC co-chair. She is expected to focus on fundraising for the committee and on media appearances.

Trump is also installing campaign adviser Chris LaCivita as RNC chief of staff. LaCivita, a longtime Republican strategist and RNC veteran, will continue to keep his role as one of the two top advisers steering Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

“The people at the RNC know and like Mike Whatley, so he’s a good choice and Lara Trump is a trusted adviser to the president, so why not give him the tools he needs to get the job done. If he trusts those people, let’s give him what he needs to get that win in November,” Ager told Fox News.

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Trump’s takeover of the RNC is far from controversial. It is traditional as a presidential election cycle moves from the primaries to the general election for the presumptive nominee of the party out of power to take control and merge operations. 

Barbour emphasized that while “there’s always some drama” at RNC meetings, “it’s really important that the party pull together… and we need the former president leading us on that, bringing us together as a party so we can win not just the White House but the Senate, the House, state, local.”

However, there has been some controversy in recent weeks over concerns that the cash-strapped RNC would be forced to pay some of Trump’s massive legal bills. 

The former president faces four major criminal trials and a total of 91 indictments, as well as a $355 million civil fraud judgment which Trump’s appealing. A political action committee affiliated with the former president has shelled out nearly $80 million in the past two years to pay Trump’s many lawyers.

The RNC paid some of Trump’s legal bills when he was in the White House and after he left office. However, McDaniel said two years ago that the committee would stop paying those bills once Trump became a candidate again.

LaCivita has said in recent days that the RNC would not be paying the bills. The Trump campaign told Fox News on Wednesday that the committee would  “absolutely not” be providing any of its funds to alleviate Trump’s legal costs.

“Hard no. Absolutely not. Asked and answered,” a spokesperson reiterated.

RNC STARTS 2024 WITH FUNDRAISING SURGE AFTER LACKLUSTER 2023

Barbour recently proposed a non-binding resolution stating that RNC funds could not be used for Trump’s legal bills. However, the resolution was nixed after Barbour was unable to earn the support of RNC members from at least 10 states.

“A small group of us offered a resolution to the committee that essentially said that the number one job and the only job of the RNC is to win elections. And if that’s our job, we need to spend our money on that and not on paying anybody’s legal bills,” Barbour told Fox News.

He emphasized that “while we came up short… it was an important conversation and the Trump campaign has confirmed indeed that they have no plans to spend any RNC dollars on it and will not do it.”

“We appreciate that very much,” he noted.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Career expert explains the real reason why younger generations can’t find a job

There are millions of job openings in the United States right now, but the youngest members of the workforce are not filling them at the rate that you might expect.

TikToker Erin McGoff, who has garnered over 2 million followers by offering young people career advice online under the handle @AdviceWithErin, joined Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” on Monday, to share her secrets to finding a job in today’s complicated working world.

A survey conducted by Intelligent.com finds 38% of employers avoid hiring recent graduates, and 58% say they feel they are unprepared for the office.

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McGoff quickly pushed back on claims that Gen Zers are resistant to working in an office, saying that “many” of the young adults she has spoken with are “very much willing” to commute to work.

“The Gen Z I’ve spoken to… many of them are very much willing to go into an office or work hybrid. The issue that I’m seeing, Sandra, is that they are going through tons and tons of interviews, and they are getting ghosted over and over and over again,” the social media star said earlier this week. 

“They are applying. They’re getting interviews, some of them as many as seven interviews. And then they are never hearing back from the job. They have no clue,” she said.

GEN Z ATTITUDE TOWARD 9-TO-5 JOB SPARKING DEBATE ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE IN GENERATIONAL WORK ETHICS

McGoff continued, revealing that the biggest problem young job seekers’ are struggling with is interpersonal skills.

“They want to know exactly what to say and how to say it. And those are the things that I’m finding people are really struggling with and they really, really want direction on that,” she explained. “And I’m not sure if it’s because of a lack of working in the office and having those micro interactions and physically seeing how other people navigate interpersonal relationships and connections, but they’re certainly struggling,” she told co-host Sandra Smith. 

McGoff provided a simple tip: “Prepare.” 

The TikToker referenced a technique called the “S.T.A.R. method,” which stands for situation, task, action and result. She says that the template can “really help” job seekers’ ability to answer any interview questions. 

“The key is to be prepared. Because if you’re put on the spot, and you don’t have a question or you don’t have a story to tell, it can be really difficult to answer,” she said.

GEN Z HARDEST GENERATION TO WORK WITH, ACCORDING TO SURVEY: ‘THEY LACK DISCIPLINE’ AND ‘LIKE TO CHALLENGE YOU’

In a statement to Fox News Digital, McGoff, who’s been offering free career advice online since 2020, revealed that her own frustrations with the “unequal distribution of career advice,” coupled with the pandemic, pushed her to give industry specific career advice on TikTok out of “boredom.”

“I posted a silly little video I recorded in my bedroom — a three-part template to answer the most annoying interview question ever: ‘Tell me about yourself?’ The video went viral, and I started to receive hundreds of (direct messages) a day from people telling me how my content not only helped them, but also made them smile and feel more confident,” McGoff explained. 

“I kept posting videos, tid bits of ‘big sister advice’ — soft things like how to send a “Thank You” email post-interview, how to write your LinkedIn headline, how to tell your boss you’re pregnant. The messages kept coming, and my audience kept growing.”

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As for her recent work, McGoff has expanded into a YouTube show/podcast, began writing a book, and provides free resume reviews 1–2 times a month on Instagram and TikTok without charging a cent. 

“I’ve also never charged a dime to be a career coach or review someone’s resume. There are plenty of people out there already that do that. I’m not interested in being a career coach. I’m more interested in keeping my education free through partnering with brands,” McGoff concluded. 

5 things to do every day for a long life, according to a neurologist and aging expert

While certain factors are out of our control, there are some things we can do to extend our lives.

“For the average individual, everyday behaviors under our own control have a greater impact on healthy longevity than genetics,” Dr. Gary Small, a memory, brain and aging expert at Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey, told Fox News Digital.

“Even people with a genetic predisposition to developing Alzheimer’s disease can stave off symptoms for years by living a healthy lifestyle,” he added.

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Small, who is also the behavioral health physician-in-chief for Hackensack, shared the five most important behaviors to adopt in order to live a longer, healthier life.

Check out his tips. 

No. 1: Stay positive

There is scientific evidence that keeping a positive outlook helps us live longer and healthier, Small noted. 

“Optimists have fewer physical and emotional difficulties, experience less pain, enjoy higher energy levels and are generally happier and calmer in their lives,” he said. 

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“Optimism also has been shown to boost the body’s immune system so that we can better fight infection.”

Research has shown that when people make a conscious effort to be more optimistic, it can actually transform their attitude, Small said. 

“Expressing feelings of gratitude can increase levels of optimism,” he added.

No. 2: Get active

Numerous studies have linked regular physical activity to a longer life expectancy.

“Cardiovascular conditioning improves circulation, elevates endorphins and proteins that strengthen brain cellular communication, and boosts heart health,” Small said. 

“Many people find that it is difficult to get started, but once they do, they enjoy better energy, sleep and mood, and those benefits motivate them to continue their exercise routine for the long haul,” he went on.

Experts recommend a combination of strength training (lifting weights) and aerobic exercise.

“Everyday behaviors under our own control have a greater impact on healthy longevity than genetics.”

For those who are just starting an exercise program, it’s best to start out slow, set modest goals and gradually build stamina, the doctor said. 

He recommended finding an exercise program that’s enjoyable, whether it’s jogging, cycling, swimming, yoga, spinning or pickleball. 

No. 3: Eat well

A healthy diet can have a major impact on life expectancy by lowering the risk for heart disease, cancer and other age-related illnesses, according to Small.  

“Obesity in mid-life increases the risk for dementia later in life, so portion control protects brain health,” he told Fox News Digital.

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Omega-3 fats from fish and nuts also reduce heightened inflammation, which can damage the brain and heart, Small noted. 

“Antioxidant fruits and vegetables reduce age-related oxidative stress, which can cause wear and tear on cells throughout the body,” he said.

The doctor also recommends minimizing the consumption of processed foods and refined sugars to reduce the risk of developing diabetes, which has been linked to higher chances of dementia.

No. 4: Manage stress

As chronic stress increases the risk for dementia and heart problems, Small recommends incorporating a stress reduction program into the daily routine.

“Meditation and relaxation exercises support healthy longevity,” he said. 

“Just 10 minutes of daily meditation not only improves mood, it also boosts cognitive abilities.”

No. 5: Take care of your health

Common chronic illnesses like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels increase the risk for cognitive decline, heart disease and shorter life expectancy, Small warned.

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“These illnesses can be treated effectively with medications and healthy lifestyle habits, particularly exercise and a healthy diet,” he said.

Staying up to date with health screenings can also help increase longevity. 

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Some of the most common recommendations include mammograms for breast cancer, colonoscopies for colorectal cancer, skin cancer screenings, sleep health monitoring, cervical cancer screenings, eye exams and prostate checks for men.

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The moment Sally Field knew her romance with Burt Reynolds was over

Sally Field knew the moment that Burt Reynolds wasn’t The One.

The actress scored an Oscar nomination for her role in the 1979 film “Norma Rae,” but her famous boyfriend wasn’t impressed. In Dave Karger’s new book, “50 Oscar Nights,” the 77-year-old recalled how she wanted to attend the Cannes Film Festival in support of the film leading up to the Academy Awards. However, the late actor wasn’t keen on joining her.

“I have a hard time understanding what Sally Field told me about how unsupportive Burt Reynolds was,” the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host told Fox News Digital. “This was at the time when she was receiving all of this acclaim for ‘Norma Rae.’”

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“I got the sense in the interview that it all came as a surprise to her,” Karger shared. “But it also showed her that this was not a relationship that was meant to last. I think she realized that she needed to be with someone who was going to be more fully supportive of every aspect of her life.”

For the book, Field told Karger that Reynolds remarked, “You don’t think you’re going to win anything, do you?”

Field said the “Smokey and the Bandit” star also refused to attend the 1980 Oscars as her date.

“He really was not a nice guy around me then,” she admitted, as quoted in the book.

Karger said that even with Field’s admission, he still wondered why Reynolds couldn’t support the star at the time.

“I can only guess that there were issues of control and jealousy,” he said. “[He] was uncomfortable with the thought of [Field] reaching the pinnacle of success in the industry. I think it’s really unfortunate that [he] couldn’t have been more supportive publicly and privately.”

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Field said she “didn’t know what to do” about not having a date for the 52nd Academy Awards. Ultimately, Field attended the award show with actor David Steinberg and his now-ex-wife, Judy.

“David said, ‘Well, for God’s sakes, we’ll take you,’” Field recalled. “He and Judy made it a big celebration. They picked me up in a limousine and had champagne in the car. They made it just wonderful fun.”

Field took home the Oscar for best actress that day. She would become a two-time Oscar winner in 1985 for her role in “Places in the Heart.” By then, her romance with Reynolds was over. According to multiple reports, the couple called it quits in 1982.

Karger said that to this day, Field’s 1985 Oscar speech is still misquoted. Many believe she said, “You like me. You really, really like me.” What she actually said was, “I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me.”

Her speech is recognized as one of the most quotable in Oscar history.

“It just stuck,” Karger chuckled. “She never said, ‘You like me, you really like me.’ It was published mistakenly somewhere, and everyone ran with it… I think it’s a little bit unfortunate.”

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Field and Reynolds met on the set of “Smokey and the Bandit” in 1977. They had a tumultuous on-and-off relationship that lasted for five years. Reynolds went on to marry Loni Anderson in 1988. The marriage ended in 1994.

The actor died in 2018 at age 82.

“There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away,” Field told The Associated Press at the time of his death.

“They stay alive, even 40 years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”

In a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair, Reynolds told the magazine that Field was the “love of my life.”

In her 2018 memoir “In Pieces,” which came out days after Reynolds’ death, Field admitted he “was a hugely important part of my life but for a very short period of my life… I really didn’t speak to him for the last 30 years of his life.”

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She also alleged that Reynolds was controlling during their time together.

“By the time we met, the weight of his stardom had become a way for Burt to control everyone around him, and from the moment I walked through the door, it was a way to control me,” Field wrote, as quoted by Vanity Fair.

“We were a perfect match of flaws,” she wrote. “Blindly, I fell into a rut that had long ago formed in my road, a pre-programmed behavior as if in some past I had pledged a soul-binding commitment to this man.”

Field told The New York Times that her time with Reynolds was “confusing and complicated, and not without loving and caring, but really complicated and hurtful to me.” The outlet noted that in her book, she characterized their connection as “immediate and intense” but he was also “controlling of her.” Field alleged he was uninterested and disapproving about certain aspects of her life.

Field admitted to the outlet that she was thankful Reynolds wasn’t around to read her memoir.

“This would hurt him,” she said. “I felt glad that he wasn’t going to read it, he wasn’t going to be asked about it, and he wasn’t going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have. I did not want to hurt him any further.”

SALLY FIELD SPILLS WORST ON-SCREEN KISSER WAS LONGTIME BOYFRIEND BURT REYNOLDS: ‘A LOT OF DROOLING’

In December 2022, Field appeared on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” where she admitted that Reynolds was her least favorite on-screen kisser.

“It was just not something he did very well,” said Field. “It was just a lot of drooling.”

Fox News Digital’s Janelle Ash contributed to this report.

Sharon Osbourne dishes on Hollywood A-listers — and she doesn’t hold back

Sharon Osbourne did not hold back when sharing her opinion of some fellow celebrities, calling out James Corden, Anna Wintour and Ellen DeGeneres. 

While speaking with Irish music manager Louis Walsh and Gary Goldsmith, Kate Middleton’s uncle, in a preview clip from the U.K.’s “Celebrity Big Brother,” Osbourne said the former “Late, Late Show” host drops names “all the time.”

“I go to him, I really like your shoes, and he goes, ‘Yeah, Stella McCartney,’ and I’m like, ‘I didn’t ask you who made them. I just said I like your shoes.’ But he constantly, constantly throws out names,” Osbourne dished to her fellow reality show contestants. 

 SHARON OSBOURNE ‘PAID A FORTUNE’ TO LOOK ATTRACTIVE, ADMITS TO BEING ‘TOO GAUNT’ FOLLOWING OZEMPIC USE

Osbourne said Corden “played the LA game really well” after he moved to the U.S.

Walsh added, “Kissing all the right people. Anna Wintour.”

CONDE NAST HONCHO ANNA WINTOUR FAILED TO REMOVE SIGNATURE SHADES WHILE LAYING OFF STAFF, IMPACTED WRITER SAYS 

The 71-year-old host said Wintour, who is the editor-in-chief of Vogue, “loves” Corden, “but who loves Anna Wintour? I think she’s the c-word.”

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“And Ellen DeGeneres?” Walsh asked of the comedian, who was accused of creating a toxic work environment on her “Ellen DeGeneres Show” before it ended in 2022. 

In response, Osbourne mimed gagging. 

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Wintour also has a reputation for being difficult. Meryl Streep’s character in “The Devil Wears Prada” was reportedly loosely based on her, and Corden was accused of diva behavior at a restaurant when he allegedly berated a waiter in 2022. 

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Last fall, director Craig Duncan called him the “most difficult and obnoxious presenter I’ve ever worked with,” and the Spice Girls’ Melanie Brown previously called him the biggest “d—head” she had ever met. 

Mom moves to different state after school installs ‘gender-inclusive closets’

Rachael Hein made the bold move to relocate her family from New Mexico to Missouri after learning about a local high school’s gender-inclusive “closet” and other controversial ideas.

Speaking to Fox News Digital, Hein explained how she discovered what she called “the transgender closet” at Las Cruces Centennial High School where her daughter attended.

“There’s the transgender closet, which really was the last straw. I think we saw that pop up on Facebook, and I looked into it because I’m not one that’s like ‘oh, it’s on Facebook. It’s truth.’ I went on Google and I see this. Yeah. Las Cruces, New Mexico, Centennial High School transgender closet. They were approved for this grant,” Hein said.

She added, “And I thought, no, enough is enough. We’re not going to subject our daughter to that. I don’t want my kids who knows what hearing different messages pushed by counselors or teachers within a setting that I don’t have ears in. I do know some teachers, but it doesn’t mean that my kids will always have a trusted teacher that’s unbiased or not pushing that agenda.”

A COALITION OF STATES CALL ON THE SUPREME COURT TO RECOGNIZE PARENTS’ RIGHTS REGARDING TRANSGENDER POLICIES

The It Gets Better organization previously gave the high school a grant in 2022 to “[b]uild a gender-inclusive closet providing affirming supplies and clothes for trans and gender non-conforming students.”

Hein explained that the gender-inclusive closets came after years of frustration with the public education system. Beginning with the pandemic, she became more involved with her four children’s education, alternating between homeschooling and online learning. Once her kids returned to school, she began paying greater attention to their education.

One initiative she took issue with included the school district’s addition of 10 extra school days to the 2022-2023 calendar to make up for the pandemic shutdowns. Hein and other parents were frustrated with the decision, referring to them as “party days” where there was no real schoolwork.

When defending the extra days during a town hall meeting, New Mexico Public Education Department’s Deputy Secretary for Teaching, Learning & Assessment, Gwen Warniment, also said that kids needed to spend “more time with the adults who matter” and that “the adults who matter are the teachers in their classrooms.”

Hein added that the school boards did not respond to their complaints and were not helpful after voting in favor of the extra days.

“It felt like [school boards] heard you, but they really weren’t listening. They would say the platitude of ‘I hear your concerns and I might be concerned about that too.’ But really, they were just on their own path, their own trajectory, and didn’t really matter. What community members said didn’t really matter what students or teachers even wanted,” Hein said.

By contrast, Hein complimented Missouri for the schools and community being more open to parents and her younger children.

SEATTLE MOMS SAY CHILDREN ‘DO NOT HAVE TO BE VICTIMS’ OF WOKE CULTURE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

“It’s been completely different for us here. I’m not saying that it’s not going to be coming this way, or there aren’t certain districts that are moving in that same direction. But I think there’s a lot more willingness to listen to parents and teachers and students in this area than there were in New Mexico,” she said.

Hein added, “It’s been a positive change, for sure. Very different here in the sense that the neighborhood we’re in. My kiddos can just go out and play with neighbors and it’s safe. It’s just very much more of a togetherness.”

She noted that she still knows some parents and teachers who have remained at the Las Cruces schools. 

“I would really encourage them to be involved. Volunteer, go to school board meetings. I knew teachers, people who love their kids in Las Cruces, but they wouldn’t set a foot within the school board meetings. And it’s sad because that’s the only way you’re going to see change is if you are a voice instead of just someone sitting disgruntled in the background,” Hein said.

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“It’s going to impact the future generation, and there’s going to be so much confusion if we’re not willing to stand and say, no, enough is enough. This is not what we want within our schools. And it’s not about hate. It’s not about wanting to keep others out. It’s about using school for the purpose that it’s intended,” she concluded.

Fox News Digital reached out to Las Cruces Centennial High School for a comment but has yet to receive a response.

Disgraced GOP lawmaker announces he’s running for Congress again

Former New York Rep. George Santos announced a surprise comeback campaign while in attendance at the State of the Union (SOTU) address.

Santos, who attended President Biden’s speech on Thursday, posted an announcement for his campaign to social media site X while the SOTU address was still ongoing.

“I just witnessed a weak, frail president deliver spin and lies to the American people from inside the chambers. I have made several personal sacrifices in the name of serving the American people. My promise is that I will never back down because of my love for this country,” Santos wrote.

EX-REP GEORGE SANTOS RETURNS TO CAPITOL HILL FOR BIDEN’S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

“New York hasn’t had a real conservative represent them since I left office arbitrarily, thanks to RINO, empty suits like Nick Lalota,” the former congressman continued. “He is a willing to risk the future of our majority and the future of this country for his own political gain. After a lot of prayer and conversation with my friends and family, I have made a very important decision that will shake things up.”

While Santos was previously elected to and then expelled from New York’s 3rd Congressional District, the former lawmaker announced he was running against fellow Republican Rep. Nicholas Lalota in the 1st Congressional District.

Santos wrote, “Tonight, I want to announce that I will be returning to the arena of politics and challenging Nick for the battle over [New York 1st Congressional District]. I look forward to debating him on the issues and on his weak record as a Republican. The fight for our majority is imperative for the survival of the country.”

EMBATTLED GOP REP GEORGE SANTOS EXPELLED FROM HOUSE

The former New York Republican congressman was expelled in the wake of a damning House Ethics Committee report that found he misused campaign funds on luxury items and OnlyFans, among other things.

Santos has not been convicted of a crime, but he has been indicted on multiple counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, falsification of records, credit card fraud and other charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

Santos told reporters it was his first time being back in the building since he was booted from the House of Representatives late last year along bipartisan lines, with 105 of his fellow Republicans joining Democrats in voting him out.

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He said he came to watch the primetime address, noting that as a former member he still retains privileges that include entry to the House floor when the body is in session.

“I was just visiting with some of my colleagues in a very bipartisan fashion,” Santos said.

Fox News Digital’s Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.