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National Govt & Politics
Next group of ten Democrats ready for Detroit debate, part two
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Next group of ten Democrats ready for Detroit debate, part two

Next group of ten Democrats ready for Detroit debate, part two

Next group of ten Democrats ready for Detroit debate, part two

After a first group of Democratic hopefuls for the White House had their second debate last night hosted by CNN, ten more candidates for President will be on stage tonight in the Motor City, featuring former Vice President Joe Biden, who remains the overall front runner in the polls among Democrats.

"I will oppose every effort by Republicans, Democrats, and anyone else seeking to tear down Obamacare," Biden said in recent days, as health care remains a top issue in his party's race for the White House, with a divide which was clearly apparent in the first debate night over plans by more progressive candidates to embrace 'Medicare For All.'

Recent polls show Biden with a clear lead when it comes to the question of who Democrats think can defeat President Trump in 2020, as those polls have clearly aggravated Mr. Trump.

"Sleepy Joe is okay but he is fading," the President said last weekend in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. "I think he is fading fast."

Here's a look at what we might see in Wednesday's debate:

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Next group of ten Democrats ready for Detroit debate

+ JOE BIDEN - The former Vice President remains the overall front runner in the Democratic race, though his first debate had some rusty moments in late June, as it was the first time since 2008 that Biden had been up on a debate stage with other Democrats. On either side of him will be Kamala Harris - who tangled with Biden in the first debate over race issues - and Cory Booker, who has made clear he's going to go after Biden as well. We'll see how well the Delaware Democrat has prepped for this second round.

+ KAMALA HARRIS - Harris made big inroads in that first debate by going after Biden on race, and it's been shown in the polls, as she is above Pete Buttigieg, firmly established in the top four of this race. Does Harris repeat her attacks on Biden in this second debate? Or does she try to do more to introduce herself to voters, since we are still in the early stages of the 2020 race? Also - will any of the trailing candidates take aim at Harris, or only fire at Biden?

+ CORY BOOKER - With Harris on one side of Biden, Cory Booker will be on the other, and he has made clear in recent days that he is going to try to take on Biden - like Harris did in the first debate. Booker has qualified already for the next Democratic debate in September, but his poll numbers have him far behind the four big front runners, and trailing Buttigieg as well. Booker's campaign schedule is already busy for August, but we'll see in this second debate whether the New Jersey Democrat can really break through in the 2020 race.

+ JULIAN CASTRO - Castro had a decent debate in Miami, but his performance on the first night was overshadowed by the big showdown on the second night. This time, Castro will be in that second debate, and we'll see if that can change his luck. Castro has not yet qualified for the next debate in September, as he still needs better poll numbers overall. Castro won't have to deal with Beto O'Rourke in this debate, which raises an interesting strategy question for Castro - who does he go after on stage?

+ JAY INSLEE - Inslee is another Governor who has had difficulty getting traction in the Democratic race. Like last month in Miami, Inslee has been in the Detroit area doing events for several days before this event, focusing on pollution, water problems in Flint, and pressing his main issue of climate change. Back home in the Pacific Northwest, his supporters understand the Washington Governor needs to make a name for himself, or he could be in danger of not qualifying for the September debate in Houston.

+ KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND - The New York Senator is yet another member of the Democratic field who just hasn't been able to catch fire in this race. With Biden in the middle of the stage tonight, that could give Gillibrand the opportunity to try to shake things up by going after the former Vice President. "Just like I did in the first debate, I'll keep speaking up about the issues we care about—and I won't back down when it comes to taking on the fights no one else will," Gillibrand said on Tuesday in Detroit. As of now, Gillibrand would not make the cut for the next debate in September.

+ TULSI GABBARD - In the first debate, Gabbard was on the first night, with her biggest moment coming when she tangled with Tim Ryan - which didn't exactly give her a boost. Now, Gabbard gets the chance to possibly reach up and take shots at Biden or Harris in this debate. Gabbard is in danger of not making the September debate, which makes this second night in Detroit very important for the future of her campaign.

+ MICHAEL BENNET - The Colorado Senator is much like the majority of Democratic candidates in these two debate nights in Detroit - his poll numbers are not high, he hasn't qualified for the next debate, and he's not even registering in some polls. One possible strategy for Bennet is to go after Kamala Harris on her new health care plans. Overall, Bennet finds himself in a difficult position.

+ BILL DE BLASIO - Again, it merits a mention that several Governors in this race, and the mayor of the biggest city in America are making a very small impact on the battle for the Democratic nomination for President. DeBlasio is barely making a dent in most polls, and it seems unlikely that he will be able to get enough contributions and high enough poll numbers to qualify for the next debate in Houston, scheduled for mid-September.

+ ANDREW YANG - Yang spoke for just under three minutes in the first debate in Miami - you read that right. Less than three minutes. But Yang often polls just ahead of the big mass of Democratic candidates who are desperately trying to stay alive in the 2020 race - and Yang seems like he will be able to get himself into the next debate in September, and maybe the one in October as well (unlike a lot of other candidates in the race). But it's hard to sell yourself to the voters when you get so little time to talk on stage. Last night, no candidate spoke for less than 8 minutes and 54 seconds - so Yang should get more of a platform from CNN on debate night number two.

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  • Two weeks after WOKV reported that Jacksonville city leaders were looking to up the sakes for the fan experience around the annual Florida-Georgia game, Mayor Lenny Curry and other dignitaries on Friday announced the inaugural Bold City Bash.  The big weekend will begin with an exhibition baseball game between the Gators and Bulldogs at the Baseball Grounds on Friday, November 1st.  Following the exhibition game, country music star Brett Young and other special guests will perform, followed by fireworks. Tickets for both the game and concert/fireworks will cost $15 and go on sale September 3rd.  “It’s always good to have a little anticipation and mystery, so there will be two more acts announced in the weeks ahead”, said Mayor Curry.  There will also be events on the Flex Field at TIAA Bank Field before the football game on Saturday, November 2nd.  “Duval’s Bold City Bash is a signature addition to the Florida-Georgia game and will encompass an entire week of festivities”, said Bill McConnell, General Manager of SMG.  “It will energize Downtown and it will make the Sports Complex the place to be to celebrate the Florida-Georgia tradition before gameday”.  WOKV reported on August 8th that the Mayor’s budget request proposed spending hundreds of thousands of dollars more than prior years, to create a destination in the heart of the Sports Complex. “All the way from RV City, through the [Daily’s Place] Flex Field, in to the parking lots next to the stadium, out to APR [A. Philip Randolph Blvd.], and incorporating the Baseball Grounds and some of the different things on APR, including private businesses that are in the food and entertainment business, to try to connect them all together in a way that offers that whole area of the Sports and Entertainment District as a location for multiple events,” said Jacksonville’s Chief Administrative Officer Brian Hughes. Hughes said the intention is to activate this area for several days leading up to the game for both family-friendly activities and nightlife, with everything from live music to street vendors. WOKV started asking about the enhanced fan experience, after seeing a boost in a special events subfund in Mayor Curry’s proposed $1.4 billion budget. While the City plans to do the same annual events it hosts every year, like the Hall of Fame luncheon, they’re proposing budgeting several hundred thousand dollars more than last year in order to execute this vision. The budget proposal includes an addition over last year of more than $440,000 for miscellaneous Florida/Georgia expenses relating to event services and $75,000 in equipment rentals corresponding with the increase in services, among other areas. The exact price tag for the Bold City Bash was not yet available.  Fans will be encouraged to ‘activate’ during The Block Party along Adams Street and A. Philip Randolph Blvd. Live entertainment, food trucks, a beer garden and free giveaways will be part of the fanfare experience.  Per the game contract, all parties are currently in the first negotiation window, which goes up until a few days prior to this year’s game. The final game under this current contract is in 2021, but Brian Hughes says all parties are having productive talks, and he hopes to be able to work out a deal that extends the game in Jacksonville for many years to come. “We anticipate getting to the finish line,” he says. The last contract extension was for five years and gave the teams a combined $2.75 million in payments and incentives over the course of the contract, including annual guaranteed payments, travel expenses, and more. There are limited direct revenue opportunities for the City, like through the operation of concessions and Daily’s Place. The direct costs to the City, meanwhile, have continued to climb over the years, with this new enhanced fan experience being the latest element- since Hughes says it is intended that this be an annual event. In addition to the price of running the stadium operations, the cost of tickets for the game has increased, and the City is obligated under the contract to buy 1,000 each year. The City is reimbursing the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair $80,000 this year relating to costs they will incur because they agreed to delay the opening of the Fair by a week to avoid a conflict with the game. Additionally, the City is paying the Jags nearly $380,000 to acknowledge revenue the team is losing because of the impact of the temporary seating construction on their available tickets to sell for their game the weekend prior to FL/GA. The cost of constructing temporary bleachers at TIAA Bank Field to meet the contractual seating obligation for the game is a little more than $2.4 million this year, with the Jaguars reimbursing about $310,000 relating to the construction in the Club Levels. That number varies some year to year, and could see an increase soon, as the contract with the current vendor expires and negotiations are ongoing in relation to an extension. Hughes says the cost of the event is well worth it, considering the impact on the city. “Jacksonville gets a lot of benefit from it. The economic impacts are real, we fill hotel rooms, we have people going to dinner for multiple nights while they’re here, we have people going out to the beach, we have people enjoying our public spaces around Jacksonville, in addition to having game day,” he says. And it’s also about the tradition. “Both UGA and the University of Florida have deep alumni networks here. It’s become a great tradition for a neutral site game, it’s one of the most famous neutral site games and rivalries in college football, and has been for decades,” he says. Now is the time the City wants to build on that tradition, not only through the enhanced fan experience, but the possible permanent changes for the Sports Complex. The Administration is in the process of putting the finishing touches on an economic development agreement that will reflect around $233.3 million in City incentives for the $450 million development of Lot J at the stadium in to a mixed-use site with entertainment, office, hotel, and residential space. While that deal is still pending approval by the Downtown Investment Authority and the City Council, another project that is moving forward is the removal of the Hart Bridge ramps by the stadium. All of this will mean construction likely affecting the next couple of games after the 2019 one, but Hughes says it will be worth the hassle. “Ultimately, a couple of years on the other side of it, I think people will be amazed at how well both Jaguars games and other events in that area and the Florida/Georgia tradition will kind of fit together down there very well,” he says. The Mayor’s budget proposal- and the included funding for this enhanced fan experience complex- is still pending the vetting and approval of the Jacksonville City Council. A final vote will take place ahead of the start of the Fiscal Year October 1st.
  • A man has died as a result of a stabbing on Jacksonville’s westside.  Jacksonville Police say they received a 911 call on Thursday night from a person who said that his friend had just been stabbed on Kingston Street, off Commonwealth.  He told police they were driving the victim to UF Health on the northside. A short while later another 911 call came in about a crash at 8th Street and Davis.  Three people were inside the car, one person had a stab wound to the chest.  He was rushed to the hospital where he later died.  Two people who were in the car told police the suspect was an unidentified black woman who fled the scene in a dark colored car.  JSO is asking anyone who may have information about the stabbing to contact them at (904) 630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS. 
  • The active search for Brian McCluney and Justin Walker by the Coast Guard and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue has come to an end after the men went missing a week ago off the Space Coast during a boating trip. Randy Wyse, the President of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters says it has been a hard week. We were hoping for a better outcome. Wyse says the community and volunteers have been phenomenal with the search and fundraiser. More than $150,000 has been raised and Wyse says the money is growing every hour but now the expenses are starting to come in. We promised we would cover fuel for boats and planes. Volunteers are being asked to bring their reimbursement receipts to the Command Post. Once the money gets situated, the money left over will go to the family members of McCluney and Walker. Wyse tells WOKV they will not be involved or funding any private searches, but the families can do whatever they wish with the money. Click here, if you wish to donate. 
  • A 10-year-old boy who was reported missing after leaving school in Argyle Forest is now back with his grandmother following an AMBER Alert and hours-long search. Two people have since been arrested for interfering with custody of a child and giving false information to law enforcement.  The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says the boy was picked up by someone while walking home from school in Argyle Forest, and taken to Jacksonville. According to an arrest report, 23-year-old Ondreja Ciprian had tried to entice the boy to come live with her over the past couple of weeks, without the grandmother’s knowledge or consent.  DCF had previously removed the boy from his mother and father’s care, and in February of 2018 awarded custody to his grandmother.  During the search for the boy on Thursday, Clay detectives went to a home off Rampart Road on Jacksonville’s westside, where they made contact with Vachastity Christian.  Detectives found a shirt draped over a fence that was positiively identified by the grandmother as the same shirt the missing boy had been wearing at school.  The boy was found safe in a back bedroom of the home and was later released to his grandmother.  Ciprian and Christian, whose relationship is not clear from the arrest report, were charged with interference with child custody and providing false information to law enforcement during a missing child investigation.  The Clay Sheriff’s Office says it is thankful to the community, who shared the message thousands of times on social media, brought in tips, and offered to help in any way they could. 
  • The week is going to end mostly dry and hot. Afternoon temperatures will reach the low 90’s but ‘feels-like’ temps 100-105.  Action News Jax Meteorologist Garrett Bedenbaugh says the Atlantic sea breeze moves inland this afternoon, which may pop an isolated shower but most neighborhoods along I-95 are high and dry today. The best chance for a shower today will be west of Hwy 301. Afternoon storms are expected on Saturday, but most of the activity will be inland. Our threat for rain and storms increases Sunday through the first half of next week. In the tropics, Invest 98-L is between South Florida and Andros Island of the Bahamas. Slow development is possible with this system as it parallels the Atlantic coast through the weekend. This will elevate seas a bit off our coast during the weekend, then it moves away from the local area to start next week. It will also impact where and when the rain falls during the weekend.  

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