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Personal Finance
Travel e-Scapes: March 9, 2018
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Travel e-Scapes: March 9, 2018

Travel e-Scapes: March 9, 2018

Travel e-Scapes: March 9, 2018

DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Switzerland

Travel e-Scapes: 03312017

HURRY! Round-trip from New York:
$423-$500 New York-JFK to Zurich, Switzerland
Depart April 8-June 8
Finish trips on or before June 22
Or depart August 20-October 10
Finish travel on or before October 25
Valid on Swiss, nonstop
Note: Rates are slightly higher in July
Purchase by March 22
Atlanta travelers:  See below how to travel for $551 to Zurich!


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

Flying Support/Service Animals
Customers have attempted to fly with all manner of animals in recent years, according to Delta, including comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, and spiders. The policy changes come on the heels of an 84% increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals since 2016. The airline said that passengers ignoring the true intent of existing rules regarding service and support animals is a disservice to customers who have real, documented needs.
This week, Delta began enforcing new regulations for passengers traveling with emotional support and service animals and now requires in some cases a Veterinary Health Form and immunization record be provided or other proof that the animal’s vaccinations are up to date.
For emotional support animals, the new Delta regulations are stricter and include a range of mandatory requirements, among them submission of a Veterinary Health Form and immunization records as well as an Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Request form that includes a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional.
Learn more about the new Delta policy changes and requirements .
United Airlines also now requires additional documentation from those wishing to travel with emotional support or psychiatric service animals.
Visit United for updated policy information and new requirements.

Wheel Deals
Visiting Florida soon? Buy an inexpensive one-way flight south and drive out a deal from a number of rental car companies from just $9.99 (pre-tax) per day — for up to 14 days. Act fast on these offers! Once the rental car company projects enough cars will be relocated, the promotional deals end and the era of high daily rates and one-way fees returns for the season.
Published rates shown on various websites are only the Base Rate charge (Time and Mileage) and exclude applicable taxes, fees, surcharges, refueling, drop-off, and charges for optional products or services such as Damage Waiver (at $30 or less per day), which are the responsibility of the renter.
Minimum age may vary by location and an additional daily surcharge may apply for renters under 25 years old.
This savings offer is valid with Alamo for reservations picked up between March 26 and May 31 from the following participating Florida locations: Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Naples and Punta Gorda. Also valid for reservations picked up between April 1 and May 31 at the following participating Florida locations: Tampa, Clearwater, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm, Key West and Boca Raton.
From $9.99 Economy through Full Size vehicles
As low as $19.99 Intermediate and Standard SUVs
As low as $24.99 base rate per day applies to Minivans
For certain locations, base rates of less than $9.99 per day may be available. To see if a lower rate is available, visit http://www.alamo.com or contact the pick up location.
Book your one-way ride at Alamo .
______
Rentals from Enterprise are valid for reservations picked up between March 26-May 31 from the following participating Florida locations: Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Naples, Punta Gorda, Orlando, Disney Hotels, Daytona Beach, Melbourne and Sanford.
Also valid for reservations picked up between April 1-May 31 from: Tampa, Clearwater, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm, Key West and Boca Raton.
$9.99 per day on Economy through Full Size
From $19.99 daily on Intermediate and Standard SUVs
From $24.99 for Minivans
Book these wheel deals at Enterprise .
______
Avis also participates with slightly varied rates and dates:
Availability is April 1 through May 31. Use AWD code R003500 at checkout and let your journey begin! Here are the per day rates:
Economy, Compact, Midsize, Standard, Full Size $14.95/day (groups A-E)
Intermediate SUV $19.95/day (group F)
Standard SUV $19.95/day (group W)
Standard Elite SUV $19.95/day
Convertible $19.95/day (group K)
Minivan $24.95/day (group V)
Passenger Van $41.95/day (group P)
This offer excludes pick-up from Pensacola and Jacksonville.
Participating drop off cities include: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, San Antonio, St. Louis, Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Washington/Baltimore, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh Durham, Albuquerque, Northern California, Portland, Seattle, Southern California, Las Vegas.
Start your reservation at Avis .
______
Springtime drive-out rates from Budget are eligible on pick ups from April 1 through May 31. Use BCD code S374100 for these rates:
$14.49 Economy through Full Size
$19.49 Intermediate SUV, Standard Elite SUV, Minivan and Convertible
$24.49/day Passenger Van
$41.49/day Standard SUV
Excludes pick-up from Pensacola and Jacksonville.
Participating drop off cities include: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, San Antonio, St. Louis, Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Washington/Baltimore, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh Durham, Albuquerque, Northern California, Portland, Seattle, and Southern California.
______
Hertz has yet to publish spring drive-out Florida rates but will likely match these offers. Watch for new offers on the special deals page.


SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS

Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to HURRY!  can expire at any time.   Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price!

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$58 Orlando, or $29 each way
Valid Tuesday or Wednesday from on March 20-29 travel
Rates range from $29-$40 daily through May 23 and $50 through November 1
Valid on Frontier, nonstop

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$94 Miami, or $47 each way
No advance purchase required — go as soon as this week
Valid Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday through August 21
Blackout dates: June 28, 29
Valid on American, nonstop
Tip: Most availability is on Tuesdays

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$98 Austin, or $49 each way
Valid Tuesdays only starting on or after April 11; final travel May 16
$174 Phoenix, or $87 each way
Valid Tuesdays only starting on or after April 10; final travel May 22
Valid on Frontier, nonstop

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$128 Orlando, or $64 each way
Valid daily starting on or after April 2
Finish trips on or before October 1 (from $74 thereafter)
Valid on Delta, nonstop

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$128 New Orleans, or $64 each way
A 14-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through May 23 on nonstop Delta flights

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$128 New York-JFK, or $64 each way
Valid Tuesdays and Wednesdays through May 2; $99 thereafter
Add this ticket with the nonstop Swiss offer above for a total of $551
Compare to Delta’s round-trip ATL-ZRH rate of $1,200

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$148 Ft. Lauderdale, or $74 each way
A 21-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through November 3 (from $83 thereafter)
Valid on Delta, nonstop

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$158 Tampa, or $79 each way
Valid daily starting on or after April 10 (time of day specific)
Finish trips on or before June 14
Valid on Delta, nonstop

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta:
$266-$280 Cabo San Lucas-Los Cabos
Depart daily starting on or after September 1 through December 11
Finish trips on or before January 11
Valid on United via Houston

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$359 Barbados, or $150 south; $209 north
Valid Monday-Friday
Depart September 4 through November 5 south; from April 12 through January 11 north
Valid on American via Miami

Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$460 Anchorage or Fairbanks, Alaska, or $230 each way
Valid Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday starting on or after April 10
Finish trips on or before May 23
Valid on Delta via Seattle
Purchase by March 21

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$672 Paris
Valid midweek on April 6 through May 4 departures
Finish trips on or before May 17
Valid on American via Charlotte or Philadelphia
Purchase by March 14 (we suggest asap!)

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta:
$990 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Valid daily
Depart April 9 through June 3
Finish trips on or before June 18
A 3-night minimum stay required
Valid on American via Dallas
Compare to Delta’s round-trip rate of $1,759

How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Atlanta Travel Tips page for a step-by-step search and booking guide.

NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines.


HOTELS, RESORTS & MORE

NOLA
Rates start from just $109 a night at the recently renovated SpringHill Suites New Orleans Downtown/Convention Center . Guest rooms received new furniture, paint, carpet and bathrooms, while the breakfast area also received a major makeover. The all-suite hotel additionally expanded its fitness center with cardio equipment and free weights.
Modern suites have free WiFi, premium cable channels, plus desks and living areas with pull-out sofas. Kitchenettes provide coffeemakers, minifridges, microwaves and wet bars.
The morning breakfast buffet with fresh-baked croissants, fresh fruits, golden-brown waffles and eggs made to order is complimentary for diners staying at the hotel.
Onsite is a convenience store, an outdoor pool, a hot tub and a coin laundry.
This SpringHill Suites property is 9-minute walk to the Port of New Orleans, Harrah’s New Orleans, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and National WWII Museum (5-minute walk).

SC Getaway
Enjoy a Low Country Getaway at Wild Dunes Resort on the Isle of Palms through March 30. The 1,600 acre resort in South Carolina spans the northern tip of the Isle of Palms, a lush barrier island off the coast of Charleston. Sitting on 1,600 acres, the oceanfront resort offers a variety of accommodations, including oceanfront suites and homes overlooking the fairways. Explore the island on bikes, play golf or tennis, or drive 15 miles into historic downtown Charleston.
Save 20% on a two-night stay or 25% on three or more nights in the AAA Four Diamond Boardwalk Inn, the Village at Wild Dunes (choose from guestrooms, studio suites, one- to three-bedroom suites and penthouses), or select home and condo rentals (three- to seven-bedroom homes and one- to three-bedroom condos). Nightly rates before the discount start from $149.
Mention Washingtonian to receive a complimentary Wild Dunes Resort bucket gift filled with local snacks and beers (a $25 value). Refer to code WILDDC when booking.
The Countdown to Summer promotion offers 20% savings for May 28-August 30 stays in the Village and on vacation home and condo rentals. A minimum two-night stay required. Average rates from $159 in a Village Resort View guest room situated 200 yards to the beach.
Onsite are numerous dining options, a spa, and the newly renovated Links Course and Harbor Course – both open to the public. Tennis Magazine ranked Wild Dunes a U.S. Top 10 Tennis Resort for nine years in a row. The resort offers 17 Har-Tru courts – including a stadium court – and light five of them for night play. Guests enjoy daily complimentary court time and programs for all levels of play to clinics and drills.


Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on  Twitter .


Looking for more deals?
View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page.

Get the first word on limited seat sales. Follow us on Social:

 Like Clark Smart Travel on Facebook
 Follow @Clark_Travel on Twitter

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • Here is a look at the stores planning to be open and those planning to close on Easter Sunday. >> Read more trending news Be sure to check with local retailers for Easter hours because some national chains set their own hours. Stores open and closed on Easter Academy Sports: Open Easter Sunday. Banana Republic: Closed Easter Sunday. Bass Pro Shop: Open Easter Sunday. Bed Bath & Beyond: Open Easter Sunday. >> Click here to see which grocery stores will be open on Sunday.  Belk: Closed Easter Sunday. Best Buy: Closed Easter Sunday. Cabela’s: Open Easter Sunday.  Costco: Closed Easter Sunday. >> Easter 2019: How to make perfect hard-boiled eggs for Easter egg dyeing Crate & Barrel: Closed Easter Sunday. CVS: Open Easter Sunday. Dillard’s: Closed Easter Sunday. Dollar General: Open Easter Sunday. Family Dollar: Open Easter Sunday. Fred Meyer: Open Easter Sunday. Gap: Closed Easter Sunday. Home Depot: Open Easter Sunday. >> How did crucifixion kill Jesus? J.C. Penney: Closed Easter Sunday. Kirkland's: Closed Easter Sunday. Kmart: Open Easter Sunday. Kohl's: Closed Easter Sunday. Lowes: Open Easter Sunday. Macy’s: Closed on Easter Sunday. Michael's: Closed Easter Sunday. Neiman Marcus: Closed Easter Sunday. Office Depot: Closed Easter Sunday. Office Max: Closed Easter Sunday. Old Navy: Open on Easter Sunday. Pier 1 Imports: Closed Easter Sunday. Pottery Barn: Closed Easter Sunday. Rite Aid: Open Easter Sunday. Ross: Closed Easter Sunday. Sam's Club: Closed Easter Sunday. Sears: Open Easter Sunday. >> Easter quotes 2019: Inspiring sayings of hope and renewal T.J. Maxx: Closed Easter Sunday. Target: Closed Easter Sunday. Walgreens: Open Easter Sunday. Walmart: Open Easter Sunday. Williams-Sonoma: Closed Easter Sunday.
  • Following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report on the Russia probe, your local lawmakers are weighing.  WOKV spoke with Northeast Florida Republican Congressman John Rutherford hours after the report's release on Thursday.  He tells us the important elements to him, were the findings that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and no corrupt intent determined in the obstruction of justice allegations.  But Rutherford says he was surprised that the Special Counsel didn't make a final prosecutorial decision on the obstruction of justice issue.  'He [Mueller] relies on the Office of Legal Counsel that says you can't indict a sitting President, and in this regard, he went along with that. But to say that's his basis for not coming to a conclusion on obstruction, when he came to a conclusion on the Russian collusion, it doesn't make sense to me,' explains Rutherford.  He says it's almost like Mueller didn't want to make a decision.  'The lack of a conclusion that there was a crime IS an exoneration... if you say you find no corrupt intent, we find no crime, how do you then say, but we can't exonerate him [Trump]. In that part, I struggle with the finding,' Rutherford adds.  In terms of the reaction on Capitol Hill, Rutherford says it's likely that those who support the President will highlight no collusion and no obstruction, but those who dislike him will latch on to the elements that the Special Counsel refused to come to a conclusion on.  When it comes to recent calls to 'investigate the investigators' in the Russia probe, Rutherford says he feels it's absolutely necessary as he wants to know the 'predicate act' that started this investigation in the first place.  'We don't just investigate people, we investigate crimes. And there has to be a predicate act, that indicates there is a reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred. And if that predicate act turns out to be the Steele Dossier and it's completely false, then this whole thing falls like a house of cards,' says Rutherford.  WOKV also spoke with Northeast Florida Democrat Congressman Al Lawson about his thoughts on the report.  He says his biggest takeaway is that the American people will find out what really happened during the course of this investigation with the President.  'Because, as you know, about 25 people that worked with him [Trump] during the course of the campaign got indicted,' explains Lawson.  He says the other thing that stands out to him is that he feels Attorney General William Barr is more trying to protect the President, than do his job for the American people. Lawson says he also doesn't feel the AG's summary to Congress was accurate.  Lawson says when people and lawmakers read this report, he hopes they move away from putting a party label on it.  'I wish what they would put on it, is what is best for American people and, especially, when you have some possible collusion with Russia. It's unacceptable to have that regardless of who is in office and see the way the President has been operating- not like any other President in American history,' says Lawson.  When it comes to efforts to 'investigate the investigators', he says all of us need to be accountable and that investigators need to be unbiased and not swayed one way or another.  'This has taken up an awful lot of time, and we, as taxpayers, have spent an awful amount of money to be where we are today. It shouldn't be a situation where everything is being questioned, simply due to the fact that over the last almost two years, the investment we have made in order to get down to see whether a foreign government had significant input in our electoral process,' says Lawson.  He says his hope that once all the dust settles on this report, that the public has a clear vision of what occurred. READ: REDACTED SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORT ON THE RUSSIA PROBE
  • U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Thursday released a redacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s highly anticipated report on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. >> Read more trending news The report was released around 11 a.m., weeks after Mueller completed his investigation. President Donald Trump hailed the report as a victory over his critics. >> Mueller Report: Read the report Barr just released Update 6:45 p.m. EDT April 18: The Justice Department said it will provide Congress with a second version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report that has fewer redactions in the coming two weeks. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said in a letter to lawmakers Thursday that the Justice Department will make the report available to House and Senate leaders, as well as the top Republicans and Democrats on the judiciary and intelligence committees. Each lawmaker can also have a staff member present. Boyd said the report will be provided in a secure reading room at the Justice Department next week and in a secure room in the Capitol the week of April 29. The unredacted material will include classified information and material involving private citizens who were not charged. It won’t include secret grand jury information. Update 3:45 p.m. EDT April 18: Mueller’s report shows the Russian-based Internet Research Agency worked not only in Trump’s favor but also in favor of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who ran for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination before losing to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The company’s attempt to boost Sanders’ candidacy first surfaced last year, after authorities charged more than a dozen people and three companies with interfering in the election, The Washington Post reported. According to the newspaper, IRA operators were instructed not to harm Sanders’ reputation. “Main idea: Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary [Clinton] and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them),” Mueller quoted IRA operators as saying. Update 2:55 p.m. EDT April 18: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler said Thursday that he will issue a subpoena to get the full Mueller report and the underlying materials from Barr after the attorney general released a redacted version of the report. “Contrary to public reports, I have not heard from the Department (of Justice) about receiving a less-redacted version of the report,” he said Thursday in a statement. “Because Congress requires this material in order to perform our constitutionally-mandated responsibilities, I will issue a subpoena for the full report and the underlying materials.” Barr is scheduled to testify before the committee May 2. Update 2:25 p.m. EDT April 18: Kellyanne Conway, who serves as counselor to the president, told reporters Thursday that Mueller’s report was inaccurate in its description of Trump’s reaction to the special counsel’s appointment. >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupre: Mueller: Trump obstruction failed because aides refused orders to undermine Russia probe According to Mueller, the president 'slumped back in his chair and said, 'Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm (expletive).’' However, Conway said she was in the room when Trump learned about the appointment and that she “was very surprised to see” Mueller’s report on it, CNN reported. “That was not the reaction of the president that day,” she said. Update 2 p.m. EDT April 18: Vice President Mike Pence said in a statement Thursday that the special counsel’s report showed “no collusion, no obstruction.” “While many Democrats will cling to discredited allegations, the American people can be confident President Trump and I will continue to focus where we always have, on advancing an agenda that’s making our nation stronger, safer and more secure.” Despite the vice president’s claims, Mueller declined to answer the question of whether Trump obstructed justice in his actions related to the Russia probe. “Now that the Special Counsel investigation is completed, the American people have a right to know whether the initial investigation was in keeping with long-standing Justice Department standards -- or even lawful at all,” Pence said. “We must never allow our justice system to be exploited in pursuit of a political agenda.” Update 1:45 p.m. EDT April 18: In a joint statement released Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Barr and Mueller reached conflicting conclusions on the question of whether the president obstructed justice. “The differences are stark between  what Attorney General Barr said on obstruction and what Special Counsel Mueller said on obstruction,” the statement said. “As we continue to review the report, one thing is clear: Attorney General Barr presented a conclusion that the president did not obstruct justice while Mueller’s report appears to undercut that finding.” In his report, Mueller declined to answer questions surrounding whether Trump obstructed justice in his efforts to tamp down on the Russia probe, which authorities said he saw as a direct challenge to his presidency. Update 1:40 p.m. EDT April 18: In the report released Thursday, Mueller said his team’s investigation was sometimes hampered by the use of applications that “feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data or communications records” and the deletion of communications relevant to the probe. “In such cases, the Office (of the Special Counsel) was not able to corroborate witness statements through comparison to contemporaneous communications or fully question witnesses about statements that appeared inconsistent with other known facts,” the report said. “Accordingly, while this report embodies factual and legal determinations that the Office believes to be accurate and complete to the greatest extent possible, given  these identified gaps, the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast a new light)the events described in the report.” Update 1:20 p.m. EDT April 18: Mueller said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted in an interview that her comments to the news media after the firing of former FBI Director James Comey were “not founded on anything.” In response to a reporter’s question about FBI support for Comey after his May 2017 dismissal, Huckabee Sanders said at news briefing that, “We’ve heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things.” 'The evidence does not support those claims,' according to the Mueller report. Update 1:15 p.m. EDT April 18: The House Intelligence Committee invited Mueller to testify next month after Barr released a redacted version of his 448-page report Thursday. “To discharge its distinct constitutional and statutory responsibility, the Committee must be kept ‘fully and currently informed’ of the intelligence and counterintelligence findings, evidence, and implications of your investigation,” committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff said in a letter to Mueller dated Thursday. “This requires that the Committee receive comprehensive testimony from you about the investigation’s full scope and areas of inquiry, its findings and underlying evidence, all of the intelligence and counterintelligence information gathered in the course of the investigation.” The House Judiciary Committee has also asked Mueller to testify. In a letter sent Thursday, committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler asked Mueller to appear before the panel by May 23. Update 12:45 p.m. EDT April 18: Brad Parscale, manager of the 2020 Trump presidential campaign, hailed the release of Mueller’s report Thursday and repeated the president’s calls for an investigation into the investigators. “President Trump has been fully and completely exonerated yet again,” Parscale said in a statement. “Now the tables have turned, and it’s time to investigate the liars who instigated this sham investigation into President Trump, motivated by political retribution and based on no evidence whatsoever.” In the report released Thursday, Mueller said the FBI launched an investigation into whether Trump campaign officials were coordinating with the Russian government in July 2016. The investigation came after authorities said then-Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that “the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.” Update 12:35 p.m. EDT April 18: Mueller said Trump attempted to influence the investigation into Russian election meddling. Mueller said his efforts “were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede his request.” Mueller’s report details instances by several officials, including former FBI Director James Comey, former White House counsel Don McGahn and former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, ignoring or refusing Trump’s requests to interfere in the investigation. Update 12:15 p.m. EDT April 18: When then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Trump in May 2017 that a special counsel had been appointed to investigate Russian election meddling, the president 'slumped back in his chair and said, 'Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm (expletive).'  Trump blamed Sessions for the appointment, according to Mueller. 'Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency,' Trump said, according to the report released Thursday. 'It takes years and years and I won't be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.' Speaking Thursday at an event at the White House, Trump said, “this should never happen to another president again.” Update 11:45 a.m. EDT April 18: In the report released Thursday, Mueller said his team considered Trump’s written responses to questions in the Russia probe to be inadequate, but they decided against subpoenaing the president because of the delay such a move would cause to the investigation. Other revelations from the report include: Mueller said Trump directed White House Counsel Don McGahn in June 2017 to call the acting attorney general and say that Mueller must be ousted because he had conflicts of interest. Trump previously denounced reports of the call as “fake news.”  Members of Trump’s staff might have saved him from more dire legal consequences by refusing to carry out orders they thought were legally risky, according to The Washington Post.  Mueller made clear in the report that “Russia wanted to help the Trump campaign, and the Trump campaign was willing to take” the help, the Post reported. However, investigators were unable to establish that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government. Update 11:30 a.m. EDT April 18: In his report, Mueller shared the reasoning behind his decision not to answer the question of whether the might have president obstructed justice. Mueller’s team scrutinized 10 episodes in which Trump sought to seize control of the Russia probe, including his firing of FBI Director James Comey, his directive to subordinates to have Mueller fired and efforts to encourage witnesses not to cooperate.  The president’s lawyers have said Trump’s conduct fell within his constitutional powers, but Mueller’s team deemed the episodes were deserving of scrutiny to determine whether crimes were committed. Update 11:25 a.m. EDT April 18: President Donald Trump said Thursday that he was “having a good day” following the release of the Mueller report. “This should’ve never happened,” Trump told a crowd gathered at a Wounded Warriors event at the White House, according to CNN. “I say this in front of my friends — this should never happen to another president again. This hoax — it should never happen again.' Trump’s attorneys hailed the report as “a total victory for the president” in a statement released to CNN. “The report underscores what we have argued from the very beginning - there was no collusion - there was no obstruction,” the statement said. “This vindication of the President is an important step forward for the country and a strong reminder that this type of abuse must never be permitted to occur again.” >> The Mueller report: What is in it, when will it be released, what will happen next? Update 11 a.m. EDT April 18: Barr has released a redacted version of the Mueller report, which is 448 pages long. >> Mueller report: Read the transcript of William Barr's remarks Update 10:55 a.m. EDT April 18: President Donald Trump was expected to deliver remarks Thursday morning at the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride as lawmakers and the public await the release of Mueller’s report. However, by 10:55 a.m., Trump had yet to appear for the event. Update 10:30 a.m. EDT April 18: In a letter sent Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler asked Mueller to testify before the panel no later than May 23. Nadler released his letter to Mueller minutes after Barr spoke with reporters about the report, which is expected to be released Thursday. Barr told reporters he had “no objection to Bob Mueller testifying.” “It is clear Congress and the American people must hear from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in person to better understand his findings,” Nadler said. Update 10:20 a.m. EDT April 18: Barr said he plans to release a less-redacted version of Mueller’s report to several congressional committees on Thursday “in an effort to accommodate congressional requests” for Mueller’s full report. “These members of Congress will be able to see all of the redacted materials for themselves -- with the limited exception of that which, by law, cannot be shared,” Barr said Thursday morning at a news conference. “I believe that this accommodation, together with my upcoming testimony before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, will satisfy any need Congress has for information regarding the special counsel’s investigation.”    Update 10:05 a.m. EDT April 18: At a news conference Thursday morning, Barr said it will be important to view President Donald Trump’s actions in context. “President Trump faced an unprecedented situation,” Barr said. “As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president’s personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion.” Barr said the Office of the White House Counsel has reviewed the redacted version of Mueller’s report but that Trump declined to assert privilege over it. Trump took to Twitter after Barr spoke to highlight that there was 'No collusion. No obstruction.' Update 9:50 a.m. EDT April 18: Mueller’s report details two main efforts sponsored by Russian government officials to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, Barr said Thursday morning at a news conference ahead of the report’s release. The report details efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with ties to the Russian government, to “sow social discord among American votes through disinformation and social media operations,” Barr said. It also details efforts by Russian military officials connected to the GRU, “to hack into computers and steal documents and emails from individuals affiliated with the Democratic Party.” “The special counsel found no evidence that any Americans -- including anyone associated with the Trump campaign -- conspired or coordinated with the Russian government or the IRA in carrying out this illegal scheme,” Barr said. Update 9:15 a.m. EDT April 18: President Donald Trump called the Mueller investigation 'The Greatest Political Hoax of all time!' in a series of tweets posted Thursday ahead of the release of the report. >> Mueller report: Trump tweets 'presidential harassment' ahead of redacted report's release “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” he wrote in a subsequent tweet. Trump has frequently criticized the Mueller investigation, framing the probe as a political “witch hunt” aimed at harming his presidency. Original report: Barr is expected to release a redacted version of Mueller’s report to Congress between 11 a.m. and noon Thursday before sharing the report on the special counsel’s website, Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree reported. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Battle lines clear as D.C. awaits redacted Mueller report Mueller completed his investigation late last month, 22 months after he launched his probe at the direction of the Justice Department. The investigation was frequently lambasted by President Donald Trump as a “witch hunt” aimed at undermining his presidency. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • It's some big news for St. Johns County parents, students, and teachers. The St. Johns County Schools Superintendent Tim Forson has announced he's canceling the district final exams, with the exception of iReady testing.  Forson says during this first week of testing, there have been 'significant issues' with the administration of the tests, which are computer-based.  He says while the district's staff has worked late hours to try to resolve the issues, he ultimately decided to cancel the district final exams to 'remove the frustration of inconsistent test administration and protect instructional time.'  Forson says students need to continue to learn to prepare for other required upcoming assessments, including the Florida Standards Assessment, among many others.  Forson says he does not expect the same issues for these other tests, as they are not done on the same testing platform.  He's assuring parents that the second semester grading scale will be adjusted, following this decision, so that the absence of a final exam will not penalize a student. Forson says the student performance element of teacher evaluations will also be adjusted.  Forson says parents can expect an update on the alternative grading plan, as soon as it's finalized.
  • In recent years, the stadium now known as TIAA Bank Field has seen new massive video boards, upgraded Club Levels, and the addition of pools and a dog park, among other things, through funding from both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville. But the team says they’re not done. Jaguars President Mark Lamping says, since the team joined the NFL, there is only one other team that hasn’t seen a major or full stadium renovation or had a new stadium built- the Buffalo Bills. He is not advocating for a new stadium, but along with Jags owner Shad Khan, they say- from a business perspective- there will need to be upgrades. “We want to co-invest with the City to make the stadium better,” Khan says. Lamping says, in order to continue to grow revenue, they need to continue to add season ticket holders and retain existing ones each year. Renewing a new season ticket holder in to their second season is crucial, according to Lamping, because he says that is a huge influence on whether they’re likely to hold the tickets for many more years  to come. Non-rookie season ticket holders consider their tenure and the team’s performance as the top two factors in deciding whether to renew again, but for rookies, Lamping says it’s about team performance and seat location. “We have to make our worst seats a lot better,” he says. One of the biggest challenges is along the east side of the stadium, especially on the upper level- the sun can be brutal in the midday hours that surround a 1PM kickoff. WOKV asked Khan whether he was considering a dome or cover of some sort to address that. “We want to look for creative solutions that are very cost effective,” he says. Khan brought forward the example of the use of drones to provide cover during the World Cup in Qatar, as something that is innovative and could be used on an as-needed basis, although he says they haven’t actually looked in to the feasibility of something like that. In fact, Lamping says they haven’t really focused much on what exactly they would want to be done at this point, but he believes that will have to be included in the lease re-negotiations the team will face with the City in the coming years. He does know that they are looking at keeping the current location and venue. “Major community gathering places belong in what’s the heart of the community. We think Downtown is that,” Lamping says. But with TIAA Bank Field being a city-owned venue, Lamping says they would seek a City partnership in the funding. “It’s naive to believe that just through the benevolence of some person, that all the City’s problems are going to be taken care of. If that’s the case, we wouldn’t have any problems Downtown, would we? So you want investment in Downtown, and the way to get investment is to make sure the person who’s making that investment- that is taking that risk- receives a reasonable return on their investment. And that’s what I said. It needs to be a private/public partnership only to the extent that the risk isn’t so high that the investment won’t come, and if it is successful, that the returns to the investor aren’t exorbitant,” he says. While the exact price tag or design of any renovations is to be determined, Lamping says they would only ask the City to contribute enough to make the project work. And the upgrades would benefit more than just the Jags, according to Khan. He pointed to the Rolling Stones concert that will take place at the stadium as the kind of event they want to bring more of to the City, and they hope the stadium will reflect the type of venue that those shows demand. This is all further partnered with the Jags’s continued push to redevelop in and around the Sports Complex. During the “State of the Franchise” Thursday, they re-affirmed their commitment to a $500 million development of Lot J, as well as the long term redevelopment of the Jacksonville Shipyards.

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