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GOP candidate vying for Santos House seat slams Democratic opponent's 'disrespectful' jabs: 'Shame on him'

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The Republican candidate vying to fill ousted Rep. George Santos’s House seat is firing back following attacks from her Democratic opponent ahead of Tuesday’s special election.

GOP hopeful Mazi Pilip, a former IDF soldier, and former Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi are locked in a close race with potential national implications as Republicans look to hold on to a key suburban New York City district amid a trend of Democratic gains.

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The pair have traded jabs over key issues ranging from immigration to abortion on the campaign trail, with Suozzi most recently calling Pilip “George Santos 2.0” and accusing her of being “unvetted” and “untruthful” about her record. 

NEW YORK SPECIAL ELECTION CANDIDATES CLASH OVER BORDER CRISIS, ABORTION: ‘YOU CREATED THIS ISSUE’

“The bottom line is that my opponent, Mazi Pilip, is George Santos 2.0, utterly unvetted, lying about her record, covering up her extreme positions, being untruthful about her finances, and thumbing her nose at democracy by hiding in the basement and spewing this tired old same talking points and resorting to extremist my-way-or-the-highway type of politics that will mean nothing gets done,” Suozzi said at a campaign event on Sunday. 

Pilip responded to the accusations during “America’s Newsroom” on Monday, calling her opponent’s rhetoric “disrespectful.”

“It’s very disrespectful. He’s trying to run away from his record,” Pilip told Dana Perino. “Run away [from] the fact that he opened the southern border, the fact that he was supporting defunding the police movement, the fact is this was increasing taxes as a county executive and in Congress supporting Biden 100% of the time, supporting the Squad 90% of the time.”

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“So he trying to run away and picturing me as a person unvetted. I am very much vetted. I’m very proud of who I am, the things I said I did, as was proven. Newsday’s, New York Post, they all came to see my degrees, they all come to see my military service. So he’s trying to link me to something to distract people so – to vote. Shame on him,” she continued. 

DEMOCRAT SUOZZI RUNNING FOR GEORGE SANTOS SEAT TAKES HEAT FOR 2019 POST ON ICE AMID NEW YORK’S MIGRANT CRISIS

According to a Newsday/Siena College poll released last week, data showed Suozzi with a 4-point lead over Pilip, within the poll’s margin of error. 

Data also indicated 49% of voters trusted Pilip to handle the influx of migrants, in comparison to only 40% in favor of Suozzi. On the other hand, 55% of voters trusted Souzzi to tackle abortion policy in comparison to 32% who preferred Pilip. 

Regardless, Pilip insisted it is the migrant crisis that Long Island voters are most worried about as they head to the polls.

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Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican Mazi Pilip met face to face in the first and only debate, which aired Thursday night, in the special election for New York’s 3rd Congressional District. (Getty Images)

“The migrant crisis… it’s a big issue for the third congressional district. Unvetted migrants coming to our country, and the person responsible is Tom Suozzi, my opponent. He was in a majority in Congress when he decided to open the southern border, and he was also was funding sanctuary cities,” Pilip said. 

“The issues we are seeing right now, the border crisis, unvetted migrants coming here, attacking our police officers on the streets. This is exactly the formula. When you are weak on crime, when you don’t support law enforcement, and then you have wide open borders, you are bringing unvetted immigrants. This is a formula that we are seeing, a perfect formula for all these issues that we are seeing that Thomas was responsible,” she continued. 

Meanwhile, a winter storm is brewing in the Northeast and could hit hard right before voters head to the polls, threatening up to a foot of snow in the region.

Fox News’ Michael Lee and Kyle Morris contributed to this report. 

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Vermont

Williston VT gets another hotel, and as it turns out there’s probably a demand for it

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Williston VT gets another hotel, and as it turns out there’s probably a demand for it


WILLISTON ― Williston is getting another hotel, on Market Street behind L.L. Bean. Construction is in the early phases on what will be a Townplace Suites by Marriott, set up for extended stay with kitchenettes. If you’re wondering why we need another hotel, Williston Director of Planning and Zoning Matt Boulanger has some insights.

“There is quite a bit of demand (for hotels),” Boulanger said. “We’ve seen a couple of different things driving that. Some existing hotels have converted to temporary shelters, even around here. That’s part of it. There’s also some aging hotel stock.”

Aging hotels can start running into trouble filling their rooms, Boulanger explained. As an example, he cited the Sonesta Extended Stay Suites in Williston, where Boulanger discovered an entire block of suites is listed on the Airbnb site.

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“It’s not getting booked as a conventional hotel, so they’re looking for other options,” Boulanger said.

Sometimes a hotel gets purchased by Champlain Housing Trust and turned into apartments. That happened to a hotel on Zephyr Road in Williston. Now room opens up for another hotel because that one is gone.

Then there’s the housing crunch and the lack of workforce housing.

What else is driving the demand for new hotels in Chittenden County?

Boulanger pointed out that both the Townplaces Suites now being built and the nearby Hilton Home2 Suites are extended stay with kitchenettes.

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“It’s seeming like it’s taking longer for people when they’re between homes to get into the home they’re buying,” Boulanger said. “Some of that logjam shows up as not a lot of houses available to buy, but also the amount of time transactions take.”

So if you find yourself between homes with nowhere to go, or you found a house and it’s taking forever to close the deal, extended stay hotels come in handy. Now, let’s turn to that workforce housing problem.

“Some of the hotels in Williston, you’ll notice on Tuesday afternoon a lot of white vans and trucks with Texas plates or other out-of-state plates,” Boulanger said. “Clearly work vehicles.”

And let’s not forget good old tourism, which does still happen in Vermont.

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“I think all those things together are driving some of this demand,” Boulanger said.

The Project

Project Cost: $4 million.

Developer: Redstone, Burlington

Contractor: Opechee Construction, Belmont, New Hampshire

Architect: In-house at Opechee

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Engineer: Snyder Group, Shelburne

Address: 281 Holland Lane, Williston

Progress:

  • The first-floor steel and wall sections are partly constructed.

Features:

  • 115 extended stay rooms with kitchenettes in a four-story hotel totaling 59,034 square feet, Townplace Suites by Marriott.

What’s in the neighborhood:

  • Everything from Chili’s to REI.

Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 660-1841 or ddambrosi@gannett.com. Follow him on X @DanDambrosioVT.



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Northeast

Maine's Democrat governor wants to tackle gun control and mental health in wake of mass shooting

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Maine’s governor rolled out legislation on Wednesday she said will prevent dangerous people from possessing weapons and strengthen mental health services to help prevent future tragedies like the Lewiston mass shooting that shook the state.

Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, called for the changes in January in a speech that came three months after an Army reservist killed 18 people in the worst mass shooting in the history of the state. The reservist had a history of mental illness and erratic behavior before the shootings.

DEMOCRAT MAINE GOVERNOR TOUTS LOCATION FOR A KEY WIND PORT, SEEKS TO LEAD IN OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY

Mills said there is broad support for the kind of changes in her proposals, which would also establish a violence-prevention program at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The proposals would need to find support in a state with a higher percentage of gun ownership than most of the Northeast.

“They are practical, common-sense measures that are Maine-made and true to our culture and our longstanding traditions while meeting today’s needs. They represent meaningful progress, without trampling on anybody’s rights, and they will better protect public safety,” Mills said.

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One of Mills’ proposals would strengthen the state’s extreme risk protection order law. Some law enforcement personnel have said the state’s yellow flag law made it difficult to remove shooter Robert Card’s weapons despite clear warning signs. Mills said her change would allow law enforcement to seek a protective custody warrant to take a dangerous person into custody to remove weapons.

Gov. Janet Mills speaks during a news conference in the aftermath of a mass shooting, in Lewiston, Maine, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. Gov. Mills, a Democrat, rolled out legislation on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, she said will prevent dangerous people from possessing weapons and strengthening mental health services to help prevent future tragedies like the Lewiston mass shooting that shook the state. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Another proposal would extend the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to advertised, private sales of firearms. Still another would incentivize the checks for unadvertised, private sales.

The proposals would also establish a statewide network of crisis receiving centers so that a person suffering a mental health crisis could get care swiftly, Mills said.

The governor’s supplemental budget includes other proposals geared at crisis response and mental health. It also proposes to create a Maine mass violence care fund with $5 million to cover physical and mental health expenses connected to a mass violence event and not covered by insurance.

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“Our community’s difficult healing process will continue long into the future, and this will provide folks with the support they need when they need it,” said Democratic Rep. Kristen Cloutier of Lewiston.

Card committed the shootings at a bowling alley and restaurant in Lewiston on Oct. 25. He was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.

Card had been well known to law enforcement for months before the shootings, and a fellow reservist told an Army superior that Card was going to “snap and do a mass shooting.”

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Boston, MA

Bruins win wild one in Edmonton, 6-5, in OT

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Bruins win wild one in Edmonton, 6-5, in OT


The Bruins lost another defenseman, a three-goal lead and then another one-goal third period lead in Edmonton.

But they refused to the lose the game.

After killing a penalty penalty in overtime, Charlie McAvoy beat Stuart Skinner on a terrific backhand goal to lift the B’s to an electric 6-5 win over Edmonton, snapping the Oilers’ eight-game home win streak.

“I just loved the way we kept forging ahead,” coach Jim Montgomery told reporters in Edmonton. “We didn’t worry about what happened, positively or negatively. i thought we continued to play. Obviously, they had a great push by a great team in the third period and it snowballed, but we went right back to work after that. When they made it 4-4, the next four minutes I thought we controlled the game…great for the fans.”

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The B’s managed to beat one of the most explosive teams in the NHL on a night when their goalie, Jeremy Swayman (39 saves), was not at his best. But on an overtime penalty kill, Swayman came up with a huge glove save on Leon Draisaitl to give McAvoy the opportunity to win another game. This time he didn’t wait till the ninth round of the shootout like he did on Monday against Dallas, taking a Jake DeBrusk pass and going straight down the slot, toe-dragging it and beating Skinner on the backhander at 3:10 of OT.

Montgomery decided to break up his rotation and play Swayman in back-to-back games, partially to go with the hot hand. But he also did it with Linus Ullmark’s spectacular game in Calgary last season in mind. The B’s play the Flames on Thursday.

“(Swayman’s) game was kind of like our team’s game. Things are going really well, then they go not the way you want it,” said Montgomery. “His mental makeup is unreal. He just thinks he’s going to stop every puck, so he doesn’t worry about what just happened. He moves forward. That’s why he’s able to keep making saves.”

Rookie Mason Lohrei, recalled from Providence, stepped up to the occasion, recording three assists and four blocks in 23:32 of icetime.

“He was really good,” said Montgomery. “He played more direct, north, coming out the D-zone and at the offensive blue line under pressure. And then when he had time and space, I thought he was really good. Thought he was good on the power play as well.”

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It was an eventful, crazy game from the first puck drop.

The first period started out very badly, then very well. Just 1:05 into the game, Ryan McLeod gave Matt Grzelcyk a two-handed chop on the top of his left foot, earning a tripping call. Grzelcyk needed help off the ice as he could not put any weight on the foot. He would surprisingly return to the bench late in the period but did not play again. That was not welcome news, considering they were already without Hampus Lindholm for the trip and possibly longer. While Lindholm is out “week-to-week,” Montgomery termed Grzelcyk as “day-to-day right now.”

On the power play, the B’s looked crisp as the first unit whipped the puck around with precision. But it was the second unit that found the back of the net. Morgan Geekie (a career-high 10 goals) scored from the outside of the right circle, thanks to a Jake DeBrusk screen.

But in the fast-paced first, the Oilers eventually got rolling and tied it up at 11:40. The struggling Derek Forbort lost the puck as he tried to break it out as Connor McDavid flicked it off his stick. It went to Warren Foegele, who took it to the net and beat Swayman through the pads.

The B’s survived an Anthony Richard trip on McDavid and then pushed back. They held a 14-12 shot advantage in the first, but could not get another by Stuart Skinner.

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But Brad Marchand gave the B’s their one-goal lead back just 25 seconds into second. Danton Heinen gave Marchand a nifty little pass just outside the blue line to give the captain a little bit of room to attack. From the outside of the left circle, Marchand found the sizable hole Skinner left on his short side for his 26th goal.

The B’s made it a two-goal lead at 4:40 with another fourth (third?) line goal. From the right point, McAvoy gave a short pass to Jesper Boqvist just below him. Boqvist flipped the puck toward the net and, with Justin Brazeau screening in front, Trent Frederic (16) tipped it past Skinner.

Veteran Corey Perry tried to get his team into the game by taking a run at McAvoy and missed, but Parker Wotherspoon caught the attempt and had words with Perry. Perry started throwing hands immediately and Wotherspoon had to oblige, landing some good shots and getting the W. Perry got the extra two, but the B’s could not cash in.

But after killing off another Edmonton power play, the B’s extended the lead to 4-1. At the end of a terrific shift by the B’s first line, Jake DeBrusk backhanded home a rebound of a David Pastrnak shot at 13:57. It was his 13th and first in 10 games.

They would not run away with it, however. The Oilers got one back just 90 seconds later when Zach Hyman won a puck battle along the boards and fed a wide-open Foegele in front of the net for his second of the game on backhander.

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The B’s were lucky to get out of the period with a two-goal lead. Edmonton kept them hemmed in their own end for the better part of the final four minutes of the period. Mason Lohrei, who had three assists, was on the ice for the final 3:46. But the B’s were able to survive and catch their breath.

Then after Swayman allowed a bad goal at 6:14 of the third, the Oilers were with striking distance. The netminder tried to clear the puck himself along the wall but it was stopped by Cody Ceci at the right point. Ceci fired a shot that looked like an easy save for Swayman, but it somehow squeezed through and behind him. Mattias Janmark just tapped it in for the easy one.

It was all tied up 1:10 later. A Darnell Nurse left point shot produced a fat rebound and Perry lifted it over Swayman’s pad for the equalizer.

“Our bench was really calm, even though it looked like we were in an avalanche for a while,” said Montgomery.

The B’s regained the lead but couldn’t maintain it. After a nice play by Lohrei to keep the puck in and drop it for Pastrnak, the sharpshooter whistled a shortside wrister past Skinner at 12:41.

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But Swayman’s rebound control issues continued. The Oilers tied it up just 38 seconds later when he couldn’t control Mattias Ekholm’s long distance shot and Zach Hyman tucked the rebound underneath the netminder.

The B’s looked like they would be able to run out the clock to get it to overtime and they did, but not without shooting themselves in the foot. After overskating a puck at his own blue line, James van Riemsdyk took a tripping penalty with 20 seconds in regulation.

They managed to kill it in OT and then van Riemsdyk was a stopped on a breakaway coming out of the box.

But for the second time in as many games, McAvoy was the hero.



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