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Youngkin declares 'independence from California' as Virginia exits emissions pact

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Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin has withdrawn the state from a 2021 pact that had mandated adherence to California’s stringent emissions standards – including a ban on internal combustion vehicles by 2035.

Youngkin and legislative Republicans previously failed to repeal the law, which linked Virginia with California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) standards, and Wednesday’s move similarly did not go over well with some state Democrats as of the following morning.

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In an interview Thursday, Youngkin bluntly said, “They’re wrong,” when asked about Democratic pushback that he and Attorney General Jason Miyares were overstepping their bounds.

“In fact, the law is very clear and the [Miyares]’ opinion is clear and straightforward. The California Regulatory Framework ACC-1 sunsets on December 31st, 2024.”

YOUNGKIN: EDUCATION IS THE BEDROCK OF THE AMERICAN DREAM

Then-Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin holds a campaign event in Amherst, Virginia, October 28, 2021. (Charlie Creitz/Fox News)

“The new California framework, ACC-2, we are choosing not to enter into and are exercising our autonomous decision authority to, in fact, place ourselves under the federal government’s guidelines here as opposed to California,” he said.

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“There’s no controversy. And once again, these are the exact same legislators that surrendered Virginia’s autonomy in decision-making over this, over this issue to California’s unregulated regulators. And, we’re taking it back.”

In response to the administration’s move, state Sen. Scott Surovell, the number-two Democrat in the chamber, compared Youngkin to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and accused Miyares of giving Youngkin “cover” to act as such.

Surovell called Youngkin and Miyares’ actions “reckless, illegal and unconstitutional” in comments reported by the Virginia Mercury. 

“[They] are destructive of Virginia’s pro-business reputation,” Surovell said, adding that the American Revolution was fought so that a state executive would never be able to “nullify laws by-press-conference.”

Youngkin appeared unfazed by the Putin allegation, telling Fox News Digital that Virginia simply “declared independence yesterday from California.”

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YOUNGKIN VETOES A SLEW OF VIRGINIA BILLS INCLUDING CONTRACEPTION ACCESS MEASURE

“Virginians should be deciding what car they drive, not California’s unelected regulators. These misguided mandates were wrong from the beginning and we are going to liberate Virginia from them.”

He predicted that if the regulatory pact were to remain in place, it would cost Virginians a net $1.2 billion to comply, calling it an unwarranted economic penalty on hard-working residents.

When it comes to the future of U.S. energy production and technology, Youngkin added that it will be American innovation – not bureaucratic whims – that craft it.

In a statement, state Sen. Ryan McDougle, a New Kent County Republican who joined Youngkin’s withdrawal request, said the CARB standards are unique to California and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s own orders.

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“Virginia’s laws should not be determined by California politicians. Instead, our laws should be decided by Virginians who are elected to serve Virginia and address issues that face our commonwealth, not a state nearly 3,000 miles away,” McDougle said.

Miyares said that if the Democratic majority in the General Assembly wants to craft a bill imposing outside control over Virginia residents’ vehicle purchases, he welcomes that debate:

“That’s the beauty of democracy,” he said, calling California’s rules unrealistic and costly: “If you want to purchase an electric vehicle, that is your choice, but, rather than enforcing a one-size-fits-all mandate, I want Virginia consumers to choose the transportation options that best suit their specific needs and circumstances.”

Fox News Digital has reached out to Newsom’s office for comment.

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Southeast

'Exceptionally dangerous' social media challenge lands Florida teens in handcuffs

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Two Florida teens have been identified and arrested after surveillance video captured them kicking in the doors of residents’ homes as part of a social media challenge. 

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said the two 15-year-olds were arrested on multiple counts of burglary of a dwelling after they admitted to kicking in the front doors of four homes. 

Over the last two weeks, deputies in Spring Hill said they have investigated four reports of unknown individuals walking up to the front door of a residence during the early morning hours and kicking the door, causing damage. 

Deputies said the impact of the kicks caused the door to fly open in some instances.

NYC SERIAL BURGLAR POSING AS AMAZON WORKER LINKED TO 9 BREAK-INS, STOLE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS: POLICE

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Two teenagers were arrested in Florida after surveillance video showed them kicking in people’s doors as part of a social media trend. (Hernando County Sheriff’s Office)

Deputies said both boys, who lived within walking distance of the four homes, admitted to kicking the front doors.

TEXAS BURGLARY SUSPECT CAUGHT ON VIDEO FAILING TO BREAK INTO HOME, RUNNING AWAY WHEN DISCOVERED

Teens caught on camera kicking in doors

Two Florida teens admitted to kicking in doors of several neighbors’ homes as part of a social media challenge, officials said. (Hernando County Sheriff’s Office)

According to authorities, one teen told detectives they kicked the doors in response to a trend they saw on social media called the “Door Kick Challenge.” The teen also said they never intended to enter any of the homes.

Multiple videos have circulated on the TikTok app showing people kicking or knocking on doors late at night. It’s become known as the “Door Kick” challenge. 

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MILLION-DOLLAR TV AD CAMPAIGN ACCUSES TIKTOK OF EXPOSING YOUNG PEOPLE CONTENT GLORIFYING SUICIDE, SELF-HARM

Video of teens in Florida caught kicking neighbors doors

One boy told police he saw the “Door Kick Challenge” on social media. (Hernando County Sheriff’s Office)

“This situation was exceptionally dangerous on several levels,” said Sheriff Al Nienhuis. “First, there was a very good possibility that these young men could have been shot and killed by a homeowner lawfully defending the household. Second, if this occurred, the homeowner would have been burdened with the fact he or she killed two teenagers who were participating in a stupid activity.”

Officials said both teens were arrested on four counts of burglary of a dwelling. They were both taken to the Hernando County Detention Center where they were processed and then released into the custody of their parents.

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Southeast

Florida McDonald's employee shoots at customers during fight over order, police say

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A Florida McDonald’s employee was arrested last week after she shot at customers following a dispute at the drive-through window, authorities said. 

Chassidy Gardner, 22, of Lakeland, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon stemming from the Friday incident. 

SOUTH FLORIDA COPS IN SHOOTOUT THAT KILLED UPS DRIVER, 3 OTHERS PLACED ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE: REPORTS

Chassidy Gardner, 22, is charged with shooting at customers at a Florida McDonald’s during a verbal dispute.  (Lakeland Police Department)

Lakeland police officers responded to a reported shooting at the fast-food restaurant around 1 a.m. The shooting stemmed from an argument between Gardner and a customer complaining about their order at the drive-through window. 

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During the dispute, Gardner threw a drink at the customers as they were attempting to leave, police said. At one point, a customer stuck an arm through the window and knocked some items onto the floor. 

ROBBERS KILLED IN FLORIDA UPS TRUCK HIJACKING, SHOOTOUT WITH POLICE ARE IDENTIFIED

Chassidy Gardner, 22, on security video with a gun in her hand at a McDonald's

Chassidy Gardner, 22, seen on security video inside a Lakeland, Florida McDonald’s. (Lakeland Police Department)

“Two of the customers got out of their vehicle and opened the drive through window to throw drinks at Gardner who then armed herself with a handgun,” a police statement said. 

The customers then drove around the building and Gardner walked outside with her gun to argue further, authorities said. She allegedly opened fire as the vehicle was leaving the parking lot. 

McDonald's in Silver Spring, Maryland

Three men were reported stabbed inside a McDonald’s restaurant in Silver Spring, Maryland, early Tuesday. (Google Maps)

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The car was hit at least once. No injuries were reported. Fox News Digital has reached out to McDonald’s.

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Southeast

Georgia inmate had 'personal relationship' with prison employee he killed: police

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The Georgia inmate who was involved in a disturbing murder-suicide at Smith State Prison reportedly had a relationship with the prison worker he killed, according to officials.

Jaydrekus Hart, a voluntary manslaughter convict, killed a 24-year-old prison employee named Aureon Shavea Grace early Sunday morning at the prison facility located in Glennville. Grace, who was employed by the food service company Aramark, was working in the prison’s kitchen at the time.

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Officials say that Hart fatally shot Grace at around 4:30 a.m. before turning the gun on himself. Grace was declared deceased at the scene, while Hart was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. 

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) told Fox News Digital that its investigators believe the two decedents had a personal relationship.

CALIFORNIA PRISONER DIES IN CUSTODY AFTER DRINKING TOO MUCH WATER

Jaydrekus Hart, an inmate at Smith State Prison, was reportedly behind the recent murder-suicide. (Georgia Department of Corrections / Google Maps)

“During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that a personal relationship existed between Aramark employee Grace and offender Hart,” a spokesperson said. 

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“A suicide note was also discovered that appears to have been left by Hart.”

The GDC spokesperson did not disclose the nature of the relationship. Officials are still investigating how Hart obtained a gun in prison.

MINNESOTA PRISON EMERGENCY LOCKDOWN ‘RESOLVED’ AFTER DOZENS OF INMATES REFUSED TO GO BACK TO CELLS

Wide shot of Smith State Prison

Georgia officials say that the suspect was serving time over a manslaughter incident. (Google Maps)

Hart was serving a 20-year prison sentence at the time of his death. He was scheduled to be released from prison in June 2043.

The GDC is still investigating the murder-suicide. No additional details are available at this time.

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Smith State Prison sign

The Georgia Department of Corrections is actively investigating the Smith State Prison incident. (Google Maps)

“This was an isolated incident and the investigation remains open and active,” the GDC told Fox News Digital. “We will not be able to comment further at this time as the investigation continues.”

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