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West Virginia official returning to work after calling Michelle Obama an ‘ape in heels’

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The director of a West Virginia nonprofit group plans to return to work after coming under fire last month for calling Michelle Obama an “ape in heels.”

In a Facebook post in November, Clay County Development Corporation Director Pamela Taylor insulted the current first lady while celebrating the election of Donald Trump.

“It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House,” she wrote at the time. “I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels.”

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Taylor was later suspended by Clay Development’s board of directors. Meanwhile, Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling was resigned after news reports noted that she had praised Taylor’s Facebook post.

Less than a month after the controversy began, the Charleston Gazette-Mail revealed on Saturday that Taylor would return to her job.

According to West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services Commissioner Robert E. Roswall, Taylor’s employment could put the Clay County Development Corporation’s federal and state funding in jeopardy. The agency received “about $1.5 million in federal funding and $363,000 in state funding in 2014,” according to tax records.

(Correction: Pamela Taylor was suspended by Clay Development’s board of directors, not the Bureau of Senior Services.)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Italy’s COVID-19 death toll tops 10,000 despite long coronavirus lockdown

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The coronavirus toll in Italy shot past 10,000 on Saturday and showed little sign of slowing despite a 16-day lockdown.

The 889 new fatalities reported in the world's worst-hit nation came a day after it registered 969 deaths on Friday -- the highest single toll since the COVID-19 virus emerged late last year.

Italy now looks certain to extend its economically debilitating -- and emotionally stressful -- business closures and the ban on public gatherings past their April 3 deadline.

"Is it time to reopen the country? I think we have to think about it really carefully," civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli told reporters.

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2020 Election

Joe Biden has one key coronavirus question he wants answered: ‘Where are the tests, Mr. President?’

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Despite the inability to hold campaign rallies, the 2020 presidential campaign is continuing in spite of the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

With the response to coronavirus being the top public policy discussion in America, all eyes are focused on President Donald Trump's actions.

Trump had promised the nation that he would set up COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites in the parking lots of big-box retailers but has so far failed to deliver.

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Banks are causing a cash crisis by tightening lending standards during coronavirus crisis

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Major banks in America are tightening access to credit as coronavirus shutdowns put households across America in dire financial shape, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

"Banks and financial-technology firms are starting to toughen their approval standards for new loans to consumers and small businesses. That means many people could find it hard to get credit just when they most need it, as the novel coronavirus pandemic puts thousands out of work," the newspaper reported.

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