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‘Unapologetically’ Christian pizza parlor went viral — then its owner got busted for trying to have sex with underage staff

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A Kentucky pastor was arrested on child sexual exploitation charges after police said he tried to arrange a liaison between himself and two underage girls.

Bobby “BJ” Blackburn, pastor of Elevate Church and owner of Giovanni’s Pizza in Prestonsburg, was charged with using an electronic device to ask an employee to take part in a threesome with another minor, reported WBKO-TV.

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Blackburn turned himself in to police Wednesday and was released on $5,000 bond.

The girl showed police obscene messages Blackburn allegedly sent to her, asking her and another pizza shop employee to engage in a sex act with him.

Police said the girl then took back her statement after they questioned her further, saying Blackburn had threatened to fire her for talking.

Officers obtained a warrant to search Blackburn’s phone, but relatives said the pastor had thrown it into a river.

Blackburn drew national attention in 2016, when he vowed to continue playing Christian music and printing Bible verses on receipts at his pizzeria in spite of customer complaints.

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“We, here at Giovanni’s of Prestonsburg are unapologetically a Christ-based business that runs and operates with Christian values and principles,” Blackburn said on Facebook at the time. “We wholeheartedly believe that we have been blessed the way that we have because of the goodness of God. We understand that this is not the view of every customer and/or business owner and we are not trying to push this view on anybody.”

Blackburn has since deleted his personal Facebook page, along with pages for his church and pizza restaurant, which was an independently owned franchise.

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Arkansas church vows to continue services: ‘Jesus died with COVID-19 so that you didn’t have to bear it’

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An Arkansas church intends to hold church services despite recommendations from state officials to limit gatherings as part of the fight against the coronavirus.

Awaken Church, in Jonesboro, vowed in a Facebook post to continue holding services in defiance of a Health Department directive banning gatherings of 10 or more, and after churches in other parts of the country were the source of community outbreaks, reported Newsweek.

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2020 Election

Trump’s path to re-election ‘smashed to splinters’ as his only achievement is swallowed up by the pandemic: report

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In a piece for Politico, Ben White writes that Donald Trump was going into November's election with only one achievement under his belt -- a healthy economy -- and now he has nothing left to run if he wants to be re-elected.

With all of the gains made in the stock market long gone due to the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of oil prices, White claims that the president's campaign strategy lies in tatters.

"The fundamental pillars of Donald Trump’s presidency — a hot economy, strong job growth and a rocking stock market — are all being smashed to splinters by the ravaging coronavirus, which has shuttered much of the nation and now officially ended a streak of 113 months of job gains dating back to the end of the Great Recession a decade ago," he wrote before noting the explosion of unemployment claims -- over ten million so far -- that has the country reeling.

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Strong signs that judges will increasingly decide how 2020 elections are run during the coronavirus pandemic

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The jaw-dropping conclusion of a federal court hearing on April 1 about Wisconsin’s statewide elections on April 7 was no April Fools’ joke. U.S. District Judge William Conley said the state’s Democratic governor and Republican-led legislature had failed to put their citizenry’s health first by not postponing the statewide election in a pandemic.

“There’s a hurricane coming!” Conley fumed from the bench, interrupting Douglas M. Poland, a lawyer representing the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and four citizens who sued the state. “You can’t even give me a case where a federal judge stopped a state from stupidly holding an election when most of the voters were not going to go to the polls because there’s a hurricane coming!”

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