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Creationist Ark Encounter museum accused of stiffing local schools by underpaying property taxes

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On Saturday, Friendly Atheist reported that the Grant County Board of Education is filing a lawsuit alleging the creationist “Ark Encounter” theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, received a property valuation way lower than it should have for the purposes of tax assessment.

The museum, which is shaped like a giant replica of Noah’s Ark and is full of exhibits explaining supposed historical details of the Flood — including models of cavemen fighting dinosaurs — was assessed at $46 million in 2017. But the Board of Education, combining Ark Encounter’s capital investment disclosures, land value, and ticket sales, that the property is actually worth $130 million.

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Thus, they contend, the parent company Answers in Genesis evaded $470,288 in property taxes that should have gone to support county schools, in addition to the $275,912 they did pay. And this is on top of the county already exempting them from 75 percent of the property taxes they would have owed.

Ark Encounter has been controversial from the start, not just because it promotes Biblical pseudoscience as fact, or because it discriminates in hiring against non-Christians or LGBTQ people, but because it was built with $18 million in public subsidies. State and local entities provided the funding based on the projection that Ark Encounter would benefit the local community tourism revenue.

Not only has there been a negligible economic benefit to Williamstown from Ark Encounter, but the theme park itself is struggling, with attendance numbers sagging. Last November, Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham, a well-known creationist activist, attacked the Lexington Herald-Leader for reporting on these dismal numbers, despite the fact that the numbers came from the park itself.


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Final Emmys beckon for TV stars of ‘Thrones’ and ‘Veep’

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TV stars from Westeros to the White House will hit the red carpet in Los Angeles on Sunday as "Game of Thrones" and "Veep" take their final tilts at Emmys glory.

The long-running HBO smash hits helped the premium cable network raise the game for the small screen -- with 74 Emmys between them, they are among the most decorated shows ever at television's answer to the Oscars.

Both hope to add to their record hauls before they bow out at the glittering ceremony in downtown LA's Microsoft Theater.

While the divisive final season of "Thrones" enraged many fans, it is the Television Academy's 24,000-plus voters who get to choose the winners.

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WATCH: Trump admits he talked to Ukraine president about Joe Biden and his son

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President Donald Trump Sunday morning admitted he brought up Joe Biden and the former Vice President’s son Hunter Biden while speaking with the President of Ukraine.

“The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, with largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place and largely the fact that we don’t want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption,” Trump said, speaking to reporters from the White House lawn.

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BREAKING: President Trump admits that he talked to the Ukrainian president about former Vice President Biden. #MTP #IfItsSunday@kristenwelker: "From the president's perspective, the only way to put this story to bed is to release the transcript." pic.twitter.com/aaJ6DjMN0E

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‘Left wing hack’: Fox News fans lose it after anchor calls Ukraine allegations ‘a problem’ for Trump

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Fox News viewers lashed out at the network on Sunday after host Arthel Neville grilled New York Congressman Peter King (R) about President Donald Trump's alleged effort to get Ukraine to help him defeat Joe Biden.

Neville twice asked King about Trump's Ukraine scandal, and both times he evaded the question by saying that Congress does not have a right to know the details of Trump's conversations with foreign leaders.

On her third attempt, Neville got to the point by noting Trump's alleged actions are "a problem."

"We don’t know that it’s true, we hope it’s not true," the Fox News host said of the allegations against Trump. "But if there is a possibility that our president used his office to put pressure on a foreign government -- president-elect -- to dig into his possible, potential political opponent, then that’s a problem."

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