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Vice President Joe Biden Returns to White House For First Time Since Son’s Death

Official White House Photo by David Lienemann(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Joe Biden returned to the White House for the first time since the death of his son Beau two weekends ago.

On his first day back to work on Wednesday, Biden joined the president for a private lunch at the White House and held a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniv Yatsenyuk.

Biden has spent the majority of his time in Delaware after the death of his son Beau.

Thousands of condolences have poured in for the vice president and his family via the White House’s virtual condolence book.

In total, the Biden family has received 72,000 condolences through the White House’s virtual system — and condolences were submitted from every state, according to the Vice President’s Office.

One of the submissions came from Michelle Burgess, a probation and parole officer from Delaware who has experienced the loss of a child as well. The vice president actually wrote a condolence letter to Burgess following the death of her eight year old son in 2010.

“I was so grateful to have received that letter at a time that I needed it most. I was grateful that you took the time out of your very busy schedule to write it to me and I will be forever thankful,” Burgess wrote in the virtual condolence book. “Now my heart is broken to have to express my sympathy to you and to the rest of the Biden family for the loss of your amazing son Beau.”

“While I never had the opportunity to meet Beau personally, I witnessed first hand what an excellent job he did as Attorney General for Delaware. You raised an amazing man and you should be very proud for that,” she wrote. “Sir, I can’t tell you enough how sorry I am and how broken my heart truly is for you and your family. Please accept my most sincere condolences.”

The vice president has already started reading some of the condolence messages, his office said.

Despite working at the White House on Wednesday, the vice president is scheduled to return to Wilmington overnight. There is currently no guidance on when the vice president will return to Washington on a more permanent basis.

The vice president’s son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer on May 30. Obama eulogized the 46-year-old Biden last weekend in the conclusion of three days of memorial services.

Beau Biden served two terms as the attorney general of Delaware, was an Iraq war veteran, and was married with two children.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Michelle Kwan to Join Hillary Clinton’s Campaign

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Figure skating legend Michelle Kwan has a new gig: Working for Hillary Clinton.

The two-time Olympic medalist will be joining Clinton’s presidential campaign as a full-time paid staffer, Clinton’s campaign announced on Wednesday.

In her new position — which will be based out of the campaign’s Brooklyn, N.Y. headquarters — Kwan will focus on surrogate outreach ahead of Clinton’s first official campaign rally this Saturday, June 13. Her focus, a campaign aide says, will be to “help reach key constituencies and discuss the issues that matter most to working families.”

Kwan, 34, has ties to Clinton dating back to Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. During that time, Kwan, who is married to former White House national security expert and failed Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate, Clay Pell, worked at the State Department as a public diplomacy envoy. In her role, she also focused on surrogate outreach and worked closely with the secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.

The news of Kwan’s hire, which is expected to be a long-term role, was first reported by the New York Times.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson Reveals Battle with Parkinson’s After 2013 Diagnosis

United States Congress(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., announced Wednesday he is battling Parkinson’s disease.

“Over 1 million Americans have Parkinson’s and I am one of them,” Isakson, 70, said in a statement Wednesday.

After experiencing stiffness in his left arm in 2012, he consulted a neurologist and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013, revealing it publicly for the first time Wednesday. Isakson said he only recently shared the news with his three children and senior staff a few months ago.

“While I am facing this health challenge head on, I have wrestled with whether to disclose it publicly,” he said. “I decided I should handle my personal health challenge with the same transparency that I have championed throughout my career.”

The senator and former House member representing the northern suburbs of Atlanta said he has gone through physical therapy, does exercises twice a day and takes two Parkinson’s medications.

“I am in the early stages of the disease, and my main symptoms are the stiffness in my left arm and slowed, shuffling gait,” he said.

The senator, in office since 2005, still plans to run for re-election in 2016. He’s chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, as well the committee on veteran’s affairs.

“My diagnosis has not impacted my ability to represent the state of Georgia in the U.S. Senate,” he said. “I am serving on five Senate committees and am the only Republican serving as chairman of two Senate committees. I am busier and have more responsibility today than ever before in my political career, and I couldn’t be happier about that.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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OH Governor Moves Closer to Presidential Announcement with New Hires

Office of Ohio Governor John R. Kasich(WASHINGTON) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a likely presidential contender, has brought on two top Republican consultants, according to a source familiar with the hires.

John Weaver will be a senior strategist for the campaign and Fred Davis will be the lead media consultant.

Weaver and Davis are key additions to Kasich’s team. Both have worked on past presidential campaigns and for Sen. John McCain in 2008.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Vice President Biden Returns to Office After Loss of Son Beau

Official White House Photo by David Lienemann(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Biden made his way back to official duties Wednesday after his son Beau passed away on Saturday, May 30.
 
The vice president’s schedule Wednesday is light. He first meets with President Obama for a private lunch — their first weekly lunch since Tuesday, May 26.  Then, he’ll meet with the Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk before returning to Delaware where he’ll spend the night.

This is not the first tragedy for Vice President Biden as an elected official. He was sworn into office as a newly elected senator at the bedside of 3-year-old Beau, who was recovering from a car accident that left him and his brother Hunter gravely injured. The accident killed the vice president’s wife and 1-year-old daughter.

Beau Biden’s death marks the first time in over 50 years that a sitting U.S. president or vice president has experienced the death of a child while in office.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Findlay High School Music: The Mattis Touch

Join us each Sunday at 11am beginning May 3rd for a six part series as we spotlight the Findlay High School music under the direction of Tim Mattis with background information and interesting stories about the music from Mattis himself each and every week.

tim-mattis-directingTim Mattis will finish a 20-plus year career in the Findlay School system when he retires at the end of this school year. Mattis had taught instrumental and vocal music for nine years before accepting a position with the Findlay City Schools in 1994. Over the years, he has served as band director and band department chair as well as director of the school’s steel drum band Pantasia.

During his tenure, he has been awarded the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education, the Teacher Who Made A Difference Award and has been nominated for Disney’s Teacher of the Year Award. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Bluffton College and his Master of Music in Percussion Performance from Bowling Green State University. Mattis has been adjunct instructor of percussion at Ohio Northern University and at Bluffton College. His performance credits include the Lima Symphony Orchestra, the Lima Marimba Ensemble, and a variety of community theater performances, both onstage and in the pit.

 

Click photos to enlarge.

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Low Turnout At Polls For Primary Election

5/5/15 – 10:35 P.M.

The vast majority of registered voters in Hancock County stayed home Tuesday. Just under 13 percent of people registered to vote cast a ballot. Board of Elections chairman David Spahr says turnout was what they expected…

Audio: David Spahr

The only big draws to the polls were the contested Findlay races and a couple of county wide levy renewals. There were no state issues on the ballot.

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Mihalik Discusses Issues Findlay Faces Following State of the City Address

04/29/15     3:20 p.m.

Following Tuesday’s state of the city address, Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik talked about some of the pressing issues the city is facing. One of those being the county Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services board working to open two addiction recovery homes. Mihalik said she met with ADAMHS Executive Director Precia Stuby and urged them to be more inclusive in the process.

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

One of the other issues the mayor said the city is continuing to work is flood mitigation. Mihalik said the focus should now be on what happens once the Army Corps releases the final report next spring.

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

Mihalik said the community should let the leaders they voted into office decide where to go with the plan the Corps presents.

Full audio from the mayor’s Good Morning’s Interview below:

Lydia Mihalik

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Candidate Profile: John Kovach

4/21/15 – 5:30 A.M.

We continue our look at candidates running for Findlay council-at-large seats today.  John Kovach is seeking office for the first time since running for county commissioner in 2010.  He says it was the recent dust-up about the addiction recovery home that got him interested in running…

Audio: John Kovach

Kovach says while he believes there is room for a recovery house in Findlay, he doesn’t believe it should go in areas zoned for single family residences.

On the topic of flood control, Kovach says he thinks money spent on mitigation studies could have been used differently…

Audio: John Kovach

Kovach says from his experience as a developer, anytime you deal with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA, you’re going to spend a lot of time and money for a result you don’t like.

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