Biden makes his closing pitch in Virginia by unloading on Youngkin and comparing him to Trump

Biden’s remarks were a point-by-point upbraiding of both Youngkin and Trump, building on a campaign-long strategy by McAuliffe to link his Republican opponent to the former President, who lost Virginia by 10 points last fall. With polls showing a tied race, Biden’s visit — just his second to the state for this campaign — followed those of other top national Democrats who have hit the trail for McAuliffe in recent weeks to try to gin up enthusiasm among the base.

The heart of Biden’s argument was that Youngkin has lauded the former President but kept him at arm’s length during the close of the campaign. At times, it appeared as if the President were looking to goad Trump into a last-minute Virginia trip, something Virginia Democrats would wholly welcome.

“Terry’s opponent has made all of his private pledges of loyalty to Donald Trump. But what is really interesting to me is he won’t stand next to Donald Trump now that the campaign is on,” Biden said. “Think about it. He won’t allow Donald Trump to campaign with him in this state.”

Biden continued: “He is willing to pledge his loyalty to Trump in private, why not in public? What is he trying to hide? Is there a problem with Trump being here? Is he embarrassed?”

Democrats have tried for months to seize on Trump’s lack of popularity in Virginia as a way to take down Youngkin. Before the general election even began, McAuliffe told CNN he would personally pay for the jet fuel needed to get Trump to Virginia just so he could have an image of the two together.

McAuliffe continued with that strategy on Tuesday.

“I always, always try to find common ground. As you know, I will work with anyone at any time, including reasonable Republicans. But make no mistake, Glenn Youngkin is not a reasonable Republican,” McAuliffe said, later comparing his opponent’s position on Covid-19 precautions, the economy and education to Trump’s.

Biden reminded the crowd that Virginia backed McAuliffe, who previously served as governor from 2014 to 2018, once before and then questioned whether they know Youngkin as well.

“How well do you know Terry’s opponent?” Biden said. “Just remember this: I ran against Donald Trump, and Terry is running against an acolyte of Donald Trump.”

The race to be Virginia’s next governor, one of two off-year gubernatorial elections, has become the most hotly contested and closely watched races in the country. Polls, including a recent Monmouth survey that had both candidates at 46%, have the race neck-and-neck.

Democratic turnout concerns

Democrats are worried that a series of high-stakes elections have left their base exhausted and unlikely to turn out in the same way they do during presidential elections, something Biden looked to address on Tuesday night.

“The Republican Party nationally stands for nothing. Not a joke. Nothing. Just look around. Just look around, what’s happening with the governor of Texas and Florida,” Biden said, adding later, “We can’t let that happen in Virginia.”

He added: “So Virginia, show up like you did for Barack and me. Show up like you did for me and Kamala.”

Obama implores Virginia Democrats to wake up ahead of governor's race

A string of Democratic surrogates have used Trump to attack Youngkin, including former President Barack Obama over the weekend, in hopes of motivating base voters to show up and vote.

The Biden visit comes at a critical moment for both his party and his agenda, with two major spending bills on the verge of either being passed through a Democratic-controlled Congress or bring sunk by infighting within his own party. Biden hopes to sign both a $1.2 trillion infrastructure proposal and a larger social spending bill in the coming days, ahead of leaving the country for a swing through Europe.

The uncertainty in Congress has loomed large over the race in Virginia, where early voting started weeks ago.

Democrats had hoped McAuliffe would be able to run on a successfully passed infrastructure package, but continual delays on Capitol Hill have made unlikely the prospect of a deal coming together and being passed before Election Day — which McAuliffe has used to lambast Congress.

“I say: Do your job,” McAuliffe said earlier in the month. “You got elected to Congress. We in the states are desperate for this infrastructure money. … We need help out here in the states, and people elected you to do your job.”

And while he has publicly argued the bill is more important for the people of Virginia than for his political fortunes, his aides and advisers have privately worried that gridlock in Washington could lead Democrats to despair about the state of their party and not turn out to vote. These concerns are particularly potent in the vote-rich Northern Virginia suburbs, where voters are more attuned to the machinations of Washington.

Why Virginia is the biggest test yet for whether Trump still motivates Democrats

If McAuliffe wins, Democrats will take the victory as validation that a state that has trended blue over the last decade still stands behind Biden’s agenda and against Republicans, even if Trump is not on the ballot.

History is not on Democrats’ side, however: Since the 1970s, the winner of Virginia’s off-year gubernatorial election has nearly always come from the party in opposition to the White House. The only exception was in 2013, when McAuliffe won his first gubernatorial term a year after then-President Barack Obama won reelection.

But even if McAuliffe wins a tight race, the result could spell warning signs for Democrats in Washington, given Biden’s 10-point victory there just last year and the fact that the party in power in the White House often loses seats in the subsequent midterms.

For Youngkin, a win would reverberate far beyond Virginia — where a Republican has not won statewide in 12 years — and deliver the GOP a jolt of momentum heading into 2022. And while each campaign is different and Youngkin, who came into the race as largely a blank slate with unlimited money, is a unique figure, a possible win would validate his strategy of leaning into Trump’s rhetoric at times while also distancing himself to instead focus on local issues like public education.

Biden at times looked gleeful on Tuesday as he went after Youngkin and Trump.

In an extended riff on extremism, the President also had some sartorial commentary about the Republican candidate, telling the audience that extremism can “come in a smile and a fleece vest,” a reference to what Youngkin often wears while campaigning.

Biden’s trip to Virginia was a short one — roughly four miles from the White House to Virginia Highlands Park. It’s a trend of the President, whose event for McAuliffe over the summer was just seven miles from the White House.

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Toni Morrison's 'Beloved' becomes latest flashpoint in Virginia gubernatorial race

Youngkin released an ad on Monday that features Laura Murphy, a Fairfax County mother and conservative activist, who spearheaded a campaign against “Beloved,” the 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The campaign began after Murphy claimed it gave her son, a high school senior at the time, nightmares. The ad fits into the Youngkin campaign’s broader strategy of seeking to pit McAuliffe against parents.

McAuliffe seized on the issue at his Tuesday night rally with President Joe Biden. “This is his closing message. Glenn Youngkin is promoting banning book by one of America’s most prominent Black authors. Just the fact he is even discussing this brings shame here to the commonwealth of Virginia.”

The Democrat had earlier responded to the ad by accusing his GOP opponent of trying to “double down on the same divisive culture wars that have fueled his campaign from the very beginning,” charging the strategy with being “a racist dog whistle” that looked to “to gin up support from the most extreme elements of his party.”

Youngkin, however, has been undeterred, and has continued to use parents’ involvement in public education as the centerpiece of his stump speech in the final weeks of the campaign ahead of Tuesday’s election.

“My fellow Virginians, this is our moment. Right now,” Youngkin told an audience in Henrico on Saturday, adding that “McAuliffe wants government to stand between parents and their children” and that parents across the country are calling and texting him to “stand up for our children too.”

“Beloved” is considered a seminal work of American fiction and centers on the story of Sethe, a former slave and a mother who kills her child to spare her from slavery. Morrison, whose work was recognized with a Nobel Prize for Literature among many other awards, writes of the horrors of slavery in “Beloved,” including rape and bestiality.

The Youngkin ad has set off the latest back and forth between his campaign and McAuliffe in what is shaping up to be the most closely watched election of the year. Polls have the race as a dead heat and top Democrats, including Biden and former President Barack Obama, have rallied to support McAuliffe.

This back-and-forth began after Youngkin jumped on McAuliffe saying at a debate last month that he was not going to “let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision” and that he didn’t think “parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” The comments came during a discussion about the role that parents should have in determining curriculum.

Since the comment, Youngkin has centered his campaign on the rights of parents, hoping to stir up anger at Democrats primarily in the suburbs, where voters fled Republicans in 2020.

Democrats have also gone after Murphy in response to the ad, noting that she is not an unbiased parent and has long given to and advocated for conservative causes.

Murphy began her fight against “Beloved” in 2013. Eventually, the effort reached the Republican-controlled Virginia General Assembly, which passed two iterations of a bill in 2016 and 2017 that would have given parents the right to stop their children from reading certain sexually explicit assignments. The bills were eventually vetoed by McAuliffe.

Murphy’s fight has turned her into a Republican activist. She and her husband have donated thousands to conservative campaigns and causes, including Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Youngkin’s campaign noted that the state bills Murphy advocated for were bipartisan and had the support of some members of Virginia’s Legislative Black Caucus.

“The bipartisan bills McAuliffe vetoed would simply have notified parents of sexually explicit reading assignments and given them the choice of having their own child receive an alternative,” the Youngkin campaign said in a statement.

On a call on Tuesday, Louise Lucas, the president pro tempore of the Virginia Senate, said she would hope that the Democrats who backed the bills had “learned the lesson over time” and regret backing them now.

Lucas also charged that Youngkin’s push wants to “turn us back to a time when the works and the progress of Black people will not be recognized.”

“Glenn Youngkin’s latest ad only further demonstrate his commitment to Trump’s dangerous agenda,” Richmond, Virginia, Mayor Levar Stoney said on the call. “Black Virginians know it when they see it and they know it when they hear it. To me, it is a racist dog whistle.”

On a competing call on Tuesday, Kay Cole James, former Fairfax County School Board member and president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, disputed the idea that the issue was “racial.”

“It shows to me sheer desperation at this point in the campaign to try to paint this that way. Don’t take your eye off the ball,” she said. “African American parents want to be involved in their children’s education just as much as anyone else.”

AC Cordoza, a Republican House of Delegates candidate in Hampton, Virginia, added: “This is absolutely ridiculous that Terry McAuliffe is attempting to frame this discussion around race and it has absolutely nothing to do with that.”

The parental grievances issue has become a focal point of Youngkin’s campaign in the closing weeks of the race. After the debate, his campaign launched a “Parents Matter” series of events, bringing out scores of people to rail against McAuliffe. Despite it not being taught in Virginia schools, the campaign has also focused on critical race theory, a concept that’s been around for decades and that seeks to understand and address inequality and racism in the United States.

Democrats have rejected these concerns, arguing they are nothing more than a political tactic to stoke grievance ahead of an election in order to turn out base Republican voters.

“I really get sick and tired of people like Glenn Youngkin and Donald Trump. They constantly are dividing people. They’re constantly turning people against one another,” McAuliffe said in an interview with CNN this month. “And why are we doing this to our students? All we want to do is give them a quality education.”

This story has been updated with McAuliffe’s remarks Tuesday night.

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January 6 committee plans to subpoena John Eastman

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Democrats fight back as Republicans target education in push for suburbs

Democrats are fighting back on public education, which has traditionally been a strong political issue for them. But they must defend their takeover of the suburbs to have any hope in next year’s midterm elections and, if it comes to it, prevent a comeback win by ex-President Donald Trump in 2024.

The issue of what America’s kids are taught exploded this week in Virginia with Democratic accusations that Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin was blowing a “racist dog whistle” after he ran a misleading ad featuring a mom’s concerns about a book her son was taught in school. The parent, it turns out, is a conservative activist and the book was Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Beloved,” which depicts the horrors of slavery.

“What bothers me daily is that Glenn Youngkin uses education to divide Virginia. He wants to pit parents against parents, parents against teachers. He wants to bring his personal culture wars into our classrooms,” said the former Democratic governor, who’s facing a neck-and-neck race complicated by Biden’s struggles to pass his sweeping agenda and declining approval ratings.

Education is not just a political issue. There are few areas as important and emotionally resonant to voters of all persuasions as the welfare and future of their kids. And senior Republicans believe that the pandemic — and the frustration felt by many parents over school closures for much of last year — means they can get a hearing from voters who might not always listen.

The emotional impact of schooling is evident in furious fights for and against mask wearing and mandates across the country. School board meetings have been interrupted by angry conservative parents who appear to regard themselves as the vanguards of a new political movement. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Republicans are expected to challenge Attorney General Merrick Garland on a memo in which he instructed the FBI to work with local and state law enforcement to respond to harassment and threats against school board officials. Conservatives have accused him of treating parents like “domestic terrorists.” (The memo makes no reference to domestic terrorism.)

Potential Republican presidential candidates, like Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida, have waded into issues like transgender kids participating in school sports and the way the history of racism is talked about in classrooms to seek credibility with pro-Trump voters. And Republicans now believe they are seeing evidence that parents of other political persuasions also feel schools are failing in the grips of political correctness.

“Our kids can’t wait,” Youngkin said at a recent rally in Burke, Virginia, after anchoring his hopes of a shock victory in a final argument centered in the culture war over education.

Biden makes his closing pitch in Virginia by unloading on Youngkin and comparing him to Trump

His controversial ad released Monday hits McAuliffe for vetoing a bill in a previous term as governor that would have forced schools to warn parents of such material — but Youngkin may have gone too far for some.

Democratic Virginia state Sen. L. Louise Lucas called Morrison a hero for African Americans — a key voting bloc in Virginia.

“Youngkin aligned himself with the people who wanted to stop the teaching of her book in our public schools. And people who want to ban books about slavery and racism,” Lucas said Tuesday, speaking on behalf of McAuliffe’s campaign.

Youngkin’s dance between Trump and moderates

Feuds over education encapsulate wider clashes — over race and the identity of America itself — that were exacerbated by the demagogic rise of Trump. They tap into a feeling often found among Republicans voters from outside liberal coastal cities that the country’s quintessential culture and history is threatened by a newly diverse population and fast-changing social mores. This brews a “take our country back” mentality that Trump constantly fuels.

The GOP has settled on a message that asks whether parents or bureaucrats and teachers, who are often seen as disproportionately liberal, should decide what is taught in schools. It begs the question of whether America’s kids should only learn subjects and ideas that sit well with their own parents’ politics and view of America’s tortured racial history. After all, education at some level, is supposed to involve learning new facts and perspectives that challenge preconceived ideas.

Virginia's gubernatorial election is more important than ever as a national barometer

Republican strategists believe that the home schooling that was forced on many parents during the pandemic opened their eyes to the kinds of material their children were using to learn about race and history. They also think that the charged atmosphere around school closures, masking and potentially vaccine mandates will play to their advantage in many congressional races next year.

“I think the pandemic exposed all of this and then we saw that the teachers unions control when schools are going to be open,” said Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee heading into the midterms. Teachers’ unions traditionally favor Democrats.

GOP leaders think their message on the issue will connect with their voters and others far beyond Virginia, possibly even spurring a surge in conservative parents running for school board seats that could boost Republicans higher up the ticket next year.

McAuliffe unintentionally amplified the GOP message in a remark in a debate last month that he says was taken out of context. “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they teach,” he said.

Youngkin, who is trying to dance between Trump’s extremism and more moderate voters who helped Biden win the state by 10 points only a year ago, pounced on the comment. He has also accused the progressive movement of inserting “political operatives into our school system disguised as school boards.” And he has seized on parental anxiety over a pair of alleged sexual assaults in two Loudoun County schools earlier this year — a county where Biden beat Trump by 25 points last year.

Republican candidates can ignore Trump -- but he won't go away

If Youngkin can use the issue to woo some independents and profit from Democratic apathy at the polls, he could cut McAuliffe’s vote by the margins he needs to pull off a victory that would rock Biden’s White House.

So far, the focus on education seems to be helping Youngkin. A Fox News poll last week found that he had moved into a tie on the question of which candidate was most trusted to deal with the issue. In a previous survey in September, he trailed on the issue by 4 points.

Youngkin on Tuesday welcomed the idea that he could be writing a blueprint for Republican campaigns next year.

“We hear from parents who email me and text me and call me and say, ‘stand up for our kids too,'” he told reporters. “It just goes to show that Virginians have a chance to do something in Virginia that’s going to have an effect on the whole country.”

Gender battles also rock schools

But Virginia is not the only frontline in the battle over race and gender in schools.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, more than 30 states have introduced legislation this year that would ban transgender student athletes from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. Advocates of such bills suggest that transgender girls are not biological girls and thus have a physical advantage in women’s sports. Trans advocates, however, argue such views are based on an inaccurate view of sexuality, gender and biology, and argue that the right to participate in sports like any other kid is a basic right and vital for mental health.

As recently as Monday in Texas, Abbott signed a bill restricting the right of trans kids to play on K-12 sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. The bill requires student athletes to compete on teams that align with the sex listed on their birth certificate. In June, DeSantis of Florida signed a bill that prevents transgender girls and women in public secondary school and colleges from competing on girls’ and women’s sports teams. Transgender advocates have pledged to challenge such laws in court.

Florida and Texas have also been at the forefront of efforts to ban the teaching of “Critical Race Theory,” which critics say is more about using race as a political wedge issue than an honest debate about US history. And both governors have feuded with school districts that wanted mask mandates.

CRT has become a dominant theme on conservative talk radio and TV, where it is often misrepresented. The concept has been around for decades and seeks to understand and address systemic inequality and racism in the US. But conservative critics claim CRT is a Marxist ideology and a threat to the American way of life. The extent to which CRT is used and taught is regularly blown out of all proportion — especially since it’s mostly been an academic discussion well beyond elementary school classrooms — and that’s especially true on conservative media, where it offers an electric connection direct to the Trump base.

While McAuliffe insists CRT is not part of the commonwealth’s education system, Youngkin’s pledge to ban it anyway is regularly the loudest applause line in his speeches. That helps explain why Republicans think they have a galvanizing opening into an issue that could catch fire next year in the suburbs.

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Garland will appear before Senate panel amid pressure on Nassar probe, Bannon and school boards memo

Garland’s appearance comes as the Justice Department weighs whether to prosecute Steve Bannon — a close ally of former President Donald Trump — after the House voted to hold him in contempt for not cooperating in its January 6 investigation.

In a scathing prepared opening statement obtained by CNN, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, will claim that President Joe Biden has “politicized” department decision-making in telling reporters the department should prosecute witnesses who defy subpoenas in the House probe. Biden said last week at a CNN town hall that he had been wrong to make that statement.

In addition to the House investigation, the Senate Judiciary Committee has undertaken its own review of how Trump sought to use the Justice Department in his efforts to overturn his 2020 electoral defeat. The Justice Department, in consultation with the White House, has allowed former officials at the department to participate in the investigation. Garland will likely tout at Wednesday’s hearing the federal investigation into the violent attack on the Capitol, which has led to the arrest of more than 600 individuals.

Republicans, for their part, have had their attention on non-January 6 issues. At a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Garland last week, the Republicans zeroed in on a controversial school board memo that instructed the FBI to take certain steps to work with local and state law enforcement responding to harassment and threats targeting school officials.

Republicans have equated the Justice Department’s approach with treating parents like “domestic terrorists” for protesting schools’ Covid protocols and methods of teaching about race in American history. (The memo makes no reference to domestic terrorism.) Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican and a member of the Judiciary panel, has called on Garland to resign over the memo.

According to his prepared remarks, Grassley will say, “The last thing the Justice Department and FBI need is a vague memo to unleash their power—especially when they’ve shown zero interest in holding their own accountable.”

McKayla Maroney: FBI made 'entirely false claims about what I said'
Republicans have sought to make the memo a prominent issue in the tight Virginia gubernatorial race, where Republican Glenn Youngkin released a campaign ad claiming that the FBI was trying to “silence parents.”
While Democrats have defended Garland’s memo, they have been less pleased with the department’s response to the FBI’s mishandling of the Nassar probe, with delays that allowed at least 70 gymnasts to be abused after the FBI first learned of the misconduct, according to a recent DOJ inspector general report.

The department has attracted bipartisan scorn for its decision not to prosecute two former FBI officials accused of making false statements in the fallout from the botched probe.

Additionally, Garland may face questions from Democrats about voting rights and the DOJ’s actions on police reform. Republicans, meanwhile, could grill Garland on the status of special counsel John Durham’s review of the launch of FBI’s Trump-Russia probe in 2016.

CNN’s Jeremy Herb contributed to this report.

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Sheriff says video shows hazing 'assault'

UPDATE: Sierra County Sheriff Glenn Hamilton held a news conference Tuesday to provide an update on the criminal investigation into an alleged hazing incident by five Hot Spring High School football players.

The sheriff said investigators uncovered Snapchat video of the staged incident in which four football players pinned a younger player down in the locker room while an 18-year-old player placed his unclothed genitalia and buttocks on top of the younger player’s face.

“We have to send a message that it will not be tolerated,” the sheriff told reporters as he indicated that the investigation has found there were prior incidents involving some of the same “assault” participants. The alleged perpetrators in all the cases were upperclassmen, while the victims were underclassmen, he added.

Hamilton said he is currently consulting with the district attorney to determine what charges will be filed. He noted the 18-year-old player could face an adult charge of criminals sexual contact with a minor, while the four other players involved in the hazing incident could face juvenile charges of false imprisonment.

The sheriff said it appeared the coaching staff had no knowledge or involvement in the alleged assault, although the head coach has resigned and the team’s last two games of the season were cancelled by school officials.

ORIGINAL REPORT: TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, New Mexico — As the Truth or Consequences Municipal Schools district investigates allegations of hazing that could result in criminal charges, the Hot Spring High School Tigers have had the remainder of their football season canceled.

“This was not just a prank,” Sierra County Sheriff Glenn Hamilton told ABC-7 on Monday. “This was not just a bunch of boys taking towels and popping each other around the locker room. This was an individual who was held down against his will.”

Hamilton said five football players pinned a sixth younger player down in the locker room on Oct. 19. He said an 18-year-old player placed his unclothed genitalia and buttocks on top of the younger player’s face.

“These were not schoolyard antics,” Hamilton said. “This was not something that should be dismissed as ‘boys will be boys.’”

But the father of the 18-year-old maintained to ABC-7 that his child did have clothes on at the time of the incident and was very critical of how the school district and sheriff’s office are handling the investigation.

“It’s very upsetting,” said Rudy Flores. “Oh, it’s very disturbing. Especially to know that his due process has been violated. It’s not right.”

No charges had been filed as of Monday, but the Sheriff’s Office scheduled press conference for Tuesday morning to discuss the case. In addition, the T or C school board met in executive session on Monday evening about the incident.

In a statement provided to ABC affiliate KOAT, school Superintendent Channell Segura said:

“The T or C Schools places its students’ safety and well-being as its highest priority. The District cannot comment on confidential student or staff matters, but will respond consistent with its policies and in the best interests of the students and community.”

The Sheriff’s Office has indicated it is “prepared to file any appropriate charges which may be warranted.”

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Vandals damage light pedestals

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Church spends day preparing meals for the hungry

Destiny Church In Joplin Packs Meals For The Hungry

JOPLIN, Mo. – It was anything but a lazy Sunday over at the Destiny Church in Joplin.

Church members spent their day putting together and packing up thousands of highly nutritious meals.

They say they were happy to answer the call of God to feed the hungry and are also pleased they’ll be helping out those in need of a good meal right here in the4-State area.

“So we had the opportunity to be able to partner with Kids Against Global Hunger. We are packaging up to 20,000 meals that are going to be staying right here in Joplin and getting distributed to families and different food banks. We’re going to be partnering with Fostering Hope with some of these meals, so we just get to give back in a very relevant and real way, and we’re very excited about it,” said Outreach Pastor Mikel Clark.

The meals also went to those in need over at Joplin’s Souls Harbor and Watered Gardens.

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Bar offering no alcohol opens

all of our drinks are made from scratch but without the alcohol in them unimpaired Iowa city feels just like a regular bar. Even in the afternoon, just off the corner of Clinton and East Burlington street, The usual space, the usual entertainment, live entertainment DJs. Um, you know all our craft cocktails, we can make anything that a normal bar can make anything without alcohol. It’s a personal mission for co founder Amber Haynes, I am four years sober myself. I don’t drink, I still like to go out and socialize. I still like to dance and sing karaoke believe it or not sober karaoke. So I just thought why couldn’t there be a place like this? Especially around to college so that we can be there for the 18 to 21 year old crowd. Haynes has always had an eye on expanding into Iowa city. She says they’re working with the University of Iowa to offer events like open mic nights or slam poetry giving college students a new option for a night out. I recently gone sober but I love working in restaurants definitely. I’ve never heard of anything like this before. I didn’t even know there was so many options that you could try or choose and still have a bar. Like feel Haynes says they aren’t opposed to alcohol but she wanted to create a social space where drinking, it didn’t have to be a factor. We just really want to be that space that people can come to where they can feel safe, There is no peer pressure involved here whatsoever. Everyone is just here to really socialize, have fun, let loose, hang out.

Bar offering no alcohol opens in Iowa

Unimpaired in Iowa City feels just like a regular bar, with all the classic components like cocktails, games, pizza, and karaoke.The only difference: There’s no alcohol involved.Just off the corner of S. Clinton and E. Burlington streets, this is Unimpaired’s second location in the state, KCRG reports. It first opened in Davenport last year. It’s a personal mission for co-founder Amber Haines.“I am four years sober; I don’t drink, I still like to go out and socialize. I still like to dance, and sing karaoke, believe it or not. Sober karaoke,” Haines said. “So, I just thought, why couldn’t there be a place like this? Especially around a college so we can be there for the 18- to 21-year-old crowd.” Haines said the goal is to offer a space where people can socialize and hang out, without any potential pressure to drink. She’s always had an eye on expanding into Iowa City. The establishment’s staff is working with the University of Iowa to offer events like open mic nights or slam poetry, focusing on giving college students a new option for a night out.“I definitely hadn’t heard of anything like this before, I didn’t even know there were so many options that you could try or choose and still have a bar-like feel,” Amanda O’Donnell, the general manager of the Iowa City location, said.O’Donnell said she was excited to be a part of a unique bar like this.Unimpaired is already hosting events like karaoke and trivia. It’s open 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. for Friday and Saturday.

Unimpaired in Iowa City feels just like a regular bar, with all the classic components like cocktails, games, pizza, and karaoke.

The only difference: There’s no alcohol involved.

Just off the corner of S. Clinton and E. Burlington streets, this is Unimpaired’s second location in the state, KCRG reports. It first opened in Davenport last year. It’s a personal mission for co-founder Amber Haines.

“I am four years sober; I don’t drink, I still like to go out and socialize. I still like to dance, and sing karaoke, believe it or not. Sober karaoke,” Haines said. “So, I just thought, why couldn’t there be a place like this? Especially around a college so we can be there for the 18- to 21-year-old crowd.”

Haines said the goal is to offer a space where people can socialize and hang out, without any potential pressure to drink. She’s always had an eye on expanding into Iowa City. The establishment’s staff is working with the University of Iowa to offer events like open mic nights or slam poetry, focusing on giving college students a new option for a night out.

“I definitely hadn’t heard of anything like this before, I didn’t even know there were so many options that you could try or choose and still have a bar-like feel,” Amanda O’Donnell, the general manager of the Iowa City location, said.

O’Donnell said she was excited to be a part of a unique bar like this.

Unimpaired is already hosting events like karaoke and trivia. It’s open 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. for Friday and Saturday.

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