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Exclusive Autosport enters Pro Mazda with Red Deer’s Parker Thompson

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SASKATOON, SK (February 2, 2018) – The impressive pairing of Exclusive Autosport and Parker Thompson has delivered much success over the past three years, locking wins in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, the F1600 Super Series, the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship in Ontario and the Formula Tour 1600 series in Quebec.  Thompson drove to major home country wins for Exclusive Autosport in both Montreal and Toronto in 2017, and this year, he will aim to extend this streak into the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Exclusive Autosport has signed the 19-year-old Canadian to lead their rookie charge into the series, which is the second rung of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.  Exclusive Autosport debuted in the USF2000 series in 2017 and promptly won three races enroute to third in the Drivers’ Championship.  With teams in F1600 and USF2000, Pro Mazda is the logical progression in their expansion and development and Thompson represents the first of two driver announcements for this level of their program.

“We are thrilled to welcome Parker back to the Exclusive Autosport program for 2018,” commented Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “I couldn’t think of a better driver to make our debut in Pro Mazda Championship with. He is an incredibly well rounded athlete and a fan favourite. I have said it before, Parker’s work ethic on and off the track is second to none.”

Whether it’s training at the gym, working on his marketing campaign or continuing his development as a driver, he invests so much of himself into his racing program/career. Although we feel we have some unfinished business (coming up short in the USF2000 driver championship in 2017), we made huge strides last year and it is such a positive that we get to build on that success and momentum from 2017. With the addition of Tim Lewis (as our lead engineer on the PM program), we have added more depth to the Exclusive Autosport Pro Mazda operation. I am confident that we will see Exclusive Autosport and Parker Thompson back in the winner circle in 2018.”

Exclusive Autosport made their USF2000 debut in 2017 after many successful seasons in both Canadian and American F1600 series, and they notched their first wins last July, sweeping the street race weekend in Toronto. Thompson provided their third win of the season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course just two weeks later enroute to third in the overall championship standings. He also led the squad to fourth in the USF2000 Team Championship, the highest finishing rookie team.  Thompson also ran with the operation’s Formula 1600 program last year, winning the F1600 Super Series on the strength of seven wins in 11 races, which included victories during the F1 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal and at the famed Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (aka Mosport) in Bowmanville, Ontario.

Earlier in January, Duncalfe announced his hiring of veteran race engineer Tim Lewis to manage the engineering staff of the Exclusive Autosport Pro Mazda effort.  Testing has gone extremely well with Lewis and Thompson having already developed a very strong working relationship.  The team is planning to run a pair of cars in the Pro Mazda Championship and hopes to be able to announce its second driver by the end of February.

“I am extremely proud to have the opportunity to continue working with Michael Duncalfe and the Exclusive Autosport family,” Thompson enthused.

“We have all enjoyed some immense success together over the last few years, and I look forward to bringing our momentum from 2017 into the 2018 Pro Mazda Championship. It’s an honor to lead EA’s charge into the Pro Mazda category, and I can’t wait to pick up where we left off last year in USF2000. It’s not often when a driver has the opportunity to work with the same group of guys in back-to-back years, and I want to capitalize on this relationship. Getting to work with a veteran engineer like Tim Lewis and crew chief Jay Green developing this new Pro Mazda is going to be game changer. Anything but a championship this year will not be acceptable. Thank you to all of my partners, and Exclusive Autosport for making this all possible and believing in my abilities. I look forward to proving that they made a good decision in 2018.”

Thompson is pleased to have Badlands Motorsports Resort joining his group of marketing partners for 2018; a list that includes valued associates like Wheelhouse Media, Openhwy, TriQuest NDT, Todayville, Sparco, and Bell Helmets.

“When not behind the wheel, Parker is an active member our community, and a strong advocate for responsible road driving habits, crusading across Canada with his teen focused program ‘Drive to Stay Alive’,” commented Jay Zelazo, the CEO of Badlands Motorsport Resort. “Driving for the Saskatoon-based Exclusive Autosport team, Parker epitomizes the spirit of Canadian Prairies, and demonstrates many of the values held in high regard by Badlands Motorsports Resort. We are excited to continue our relationship with this up-and-coming Canadian race car driver as the development of our world-class motorsports facility and tourism resort progresses.”

With the opening round of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires just over six weeks away, at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida on March 9-11, pre-season testing will continue.  In addition to their pair of Pro Mazda cars, Exclusive Autosport is also planning to run at least three cars in the USF2000 program this year, and will announce their first driver next week.

About Exclusive Autosport:

Exclusive Autosport (EA) is a professional racing team dedicated to the success of its drivers in open wheel formula car competition in North America.  EA operate teams in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in the United States and the Formula Tour 1600 series in Canada.  Exclusive’s drivers have secured numerous race wins, podium finishes and pole positions, as well as Rookie of the Year championships, a Team USA Scholarship and nominations for Team Canada F1600. Exclusive’s drivers are on the podium in over 80% of the races they enter.  Exclusive Management Inc., the team’s parent company, has enjoyed great success in both open wheel and sports car racing and has worked with standout drivers like Thomas McGregor, Jack Mitchell Jr., Shelby Blackstock, Gregory Liefooghe, Jayson Clunie, David Levine and Trenton Estep.  EM Inc. drivers are highly sought after in the motorsports industry.

Todayville is proud to sponsor Parker Thompson Racing.

 

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Cheatle resigned after two articles of impeachment were filed against her

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U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, R-South Carolina

From The Center Square

Two articles of impeachment were filed against U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle just before she resigned Tuesday over security failures at the Pennsylvania campaign event where former President Donald Trump was shot.

A Florida congresswoman asked for criminal charges to be brought against her, and two Republicans, Greg Steube, R-Florida, and Nancy Mace, R-South Carolina, took actions for her to be impeached.

After she resigned, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, said Cheatle “will not get to slither away and enjoy retirement.” She still needed to be investigated for her “role in the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump. There may be criminal charges coming in the future. I think she showed up to the Oversight Committee, refused to answer our questions, did not bring any of the information that we asked her to bring in subpoenaed, she came in and participated in a full cover up and then resigned … that speaks a message loud and clear.”

If Cheatle hadn’t resigned, she might have been the second cabinet member to be impeached by the House after her boss, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Mayorkas was impeached on two counts in February for his role in creating the border crisis. Multiple Congress members and others have called for Mayorkas to resign following the July 13 assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump.

Greene also said Cheatle and Mayorkas “will face accountability for actions, including possible criminal investigations.”

Although Cheatle was an appointed officer, impeachment could still be possible. One presidential cabinet member was impeached after resigning, Secretary of War William Belknap, over corruption charges in 1876. The Senate said he was eligible to be impeached and tried even though he resigned, according to the Congressional Research Service. He was later acquitted.

“The Secret Service calls themselves ‘one of the most elite law enforcement agencies in the world,’” Steube said. “What happened under their watch in Butler, Pennsylvania, was an international embarrassment and an inexcusable tragedy.”

On Monday, he filed one article of impeachment against Cheatle “for her dereliction of duty as it relates to the assassination attempt on President Trump’s life.”

The article states Cheatle “has negligently failed to uphold the agency’s mission and statutory charge to ‘ensure the safety and security’ of ‘protectees, key locations, and events of national significance.’”

It describes a range of security failures and conflicting statements Cheatle made to media outlets. It also addresses her action to shift the focus of the Secret Service from “solely providing the best protection services possible for protectees to meet arbitrarily set diversity hiring quotas.”

Mace also filed a privileged motion, requiring the House to vote on impeaching Cheatle within 48 hours. By the time she resigned, she had 24 hours left.

“This is an unprecedented resolution – never in American history has the House voted to impeach what is called an ‘inferior officer,’ or an appointed member of the administration who is not subject to Senate confirmation,” Mace said in a statement.

Cheatle’s “gross dereliction of duty since July 13th led to an unprecedented security breach and a preventable tragedy,” Mace said after an “absolutely egregious” performance at Monday’s Congressional hearing, where Cheatle testified. “She failed to provide us with answers. She failed to tell us a timeline. She failed in every way imaginable. As a result, her failure not only cost the life of someone, but also undermined the trust and confidence placed in the Secret Service by the American people. After today’s hearing – with the extreme lack of transparency and accountability, this impeachment resolution is a necessary step to hold her accountable for her actions.”

After several hours of committee members expressing frustration over Cheatle not answering questions, Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Kentucky, told her, “You answered more questions with an ABC News reporter than you have with members of Congress. You’re here with a subpoena and we expect you to answer the questions.”

Mace then hammered Cheatle with a series of yes or no questions. She first gave Cheatle the opportunity to use her five minutes to draft her resignation letter; Cheatle declined.

She asked if the Secret Service had “been transparent with this committee?” to which Cheatle replied, “yes.” Mace then asked if “the fact that we had to issue a subpoena to get you to show up today” was transparent and Cheatle attempted to answer but Mace cut her off saying, “no, we had to issue a subpoena to get you to show up today.”

In response to Cheatle stating earlier that the Secret Service wasn’t political, Mace asked her how her opening statement was leaked to three media outlets several hours before the hearing. Cheatle said, “I have no idea how my statement got out.” Mace replied, “well that’s bull****.”

She also asked Cheatle if the Secret Service was fully cooperating with the committee; Cheatle replied, “yes.” Mace said the committee sent her a list of demands for information on July 15 and still hadn’t received answers. Each time Mace asked a question, Cheatle replied, “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” to which Mace replied, “that is a no.”

“You’re just being completely dishonest,” Mace said. “You are being dishonest or lying. These are important questions that the American people want answers to and you’re just dodging … we had to subpoena you to be here and you won’t even answer the questions. We’ve asked you repeatedly to answer our questions. These are not hard questions.”

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International

Texas judges issue additional rulings blocking Title IX revisions

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

From The Center Square

Rule change blocked in 15 states

Two federal judges have ruled in favor of Texas and Texas plaintiffs in separate lawsuits filed to block a Biden administration Title IX rule change from going into effect.

Texas is now the 15th state where the revisions are blocked from going into effect ahead of an Aug. 1 deadline.

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Amarillo Division on Friday granted the state’s request in a lawsuit filed by the state and two University of Texas at Austin professors. Kacsmaryk enjoined the U.S. Department of Education from “implementing, enacting, enforcing, or taking any action any manner to enforce” a new rule that revised Title IX pending the resolution of the case.

“The Final Rule inverts the text, history and tradition of Title IX: the statute protects women in spaces historically reserved to men; the Final Rule inserts men into spaces reserved to women,” Kacsmaryk said in his 32-page ruling.

In response, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, said, “Texas has successfully blocked Biden’s Department of Education from destroying Title IX protections for women and forcing radical ‘transgender’ ideology on Texas schools. Biden’s rule would have forced our schools to accommodate biological men on women’s sports teams and in female bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms, and required students and teachers to use incorrect pronouns. A federal judge has halted Biden’s rule pending a final ruling. It’s an honor to defend our State from Biden’s unlawful subversion of Title IX.”

Also on Friday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued a preliminary injunction against the rule in favor of Carroll Independent School District. In May, the district’s board of trustees, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, passed a resolution denouncing the Title IX changes and sued asking the court to block it from going into effect.

Also in May, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott instructed the Texas Education Agency and Texas colleges and universities not to comply with the changes, The Center Square reported. In the last two legislative sessions, Abbott signed bills into law to strengthen student safety and “protect the integrity of women’s sports by prohibiting men from competing against female athletes.” Abbott said, “I will not let President Biden erase the advancements Texas has made.”

Judge O’Connor said in his ruling, “The compliance costs also go beyond monetary harm given the potential to infringe on constitutional rights. Privileging gender identity over biological sex is in no way authorized by the statutory text. And the consequences based on this statutory distortion appear limitless. For these reasons, and those stated by other federal courts, Carroll ISD is likely to succeed on the merits of their challenge to the final rule.”

The rulings were issued after O’Connor in June vacated a guidance issued by the DOE and the Department of Justice requiring schools to implement similar policies to the rule change before it was finalized. He also issued a permanent injunction against its enforcement in Texas, The Center Square reported.

Texas sued in June 2023 over the agencies’ mandates; the agencies are responsible for administering and enforcing Title IX.

At issue is Title IX, part of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The law was enacted at a time when women and girls had limited athletic opportunities. Despite widespread opposition, including from women’s groups, the Biden administration began amending Title IX through several methods, arguing doing so would “advance educational equity and opportunity for women and girls across the country.”

It’s guidances and rule changes redefine biological sex to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

In response, 18 AGs argued the changes “demolished” women’s and girls’ rights, “making a mockery of Title IX’s fundamental organization principle – basic biology.”

After the Biden administration finalized the rule, multiple states sued. Texas sued on its own. Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Idaho filed a lawsuit. Alaska, Kansas, Utah and Wyoming filed another. Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia filed a separate lawsuit. Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina filed another.

So far, federal judges have ruled against the Biden administration.

In June, Louisiana, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty was the first to rule against the administration, blocking the administration’s changes from going into effect in Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Idaho.

O’Connor also ruled against the agency Title IX mandates in June.

In Kansas, U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves blocked the rule change from going into effect in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Then in July, in Kansas, District Judge John Broomes ruled against the administration, blocking the changes from going into effect in Alaska, Kansas, Utah and Wyoming. And Judge Kacsmaryk blocked the rule from going into effect in Texas.

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