(TNS)

Tribune News Service

News Budget for Friday, February 14, 2020

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Updated at 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC).

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Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.

^TOP STORIES<

^Flush with cash and confident after impeachment, Trump campaign revs up the road show<

TRUMP-CAMPAIGN:LA — Four years after his hostile takeover of the White House, President Donald Trump's second campaign bears little resemblance to the first — he's flush with cash, buoyed by an uptick in poll numbers, and brimming with confidence after surviving investigations, an impeachment and myriad controversies that have helped unite once-wary Republicans behind him.

Unlike his slapdash, anything goes 2016 campaign, Trump now can rely on a massive, professionalized apparatus that has helped raise more than $200 million, deployed eager surrogates to early primary states, and built an extensive field operation and advertising network months before Democrats are likely to choose their nominee.

He also has found new ways to break political taboos, seeking to overshadow Democratic candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire just before they held their nominating contests and playing with voters' already frazzled nerves.

1350 (with trims) by Eli Stokols in Washington. MOVED

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^POLITICS<

^Sanders as front-runner raises Democratic jitters in Congress<

SANDERS-CONGRESS:BLO — The muddled Democratic presidential contest is raising jitters among some in the party that their House majority and chances of taking the Senate could be at risk in 2020.

The rise of Bernie Sanders to the top after the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucuses, and him supplanting former Vice President Joe Biden as front-runner in national polls, has particularly unsettled some of the Democrats running in heavily Republican areas.

They say the Vermont senator's embrace of what he calls democratic socialism and promise of a "Medicare for all" system to replace private insurance will motivate President Donald Trump's voters and turn off the moderates they need to win reelection.

1050 (with trims) by Billy House, Erik Wasson and Laura Litvan in Washington. MOVED

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^Amy Klobuchar's mission in Nevada: 'I have to get people to know me'<

KLOBUCHAR:LA — Amy Klobuchar wants to hire you. How soon can you start?

As the senator and presidential hopeful enjoys an image bounce from her surprise third-place finish in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, she is pouring staff and cash into Nevada, where she faces a daunting challenge to replicate her success in the Granite State.

Her success has come so suddenly that her campaign appears to be somewhat unprepared for the next nominating contest in Nevada, if Klobuchar's unusual public call for new hires on Thursday is any indication.

700 by Matt Pearce in North Las Vegas, Nev. MOVED

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^Ideology and race could shape primaries in newly blue North Carolina districts<

^NCAROLINA-PRIMARIES:CON—< Democrats are almost guaranteed to pick up two House seats in North Carolina this year, which means that the upcoming primaries will go a long way toward determining who comes to Congress.

In both the newly redrawn 2nd District, which is based in Raleigh, and the redrawn 6th District, which is rooted in Greensboro, Democrats have a good chance of nominating women with strong liberal backing. But the primaries in each district have raised questions about identity politics and ideology and who should represent what are now safe Democratic seats.

In both of those districts, white women who have run recent races in competitive territory have a strong financial advantage over black female candidates who support Medicare for All. And while money isn't everything, especially where candidates have local connections, that's given them a leg up in communicating their message on a tight timeline. The district maps were set in December, and the primary is on March 3.

1400 (with trims) by Simone Pathe in Washington. MOVED

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^UNITED STATES <

^Unfair press for the pangolin? Experts fear possible coronavirus links may further threaten this at-risk animal<

CORONAVIRUS-PANGOLIN:TB — Animal enthusiasts across the globe on Saturday will celebrate the ninth annual World Pangolin Day, designated to help protect what is believed to be the most illegally trafficked mammal on Earth.

Yet the festivities come in the wake of some bad press for this already at-risk animal. While research isn't at all conclusive, some scientists in China have preliminarily named the highly poached pangolin as the possible transmitter of coronavirus to humans, potentially linking the rare and enigmatic creature to a public health epidemic that has killed more than a thousand globally and sickened 15 in the United States as of Thursday.

1000 by Angie Leventis Lourgos in Chicago. MOVED

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^Coronavirus fears expose cultural divide over masks in California's San Gabriel Valley<

CORONAVIRUS-MASKS-CULTURE:LA — Marta Ayala and Chong Taing, both residents of Rosemead, Calif., couldn't see the threat of the coronavirus more differently. You can see it on their faces.

While walking out of Superior Grocers supermarket in El Monte, Ayala's face scrunched in annoyance as she spotted an Asian customer wearing a white medical mask coming from the opposite direction. Despite hearing about the fast-spreading illness, to the 64-year-old Mexican immigrant, the mask is an overreaction that just stokes alarm.

"I don't believe in using masks and I don't understand the need," she said. "I know there's a serious disease out there, but who has time to think about that?"

For the 39-year-old Taing, who wears a mask, the item makes as much sense as wearing long-sleeve shirts or sunglasses to protect from the sun.

1100 by Andrew J. Campa in Los Angeles.

^'I'm forever grateful': Teen who fled Honduras amid alleged gang threats is released from federal custody to suburban family amid fight for asylum<

TEEN-IMMIGRANT-RELEASED:TB — After about five months in federal immigration detention, a teenager who had settled in Crystal Lake after escaping alleged gang death threats in her native Honduras was released from custody on bond Thursday as she continues to seek asylum in the U.S.

"I didn't think I was ever getting out. I'm forever grateful," Meydi Guzman Rivas, the Crystal Lake Central High School student, said in Spanish. "It was hard, I was not ready for this. I didn't think this would happen to me."

Holding a bouquet of red and purple flowers, Guzman Rivas embraced school counselor Sara Huser outside of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in the South Loop. Both women spoke through muffled tears.

650 by Jessica Villagomez and Amanda Marrazzo in Chicago. MOVED

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^NEWS BRIEFS<

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NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.

Moving later

^TOP WEEKEND STORIES<

^It's words, not bullets, for the 'bear whisperer' of the Eastern Sierra<

BEAR-WHISPERER:LA — Steve Searles is not really a cop, not really a civilian; he lives in limbo between those two worlds.

And, man, does he live. Think of him as the Serpico of the Sierra, a little snarly and gruff and frayed around the edges — a ponytailed ex-surfer turned mountain man. A bit of a hillbilly intellectual without much formal schooling.

There are lots of contradictions to this 60-year-old wildlife officer, lots of ironies and surprising qualities that make him more than another town character.

Searles has carved out a niche and a career as Mammoth Lakes' "bear whisperer," a protector of the wild things that roam the night: the ubiquitous bears, deer, coyotes and all manner of high-country cat. He protects the residents and the 2.5 million annual visitors too, though they have the numerical advantage. They also have guns and cars warm beds and cozy, muffin-scented kitchens.

The wildlife sense this. They want decent food and cozy cabins too. Sometimes, they help themselves.

2600 by Chris Erskine in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. MOVED

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^What it's like to be a Democrat in Trump Country<

PA-TRUMPCOUNTRY-DEMOCRATS:PH — His name appears on the bumpers of trucks parked outside the dollar store, and on political signs spiked into the snow where the grass meets gravel roads. On a large mural outside a dog-grooming business, President Donald Trump flashes a 6-foot smile.

Fulton County is Trump Country. In the 2016 election, he received 84% of the vote, making it the "reddest" of Pennsylvania's 67 counties. And it has only gotten redder — except for Michael Purnell.

Purnell, 57, was a lifelong Republican who grew up and worked on a dairy farm in nearby Wells Tannery. His family had always been conservative, he said. He watched the 2016 election unfold as many others did elsewhere in the country: He couldn't fathom Trump winning the GOP nomination, let alone the presidency.

When Trump won, Purnell became a Democrat.

1150 (with trims) by Jason Nark in McConnellsburg, Pa. MOVED

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