US gas prices drop below $4 per gallon for the first time in five months
Months after gas prices reached all-time highs, U.S. drivers are feeling relief at the pump with the national average falling under $4 per gallon Thursday for the first time since June. The average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.99, according to AAA. While still more than what prices were last year at $3.18, it’s a major drop from when prices peaked at $5.01 on June 14. The average national gas price has continued to fall ever since that peak, dropping at least one cent daily for 38 consecutive days. AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross told USA TODAY three things have factored into falling prices: the cost of oil, less demand for gas and “a pretty good little band aid” in the Biden administration releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserve. As to whether the prices will continue to drop, there is no clear answer since numerous factors are at play, such as price of oil, demand, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, inflation and fears of a recession.
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Funeral set for GOP Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski
The funeral for Indiana Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski will be held Thursday in her home state, where she and three other people were killed in a head-on highway crash on Aug. 3. The funeral is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. ET at Granger Community Church in Mishawaka, Indiana. She will be buried at a cemetery in South Bend Thursday afternoon. The vehicle Walorski was riding in caused the crash that killed her, two staffers and the driver of another vehicle, according to an Indiana sheriff’s office. Walorski was first elected to represent northern Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District in 2012 and was seeking reelection this year in the solidly Republican district. Walorski’s husband, Dean Swihart, said in a statement Wednesday that he was “touched by the support and kindness” the family has received since her death. “Her loss leaves a massive void in our family, our community and in Congress,” Swihart said.
Georgia gubernatorial race heats up as Gov. Kemp is set to unfurl policy proposals
Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp will unfurl his first major policy proposals of his reelection bid Thursday, pledging another state income tax rebate and revival of a long-dormant state property tax break while contending with Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams. After Abrams argued that “miserly” Republicans are denying basic services and ignoring inequities in pursuit of low spending and tax cuts for the rich, Kemp took on Abrams as he celebrated record-high economic development numbers Wednesday. Abrams is seeking traction she narrowly trails Kemp in the polls in a crucial swing state. The challenger argues that not only Kemp’s fiscal policies but his support for abortion restrictions, loose gun laws and tighter controls on what’s taught in schools threaten the growth of a $683 billion state economy. Former President Donald Trump angrily targeted the incumbent Kemp during primary season. But Kemp shellacked the Trump-backed David Perdue and won with more than 70% of the vote earlier this year.
The Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight
What NASA calls “the best meteor shower of the year” – the Perseids – will peak Thursday night, according to the American Meteor Society. But stargazers could be disappointed: The moon will be full, which can spoil the show because of its brilliant light. The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. The meteors are actually tiny dust and particles from the tail of the comet as it orbits the sun. The next full moon will rise in the evening sky Thursday, and it will be both a “sturgeon moon” and a “supermoon.” The moon reaches peak illumination at 9:36 p.m. No special equipment is needed to enjoy the spectacle, just a dark sky and some patience, both of which could be in short supply this year because of the full moon.
Major League Baseball is coming back to the Field of Dreams
The Cincinnati Reds will face the Chicago Cubs Thursday night (7:15 p.m. ET, FOX) in a throwback ballpark in the cornfields of Dyersville, Iowa, a short walk from the field where Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Amy Madigan filmed the famous 1989 baseball movie, “Field of Dreams.” The game comes about 2 1/2 months after Liotta, who played the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson, died at the age of 67. Each team will wear special uniforms inspired by how the franchises looked in the early 20th century, and Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto and Chicago outfielder Ian Happ will be on two-way mics for the broadcast. It’s the second go-round for Major League Baseball at the site in Dyersville — population of about 4,400 — after the Chicago White Sox defeated the New York Yankees in a thrilling first MLB game in Iowa. The game, however, will not return in 2023 as owner Frank Thomas said construction on a youth complex at the site will begin later this year.
Contributing: The Associated Press