Florida's costs for protecting Gov. Ron DeSantis rise as he became GOP presidential hopeful
The cost of protecting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his family and visiting officials has significantly risen from $6.1 million to $9.9 million as the Republican presidential hopeful embarked on an aggressive travel schedule to outflank former President Donald Trump in the GOP primary.
Trump plans Iowa State Fair stop, though he won't attend candidate chat with GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds
Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the Iowa State Fair Saturday, the time-honored rite of presidential candidates working for support in the state’s leadoff nominating caucuses next January.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds embraces role as a key player in Republican presidential race
When Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds seized the spotlight from a half dozen Republican presidential contenders on Friday by signing a restrictive abortion measure into law at an event meant to showcase the candidates, she embraced her front-and-center role in the 2024 presidential election.
Democrat Finkenauer knocked off US Senate primary ballot
A state court judge has concluded that Democrat Abby Finkenauer cannot appear on the June 7 primary ballot for U.S. Senate because she didn’t gather enough petition signatures, knocking off the candidate considered by many to be the party’s best chance to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley.
Iowa governor signs restrictive transgender sports bill
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed into law a bill that prohibits transgender females from participating in girls high school sports and women’s college athletics, rejecting opponents' argument that she would harm vulnerable children to solve a nonexistent problem.
Black Democratic chair gets lynching threat over Trump essay
The first Black chair of Iowa’s Democratic Party says he received a series of racist messages, including a lynching threat, after writing a newspaper op-ed criticizing former President Donald Trump and the state Republican officials who stood with him at a recent rally in Des Moines.
Local school boards emerge as hot races in November election
Races for local school board seats have emerged as intense political battlegrounds in the upcoming Nov. 2 elections across the U.S. Parental protests that started during COVID-19 lockdowns are evolving into full-fledged board takeover campaigns.
Election officials face fines, charges in GOP voting laws
The county officials who run elections are facing a slate of new punishments as part of a nationwide Republican campaign to roll back access to the ballot, months after many hailed them as heroes for the creative ways they expanded voting access last year during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Latest: 6 more COVID cases found in local China outbreak
Ad___JOHNSTON, Iowa — Facing an uptick in new coronavirus cases and a hesitancy among a significant portion of the population to get the vaccine Iowa Gov. State health data shows 555 new positive cases in the past 24 hours and no additional deaths reported. Illinois Department of Public Health officials on Tuesday reported 2,404 coronavirus cases, including 17 more deaths. State health officials say 43% of people have received at least one dose of a vaccine and about 65% are fully vaccinated. ___ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s number of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 39,302, a record high for a second straight day.
GOP lawmakers seek greater control over local elections
In addition to their nationwide efforts to restrict voting access, Republican lawmakers in some key states are seeking greater control over the local mechanics of elections, from voter registration to certifying results. In addition to their nationwide efforts to limit access to the ballot, Republican lawmakers in some states are moving to gain greater control over the local mechanics of elections, from voter registration all the way to certifying results. Brian Kemp signed a bill Thursday to give the GOP-dominated Legislature greater influence over a state board that regulates elections and empowers it to remove local election officials deemed to be underperforming. A South Carolina proposal would give lawmakers new oversight of the members appointed to the currently independent State Election Commission. The board could then remove local election officials and replace them.
EXPLAINER: Varying views on how to keep accurate voter rolls
Maintaining accurate voter rolls is a bipartisan concern, but there is little agreement on the best way to do it. Republicans say Democrats are too lax, resulting in bloated voter rolls that undermine confidence and invite fraud. Here is an explanation of how voter rolls are maintained, how states do it differently and the conflicts over this year’s legislative proposals. WHAT ARE VOTER ROLLS AND HOW ARE THEY MAINTAINED? In 2016, New York City’s Board of Elections improperly removed more than 200,000 names from the voter rolls.
Police: Inmates killed 2 Iowa prison staff in escape attempt
Inmates Woodard and Michael Dutcher used hammers to attack prison staff members during a failed attempt to escape an Iowa prison, killing a nurse and correctional officer, kidnapping a third employee and severely injuring an inmate who intervened, authorities said Wednesday, March 24, 2021. (Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation via AP)IOWA CITY, Iowa – Inmates used hammers to attack staff members during a failed attempt to escape an Iowa prison, killing a nurse and a correctional officer, kidnapping a third employee and severely injuring an inmate who intervened, authorities said Wednesday. Schulte was also beaten with a hammer when she, like McFarland, intervened to stop their escape, Rahn said. AdAFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan, whose union represents Iowa prison workers, said he was mourning the loss of two dedicated and experienced public servants. Schulte had worked at the prison since 2007 and previously worked at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.
EXPLAINER: How states are seeking to loosen controls on guns
States led by Democrats are pushing to expand some gun control laws. AdMaryland lawmakers overrode a veto from Republican Gov. AdALLOWING GUNS IN MORE PLACESSeveral states are expanding where people can take their guns. But 15 states already have laws allowing permitless carry for concealed guns. A similar “Stand Your Ground” measure has been approved by the South Dakota Legislature and is awaiting Republican Gov.
Crowded bars: March Madness or just plain madness?
The NCAA Tournament and bars were made for each other, with fans of powerhouse teams like Gonzaga and longshots like Colgate pouring in to cheer their teams. This year, the tournaments back, and bars and restaurants, some shuttered for months, are open for March Madness, though things may look a little different. This year, the tournament’s back, and bars and restaurants, some shuttered for months, are open for March Madness, though things may look a little different. As for those who choose to watch at bars or restaurants, their experiences will vary depending on their location. AdIn Chicago, city inspectors cite bars and restaurants that violate strict capacity rules.
The Latest: All Duke University undergrads must quarantine
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University issued a quarantine order for all of its undergraduates effective Saturday night due to a coronavirus outbreak caused by students who attended recruitment parties, the school said. The university said in a statement that all undergraduate students will be forced to stay-in-place until at least March 21. Suspension or dismissal from the school are potential punishments for “flagrant or repeat violators.”Over the past week, the school has reported more than 180 positive coronavirus cases among students. AdItaly has now tallied some 3.2 million cases in the pandemic. The COVAX alliance aims to share COVID-19 vaccines with more than 90 lower and middle-income nations.
As GOP makes it harder to vote, few Republicans dissent
Geoff Duncan left the room as Senate Republicans approved a bill to block early voting for all but the GOP's most reliable voting bloc. This is what amounts to dissent as Republican lawmakers push a wave of legislation through statehouses across the nation to make voting more difficult. Instead of being a day of celebration, he said, there was a sense that the civil rights movement was sliding backward because of the Republican voting proposals. During Monday's Senate vote, several Republicans who represent competitive metro Atlanta districts didn’t vote, including Sen. Brian Strickland. He had tried to amend the bill in committee to remove provisions scrapping no-excuse absentee voting but was unable to muster enough support.
Iowa governor signs GOP-forced voting changes bill into law
Iowa Democrats are beginning to consider changes to their get-out-the-vote plans under the assumption that Reynolds will sign into law a Republican-backed bill that makes it harder to vote early, potentially eroding a key aspect of Democratic campaigns. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday signed into law a Republican-backed bill that makes it harder to vote early, potentially eroding a key aspect of Democratic campaigns. AdDemocrats said they’re examining their reliance on early voting. The law shortens the early voting period to 20 days from the current 29, just three years after Republicans reduced the period from 40 days.
The Latest: Governor extends Oregon's state of emergency
Kate Brown on Thursday extended Oregon’s declaration of a state of emergency until May 2 as confirmed COVID-19 cases drop but hundreds of new cases continue to be reported daily. The Oregon Health Authority on Thursday reported 553 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the state total to 154,554. ___MISSOURI __ Missouri teachers and child care providers will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in mid-March, Gov. The nation of 10.7 million had almost 1.2 million cases with 19,835 deaths. AdLast week the Democratic governor announced that at least 10% of the state’s vaccine supply would go to education workers.
School voucher push taps frustration over distance learning
Rivera is hoping a voucher bill passes that will help pay for her to move her son out of a public Cobb County school and into a private school. They're back in public school and mostly attending class in person. “We’ve been just a public school family forever, without any intention or desire to leave," Rivera said. “The major concern I’ve had over the last year has been from parents who don’t have a public school offering in-person classes,” Cantrell said. Rivera herself wonders about the tension between her desires to support her kids and support public schools.
EPA changes stand, sides with ethanol industry in court case
The federal government announced Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, that it will support the ethanol industry in a lawsuit over biofuel waivers granted to oil refineries under President Donald Trump's administration. The Environmental Protection Agency said it is reversing course and will support a January 2020 decision by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit filed by the Renewable Fuels Association and farm groups. Refineries can seek waivers if they can show that meeting the ethanol quotas would create a financial hardship for their companies. The appeals court concluded the EPA improperly granted exemptions to refineries that didn’t qualify.
Iowa governor auctioned off access for pork barons' charity
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa Gov. AdThe records show Reynolds has supported policies Iowa Select has sought, made several appearances for the corporation and its charity, and routinely spoken with Jeff Hansen. Ad“From the top of the gold dome to the Governor’s office, you’ll be treated to a tour unlike any other!” it said. Weeks after he won the auction, Reynolds was a keynote speaker at Lynch's annual charity banquet in Decorah. Iowa Select spokeswoman Jen Sorenson said the company feels “an important responsibility” to educate elected officials on Iowa's multibillion-dollar animal agriculture industry, saying it leads to better policy.
The Latest: LA County says medical center broke virus rules
The Supreme Court is telling California it cant enforce a ban on indoor church services because of the coronavirus pandemic. The celebration is on hold until next year as Rio struggles with a rise in coronavirus cases. ___OKLAHOMA CITY — The number of reported coronavirus cases in Oklahoma has surpassed 400,000. Health officials are urging football fans to forego Super Bowl gatherings with members outside of their own households. France has registered 3.5 million confirmed cases and more than 78,700 confirmed deaths.
The Latest: Sri Lankan officials say vaccinations advancing
FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2021, file photo, Sri Lankan nursing staff administer COVID-19 vaccines to front-line health workers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Reynolds issued the earlier restrictions in November when hospitals were struggling to care for a surge of coronavirus patients. Officials say it could help up to four COVID-19 patients. ___LISBON, Portugal — Portugal has set a new daily record for COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care with 904 patients on Friday. AdThe Austrian government offered to take in five COVID-19 patients and five non-COVID patients to relieve Portuguese hospitals.
States holding key vaccine discussions in closed meetings
AdThe federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that states “promote transparency” as one of four ethical principles in vaccine allocation programs. When Texas’ vaccine panel met last month, the subject of equity surfaced. “Because these are internal, advisory working groups, their meetings are not public,” a Pennsylvania spokesman said of the state's three vaccine committees. Larry Hogan said state health officials make vaccine allocation decisions based on federal guidelines, but he would not identify those officials. Missouri opened its advisory committee meetings last month, only after media outlets questioned why several prior meetings had been held behind closed doors without any public notice.
Pressure builds on schools to reopen during pandemic
The school has had some students in classrooms for in-person learning since September of 2020, but other students who attend the school are still learning remotely. In Cincinnati, some students returned to classrooms Tuesday after a judge threw out a teachers union lawsuit over safety concerns. In California, with 6 million public school students, teachers unions say they won’t send their members into an unsafe situation. In several states, lawmakers are advancing legislation to require more in-person learning. Roy Cooper faces pressure from GOP lawmakers to reopen more schools.
Charges dropped against activist who exposed Iowa hog deaths
County prosecutors dismissed the charges Thursday, Jan. 28 at the request of Iowa Select, whose personnel had been subpoenaed to testify. Matt Johnson, an activist with the group Direct Action Everywhere, had been scheduled to stand trial in Grundy County, Iowa, on Monday on two counts of trespassing at Iowa Select Farms properties in May. County prosecutors moved to dismiss the charges Thursday at the request of Iowa Select, whose personnel had been subpoenaed but said they didn't wish to testify, court documents show. “We cannot be distracted by individuals who choose to break the law and grandstand,” Iowa Select spokeswoman Jen Sorenson said Friday. Iowa Select blasted Johnson and other activists at the time, saying they were trying to exploit the coronavirus crisis to advance their agenda.