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Iowa GOP Cancels Straw Poll

What would happen if you planned a huge party and none of the guests of honor agreed to show up? Iowa Republican Party leaders faced that dilemma since no one in the GOP’s huge field of presidential hopefuls had agreed to participate in the Iowa Straw Poll — so the event has been cancelled. Iowa G-O-P chairman Jeff Kaufmann met by phone with members of the party’s state central committee early Friday to cancel the event. “If you do not have candidate interest, you do not have the financial dollars to actually even break even,” Kaufmann said immediately after the decision was made. “…We set the table and they didn’t come to dinner.” Continue Reading

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton to Visit Burlington on Sunday

Democratic Presidential Candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Burlington this weekend at a private event. Clinton will be visiting a “House Party” in Burlington on Sunday at around 3:15, but few specifics are available. The event is not open to the public. According to a campaign spokesperson, Clinton will make brief opening statements to the press before attending the event. It will be the second small “House Party” she’ll be attending on Sunday. Continue Reading

One More Case of Bird Flu, US to Begin Importing Eggs from Europe

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa agriculture officials are reporting an additional farm infected with bird flu in Sioux County. It’s the 18th case in the county and was found in a flock of 3,800 birds of various species. An Iowa Department of Agriculture spokesman says he can’t be more specific about what type of farm is infected or what species of birds are involved. It is the 73rd case of bird flu in Iowa. The outbreak has cost the state more than 29 million birds including 24 million egg-laying chickens and 3.8 million pullets, young chickens raised to be egg layers. Continue Reading

Theater Gunman Says He Wishes Psychiatrist had Locked Him Up

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Colorado theater gunman James Holmes has said he wishes a psychiatrist who treated him before the shootings had locked him up so the attack wouldn’t have happened. In a videotape played Tuesday for jurors, Holmes said during a court-ordered sanity evaluation that he had repeatedly asked Dr. Lynn Fenton if she was going to have police detain him, which she could do under Colorado law. Fenton did not have Holmes detained. Prosecutors have said he told Fenton he was having homicidal thoughts. Continue Reading

PATRIOT Act Provisions Expire as Debate Rages On

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans have agreed to begin debate on a House bill that would overhaul the National Security Agency’s handling of American calling records. And they would do it while preserving other domestic surveillance provisions. But that remarkable turnabout didn’t happen soon enough to prevent the laws governing the programs from expiring at midnight Sunday. Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a presidential contender, stood in the way of extending the program, angering his GOP colleagues and frustrating intelligence and law enforcement officials. Now, the question is whether the Senate will pass a bill the House can live with. Continue Reading

Silk Road Founder Could Spend Decades in Prison

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors say a San Francisco man who created the online drug-peddling site Silk Road should spend decades in prison, but the defendant is asking to be freed soon enough to show he’s a changed man. Ross William Ulbricht is set to be sentenced Friday after his February Manhattan federal court conviction. In a letter to the sentencing judge, Ulbricht says he now regrets what he calls a “very naive and costly idea.” He says he ruined his life and destroyed his future by what he now calls his “terrible mistake.” He promises to no longer be the “rebellious risk taker” he was if he is given less than the life sentence recommended by the Probation Department. Continue Reading

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted on Bank Charges

Federal prosecutors have announced bank-related charges against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. A statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago says the 73-year-old Illinois Republican is accused of structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash in order to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000. He’s also accused of lying to the FBI. Each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. From 2010 to 2014, Hastert withdrew a total of approximately $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts and provided it to a person identified only as Individual A, according to the indictment. Continue Reading

Omaha Officer Killed in Line of Duty Honored at her Funeral

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Family members of Omaha police officer Kerrie Orozco have mourned the slain woman at her funeral. Orozco had planned to celebrate her daughter leaving the hospital three months after being born prematurely. But the officer was fatally shot last Wednesday by a fugitive who was fatally wounded by another officer. The 29-year-old Orozco lived in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and was a native of nearby Walnut, Iowa. Continue Reading