DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Little action was evident in the Iowa Senate on the first day after daily payments ended for lawmakers.
The state Senate officially met for two minutes on Monday. Not all senators reported to the Capitol in Des Moines. Those in attendance are mostly in leadership roles or on special negotiating committees. Lawmakers are still trying to find resolution on major policy issues such as education, property taxes, health care and the overall budget plan. Continue Reading
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Boxes were stacked in the corner of the Iowa Senate chambers on Thursday, but lawmakers are nowhere near ready to pack up.
Still, the legislative session will look different starting Monday. May 3 was the last day for much of the temporary staff and the student pages who work in the Legislature, as well as the final day of expense payments for lawmakers. Most of the 150 legislators will report to work early this week. But if negotiations drag out then numbers will likely dwindle to a smaller group of party leaders and those working on negotiating committees. Continue Reading
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The driver of a limousine that burst into flames on a San Francisco Bay area bridge, killing five women, says he at first misunderstood what one of the passengers in the back was saying when she complained about smelling smoke.
Orville Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle that with the music up he initially thought the woman was asking if she could smoke. Seconds later, he said the women knocked again, this time screaming, “Smoke, smoke!” and “Pull over.” The fire broke out late Saturday night as the Lincoln Town Car crossed the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge on the south end of the bay. Continue Reading
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is in Newtown, Conn., to honor six educators killed in the December elementary school massacre with its highest civilian award. The society says Rachel D’Avino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach and Victoria Soto exemplified courage, sacrifice and selflessness in trying to protect students from the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The women’s families will be presented with the Citizen Honors Medal during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Newtown High School. The organization, which is made up of Medal of Honor recipients, also will present its Certificate of Commendation to all of the other teachers and staff of the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Continue Reading
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — That popular blue pill called Viagra is now available online.
It’s a first for the drug industry, and patients will still need a doctor’s prescription to buy the erectile dysfunction medicine. Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, also is offering three free pills with the first order and 30 percent off the second order. Viagra is $25 a pill. Pfizer is trying to tackle the problem of fake versions of the drug being sold online. Continue Reading
More than a dozen sculptures that will be used to call attention to evacuation points around New Orleans are arriving in the city. The statues are simple larger-than-life stick figures that appear as though they are poised to hail a bus. They’re being unloaded Monday and will later be installed at 17 pickup points for New Orleans residents who need transportation out of town when a hurricane evacuation is ordered. They were designed by Boston artist Douglas Kornfeld who was selected for the work by the Arts Council of New Orleans. That group is working with Evacuteer.org, an organization that coordinates volunteers who help with the massive evacuation effort that accompanies a hurricane threat. Continue Reading
A Philadelphia jury is scheduled to start a fourth full day of deliberations in the case of a Philadelphia abortion provider charged with multiple counts of murder. Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, is charged with killing four babies allegedly born alive at his clinic in West Philadelphia. He also is charged in the 2009 overdose death of a patient, Karnamaya Mongar of Woodbridge, Va., a 41-year-old mother of three. The clinic served mostly low-income women and teens, and went years without a state inspection. Gosnell also faces hundreds of abortion-law violations, for allegedly performing third-trimester abortions and failing to counsel patients. Continue Reading
The oldest daughter of the Utah soccer referee who died Saturday a week after a teenage player punched him in the head hopes to forgive the young man who did it — but not yet. “I will, but not today; it’s too soon,” said Johana Portillo, 26, speaking Sunday night at a vigil to honor her father, Ricardo Portillo. “He was a father, he was a friend, he was a grandfather; he left a whole family behind. They should think before they do something stupid.” Police have accused a 17-year-old player in a recreational soccer league of punching Ricardo Portillo, 46, after he called a foul on him and issued him a yellow card. Continue Reading