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President Proposing Higher Medicare Premiums for Higher Incomes

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s recently released budget proposes raising Medicare premiums for individual retirees making more than $85,000 and couples making more than $170,000.  

It would also freeze the indexing for inflation of those income thresholds, so eventually 1 in 4 retirees will have to pay more. Right now only about 1 in 20 pays the higher rate. The higher premiums surprised a retired city worker from Albuquerque, Sheila Pugach. She says she’s paying about $500 a year more in premiums for Medicare outpatient and drug coverage, all because required withdrawals from her retirement savings bumped her into a higher income bracket. Continue Reading

Another juror released from Arias murder trial

A juror was released Friday from the high-profile Jodi Arias murder trial, the second jury member to be dismissed this month. Maricopa County Superior Court officials said Juror No. 11 was excused because of health reasons. Another juror was dismissed on April 2 for misconduct for allegedly making statements that showed a bias. That leaves the jury with 11 men and six women. Continue Reading

Dealer auctions ex-LAPD cop's gun for donation

A southern Nevada gun dealer wants to auction a handgun once owned by a rogue former LAPD officer who killed four people and fatally shot himself during a manhunt in February. George Bramlett, owner of Bargain Pawn, said he plans to donate the money to the families of two California police officers Dorner killed. But administrators handling the funds for San Bernardino County Sheriff Deputy Jeremiah MacKay and Riverside police Officer Michael Crain say the families don’t want the money. Bramlett posted the gun for auction Tuesday on a website, gunbroker.com, along with images of the sales receipt listing Dorner’s date of birth, California driver’s license number and La Palma, Calif., address. Bramlett bought the .38 special revolver from Dorner in January for $50. Continue Reading

Dealer auctions ex-LAPD cop's gun for donation

A southern Nevada gun dealer wants to auction a handgun once owned by a rogue former LAPD officer who killed four people and fatally shot himself during a manhunt in February. George Bramlett, owner of Bargain Pawn, said he plans to donate the money to the families of two California police officers Dorner killed. But administrators handling the funds for San Bernardino County Sheriff Deputy Jeremiah MacKay and Riverside police Officer Michael Crain say the families don’t want the money. Bramlett posted the gun for auction Tuesday on a website, gunbroker.com, along with images of the sales receipt listing Dorner’s date of birth, California driver’s license number and La Palma, Calif., address. Bramlett bought the .38 special revolver from Dorner in January for $50. Continue Reading

Authorities search home of former justice of the peace in murdered Texas DA investigation

Federal and local authorities searched the home of a former North Texas justice of the peace on Friday as part of an investigation into the slayings of the local district attorney and his wife. Agents were seen entering the home of former Kaufman County justice of the peace Eric Williams, who was prosecuted last year for theft by the district attorney’s office. Williams was convicted and lost his position. Williams has denied any role in the deaths of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, who were found dead in their home on March 30. Two months earlier, a prosecutor in McLelland’s office, Mark Hasse, was fatally shot as he was leaving work in Kaufman, about 30 miles southeast of Dallas. Continue Reading

Another juror released from Arias murder trial

Another juror has been released from the high-profile Jodi Arias murder trial in Phoenix. Maricopa County Superior Court officials say Juror No. 11 was excused Friday because of health reasons. Last week, another juror was dismissed for allegedly taking about the trial outside of court. That leaves the jury with 11 men and six women. Continue Reading

Iowa Senate Committee Approves Education Funds

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Senate panel has approved $964 million in spending for the state’s public universities and a number of other education programs.

 

The Senate Education Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved an amended version of a measure already passed by the House. Because the Senate’s version spends far more than the $895 million bill approved by the House, the measure will likely end up in a joint committee if it passes the full Senate. In joint committees, members from both chambers and parties try to work out compromises. The Senate-backed measure includes more money for student financial aid at state universities. It also includes some of the money for Gov. Terry Branstad’s proposed K through 12 education reforms. Continue Reading

Governor Branstad to Meet with “Old Friend,” Xi Jinping

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping during an upcoming trade trip to China.  

In a press release announcing the Monday meeting, Branstad says he is looking forward to the visit with an “old friend.” Branstad departs for China Friday. He will be joined by two Republican governors and a delegation of people representing Iowa businesses and other organizations. The group will visit Beijing and three other cities to meet with business leaders and government officials. Continue Reading

Iowa Prisoner, Wife Charged with Conspiracy to Hurt Caseworker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines inmate and his wife have been accused of trying to get another inmate to harm a caseworker.  

The Des Moines Police Department says Thursday that William Paulsen, an inmate at the Fort Des Moines Correctional Facility, asked an inmate to assault the corrections employee. He offered money for a specific injury. Gabrielle Paulsen is accused of later approaching the inmate at a convenience store and providing the caseworker’s vehicle information. William Paulsen and his wife have been charged with conspiracy to commit a felony. Continue Reading