Saturday News, February 14
Sunday Is Deadline To Sign-up For Affordable Health Care
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa residents seeking health care coverage on the federal exchange have until Sunday to sign up.
This is the second open enrollment period under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, known as the Affordable Care Act. For the most part, enrollment has gone more smoothly this time, with fewer complaints about technical glitches.
Federal authorities say nearly 40,000 people in Iowa had signed up or had been re-enrolled in a plan as of last week.
In Iowa, some consumers have been scrambling to find new coverage since the state took over a cooperative that was selling insurance to residents in Iowa and Nebraska.
Knoxville Teens Arrested For Terrorism Against School
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Police say they've arrested two eighth-grade boys in connection with a threat against a central Iowa middle school.
The Knoxville Police Department says two Knoxville Middle School students were arrested Friday on the charge of conspiracy to commit terrorism. The 13- and 14-year-old have been transported to a juvenile holding facility.
Authorities say they responded Thursday night to a threat against the middle school. According to a news release, officers determined the school wasn't in immediate danger and continued investigation Friday morning.
Information on the nature of the threat has not been released.
Des Moines Attorney And Real Estate Agent Arrested For Fraud
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines area attorney and a real estate agent have been convicted of bank fraud after an eight-day federal court trial.
A jury on Thursday convicted attorney Jason Springer on seven counts of bank fraud and real estate agent Rick Makohoniuk on one count.
Prosecutors allege Des Moines area banks lost $400,000 when the men bought 18 homes in short sales at prices they claimed were fair market value then quickly resold them for more than they paid. Short sells are homes on which the owner owes more than the property is worth.
Two other men - Nathan Smith and Patrick Steven - earlier pleaded guilty to bank fraud and Jerod Hogan, a mortgage broker, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make a false statement.
Republican Party Has Received Four Bids To Host Straw Poll
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Republican Party has received four bids to host the 2015 straw poll later this year.
The party announced Friday that four venues have submitted proposals to host the August event, which has traditionally been held in Ames the summer before a contested presidential caucus.
The locations are the Central Iowa Expo in Boone, the Iowa State Center in Ames, the Iowa Speedway in Newton and Drake University in Des Moines.
A committee will review the bids and recommend a location. No timeline has been set for the decision.
First held in 1979, the Iowa straw poll has grown from a county GOP fundraiser to a large event. The poll draws a small percentage of caucus attendees. It's one early test of campaign organization.
Florida Senator Mulling Over Run For President
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he's still mulling a presidential decision, but if he runs, he'll come to Iowa.
Rubio signed copies of his latest book Friday at a Barnes and Noble in suburban Des Moines. After chatting with the more than 100 people who lined up, Rubio said he and his family are still deciding on a 2016 presidential bid.
Should he run, Rubio says he'll spend time in the early voting state. He noted that candidates "have to come to Iowa more than once or twice."
Iowa was the first stop for Rubio as he promotes "American Dreams: Restoring American Opportunity for Everyone." He says he was also going to try to meet with Republican Gov. Terry Branstad.
Jeb Bush Making Donations To Political Action Committees
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Jeb Bush is focusing the first round of his political action committee's donations on candidates and state Republican organizations in early-voting presidential states and general election swing states, leaving little doubt the former Florida governor is planning to seek the 2016 GOP nomination.
Bush announced Friday that the group he formed in December is contributing $122,800, more than half of which is going to candidates and state Republican parties in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. The four states are scheduled to hold the nation's first GOP nominating contests in February 2016.
The rest of the money Bush has been raising aggressively this year is going to his home state's Republican Party and a mix of younger and diverse candidates and candidates from swing-voting Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia.