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  • Text of GOP response to State of the Union address Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 | 10:28 PM ET

    Joni Ernst of Iowa, as provided by the office of the Senate majority leader:. I'd like to have a conversation about the new Republican Congress you just elected, and how we plan to make Washington focus on your concerns again. And now we're getting to work to change the direction Washington has been taking our country.

  • WASHINGTON— The U.S. may not have "risen from recession" quite as rousingly as President Barack Obama suggested in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Seven years after that severe downturn began, household income hasn't recovered and healthy job growth is complicated by the poor quality, and pay, of many of those jobs. It's always problematic when a...

  • WASHINGTON— The new Republican Congress understands Americans' suffering from the economy, health care system and Washington gridlock and will steer the country away from President Barack Obama's failed policies, the newly minted senator delivering her party's official response to the State of Union address promised Tuesday. Mixing calls for...

  • DES MOINES, Iowa— Iowa lawmakers in both the House and Senate are proposing legislation that would force casinos to comply with the state's smoking ban. Casino floors in Iowa are now exempt from following a 2008 law that prohibits smoking in public places. Herman Quirmbach of Ames would eliminate that exemption.

  • DES MOINES, Iowa— A group representing farmers said Tuesday that it's calling on the state to toughen oversight and penalties related to pesticide use. The Iowa Farmers Union said members have petitioned the state to change rules governing pesticide drifting through the air. A spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture said officials would meet with...

  • Correction: Lee Enterprises-CFO story Monday, 19 Jan 2015 | 12:19 PM ET

    DAVENPORT, Iowa— In a story Jan. 17 about the retirement of Lee Enterprises Chief Financial Officer Carl Schmidt, The Associated Press erroneously reported based on a statement from Lee Enterprises that his former employer, Johnson Outdoors, is a component of the SC Johnson Group. Lee Enterprises announces CFO Carl Schmidt to retire. Lee Enterprises announces...

  • LINCOLN, Neb.— The number of trains carrying at least a million gallons of crude oil across eastern Nebraska each week has more than tripled since the summer. BNSF said it is moving about a dozen oil trains through eastern Nebraska each week. Officials from BNSF and Nebraska are planning an emergency response exercise for first responders along the oil-train...

  • WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama will call for increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans by raising the capital gains rate and eliminating a tax break on inheritances, then using the revenue to fund new tax credits and other cost-saving measures for the middle class. The president's proposals are likely to be cheered by the Democratic Party's liberal...

  • Senators seek to capitalize on Nebraska wind energy Friday, 16 Jan 2015 | 7:27 PM ET

    LINCOLN, Neb.— A group of Nebraska senators on Friday announced proposals aimed at boosting the state's wind energy production by offering tax incentives and reducing regulations for developers. The American Wind Energy Association ranks Nebraska fourth in the nation for wind energy resources, but the state still lags in the nationwide market.

  • DES MOINES, Iowa— Nearly $86 million has been awarded to four companies to support job creation and expansion projects in the state, the Iowa Economic Development Authority announced Friday. The grants will aid projects in Davenport, Ames, Charles City and Burlington, the board said. —Alter Trading Corporation, a metal recycling company in Davenport:...

  • DES MOINES, Iowa— An Iowa lottery worker who illegally played the lottery won a multimillion-dollar jackpot in 2010 and asked others to help him claim it, authorities said Thursday after announcing fraud charges against him. Eddie Raymond Tipton, 51, of Norwalk, Iowa, has been charged with two felony counts of fraud in a case where authorities have been trying to...

  • A look at 2014 US home foreclosure data Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 | 3:24 PM ET

    —As of Dec. 31, banks held some 421,164 unsold homes, down 17 percent from the year before. —As of Dec. 31, 642,927 homes were in some stage of the foreclosure process. —In the 12 months ended Sept. 30, nearly 1.5 million homes returned to positive equity, which means the home is valued at more than what the owner owes on the mortgage.

  • The speech, delivered just over a week into Walker's second term, comes amid growing speculation about his intentions for seeking the White House. Walker defended his record— pointing out that unemployment is lower now than when he took office and taxes have been cut by $2 billion— while also contrasting Wisconsin with Washington, in the brief 25- minute speech.

  • CEDAR FALLS, Iowa— Wading into a states' rights dispute over Internet access, President Barack Obama on Wednesday called for the repeal of laws that prevent local communities from creating their own broadband networks. "Today high-speed broadband is not a luxury, it's a necessity," Obama said from a storage area at Cedar Falls Utilities, with shelves full of coiled...

  • $372.5M in federal funds awarded to conservation projects Wednesday, 14 Jan 2015 | 12:04 AM ET

    The federal agency has approved 115 proposals in an initial round of funding under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which was authorized under national farm legislation that Congress enacted last year. "This is a new approach to conservation," Vilsack told The Associated Press ahead of an announcement scheduled for Wednesday.

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 9- Some 20 state attorneys general have joined the federal antitrust investigation of competing bids by Dollar General Corp and Dollar Tree Inc to buy Family Dollar Stores Inc, a development that potentially complicates the companies' efforts to win U.S. approval for a deal. Family Dollar, the No. 2 U.S. discount retailer, had previously disclosed...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 9- Some 20 state attorneys general have joined the federal antitrust investigation of competing bids by Dollar General Corp and Dollar Tree Inc to buy Family Dollar Stores Inc, a development that potentially complicates the companies' efforts to win U.S. approval for a deal. Family Dollar had previously disclosed that state attorneys general...

  • CHICAGO, Jan 7- Armed with lessons learned from last year's polar vortex, the U.S. transportation and shipping network faces its first big test of the winter this week as harsh cold and dangerous wind chills buffet the Plains to the East Coast. Snow blanketed much of the eastern United States, with lake-enhanced accumulations of more than a foot in northwest...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 2- The head of the Senate energy committee plans to introduce a bill next week to force approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, though the full chamber faces a battle in obtaining needed votes to overcome any veto by President Barack Obama. Keystone supporters say they picked up votes for TransCanada Corp's $8 billion project in November's...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 2- The head of the Senate energy committee plans to introduce a bill next week to force approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, though the full chamber faces a battle in obtaining needed votes to overcome any veto by President Barack Obama. Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican and the new head of the energy committee, will introduce the...