State News Feed

Iowa jobless rate saw rise in July | TheGazette

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up to 3.8 percent last month from 3.7 percent in June, according to Iowa Workforce Development. The state’s jobless rate was 4.3 percent in July 2014.

Nonfarm employment grew by 8,100 jobs, with positions added in virtually all sectors last month. That lifted nonfarm employment 30,900 jobs higher than a year ago.


One in three super PAC dollars spent in Iowa

One of every three dollars spent by super PACs this election cycle has been spent in Iowa, a Des Moines Register analysis of financial reports shows.

The political action committees that can solicit and spend unlimited amounts of cash on behalf of candidates have spent $11.5 million through Aug. 3. About $3.8 million of that was spent in Iowa. That represents a massive increase in spending – both nationally and in Iowa – compared with the amount reported at this same point during the 2012 presidential election cycle.


Iowa teen is behind Deez Nuts presidential campaign

The latest presidential candidate to launch a campaign in Iowa is one you may remember from middle school.

A candidate by the name of Deez Nuts filed Federal Election Commission paperwork late last month to enter the presidential race. His address, according to that form, is rural Wallingford, Iowa — the home of Mark and Teresa Olson.

It turns out that Nuts is not an actual person, but the nom-de-politics of the Olsons’ 15-year-old son, Brady.


In Iowa, Ted Cruz rallies religious right -

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) Ted Cruz took a page out of his pastor father's Bible on Friday night in Iowa.

At his "Rally for Religious Liberty," Cruz sought to appeal to evangelical Republican voters and frame himself as a fighter for religious rights.

A crowd of over 2,500 men, women and young children turned out for the three-plus hour event. Upon arrival at the venue, guests received Ted Cruz Pocket Constitutions, Cruz stickers, mini-American flags emblazoned with "Courageous Conservatives for Cruz," bracelets reading "Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman," and, for younger attendees, Ted Cruz coloring books.


Iowa House elects Linda Upmeyer as first female speaker

Linda Upmeyer will replace Kraig Paulsen to become the first female speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives.

Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, announced earlier this month that he would step down as speaker, effective at the start of the 2016 legislative session. He will not seek reelection. The Republican caucus met Thursday to choose his replacement. Rep. Josh Byrnes, R-Osage, also sought the seat.


Homes in Iowa selling at brisk pace | TheGazette

Iowa homes are selling at the fastest pace in five years, according to the Iowa Association of Realtors.

The statewide real estate association reported 4,661 homes were sold in July, up 12 percent from 4,155 in July 2014. The average sale price rose 7.9 percent to $179,861 last month from $166,664 in July 2014.

“The lack of inventory in some of our major metro areas is contributing to the fast pace of home sales,” Jon Yocum, president of the Iowa Association of Realtors, said in a news release. “The days on market is down 14.5 percent from 76 days last year to 65 days. According to our research, that is the fastest rate in over five years.”


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Chris Christie looks for Iowa boost

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joked in a Fox News interview that he might ride a pony when he arrives at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday — so he could outdo Donald Trump, who touched down at the fair last week in a helicopter.

“Yeah, a pony might be good,’’ Christie said.

But Christie has bigger concerns than trying to match Trump’s outlandishness. He’s slipping in the polls, putting him at risk of being knocked off the main stage when CNN televises the next prime-time Republican presidential debate.


Branstad orders review of Planned Parenthood funding in Iowa

Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday he has ordered state agencies to review government funding of Planned Parenthood programs in Iowa.

Branstad said Planned Parenthood does not receive a direct appropriation from the Iowa Legislature, and no government funds are used to pay for abortions in Iowa.

But Planned Parenthood in Iowa does receive some government funding including federal funds, that are channeled through the Iowa Department of Human Services and the Iowa Department of Public Health for non-abortion services, the governor said.