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June 2015

Obama to Expand Overtime Eligibility for Millions of Workers - Bloomberg Business

The Obama administration plans to raise the wages of millions of Americans who work more than 40 hours a week by requiring employers to pay them overtime.

Workers who earn as much as $970 a week would have to be paid overtime even if they’re classified as a manager or professional, according to a plan outlined on the Department of Labor website Tuesday. The White House issued a fact sheet Tuesday that said 4.7 million workers nationwide would be affected within the first year.

Many employees now receiving as little as $455 a week, or $23,660 a year -- below the federal poverty line for a family of four -- aren’t entitled to overtime pay because they are classified as managers.

“A hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay,” Obama wrote. “That’s at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America.”

The regulations would take effect in 2016 and extend overtime pay to 420,000 workers in California, 400,000 in Texas, and 290,000 in New York, according to a state-by-state breakdown from the White House. Workers in retail stores and restaurants are among those most likely to be affected.


Religious liberty is rallying cry after gay marriage ruling - Yahoo News

NEW YORK (AP) — Now that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, religious conservatives are focusing on preserving their right to object. Their concerns are for the thousands of faith-based charities, colleges and hospitals that want to hire, fire, serve and set policy according to their religious beliefs, notably that gay relationships are morally wrong.


Former UI student arrested in homicide - The Daily Iowan

Two hundred and seventy-five days after then-Iowa State student Tong Shao’s roommates reported her missing and set an investigation in motion that spanned two continents, Xiangnan Li was arrested in China and charged with intentional homicide.

Li, a former University of Iowa student, was arrested June 19 in China in connection with the slaying of Shao. Officials found Shao’s body in Iowa City roughly nine months ago.


Northey: Rebuilding Iowa's egg-laying industry will take time | TheGazette

DES MOINES – Iowa’s bird flu outbreak wiped out nearly half of the state’s 60 million egg-laying chickens and it likely will take months to rebuild flocks with some producers being forced out of business due to substantial financial losses that will be partially reimbursed under a federal indemnification program, officials said Monday.

“This has been a very difficult and unusual thing to deal with,” Gov. Terry Branstad told members of the state’s Executive Council, which voted 3-1 Monday to provide up to $1.1 million in state money to assist in cleanup and disposal activities at farms hit by the highly pathogenic avian influenza. “This has been devastating. It’s been close to half of the laying hens in Iowa and a significant amount of turkeys.”


Bringing it home - The Daily Iowan

The Englert Theater’s latest guests have truly been inspired by Iowa — through food, farming, family, and love.

The Awful Purdies, all all-female quintet, embarked on a yearlong project with Sean Lewis of Working Group Theater, traveling around the state to hear stories from people in Iowa — including lots of farmers — as part of an Iowa Arts Council grant. The experience culminated in the Purdies’ newest album, All Recipes Are Home, and a musical by the same name.