MINNEAPOLIS -- Seven Midwest governors are writing to President Barack Obama asking for help in addressing the propane shortage and price increases.
They are asking for the administration to help increase propane supplies through "every means of transport."
They encouraged Obama to consider regulatory waivers aimed at increasing supplies and hoped the Small Business Administration would ease loan requirements to help communities respond to the shortage.
The letter also said they wanted to explore actions to improve supply stability in future years.
The letter dated Tuesday was sent through the Midwest Governor's Association, of which Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is chairman. The other governors are Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Pledges focus on obesity: Dr. Vivek Murthy, the Obama administration's nominee for surgeon general says his top priorities will be fighting obesity and helping communities promote healthier living. Murthy, a Harvard Medical School physician, told a Senate committee Tuesday that obesity is the defining public health challenge of our time. Conservatives questioned if Murthy's main credential is a political one, because he founded a doctors' organization that has advocated for the Affordable Care Act and he has tweeted about gun control. But Murthy said if he is confirmed as the nation's doctor, he won't use the job as a bully pulpit for gun control. Murthy also said the surgeon general is an educator who should help find common ground in improving public health. Senators haven't yet scheduled a vote on Murthy's nomination.
Longtime fugitive found in Calif.: Authorities said Judy Lynn Hayman, who escaped from a Michigan prison nearly 37 years ago. has been found living under an alias in San Diego. San Diego police Lt. Kevin Mayer said Hayman, 60, was in a local jail Tuesday awaiting extradition to Michigan. Mayer said police acting on a tip from Michigan prison officials went to a home Monday and found a woman fitting Hayman's description. She escaped from a prison in Ypsilanti, Mich., in 1977 while serving time for attempted larceny.
Toddler calls 911 15 times: Authorities have charged a northern New York woman and her boyfriend because the woman's 2-year-old daughter used their cellphones to dial 911 a total of 15 times last month. Village of Lowville Police Officer Matthew Martin said the 23-year-old mother and her 33-year-old boyfriend told him they tried to keep their phones away from the persistent toddler, but the girl kept getting them and dialing 911. He charged the couple with obstructing governmental administration.
Rep resigning after 23 years: U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews announced Tuesday that he is resigning from Congress after more than 23 years, a decision that could short-circuit a House Ethics Committee inquiry into whether the New Jersey Democrat used campaign donations for personal purposes. Andrews, who previously aspired to higher office, said the inquiry was not a factor is his resignation, which is effective Feb. 18. He is taking a job running the governmental affairs unit of a Philadelphia law firm where his wife has worked.
U.S. deficit to drop to $514B: The U.S. budget deficit is set to fall to $514 billion this year, down substantially from last year and the lowest level by far since President Barack Obama took office five years ago, a congressional report said Tuesday. The Congressional Budget Office credits higher tax revenues from the rebounding economy and sharp curbs on agency spending as the chief reason for the deficit's short-term decline. But the budget experts see the long-term deficit picture worsening by about $100 billion a year through the end of the decade because of slower growth in the economy than they had previously predicted.