OBAMA SIGNS STUDENT LOAN, HEALTH CARE LEGISLATION:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Finalizing two major pieces of his agenda, President Barack Obama on Tuesday sealed his health care overhaul and made the government the primary lender to students by cutting banks out of the process.
Both domestic priorities came in one bill, pushed through by Democrats in the House and Senate and signed into law by a beaming president.
The Associated Press
President Barack Obama points to the crowd before signing the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 today at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria.
The new law makes a series of changes to the massive health insurance reform bill that he signed into law with even greater fanfare last week. Those fixes included removing some specials deals that had angered the public and providing more money for poorer and middle-income individuals and families to help them buy health insurance.
But during an appearance at a community college in suburban Virginia, he emphasized the overshadowed part of the bill: education.
In this final piece of health reform, Democrats added in a restructuring of the way the government handles loans affecting millions of students.
The law strips banks of their role as middlemen in federal student loans and puts the government in charge. The president said that change would save more than $60 billion over the next 10 years, which in turn would be used to boost Pell Grants for students and reinvest in community colleges.
BOND FOR ALLEGED ARSONIST SET AT $115,000:
Bond for the Lowell man accused of setting fire to several downtown businesses to cover up a break-in was set at $115,000.
A video arraignment was held this afternoon at Marietta Municipal Court for John C. Fortney, 21, of 4350 State Route 530, Lowell. He is being charged with aggravated arson and tampering with evidence. Fortney was already in the Washington County Jail Monday on an unrelated charge of violating his parole, for which he was arrested Friday.
Marietta police Capt. Jeff Waite said Fortney set the early morning fire March 22 to cover up a break-in. The fire destroyed the 190 Front St. building and heavily damaged the buildings housing the Riverside Artists Gallery and Front Street Deli and Bakery.
The total damage is estimated at $2 million.
IMMINENT THREAT LED TO FBI RAID OF MILITIA GROUP:
DETROIT (AP) - Federal authorities had been monitoring members of a Michigan-based Christian militia preparing to fight the Antichrist for some time but were forced to "take them down" over the weekend after learning of an imminent threat against police, the U.S. attorney leading the prosecution said Tuesday.
Barbara McQuade's comments came three days after eight members of a small group of "Christian warriors" were arrested in several Midwestern states and a day after the FBI nabbed a ninth suspect, Joshua Stone, following a standoff at a trailer in rural Michigan.
"The time had come that we needed to arrest them and take them down," McQuade told The Associated Press in an interview at her office.
Across the street in Detroit federal court, Stone was arraigned Tuesday and was ordered held without bond until a hearing Wednesday.
McQuade said the "most troubling" finding of the investigation was that Hutaree members plotted to make a false 911 call, kill responding officers and then use a bomb to kill many more at the funeral.
The nine suspects face seditious conspiracy charges after weekend raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Eight appeared in court Monday.