The Associated Press

FCC Votes Down Obama-era ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules

NEW YORK (AP) – The Federal Communications Commission has voted on party lines to undo sweeping Obama-era “net neutrality” rules that guaranteed equal access to internet. The agency’s Democratic commissioners dissented in the 3-2 vote Thursday. The FCC’s new rules could usher in big changes in how Americans use the internet. The agency got rid of rules that barred companies…

What is Net Neutrality and Why Does it Matter?

NEW YORK (AP) — “Net neutrality” regulations, designed to prevent internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter from favoring some sites and apps over others, are on the chopping block. On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on a proposal that would not only undo the Obama-era rules that have been in place since 2015, but…

Chicken Pox Cases on Rise in Minnesota

400 Cases Have Been Reported

FROM WIKIPEDIA MINNEAPOLIS-Minnesota health officials say there’s an increase in the number of chickenpox cases this year. Department of Health spokesman Doug Schultz says nearly 400 cases have been reported, the highest number since 2013 when about 480 cases were reported. Schultz tells KARE-TV there’s an outbreak of 15 cases in one Hennepin County school and another six cases in…

As ‘Net Neutrality’ Vote Nears, Some Brace for a Long Fight

NEW YORK (AP) — As the federal government prepares to unravel sweeping net-neutrality rules that guaranteed equal access to the internet, advocates of the regulations are bracing for a long fight. The Thursday vote scheduled at the Federal Communications Commission could usher in big changes in how Americans use the internet, a radical departure from more than a decade of…

Disney Buying Large Part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B Deal

TALI ARBEL - AP

(AP) NEW YORK (AP) — Disney is buying the Murdoch family’s Fox movie and television studios and some cable and international TV businesses for about $52.4 billion, as the home of Mickey Mouse tries to meet competition from technology companies in the entertainment business. Disney’s all-stock deal for 21st Century Fox gives it the studios behind Avatar, “The Simpsons” and…

GOP Says It’s Got A Deal on Taxes; Cuts Coming for Next Year

STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, ANDREW TAYLOR, & MARCY GORDON - AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Confident congressional Republicans forged an agreement Wednesday on a major overhaul of the nation’s tax laws that would provide generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans — Donald Trump among them — and deliver the first major legislative accomplishment to the GOP president. Middle- and low-income families would get smaller tax cuts, though Trump and…

T-Mobile to Launch TV Service Next Year

(AP) NEW YORK (AP) — T-Mobile is launching a TV service next year, becoming the latest company to marry wireless and video. The service will target people who aren’t interested in traditional cable and satellite TV packages. T-Mobile promises to address consumer complaints such as “sky-high bills” and “exploding bundles.” The company wouldn’t provide details on its upcoming offering, including…

McCarthy: Packers’ Rodgers Preparing to Play this Weekend

Aaron Rodgers (AP) GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says quarterback Aaron Rodgers is getting ready to play against the Carolina Panthers this weekend. Rodgers was medically cleared to return from a collarbone injury on Tuesday night. Rodgers missed the last seven games after breaking his right collarbone in Week 6 at Minnesota. The two-time…

Partnership Provides Narcan to UW Campuses

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The overdose-reversing drug Narcan will be available for use by security officers on all University of Wisconsin campuses. Attorney General Brad Schimel joined the UW System President Ray Cross to make the announcement Wednesday. A partnership with the pharmaceutical company Adapt Pharma will make a nasal spray version of Narcan available for free at 10 UW…

Democrat Jones Wins Stunning Red-State Alabama Senate Upset

First Democratic Senate Victory in Alabama in 25 Years

From WikipediaMONTGOMERY, Ala.-Democrat Doug Jones has won a stunning victory in Alabama’s Senate election, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump. It was the first Democratic Senate victory in a quarter-century in Alabama, one of the reddest of red states, and proved anew that party loyalty is anything but certain in the age of Trump. The…

Officer Honored for Adopting Baby from Opioid Addicted Mom

Albuquerque officer, Ryan Holets, holds his newly adopted daughter, Hope, after being recognized by the city of Albuquerque on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. (AP) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A routine call about an Albuquerque convenience store theft turned into a life-transforming moment for an officer who came across upon a pregnant woman he found using heroin. That officer later volunteered…

Ironton Man Dies When Snowmobile Goes Through Thin Lake Ice

CROSBY, Minn. (AP) – A northern Minnesota man has died after the snowmobile he was driving went through thin ice in Crosby. A Crosby police officer heard calls for help coming from Serpent Lake around 5:30 a.m. Monday. Law enforcement and first responders responded, and divers found the man’s body in about 45 feet of water. The Crow Wing County…

Trump Signs $700 Billion Military Budget into Law

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed into law a sweeping defense policy bill that authorizes a $700 billion budget for the military, including additional spending on missile defense programs to counter North Korea’s growing nuclear weapons threat. But there’s a catch. The $700 billion budget won’t become reality until lawmakers agree to roll back a 2011 law…

Trump Says Accusations of Sexual Misconduct ‘Fabricated’

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, pushing back against women accusing him of sexual misconduct, insisted Tuesday he’s the target of “false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met.” Trump lashed out on Twitter a day after three women who previously accused him of sexual harassment shared their stories on…

Wisconsin Health Professionals Hope to Expand Vaccine Access

MILWAUKEE (AP) – The Medical College of Wisconsin wants to expand access to vaccines by having drug stores offer immunizations. Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the college is spending $489,000 on a vaccination project with the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin. The statewide project is expected to last two and a half years. The college’s dean, George MacKinnon, says the project…

Bipartisan Proposal Changes Minnesota House Harassment Policy

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A bipartisan proposal to change Minnesota House rules would allow lobbyists, staff, members of the executive branch, and the public to make discrimination and harassment complaints to the Ethics Committee. DFL Rep. John Lesch and Republican Rep. Marion O’Neill also proposed an expedited investigative process that allows confidentiality for accusers. A person could lodge a…

Education Department Urged to Resume Loan Cancellations

WASHINGTON (AP) – A government watchdog is urging the Education Department to resume the process of forgiving student loans for tens of thousands of Americans who were defrauded by for-profit colleges. In a report published Monday, the Office of Inspector General, an independent body within the education agency, recommends that the department restart “review, approval, and discharge process” for defrauded…

3 Trump Accusers Speak Out, Call for Congressional Probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment shared their stories on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today.” Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks on Monday told of alleged harassment by Trump spanning decades. The White House called the claims false and “totally disputed in most cases.” It said “the timing and absurdity of…

Pentagon to Allow Transgender People to Enlist in Military Despite Trumps Opposition

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is allowing transgender people to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite President Donald Trump’s opposition. The new policy reflects growing legal pressure on the issue, and the difficult hurdles the federal government would have to cross to enforce Trump’s demand to ban transgender individuals from the military. Two federal courts already have ruled…

Mining Ban Lifted on Gold and Silver in Wisconsin

Gov. Walker Signed Bill Today

MADISON, Wis.-Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill lifting Wisconsin’s moratorium on gold and silver mining. Walker voted to impose the moratorium when he was in the state Assembly in 1998. He signed the Republican legislation Monday anyway. His spokesman, Tom Evenson, has said Walker believes mining can be done without harming the environment. Under current state law, sulfide mining…

Survey Finds Medications Accumulating in Minnesota Lakes

WINONA, Minn. (AP) – Scientists have found that medications are making their way through Minnesota’s wastewater systems and accumulating in lake bottoms. The Winona Daily News reports that University of Minnesota professor Bill Arnold says a survey of Lake Pepin, Lake Winona in Alexandria, and the Duluth Harbor found 10 common antibiotics present in the sediment. All of those bodies…

Bill Would Create State-Certified Wisconsin Beer Label

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A bill circulating in the Legislature would create a new state-certified Wisconsin beer label. To get the special designation, the beer would have to include a certain percentage of hops grown in Wisconsin. The measure comes from Republican Rep. Scott Krug, of Nekoosa. He says in a memo seeking co-sponsors that the bill is in recognition…

Former Amazon Analyst Gets 6 Months for Insider Trading

SEATTLE (AP) – A former Amazon analyst has been sentenced to six months in prison and a $2,500 fine after admitting he tipped off a college friend to details about the company’s upcoming first-quarter earnings report in spring 2015. Brett D. Kennedy was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to a federal insider trading charge in September. Prosecutors said his former…

Packers’ Kendricks Charged with Possession of Marijuana

Lance Kendricks (TMZ) MILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) – Green Bay Packers tight end Lance Kendricks has been charged with possession of marijuana stemming from a traffic stop in early September. The Journal Sentinel reports the 29-year-old Kendricks was stopped for speeding in the early morning hours of Sept. 2. Though he only received a warning for driving 81 mph in a…

Court: ‘Making a Murderer’ Defendant’s Confession Stands

CHICAGO (AP) – A federal appeals court has overturned a ruling that could have freed a Wisconsin inmate featured in the “Making a Murderer” series from prison. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that police properly obtained Brendan Dassey’s confession and he should remain behind bars. The judges were sharply divided, voting 4 to 3 that Dassey’s…

2 Democrats: Minnesota Governor’s Top Choice Mulling ’18 Run

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s preferred appointee to fill Sen. Al Franken’s Senate seat, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, is considering also running for the seat next year, as Dayton is being pressured by top Democrats in Washington to appoint more than a mere caretaker, according to Democrats familiar with the discussions. Franken said Thursday he would…

Eau Claire Lawsuit Could Impact Foxconn, Other Developments

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Department of Justice’s solicitor general is warning a lawsuit challenging an economic development project in Eau Claire could “imperil” the $10 billion Foxconn complex in Racine County and other ventures in the state. The state wants in intervene in the lawsuit filed on behalf of some Eau Claire taxpayers who say the city abused…

Partisan Divide Deepens Over Walker Investigation

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The deep partisan divide over the secret investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s recall has reignited in the face of an investigatory report released this week. The report from Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel recommends that those behind seizing personal emails from scores of Republicans across the state and not keeping them secure be held in contempt….

Pawlenty Considering Running for Franken Seat

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he’s considering running for Sen. Al Franken’s U.S. Senate seat. The Republican governor and one-time presidential candidate insisted Friday that he’s still “politically retired.” But Pawlenty would be a prized recruit in 2018 for Republicans hoping to captialize on Franken’s resignation amid a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations. Pawlenty…

Regulators Ask Enbridge to Tweak Pipeline Environment Review

A Vote on the Enbridge Line 3 Could Come in April

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Minnesota’s utility regulators have rejected a state environmental review of Enbridge’s controversial oil pipeline across northern Minnesota. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has determined the Environmental Impact Statement for Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 pipeline is inadequate, though its concerns weren’t major. The Star Tribune reports the commission has directed the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which conducted the…

Trump Signs 2-Week Spending Bill to Avoid Shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has signed a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and keep the federal government running through Dec. 22. The president signed the two-week spending bill at the White House after the House and Senate acted to prevent a government shutdown this weekend. The White House and congressional leaders are negotiating a longer-term agreement….

Wisconsin Man Sentenced to 11 Years in Texas Child Sex Sting

  HOUSTON (AP) – Prosecutors say a Wisconsin man must serve 11 years in federal prison for traveling to Texas with the intention of having sex with a 4-year-old girl. Benjamin David Sherwood of La Crosse, Wisconsin, was sentenced Thursday in Houston as part of an online sting. The 42-year-old Sherwood, in August, pleaded guilty to travel with intent to…

Census Data Shows More Minnesota Residents are Multilingual

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Minnesota is seeing a growing number of residents who speak multiple languages. Minnesota Public Radio reports that data shows more than 11 percent of Minnesota residents don’t speak English at home. About 60 percent of those people reported that they speak English “very well.” The bureau found…

Wisconsin Senator Calls for Elections, Ethics Resignations

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Attorney General Brad Schimel’s report on Gov. Scott Walker investigation (all times local): 2:15 p.m. A Republican state senator is calling for the resignations of top officials at the Wisconsin ethics and elections commissions. The call from Republican Sen. Steve Nass comes in reaction to a report from Attorney General Brad Schimel. His…

Franken Faces New Allegations, Weighing Future

Franken Announcement Coming at 10:45 a.m.

WASHINGTON-Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, facing fresh allegations of sexual misconduct and vanishing support from fellow Democrats, appears to be on the brink of resigning from the Senate. Franken scheduled an announcement for Thursday at 10:45 a.m. which will be aired on Fox 21 and live streamed on our Facebook page. His office did tweet Wednesday evening that he had not…

Trump Says Government Shutdown Possible, Blames Democrats

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump warned Wednesday that a government shutdown was possible this weekend because Democrats were demanding to have “illegal immigrants pouring into our country,” tossing incendiary rhetoric onto a partisan showdown that had been showing signs of easing. Trump’s comments risked roiling a White House meeting with congressional leaders of both parties planned…

Wildfires Continue to Ravage Southern California

101 Freeway Fire Dec. 5, 2017 (AP) LOS ANGELES (AP) — A wildfire erupted in Los Angeles’ exclusive Bel-Air section Wednesday as yet another part of Southern California found itself under siege from an outbreak of wind-whipped blazes that have consumed multimillion-dollar houses and tract homes alike. Hundreds of homes across the L.A. metropolitan area and beyond were feared destroyed…

Trump Declares Jerusalem Israel Capital, Smashing US Policy

Palestinians burn a poser of President Donald Trump during a protest in Bethlehem, West Bank, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2017. President Trump forged ahead Tuesday with plans to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite intense Arab, Muslim, and European opposition to ma move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests. (AP)     WASHINGTON (AP) —…

‘Silence Breakers’ Named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

(Time Magazine) NEW YORK (AP) – The “Silence Breakers” – those who have shared their stories about sexual assault and harassment – have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year. Numerous women have spoken out publicly since October about sexual misconduct by dozens of high-profile men in entertainment, media, business, and sports. Time praised those who have given “voice…

Wisconsin Rep. Zepnick Refuses to Resign Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Representative Accused of Kissing Two Women Against Their Will

MADISON, Wis.-A Democratic state representative accused of kissing two women against their will is refusing to resign but says he will decide later whether to seek re-election in 2018. Milwaukee Rep. Josh Zepnick says he is “disappointed and disturbed” that he was stripped of his legislative committee assignments, a move that further marginalizes him in the Republican-controlled Legislature. Zepnick issued…

Sen. Franken Denies Allegation He Forcibly Tried to Kiss Woman

Sen. Franken Has Been Accused of Harassing Multiple Women

UPDATE: Several female Democratic senators unite in calling for Sen. Al Franken to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations. In Facebook posts and Tweets, the women said the two-term senator should step aside after a fresh allegation that he forcibly tried to kiss a woman in 2006. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wrote on Facebook that while Franken is entitled to have the Ethics…

Where Protected Lands Stand After National Monument Review

“Moonhouse” in McLoyd Canyon which is part of Bears Ears National Monument, near Blanding, Utah. (AP File) SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — President Donald Trump earlier this year ordered U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct an unprecedented review of 27 monuments established by former presidents over more than two decades on lands and waters revered for their natural beauty…