The Associated Press

Federal Judge Blocks Sound Engineer’s Release of Prince EP

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (AP) – A federal judge has blocked a sound engineer from releasing a five-song EP of unpublished music by Prince after the late superstar’s estate objected – but one of the songs is still currently available online. George Ian Boxill worked with Prince on five tracks in 2006, and made at least one recording – called “Deliverance” –…

3 Paris Officers Shot, 1 Fatally, in Champs-Elysees Attack

(AP Photo) PARIS (AP) — An attacker with an automatic weapon opened fire on police in Paris’ iconic Champs-Elysees shopping district Thursday night, killing one officer and seriously wounding two others before police shot and killed him. Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted officers guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station…

Trump Orders Probe into Whether Steel Imports Harm US

Trump Looks into Whether Steel Imports Hurt National Security

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Donald Trump is directing the administration to investigate whether steel imports are jeopardizing U.S. national security. In the Oval Office on Thursday, Trump signed a memo ordering the investigation while surrounded by executives from U.S. steelmakers. A 1960s trade law gives the president authority to restrict imports if they are determined to be harmful to U.S….

Groups Want Wisconsin to End Solitary Confinement of Youth

Racine County’s Juvenile Detention Center – WUMWMILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin juvenile advocacy groups are asking a federal court to order the state to stop using solitary confinement at its youth correctional facilities. The ACLU of Wisconsin and the Juvenile Law Center filed the request Wednesday as part of a pending lawsuit alleging poor treatment of juveniles at the Lincoln…

Medical Examiner: Probable Opioid Overdose Killed 4-Year-Old

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) – Another young child has died of a suspected opioid overdose in Milwaukee County. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner says the death of 4-year-old Tyranne Beckless last week is being investigated as a probable opioid overdose, the seventh child under five to die in a similar way in the last 19 months in Milwaukee County. Additional toxicology…

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rejects Campaign Donor Recusal Rules

Will be Able to Rule on Donor Cases

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority threw out a petition to bar judges from hearing cases involving the largest donors to their election campaigns. The court voted 5-2 on Thursday to reject a rule change suggested by 54 retired Wisconsin judges and favored by several liberal groups and individuals. Supporters had argued it was necessary to…

Minnesota Lawmakers Consider Making Student Fees Optional

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota lawmakers working to finalize a spending plan for state public colleges and universities are currently discussing whether student fees, that are paid in additional to tuition, should be optional. The Star Tribune reports the measure to make the fees optional is included in a broader, $3.2 billion higher education budget bill the House passed earlier this…

19 Minnesota Dairy Farms Affected by US-Canada Trade Dispute

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (AP) – A U.S.-Canada trade dispute has spread to Minnesota, where officials say 19 dairy farms are affected. Lucas Sjostrom, executive director of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, said Wednesday that 19 Minnesota producers are among the 70 to 75 initially reported as all being from Wisconsin. Canada recently changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more…

Dayton Declares Friday as ‘Prince Day’ Across Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Governor Mark Dayton has declared Friday as “Prince Day” across Minnesota to honor the legacy of the homegrown music legend, who died April 21 of last year of an accidental painkiller overdose. The proclamation announced Wednesday, coincides with memorial celebrations taking place at the First Avenue night club in Minneapolis and at Paisley Park in…

Wisconsin Lawmakers Consider Bill Banning Some Abortions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Abortions would no longer be covered by health insurance plans for Wisconsin state employees under a Republican-backed bill working its way through the Legislature. But it’s unclear weather the measure up for a hearing Wednesday will win approval this year even with stronger Republican majorities when it failed to pass in 2013. And even if it…

REAL ID Law Getting Closer to Approval

Gov. Dayton Ready to Sign New Bill

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Minnesota lawmakers may be close to a deal that would finally put the state in line with federal ID requirements. Republicans and Democrats have been at odds for years over Real ID – an enhanced license that sets security standards for identification at airports or entering a military base. A possible deal opened earlier this session when Democratic…

Lawmakers Return After Easter Break

Budget to Bring About Big Discussions

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Minnesota lawmakers are returning from a weeklong break with their eyes on the budget. The Legislature was set to resume Tuesday after an Easter vacation put its work on pause. Their return marks the beginning of the rush to agree to a new, two-year budget that will likely exceed $45 billion. But Republicans and Gov. Mark Dayton have…

Facebook Killer Commits Suicide After Police Pursuit

Suspect Was Wanted on Aggravated Murder Charge

CLEVELAND-Pennsylvania State Police say the suspect in the random killing of a Cleveland retiree posted on Facebook has shot and killed himself after a brief pursuit. State police say Steve Stephens was spotted Tuesday morning by state police in Erie County, in the state’s northwest corner. Authorities say police tried to pull Stephens over and, after a brief pursuit, he…

Judge Florey Named to Court of Appeals

Appointed by Gov. Dayton

From Minnesota Judicial Branch WebsiteST. PAUL, Minn.-Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed a new judge to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The Democratic governor named James Florey to the court’s Eighth Congressional District seat on Tuesday. Florey will take the place of Judge Lawrence Stauber after he retires in late May. Florey has served as a district court judge since 2004….

Doctor Provided Oxycodone for Prince under Friend’s Name

Officials: Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg Prescribed Oxycodone to Prince, Under Friend's Name "For Privacy Reasons"

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A court document says a doctor prescribed oxycodone for Prince under the name of the musician’s friend to protect his privacy. Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park home on April 21. Autopsy results showed he died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic drug 50…

New Wisconsin License Plates Will Contain 7 Characters

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin license plates have features six characters for more than 30 years, but that’s about to change. The state Department of Transportation expects to begin issuing plates with seven numbers and letters beginning later this month as the inventory of six-character plates dwindles. Department of Corrections prisoners are already making the plates. The six-character plates allowed…

Reports of Child Abuse Spike Dramatically in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota officials say nearly 40,000 children were suspected of being abused or neglected in the state last year, a 25-percent increase from 2015. Minnesota Public Radio reports the data posted by the Minnesota Department of Human Services also noted a spike in maltreatment investigations. The report didn’t detail what was behind the increase, but says…

Retired Veterans Can Get Pension Tax Break This Year

$23 Million to be Saved by Veterans This Year

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Retired veterans living in Minnesota are getting a big break on this year’s taxes. That’s because Minnesota’s Legislature approved a measure last year that exempted military pension payments from the state income tax. Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner General Larry Shellito and a key Republican lawmaker held a news conference Wednesday to remind veterans about…

Judge Rejects Claims by Prince Divorce Lawyer for $600,000

CHASKA, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota judge says a lawyer who represented Prince in divorce proceedings a decade ago can’t collect on nearly $600,000 he says the late rock superstar still owed him before his death. Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide on Tuesday ruled that West Palm Beach, Florida, attorney Patrick Cousins missed a deadline for pursuing his claim…

Official Warns GOP Budget Cuts Could Mean Tax Return Delays

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota’s top tax official says deep cuts to state budgets could result in months-long delays to tax returns next year. Republicans who control the Legislature have laid out some major cuts to state agencies including the Department of Revenue. That’s the agency that processes tax filings annually. Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly said Tuesday that plotted cuts…

Republicans Propose Tax Breaks for Wisconsin Beekeepers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republican lawmakers say they want to combat a rapidly declining bee population by giving Wisconsin beekeepers tax exemptions. Representative Amy Loudenbeck said in a memo Tuesday she and Senator Steve Nass are seeking co-sponsors on a bill that would define beekeeping in state law. It would also extend to beekeepers sales and use tax exemptions on…

Study: Road Salt Levels Spike, Threaten Twin Cities Lakes

Lakes could be uninhabitable within three decades

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (AP) – A freshwater chloride contamination study shows that many lakes in the Twin Cities are so contaminated with road salt that they’ll no longer support native fish and plants within three decades. The Star Tribune reports the study, published Monday, looked at freshwater contamination across the country’s northern region, an area with one of the highest lake…

San Bernardino School Closed Following Murder-Suicide

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu) SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Students dove under desks when a man walked into his estranged wife’s elementary school classroom and opened fire without saying a word, killing her and an 8-year-old student and wounding a 9-year-old before fatally shooting himself, authorities said. Some six weeks earlier, 53-year-old Cedric Anderson was a newlywed calling his 53-year-old…

Wisconsin State Trooper Killed in Crash

Source: WKOW LAKE DELTON, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper has died in a car crash while on duty in Sauk County. Anthony Borostowski Sheriff’s officials say the trooper lost control of his squad car and rolled over on interstate 90 near Lake Delton 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. He died at the scene after his squad hit a tree. Governor…

No State Tax on Olympic Winnings Under New Budget Proposal

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Olympic medal winners in Wisconsin wouldn’t have to pay taxes on their winnings under a Republican proposal. Representative Joe Sanfelippo and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in a news release Monday they’re circulating a bill that would repeal state taxes on Olympic and Paralympic winnings. Olympic medals are worth a few hundred dollars and come with…

Official: Russia Knew in Advance of Syrian Chemical Attack

ROBERT BURNS - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) – A senior U.S. official says the United States has concluded that Russia knew in advance of Syria’s chemical weapons attack last week. The official says a Russian-operated drone flew over a hospital in Syria as victims of the attack were rushing to get treatment. Hours after the drone left, a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital in…

Manhunt Underway for Wisconsin Gun Thief Who Mailed Manifesto to Trump

Joseph Jakubowski prior booking photo (left) and surveillance photo (right) taken on April 4 at 1p.m. at the Mobil Gas Station, 1215 Milton Avenue, Janesville, Wisconsin. JANESVILLE, Wis. – Authorities say a man suspected of stealing firearms from a Wisconsin gun store who sent an anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump, and has threatened to carry out an unspecified attack…

Appeals Court Affirms Provisional Discharge of Man from MSOP

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The state Appeals Court is affirming a judicial panel’s decision to grant a man’s provisional discharge from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. Monday’s decision comes in the case of 74-year-old Eugene Kropp, who was committed in 1998 after a history of molesting boys. His provisional discharge was granted last year. Authorities appealed, saying Kropp’s provisional release plan…

Minnesota Governor Says He’d Veto Pipeline Replacement

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Democratic Governor Mark Dayton says he would veto a bill allowing a Canadian energy company to bypass Minnesota regulators and build a replacement for an aging pipeline. Dayton said Friday that Enbridge Energy’s $7.5 billion Line 3 pipeline replacement should be vetted by the Public Utilities Commission before it gets approval to begin construction. The…

Dayton Signals Possible Compromise on Real ID Impasse

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has signaled a possible compromise on Real ID after saying he doesn’t believe he can allow immigrants living in the country illegally to obtain driver’s licenses without legislative approval. Dayton said Monday that legislation is needed this session to be compliant with federal ID standards. Without a bill, a January 2018…

Minnesota House Plans Vote on Bill to End Health Care Exchange

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The House plans to take up a $14.3 billion social services bill that would end the state’s health care exchange and send Minnesota residents to the federal marketplace instead. The bill to be heard Friday increases spending by nearly $2 billion compared to the last two years. But that increase wouldn’t keep pace with rising…

Wisconsin Republicans Praise US Missile Strike on Syria

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Republicans are praising President Donald Trump’s missile strike against Syria. House Speaker Paul Ryan calls the action “appropriate and just.” Senator Ron Johnson calls the U.S. strike a “swift and appropriate action.” And Rep. Mike Gallagher says he also supports the strike as a “clear signal that the United States will not stand idly by…

Senate Confirms Trump Pick Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court

The Senate voted 54-45 in favor of Gorsuch

Neil Gorsuch speaks at his nomination hearing to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 on Capitol Hill in Washignton. (Lauren Victoria Burke for The Denver Post) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch to become the newest associate justice on the Supreme Court Friday, elevating Donald Trump’s nominee following a…

House Votes to Allow Line 3 Pipeline to Bypass Regulation

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Republican lawmakers have approved an amendment that would let Enbridge Energy bypass the Public Utilities Commission and build a replacement for its aging Line 3 oil pipeline. It passed largely along party lines Thursday by a vote of 75-57. Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo of Farmington amended his jobs and energy bill to allow Enbridge to…

Wisconsin Assembly Committee Approves Drunken Driving Bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – An Assembly committee has approved three Republican bills that would impose stiffer penalties and ignition interlock requirements for drunken drivers. The proposals from Representative Jim Ott and Senator Alberta Darling would create a five-year minimum prison sentence for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, raise the minimum incarceration period for fifth and sixth offenses from…

Wisconsin Dairy Farms Could be Out of Business

Dairy Business Issues Related to Canada Trade Deal

MILWAUKEE-Dairy farms in Wisconsin and other states could be forced out of business as early as May because of a trade dispute that’s halted the export of their milk to Canada. At issue is a U.S-Canada dispute over what’s called “ultra-filtered milk,” a protein liquid concentrate used to make cheese. Until recently, it had entered Canada duty-free from the United…

Wisconsin Spring Election Turnout Reaches 16 Percent

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – About 16 percent of Wisconsin’s voting-age population cast ballots in the state’s spring election. That’s in line with the turnout prediction by the Wisconsin Elections Commission. It estimated turnout of between 13 percent and 18 percent in Tuesday’s election. The race for state superintendent of public instruction was the only statewide race on the ballot, although…

Evers Wins Re-Election as Wisconsin Schools Chief

Won by 3-to-1 Margin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Incumbent state Superintendent Tony Evers easily won a third term as Wisconsin’s top education official over an underfunded conservative opponent dogged by questions over whether he broke state law by using a public school email account to send campaign communications. The win keeps Evers in place as the only Democratic-backed statewide official in a meaningful office….

Payless Shoesource Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

400 stores will be closed immediately as a result

Payless Logo (PRNewsFoto/Payless ShoeSource, Inc.) NEW YORK (AP) — Shoe chain Payless ShoeSource has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest retailer to succumb to increasing competition from online rivals like Amazon. The Topeka, Kansas-based retailer said Tuesday that it will be immediately closing nearly 400 stores as part of the reorganization. It has over 4,400 stores in…

Tribe President Avoids Dispute in Wisconsin Legislature Address

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The president of a tribe that plans to withhold nearly $1 million from the state over a casino dispute told Wisconsin lawmakers and officials Tuesday that the state will be stronger if tribal leaders and state leaders are “united as allies.” Stockbridge-Munsee President Shannon Holsey did not refer to the tribe’s threat to withhold gambling payments…

State Assembly Passes Batch of Bills to Combat Opioid Abuse

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Months after Gov. Scott Walker called on the Legislature to take swift action to combat the state’s opioid epidemic, the state Assembly has passed nine pieces of Legislation. The Assembly, on Tuesday, passed all but two of 11 bills Republican Rep. John Nygren wrote based on recommendations from Walker’s opioid task force, which he co-chairs. The…

Minnesota House Advances $3.2 Billion Higher Education Plan

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota House has approved a $3.2 billion education bill that would freeze tuition next year for the state’s two-year and technical colleges but will likely raise it at the University of Minnesota. The bill passed Tuesday in the Republican-controlled House mostly along party lines by a vote of 77-53. Republicans say their bill helps…

The Latest on a Suspected Chemical Attack in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) _ The Latest on the suspected chemical attack in Syria (all times local): 9:40 p.m. The United Nations says it isn’t in a position to independently verify reports of a chemical attack in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province but Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “deeply disturbed” at the incident. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the U.N. chief extends “his heartfelt…