The Associated Press

GOP Lawmakers Crafting Budget Bills to Send Dayton

Republicans, Governor Face Monday Deadline for Budget Deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)  Minnesota’s Republican lawmakers started working over the weekend on several budget bills to send to Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. But the governor hasn’t indicated he is willing sign any of the bills that come out of Saturday’s committees. He said he was blindsided by the GOP’s second attempt to push forward legislation without an agreement. The…

Minnesota Lawmaker Robbed at Gunpoint

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A state legislator is OK after being robbed at gunpoint in St. Paul. Police say Rep. Dennis Smith, of Maple Grove, was walking on Grand Avenue in St. Paul Thursday night when he was approached by a gunman. The suspect pointed the gun at Smith and demanded his wallet and phone. Reports say Smith complied…

Supreme Court Review Sought in Sex Offender Program Case

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Attorneys for more than 700 residents of Minnesota’s sex offender treatment program are taking their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The attorneys filed a petition Friday asking the nation’s highest court to review their case. They claim the Minnesota Sex Offender Program is unconstitutional because only a handful of offenders have ever been granted provisional release….

Budget Battle Continues in Minnesota Legislature

Still $1 Billion Apart on Spending Between Democrats and Republicans

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota’s Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton have resumed negotiations aimed at settling the state budget. The two sides were back in talks Friday behind closed doors, with a Monday deadline for the Legislature to adjourn. They traded offers earlier in the week but progress froze Thursday. They are roughly $1 billion apart…

Prosecutors: Times Square Driver Wanted to Kill

An 18-year-old female from Michigan was killed in the incident

Richard Rojas (AP) NEW YORK (AP) – A man charged with slamming his speeding car into pedestrians on the sidewalks of Time Square, killing a teenage tourist and injuring nearly two dozen people, said he wanted to “kill them all” and police should have shot him to stop him, a prosecutor revealed Friday. Richard Rojas, 26, also told responding officers…

Wisconsin DNR Looks to Reduce Buck-Only Counties Again this Fall

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The state Department of Natural Resources wants to again reduce the number of counties where hunters can shoot only bucks this fall in a sign Wisconsin’s herd continues to grow. The agency’s board is poised, Wednesday, to approve a 2017 season structure that would designate Ashland, Iron, and Vilas counties and the eastern half of Eau…

Minnesota Bill Against Genital Mutilation Raises Concern

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Some members of Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities are opposing legislation that would impose stiff penalties for parents involved in female genital mutilation, slowing the bill’s momentum in the Legislature. The Star Tribune reports that nonprofit group Isuroon, the Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage and other groups say the legislation carries overly harsh punishment…

Minnesota Budget Talks Hit Stalemate

Legislators and Gov. Dayton Have Until May 22 to Strike Deal

  ST. PAUL, Minn.-Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders are in a standoff as they try to agree on a new budget. The two sides have been meeting all week, trading offers to resolve a $1 billion budget gap and disputes about how much to offer in tax breaks. They have a $1.65 billion surplus to use but just…

Rocker Chris Cornell Found Dead at Age 52

His death has been ruled a suicide

The Associated Press DETROIT (AP) – Chris Cornell, one of the most lauded and respected contemporary lead singers in rock music with his band Soundgarden and Audioslave, killed himself Wednesday by hanging in a Detroit hotel room, according to the city’s medical examiner. He was 52. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said Thursday it completed the preliminary autopsy on…

Wisconsin Unemployment Lowest Since February 2000

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in more than 17 years. The state Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday that the unemployment rate in April was 3.2 percent. The seasonally adjusted figure is down from 3.4 percent in March and the lowest since February 2000. The national unemployment rate for April was 4.4 percent….

Forecasters Predicting Hotter than Normal Summer

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. forecasters are predicting another warmer-than-normal summer for most of the country along with wetter weather in a swath of states stretching from Texas to Montana. The National Weather Service’s summer outlook issued Thursday predicts greater chances for hot weather in Alaska and pretty much everywhere else. The exceptions are Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska,…

Dayton Vetoes Bill for Teacher Licensing Overhaul

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Governor Mark Dayton has vetoed a bill that would have overhauled the way Minnesota licenses teachers. The proposal, which passed both chambers with bipartisan support, would have created a new licensing board and a four-tiered licensing system, making it easier to license teachers who are trained out of state or have unconventional backgrounds. Supporters say…

Warm Spring Brings Ticks Out Early Across Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The early spring has brought the ticks out ahead of schedule across Minnesota and experts are warning people to protect themselves against the diseases they carry. The Minnesota Department of Health says anyone who goes outdoors should be alert for the blacklegged tick, also known as the deer tick. Epidemiologist Elizabeth Schiffman tells Minnesota Public…

Shark Jawbone Caught While Fishing on Mississippi River in Grand Rapids

It has Been Identified as a Sand Tiger Shark

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn.-A Minnesota angler landed an unusual trophy when he reeled in a shark jawbone while fishing on the Mississippi River. Joe Piskel, of Grand Rapids, caught the jawbone near the town over the weekend. He and his son, Joey, brought it to a Department of Natural Resources office, where a fisheries biologist identified it as being from a…

Wisconsin Democrats Push for Statewide Use-of-Force Policies

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Democratic lawmakers from Madison and Milwaukee want to set statewide standards for when and how law enforcement officers should use deadly force. Representatives Chris Taylor, Evan Goyke, and David Bowen and Senator LaTonya Johnson held a news conference Tuesday to introduce a package of bills. The proposals would require law enforcement agencies across the state to…

Minnesota Lawmakers Set to Vote on Federal ID Standards

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota legislators finally appear to have a deal on Real ID, the enhanced identification that’ll eventually be required to pass airport security. Minnesota Public Radio reports the deal to bring the state’s driver’s licenses and identification cards up to federal security standards was delayed by a dispute over giving driver’s licenses for immigrants without proper…

Convicted Soldier Chelsea Manning Will Stay on Active Duty

WASHINGTON (AP) – Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the soldier convicted in 2013 of illegally disclosing classified government information, will remain on active duty in a special status after her scheduled release from prison Wednesday, the Army said Tuesday. Any Army spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson, said Manning will be on “excess leave” while her court-martial conviction is under appellate review. In…

Wisconsin Attorney General Doesn’t Know Rape Kit Test Numbers

Rape Kit Tests Keep Getting Delayed

MADISON, Wis. -Attorney General Brad Schimel apparently doesn’t know how many sexual assault kits have been tested for evidence as part of a state Justice Department push to test kits dating back to 1990. A DOJ inventory of police agencies completed in March revealed about 6,370 untested kits. The agency has submitted 800 kits to a private lab for testing….

Study: Minnesota Medical Marijuana Patients Report Benefits

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Health officials say most Minnesota patients who used medical marijuana during the first year of the state’s tightly regulated program reported benefits. Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger says early data show the drug is providing many people with “substantial benefits, minimal side effects and no serious adverse events.” The study released Tuesday is based on…

Officer Overdoses from Powder on Shirt after Drug Arrest

A total of four doses of Narcan were needed to revive him

Ohio police released this image from inside the suspect’s vehicle (East Liverpool Police Dept.) EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (AP) – Police say an Ohio officer suffered an accidental overdose after a drug arrest when he touched power on his shirt without realizing it was the powerful opioid, fentanyl. He was treated with four doses of Narcan, an overdose reversal drug, after…

Appeals Court Upholds Conviction in Superior Killing

Chance Andrews (Wisconsin Department of Corrections) MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A state appeals court has upheld the conviction of a man serving a 40-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to fatally shooting a Superior man in 2014. The 3rd District Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the felony murder conviction of 20-year-old Chance Andrews. He pleaded guilty to felony murder…

Minnesota Medical Pot Providers Run $11M in Red

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota’s two licensed medical marijuana manufactures have lost a combined $11 million in two years of legal sales. Minnesota has among the strictest programs of nearly 30 states with medical marijuana laws. The state bans the plant form and restricts marijuana pills and oils to patients with a handful of severe conditions. Legal medical cannabis…

New Cranberry Research Facility to be Located in Jackson County

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (AP) – Plans are being made for a new research facility to support Wisconsin’s $1 billion cranberry industry. The Wisconsin Cranberry Research and Education Foundation said Monday it’s purchasing about 155 acres in Jackson County for the research station. The purchase is being made with federal funds and private contributions. The foundation expects research on best growing…

White House: Cyberattack has not Affected US Government

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s homeland security adviser says that so far, no U.S. federal systems have been affected by the global cyberattack. Tom Bossert says the U.S. government has been closely monitoring the attack, which has affected an estimated 300,000 machines in 150 countries. He said a few U.S. businesses, including FedEx were affected. Computers across the world…

Fishing Season Opens in the U.P.

SAULT STE MARIE, Mich. (AP) – Fishing season has started in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The state Department of Natural Resources says the seasons for walleye, northern pike, and muskellunge open Monday, May 15, for all Upper Peninsula waters. That includes the Great Lakes, inland waterways, and the St. Mary’s river, which runs between Sault Ste. Marie and the city of…

Alfalfa Crop Losses Experienced in Eastern Wisconsin

A warm winter and a wet, cold spring are to blame

MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) – Unusual seasonal weather variations have made it tough on alfalfa crops in some parts of Wisconsin. A warmer winter and a cold, wet spring have caused a significant portion of the alfalfa crop to fail in Manitowoc County. University of Wisconsin Extension agriculture specialist Scott Gunderson says at least 10,000 of the 18,000 acres of alfalfa…

Battle Over Minnesota Budget Continues

Legislators Have Until May 22 to Finalize Budget

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Minnesota’s political leaders are entering the legislative homestretch with no budget deal in sight. It’s familiar territory. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican–controlled Legislature have until the May 22 deadline to finish the budget. Few are uttering the dirtiest “s” word in state government yet, but the prospect of another painful shutdown is looming. That’s what happened…

Enbridge Pipeline Replacement Environmental Review Up for Public Comment

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Department of Commerce is soliciting input on a draft environmental review of Enbridge Energy’s proposed replacement for its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota. The release Monday of the environmental review kicks off the public comment period. The $7.5 billion project would replace a pipeline from the 1960s that no…

Regional Wisconsin Opioid Centers Treat 277 People

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Three regional opioid treatment programs that got grants under a 2014 state law treated close to 300 people last year. That’s according to a report the state Department of Health released Friday. The three programs, Northeast Wisconsin Opioid Treatment Services, the HOPE Consortium and the NorthLakes Community Clinic, received a total of $2 million in state…

Iowa Looks to Team Up with Minnesota for Medical Marijuana

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Top state lawmakers are trying to work out a system allowing Iowa residents to start buying medical marijuana oils and pills in Minnesota. A novel arrangement that could raise issues with the federal government. It’s not a done deal yet. The legislation creating a tightly controlled medical marijuana program is still awaiting Governor Terry Brandstad’s…

Drug Epidemic Increases Hepatitis C Cases in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Acute Hepatitis C cases have skyrocketed in Wisconsin, increasing 450 percent from 2011 to 2015. State health officials tell Wisconsin Public Radio that most infections resulted form injection drug use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages needle exchanges as a way to thwart drug addicts from spreading disease. The agency released its Morbidity and…

Battle Over Minnesota Budget Heats Up

Republicans and Democrats Still Have a Few Weeks to Strike a Deal

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Lawmakers have until May 22 to wrap up a new, two–year budget. But Republicans in the Senate couldn’t pass any budget bills Thursday for a second day because a GOP senator’s absence left them without the necessary votes. And Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders weren’t negotiating. Republicans have already sent Dayton five budget bills after pulling out…

Blame Game Heats Up at Minnesota Capitol as Budget Work Hits a Standstill

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Legislature’s budget work is at a standstill. Lawmakers have until May 22 to wrap up a new, two-year budget, but Republicans in the Senate couldn’t pass any budget bills Thursday for a second day. A GOP senator’s absence left them without the necessary votes, and Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders weren’t negotiating….

Dayton Vetoes 2 GOP-Backed Abortion Bills

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Governor Mark Dayton has vetoed two GOP-backed bills that sought to limit abortions in Minnesota. The bills would have restricted public health programs from covering the procedure and created a permitting system for facilities that perform abortions. Republicans who control the Legislature argued greater protections were necessary both for the safety of women and for…

Wisconsin Assembly Approves Stiffer Ignition Interlock Rule

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The state Assembly has approved a bill that would create stiffer ignition interlock rules for drunken drivers. The bipartisan-supported measure passed Wednesday would prohibit all repeat offenders as well as first-time offenders with a blood alcohol percentage of 0.15 or greater from drivinga ny vehicle without an ignition interlock. State law already requires all offenders to…

Minnesota Health Commissioner Calls for Emergency Funding for Measles Outbreak

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota’s health commissioner is asking state legislators to provide $5 million for an emergency fund to deal with an outbreak of measles and other infectious diseases. Dr. Ed Ehlinger says public health officials are dealing with the largest measles outbreak in Minnesota in nearly 30 years and in recent months have responded to drug-resistant tuberculosis…

Sen. Klobuchar Helps Minnesota Man Who IRS Falsely Declared ‘Dead’ for 29 Years

Photo: Fox 9 BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (AP) – A U.S. Senator from Minnesota has helped a man rectify his struggle with the IRS, which declared him dead for nearly 30 years. FOX 9 reports that Senator Amy Klobuchar managed to reverse the false declaration and Adam Ronning is now recognized as being alive by government standards. The false declaration initially…

Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday, saying it was necessary to restore “public trust and confidence” in the nation’s top law enforcement agency following several tumultuous months. “The FBI is one of our nation’s most cherished and respected institutions, and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,”…

Oregon on Track to be First State with No Gender on License

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Oregon is on track to become the first state to allow residents to skip a gender identity on their driver’s licenses and identification cards. Transgender residents say the change would make them feel safer. The Oregonian/OregonLive said Tuesday, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles doesn’t oppose the change and will hold a hearing Wednesday in Portland….

Prosecutor to Appeal Hernandez Conviction Ruling

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) – Prosecutors say they will appeal a ruling erasing former NFL star Aaron Hernandez’s conviction in a 2013 murder because he died before his appeal was heard. Judge Susan Garsh ruled Tuesday that Hernandez’s conviction must be dismissed under longstanding case law in Massachusetts that says a conviction is not final under a court has decided…

Teen’s Plea for Free Wendy’s Nuggets Sets Retweet Record

Retweeted more than 3.4 million times

RENO, Nev. (AP) – A Twitter plea form a Nevada teen for a year of free chicken nuggets from Wendy’s is now the most retweeted post of all time. Carter Wilkerson asked the fast food chain on Twitter last month how many retweets it would take for him to get free nuggets for a year. Wendy’s replied, “18 million.”  …

Mayo Clinic Now Offers Gender Reassignment Surgery

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) – Mayo Clinic says its surgeons have performed the first gender reassignment surgery in Rochester. Doctors helped Michael Keller of Rochester transition to Marisa Ann Bella in a nearly six-hour procedure. The 1980 Rochester Lourdes graduate was on eof the first patients to enroll in Mayo’s Transgender and intersex Specialty Care Clinic when it opened more than…

Bill to Limit Election Recount in Wisconsin Advances

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A bill that would have prevented Wisconsin’s presidential election recount is gaining momentum in the state Legislature. The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections voted 6-3 to send to the full Assembly a Republican proposal that would limit who can request recounts in state and local elections. Under the bill, only candidates who trail the winner…

Prosecutors Charged Man with Breaking into Wisconsin Capitol

Charged with criminal damage to property and entry into a locked building

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Prosecutors have charged a Beloit man with breaking into the state Capitol. Twenty-seven-year-old Zachary Bigelow was charged Tuesday with criminal damage to property and entry into a locked building. According to a criminal complaint, police discovered a broken window in the first-floor of the Capitol bathroom and blood throughout the building Saturday morning. They found another…