The Associated Press

Bill Bars UW Employees from Working at Planned Parenthood

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – University of Wisconsin employees would no longer be allowed to work part-time at Planned Parenthood under a bill supported by anti-abortion advocates that’s up for a public hearing. The Republican-backed measure to be heard by the state Senate’s health committee pits anti-abortion forces against the university and medical community. The measure would prohibit UW employees from…

Bloomington Man Among Those Killed in Somalia Bombing

Man Was Known as Community Activist in Twin Cities

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.-A 50-year-old Bloomington man is among the nearly 300 people killed following a powerful bomb blast in the capital city of Somalia. The Star Tribune reports Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow died in Saturday’s explosion in Mogadishu. Jaylani Hussein is executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He said at a news conference Sunday that Eyow…

Walker Tells NFL Players to Stop Anthem Protests

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he thinks NFL players should stop protesting during the national anthem. The Republican former presidential hopeful sent a letter Monday to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith saying he believes players are showing disrespect for the flag and veterans. Walker says players should drop the “divisive…

Raw Sewage Contaminating Waters in Puerto Rico After Maria

21 out of 51 sewage treatment plants are still out of service on the island

Raw sewage is pouring into the rivers and reservoirs of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the Hurricane Maria. (AP – Oct. 12., 2017) CAGUAS, Puerto Rico (AP) — Raw sewage is pouring into the rivers and reservoirs of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. People without running water bathe and wash their clothes in contaminated streams, and…

Dayton OKs Reinsurance; MinnesotaCare Funding Still at Stake

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a federal waiver approving a new state program to lower health insurance premiums. The Democratic governor officially approved Minnesota’s new reinsurance program Monday. State lawmakers devoted $549 million to lower rates for shoppers who buy coverage on their own after years of double-digit increase. Dayton’s signature means the federal government…

Ryan Backs Trump on Ending Health Insurance Subsidies

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – House Speaker Paul Ryan says he does not want to “shovel more money at a failing program” to replace federal subsidies that President Donald Trump is eliminating to help make health insurance more affordable. Ryan told reporters Monday that he supports the president’s decision last week to end the subsidies. In Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin,…

Crews Continue to Battle California Wildfires

At least 40 people dead

A set of salvaged china that Karen Curzon, background center, inherited from her grandmother lie on the foundation ofher home that was destroyed by a wildfire in the Coffey Park neighborhood Sun., Oct. 15 in Santa Rosa. SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters kept gaining on the California wildfires Monday with help from lighter winds that made it easier to…

Ojibwe Bands Plan Public Forums on Enbridge Pipeline Plan

The First Meeting Will be Wednesday in Mahnomen

MAHNOMEN, Minn.-Six Ojibwe bands that oppose Enbridge Energy’s proposal to replace its Line 3 oil pipeline will open public meetings this week as part of their own environmental assessment. The first is Wednesday on the White Earth Reservation at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen. The tribal proceedings are separate from those of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The state’s…

Minnesota Suing Over President Trump’s Decision to Stop Federal Payments to Insurers

Unclear How Much it Will Hurt Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota is joining a lawsuit over President Donald Trump’s decision to stop federal payments to insurers that had helped hold premiums down for people buying insurance under the Obama-era health care law. The White House announced late Thursday it would end the payments after months of speculation. States are preparing for premium spikes of 20 percent…

Minnesota Pheasant Season Opens Saturday With Numbers Down

Pheasant Season Ends Jan. 1

MINNEAPOLIS-Minnesota opens its pheasant season Saturday with far fewer birds in the field than last year as a long-term decline in the state’s ringneck population continues due to the loss of habitat in farm country. The Department of Natural Resources estimates Minnesota’s pheasant population is down 26 percent from last year. The DNR says the key reason is a big…

Enbridge Energy Defends Plan to Replace Line 3 Oil Pipeline  

The Project is Expected to Cost $7.5 Billion

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Enbridge Energy is disputing a state agency’s recommendation against the company’s proposal for replacing its aging Line 3 oil pipeline across northern Minnesota. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is considering whether to approve the project, which has aroused opposition from environmental and tribal groups. The state Commerce Department surprised both sides last month when it concluded that…

Feds Grant Extension for Real ID Compliance in Minnesota

The Extension is Not as Long at Gov. Dayton Wanted

ST. PAUL, Minn.-The federal government has given Minnesota a little more time to comply with the Real ID law, but not as much as Gov. Mark Dayton and other state officials had requested. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has given Minnesota a grace period until Jan. 22. It allows Minnesotans to continue to use their driver’s licenses to get…

Boy Scouts to Welcome Girls into Program

They Will Admit Girls Beginning Next Year

NEW YORK-In a historic change, the Boy Scouts are announcing plans to admit girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year and to establish a new program for older girls using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts. Under the plan announced Wednesday, Cub Scout dens – the smallest unit – will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. The larger…

Lake Superior’s High Water Level Threatens Shoreline

Lake Superior Near Record High Water Level

DULUTH, Minn.-Lake Superior’s water level is near a record high after an unusually wet summer and fall in Minnesota. That’s leading to concerns about damage to its shoreline. The Star Tribune reports that the lake was about 603 feet (184 meters) above sea level in September, the highest point it’s reached since 1997. The high water level has damaged docks…

Synthetic Drug Overdoses on Rise

No Known Way to Reverse Synthetic Marijuana Overdose

MINNEAPOLIS-Minnesota health officials say there’s been a spike in the number of overdoses from synthetic marijuana in Minneapolis. The Star Tribune reports that last week alone Minneapolis hospitals handled at least 60 cases related to the synthetic drug, which causes hallucinations and violent behavior in some users and leaves others comatose. Officials say none of the cases has been fatal….

Republicans Running for Minnesota Governor Support Voter ID

Idea Already Rejected in 2012 Statewide Vote

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Four Republicans running for governor in Minnesota all support requiring voters to show identification at the polls, despite the idea being rejected during a 2012 statewide vote. The candidates are Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, former Republican Party chair Keith Downey, state Rep. Matt Dean and state Sen. Dave Osmek. Minnesota Public Radio reports the candidates say the…

Minnesota Officials Begin Mille Lacs Walleye Assessment

There Have Been Tighter Walleye Restrictions on Lake Over Last Few Years

ONAMIA, Minn.-The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is netting fish on a big central Minnesota lake as part of the agency’s annual fall assessment. Minnesota Public Radio reports the department’s work is under intense scrutiny because of tighter walleye regulations on Mille Lacs Lake in the last few years. The survey’s data will determine the harvest limits for next year…

Hecker Still in Prison

Hecker's Attorney Misspoke When She Said Hecker Had Been Released From the Federal Prison

MINNEAPOLIS-Former Minnesota auto dealer Denny Hecker remains in federal prison and is not in a halfway house as his attorney reported earlier this week. The federal Bureau of Prisons says Hecker’s attorney misspoke when she said Hecker had been released from the federal prison in Illinois and sent to a halfway house in Minneapolis. Hecker’s former bankruptcy attorney Barbara May…

Republicans Vote to Reject Raises for State Employees

30,000 Public Employees Affected

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Legislative Republicans have voted to reject a new contract for Minnesota’s 30,000 public employees. The state’s two massive unions for state employees ratified a new contract earlier this year. The contracts for the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees and AFSCME Council 5 call for a 2 percent raise this year and a 2.5 percent hike…

Judge Orders Spectrum Brands to Pay $1.9M in Civil Penalties

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin-based consumer products company has been ordered to pay $1.9 million in civil penalties for waiting to report a defect in coffee carafes that resulted in injuries to nearly 70 people, and for continuing to sell the carafes even after they were recalled. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that U.S. District Judge William Conley issued…

Trump Justice Department Ends Transgender Workplace Protections

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal civil rights law does not protect transgender people from discrimination at work, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a memo released Thursday that rescinds guidance issued under the Obama administration. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars workplace discrimination between men and women but does not extend to gender identity, Sessions said….

Auto Dealer Denny Hecker to be Released from Halfway House Today

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A former Minnesota auto dealer will be released from a halfway house where he’s lived since serving most of a 10-year sentence in federal prison. The Pioneer Press reports that 65-year-old Denny Hecker will be released from the Minneapolis halfway house Thursday. Hecker filed for bankruptcy in June 2009, when he owed $767 million. He was sentenced…

Wisconsin Municipalities Providing $764M for Foxconn Project

RACINE, Wis. (AP) – The municipalities where Foxconn Technology Group plans to build a massive manufacturing plant in southeast Wisconsin are providing $764 million to help complete the project. The Journal Sentinel reports that officials in Mount Pleasant and Racine County say their contribution will be repaid through taxes generated by the project and no taxes will be raised. Foxconn…

Lynx Capture 4th Title with 85-76 Win Over Sparks in Game 5

The new Minnesota Lynx logo, unveiled Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. (Courtesy of MN Lynx) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Sylvia Fowls had 17 points and broke her own WNBA Finals record by grabbing 20 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Lynx to their fourth championship in seven years with an 85-76 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks in Game 5 on Wednesday night….

Wisconsin Assembly Committee to Consider Body Camera Limits

Could Lead to Body Camera Footage Being Withheld

MADISON, Wis.-Most police body camera video footage would be withheld from the public in Wisconsin under a bill up for a hearing in an Assembly committee. The Republican-backed measure is before the Assembly’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on Thursday. Supporters say they’re trying to establish reasonable statewide standards for when body cam video is made public, while being…

Wisconsin Legislatures Trying to Renew Sulfide Mining in State

Full State Senate Still Has to Vote on the Bill

MADISON, Wis.-A legislative committee has approved a Republican bill that would end Wisconsin’s sulfide mining moratorium. The Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry voted 3-2 to approve the bill Wednesday. All three Republicans on the committee voted for the bill. The two Democrats voted against it. Committee approval sets up a full Senate vote. Wisconsin lawmakers enacted legislation…

Minnesota Man Sentenced to Jail in Revenge Porn Case

Michael Weigel ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – An eastern Minnesota man has been sentenced under a new state law that seeks to hold people accountable for revenge porn. The Pioneer Press reports that 39-year-old Michael Weigel was sentenced to four months in jail and three years of probation. He was convicted on one count of felony non-consensual dissemination of private…

FBI Interviewing Las Vegas Shooter’s Girlfriend

Undated photo of Marilou Danley from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. (AP) LAS VEGAS (AP) – A law enforcement official has told The Associated Press that the Las Vegas shooter’s girlfriend is being questioned by FBI agents in Los Angeles. The official says Marilou Danley was being questioned Wednesday morning at the FBI’s field office in Los Angeles and…

Wisconsin to Fund Child Health Insurance Program

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin health officials say the expiration of the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program won’t immediately affect children and families in the state. Wisconsin Public Radio reports the program provides health coverage to families that make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but don’t make enough to afford private insurance. Funding lapsed over the weekend while…

Wisconsin Rep. Bob Gannon Dies at 58

Rep. Bob Gannon (Photo: Richard’s Insurance) MADISON, Wis. (AP) – State Rep. Bob Gannon, a West Bend Republican in his second term, has died. Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke’s aid, Alesha Potter, says Gannon’s family informed Steineke that Gannon died Tuesday of natural causes. Gannon was 58. Gannon was first elected in 2014 and built a reputation as pro-gun and…

Minnesota, North Dakota Governors Plan Meeting on Diversion

  MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) – The governors of Minnesota and North Dakota have scheduled a meeting to discuss the future of a flood control project in the Fargo-Moorhead area. A federal judge last month stopped construction of the $2.2 billion Red River diversion project over complaints that the Fargo-Moorhead Division Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not…

Northern Minnesota Counties Could Lose Some Enbridge Tax Money

Enbridge Looking to Get Back at Least $18 Million

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – County officials in northern Minnesota say they’re anxious about a property tax case involving Enbridge Energy that could force them to repay $18 million in tax revenue collected between 2012 and 2014. Minnesota Public Radio reports that Enbridge contends the state Department of Revenue began using new methodology in 2012 to determine the value of pipelines…

Las Vegas Shooter’s Father had Ties to Superior

Lived in Superior After He Was Born in Wisconsin

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) – While investigators in Las Vegas work to find out what motivated a one-time accountant with no known criminal history to inflict so much pain in a mass shooting, others digging into his past know his father was a notorious bank robber with ties to Wisconsin. Stephen Paddock’s father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was born in Sheboygan in…

Trump: Puerto Rico Put Budget ‘Out of Whack’ But Lives Saved

President Trump and first lady Melania take a walking tour with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello, left, and his wife Beatriz Areizaga, to survey hurricane damage and recovery efforts in a neighborhood in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — President Donald Trump highlighted Puerto Rico’s relatively low death toll compared with “a real…

Rock Superstar Tom Petty Dies at Age 66 After Suffering Cardiac Arrest

Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performs during their 40th Anniversary Tour at Bridgestone Arena on April 25, 2017 in Nashville, TN. (Photo by Rick Diamond) LOS ANGELES (AP) – Rock superstar Tom Petty has died at age 66. Spokeswoman Carla Sacks says Petty died Monday night at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after he suffered cardiac…

UW Regents to Adopt Free Speech Resolution, Set Up Punishment

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – University of Wisconsin System leaders are poised to adopt a policy that would punish students who disrupt speeches and presentations. Under the policy up for Board of Regents vote Friday, students accused of twice engaging in violent or other disorderly conduct that disrupts free expression of others would be suspended for at least a semester. Any…

Equifax: 2.5 Million More Americans May Be Affected by Hack

(AP) NEW YORK (AP) — Credit report company Equifax said Monday that an additional 2.5 million Americans may have been affected by the massive security breach of its systems, bringing the total to 145.5 million people who had their personal information accessed or stolen. Equifax said the company it hired to investigate the breach, Mandiant, has concluded its investigation and…

Wisconsin GOP Introduces Bill to Wipe Out State Air Pollution Rules

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republicans are proposing eliminating any state air pollution rule that goes beyond federal regulations. Reps. Jesse Kremer and Cody Horlacher and Sen. Duey Stroebel have introduced a bill that would eliminate any state air pollution rules go beyond federal regulations. They said in a memo seeking co-sponsors that the state regulates nearly 300 more air pollutants…

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Minnesota Sex Offender Case

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court won’t hear a challenge to Minnesota’s sex offender civil commitment system, which allows people deemed sexually dangerous to be committed to a treatment facility for an indefinite period of time. The court’s order, which declines to hear the case, came Monday. According to the sex offenders who brought the lawsuit, more than 700 people…

UPDATE: More than 50 Dead After Gunfire Rings Out at Las Vegas Music Festival

Officials Say the Gunman Killed Himself

LAS VEGAS – LAS VEGAS (AP) — A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas casino unleashed a hail of bullets on an outdoor country music festival below, killing at least 50 people as tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives, officials said Monday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S….

Health Secretary Price Resigns Amid Travel Flap

(AP) WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s health secretary has resigned, after his travel on costly charter flights triggered investigations and angered his boss. Tom Price’s partial repayment and public regrets couldn’t save his job. The Health and Human Services secretary became the first member of the president’s Cabinet to leave office in a turbulent young administration that has seen…

Wisconsin Girl Reaches Plea Deal in Slender Man Case

Morgan Geyser, one of two Wisconsin girls charged with stabbing a classmate to impress the fictitious horror character Slender Man, sits in a Waukesha County Courtroom for a status hearing Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via AP) WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — The second of two Wisconsin girls charged with repeatedly stabbing a classmate to impress horror character Slender…