Author: The Associated Press

Minnesota Officials Back Mask Mandate Amid Spikes Elsewhere

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Health experts are urging Gov. Tim Walz to require masks in public statewide amid concerns over the spike in coronavirus cases elsewhere. Nationwide, the infection curve rising in 40 of 50 states. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says the evidence is increasingly clear that masks are effective. Walz says he’s reevaluating the situation daily. Minnesota has seen an uptick…

Minneapolis Commission to Hold Two Hearings on Police Proposal

MINNEAPOLIS-Some members of a commission reviewing a proposal to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department expressed concern about the fast-tracked timeline they must follow to get the issue on the November ballot. The Minneapolis Charter Commission voted Wednesday that it will have two public hearings on the issue. The first will be July 15. The City Council is proposing to amend…

Walleye Fishing on Mille Lacs Lake Closed for July

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Walleye fishing on Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Lake has closed for July. The planned closure took effect Wednesday, in anticipation of a fall walleye season. Officials with the Department of Natural Resources determined closing the popular lake to walleye fishing in July would provide the best chance for walleye fishing this fall, by reducing hooking mortality when water temperatures…

Health Officials Close Indoor Service at Madison Bars

(William Glasheen/The Post-Crescent via AP) MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Public health officials are closing indoor service at bars in Madison as the Fourth of July weekend approaches and as the number of reported coronavirus cases accelerate. Many of the new cases involve young people in Wisconsin’s largest college community. The order from Public Health Madison & Dane County allows bars…

Pharmaceutical Industry Sues to Block Minnesota Insulin Law

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The drug industry is suing to overturn a Minnesota law that took effect Wednesday that requires them to provide emergency and longer-term insulin supplies to diabetics who can’t afford them. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, also known as PhRMA, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Minnesota late Tuesday, just hours before the…

University of Minnesota: 7 Students Test COVID-19 Positive

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota said Tuesday that seven athletes from “multiple sports” have tested positive for the coronavirus. The Gopher Athletics Department conducted 170 COVID-19 tests during June, and seven athletes tested positive. The school said students who test positive are entered into a protocol and asked to self-isolate. Those students will have access to all necessary…

Fauci: US ‘Going in Wrong Direction’ in Coronavirus Outbreak

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. is “going in the wrong direction” with the coronavirus surging badly enough that Dr. Anthony Fauci told senators Tuesday some regions are putting the entire country at risk — just as schools and colleges are wrestling with how to safely reopen. With about 40,000 new cases being reported a day, Fauci, the government’s top infectious…

University of Minnesota, Edina, Rochester Adopt Face Mask Requirements

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota as well as the cities of Edina and Rochester have new requirements on wearing face masks in public places as the number of coronavirus cases and deaths continue to climb in Minnesota. University officials sent an e-mail to students Monday announcing that beginning Wednesday, all faculty, students, and visitors to the campuses will…

Judge Warns of Possible Move of Trial in George Floyd Death

(Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge on Monday warned that he’s likely to move the trials of four police officers charged in George Floyd’s death out of Minneapolis if public officials and attorneys don’t stop talking about the case. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill stopped short of issuing a gag order on attorneys, but…

Democrats Say no August Election Changes, Look to November

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An attorney representing Democrats in a federal lawsuit seeking to make absentee voting easier told a judge Monday that his clients are no longer looking to implement changes in time for Wisconsin’s August primary and are now looking ahead to the November presidential election. The Democratic National Committee and the state Democratic Party filed a lawsuit…

Supreme Court Strikes Down Louisiana Abortion Clinic Law

WASHINGTON (AP) –The Supreme Court has struck down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics, reasserting a commitment to abortion rights over fierce opposition from dissenting conservative justices in the first big abortion case of the Trump era. Chief Justice John Roberts joined with his four more liberal colleagues in ruling that the law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have…

Four Ex-Officers due Back in Court in George Floyd’s Death

(from left, Derek Chauvin, Tuo Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd are due in court Monday for a hearing that could deal with bail amounts and other issues. It’s the second pretrial hearing for the men, who were fired after Floyd’s May 25…

Health Care Workers Forced to Reuse Masks Due to Shortage

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — 3M Co. says global demand for N95 masks continues to far exceed supply. The Maplewood-based conglomerate corporation says it has doubled the production of N95 masks this year. But, with too few N95 respirators to go around, nurses and other health care workers are being forced to reuse the masks even though the coronavirus can live on…

Second Minnesota Prison Inmate Dies After Testing Positive for COVID-19

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – State corrections officials say a second Minnesota prison inmate has died after testing positive for COVID-19. The Minnesota Department of Corrections says 71-year-old Leroy Wallace Bergstrom died at a hospital on Saturday. The department says Bergstrom tested positive for COVID-19 on June 10. An autopsy to determine the cause of death is pending. Bergstrom was…

FBI Investigates Apparent Noose Found in Minnesota Firefighter’s Locker

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) – The FBI is investigating after a piece of rope resembling a noose was found in a Black firefighter’s locker in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington. An FBI spokesman confirmed Saturday the bureau is investigating and said that the case is in its initial stages. Bloomington officials had asked the FBI to investigate. Officials say that the…

Appeals Court: Trump Wrongly Diverted $2.5B for Border Wall

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file) SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday ruled against the Trump administration in its transfer of $2.5 billion from military construction projects to build sections of the U.S. border wall with Mexico, ruling it illegally sidestepped Congress, which gets to decide how to use the funds. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of…

Council Advances Plan to Dismantle Minneapolis Police Dept

(courtesy: CNN) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously approved a radical proposal to change the city charter that would allow the police department to be dismantled, following mass public criticism of law enforcement over the killing of George Floyd. The 12-0 vote is just the first step in a process that faces significant bureaucratic obstacles to…

Mayo Clinic to End Pay Cuts, Recall Workers

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic is ending pay cuts that the Minnesota-based health system imposed to deal with a patient downturn caused by the novel coronavirus. The Star Tribune reports Mayo plans to restore pay and return furloughed workers this summer. In April, Mayo announced plans to cut pay to more than 20,000 employees and seek furloughs when elective surgeries were halted…

Minnesota Prison Inmate Dies After Testing COVID-19 Positive

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota prison inmate has died after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, state corrections officials said Thursday. The Minnesota Department of Corrections said Adrian Raymaar Keys, 43, died Tuesday night at a hospital. Keys was an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault and tested positive for COVID-19 along with a number…

Falvey: ‘A few’ Twins Players Test Positive for Covid-19

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Fox 9) – At least “a few” Minnesota Twins players have tested positive for Coronavirus within the last few days, Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said Thursday. Falvey held a nearly 60-minute Zoom session with reporters Thursday morning on several topics. He declined to specify how many players have had positive Covid-19 tests, declined to name any of the players,…

Judge Shuts Down Energy Pipeline in Michigan’s Great Lakes

(Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP File) DETROIT (AP) — A judge has shut down an energy pipeline in Michigan’s Great Lakes, granting a request from the state. The move comes after the owner reported problems with a support piece deep below the surface of the Straits of Mackinac. The judge told Enbridge to close Line 5 as “immediately as possible”…

Segway to End Production

(AP) — Segway says it will end production of its namesake two-wheeled personal transporter, popular with tourists and police officers but perhaps better known for its high-profile crashes. The company, founded in 1999 by inventor Dean Kamen, will retire the Segway PT on July 15. The company said 21 employees will be laid off. In 2017, Segway got into the…

Disney Delays Southern California Theme Park Reopenings

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Disney is postponing the mid-July reopening of its Southern California theme parks until it receives guidelines from the state, the company announced Wednesday. Disney had hoped to reopen Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim on July 17 after a four-month closure due to the coronavirus. But the state has indicated it won’t issue guidelines until…

Wisconsin Governor Activates National Guard After Violence

(Emily Hamer/Wisconsin State Journal via AP) MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s governor has activated the National Guard to protect state properties after a night of violence that included the toppling of two statues outside the state Capitol and an attack on a state senator. Protesters also threw a Molotov cocktail into a government building and attempted to break into the…

Minnesota Sues Oil Companies, Institute Over Climate Change

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is suing ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute, alleging they deceived and defrauded Minnesotans about climate change. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in state court in Minnesota accuses the oil companies and trade group of consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices. “We’re here suing these defendants — API, ExxonMobil,…

Data: Minnesota Will See Increase in Food Insecurity

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — More Minnesota residents will lack access to sufficient food in the coming months in wake of a disrupted economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. Food assistance needs will peak in September to 735,000 Minnesota residents who are “food insecure,” according to projections released Wednesday by Second Harvest Heartland and consulting firm McKinsey & Co. That number reflects 13%…

Crowds Tear Down Statues, Attack Wisconsin State Senator

(credit: Fox 9/Storyful) MADISON (AP) – Crowds outside the Wisconsin State Capitol tore down two statues and attacked a state senator amid protests following the arrest of a Black man who was at a restaurant with a megaphone and a baseball bat. Video released by the Madison Police Department shows the man talking through the megaphone Tuesday while walking near the restaurant’s…

MLB Plans 60-Game Slate, Shortest Since 1878

NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball plans to unilaterally issue a 60-game schedule for its shortest season since 1878 after the players’ association rejected a negotiated deal of the same length, putting the sport on track for a combative and possibly unhappy return to the field amid the coronavirus pandemic. Six days after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and union…

Minntac to Restart Production Lines Next Month

DULUTH, Minn. – U.S. Steel says they plan to restart production lines at its Minntac mine as early as next month. United Steelworkers Local 1938 representatives confirmed on Tuesday that production lines 6 and 7 are expected to restart on July 27. Operations for the lines were originally planned to be stalled until August. Union reps also say maintenance workers…

Wisconsin State Officials Release Guidance on Reopening Schools

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Flexibility will be key in reopening classrooms in Wisconsin’s 421 public school districts amid the coronavirus pandemic, state officials said Monday in releasing guidance on the new school year. The Department of Public Instruction said school districts should be prepared to shift between in-person, physically-distanced, and virtual learning as they deal with changing aspects of COVID-19….

Minnesota Special Session Ends With No Deal on Policing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota legislative leaders traded barbs Saturday after a special session collapsed Saturday with no deal on revamping policing following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Republican-controlled Senate adjourned just after 6 a.m. Saturday. GOP Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka repeatedly had said that Friday was his deadline for adjournment. Gazelka blamed “behind the scenes arm-twisting”…

Second Former MPD Officer Charged in Death of George Floyd Released on Bail

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A second former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd is out of jail after posting bail. According to online records, 26-year-old J. Kueng, posted bail of $750,000 and was released from the Hennepin County Jail, with conditions, about 7:30 p.m. Friday. Kueng is charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter…

EPA Fines Enbridge $6.7M Over Pipeline Safety Issues

(Garret Ellison | MLive) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal regulators have fined Enbridge $6.7 million for allegedly failing to quickly fix pipeline safety issues. Enbridge said Thursday that the Alberta, Canada-based company has settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and agreed to pay the fines, levied in May. Regulators alleged that Enbridge violated a 2017 consent decree. Among other things,…

Officer Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting to be Fired

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville’s mayor said Friday that one of three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor will be fired. Mayor Greg Fisher said interim Louisville police Chief Robert Schroeder has started termination proceedings for Officer Brett Hankison. Two other officers remain on administrative reassignment while the shooting is investigated. Fischer said officials could not…

Twins Remove Ex-Owner Griffith Statue Over Racist Remarks

(AP Photo/Paul Battaglia, File) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have removed a statue of former owner Calvin Griffith at Target Field, citing racist remarks he made in 1978. Griffith’s statue was one of several installed when the team opened its ballpark in 2010. Griffith moved the Washington Senators to Minnesota for the 1961 season, and the team was renamed…

Regents Select Tommy Thompson as Interim UW president

(courtesy: UW System) MADISON, Wis. (AP) — University of Wisconsin System regents announced Friday they have selected former Gov. Tommy Thompson as the system’s interim president, another twist in what’s become a messy search to replace outgoing President Ray Cross. Regents President Andrew Petersen asked Thompson to jump into the position, according to a system statement. Thompson will take over…

Minnesota Officials Prepare to Announce Fall School Plans

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — State health and education officials will announce plans Thursday for how Minnesota schools will conduct classes this fall after they were shut down this spring to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Deputy Commissioner Heather Mueller will join the Minnesota Department of Health officials at an afternoon briefing to discuss “the new fall planning guidance for…

Justices Reject end to Protections for Young Immigrants

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants. For now, those immigrants retain their protection from deportation and their authorization to work in the United States. The outcome seems certain to elevate the issue in Trump’s campaign, given the anti-immigrant rhetoric of his first presidential run in…

1.5 Million More Laid-Off Workers Seek Unemployment Benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) – About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a historically high number, even as the economy increasingly reopens and employers bring some people back to work. The latest figure from the Labor Department marks the 11th straight weekly decline in applications since they peaked at nearly 7 million in March as the coronavirus…

Minnesota State Trustees OK Fall Tuition Freeze, Spring Hike

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Students at Minnesota State colleges and universities will get a tuition freeze this fall with a 3 percent hike following in the spring, under a budget approved by system trustees Wednesday. The trustees approved the fall tuition freeze as a way to retain students and attract new ones. Administrators previously proposed a tuition increase of…

Officer who Shot Rayshard Brooks Charged with Felony Murder

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks in the back after the fleeing man pointed a stun gun in his direction is going to be charged with felony murder and 10 other crimes. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard made the announcement about Garrett Rolfe during a news conference Wednesday. Howard said Rolfe kicked Brooks while…

‘Live from Here,’ successor to ‘Prairie Home’ show, canceled

(AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — American Public Media Group announced Tuesday it has canceled musician Chris Thile’s “Live from Here” radio show, the successor to Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” The media organization said it was ending national production of Thile’s show while cutting 28 staffers at American Public Media and Minnesota Public Radio. American…

Trump Signs Executive Order on Police Reform

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on policing following weeks of national protests after the death of George Floyd. The order is aimed at encouraging best practices and tracking officers with excessive use of force complaints. In the Rose Garden, Trump stressed the need for higher standards and commiserated with mourning families, even as he…

Canada, US Extend Border Restrictions to July 21

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot,File) TORONTO (AP) — Canada and the US have agreed to extend their agreement to keep their border closed to non-essential travel to July 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday’s agreement extends the closure by another 30 days. The restrictions were announced on March 18 and were extended in April and May….

First Drug Proves Able to Improve Survival From COVID-19

(AP) – Researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 survival: A cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients. Results were announced Tuesday and researchers said they would publish them soon. The study is a large, strict test that randomly assigned 2,104…