Author: The Associated Press

AP Source: J&J Doses to be Released, But Many Will be Tossed

U.S. regulators are allowing for the release of 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine from a troubled Baltimore factory. But material to make many more must be thrown out because of possible contamination. That’s according to a person familiar with the decision. The FDA announced Friday that it had determined that two batches from the plant could…

Court: Wisconsin Heath Departments Can’t Close Schools

MADISON, Wis.-The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that local health departments do not have the authority to close schools due emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic. The conservative majority of the court, in a 4-3 decision Friday, also ruled that a school closure order issued last year by Public Health Madison & Dane County infringed on religious rights. The ruling is…

Twin Cities Roads Buckling in Extreme Heat

MINNEAPOLIS-Roads are breaking apart as an oppressive heat wave continues to bake the Twin Cities. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports state transportation officials have responded to 43 incidents of road buckling in the metro area since 90-degree temperatures enveloped the region on June 3. The area is experiencing the third-longest streak of temperatures at 90 degrees of higher in history….

Images Captured of Partial “Ring of Fire” Solar Eclipse Thursday Morning

The Eclipse Wasn't Noticeable in the Northland

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – The top of the world got a sunrise special “ring of fire” solar eclipse. This so-called annular eclipse began Thursday at the Canadian province of Ontario, then swept across Greenland, the North Pole, and finally Siberia. An annular eclipse occurs when a new moon is around its farthest point from us and appearing smaller. It…

U.S. Donating 500 Million COVID-19 Vaccines to Developing Countries

The 500 Million Vaccines will be Distributed Throughout 2021 and 2022

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) – Health officials and experts around the world are welcoming a U.S. plan to donate 500 million more COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries. But the celebrations Thursday came with hesitation. For instance, when exactly will those vaccines reach regions left behind in the global race and that are feeling the bite right now with deadly…

Wisconsin Senate Passes Bills Making it Harder to Vote

The Measures Are Likely to be Vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Senate has approved Republican-backed bills that would create new hurdles for the elderly and disabled to cast absentee ballots, limit the number and location of ballot drop boxes and impose new penalties for violating election law. All of the measures are almost certain to be vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who has said…

US Drops Trump Order Targeting TikTok, Plans Its Own Review

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House dropped Trump-era executive orders intended to ban the popular apps TikTok and WeChat and will conduct its own review aimed at identifying national security risks with software applications tied to China, officials said Wednesday. A new executive order directs the Commerce Department to undertake what officials describe as an “evidence-based” analysis of transactions involving apps that are manufactured…

Justices to Decide if Charge Fits Minneapolis Police Killing

MINNEAPOLIS-The Minnesota Supreme Court hears oral arguments Wednesday in the case of Mohamed Noor. He’s the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of third-degree murder in the shooting death of an Australian woman who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home. Noor’s attorneys argue that a divided Minnesota Court of Appeals failed to follow…

The Latest: Ex-Pharmacist Gets 3 Years in Jail for Tampering

(Ozaukee County Sheriff via AP) MILWAUKEE — A former pharmacist in Wisconsin who intentionally ruined more than 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine has been sentenced to three years in prison. Steven Brandenburg, of Grafton, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in February to two felony counts of attempting to tamper with a consumer product. He had admitted to removing…

15 Minneapolis Schools Switch to Online to Avoid Heat

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Fifteen Minneapolis schools that aren’t fully air-conditioned are switching from in-person to online instruction to avoid a heatwave this week. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the schools will shift into online learning Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Highs in Minneapolis are expected to top out in the mid-to-upper-90s those days. The schools plan to re-open on Friday,…

Aaron Rodgers Not Present As Packers Open Mandatory Minicamp

Aaron Rodgers (AP) GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers wasn’t with the Green Bay Packers for their first mandatory minicamp session. This marks the latest chapter in the standoff between the team and its MVP quarterback. Rodgers also hadn’t participated in the Packers’ voluntary organized team activities. That represented a change from his usual offseason routine. The Packers have…

Crews Work Again to Reopen George Floyd Square to Traffic

(AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Crews returned to a Minneapolis intersection where a memorial to George Floyd was assembled after his death last year and worked to reopen it to traffic by removing debris and makeshift barriers. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that workers using front-end loaders and brooms arrived just before 5 a.m. Tuesday and cleared the intersection…

Wisconsin Prisons to Resume in-Person Visits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin prison officials announced Monday they will lift a ban on in-person visits later this month as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. The state Department of Corrections said people can resume scheduling in-person visits again on June 16. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee filed a lawsuit in May demanding that the department relax restrictions and allow ministers to visit inmates,…

Oil Pipeline Foes Protest Enbridge’s Line 3 in Minnesota

(Evan Frost/Minnesota Public Radio via AP) SOLWAY, Minn. (AP) — Hundreds of protesters chanting “Stop Line 3!” and “Water is life!” gathered at the headwaters of the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota on Monday, vowing to do whatever it takes to stop a Canadian-based company’s plan to replace an aging pipeline that carries oil from Alberta to Wisconsin. Environmental and tribal groups say…

Charges Pending Against Drunken Driver in St. Cloud Police Crash

(courtesy: Waite Park Police Department via Fox9) ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — Charges are pending against a suspected drunken driver who crashed head-long into a St. Cloud Police officer’s squad car. KTSP-TV reported Monday that the crash occurred about 6:20 a.m. on Sunday. Investigators said the officer was on traveling southbound on patrol and not using his emergency lights when…

US Has Recovered Ransom Payment Made After Pipeline Hack

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson,File) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has recovered the majority of a multimillion-dollar ransom payment to hackers after a cyberattack that caused the operator of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline to halt its operations last month, officials said Monday. The operation to recover the cryptocurrency from the Russia-based hacker group is believed to be the first of…

FDA Approves Much-Debated Alzheimer’s Drug Panned by Experts

(courtesy: Biogen via AP) WASHINGTON (AP) – Government health officials have approved the first drug that they say may help slow Alzheimer’s disease. The surprise decision came after the agency’s independent advisers said the treatment hadn’t been shown to help treat the brain-destroying disease. The Food and Drug Administration is not required to follow their advice. The agency approved the…

Supreme Court Rules Against Immigrants With Temporary Status

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court has ruled that thousands of people living in the U.S. for humanitarian reasons are ineligible to apply to become permanent residents. Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court Monday that federal immigration law prohibits people who entered the country illegally and now have Temporary Protected Status from seeking “green cards” to remain in…

Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Evers Launches Bid for Second Term

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is making it official, announcing his bid for a second term in the battleground state where he stands as a Democratic block to the Republican-controlled state Legislature. Evers told The Associated Press in an interview that he decided to run again because he has unfinished business and needs to remain a check…

Pipeline Foes Gear up for Large Northern Minnesota Protests

(Evan Frost/Minnesota Public Radio via AP) SOLWAY, Minn. (AP) — Environmental and tribal groups opposed to Enbridge Energy’s ongoing effort to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline are planning large protests in northern Minnesota as the Canadian-based company gears up for a final construction push. Organizers say they expect hundreds of people to participate in Monday’s “Treaty People…

Facebook Suspends Trump for 2 Years, Then Will Reassess

(AP) – Facebook said it is suspending former President Donald Trump’s accounts for two years following its finding that he stoked violence ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection. The two-year suspension is effective from Jan. 7, so Trump has 19 months to go. In a press release, the former president called Facebook’s decision “an insult.” “They shouldn’t be allowed…

Reports: Facebook to End Rule Exemptions for Politicians

(AP) – Facebook plans to end a contentious policy championed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg that exempted politicians from certain moderation rules on its site, according to reports from the tech site The Verge, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. The company’s reasoning for the policy was that what political leaders say is newsworthy and in the public interest…

Archdiocese Won’t Cooperate With Wisconsin Sex Abuse Probe

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is refusing to turn over documents to Wisconsin Department of Justice investigators probing clergy sexual abuse across the state’s five Roman Catholic dioceses. Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul announced the investigation in April, following the lead of officials who have launched similar probes in 22 other states. The archdiocese’s attorney, Frank LoCoco, sent Kaul…

US Adds 559K Jobs as Firms Still Struggle to Fill Positions

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a modest 559,000 jobs in May, an improvement from April’s sluggish gain but still evidence that many companies are struggling to find enough workers as the economy rapidly recovers from the pandemic recession. Last month’s job gain was above April’s revised total of 278,000. The unemployment rate fell to 5.8%…

Lawsuit Alleges Minneapolis Withholds Police Misconduct Data

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A group that advocates for government transparency has sued the city of Minneapolis, alleging it uses a loophole known as coaching to circumvent public data laws and keep hundreds of police misconduct records private. Complaints against police are classified as public if the officer is disciplined. But the lawsuit alleges that Minneapolis says one-on-one mentoring known as…

Biden Announces International COVID-19 Vaccine Sharing Plan

(courtesy: Facebook/Biden) WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is unveiling President Joe Biden’s plans to share COVID-19 vaccines with the world, including directing 75% of excess doses through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program. The White House has previously stated its intent to share 80 million vaccine doses with the world by the end of June. The administration says…

Crews Removing Barriers, Memorials at George Floyd Square

(AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Crews are removing concrete barriers as well as artwork, flowers, and other memorial items from a Minneapolis intersection that has become a sprawling memorial to George Floyd. City crews began the work at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday at the intersection, which is informally known as George Floyd Square and was where the 46-year-old Black…

State Seeks 30 Years for Chauvin; Defense Wants Time Served

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year sentence for the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, but a defense attorney is asking that Derek Chauvin be sentenced to probation and time already served. Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced on June 25 following his conviction on murder and manslaughter charges. Judge Peter…

Local Elections New Front in Wisconsin Redistricting Battle

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — County board and local aldermanic districts in Wisconsin would remain the same next year under a bill moving quickly through the Republican-controlled Legislature. The measure introduced on Tuesday and heard by an Assembly committee on Wednesday would delay redistricting and implementation of new political boundaries for local races until at least 2023. The bill is supported…

Wisconsin Republicans Block Medical Marijuana

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republicans who control the Legislature’s powerful budget-writing committee again blocked a Democratic attempt Wednesday to legalize marijuana for medical uses. The GOP stripped a provision legalizing medical marijuana from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ 2021-23 budget last month as the party erased hundreds of Evers’ proposals from the spending plan. Democrats on the budget committee introduced a…

Biden Pushes for US Voting Rights Law as Restrictions Mount

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has used the 100th anniversary of Tulsa’s race massacre to plea for sweeping legislation in Congress to protect the right to vote. Biden’s message comes as Republican-led state governments pass new restrictions making it tougher to cast ballots. Biden called out lawmakers in Congress — including two senators in his own party — for…

Chauvin Faces Hearing on Federal Charges in Floyd’s Death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in last year’s death of George Floyd is scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court for allegedly violating Floyd’s civil rights. Derek Chauvin is scheduled to appear in court via video conference Tuesday from Minnesota’s maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights, where he’s being held as he…

Guard Sues Minnesota State Patrol for Arrest During Protests

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Black man who worked as a security guard for a CNN crew covering protests in Minneapolis following George Floyd’s death last summer is suing two Minnesota State Patrol officers, accusing them of violating his civil rights and unlawful detention, his attorneys announced Tuesday. The lawsuit was filed in federal court last Thursday on behalf of Michael Cooper, a…

Moderna Seeks Full FDA Approval for Its Vaccine

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — American pharmaceutical company Moderna says it has begun the process to win full U.S. regulatory approval for the use of its COVID-19 vaccine in adults. Moderna announced Tuesday it has begun a “rolling submission” to the Food and Drug Administration of data from its studies of the two-dose vaccine. Moderna’s vaccine already has been cleared for emergency…

COVID-19 Hospitalizations at Their Lowest Level in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Hospitalizations due to the COVID-19 virus are at their lowest recorded levels in Wisconsin, a 92% drop from the peak less than seven months ago. The Wisconsin Hospital Association said that as of Monday, there were 186 people reported as hospitalized statewide due to the virus. The previous low was 192 people on April 2, the first…

Wisconsin Dells Attractions Making Do With Fewer Workers

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (AP) – One of Wisconsin’s major tourist attractions is making do during Memorial Day weekend with fewer workers, hoping that more will arrive during the summer. Tom Diehl is the president of the Attractions Association and Tommy Bartlett Inc. in Wisconsin Dells. He says they’re ready to welcome visitors but labor is a problem. Diehl tells WMTV-TV…

Minnesota Legislators Miss Friday Goal for Budget Numbers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Lawmakers are still negotiating Minnesota’s next two-year budget and won’t meet the goal of Friday set by their leaders for agreeing on the final numbers that will go into the big-spending bills that lawmakers must pass in the coming weeks. Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman says negotiators are still driving as hard as they can to get…

Minnesota Legislators Miss Friday Goal for Budget Numbers

(AP Photo/Steve Karnowski) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Lawmakers are still negotiating Minnesota’s next two-year budget and won’t meet the goal of Friday set by their leaders for agreeing on the final numbers that will go into the big-spending bills that lawmakers must pass in the coming weeks. But Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman said negotiators are still “driving as hard as…

GOP Blocks Bipartisan Probe of Deadly Jan. 6 Riot at Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republicans have blocked the creation of a bipartisan panel to study the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The Senate fell sort of the 60 votes needed to consider a House-passed bill that would have formed a 10-member commission evenly split between the two parties. It was another sign of GOP fealty to former President Donald…

Enbridge’s Line 3 Oil Pipeline Enters Critical Month in June

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — June will be a critical month for Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline as the company resumes construction and opponents mobilize for large-scale protests and civil disobedience. Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth says she expects thousands of people from across the country to join the protests in northern Minnesota. Both sides are also waiting for…

Republicans Vote to End 8-Year UW Tuition Freeze

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Legislature’s Republican-led budget committee has voted to end a University of Wisconsin tuition freeze that has been in place for eight years and long been a GOP priority that had bipartisan support. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers proposed extending the tuition freeze in his budget proposal, along with spending $190 million more on higher education. But…

Wisconsin Public Schools to Get Fraction of What Evers Wants

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin public schools would receive $150 million more in funding over two years under the Republican budget approved by a legislative committee. That is less than 10% of the $1.6 billion that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers proposed. It was not immediately clear Thursday if the GOP plan would spend enough to ensure that Wisconsin wouldn’t lose…