Author: The Associated Press

WATCH LIVE: Ginsburg is First Woman to Lie in State at US Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP)-Commemorations are set to begin Friday honoring the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Capitol, the first woman in American history to lie in state at the domed building. Presidential nominee Joe Biden arrived at Capitol and running-mate Kamala Harris is attending. The service will cap days of commemorations of her extraordinary life. The justice…

Minnesota Governor Activates National Guard for Pence Visit

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota’s governor has called in the National Guard to help provide security and keep the peace as Vice President Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump visit the Twin Cities. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz said 100 Guard soldiers were mobilized at the request of the city of Minneapolis. Pence and President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter planned to meet with…

Wisconsin Hits Second-Highest Daily Total of COVID-19 Cases

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s daily count of COVID-19 cases has hit its second-highest total to date, while the seven-day average topped 1,900 for the first time. The state Department of Health Services reported Thursday that Wisconsin has seen more than 108,000 positive cases of the coronavirus and 1,265 deaths. The 2,392 new cases reported Thursday was second only to…

2 Republicans Challenge Minnesota Plan for Late Mail Ballots

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Republican state representative and a GOP activist are challenging an agreement to accept mail-in ballots in Minnesota that arrive up to a week after the November election. The lawsuit adds to the nationwide legal fight over voting rules before the presidential election. Rep. Eric Lucero and Ramsey County activist James Carson, who both participate…

Records: Mail Delivery Lags Behind Targets as Election Nears

(AP) – Data obtained by The Associated Press shows Postal Service districts across the nation are missing the agency’s own standards for on-time delivery as millions of Americans prepare to vote by mail. The lag times are especially pronounced in key regions of some battleground states, where delivery times are below the national average. That raises the possibility that scores…

Several Hundred Demonstrate in St. Paul for Breonna Taylor

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Several hundred demonstrators rallied at the state Capitol in St. Paul before marching onto an interstate to protest a grand jury’s decision not to indict Louisville, Kentucky police officers in Breonna Taylor’s death. Protesters denounced what they said was a criminal justice system that has failed to hold the officers accountable for the death of…

Wisconsin Legislature Appeals Absentee Ballot Ruling

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature has appealed a federal court ruling that allows for absentee ballots to be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election in the battleground state. The appeal filed Wednesday was expected after Monday’s highly anticipated court ruling in favor of Democrats and their allies. The judge even put his…

Ruth Ginsburg’s Flag-Draped Casket Arrives at Supreme Court

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) WASHINGTON (AP) — The casket of late Justice Ruth Ginsburg has arrived at the Supreme Court for a private ceremony with the eight remaining justices, family, and colleagues. Ginsburg’s flag-draped casket arrived at the court at 9:30 a.m. and was carried into the court’s Great Hall past her former law clerks who lined the steps and…

Senate GOP Lines up With Trump to Quickly Fill Court Seat

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are swiftly falling in line behind President Donald Trump’s push to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court. One of the last hold outs, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, said Tuesday he supports holding a vote. Trump is set to announce his nominee Saturday. Appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett is…

‘Unfathomable’: Us Death Toll From Coronavirus Hits 200,000

(AP) – The death toll in the U.S. from the coronavirus has topped 200,000, a figure unimaginable eight months ago when the scourge first reached the world’s richest nation. That’s according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University, based on figures from state health authorities. The real number of dead is thought to be much higher, in part because…

Evers Extends Wisconsin Mask Mandate Until Nov. 21

(courtesy: WI Dept of Health Services via AP) MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Faced with soaring coronavirus cases across Wisconsin, particularly on college campuses, Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday extended a statewide mask mandate until Nov. 21. The order, which has been in effect since August, was scheduled to expire on Monday. Evers extended the order even as his authority to…

Wisconsin Health Officials Recommend Against Usual Trick-or-Treating

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State health officials are recommending against trick-or-treating as usual this Halloween because of the coronavirus pandemic. Going house-to-house and having in-person contact is not a good idea, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. If individual communities decide to go ahead with traditional trick-or-treating, health officials recommend leaving individual treat bags on the porch for…

Federal Judge Extends Deadline for Wisconsin Ballots

MADISON, Wis.-A federal judge has ruled that absentee ballots in battleground Wisconsin can be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. Unless it’s overturned, Monday’s ruling means that the outcome of the presidential race in Wisconsin might not be known for days after polls close. Under current…

Minnesota Couple Killed When Motorcycle Rear-Ended by Pickup Truck

CLOVER TOWNSHIP, Minn. (AP) — Two people are dead after a teenage driver crashed into the back of their motorcycle in Pine County. The Minnesota State Patrol said 66-year-old Jerry McDowell and 61-year-old Sharon McDowell, of Pine City, died at the scene of the crash on Highway 48 in Clover Township Sunday afternoon. The patrol says the couple slowed down…

Biden Headed to Manitowoc for Second Wisconsin Visit

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to campaign Monday in northeast Wisconsin for his second visit to the battleground state this month. Biden’s campaign announced Sunday that the Democratic presidential nominee would be campaigning in Manitowoc, a city of about 32,000 that’s on the shores of Lake Michigan about 80 miles north of Milwaukee. Biden did…

Canada Extends U.S. Border Restrictions to Oct. 21

TORONTO (AP) — Canada is extending the agreement to keep the U.S. border closed to non-essential travel to Oct. 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said Friday they will continue to base the decision on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe. The restrictions were announced on March 18 and have been extended…

Minnesota Begins Early Voting as Candidates Visit the State

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The battleground state of Minnesota began voting in the presidential election on Friday as polling stations opened in every county and local elections officials began mailing out absentee ballots. Dozens of voters lined up early in the morning outside the early voting center in Minneapolis, where officials said 44 people had voted in the first half-hour after…

Armed Residents Confront COVID-19 Testing Team in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A team of health workers conducting random COVID-19 testing was recently confronted by armed residents in a Minnesota community. State officials have not said when or where the incident occurred. Minnesota Department of Health spokeswoman Julie Bartkey said the team did the right thing by leaving the situation. Health officials are doing random testing of households in…

Us Bans Wechat, Tiktok From App Stores Citing Security Risk

AP – The U.S. Commerce Department said Friday it will ban Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores on Sunday and will saddle the apps with technical restrictions that could seriously limit their functionality in the U.S. The order, which cited national security and data privacy concerns, follows weeks of dealmaking over the video-sharing service TikTok. President Donald Trump…

2 of 3 Plane Crash Victims Identified, Search Continues

GREY CLOUD ISLAND TOWNSHIP, Minn. (AP) — The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has identified two of the three people who died when their single-engine plane crashed into a water-filled quarry last weekend. The bodies of 60-year-old Larry Schlichting, of Eagan, and 24-year-old Lucas Knight, of North Mankato, have been recovered from the quarry on Grey Cloud Island near Cottage Grove….

‘Cheer’ Star Jerry Harris Arrested on Child Porn Charges

CHICAGO (AP) — Jerry Harris, the star of the Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” was arrested Thursday with producing child pornography, three days after twin boys filed a lawsuit alleging he sent them sexually explicit photos of himself and cornered one of them in a bathroom and begged for oral sex. According to the complaint, Harris admitted during an interview after…

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

SEATTLE (AP) — A U.S. judge on Thursday blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide. The judge called them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election. Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, said he was issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction sought by 14 states that sued the Trump administration…

Pence Returns to Upper Midwest After Trump, Biden Visits

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence returns to the upper Midwest next week following visits this week by President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, the Trump campaign announced Thursday. Pence will start a bus tour next Thursday in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he will speak at the building materials company Midwest Manufacturing Inc. before traveling…

‘Nothing Left in the Bucket’: Wildfire Resources Run Thin

(AP) – Firefighters battling the West Coast wildfires say this year’s blazes are some of the worst they have ever seen. They say the fires are taxing the human, mechanical and financial resources of the nation’s wildfire fighting forces to an extraordinary degree. And half of the fire season is yet to come. Heat, drought, and a strategic decision to…

Woman Sues Univ. of Wisconsin Over Cephus’ Reinstatement

(Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP) MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A woman who accused former Badgers football player Quintez Cephus of sexual assault in 2018 is suing the University of Wisconsin-Madison over its decision to reverse Cephus’ expulsion and allow him back on the football team. While a university investigation concluded Cephus “more likely than not” sexually assaulted the woman, he…

Hurricane Sally Unleashes Flooding Along the Gulf Coast

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Sally has lumbered ashore near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, with top winds of 105 mph. The coast is being pummeled with sideways rain and beach-covering storm surges. Sally’s northern eyewall raked the Gulf Coast for hours before the center finally made landfall, delivering punishing wind and rain from Pensacola Beach, Florida,…

US Outlines Sweeping Plan to Provide Free COVID-19 Vaccines

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is outlining a sweeping plan to make COVID-19 vaccines available for free to all Americans. But polls show a strong undercurrent of skepticism across the country. In a report Wednesday to Congress and an accompanying “playbook” for states and localities, federal health agencies and the Defense Department are sketching out complex plans for a…

Wisconsin Election Clerks Rush to Mail Ballots After Delay

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Election clerks in Wisconsin are rushing to mail absentee ballots less than 24 hours after the state Supreme Court lifted its temporary freeze on sending them while it considered a legal challenge. The Town of Greenville clerk who also serves as president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association says clerks across the state are “busy.” More…

Man Shot in Edina Hospital Parking Ramp

EDINA, Minn. (AP) — A suburban Twin Cities hospital was locked down as police searched for the person who shot a man in its parking ramp. Police were called to M Health Fairview Southdale hospital in Edina about 9 p.m. Monday. Investigators say the shooting was the result of an attempted robbery. M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital, 6401 France Ave….

Trump, Biden Face off on West Coast Wildfire, Climate Change

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — With the smell of California wildfires in the air, President Donald Trump on Monday ignored the scientific consensus that climate change is playing a central role. He reiterated his unfounded claim that poor forest management is to blame for the fires roaring up-and-down the West Coast. The fires are threatening to become another front in Trump’s…

Slow-Moving Hurricane Sally Carrying a Deluge to Gulf Coast

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Storm-weary residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast are preparing for a new weather onslaught as Hurricane Sally churns toward them. Forecasters from the National Hurricane Center in Miami say Sally is expected to reach the shore by early Tuesday, bringing flooding and other dangerous weather conditions to a region stretching from the western Florida Panhandle to…

Pence Highlights Law and Order During Wisconsin Visit

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is emphasizing President Donald Trump’s commitment to “law and order” during a campaign stop in swing-state Wisconsin on Monday. Pence spoke Monday at a hotel in Janesville, about 70 miles from Kenosha where sometimes violent protests erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Pence credited Trump with stopping the violence in…

Relocated Isle Royale Wolves Form Groups, Reduce Moose Herd

(Rolf Peterson/Michigan Technological University via AP) TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Scientists say gray wolves that were taken to Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park to rebuild its nearly extinct population are forming social groups, staking out territory, and apparently mating. They’re also reducing the overgrown moose herd. Michigan Technological University researchers released their annual report from the Lake Superior park…

Faculty Senate Considers Dropping Spring Break at UW-Madison

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Madison is thinking about eliminating spring break next semester to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The university’s Faculty Senate is expected to vote on revising the 2021 spring calendar at a meeting Monday. Officials say dropping spring break would discourage students and staff from traveling long distances and bringing COVID-19 back to…

Crews Search Mississippi River for Overdue Plane

GREY CLOUD ISLAND TOWNSHIP, Minn. (AP) — Crews are searching the Mississippi River in Washington County for a plane that’s overdue at a South St. Paul airport. The search Sunday night was focused near Grey Cloud Island, which is southwest of St. Paul Park and Cottage Grove. Dakota County and Washington County personnel were involved in the search, KARE-TV reported. The plane…

Wisconsin Supreme Court Action on Ballots Raises Questions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to halt the mailing of absentee ballots raised concerns about creating delays and confusion in the presidential battleground state. The court’s decision came Thursday, just 54 days before the Nov. 3 election. The halt is only temporary but it’s unclear when it will make a final ruling that will restart the…

Prosecutors: Similar Charges Warrant 1 Trial in Floyd Death

(Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors in the case of four former Minneapolis officers charged in the death of George Floyd say the men should face trial together because the evidence and charges against them are similar. But defense attorneys have argued for separate trials, saying they are likely to offer “antagonistic” defenses. The former officers…

Resort Owners in Ely Accused of Illegally Catching Prized Bait

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Three family members who run a northern Minnesota resort are accused of illegally catching and selling a prized baitfish which generated thousands of dollars in profits over the years. Robert LaTourell Jr., 50, Melinda LaTourell, and Melissa LaTourell, both 45, are charged with violating the Lacey Act, a law that bans illegal trafficking in wildlife. The U.S….

Us Remembers 9/11 as Pandemic Changes Tribute Traditions

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are commemorating 9/11 as a new national crisis in the form of the coronavirus pandemic reconfigures and divides anniversary ceremonies and a presidential campaign carves a path through the observances. In New York, victims’ relatives gathered Friday morning for split-screen remembrances at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza at the World Trade Center and another nearby…

Ex-Cops Blame One Another, Seek Own Trials in Floyd’s Death

(from left, Derek Chauvin, Tuo Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) –Attorneys for four former Minneapolis officers charged in the death of George Floyd say that each client should get his own trial, as the officers try to diminish their roles in the Black man’s arrest by pointing fingers at one another. A hearing is scheduled for…