Author: The Associated Press

Facebook Puts Instagram for Kids on Hold After Pushback

(AP) – Instagram is putting a hold on the development of Instagram kids, geared towards children under 13, so it can address concerns about the vulnerability of younger users. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, wrote in a blog post on Monday that a delay will give the company time to “work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen…

Texas Law Limits Medication Abortions as Near-Ban Remains

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday lauded another new abortion law that tightens limits on abortion-inducing medications, creating an additional layer of restrictions after a near-total ban on abortion in the state began this month. The new restrictions, which take effect in December, shrinks the window when doctors and clinics in Texas can give abortion-inducing medication…

Minnesota DNR Launches New Hearing Process for PolyMet Mine

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)-Minnesota regulators have launched a court-ordered process for assessing the risks to clean water from waste from the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The Department of Natural Resources announced plans for a trial-like proceeding known as a contested case hearing, which was ordered by the Minnesota Supreme Court in April. The hearing will be confined…

Chauvin to Appeal Conviction, Sentence in Floyd’s Death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in George Floyd’s death intends to appeal his conviction and sentence, saying the judge abused his discretion or erred during several key points in the case. Derek Chauvin said he intends to appeal on 14 grounds. Among them, he claims Judge Peter Cahill abused his discretion when he denied…

US Sets the Stage for COVID Booster Shots for Millions

(AP) – The U.S. vaccination drive against COVID-19 stands on the verge of a major new phase: Government advisers on Thursday recommended booster doses of Pfizer’s vaccine for millions of Americans. This, despite concern among some experts that the extra shots will do little to slow the pandemic. The advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended…

Police: Shooting at Tennessee Store Kills One, Injures 12; Shooter Dead

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A shooting at a Tennessee grocery store east of Memphis left one person dead and injured 12 others Thursday afternoon, and the shooter was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said the shooting broke out at a Kroger store in that suburban community about 30 miles east…

Target Trims Holiday Hiring Goals

NEW YORK (AP) – Target will hire fewer seasonal workers this year and will instead offer more hours to current employees. The move, announced Thursday, is in response to its permanent workers wanting more hours, the company said. About 100,000 seasonal workers will be hired nationwide, the company said Thursday, about 30,000 less than last year. Many of those workers…

Wisconsin Assembly to Vote on Bill Banning Race Theory

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly plans to vote next week on a Republican bill that would prohibit public schools from teaching students and training employees about concepts such as systemic racism and implicit bias. A Republican-controlled Assembly committee on Wednesday approved the bill on a party-line vote. It is slated to be taken up by the full Assembly…

Few COVID-19 Vaccinated Patients Need Intensive Care

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Fully vaccinated people make up a minority of COVID-19 hospitalizations and an even lower number of people needing intensive care and ventilators, current data from two large hospital systems in the Upper Midwest shows. Minneapolis-based Allina Health reported 176 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 this week and that 22% are vaccinated against the coronavirus. Sanford Health, based…

Biden Meeting With Democrats as $3.5T Plan Faces Party Split

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden plans to meet with Democrats from the House and Senate as Congress works to bridge party divisions over his big $3.5 trillion “build back better” agenda. The afternoon meeting Wednesday comes ahead of crucial voting deadlines. The House is to vote soon on the first part of Biden’s plan – a…

Charges: Man “Snapped,” Killed 4, Then Left Bodies in Field

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – An Arizona man who allegedly told his father he “snapped and shot a couple of people” was charged Tuesday with murder, about a week after four bodies were found in an abandoned SUV in western Wisconsin. Antoine Suggs, 38, of Scottsdale, Arizona, faces four counts of second-degree intentional murder, without premeditation. Suggs is jailed in…

Beloved ‘Sex and the City’ Actor Willie Garson Dies at 57

(Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File) LOS ANGELES (AP) – Willie Garson, who played Stanford Blatch on TV’s “Sex and the City” and its movie sequels, has died at the age of 57. His son, Nathen Garson, announced his death on Tuesday but didn’t provide details. Garson portrayed Blatch, a talent agent and the best male friend to Sarah Jessica Parker’s…

Vaccination Rates Vary Widely on UW-System Campuses

UW-System Promotes Scholarship Drawing Aimed at Boosting Vaccination Rates Among Students

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – University of Wisconsin officials say student vaccination rates for COVID-19 vary widely among the system’s campuses. At the Madison campus, 91% of students are fully vaccinated, the highest number among the system’s universities. The lowest number of vaccinated students are at UW-Parkside where 38% have been inoculated. Other campuses range from 75% at La Crosse to…

Officers Search Florida Home of Gabby Petito’s Boyfriend

Petito's Boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, Remains Missing

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Police officers swarmed the home of a young man wanted for questioning in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito. At least a dozen police officers converged Monday on the North Port, Florida, home Brian Laundrie shared with his parents. That comes a day after authorities announced the discovery of a body believed to be…

Biden Easing Restrictions for Foreign Travel, Requiring Vaccines

U.S. Foreign Travel Restrictions will Begin to Ease in November

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House says President Joe Biden will ease foreign travel restrictions into the U.S. beginning in November and allow foreign nationals into the country if they have proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test. The new rules replace a hodgepodge of restrictions that had barred non-citizens who had been in certain countries in the prior…

Pfizer: COVID-19 Vaccine Works in Children Ages 5 to 11

The Vaccine Maker Plans to Seek Authorization in U.S., Britain, and Europe

(Associated Press) – Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11. The vaccine maker said Monday it plans to seek authorization for this age group soon in the U.S., Britain, and Europe. The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older. But many parents are anxiously awaiting…

FDA Advisory Panel Rejects Widespread Pfizer Booster Shots

WASHINGTON (AP) – An influential federal advisory panel has rejected a plan to offer Pfizer booster shots against COVID-19 to most Americans. The vote Friday, 16-2, was a blow to the Biden administration’s plan to shore up people’s protection against the virus amid the highly contagious delta variant. Over several hours of discussion, members of the Food and Drug Administration…

Rittenhouse Hearing To Decide on Evidence Allowed at Trial

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A judge is set to decide on several motions ahead of the trial for a man accused of killing two men and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Wisconsin last summer. Kyle Rittenhouse’s case became a rallying cry for conservatives frustrated at protests against police killings. The judge’s decisions from Friday’s hearing…

Man Arrested in Fatal Shootings of 4 Found in Wisconsin SUV

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) — Police have arrested one suspect and are seeking another in connection with the fatal shootings of four people found in an abandoned SUV in western Wisconsin, sheriff’s officials said Thursday. Darren Lee McWright, 56, from St. Paul, Minnesota, who also uses the alias last name of Osborne, was arrested on a warrant from Dunn County and…

US Unemployment Claims Rise After Hitting Pandemic Low

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits moved up last week to 332,000 from a pandemic low, a sign that worsening COVID-19 infections may have slightly increased layoffs. Applications for jobless aid rose from 312,000 the week before, the Labor Department said Thursday. Jobless claims, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily for two…

Chauvin To Be Arraigned for Alleged Civil Rights Violation

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in George Floyd’s death is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday for allegedly violating a teenager’s civil rights in a separate case that involved a restraint similar to the one used on Floyd. Derek Chauvin was convicted this year on state charges of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s 2020 death….

US: Wolves May Need Protections After States Expand Hunting

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – The Biden administration says federal protections may need to be restored for gray wolves in the western U.S. after Republican-led states made it much easier to kill the predators. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday that the region’s wolves face new potential perils after a decades-long restoration was capped by their return to state…

Lawyer Asks Judge To Toss New Charge in Daunte Wright Case

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss a new manslaughter charge against the former suburban Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright. Former Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter says she mistakenly drew her gun instead of her stun gun as Wright was trying to drive away from officers. Prosecutors charged her with second-degree manslaughter. The…

Minnesota Judge Rejects Attempt To Force School Mask Mandate

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Minnesota judge has rejected a request by concerned parents to force a statewide mask mandate in all schools. Judge Thomas Gilligan said the court was “gravely concerned” about COVID-19 risks for children, but that the court lacks the legal authority to order Gov. Tim Walz to issue the directive that the parents sought. Minnesota Public…

House Democrats Oust Embattled Lawmaker From Caucus

(courtesy: Fox 9) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota House Democrats have voted to expel Rep. John Thompson from their caucus following allegations of domestic violence and questions about his residency. House leaders Tuesday night issued a statement saying that “Thompson’s actions, credible reports of abuse and misconduct, and his failure to take responsibility remain unacceptable for a member of…

Authorities: 4 Found Slain in SUV in Wisconsin Cornfield

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) — Four people found slain in an abandoned SUV in a western Wisconsin cornfield had been shot and were all from Minnesota, authorities said Tuesday. Preliminary results of autopsies performed Monday by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office showed the two men and two women all died of gunshot wounds, the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office said. The…

Evers Announces COVID Testing Requirement for State Workers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers’ administration issued an order Tuesday requiring all executive branch workers who haven’t submitted their COVID-19 vaccination status to their supervisors or aren’t fully vaccinated to undergo weekly testing. The mandate will go into effect on Oct. 18 and apply to all executive branch employees, interns, and contractors. Nearly 70% of the executive branch’s…

Ex-Cops Accused of Violating Floyd’s Rights Plead Not Guilty

(Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Four former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights have pleaded not guilty to the federal charges against them. A federal grand jury indicted Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao in May for allegedly depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority. Tuesday’s…

Wisconsin Governor Wants To Intervene in Redistricting Case

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, file) MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is asking a federal court to allow him to intervene in a lawsuit filed by fellow Democrats that seeks to have federal courts draw new boundary lines if the governor and Republican-controlled Legislature can’t reach an agreement. The court has already allowed the Legislature to intervene. Republicans…

Taliban: Women Can Study In Gender-Segregated Universities

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Women in Afghanistan can continue to study in universities, including at post-graduate levels, but classrooms will be gender-segregated and Islamic dress is compulsory, the Taliban government’s new higher education minister said Sunday. The announcement came as a Taliban official said Qatar’s foreign minister arrived in the Afghan capital of Kabul — the highest level visitor since…

Update: Woman Who Admitted to Slender Man Attack To Be Freed Monday

(Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, File) MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin woman who admitted to helping stab a classmate to please the horror character Slender Man will be freed Monday from a mental health institution. A judge ruled Friday that 19-year-old Anissa Weier will be released after spending almost four years at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute. Weier and…

Minnesota Defers OK for Permit Linked to ND Power Plant Deal

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Regulators told a Minnesota-based utility that they need more information before signing off on a permit transfer necessary for the sale of a financially troubled coal-fired power plant in North Dakota. Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission voted 4-1 on Thursday to defer a decision on a permit for a power line that would be part of the planned…

Sweeping New Vaccine Mandates for 100 Million Americans

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is announcing sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant that is killing thousands each week and jeopardizing the nation’s economic recovery. The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to…

FDA Delays Decision on E-Cigarettes From Vaping Giant Juul

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal health officials have delayed a high-stakes decision on whether to permit bestselling vaping brand Juul to stay on the market. At the same time, the agency banned thousands of lesser-known electronic cigarettes and related products from store shelves. Parents, politicians, and anti-tobacco advocates have pressured the Food and Drug Administration for years to ban Juul’s high-nicotine…

Minnesota Schools See Slight Bump in Weekly Virus Cases

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota schools are seeing increases in weekly coronavirus cases as students return to classrooms across the state. More than 100 facilities from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade reported infections last week. That’s according to a weekly COVID-19 report released by the Minnesota Department of Health on Thursday. The figure is up from previous weeks but remains a fraction…

Michigan Updates Quarantine Guidance for Masked Students

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan has issued updated guidance to help schools and local health departments navigate whether asymptomatic students exposed to a coronavirus-infected student should quarantine at home or stay in school. Unvaccinated but masked students who were less than 3 feet from a COVID-positive student now can remain in school but only if they are tested daily for…

Republican Kleefisch Enters Wisconsin Governor’s Race

(courtesy: Twitter/Rebecca Kleefisch) MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republican Rebecca Kleefisch, who spent eight years as lieutenant governor under Scott Walker, has launched her campaign for governor. Kleefisch contrasts herself with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in her campaign launch video, casting him as weak and her as ready to back police and fight special interests. The 46-year-old Kleefisch becomes the best-known…