Author: The Associated Press

CDC Says Fully Vaccinated Americans Can Now Go Outside Without a Mask

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials say fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks outdoors anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers. And unvaccinated people can drop face coverings in some cases, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the updated guidance Tuesday. Previously the CDC had been advising that people should wear…

First-Grader in Southwestern Minnesota Dies of COVID-19

MARSHALL, Minn. (AP) – State health officials say a young child from southwestern Minnesota has died of COVID-19 complications. Marshall Public Schools Superintendent Jeremy Williams says the child, who died Sunday, was a first-grader at Park Side Elementary. Williams says crisis team members will be on hand at the school to support those in need. According to the school district,…

Student’s Snapchat Profanity Leads to High Court Speech Case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Before the Supreme Court this week is an argument over whether public schools can discipline students over something they say off-campus. Fourteen-year-old Brandi Levy was suspended from cheerleading over a profanity-laced posting on Snapchat. Arguments are on Wednesday before a court on which several justices have school-age children or recently did. The case has its roots in…

Justice Dept. Opens Policing Probe Over Breonna Taylor Death

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is opening a sweeping probe into policing in Louisville, Kentucky over the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot to death by police during a raid at her home. The 26-year-old Taylor, an emergency medical technician who had been studying to become a nurse, was roused from sleep by police who came…

SOS Messages, Panic as Virus Breaks India’s Health System

NEW DELHI (AP) — India has set another record for daily coronavirus infections for the fifth day in a row, at more than 350,000. On Monday, the country reported more than 2,800 deaths, with roughly 117 Indians succumbing to the disease every hour — and experts say even those figures are likely an undercount. The new infections brought India’s total to more…

Police Investigating Hate Messages at Fargo-Moorhead Mosque

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — Police are investigating hate messages that were found spray-painted on the outside of a mosque in the Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota metropolitan area. Officers were dispatched to the Moorhead Fargo Islamic Community Center, which is located in Moorhead, about 5:20 a.m. Sunday. Police said the graffiti was found in several areas on and around…

Caitlyn Jenner Says She Will Run for Governor of California

LOS ANGELES-Republican Caitlyn Jenner says she will run for governor of California. Jenner says in statement posted Friday on Twitter that she has filed initial paperwork to run. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a likely recall election this year. Election officials are still reviewing petition signatures required to qualify the recall for the ballot. Several other Republicans have also…

Minnesota Schools See ‘Worrisome’ Surge in COVID-19 Cases

ST. PAUL, Minn.-COVID-19 case rates are rising across Minnesota, and they’re affecting younger Minnesotans, especially middle and high school students. Minnesota health officials said Thursday that the number of school-related COVID-19 cases reported this week among students has now exceeded the peak seen during a surge of cases in November. Still, Minnesota Public Radio reports, officials are not planning to…

Countering Biden, GOP Pitches $568B For Infrastructure

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a public works proposal with a much smaller price tag and a narrower definition of infrastructure than what President Joe Biden has proposed, highlighting the stark differences between the two sides that will be difficult to bridge in the coming months. The price of the Republicans’ two-page outline came in…

EPA Review Faults Permitting for Proposed Minnesota Mine

MINNEAPOLIS-An internal Environmental Protection Agency investigation has found that the federal agency mishandled its oversight of permits for what would be Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine. The findings released Wednesday describe a flawed review of two permits issued for the $1 billion mine that PolyMet Mining Corp. wants to build near lakes Babbitt and Hoyt, which are about 200 miles northeast…

Daunte Wright to be Eulogized at Minneapolis Funeral

MINNEAPOLIS-The family of Daunte Wright is preparing for his funeral Thursday. It comes just days after guilty verdicts were handed down for the former Minneapolis police officer whose killing of George Floyd set off nationwide protests and a reckoning over racism. Wright died April 11 after a white Brooklyn Center police officer shot the 20-year-old Black man during a traffic…

US Troops in Afghanistan Begin Packing Gear as They Prep to Leave

KABUL, Afghanistan-A U.S. defense department official says the U.S. military has begun shipping equipment and winding down contracts with local service providers ahead of the May 1 start of the final phase of its military pullout from Afghanistan. The pullout marks the end of America’s longest war, after a 20-year military engagement. Currently, some 2,500 U.S. soldiers and about 7,000…

FDA Inspection Found Problems at Factory Making J&J Vaccine

(AP) – U.S. regulators say the Baltimore factory contracted to make Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine was dirty, didn’t follow proper manufacturing procedures, and had poorly trained staff. The problems resulted in contamination of a batch of material that was going to be put in the shots. The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday released a 13-page report detailing findings…

Biden Aims For Momentum as US Returns to Climate Fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is convening a coalition of the willing, the unwilling, the desperate-for-help, and the avid-for-money for a two-day summit aimed at rallying the world’s worst polluters to do more to slow climate change. Biden’s first task when his virtual summit opens Thursday is to convince the world that the United States is both willing and…

Burning Man Mulling Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines for August

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Burning Man festival organizers are considering requiring attendees to prove they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19 if they move forward with plans to hold this year’s counter-culture festival in the Nevada desert. But they backed off an earlier statement indicating they had already decided to make the shots mandatory. The organizers say they won’t decide for sure…

Wisconsin Racial Justice Task Force Issues Recommendations

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly’s bipartisan racial disparities task force created in the wake of a white Kenosha police officer shooting a Black man is making 18 recommendations. But the group stopped short Wednesday of calling for a total ban on chokeholds and no-knock warrants as Gov. Tony Evers wants. Jacob Blake was left paralyzed by the shooting….

Prince Fans Headed to Paisley Park Five Years After Death

CHANHASSEN, Minn. (AP) — Paisley Park will welcome back a select 1,400 fans on Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of Prince’s death from inside his creative sanctuary in suburban Minneapolis. The sprawling studio’s atrium will be opened to those who rushed for one of the free reservations. Those who can’t go inside are invited to leave flowers and mementos…

DOJ to Announce Minneapolis Police Probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to announce that the Justice Department is opening a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis after the guilty verdict in George Floyd’s death, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The announcement comes a day after former officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter…

What Next After Chauvin’s Conviction on 3 Counts?

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Derek Chauvin was handcuffed and taken into custody Tuesday after being convicted of all three counts against him. Twelve jurors found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, ultimately deciding that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death and that his actions were not that of a reasonable officer. Prosecutors didn’t have to prove Chauvin’s restraint was…

Crowds React With Joy, Wariness To Verdict In Floyd’s Death

London Williams stood in Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C., moments before the verdict was read in George Floyd’s murder trial Tuesday, wondering how he would cope if the white police officer who killed the Black man was acquitted. “I feel very nervous. It’s already hard as it is as a Black man in today’s society,” said Williams, standing…

Biden, Harris to Speak After Floyd Case Verdict

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver remarks Tuesday evening after the conviction of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. Biden, Harris and first lady Jill Biden called members of the Floyd family moments after the verdict, according to video posted by family attorney Ben Crump. Biden told the family,…

Wisconsin Schools Receiving $175 Million for COVID-19 Tests

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers says Wisconsin schools will receive more than $175 million in federal funding to pay for school-based COVID-19 testing for teachers, students, and staff. The money announced Tuesday is coming to Wisconsin as part of $10 billion the U.S. Department of Health Services announced in March it was targeting to help schools reopen across…

Biden Praying For ‘Right Verdict’ in Chauvin Trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says he is “praying the verdict is the right verdict” in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin and that he believes the case to be “overwhelming.” Biden told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that he was only weighing in on the trial into the death of George Floyd because…

In Minneapolis, A Fortified City Awaits Chauvin Verdict

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — More than 3,000 National Guard soldiers, along with police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and other law enforcement personnel have flooded Minneapolis with a verdict looming in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with murder in the death last year of George Floyd. But in the city that has come to epitomize America’s debate over…

Murder Case Against Ex-Cop in Floyd’s Death Goes to the Jury

MINNEAPOLIS (AP/Fox9) — The murder case against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd has gone to the jury. Twelve jurors are beginning deliberations in a city on edge against another round of unrest. During closing arguments, prosecutors argued that Chauvin squeezed the life out of Floyd by pinning his knee against Floyd’s neck last…

Suspect In Wisconsin Bar Shooting That Killed 3 Identified

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — The man in custody in connection with a shooting at a southeastern Wisconsin tavern that left three men dead and three others injured was expected to appear in court Monday for a bond hearing. Kenosha County sheriff’s officials identified the man being held in the Kenosha County Jail as 24-year-old Rakayo Alandis Vinson. Kenosha County Sheriff’s…

Foxconn, Wisconsin Reach New Deal On Scaled Back Facility

(AP) MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Foxconn Technology Group has reached a new deal with reduced tax breaks for its scaled-back manufacturing facility in southeast Wisconsin. Gov. Tony Evers and the world’s largest electronics manufacturer announced the new deal on Monday. Details of the new agreement were not immediately released. A person with knowledge of the new contract who was not…

Attorneys at Chauvin Trial in Floyd Death Make Final Pitch

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd will make their closing arguments Monday. Each side will be seeking to distill three weeks of testimony into a compelling argument that persuades jurors to deliver their view of the right verdict. For prosecutors, it’s that Derek Chauvin recklessly squeezed the life…

Police ID Killer in FedEx Shooting As 19-Year-Old Man

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities have identified the suspect in a mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility as 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole of Indiana. Two law enforcement officials briefed on the matter provided the identity to The Associated Press on Friday. The officials say investigators are searching a home in Indianapolis associated with Hole and have seized evidence, including desktop…

Nearly 1.5 Million Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 in MN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State health officials say more than 3.4 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered in Minnesota and 1.5 million people have been fully vaccinated. The Department of Health says nearly half the vaccine eligible population, age 16 and older, has gotten at least one dose of vaccine. There were 2,736 new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday,…

Police Trying to Identify Gunman, Motive in FedEx Shooting

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities say they have not yet identified the gunman of a motive in a mass shooting at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport. Deputy Chief Craig McCartt of the Indianapolis police said the suspect started randomly shooting in the parking lot and then went into the building. Police say a gunman killed eight people and wounded…

Hundreds of Vaccinated Minnesotans Still Contract COVID-19

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Health officials say hundreds of Minnesotans fully vaccinated against the coronavirus became infected with COVID-19, dozens needed to be hospitalized and six people died. Data from the state Department of Health shows the vaccines are highly effective in Minnesota, but that it remains unclear how well they protect against the more contagious variants of COVID-19….

High School League Seeks Relief From Masks In Outdoor Sports

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota State High School League board asked state health officials Thursday to allow spring sports athletes to compete outdoors without wearing masks. The recommendation by the league’s sports medicine advisory committee applies only to actual competition. Athletes would be required to wear masks during breaks such as before and after races and while sitting in the…

Homeless Americans Finally Getting a Chance at COVID-19 Shot

(AP) – Homeless Americans who have been left off priority lists for coronavirus vaccinations — or even bumped aside as states shifted eligibility to older age groups — are finally getting their shots as vaccine supplies increase. While the U.S. government has only incomplete data on infections among homeless people, it’s clear that crowded, unsanitary conditions at shelters and underlying…

Closing Arguments to Begin Monday in Chauvin Trial

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The defense at the murder trial of former Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd has rested its case without putting Chauvin on the stand, wrapping up after two days of testimony to the prosecution’s two weeks. Chauvin informed the court Thursday that he will not testify, saying he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right…

Ex-Minnesota Cop Faces Hearing In Shooting Of Daunte Wright

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) — A former Minnesota police officer faces her first court appearance in the traffic-stop shooting of Black motorist Daunte Wright that has engulfed a small Minneapolis suburb in four straight days of bitter conflict between protesters and police. Kim Potter, who quit her job on the Brooklyn Center force two days after Wright’s death, is expected…

Us Jobless Claims Plunge to 576,000, Lowest Since Pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to 576,000, a hopeful sign that layoffs are easing as the economy recovers from the pandemic recession. The Labor Department said Thursday that applications plummeted 193,000 from a revised 769,000 a week earlier. Jobless claims are now down sharply from a peak of 900,000 in…

Minnesota Extends COVID-19 State of Emergency for 13th Time

(Scott Takushi/Pioneer Press via AP, Pool) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota officials extended the peacetime emergency for another 30 days on Wednesday in order to boost the state’s response to more infectious variants of the COVID-19 virus, a factor that has led to a recent surge in cases. The five Democratic statewide officials who make up the Minnesota Executive Council voted…

Former Minnesota Cop Charged In Shooting Of Black Motorist

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP/Fox 9) — A Minnesota prosecutor has charged a white former suburban Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright with second-degree manslaughter. Potter was arrested by agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at 11:30 a.m. CT at BCA headquarters in St. Paul. She will be booked into the Hennepin County Jail in…

Wisconsin Senate Approves Republican Election Changes

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republicans who control the Wisconsin Senate moved Wednesday to change state elections based largely on false claims that the November election was tainted, passing bills that would make interfering with election observers a crime and barring polling officials from accepting private grants to aid with administration. The chamber passed bills Wednesday that would allow the state…

Minnesota Cop Will Be Charged In Shooting Of Black Motorist

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota prosecutor says he will charge a white former suburban Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said Wednesday that Kim Potter will be charged with second-degree manslaughter. Orput’s announcement comes a day after Potter resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police…

Judge Refuses Request to Acquit Chauvin in Floyd’s Death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The judge in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial has denied a defense motion to acquit the former police officer in George Floyd’s death. Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson argued Wednesday that prosecutors did not prove that Chauvin’s actions killed Floyd. The request comes a day after a use-of-force expert said Chauvin was justified in pinning Floyd to the ground…