Political

Duluth Projects Part of $48 Billion Budget Passed by Minnesota Legislature

Half-percent sales tax hike for roads and $97 million for for medical district included in tax bill

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Legislature passed a $48 billion state budget. It includes money for some big Duluth projects. According to Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth), Duluth’s half-percent sales tax increase for road repairs and about $97 million for the Essentia Health and St. Luke’s Medical District expansion are included in the tax bill. The legislature also approved a…

Officials: US to Send 1,500 More Troops to Middle East

The Trump Administration Notified Congress on Friday

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration notified Congress on Friday that it plans to send about 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East amid heightened tensions with Iran, officials said. Members of Congress were notified a day after a White House meeting to discuss Pentagon proposals to bolster the U.S. force presence in the Middle East. The…

Governor Calls Special Session to Complete $48B Budget

The Last Piece of the 2 Year Budget Fell Into Place Thursday

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has called lawmakers back for a special session to complete a $48 billion state budget for the next two years. The Democratic governor told them to convene at 10 a.m. Friday in hopes of adjourning before 7 a.m. Saturday. But suspending the normal procedural rules to let that happen requires some…

Cloquet Police Chief Jeff Palmer Still On ‘Voluntary Paid Leave’ Since April 16

City Admin. Aaron Reeves Does Not Have A Return Date For Palmer

CLOQUET, Minn. – There’s still no official word on why Cloquet Police Chief Jeff Palmer remains off the job or when he will return. Chief Palmer began his “voluntary paid leave” on April 16. City Administrator Aaron Reeves told FOX 21 this week that the leave “… can’t go on forever but I also can’t provide a set time frame…

Nearly 2 Months After Now-Former Fire Chief’s DWI, Mayor Larson Still Mum

Larson Appointed Dennis Edwards To Fire Chief In 2016

DULUTH, Minn. – It’s been nearly two months since Duluth’s now-former fire chief, Dennis Edwards, was arrested and eventually charged with DWI. But there’s still no comment from Mayor Emily Larson who hand-selected Edwards for that position. FOX 21 has repeatedly asked Mayor Larson for any type of response, including this Thursday and Wednesday, but her spokesperson, Kate Van Daele,…

Last Bills Settled; Lawmakers Await Word on Special Session

The Last Piece of the 2 Year Budget Fell Into Place Thursday

(AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Gov. Tim Walz and top legislative leaders have now reached agreement on all nine of their major budget bills, and lawmakers are now waiting on the governor to call a special session so they can finish their work for the year. Aides say the last piece of the two-year budget fell into place…

Public Voting for City of Duluth Flag Begins

9 final options available for choosing.

DULUTH, Minn.- Now’s your chance to help Duluth pick which design should be on the next city flag. There were at total of 195 designs submitted by people in Duluth, and a volunteer flag committee narrowed the choices down to its top 9. Those designs were unveiled tonight at city hall, and one of them will soon become the next symbol…

Duluth Projects Still in the Mix for State Funding

Local projects include Essentia expansion, sales tax increase for road improvements

DULUTH, Minn. – The Minnesota legislature is expected to hold a special session soon that could pump a lot of state money into Duluth. The Verso Paper Mill is asking the state for a million dollar loan so it can do some upgrades. Essentia health hopes to receive $184 million from the state for its medical district plans. And, the…

Minnesota Senate GOP Prepares ‘Lights on’ Bill Amid Impasse

Lawmakers 'Unlikely' to Pass Major Budget Bill before Monday Night

(AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate is prepared to pass a measure to prevent a state government shutdown if legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz can’t agree on a budget deal. Senate Republicans launched the gambit Thursday evening as talks bogged down among the governor and leaders of the Senate GOP and House Democratic…

Senate Confirms Trump Official as Justice Department Deputy

Rosen Replaces Rod Rosenstein

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has voted to confirm Jeffrey Rosen as deputy attorney general, the second-ranking official at the Justice Department. The vote was 52-45. Rosen replaces Rod Rosenstein, who left the department last week. Rosentein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller and had overseen his investigation. Rosenstein’s departure was expected after William Barr became attorney general this year. Rosen…

UMD Students Create Tech to Help Fight Off School Threats

Competition of 9 schools to create an Active Threat Emergency System

DULUTH, Minn.- Multiple school shootings have rocked the nation recently. In order to help stop those threats, UMD Engineering students have created groundbreaking technology to help law enforcement in situations like those. Eight colleges competed with UMD in the Air Force Research Lab Design Challenge. UMD Students won by creating a new Active Threat Emergency System, a victory despite the…

House Panel Votes to Hold AG Barr in Contempt

The Committee Voted 26-16

WASHINGTON (AP) -The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, escalating the legal battle with the Trump administration over access to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The committee voted 24-16 to hold Barr in contempt after the Justice Department rejected House Democrats’ demands for the full Mueller report and the underlying evidence….

Superior City Council Fails to Elect President Again; Mayor Paine Frustrated

Vice President Craig Sutherland serving as acting president until president is selected

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Superior Mayor Jim Paine is growing increasingly frustrated after a second city council meeting that failed to vote in a new council president. “Basically the council failed to elect a president because Councilor Sutherland refused to do his job and vote in the election. We count on all the councilors to make a decision on who their…

Klobuchar Releases $100B Substance Abuse, Mental Health Plan

The Money Would Come Largely From Opioid Manufacturers

CHICAGO (AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar has released a plan to spend $100 billion over a decade to improve mental health care and fight substance abuse. It’s an issue the Minnesota senator has faced firsthand as the daughter of an alcoholic who struggled with addiction for years before getting sober. The wide-ranging plan unveiled Friday includes funding for…

Trump Fed choice Stephen Moore withdraws amid controversy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says his pick for the Federal Reserve board, conservative commentator Stephen Moore, has withdrawn from contention. The decision comes amid controversy over Moore’s past writings about women. He lost Republican support in the Senate, which would have to vote on a potential nomination. Trump tweeted the news Wednesday, calling Moore “a great pro-growth economist…

New Construction, Husky Updates Among Topics in Superior’s State of the City

Mayor Jim Paine delivers his second State of the City address.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- In his second State of the City address, Superior Mayor Jim Paine is proud of the progress Superior has made. He said the city will be unrecognizable to some in the coming years. The Mayor announced the construction of Cobblestone Hotel on Tower Avenue, and the development of Central High School into a mixed-use development, featuring both market-rate…

Protesters Environmental Rally on Anniversary of Husky Explosion

This after Husky announces rebuild of the Superior refinery, with the use of Hydrogen Fluoride.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- On Saturday, protestors rallied outside the Douglas County Courthouse in Superior, voicing their concerns about the Husky Energy Refinery Rebuild. Recently, Husky announced they will continue using the controversial chemical Hydrogen fluoride after rebuilding the refinery which exploded a year ago. Protestors said it’s time to do away with the chemical, and the refinery, as a whole. “No…

Trump Tells NRA he’s Withdrawing From Arms Trade Treaty

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says the U.S. has decided to withdraw its support for a treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade. Trump said Friday that he has decided to revoke the United States’ status as a signatory of the Arms Trade Treaty regulating international trade in conventional weapons, including small arms, battle tanks, combat…

Ordinance To Restrict Duluth Massage Businesses Gets First Read

Some are in favor of some new city regulations, but say current proposal hurts their legitimate businesses.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Duluth City Council had its first read of an ordinance that would tighten up restrictions for massage businesses. Amendments to the ordinance include broadening hours of operations from 6 am to 11 pm, allowing clients to enter or exit through more than one entrance, and allowing doors to be locked during business hours. Previously, the ordinance stated…

Biden Expected to Launch Presidential Campaign Next Week

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to announce he’s running for president next week. That’s according to three people with knowledge of Biden’s plans. Biden will enter the race as a Democratic front-runner, although the 76-year-old faces questions about his age and whether his more moderate record fits with a party that has become more liberal….

IRRRB’s Quick Hiring Of Joe Radinovich For $100K Raises Questions

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says he’ll tighten hiring rules after a prominent Iron Range Democrat was hired for a civil service job without going through the normal hiring process. The Star Tribune reports that Walz’s move comes after Joe Radinovich, a former state legislator, was fast-tracked for a job at the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board….

Governor Tim Walz Visits Duluth on Community Prosperity Tour

Entrepreneurs Show Off Their Innovative Business Ideas To Governor Walz, All In Hopes To Boost Local Economy

DULUTH, Minn.-Governor Tim Walz made a stop in Duluth today continuing his Community Prosperity Tour, where entrepreneurs gathered to learn about ways their innovations can help the Minnesota economy soar. It was more or less a “Minnesota Nice” version of the TV show, “Shark Tank”. Where Gov. Walz heard presentations at the University of Minnesota’s Natural Resources Research Institute about…

Watch: Trump Spends America’s tax Filing day in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – President Donald Trump is spending America’s tax filing day in Minnesota. Trump arrived in Minneapolis on Monday and was headed to a trucking company in the suburb of Burnsville to host a roundtable discussion on the economy. The president says the economy is doing well. He also says a package of corporate and individual tax cuts he…

Trump Using Tax Day Visit to Minnesota to Tout 2017 tax Cuts

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – President Donald Trump is using Tax Day on Monday to visit Minnesota, a state he nearly won in 2016 and would like to flip in 2020. But questions remain about how much Trump is benefiting politically from the federal tax overhaul, his signature legislative accomplishment. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last week showed that most…

Mayor Larson To Deliver State Of The City Address Monday

DULUTH, Minn. (Press Release) – Mayor Larson will hold her fourth State of the City address on Monday, April 15th, 2019 at 6:00 pm at Myers-Wilkins Elementary School in the gymnasium. Doors will open at 5:30 pm. The program will begin at 6:00 pm which includes drumming by Myers-Wilkins students, comments from Council President Noah Hobbs, and poet laureate Gary…

Liberal Candidate in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Concedes

Unofficial Results Showed a Nearly 6,000 Vote Lead

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The liberal candidate in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court race has conceded to her conservative rival, deciding against a recount in a contest where the two were separated by just half a percentage point. Lisa Neubauer’s conceded Wednesday to Brian Hagedorn. Unofficial results showed Hagedorn with a nearly 6,000-vote lead after the April 2 election. That didn’t measurably…

Kennedy Announces Run For Duluth City Council Dist. 5

DULUTH, Minn. – A life-long resident of West Duluth is running for the 5th District City Council seat currently held by Jay Fosle. Janet Kennedy made her announcement Monday at Beaner’s Central in West Duluth. Kennedy says she’s focused on community centered economic development, decreasing health disparities, and improving infrastructure and transportation. Kennedy ran against Fosle in 2015 with roughly…

Evers Budget Restores Eminent Domain For Bike Trails

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Tony Evers’ budget proposal would restore local governments’ power to seize private property for bike and recreational trails. Republican lawmakers added to the budget a prohibition on local government and state agencies using eminent domain powers to establish or extend bike trails, recreational trails and sidewalks into the last state budget. That came at the…

Minnesota Legislators Listen to Constituents at Town Hall Forum

Representatives answered questions from constituents.

DULUTH, Minn.- Minnesota lawmakers heard directly from the community at a Town Hall forum in Duluth. Politicians present were State Representative Liz Olson, Senator Erik Simonson, and MNDOT Commissioner Margaret Kelliher. They sat onstage at the Norshor Theater where they were  asked questions from constituents who wanted their voices heard. “I hope we can proceed with line 3 to get our…

Gov. Tim Walz Delivers State Of The State Speech

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Gov. Tim Walz has called on Minnesota to write a new story about how a government divided between Democrats and Republicans puts aside ideology and comes together for the good of the people. The Democratic governor used his first State of the State speech Wednesday night to say the state of the state is “strong.” And…

House Judiciary Panel Approves Subpoenas for Mueller Report

The Committee Voted 24-17

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee approved subpoenas Wednesday for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full Russia report as Democrats pressure the Justice Department to release the document without redactions. The committee voted 24-17 to give Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., permission to issue subpoenas to the Justice Department for the final report, its exhibits and any…

All Incumbent City Councilors Reelected in Superior

Jim Paine also reelected after running unopposed for his first full term

SUPERIOR, Wis. – It’s a win for every Superior City Councilor up for reelection, including in three contested seats. Five Superior City Councilors have been elected to two year terms. Two of those councilors, Tylor Elm and Esther Dalbec, ran unopposed, but three incumbent councilors were reelected after facing challenges from others in the community. 2nd District Councilor Jenny Van…

Voters Turnout in Superior for Election Day

Local and Supreme Court elections bring out community.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Multiple seats are up for grabs in Superior and across Wisconsin on Election Day. Three different council seats are being contested in Superior, and Mayor Jim Paine is running unopposed. Attendants at the polling station at WITC, say they didn’t see huge lines of voters, but the people voting are driven by the local elections, and one particular statewide race….

St. Louis County Board Approves Anti-Nepotism Policy

Board votes unanimously.

DULUTH, Minn.- An Anti-Nepotism Policy has been unanimously approved by the St. Louis County Board. This comes after the board received backlash when longtime County Attorney Mark Rubin hired his son Tony as a prosecutor back in January. The board met about the introduction of a Nepotism Policy last month, after constituents complained the hiring was unfair or a conflict…

Theresa O’Halloran-Johnson Running for Duluth City Council

Johnson announcing she's running for the 3rd District.

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth resident and activist Theresa O’Halloran-Johnson announced she’s running for Duluth City Council, in the third district. A resident of more than 10 years, Johnson said she knows the neighborhood and its issues, and will try to be as accessible as she can be to residents. “I wanted to make sure that we had a strong voice for…

Hundreds Ruck for Veterans in Nearly Naked Ruck March

March held as fundraiser for Veterans with PTSD.

DULUTH, Minn.- On Saturday hundreds got out their walking shoes, pulled on their rucks, and took off their pants for the 23rd Veteran 4th Annual Nearly Naked Ruck March. Community members, active duty military and veterans rucked 10 laps around Enger Tower in nothing but hats, gloves, boots, and long underwear to support veterans. “It’s cold, and motivating. But we try…

Endorsement Controversy Involving Superior Mayor Jim Paine, Council Candidates

SUPERIOR, Wis. — There are growing concerns among some Superior city leaders — inside and outside the council chambers — involving Mayor Jim Paine’s decision to publicly endorse three council candidates in a political ad that’s running on both television and social media before Tuesday’s election. As FOX 21’s Dan Hanger reports, one of those endorsed candidates is an incumbent…

After Proposing Cuts, Trump Now Ready to Fund Great Lakes Restoration

The President backtracks on some proposed cuts to EPA.

DULUTH, Minn.- For the third year in a row the President proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, which included a 90 percent cut to funding for Great Lakes restoration. But that proposal now seems to be saved by the President himself. Last night at a rally in Michigan, the President declared his support for the Great Lakes. “I support…

Superior City Council Candidates Participate in Forum

Councilors Jack Sweeney and Craig Sutherland, and council candidate Tom Wondolkowski attended

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Explore Superior held a public forum tonight at the Superior Public Library involving three contested candidates for Superior City Council seats. Two current councilors, Jack Sweeney and Craig Sutherland, and one prospective councilor, Tom Woldolkowski, participated in the forum. The 4th Council District is much of Superior’s East End. Jack Sweeney has represented that area since 2013….

Counselor Pleads Not Guilty To Juvenile Sex Crimes

Mark Painter DULUTH, Minn. – A youth counselor has pleaded not guilty to all five counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct against him involving juvenile boys at a Duluth residential treatment facility. Mark Painter, 29, of Hermantown is accused of sexually assaulting five boys under his watch at The Hills Youth and Family Services in Duluth. Court documents in St….

House Fails to Override Trump Veto of his Border Emergency

A two-Thirds Majority was Needed

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON – An effort by House Democrats to override President Donald Trump’s first veto has failed. That hands him a victory because his declaration of a national emergency at the Southwest border will remain in effect. The Democratic-controlled chamber has voted 248-181 in favor of overriding Trump’s veto. That fell 38 votes short of the 286 needed…

Gov. Walz Talks Healthcare Reform in Duluth

Roundtable held at Snooty Fox Tea Shop.

DULUTH, Minn.-  Over a month after releasing a new budget proposal, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz shared more about a feature of that proposal, his OneCare health care reform. At a roundtable discussion at Snooty Fox Tea Shop, the governor promised to “cut out the middleman” by not paying insurance companies hoping they lower costs. Instead he plans to provide direct subsidies…

Superior Residents Meet City Council Candidates

Meet and greet at the Elks Lodge hosted by Superior Young Professionals

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Superior residents had a chance to meet city council candidates at the Elks Lodge. Current city councilors Craig Sutherland, Tylor Elm, Brent Fennessy, Ruth Ludwig, and Jack Sweeney were at the event. Plus, candidate Tom Woldolkowski and a representative from candidate Laura Gapske attended. The meet and greet was hosted by the Superior Young Professionals. “It’s a…

Bitter Health Insurance Debate Erupts in Minnesota House

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A bitter, partisan debate erupted on the Minnesota House floor when Republicans tried to bring up a health care reinsurance bill that House Democrats oppose as a giveaway to the insurance industry. Republicans passed a $549 million reinsurance plan to hold down individual marketplace premiums when they controlled the Legislature in 2017. A bill the Senate…

Convenience Stores Find Loophole to Sell Flavored Tobacco

Korner Store in Gary New Duluth opening up smoke shop.

DULUTH, Minn.- At least two convenience stores in Duluth have found a way around a year-old city ordinance that bans the sale of menthol and flavored tobacco products. Derek Medved, owner of the Korner Store in Gary New Duluth, is creating a separate retail establishment as a smoke shop within his convenience store. The 10 foot by 10 foot section…

House Lawmakers Pass Hands-Free Driving Bill, on to Senate

State Highway Patrol in favor of law.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Minnesota House has approved a bill requiring drivers to use hands–free devices when talking on the phone. The House passed the bill 106 – 21 Monday night. Sponsors of the bill say the measure will help cut down on the rising level of distracted driving and save lives. Today the Minnesota State Highway Patrol told us that they’re…