Political

US Budget Deficit Hits $2.77 Trillion in 2021, 2nd Highest

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. budget deficit totaled $2.77 trillion for 2021, the second-highest on record but an improvement from the all-time high of $3.13 trillion in 2020. The deficits in both years reflected trillions of dollars in government spending to counteract the devastating effects of a global pandemic. The Biden administration said Friday that the 2021 deficit, for the…

‘Visit Duluth’ Board Agrees To Much Smaller Sales Role With City

DULUTH, Minn. – Visit Duluth — the city’s top marketing arm since 1935 — has agreed to a much smaller role with the city so it isn’t dissolved altogether. This comes after the city council recently approved a 2022 tourism marketing contract with Bellmont Partners out of the Twin Cities worth $1.8 million. The company came out on top after…

Gov. Walz Announces Bid for Second Term

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan Also Announced Re-Election Tuesday Morning

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Tim Walz has launched his campaign for a second term in an increasingly divided state, saying he made the tough calls necessary to beat back the COVID-19 pandemic and revive the economy. The former high school football coach made the announcement in a YouTube video posted Tuesday that shows him standing on a football…

Biden Team Asks Supreme Court to Pause Texas Abortion Law

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration is asking the Supreme Court to block the Texas law banning most abortions, while the fight over the measure’s constitutionality plays out in the courts. The law has been in effect since September, aside from a district court-ordered pause that lasted just 48 hours. It bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, usually around…

Ret. Gen. Colin Powell Dies of COVID-19 Complications

WASHIINGTON (AP) – Colin Powell, former Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state, has died from COVID-19 complications, his family said Monday. In an announcement on social media, the family said Powell had been fully vaccinated. Powell was the first African American to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state. But his reputation also…

Walz to Deploy National Guard to Help Ease COVID-19 Surge

ROBBINSDALE, Minn. (AP) – Gov. Tim Walz says he’ll use the Minnesota National Guard to help alleviate staffing shortages at care facilities that are struggling with the surge in COVID-19 cases. The governor announced plans Friday at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale for alleviating bottlenecks caused by staffing shortages that prevent hospitals from moving recovering patients to transitional and…

Biden to Discuss Proposed Plan, Lowering Cost of Child Care for American Families

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden plans to highlight his plan to lower the cost of child care for most American families as he makes the case for his stalled social spending bill during a visit to Connecticut. Biden will visit a child development center in Hartford on Friday to promote his proposal to make such carefree for lower-income families….

Evers Issues Formal Apology for Indian Boarding Schools

(Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, File) MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has issued a formal apology for Wisconsin’s role in Native American boarding schools, joining with leaders from the state’s tribes at an Indigenous Peoples Day event. Evers signed an executive order on Monday that also formally supported the previously announced U.S. Department of Interior investigation…

Parent Sues Wisconsin School District After Child Contracts COVID-19

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) – A parent has sued a southeastern Wisconsin school district after her son contracted COVID-19 from a classmate. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Shannon Jensen filed the lawsuit in federal court against the Waukesha School District and school board on Oct. 5. According to the lawsuit, the board in May removed a student mask requirement and…

Texas Clinics Cancel Abortions after Court Reinstates Ban

The White House on Saturday had no immediate comment after a federal appeals court reinstated the Texas law known as Senate Bill 8.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas abortion clinics are canceling appointments they had booked during a 48-hour reprieve from the nation’s most restrictive abortion law. The White House on Saturday had no immediate comment after a federal appeals court reinstated the Texas law known as Senate Bill 8. The law bans abortions in Texas once cardiac activity is detected, usually around…

Agreement on Short-term Debt Ceiling Fix, Averting Crisis

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says an agreement has been reached with Republicans to extend the government’s borrowing authority into December. That temporarily averts a debt crisis. Schumer made the announcement as he opened the Senate on Thursday. He said he hoped the Senate could vote later in the day. Republican leader Mitch McConnell…

All City of Duluth Employee Unions Reject Mayor’s 2022 Healthcare Proposal

DULUTH, Minn. – FOX 21 learned Monday that all six employee unions with the city of Duluth have rejected the administration’s new healthcare proposal for 2022. This comes after a rally outside City Hall late last week where union members said they have a strong health fund and want to keep it that way. The proposed changes to employee health…

Duluth Women’s March Joins Hundreds Across Country Supporting Reproductive Rights

This comes after a controversial new law was enacted in Texas, banning abortions once cardiac activity is detected usually around six weeks

DULUTH, Minn.- A Women’s March in Duluth Saturday joined hundreds across the country taking to the streets in support of reproductive rights, which they say are under attack with recent abortion legislation. The march started outside the St. Louis county courthouse and marched to the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial on First Street. The group in Duluth marched down First Street…

Duluth Police: Standoff Suspect Surrenders After Attempted Bank Robbery, Car Theft, Vehicle Pursuit

According to authorities, there were no injuries reported during the call.

DULUTH, Minn.- The 30-year-old male suspect who kept Duluth Police in a standoff for hours in an apartment building on Central Avenue was finally taken into custody after committing multiple crimes, according to authorities. Police say at 8:30 p.m. the man eventually surrendered and was apprehended. He was transported to a local hospital for minor injuries and then the St….

Longtime St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin Passes Torch To Kim Maki

DULUTH, Minn. – There was a moment in history Wednesday as longtime St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin passed the torch to the county’s next leader in prosecution and justice – Kim Maki. Dozens of people showed up outside the courthouse to watch the handover in power. Rubin has been the county attorney since 2010 with more than 42 years…

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…

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…

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…

Former Longtime Duluth City Attorney Headed to City of Hermantown

HERMANTOWN, Minn. – Former longtime Duluth city attorney Gunnar Johnson is now going to work in that same role with the city of Hermantown. The city council voted unanimously Monday night to hire Johnson, who will start in January. He is replacing Steve Overom who held the city attorney position for 42 years.  Overom is scaling back duties with the…

In Edgy Washington, Police Outnumber Jan. 6 Protesters

The fence around the Capitol was put back up, the city police force was fully activated and Capitol Police requested assistance from the National Guard.

WASHINGTON (AP) – With Washington still on edge after the Jan. 6 insurrection, law enforcement bore down in large numbers on the Capitol over concerns that a rally in support of the jailed rioters would turn violent. It didn’t. The crowd Saturday was sparse, incidents few. The fence around the Capitol was put back up, the city police force was…

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…

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson Proposes 2022 Budget with 6% Property Tax Levy Increase

Larson brought her proposed general fund budget of $97.1 million dollars for next year before council.

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth Mayor Emily Larson brought her proposed general fund budget of $97.1 million for next year before council Monday evening. “I have always believed that budgets are moral documents. Every single Duluthian needs to know that, in some way that is meaningful to them, we are in their corner,” Mayor Larson said. “There is no more important way…

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…

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…

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…

Minnesota’s Klobuchar Says She Had Breast Cancer; Doing Well

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced Thursday that she has been treated for breast cancer that was found in February and the treatment “went well.” Klobuchar, 61, tweeted that the cancer was detected during a routine mammogram, and eventually she had a lumpectomy to remove the cancer. She said she completed radiation treatment in May, and a checkup…

‘Travel Superior’ CEO Speaks Out Against Mayor Paine’s Tourism Commission Proposal

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The president and CEO of Superior’s visitor’s bureau, known as Travel Superior, is speaking out against Mayor Jim Paine’s proposal to create a tourism commission to handle 100 percent of the city’s tourism tax revenue. Taylor Pedersen believes the process to potentially do away with Travel Superior has been rushed and he doesn’t believe a six-person commission…

High Court Divides 5-4 To Leave Texas Abortion Law in Place

WASHINGTON (AP) — A deeply divided Supreme Court is allowing a Texas law that bans most abortions to remain in force. The court’s action, for now, strips most women of the right to an abortion in the nation’s second-largest state. In an unsigned order just before midnight, the court voted 5-4 to deny an emergency appeal from abortion providers and…

Paul Gazelka Resigns as Senate Majority Leader as Governor’s Race Looms

Republican State Senator Michelle Benson Tosses Hat into Governor's Race

ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) – State Sen. Paul Gazelka said Wednesday he’s resigning his position as Senate majority leader, a likely precursor to joining the 2022 Minnesota governor’s race. Gazelka’s move stole some attention from fellow Republican state Sen. Michelle Benson, who is launching her own campaign for governor at a 10 a.m. event in Blaine. Already in the GOP primary:…

U.S. Drone Kills Member of Group Blamed in Kabul Bombing

A U.S. Central Command statement said a drone strike targeted an IS planner in the eastern province of Nangahar.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States military struck back at the Islamic State in Afghanistan on Saturday, acting on President Joe Biden’s vow to hit the extremists in retaliation for a suicide bombing claimed by IS that killed as many as 169 Afghans and 13 American service members at Kabul airport Thursday. A U.S. Central Command statement said a drone…

Supreme Court Allows Evictions to Resume During Pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court is allowing evictions to resume across the United States, blocking the Biden administration from enforcing a temporary ban that was put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. Roughly 3.5 million people in the United States said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to Census Bureau data from early August. The…

Gov. Walz Orders Flags Flown at Half-Staff to Honor Victims of the Attack in Kabul

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Governor Tim Walz has ordered all United States and Minnesota flags be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in Minnesota to remember, mourn, and honor theUnited States service members and other victims that were killed or wounded in a terrorist attack carried out in Kabul, Afghanistan Thursday. The governor’s office says the order…

Pentagon to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine, as Pfizer Is Approved

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon says it will require service members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine now that the Pfizer vaccine has received full approval. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby says that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is making good on his vow earlier this month to require the shots once the Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine. Kirby said the…

Biden to Address Chaotic Kabul Evacuation, Flights ‘Paused’

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden plans to speak Friday about the chaotic evacuations in Afghanistan. He’s facing a torrent of criticism, including from some U.S. diplomats over the effort to evacuate U.S. citizens and Afghans who helped the U.S. during the 20-year war. The pace of evacuations picked up some overnight, but flights from the Kabul airport had stopped…

Embattled Minnesota Republican Party Leader Resigns

(courtesy: Fox 9) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The embattled leader of the Minnesota Republican Party has been forced to resign following accusations that she ran an operation that was rife with verbal abuse, intimidation, and sexual misconduct. Jennifer Carnahan initially resisted calls to resign, saying she had no knowledge of sex-trafficking allegations against a close friend and prominent GOP donor. She…

Source: Biden to Require Vaccines for Nursing Home Staff

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration will require that nursing home staff are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding. Biden will announce the move Wednesday afternoon in a White House address as the administration continues to look for ways to use mandates to encourage vaccine holdouts to get shots….

Council Approves Outsourcing Duluth’s $1.8M Tourism Marketing Contract

Councilors also voted to table a $400K contract offer to Visit Duluth to handle the city's convention sales and visitor center.

DULUTH, Minn. –  The city council made a historic vote Monday evening to approve a new $1.8 million tourism marketing contract to a firm in Minneapolis – Bellmont Partners and its partner Lawrence & Schiller — instead of Visit Duluth, which has held the job since 1935. Councilor Joel Sipress voted against the contract resolution.  Councilor Zack Filipovich abstained because…

Biden to Address Nation on Deadly Chaos in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is returning to the White House Monday to address the nation on the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan. This, as the planned withdrawal of American forces, turned deadly at Kabul’s airport Monday as thousands tried to flee Afghanistan a day after the Taliban’s takeover of the country. The White House says Biden will travel back…

Council To Vote Monday On Mayor’s Plan To Outsource Duluth’s Tourism Marketing

Monday’s Council meeting will remain virtual, according to Forsman, due to the county's recent spike in COVID cases.

DULUTH, Minn.- At their Monday meeting Duluth City Council is set to discuss Mayor Emily Larson’s plan to put Duluth’s next marketing contract out for bid for the first time since Visit Duluth got the job in 1935, and why the winner went to Minneapolis-based Bellmont Partners — not a local firm. Mayor Larson says she believes Bellmont Partners is…

Mayor Larson Provides Detailed Response To Critics Of Plan To Outsource Duluth’s Tourism Marketing

Larson's full e-mail to council with answers to critics can be found at the bottom of this story.

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth Mayor Emily Larson addressed city councilors at Thursday night’s agenda meeting — three days after announcing her plan to outsource the city’s 2022 marketing contract and no longer use Visit Duluth. It’s a bold move Larson acknowledges, and one that’s fueled a lot of pushback from the local creative community. As FOX 21’s Dan Hanger reports,…