Political

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,…

Critics Grow Louder Over Mayor Larson’s Plan To Outsource Duluth’s Tourism Marketing; Councilors Weigh In

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth city councilors are getting an earful and raising questions — one day after Mayor Emily Larson boldly announced plans to pass up longtime Visit Duluth for the city’s next tourism marketing contract worth nearly $2 million and instead choose Minneapolis-based Bellmont Partners and its partner, Lawrence & Schiller. Mayor Larson told FOX 21 she stands by…

Municipal Primary Election Update

DULUTH, Minn. — The Municipal Primary Election took place yesterday for two at-large city council seats along with City Council District 2 and District 4 seats as well. At 8:00 pm Wednesday night the votes were in sending 8 candidates to the Novembers ballots. There was a 12.4%  total voter turnout, which was around the expected amount but still way…

One-On-One: Mayor Larson Explains Choosing Minneapolis Agency Over ‘Visit Duluth’ For Tourism Marketing

Visit Duluth is being offered a significantly smaller second contract for "convention and visitor center operations."

DULUTH, Minn. – After 85 years as Duluth’s main tourism marketing arm, Visit Duluth will no longer have that title come 2022 — pending council’s approval — as Mayor Emily Larson continues to scrutinize how millions of dollars in tourism tax revenue is handed out every year. Larson made the big announcement Tuesday by saying her team has chosen Minneapolis-based…

Larson Chooses Minneapolis Agency Over ‘Visit Duluth’ For City’s Main Marketing Contract

Visit Duluth is being offered a significantly smaller second contract for "convention and visitor center operations."

DULUTH, Minn. – After 85 years as Duluth’s main tourism marketing arm, Visit Duluth will no longer have that title come 2022, as Mayor Emily Larson continues to scrutinize how millions of dollars in tourism tax revenue is used every year. Mayor Larson made the announcement Tuesday saying her team has chosen Minneapolis-based Bellmont Partners and its partner, Lawrence &…

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Announces Resignation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Will Effectively Leave Office in Two Weeks

NEW YORK (AP) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has resigned over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations in a fall from grace a year after he was widely hailed nationally for his detailed daily briefings and leadership during the darkest days of COVID-19. The third-term Democratic governor is increasingly isolated as state Assembly members move toward impeachment and allies…

Wisconsin Governor Vetoes GOP Bills to Restrict Absentees

(Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, File) MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed bills passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature that would have imposed new restrictions on absentee ballots in the key battleground state. The Democratic governor had been widely expected to turn back the bills, which his party had derided as voter suppression. Republicans argued…

City of Duluth to Require Masks in Public City Buildings, Fire Stations Close to Public

While the city plans to keep its buildings open to everyone, Duluth Fire stations are the exception. They are now closed to the public again, just days after reopening.

DULUTH, Minn.- The City Of Duluth is bringing back its mask mandate for all city employees and the public inside all city-owned buildings — regardless of a person’s vaccination status. “Personally it is frustrating to be at this point,” Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said. “I know that many of us would like this to be over.” “Last week I didn’t…

Biden to Announce New Eviction Ban Due to COVID Spread

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration will announce a new 60-day eviction moratorium that would protect areas where 90% of the U.S. population lives. That’s according to three people familiar with the plans who insisted on anonymity to discuss the forthcoming announcement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a legal authority for a new and different moratorium…

Officer Dead After Burst of Violence Outside Pentagon

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) UPDATE: WASHINGTON (AP) — An officer died after being stabbed Tuesday during a burst of violence at a transit station outside the Pentagon, law enforcement officials said. A shooting resulted in the Pentagon being locked down for more than an hour. A Pentagon officer who was stabbed later died, according to officials who were not authorized to…

Pentagon on Lockdown After Gunshots Fired Near Metro

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gunshots were fired Tuesday morning near the entrance of the Pentagon, resulting in multiple injuries. The facility, the headquarters of the U.S. military, was placed on lockdown. The Arlington County Fire Department reported “multiple patients,” but it wasn’t immediately clear if they had been shot or the extent of the injuries. The incident occurred on a Metro…

Gov. Cuomo Sexually Harassed Multiple Women, Probe Finds

NEW YORK (AP) – An investigation into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has found that he sexually harassed multiple current and former state government employees. State Attorney General Letitia James announced the findings Tuesday. The investigation, conducted by two outside lawyers, found that the Cuomo administration was a “hostile work environment” and that it was “rife with fear and intimidation.”…

Graham 1st Vaccinated Senator to Test Positive for COVID-19

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Sen. Lindsey Graham has tested positive for the coronavirus. The South Carolina Republican is the first senator to disclose a breakthrough infection after being vaccinated. Graham said in a statement Monday afternoon that he “started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night” and went to the doctor Monday morning. Graham said he would quarantine for 10 days and…

Biden to Allow Eviction Moratorium to Expire Saturday

BOSTON (AP) – The Biden administration will allow a nationwide ban on evictions to expire Saturday. The end of the moratorium comes as advocates and some lawmakers call for it to be extended in the face of rising coronavirus cases and the sluggish pace of distributing rental assistance. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,…

Man Charged With Sending Threatening Emails to Dr. Fauci

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A man has been arrested and charged in federal court with sending emails that threatened to harm and kill Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, and their families, federal prosecutors in Maryland announced Tuesday. A criminal complaint filed Monday charges Thomas Patrick Connally Jr., 56, with threats against a federal official…

Wisconsin Assembly to Consider Override of Unemployment Veto

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – It’s shaping up to be a day full of partisan sniping but no real action in the Wisconsin Assembly. Republicans called the Assembly back into session Tuesday to vote on overriding Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of a bill that would have ended a federal $300 weekly unemployment supplemental payment. To succeed, Republicans will need Democrats…

Trump Inaugural Committee Head Accused of Being UAE Agent

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) NEW YORK (AP) – The chair of former President Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee was arrested Tuesday in California on charges alleging that he and others conspired to influence Trump’s foreign policy positions to benefit the United Arab Emirates. Tom Barrack was among three men charged in New York federal court with trying to influence…

Senate President Pro Tem Says He Has Lou Gehrig’s Disease

(courtesy: Fox 9) ST. PAUL, Minn. – Longtime state Sen. David Tomassoni has informed his constituents that he has Lou Gehring’s disease, also known as ALS. The motor neuron disease is a progressive, degenerative disease that destroys the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement. The 68-year-old senator from Chisholm says he was diagnosed a while ago and felt the…

Klobuchar: Infrastructure Bill Could Include Voting Measures

ATLANTA (AP) — Congressional Democrats are exploring ways to include financial incentives for states to expand voting access as part of a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure bill, a key senator said Sunday. Democrats have been struggling to get their marquee election reform bill passed in an evenly split Senate, where Republicans remain unified in their opposition and rules require 60 votes to…

Minnesota Gov. Walz to Ban Conversion Therapy, Bypassing Legislature

(FOX News) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will sign an executive order Thursday bypassing the state legislature and banning the controversial practice of “gay conversion therapy.” Walz is expected to sign the order alongside Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan on Thursday morning in defiance of the Republican-held state senate, which doesn’t support the move, according to local media. “Our kids deserve…