Political

Democratic-Backed Underly Elected Wisconsin Schools Chief

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Jill Underly rode support from the state teachers’ union and an overwhelming financial advantage to win election as Wisconsin superintendent of schools. Underly defeated Republican-backed Deb Kerr in Tuesday’s election. Underly is superintendent of the rural Pecatonica school district and formerly worked for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, which she will now lead. Kerr is…

Official: Biden Moving Vaccine Eligibility Date to April 19

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is set to announce that he’s shaving about two weeks off his May 1 deadline for states to make all adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines. A White House official says Biden will make the announcement later Tuesday. With states gradually expanding eligibility beyond such priority groups as seniors and essential, front-line workers, the president…

Mayor Larson’s ‘State Of The City’ Core Principles: Equity, Sustainability, Community

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth Mayor Emily Larson held a virtual State of the City address Monday night acknowledging last year’s painful struggles through the pandemic and social justice issues surrounding George Floyd’s death — while praising the city’s determination to come together peacefully with a focus on being a stronger, more equitable community. “None of this will be easy. Last…

Mayor Larson Presses Army Corps On Beach Erosion

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – Duluth Mayor Emily Larson is pressing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to investigate whether the agency is responsible for erosion along a six-mile stretch of Lake Superior beach. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Larson sent a letter March 12 to the corps to investigate whether its maintenance work on shipping channels has caused erosion…

US Capitol on Lockdown After Someone Rammed a Vehicle Into Two Capitol Police Officers

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — A car rammed a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday afternoon, injuring two Capitol Police officers and leading to the driver being shot, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. At least one officer was in serious condition, while the driver was in critical condition. Capitol Police say the crash happened…

Gov. Walz, Great Lakes Governors Call on President Biden to Support Critical Water Infrastructure

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Gov. Walz joined three other Great Lakes governors on Wednesday calling on President Joe Biden to prioritize federal investments in long-neglected water infrastructure. In a letter to the Biden Administration, lauded the American Rescue Plan Act’s $360 billion in direct aid to state and local governments and the inclusion of water and sewer infrastructure as acceptable…

Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Statewide Mask Mandate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate, ruling that the Democratic governor exceeded his authority by issuing the order. The 4-3 ruling Wednesday by the conservative-controlled court is the latest legal blow to attempts by Evers to control the coronavirus. It comes after Republicans in the Legislature voted to repeal…

Walz Says ‘Normalcy Is On The Horizon’ In State Address

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz delivered his third State of the State address Sunday from his former high school classroom and said brighter days have arrived and “normalcy is on the horizon” as a substantial portion of the population is being vaccinated against the coronavirus and businesses start to fully reopen. The first-term Democrat gave the speech from…

Congress to Press Big Tech CEOs Over Speech, Misinformation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CEOs of social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and Google are giving an accounting to Congress of actions against the use of their platforms to spread falsehoods and incite violence. The stakes have ratcheted ever higher: The Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the rise in COVID vaccine misinformation, and Democrats now in control of Congress…

Biden Says U.S. To Hit 100 Million Virus Goal on Friday

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the U.S. closing in on President Joe Biden’s goal of injecting 100 million coronavirus vaccinations weeks ahead of his target date, officials say the nation is now in a position to help supply neighbors Canada and Mexico with shots. The Biden administration announced the outlines of a plan to “loan” vaccines to Canada and Mexico as…

Officials: Violent Extremists Pose ‘Elevated Threat’ to US

WASHINGTON (AP) — Violent extremists motivated by political grievances and racial biases pose an “elevated threat” to the U.S. homeland. That’s according to an unclassified intelligence report released more than two months after a violent mob of insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol. The assessment was made in a report released Wednesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence….

Wisconsin Senate Approves Sexual Assault Kit Bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Senate overwhelmingly approved a pair of bipartisan bills Tuesday that would establish protocols for collecting and tracking sexual assault evidence kits. The first bill would require health professionals to notify police within 72 hours whenever a sexual assault kit has been collected and police to send kits to the state crime lab within 14 days. The…

Sen. Amy Klobuchar Talks Grants For Restaurants, More Aspects of American Rescue Plan in Duluth Visit

Minnesota Senator Klobuchar stopped by The Boat Club Restaurant in Duluth's Fitger's Complex to talk about the multi-billion dollar Restaurant Act.

DULUTH, Minn.- As stimulus checks start landing in the accounts of Americans this weekend, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar stopped by Duluth today to talk with the mayor and restaurant owners about the federal aid they’ll now receive from the American Rescue Plan. It’s a part of President Biden’s new COVID relief bill called the Restaurants Act. “This is focused on…

Watch Live: President Biden to Make First Primetime Address to Nation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is outlining his plan to make all adult Americans eligible for vaccination by May 1 and get the nation back “closer to normal” by the Fourth of July. Biden is addressing the nation Thursday evening, one year into the coronavirus pandemic. Previewing his speech, officials say he will announce that he is deploying an…

House Set to Vote on Virus Relief, Biden on Cusp of Triumph

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is poised to approve a landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. That puts President Joe Biden on the cusp of a triumph that advances Democratic priorities yet also showcases the unity his party will need for future victories. House passage seems certain, probably coming Wednesday. The bill aims to fulfill Democrats’ campaign promises to beat the…

When to Expect Payments, Other Benefits From Relief Package

(AP) – As the latest federal pandemic relief package makes its way to President Joe Biden’s desk, Americans may be wondering when the benefits will reach them. The $1.9 trillion known as the “American Rescue Plan” is massive, both in size and scope. It includes direct payments to most Americans, aid to small businesses, financial help for schools, and much…

U.S. Senate Approves $1.9T Virus Relief Bill

The bill provides direct payments of up to $1,400 for most Americans, extended emergency unemployment benefits, and more.

WASHINGTON (AP) — An exhausted Senate narrowly approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Saturday as President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies notched a victory they called crucial for hoisting the country out of the pandemic and economic doldrums. After laboring through the night on a mountain of amendments — nearly all from Republicans and rejected — bleary-eyed senators…

Official: Dems OK Tighter Income Limits for COVID-19 Relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic official says President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have agreed to tighten the upper-income limits at which people could qualify for stimulus checks in the party’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill. That’s a major concession to moderates as party leaders prepared to move their legislation through the Senate. As part of Democrats’ legislative thrust on…

Police Uncover ‘Possible Plot’ by Militia to Breach Capitol on Thursday

  WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing there is a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The revelation was detailed in a statement from the Capitol Police. The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that Trump will…

Congressman Stauber Honors K9 Luna on the House Floor

(courtesy: Facebook/Congressman Pete Stauber) WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, Congressman Pete Stauber spoke on the House Floor to honor the service and sacrifice of fallen Duluth K9 Luna. K9 Luna was killed in the line of duty last week while responding to reports of a domestic violence situation. Congressman Stauber said during his speech, “K9 Luna was a guardian of…

Wisconsin Bills Seek to Ban Transgender Athletes

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Transgender athletes would be banned from participating in girls’ and women’s sports in Wisconsin from kindergarten through college under bills introduced by Republican lawmakers. The proposals unveiled Tuesday come as more than a dozen other states consider similar measures. The Wisconsin proposal faces an almost certain veto from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers should it pass the…

Minnesota Officer Deadly Force Working Group Gives One-Year Progress Report

They group was key in the bi-partisan passing of the Minnesota Police Accountability Act of 2020.

MINNESOTA- A working group looking at ways to reduce deadly force encounters between police and citizens in Minnesota says many of their recommendations are being implemented — but there is still work to be done. The group was organized last year by Attorney General Keith Ellison and Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, before the killing of George Floyd under the…

US Bombs Facilities In Syria Used By Iran-Backed Militia

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. military conducted airstrikes against facilities in eastern Syria that the Pentagon said were used by Iran-backed militia groups, in response to recent attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq. The airstrikes were announced by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, who said the action was authorized by President Joe Biden. Kirby said the U.S. attacks destroyed multiple facilities…

Security Officials to Answer for Jan. 6 Failures at Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is set to hear from former security officials about what went wrong at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. That’s when a violent mob laid siege to the Capitol and interrupted the counting of electoral votes. Three of the four testifying Tuesday resigned under pressure immediately after the attack, including the former head of the Capitol…

Minnesota Senator to Lead Bipartisan Hearing on Capitol Hill

The hope is to continue to allow public access to the Capitol in the future.

WASHINGTON D.C. – Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is helping lead a bipartisan hearing on security issues surrounding the January 6th Capitol riot, along with the Department of Homeland Security. The hearing includes first-time testimonies from the former Capitol Police Chief and the current head of the Metropolitan Police Department. Senator Klobuchar says, the constructive hearing will focus on three areas…

Governor Walz Announces 2021 Local Jobs and Projects Plan

ST. PAUL, Minn. – On Monday, Governor Tim Walz announced his 2021 Local Jobs and Projects Plan. According to the governor’s office, the plan invests $518.086 million in infrastructure projects across the state to maintain existing buildings, invest in communities, and ensure that the state can leverage available federal funds. Nearly half of the plan will support asset preservation projects…

Supreme Court Won’t Halt Turnover of Trump’s Tax Records

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a significant defeat for former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court has declined to step in to halt the turnover of his tax records to a New York state prosecutor. The court’s action Monday is the apparent culmination of a lengthy legal battle that had already reached the high court once before. Trump’s tax records are…

Biden to See Pfizer Plant as Weather Delays Shipping Vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Extreme winter weather is dealing the first major setback to the Biden administration’s planned swift rollout of coronavirus vaccines just as the national vaccination campaign was hitting its stride. The disruptions caused by frigid temperatures, snow, and ice left the White House scrambling to work with states to make up “lost ground.” White House coronavirus adviser Andy…

Republican Doug Wardlow Runs for Minnesota Attorney General

(Dave Schwartz/The St. Cloud Times va AP File) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Republican Doug Wardlow is running again for Minnesota attorney general. Wardlow lost the 2018 race to Democrat Keith Ellison by just under 4 percentage points. Wardlow is general counsel for MyPillow. Founder Mike Lindell has spent months spreading misinformation backing former President Donald Trump’s false claims of victory in…

WI State Superintendent Primary: Underly And Kerr Advance To General Election

WISCONSIN — The field of seven candidates for Wisconsin’s Superintendent of Public Instruction race has been narrowed down to two. With 95% of precincts reporting at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, the AP has called the race for Jill Underly and Deborah Kerr. At this hour, Underly has 88,074 votes, or 27.4% of the vote, with Kerr trailing close behind with…

Evers to Tout Wisconsin Budget Proposal as Bounce Back Plan

(AP Photo) MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers plans to call on the Republican-controlled Legislature to join him in passing a two-year budget he is presenting as a “bounce back” plan to help the state recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Evers released excerpts from his speech before he was to deliver it in a pre-recorded message to the Legislature…

Polls Are Open for Wisconsin’s 2021 Spring Primary Election

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Polls are open this morning in Wisconsin for the 2021 Wisconsin Spring Primary Election. Polls opened at 7:00 a.m. and will remain open until 8:00 p.m. The key race across the state for the spring primary is the race for the state school superintendent. Seven candidates are on the ballot for the superintendent position, previously held by…

Biden Extends Pandemic Help for Homeowners, Renters Wait

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is extending a ban on housing foreclosures to June 30 to help homeowners struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. The moratorium on foreclosures of federally guaranteed mortgages had been set to expire on March 31. On his first day in office, Biden had extended the moratorium from Jan. 31. Census Bureau figures show that almost…

Pelosi Says Independent Commission Will Examine Capitol Riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will establish an independent, Sept. 11-style commission to look into the deadly insurrection that took place at the U.S. Capitol. Pelosi says the commission will “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex and relating to…

Former President Trump Acquitted of Inciting Violent Jan 6th Attack on Capitol

The Senate voted 57-43 that Trump is “not guilty” of incitement. Two thirds of the Senate, or 67 votes, was needed for conviction.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has acquitted Donald Trump of inciting the horrific Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, bringing his trial to a close and giving the former president a historic second victory in the court of impeachment. Trump is the first president to be impeached twice, and he is also now twice acquitted as the majority of…

Senators to Hear Opening Arguments as Trump Fumes Over Trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — Opening arguments are set to begin in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. An emotional first day ended Tuesday with the Senate voting to hear the case for convicting the former president of inciting the riot at the U.S. Capitol. On Wednesday, House Democrats prosecuting the case, and the former president’s attorneys will lay out their opposing arguments before…

Biden to Visit Wisconsin Next Week in First Official Trip

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden will visit Wisconsin next week for his first official trip as president beyond his home state of Delaware. Biden is set to visit Milwaukee next Tuesday, according to the White House. While the Biden administration did not share further details of the trip, the president has been focused heavily on addressing the coronavirus pandemic…

Trump Impeachment Trial to Open With Sense of Urgency, Speed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial is opening this week with a sense of urgency. Democrats want to hold the former president accountable for the violent U.S. Capitol siege. And Republicans want it over as fast as possible. It’s scheduled to begin Tuesday, just over a month since the deadly Jan. 6 riot. Senate leaders are still…

Gov. Walz Deploys Guard For Chauvin Trial Security

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Gov. Tim Walz has authorized the Minnesota National Guard to deploy in preparation for potential civil unrest during the upcoming trials of four ex-Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd last summer. The Democratic governor’s executive order authorizes the deployment of an unspecified number of troops in Minneapolis and St. Paul. They would serve…

Senate OKs Fast-Track of COVID Aid, Harris Casts Tie-Breaker

(Senate TV via AP) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved a measure that would let Democrats push through President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan without Republican support. Vice President Kamala Harris was in the chair to cast the tie-breaking vote, her first. Democrats in the chamber applauded after Harris announced the 51-50 vote at around 5:30 a.m….

Wisconsin Governor Issues New Mask Mandate After GOP Repeal

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has issued a new statewide mask order an hour after the Republican-controlled Legislature voted to repeal his previous mandate. The Democrat Evers said in a video message Thursday that his priority is keeping people safe and that wearing a mask was the most basic way to do that. “If the Legislature keeps…

Plan to Strip Walz of Power to Close Schools Passes 1st Test

(John Autey/Pioneer Press via AP,Pool) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Republican proposal to strip Democratic Gov. Tim Walz of the emergency powers he used to close schools as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in Minnesota has passed its first test in the state Senate. Sen. Carla Nelson, of Rochester, says her bill would put the decision-making back with local school boards….

Wisconsin Assembly Sends Mask Order Repeal Back to Senate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly plans to send the question of whether the state’s mask mandate should be repealed back to the state Senate, which voted last week to end the requirement. The Assembly delayed a vote last week amid concerns that repealing Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ emergency order tied to the pandemic would result in Wisconsin losing…

Superior Council Wants State’s Ethical Opinion Involving Mayor Paine’s Marriage To Councilor

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Superior City Councilor Craig Sutherland proposed a formal request through the council Tuesday night to have City Attorney Frog Prell seek an advisory opinion from the Wisconsin Ethics Commission involving possible ethical concerns around Mayor Jim Paine’s recent marriage to 2nd District Councilor Jenny Van Sickle. Mayor Paine did not want a discussion on the topic at…