Political

Walker Says He has No Problem with ‘Safe’ Refugees

MADISON (AP) – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says he has no problem with refugees coming into the state as long as they are “safe.” Walker was asked Tuesday by reporters about the ongoing legal fight over President Donald Trump’s travel ban affecting seven predominately Muslim counties, which has been put on hold by a federal appeals court in California. Numerous…

Divided Wisconsin Supreme Court OKs Toxicology Report

MADISON (AP) – A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court has resolved a question over whether results of certain toxicology reports can be admitted at trial without having the author of the report testify in court. The court ruled 5-2 on Tuesday, that toxicology reports that are part of a routine autopsy to determine the cause of death can be admitted as…

National Security Adviser Resigns, Dems Now Asking What Did Trump Know and When

FILE- In this Feb. 13, 2017, file photo, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in the east Room of the White House in Washington for a joint news conference with President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Flynn resigned as Trump’s national security adviser Monday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn…

Duluth ESST Task Force Ready for Next Step

Task Force to Hold Informational Meetings Over the Next Two Months

DULUTH, Minn. – The city’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Task Force is ready for the next step towards its goal of a city ordinance requiring business to provide paid time off for employees. Eight public engagement meetings are scheduled between Feb. 17 and Apr. 19, so members can get feedback from the community. A little less than half of…

Minnesota AG: Travel ban could devastate rural health care

Many Foreign-Born Doctors Serve Rural Minnesota Communities

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson says she is worried about will happen to small-town hospitals and clinics if President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions prevail. Foreign-born doctors have helped ease the shortage of physicians in rural Minnesota. Swanson says in Minnesota, one out of five doctors was born in another country, and many of them are serving…

Wisconsin Lawmakers Propose Ending Daylight Savings

MADISON (AP) – Republican lawmakers are looking to make the summer sun set earlier. Representatives Samantha Kerkman and Michael Schraa introduced a bill Friday, that would eliminate daylight saving time in Wisconsin. The move would mean state residents would no longer have to move their clocks ahead an hour in the spring. That would mean the sun would appear to…

U.S. Appeals Court Refuses to Reinstate Trump’s Travel Ban

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court refused Thursday to reinstate President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations. The panel of three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block a lower-court ruling that suspended the ban and allowed previously barred travelers to enter the U.S. An appeal to the U.S….

Appeals Court: Decision on Trump Travel Ban Coming Thursday

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A federal appeals court in San Francisco is set to issue its ruling in the legal fight over whether to reinstate President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominately Muslim nations. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced that it will release its decision before the end of the business day Thursday in California….

Amendment Introduced for Recreational Use of Pot in Minnesota

Still Has a Long Ways to Go

ST. PAUL, Minn.-A Minnesota state representative from Virginia introduced a proposed amendment today to legalize recreational marijuana Democrat Jason Metsa is hoping the amendment can reach a general election ballot in 2018. If passed, it would allow those older than 21 to buy or produce the drug. Metsa does include terms for how sales would be taxed. The measure still…

Governor Walker Gives State of State Address

Plans to Cut Millions in Taxes

MADISON, Wis.-Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivered his budget address today at the Capital. The Republican focused on boosting money for schools, along with large tuition cuts for college students. The governor is also looking at cutting about $600 million in taxes and fees, including $200 million in income tax cuts. “This budget includes historic investments in our priorities,” Walker said….

Republicans Push for Carbon Tax to Fight Climate Change

WASHINGTON (AP) – A push by a group of senior Republican statesmen for a tax on carbon to help combat the effects of climate change is already meeting entrenched opposition from their own party. Former Secretary of State Jim Baker with to the White House today, looking for Trump administration support for the plan. It would place a new tax…

Wisconsin Senate Passes Marijuana Extract Bill

Passed 31-1 Wednesday, headed to the Assembly next

MADISON (AP) – The state Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would make it legal to use a marijuana extract to treat seizures. The measure legalizes possession of cannabidiol oil with a doctor’s certification. The chapter adopted the bill on a 31-1 vote Wednesday. Republican Senator Duey Stroebel was the only senator to vote against it. Parents of children…

Dayton Says Prostate Surgery Won’t Slow Him Down

(Photo: Newsfile)ST. PAUL (AP) – Governor Mark Dayton says he’s confident his upcoming prostate cancer surgery won’t hinder his remaining two years in office. The Democratic governor is scheduled to undergo surgery to remove his prostate on March 2. Dayton revealed his diagnosis late last month, a day after collapsing during his State of the State address. Dayton said Wednesday…

Local Hospitals React to Immigration Ban

Local hospitals say that they're taking a wait and see approach to how the ban will affect them.

DULUTH, Minn. – Area hospitals are taking a wait and see approach to the temporary immigration ban and they vow to help their patients and staff in whatever ways they can. St. Luke’s said that they’re looking at the ban three different ways: how it affects their patients; their staff; and students in the area who are their future workforce….

Proctor Athletic Facilities Referendum Passed

Property taxes over the next 20 years will help pay for the nearly $12 million facility

PROCTOR, Minn. – Proctor residents have voted to pass a referendum to pay for a new hockey arena and multi–functional turf field. The referendum was approved with 1159 votes in favor and 909 votes against. Property taxes over the next 20 years will help pay for the nearly $12 million facility. The amount taxes will go up is dependent on…

Governor Dayton to Have Surgery on Prostate

Governor Avoiding Radiation

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced today he plans to undergo surgery in early March to treat his prostate cancer. He revealed the diagnosis late last month after collapsing during his State of the State address. His doctors have said the cancer was caught early and is treatable through surgery or radiation. It has not spread…

Trump Says He Would Have Won Minnesota With 1 More Visit

Evan Vucci/APWASHINGTON (AP) – The 2016 election is never far from President Donald Trump’s mind. When Trump met Tuesday with a group of sheriffs from around the country, he saw not just lawmen but battleground states. Trump talked about his victories with officials from Pennsylvania and North Carolina. And when a sheriff from Minnesota introduced himself, Trump said if he…

Army to Allow Completion of Dakota Access Oil Pipeline

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The Army has notified Congress that it will allow the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, completing the four-state project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois. The Justice Department filed court documents Tuesday including letters to members of Congress from Deputy Assistant Army Secretary Paul Cramer….

Walker’s Budget Looks to Cut UW Tuition by 5-Percent

MADISON (AP) – Governor Scott Walker wants to cut the University of Wisconsin System tuition by 5 percent, letting students opt out of paying some fees and grant the system’s request for additional state aid. The governor made the announcement at UW- La Crosse on Tuesday. He says the budget he will release on Wednesday will cut resident undergraduate tuition…

Minnesota Bill Banning Cellphone Use While Driving Proposed

ST. PAUL (AP) – Several state lawmakers are proposing legislation that bans cellphone use while driving, with the exception of hands-free devices. Democrat Representative Frank Hornstein says more and more accidents are the result of distracted driving. He says this law would save lives and prevent injuries. The St. Paul Pioneer Press says Hornstein is co-authoring the bill with Republican…

Senate confirms Betsy DeVos for Education Department

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has confirmed school choice activist Betsy DeVos as Education secretary, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie. The Senate historian says it was the first time a vice president had to break a tie on a Cabinet nomination. Two Republicans joined Democrats Tuesday to vote to derail DeVos’ nomination. Democrats cited her lack…

Proctor Referendum Vote Coming Soon

The referendum would pay for a new hockey arena and a multi-functional artificial turf field.

PROCTOR, Minn. – The Proctor Rails hockey teams currently play in an arena that is forty-five years old and in need of repair. However, they could play in a new arena next year if a referendum passes. If Proctor voters pass the referendum on February 7th, the funding would go towards building a new hockey arena and a multi-functional artificial…

GOP’s Rise Powers Move to Block Local Sick Leave, Wage Hikes

ST. PAUL (AP) – Minnesota Republicans are moving to block cities from implementing their own sick leave policies and minimum wage hikes. The effort comes amid mandatory sick leave requirements that are set to take effect this summer in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Both cities are also home to long-brewing efforts to raise wages to as much as $15 hourly….

Two Harbors Civic Leader Passes Away

Served 18 Years in Minnesota House

TWO HARBORS, Minn.-Two Harbors civic leader Dave Battaglia, 86, died on Wednesday at St. Luke’s Hospital. He served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for 18 years, while serving multiple terms as Two Harbors mayor starting in 1957. His political career ended in 2004 when he retired from the Two Harbors City Council. Categories: Community, News, News – Latest News,…

Protesters Oppose Mining in National Forest

Crowd Gathered Outside Congressman Nolan's Office Following Recent Announcement

DULUTH, Minn. – A group of protesters gathered in front of U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s downtown Duluth office Thursday. Earlier in the week, Rep. Nolan coming out in favor of reversing the Obama Administration decision which blocked mining in more than 234,000 acres of the Superior National Forest.  These acres are close to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which has…

Minnesota Attorney General Joins Immigration Lawsuit

ST. PAUL (AP) – Minnesota’s attorney general has joined a lawsuit over President Donald Trump’s recent immigration order. The lawsuit alleges the order is unconstitutional and should not be enforced. Lori Swanson’s office announced Wednesday night, that the state will join the complaint filed by tthe attorney general in teh state of Washington. The lawsuit seeks an expedited hearing within…

Governor Dayton Visits Mayo Clinic Regarding Cancer Diagnosis

Dayton announced his diagnosis after collapsing during his State of the State address

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, Governor Mark Dayton visited the Mayo Clinic for his scheduled appointments regarding his recent diagnosis of prostate cancer. “Governor Mark Dayton’s prostate cancer was caught early and is localized, treatable, and curable,” Mayo Clinic spokesperson, Karl Oestreich stated. “His Mayo Clinic physicians have discussed several treatment options with the Governor…

Gov. Walker: White House Interested in Wisconsin Union Law

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says he spoke with Vice President Mike Pence about how the White House can implement pieces of the Republican governor’s contentious policy that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers. Union membership in Wisconsin has declined nearly 40-percent since the law’s passage in 2011. Just 8-percent of the state’s workforce is…

Students Stage Protest at UMD

Demonstrations Against Immigration Policies Bring Students, Staff Together

DULUTH, Minn. – University of Minnesota Duluth students stood united Wednesday against President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policy. “America was founded on the dream of a better future,” said said Azrin Awal, a United States citizen who immigrated from Bengladesh when she was three years old. “The fact that a wall is going up, the fact that there’s a ban now,…

National Security Adviser Puts Iran “On Notice”

National security adviser General Michael Flynn delivers a statement daily briefing at the White House in Washington U.S., February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos BarriaWASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s national security adviser says the administration is putting Iran “on notice” after it tested a ballistic missile. Michael Flynn told reporters Wednesday, that the Trump administration “condemns such actions by Iran that…

Senators Spar at Hearing as Democrats Fume Over Trump Picks

WASHINGTON (AP) – Partisan tensions flared in the decorous Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s a sign of simmering anger as Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to block President Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks. Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota and Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas had words with each other just before the panel approved attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions on Wednesday….

Walker to Unveil Rural Schools Funding Plan

The proposal is part of his 2017 budget plan

MADISON (AP) – Governor Scott Walker is set to announce a  plan that he says will “dramatically” help rural Wisconsin schools. Walker has three planned stops on Wednesday, in Wauzeka, Hilbert, and Crandon, to unveil a proposal that will be part of his state budget. The budget is set to be released next week. Walker is expected to target sparsity…

President Trump Nominates Judge Neil Gorsuch for Associate Justice

Neil Gorsuch speaks at his nomination hearing to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 on Capitol Hill in Washignton. (Lauren Victoria Burke for The Denver Post)WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has nominated 10th Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorsuch for associate justice of the Supreme Court. Gorsuch, 49, has served on…

Trump Cancels Planned Milwaukee Visit

Gives no reason as to why he canceled

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — President Donald Trump canceled an expected speech on the economy in Milwaukee on Thursday, without saying why or if he will reschedule. The visit would have been one of his first outside of Washington as president. Tech. Sgt. Meghan Skrepenski with the 128th Air Refueling Wing of the Air National Guard in Milwaukee confirmed Tuesday that…

Firing of Sally Yates Raises Questions About Tolerance of Dissent

(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s abrupt, late-night firing of the acting attorney general sends a message to his future Cabinet about his tolerance for public dissent. Trump fired Sally Yates after she refused to let the Justice Department defend his immigration orders in court. The president will soon have in place appointees who will be…

Elaine Chao Sworn In as Transportation Secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) – Elaine Chao has been sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence as the next transportation secretary following her Senate confirmation. Chao served as labor secretary for eight years under President George W. Bush. She is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Chao is expected to take a leading role in President Donald Trump’s…

Trump Set to Announce Nominee for Supreme Court

Graphic shows profile information for three potential Supreme Court nominees (AP)WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is ready to announce his choice to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, one of the most consequential moves of his young administration and a decision with ramifications that could long outlast his time in office. The President is to unveil his pick…

Senate Committee Approves Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Senate committee has approved Republican donor and school choice advocate Betsy DeVos, for education secretary, even as two GOP senators expressed some reservations. After a heated debate Tuesday morning, senators on the Health, Education, Pensions, and Labor Committee have voted 12-11 along partisan lines to support DeVos’ nomination, sending it to the full senate for action….

GOP Proposes Limits on Severance for State Workers

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota Republicans are weighing changes to severance for state workers after Governor Mark Dayton was criticized for sizeable payouts to three top appointees who resigned. A House committee had been set to discuss a bill, Tuesday, that would limit severance pay for state employees, but that hearing was postponed until Wednesday. Dayton has approved nearly…

Minnesota’s Medical Marijuana Program Needs More Money

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Minnesota’s medical marijuana program needs more money to help cover costs associated with being one of the most restrictive laws in the country. The state’s Office of Medical Cannabis is seeking $500,000 over the next two years as lawmakers put together a $40 billion-plus budget. Top regulators say that money would help pay unexpected costs…

North Dakota Pushes Bill to Raise Penalty for Rioting

North Dakota State GovernmentBISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota law enforcement and state prosecutors are supporting a Republican-sponsored bill that would increase penalties for people involved in riots. Representative Todd Porter of Mandan told the House Judiciary Committee on Monday that the proposal is in response to the Dakota Access pipeline protests. Among other things, the bill would increase the…

Washington State Sues Trump Over Immigration Order

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state’s attorney general says he is suing President Donald Trump over an executive order that suspended immigration from seven countries with majority-Muslim populations and sparked nationwide protests. Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced his lawsuit Monday, becoming the first state attorney general to announce a legal action against the Trump administration over one of its policies. Trump…

Senate Procedural Vote Sets Up Debate Over Trump Travel Ban

WASHINGTON (AP) – A procedural vote in the Senate on Donald Trump’s secretary of state nominee sets up an extended debate over the president’s executive order barring refugees for at least four months and the direction of U.S. policy toward Russia. Rex Tillerson needs the backing of 51 senators Monday evening, to put his nomination on track for confirmation later…

Wisconsin Republicans Ask for Review of Road Project Costs

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Assembly Republican leaders are asking the state Department of Transportation for a review of costs for recently completed, ongoing, and planned projects. The letter sent Friday to DOT Secretary Dave Ross, comes after release of an audit that said the DOT underestimated costs of projects of ongoing projects by more than $3 billion. The letter was signed…

Dayton Signs Premium Relief Bill

Will provide immediate relief to 125,000 Minnesotans

ST. PAUL – Governor Mark Dayton today signed Chapter 2, SF 1 to provide an automatic 25-percent reduction in health insurance premiums for the more than 125,000 Minnesotans facing significant premium increases in the individual market. The following is a statement from Governor Mark Dayton: “In order to provide urgently-needed health insurance premium relief to 125,000 Minnesotans, I am signing…

Official: Trump Wants to Slash EPA Workforce, Budget

WASHINGTON (AP) – The former head of President Donald Trump’s transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency says he expects the new administration to seek budget and staff cuts. Myron Ebell left the transition team last week saying, in an interview with The Associated Press, that his specific proposals to the White House remain confidential. But asked what he personally…

Highly Critical Audit of WisDOT Released

MADISON (AP) – A highly critical audit of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, released Thursday morning, says the agency budgeted to complete more highway projects than could be done with the money available because it didn’t take into account inflation and unexpected cost increases. The audit comes as Governor Scott Walker and the Legislature are grappling with how to deal…

DFL Legislators Propose $100 Million Broadband Investment

Minnesota currently ranks 19th for average connection speed

ST. PAUL , Minn – Legislators from across greater Minnesota have joined together to call for a $100 million investment in broadband. They’re stressing the economic development reach that investment in broadband creates, something they say Minnesota is in need of. “For every dollar invested in broadband in the state, $10 is generated in economic activity. That kind of return…