Political

Visit Duluth, DECC Among Finalists For City’s 2022 Destination Marketing Contract

DULUTH, Minn. – The city of Duluth’s main tourism marketing arm since 1935, known as Visit Duluth, is a finalist for next year’s one-year contract, as Mayor Emily Larson looks to possibly go a different direction with a mission to “elevate the brand of Duluth,” according to the Request for Qualifications document put out by the city. The Mayor’s Office…

Penterman Wins Special Election for Wisconsin Assembly Seat

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican William Penterman is the apparent winner of a special election Tuesday to fill Wisconsin’s vacant 37th District Assembly seat. Unofficial results show Penterman received 3,742 votes. Democratic candidate Pete Adams received 3,063 votes and Independent Stephen Ratzlaff Jr. garnered 112 votes. Penterman, of Columbus, narrowly won the Republican primary by 16 votes. There were eight…

‘Raise Our Standards Tour’ Held on Park Point with Community Resistance

DULUTH, Minn.– Tuesday evening on Park Point, The Center of the American Experiment held an event at the Lafayette Park Community Center, after being denied at four Duluth locations in one month because of pressure from some in the community. The is the 17th stop in Minnesota for the “Raise Our Standards Tour” focusing on the state’s draft social studies…

Biden Says U.S. War in Afghanistan Will End August 31

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday said the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on Aug. 31, saying “speed is safety” as the United States seeks to end the nearly 20-year war. “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build,” Biden said in a speech to update his administration’s ongoing efforts to wind down the U.S….

Evers Signs Gop-Written State Budget With $2B Tax Cut

WHITEFISH BAY, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Tony Evers has signed the Republican-written state budget, enacting a spending plan that includes a $2 billion income tax cut. Evers, a Democrat who is running for reelection next year, signed the budget Thursday. However, he kept the income tax cut intact. Evers opted to go along with the GOP-written budget with some changes…

Community Crisis Intervention, City Hall Ventilation Among Proposed COVID Relief Spending Discussed by Duluth Council

More than a dozen citizens spoke out in support of what they call a community crisis response team independent of law enforcement.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Duluth City Council discussed accepting almost $60 million of federal funding for recovery from the pandemic and Mayor Emily Larson’s recommendations for how to spend that money. Council unanimously tabled the resolution, to further discuss the Mayor’s following suggestions to allocate the money: Affordable Housing: $20,678,130 Job Training and Workforce Services: $550,000 Utility Infrastructure and Broadband: $13,850,000…

Pentagon Cancels Disputed JEDI Cloud Contract With Microsoft

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon said it has canceled a cloud-computing contract with Microsoft that could eventually have been worth $10 billion. It will instead pursue a deal with both Microsoft and Amazon and possibly other cloud service providers. The Pentagon said in a statement that the JEDI Cloud contract, which has long been delayed, “no longer meets the requirements…

Minnesota Pollution Regulator Resigns Before Senate Vote

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has resigned after it became apparent that the Republican-controlled state Senate was prepared to oust her. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz says Laura Bishop resigned Tuesday “in order to ensure a smooth and orderly transition” at the agency she had led since 2019. The governor accused Senate Republicans of using…

Another Candidate Joins Minnesota AG Race to Unseat Ellison

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer who described pandemic restrictions and lawsuits against businesses that violated state public health guidelines as “intrusive state government” announced her bid on Sunday to unseat Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. Attorney Lynne Torgerson announced on Sunday that she will run for attorney general in 2022, citing “destructive government lockdowns, lawsuits by (Ellison)…

Visit Duluth’s Future Uncertain As Mayor Larson Reevaluates City’s Tourism Marketing Vision, Dollars

The city has typically given Visit Duluth $2 million in tourism tax revenue every year.

DULUTH, Minn. – Visit Duluth, the city’s main tourism marketing arm since 1935, could be no more when its contract is up with the city at the end of the year. This comes after Mayor Emily Larson and her administration opened the job up through a new application process for a one-year contract through 2022. The “request for qualifications,” as…

Minnesota Lawmakers Avoid Partial Shutdown as Final Budget Passes

The Final Budget Bill Was Sent to Gov. Tim Walz's Desk Late Tuesday

ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) – Minnesota lawmakers averted a partial government shutdown at midnight Wednesday by sending the final budget bill to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk. The Senate unanimously approved the $21 billion K-12 education funding agreement, the last must-pass bill before the midnight deadline. Walz has now signed eight budget bills into law and has four others on his desk….

Minnesota Lawmakers Avoid Government Shutdown As Final Budget Passes

ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) – Minnesota lawmakers averted a partial government shutdown at midnight Wednesday by sending the final budget bill to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk. The Senate unanimously approved the $21 billion K-12 education funding agreement, the last must-pass bill before the midnight deadline. Walz has now signed eight budget bills into law and has four others on his desk….

Gov. Walz Emergency Powers to End Thursday

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Legislature has reconvened to finish its remaining work on a $52 billion, two-year budget. Education and tax bills need passage before the current budget expires Wednesday night. Lawmakers returned to the Capitol after working into the early hours Wednesday to pass a bill that ends Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency powers effective Thursday. The Democratic governor…

Family: Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Dies at 88

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Rumsfeld, the two-time defense secretary and a one-time presidential candidate whose reputation as a skilled bureaucrat and visionary of a modern U.S. military was soiled by the long and costly Iraq war, died Tuesday, his family said in a statement. He was 88. Regarded by former colleagues as equally smart and combative, patriotic and politically cunning,…

Charges Expected Thursday for Trump’s Company, Top Executive

(AP) – Donald Trump’s company and his longtime finance chief are expected to be charged Thursday with tax-related crimes stemming from a New York investigation into the former president’s business dealings. That’s according to people familiar with the matter who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer,…

Minnesota Legislature Prepares to Finish off Work on Budget

(AP Photo/Steve Karnowski) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Legislature reconvenes Wednesday to finish its remaining work on a $52 billion, two-year budget after working into the early hours to pass a bill that ends Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency powers effective Thursday. The emergency powers language was added early Wednesday to a state government and elections budget bill shortly after the…

Minnesota Lawmakers Pass Modest Police Accountability Bill

(AP Photo/Steve Karnowski) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Senate has joined the state House in approving a modest set of police accountability measures as part of a broader public safety budget bill. The Senate approved it 45-21 early Wednesday following a 75-59 vote Tuesday night in the Minnesota House. The approval comes on the heels of last week’s sentencing of…

City of Duluth Reveals COVID Relief Fund Recommendations

DULUTH, Minn.– Mayor Emily Larson and members of the City Administration announced their recommendations today on how the city should spend the $58 million dollars it received from the American Rescue Plan. The City of Duluth has now received half of the $58 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan, and today Mayor Larson proposed a way to invest that…

‘We Have a Deal’: Biden Announces Infrastructure Agreement

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has announced that “we have a deal” – a bipartisan agreement on a $953 billion infrastructure plan. The agreement, reached in a meeting Thursday at the White House, means a breakthrough after arduous negotiations on the president’s top legislative priority. Biden invited members of the bipartisan group to discuss the pared-down plan that has…

New York Court Suspends Rudy Giuliani’s Law License

NEW YORK (AP) – An appeals court has suspended Rudy Giuliani from practicing law in New York because he made false statements while trying to get courts to overturn Donald Trump’s loss in the presidential race. An attorney disciplinary committee said in its motion to suspend Giuliani’s license that there was “uncontroverted evidence” that Giuliani had made false statements to…

Minnesota House Passes $7 Billion Transportation Budget Bill

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Another piece of Minnesota’s budget picture fell into place when the House passed a $7 billion transportation funding bill. The bill includes money for two new bus rapid transit lines for the Twin Cities. It preserves the Northstar commuter rail line. It includes money for a second daily Amtrak train between St. Paul and Chicago….

Biden Urges Shots for Young Adults as Variant Concern Grows

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to get younger Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 amid growing concern about the spread of a new variant that threatens to set the country back in the months ahead. The push is underway as the delta variant has come to represent more than 20% of coronavirus infections in the U.S. in…

Wisconsin Republicans to Send Election Bills to Governor

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Assembly plans to send bills to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers that would limit opportunities for absentee voting, make it more difficult for the elderly and disabled to cast absentee ballots, and prohibit officials from filling in missing information on the envelopes of returned absentee ballots. Evers is expected to veto all of the Republican-backed…

Biden Promotes Milestone of 300M Vaccine Shots in 150 Days

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is marking another milestone in his quest to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. Biden announced Friday that 300 million COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered in the 150 days since he took office on Jan. 20. Biden is crediting scientists, companies, the American people and his whole-of-government effort. The president noted that 65%…

Gov. Walz Appoints Bhupesh Pattni to Fill Sixth Judicial District Vacancy

DULUTH, Minn. – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced on Thursday the appointment of Bhupesh Pattni as District Court Judge in the Sixth Judicial District. Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District encompasses Carlton, Cook, Lake, and St. Louis counties. “I am honored to appoint Bhupesh Pattni to the Sixth Judicial District,” said Governor Walz. “Mr. Pattni has a wealth of experience,…

Wisconsin Assembly to Vote on Transgender Sports Bans

(Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP) MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly plans to vote on bills banning transgender athletes from participating in girls’ and women’s sports. The measures being debated Wednesday in the middle of gay pride month are all but certain to be headed for a veto by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Even though they are…

Minnesota Lawmakers Convene Special Session to Finish Budget

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers have returned to unfinished business at the Capitol as they begin a special session to finalize a two-year budget and avert a potential government shutdown at the end of the month. Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman says four of the 13 unresolved budget bills are “completely ready to go.” She says the public…

Justice Official Resigning Amid Uproar Over Dems’ Subpoenas

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, pool) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department’s top national security official is resigning from his position after revelations that the department secretly seized records from Democrats and members of the media. John Demers will leave his position by the end of next week. That’s according to a Justice Department official who spoke to The Associated Press on…

Gov. Evers Tours Sustainable Food Program at Northland College

On Friday Governor Tony Evers toured the Hulings Rice Food Center on the Northland College campus.

ASHLAND, Wis.– At Northland College in Ashland, a school food program has been teaching students how to grow sustainability. And it’s catching the eye of the Wisconsin governor. On Friday Governor Tony Evers toured the Hulings Rice Food Center on the Northland College campus. “It’s always good to get out of the bubble of the state capital,” said Evers. The…

Minnesota State Capitol Reopening to the Public Ahead of Special Session

Thursday Marks the First Reopening to the Public Since the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic

ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) – The Minnesota State Capitol will start welcoming visitors once again on Thursday. It had been closed since the early days of the pandemic. Thursday’s reopening comes just one week after the fence around the capitol was fully removed. It was installed in response to the riots following the death of George Floyd and was even beefed…

Wisconsin Senate Passes Bills Making it Harder to Vote

The Measures Are Likely to be Vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Senate has approved Republican-backed bills that would create new hurdles for the elderly and disabled to cast absentee ballots, limit the number and location of ballot drop boxes and impose new penalties for violating election law. All of the measures are almost certain to be vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who has said…

US Drops Trump Order Targeting TikTok, Plans Its Own Review

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House dropped Trump-era executive orders intended to ban the popular apps TikTok and WeChat and will conduct its own review aimed at identifying national security risks with software applications tied to China, officials said Wednesday. A new executive order directs the Commerce Department to undertake what officials describe as an “evidence-based” analysis of transactions involving apps that are manufactured…

Supreme Court Rules Against Immigrants With Temporary Status

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court has ruled that thousands of people living in the U.S. for humanitarian reasons are ineligible to apply to become permanent residents. Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court Monday that federal immigration law prohibits people who entered the country illegally and now have Temporary Protected Status from seeking “green cards” to remain in…

Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Evers Launches Bid for Second Term

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is making it official, announcing his bid for a second term in the battleground state where he stands as a Democratic block to the Republican-controlled state Legislature. Evers told The Associated Press in an interview that he decided to run again because he has unfinished business and needs to remain a check…

Facebook Suspends Trump for 2 Years, Then Will Reassess

(AP) – Facebook said it is suspending former President Donald Trump’s accounts for two years following its finding that he stoked violence ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection. The two-year suspension is effective from Jan. 7, so Trump has 19 months to go. In a press release, the former president called Facebook’s decision “an insult.” “They shouldn’t be allowed…

Biden Announces International COVID-19 Vaccine Sharing Plan

(courtesy: Facebook/Biden) WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is unveiling President Joe Biden’s plans to share COVID-19 vaccines with the world, including directing 75% of excess doses through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program. The White House has previously stated its intent to share 80 million vaccine doses with the world by the end of June. The administration says…

Local Elections New Front in Wisconsin Redistricting Battle

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — County board and local aldermanic districts in Wisconsin would remain the same next year under a bill moving quickly through the Republican-controlled Legislature. The measure introduced on Tuesday and heard by an Assembly committee on Wednesday would delay redistricting and implementation of new political boundaries for local races until at least 2023. The bill is supported…

Biden Pushes for US Voting Rights Law as Restrictions Mount

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has used the 100th anniversary of Tulsa’s race massacre to plea for sweeping legislation in Congress to protect the right to vote. Biden’s message comes as Republican-led state governments pass new restrictions making it tougher to cast ballots. Biden called out lawmakers in Congress — including two senators in his own party — for…

Minnesota Legislators Miss Friday Goal for Budget Numbers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Lawmakers are still negotiating Minnesota’s next two-year budget and won’t meet the goal of Friday set by their leaders for agreeing on the final numbers that will go into the big-spending bills that lawmakers must pass in the coming weeks. Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman says negotiators are still driving as hard as they can to get…

Sen. Tina Smith Introduces Mental Health Legislation As Demand For Therapists Skyrockets

WASHINGTON, D.C./DULUTH, Minn. — U.S. Senator Tina Smith, a Democrat representing Minnesota, wants to expand and support mental health resources with several proposals in Congress as clinics are seeing their patient lists fill up like never before. For Mental Health Awareness Month, Senator Smith posted several tweets on her Twitter page about her own journey with depression. “Having that opportunity…

Minnesota Legislators Miss Friday Goal for Budget Numbers

(AP Photo/Steve Karnowski) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Lawmakers are still negotiating Minnesota’s next two-year budget and won’t meet the goal of Friday set by their leaders for agreeing on the final numbers that will go into the big-spending bills that lawmakers must pass in the coming weeks. But Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman said negotiators are still “driving as hard as…

GOP Blocks Bipartisan Probe of Deadly Jan. 6 Riot at Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republicans have blocked the creation of a bipartisan panel to study the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The Senate fell sort of the 60 votes needed to consider a House-passed bill that would have formed a 10-member commission evenly split between the two parties. It was another sign of GOP fealty to former President Donald…

Duluth Council Forgives Spirit Mountain’s $900K Debt As Part Of Larger Plan

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth city council voted Monday to forgive $900,000 of Spirt Mountain’s $1.2 million line of credit after tabling the vote weeks ago. Councilors Derek Medved and Joel Sipress voted against the resolution. Mayor Emily Larson has previously said she agrees with the outside consultant’s recommendation to forgive most of Spirit Mountain’s debt to really move forward…

Duluth City Councilors Officially Lift Mask Mandate; City Hall Closure Update Wednesday

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth city council unanimously voted Monday to officially end the city’s mask mandate. Councilor Terese Tomanek was absent. The vote comes after Gov. Tim Walz announced earlier this month the statewide mandate was lifted per guidance from the CDC. The city of Duluth followed up by saying it would not enforce the ordinance any longer. Councilors…

Biden Doubling Spending to Prepare for Hurricanes, Storms

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is doubling U.S. emergency spending to help communities prepare for hurricanes and other extreme weather events while launching a new effort at NASA to better understand and track the impacts of climate change. The $1 billion in federal spending being announced Monday is a small fraction of what the U.S. spends on weather-related disasters….

27 Possible Voter Fraud Cases in Three Million Wisconsin Ballots

Nearly 3.3 Million People Voted in the 2020 Presidential Election

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Just over two dozen potential cases of voter fraud out of more than three million ballots cast in the November presidential election have been identified by Wisconsin election officials and forwarded to local district attorneys for possible prosecution. That’s according to documents obtained Friday by The Associated Press under the state’s open records law. The 27…