Political

Many People Are Still Hesitant To Take Vaccine

DULUTH, Minn. – More COVID-19 vaccines are going into the arms of people across the country, but there are still some folks feeling hesitant about getting the shot. Experts say many people may be skeptical about its effectiveness due to how quickly it was created. The hesitation may also be because the vaccine is highly politicized and the continuous sharing…

Biden to Meet Republicans Proposing $618 Billion Virus Aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to meet Monday with a group of 10 Republican senators who have proposed $618 billion in coronavirus aid, about a third of what he’s seeking. The Republicans propose slimmer benefits, including $1,000 in direct payments to individuals earning up to $40,000 a year, or $80,000 for couples. White House press secretary Jen…

Duluthian Uses Big Instagram Following to Teach Government Studies And Give Back

DULUTH, Minn.  – A Duluth woman is using her background as a former U.S. government studies teacher to not only educate her large Instagram following, but to do some good as well. Sharon McMahon spent years teaching U.S. government studies in different corners of the country and now runs a photography business in Duluth. This past fall, her passion for…

Evers: Repealing Mask Mandate Like Eliminating Speed Limits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has admonished rival Republicans for trying to repeal his statewide mask mandate, saying killing the order would be akin to abolishing speed limits. Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to end Evers’ health emergency declaration, which would end the mask mandate. Assembly Republicans were poised to follow suit on Thursday but delayed a vote…

Democrats to ‘Act Big’ on $1.9T Aid; GOP Wants Plan Split

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are rejecting a Republican pitch to split President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue plan into smaller chunks. Democrats and the White House appear ready to leave their GOP opponents behind and push the sweeping economic and virus aid forward on their own. Despite Biden’s calls for unity, Democrats say the stubbornly high unemployment numbers and…

Wisconsin Assembly Cancels Vote on Repeal of Mask Mandate

(courtesy: WI Dept of Health Services via AP) MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly has backed off on voting to repeal Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ mask mandate. The retreat Thursday came in the face of broad criticism from the state’s health, school and business leaders and out concern the move would jeopardize more than $49 million in federal…

Judge Orders City To Secure Fire-Damaged Kozy; Demolition, Restoration Still On Table

  DULUTH, Minn. — The condemned Kozy building in downtown Duluth is saved again from demolition by the city — at least for now. St. Louis County Judge Eric Hylden has ordered the city of Duluth and the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA) to immediately install braces against the walls of the building damaged by fire last November. After that, the…

148th Fighter Wing Returns Following Deployment to U.S. Capitol for Biden Inauguration

A total of 110 volunteers were deployed from the 148th, about 10% of their total force.

DULUTH, Minn,- Members of the 148th Fighter Wing have returned to the Twin Ports following their deployment to the Capitol. — part of the 25,000 National Guard troops sent there for President Joe Biden’s Inauguration, to watch out for threats following the violent Pro-Trump riot. “It was quite crazy to be honest with you,” said Master Sergeant Chris Simonson, Food…

Wisconsin Senate Votes to Repeal Wisconsin Mask Mandate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate voted Tuesday to repeal Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate, despite warnings from virtually every sector of the health care community that doing so would impair efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Both legislative chambers have to pass the resolution in order to undo the mask requirement. The Assembly, controlled 58-30 by…

A Tiger At The Wildcat Sanctuary Tests Positive For COVID-19

Veterinarians conducted a Coronavirus test after sedating her, revealing she had the virus.

SANDSTONE, Minn.- A rescue tiger living at the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone tested positive for COVID-19, but has since recovered. A tiger named Sabrina is a rescue from Texas and upon her arrival showed signs of having possible respiratory issues. Veterinarians conducted a Coronavirus test after sedating her, revealing she had the virus. It is believed Sabrina contracted the virus…

GOP Largely Votes Against Holding Trump Impeachment Trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans have voted overwhelmingly against moving forward with Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. The Senate on Tuesday rejected a Republican attempt to dismiss the trial, allowing the case on “incitement of insurrection” to move forward. Yet the support of 45 Republicans for declaring the trial invalid indicates that there are long odds for Trump’s conviction. The…

Wisconsin Lawmakers to Vote on Repealing Mask Mandate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Senate plans to vote on repealing Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate, while it remains unclear whether the Assembly would follow suit as required to undo the order. A joint resolution co-sponsored by 29 Republicans in the Legislature was up for approval in the Senate on Tuesday. Assembly Republican leaders have not yet said…

My Pillow CEO Banned from Twitter

It was not immediately clear which posts by Lindell on Twitter triggered the suspension of his account.

(AP) – Twitter has permanently banned My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell’s account after he continually perpetuated the baseless claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 U.S. presidential election. A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement that it decided to ban Lindell, who founded bedding company My Pillow, due to “repeated violations” of its civic integrity policy. The policy was implemented…

House Sending Trump Impeachment to Senate, GOP Opposes Trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is set to bring the impeachment article against Donald Trump for the Senate trial. But a growing number of Republican senators say they oppose the proceedings against the former president. That’s a sign of the dimming chances that Trump will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol. House…

Trump Impeachment to Go to Senate Monday, Triggering Trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send the article of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made the announcement on Friday. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell wants to postpone the impeachment trial until February to give the former president time to prepare his case. The House impeached Trump on a…

McConnell Seeks to Push Trump Impeachment Trial to February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell wants to postpone Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. McConnell on Thursday proposed delaying the trial until February to give the former president time to prepare and review his case. The idea could appeal to some Senate Democrats, who are eager to spend time confirming President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees. The House impeached Trump…

Biden Halts Border Wall Building After Trump’s Final Surge

SAN DIEGO (AP) — President Joe Biden has ordered a “pause” on all border wall construction, one of 17 executive orders issued his first day in office. The move leaves billions of dollars in unfinished work under contract after his predecessor, Donald Trump, worked feverishly to successfully build 450 miles. A Senate aide tells The Associated Press that the government…

Gov. Evers Announces Wisconsin Will Move into Next Wave of Vaccinations Next Week

MADISON, Wis.– In Wisconsin, the state gave out over 22,000 shots in the last 24 hours, their single largest day so far as the state continues their vaccination efforts. Wisconsin has now administered over 285,000 COVID-19 vaccines over the last month in phase 1-A. Now, they’re looking to take the next step. Governor Tony Evers announced that Wisconsin will move…

Biden to Sign Virus Measures, Requires Mask Use to Travel

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is putting into play his national COVID-19 strategy to ramp up vaccinations and testing, reopen schools and businesses and increase the use of masks — including a requirement that Americans mask up for travel. He’ll sign 10 virus-related executive orders on Thursday as the nation is deep in the deadliest wave…

UMD Students React To Inauguration Of Pres. Joe Biden And Vice Pres. Kamala Harris

Many UMD students took time in between classes to watch the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

DULUTH, Minn. – The inauguration of  President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris is getting a lot of attention on college campuses. No matter what their political views, watching the ceremonies was a chance for everyone to witness a big moment in history. “I’m excited. It’s like an important day no matter who gets inaugurated,” said Siiri Truckey, a…

Wisconsin Lawmakers Introduce Police Reform Package

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Three Wisconsin lawmakers have introduced legislation aimed at reforming police use-of-force policies and investigations. Republican Sens. Van Wanggaard and Alberta Darling along with Democratic Sen. Lena Taylor unveiled the package on Wednesday. The legislation would create a board that could investigate officer-involved deaths, require annual reports tallying use-of-force incidents, prohibit training on the use of chokehold,…

The Latest: Harris Gives Sendoff to Pence on Capitol Steps

WASHINGTON (AP) – Vice President Kamala Harris has now taken on a role that would have typically been performed by the outgoing president. Harris and her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, stood on the U.S. Capitol steps Wednesday to bid farewell to her predecessor, former Vice President Mike Pence, and his wife, Karen. The two couples stood and chatted for…

Klobuchar: Democracy Cannot Be Taken for Granted

WASHINGTON, D.C.  (AP) — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar took center stage at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and used her introductory address to remind Americans that democracy cannot be taken for granted. Klobuchar says the insurrection at the Capitol just two weeks awakened Americans to their responsibility to carry the torch for democracy. Klobuchar…

Trump Pardons Minnesota Man Who Served Time for Drug Offense

UPDATE: MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — President Donald Trump has granted clemency to two Minnesota residents convicted of drug charges. Trump commuted the sentence of Cassandra Ann Kasowski, of Moorhead, who has served more than seven years of an 18-year sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance. The case involved the transportation of mass…

The Latest: Biden Sworn in as Nation’s 46th President

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden has officially become the 46th president of the United States. Biden took the oath of office just before noon Wednesday during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. The presidential oath was administered by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Biden was sworn in using a Bible that has been in his family since 1893 and…

The Latest: Harris Sworn in as 1st Female Vice President

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kamala Harris has been sworn in as the nation’s first female vice president. The former U.S. senator from California is also the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency and becomes the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government. She was sworn in Wednesday by Justice Sonia Sotomayor,…

Trump Pardons Ex-Strategist Steve Bannon, Dozens of Others

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has pardoned former chief strategist Steve Bannon as part of a late flurry of clemency action benefiting nearly 150 people, including rap stars and former members of Congress. The pardons and commutations for 143 people, including Bannon, were announced after midnight Wednesday in the final hours of Trump’s White House term. The last-minute clemency,…

The Latest: Biden, Harris Arrive at Capitol for Inauguration

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden has arrived at the U.S. Capitol ahead of his inauguration as the United States’ 46th president. Biden and his wife, Jill, arrived at the complex on Wednesday morning, about 90 minutes before his noon swearing-in ceremony. They were accompanied by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, and were greeted by U.S. Sen….

The Latest: Acting Attorney General Resigns as Biden Enters

WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen will resign when President-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office. The Justice Department says Rosen’s resignation goes into effect at noon Wednesday. Rosen has run the department since former Attorney General William Barr resigned on Dec. 23. He was previously the deputy attorney general and deputy transportation secretary. Rosen has kept a…

Trump Leaves White House, Says ‘It’s Been a Great Honor’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump has left the White House for the final time as president. After Trump emerged from the building he spoke briefly to aides and supporters and said, “It’s been a great honor.” After his departure, Trump went to Joint Base Andrews in suburban Maryland, where he had a military sendoff, with four U.S. Army cannons gave…

Sen. Amy Klobuchar To Speak At Presidential Inauguration She Helped Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Amy Klobuchar will play a big role in Wednesday’s presidential inauguration. The senator from Minnesota is on the Senate Rules Committee as the lead Democrat, and a member of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. She will be joining President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris at a small church service in the morning,…

The Latest: 12 Army National Guard Removed From Inauguration

WASHINGTON (AP) – Pentagon officials say 12 Army National Guard members have been removed from securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration after vetting by the FBI, including two who posted and texted extremist views about Wednesday’s event. There was no specific threat to Biden. Two U.S. officials told The Associated Press that all 12 were found to have ties to right-wing…

UMD Political Science Professor Discusses Incoming Biden-Harris Administration

Dr. Cindy Rugeley Discusses Transitional Tradition, Unification, and Historical Significance as Biden-Harris Prepare to be Sworn In

DULUTH, Minn. – The United States is one day away from the swearing-in of our nation’s 46th President in Washington, D.C. The inauguration will no doubt look different than in years past, with COVID-19, recent civil unrest, and an outgoing President breaking transitional tradition. Dr. Cindy Rugeley, associate professor and department head of political science at UMD, weighed in on…

2 National Guard Members Removed From Biden Inauguration Security

WASHINGTON (AP) – Two U.S. Army National Guard members are being removed from the security mission to secure Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. A U.S. Army official and a senior U.S. intelligence official said the two National Guard members have been found to have ties to fringe right group militias. No plot against Biden was found. The Army official and the intelligence official…

Biden Taps Rachel Levine as Assistant Health Secretary

Levine Would be the First Openly Transgender Woman to be Confirmed by Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, leaving her poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the Senate. Levine is a pediatrician and former Pennsylvania physician general and was appointed to her current post by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in 2017….

Joe Biden to Propose 8-Year Citizenship Path for Immigrants

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration. A person granted anonymity to discuss the legislation says it would provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status. It’s a massive reversal from the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies….

148th Fighter Wing to Deploy to Washington D.C.

There are about 850 troops and airmen from both the Minnesota National Guard and the 148th fighter wing will be in D.C on Wednesday. 

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FBI Vetting Guard Troops in DC Amid Fears of Insider Attack

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. That concern is prompting the FBI to vet all 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event. The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have…

Minneapolis Council To Try Again With Plan To Replace Police

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Some Minneapolis City Council members are preparing a new plan that seeks to replace the city’s police department in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Phillipe Cunningham, Steve Fletcher and Jeremy Schroeder are working on a proposal to create a new public safety department that removes the police department as a standalone department from the city charter….

Gov. Walz, Law Enforcement Prepare for Potential Threats on Inauguration Day

ST. PAUL, Minn.– Tensions continue to rise across the country as the Presidential Inauguration nears. Now some states are taking extra precautions to make sure their own capitol buildings are safe. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and other state leaders laid out some of their plans for next week as they try to protect the capitol and the surrounding area from…

Wisconsin GOP Official Who Made ‘War’ Post Resigns

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The chairman of the St. Croix County Republican Party, who had posted online that his members should “prepare for war,” stepped down on Friday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that members of the St. Croix County Republican Party Executive Committee asked for John Kraft’s resignation. His post, made before the riot last week at the U.S. Capitol, garnered…

Officials: Extremist Threat to Minnesota Capitol Has Faded

(AP Photo/Steve Karnowski) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities now believe there is no credible, immediate threat from extremists to Minnesota in the runup to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Friday, but he said law enforcement agencies won’t be taking any chances. The FBI this week warned of potential attacks at state capitols following the insurrection at…

Minnesota Lawmakers Introduce Anti-Copper Mining Legislation

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers are ramping up efforts to prevent mining companies from gaining a foothold in Minnesota with legislation that aims to slow or ban copper-nickel mining in the state’s northeastern Iron Range. Legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum and a companion state bill seeks to ban copper mining on federal lands in the Rainy River watershed….

Capitol Rioters Included Highly Trained Ex-Military and Cops

WASHINGTON (AP) — At least 21 current or former members of the U.S. military or law enforcement have been identified as being at or near last week’s Capitol riot, with more than a dozen others under investigation. That’s what an Associated Press review of public records and social media found. In many cases, those who stormed the Capitol appeared to…

Biden Unveiling $1.9T Plan to Stem Virus and Steady Economy

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is unveiling a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan to turn the tide on the pandemic, speeding up the vaccine rollout and providing financial help to individuals, states and local governments, and businesses struggling with the prolonged economic fallout. More than 385,000 people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19. Biden hopes his multipronged strategy…

Mcconnell Blocks Quick Trump Trial, Unsure How He’ll Vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is blocking a quick Senate trial of Donald Trump. But with the House voting on Wednesday to impeach Trump for a second time, McConnell isn’t ruling out he might eventually vote to convict him. A spokesman for McConnell says McConnell informed Democrats that he would block an effort by Senate Democratic leader…