US & World News

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…

Cow Moose Rescued After Fall into Idaho Basement

1/2 Show Caption Hide Caption 2/2 Show Caption Hide Caption KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) – Authorities say a female moose is safe after she fell through an unlatched window into the basement of an Idaho home. The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the moose spent about three hours in the basement early Sunday morning. Law enforcement officers and those form the…

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….

6 Murder Counts for Quebec Mosque Attack Suspect

Police survey the scene after a deadly shooting at a mosque in Quebec City, Canada, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard termed the act “barbaric violence” and expressed solidarity with victims’ families. (Francis Vachon/The Canadian Press via AP)QUEBEC CITY (AP) — The Latest on the deadly shooting at a Quebec City mosque (all times local): 6:15 p.m. Quebec…

Obama Praises ‘Engagement’ Happening Around U.S.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A spokesman for Barack Obama says the former president “fundamentally disagrees” with discrimination that targets people based on their religions. The statement alluded to but did not specifically mention President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on refugees from several Muslim-majority countries. The White House says the ban isn’t a Muslim ban because dozens of Muslim-majority countries aren’t affected….

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…

Minnesota Poultry Farmers Warily Watch Bird Flu Outbreaks

Bird flu has been found in 40 countries, putting WHO on high alert

ST. PAUL (AP) – Poultry farmers in Minnesota are cautiously watching the spread of bird flu in Europe and Asia. Minnesota Public Radio reports that the World Health Organization is on “high alert” because the bird flu virus has been found in 40 countries around the world since last fall and is quickly spreading. Michael Osterholm, director of the University…

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…

Trump Moves to Build Border Wall, Cut Sanctuary City Funds

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump moved aggressively to tighten the nation’s immigration controls Wednesday, signing executive actions to jumpstart construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall and block federal grants from immigrant-protecting “sanctuary cities.” “Beginning today the United States of America gets back control of its borders,” Trump declared during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security. “We are…

Former S.C. Gov. Sworn in as UN Ambassador

Senate voted 96-4 in favor of her nomination

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been sworn in to be President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations. Vice President Mike Pence swore in Haley on Wednesday. The Senate voted 96-4, Tuesday night, in favor of her nomination despite her lack of significant foreign policy experience. During her confirmation hearing, the South Carolina-born daughter of…

Gov. Walker to Deliver Budget Address February 8

MADISON (AP) – Governor Scott Walker will deliver his budget address to the state Legislature on Wednesday, February 8. Walker alerted lawmakers on Tuesday that he will unveil his two-year spending plan that day. The speech is set for 4 p.m., breaking tradition of nighttime addresses. The budget comes as Walker is expected to mount a re-election bid for a…

Trump Administration Institutes Media Blackout at EPA

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration has instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants. Emails sent to EPA staff since President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press detailed the specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates, or posts to the agency’s social media…

Trump Takes Executive Action on Oil Pipelines

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has signed executive actions to advance the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. Trump tells reporters in the Oval Office that the construction of the pipelines will subject to the terms and conditions being renegotiated by the United States. Former President Barack Obama killed the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in…

Trump’s Executive Orders Add Three New Policy Moves

WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) – President Donald Trump’s first full day in the White House led him to sign in some executive orders. President Donald Trump has signed a memorandum to leave the proposed Pacific Rim trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP.) The move is basically a formality, since the agreement had yet to receive required Senate ratification. Trade…

Arizona Air Force Base Locks Down Amid Suspicious Sounds

UPDATE: Officials say the base is no longer on lockdown. The base said Monday on its Twitter account that all personnel were free to resume work after the nearly two-hour lockdown. About 10,500 people work on the base.   TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – Davis-Monthan Air Force base in Arizona was on lockdown Monday after unconfirmed reports of gunshot sounds. Officials posted…

Wisconsin Farmers Could be Affected by Late Cabinet Pick

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) – A congressman and political scientist say the late nomination of Georgia governor as U.S. agricultural secretary could impact Wisconsin farmers. U.S. Representative Ron Kind, D-La Cross, tells Wisconsin Public Radio that the late pick could delay work on the next farm bill. Kind says if, and when, Governor Sonny Perdue is confirmed he will not…

Judge Blocks Texas from Cutting off Planned Parenthood Funds

AUSTIN, Tex. (AP) – A federal judge has temporarily blocked Texas from ousting Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid program over secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015. The decision came Thursday from U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks adds Texas to the list of Republican-controlled states that have been thwarted in efforts to cut off Medicaid dollars to…

Obama Commutes 330 Drug Sentences in His Final Act

WASHINGTON (AP) – In his last major act as president, Barack Obama is cutting short the sentences of 330 federal inmates convicted of drug crimes. The move brings Obama’s bid to correct what he’s called a systematic injustice to a climactic close. Obama has now commuted the sentences of 1,715 people, more than any other president in U.S. History. During…

Obama Cuts Short Chelsea Manning’s Prison Sentence

She is just one of 209 inmates being granted a shorter sentence

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is commuting the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who leaked classified documents. The White House says Manning is one of 209 inmates whose sentences Obama is shortening. Manning is more than six years into a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government and military documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks….

Search Canceled for Father, Toddler Swept into Ocean

NORTH BEND, Ore. (AP) – The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a father and his young son who were swept into the sea by a wave along an Oregon beach. The agency, along with Oregon State Police and other responders, searched unsuccessfully Sunday and Monday for 31-year-old Jayson Dean Thomas, of Elmira Oregon, and his 3-year-old son. Thomas…

DOJ Says KleinBank Used Discriminatory Lending Practices

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The United States Department of Justice has sued a Minnesota bank for allegedly engaging in mortgage lending practices that discriminate against minorities. In a lawsuit filed Friday, the DOJ says KleinBank engaged in “redlining.” The DOJ says that’s when banks will actively deny or avoid providing credit services to consumers because of racial demographics or because of…

Trump Calls on Americans to Honor Dr. King

ATLANTA (AP) – Civil rights leaders and activists are gathering around the country to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. In a message sent on Twitter on Monday, Trump said: “Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and all of the many wonderful things he stood for. honor him for being the great man that he was!” As American’s celebrate…

U.S. Official Says Orlando Nightclub Shooter’s Widow has been Arrested

Facing charges in Florida

WASHINGTON (AP) – A U.S. law enforcement official says the FBI has arrested the wife of the Orlando nightclub shooter. The official says Noor Salman was taken into custody in the San Francisco area, Monday morning, and is due in court Tuesday in California. She’s facing charges in Florida including obstruction of justice. The official was not authorized to discuss…

Prosecutors Charge Man in Saudi College Student’s Death

Facing one count of felony murder and one count of aggravated battery

Cullen OsburnMADISON (AP) – Prosecutors have charged a Minnesota man with killing a Saudi Arabian college student in a northwestern Wisconsin city. Cullen Osburn faces one count of felony murder and one count of aggravated battery in connection with UW-Stout student Hussain Alnahdi’s death in October. The Eau Clair Leader-Telegram reports that a criminal complaint says police responding to a…

Newborn Kidnapped 18 Years Ago Found Alive

She was just 8 hours old when she was taken

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – A newborn girl stolen form a Florida hospital 18 years ago has been found alive, and overwhelmed, in South Caroline, where police accused the woman who raised her of kidnapping. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said, Friday, DNA analysis identified the young woman, who never knew her birth name was Kamiyah Mobley. He said she’s in good…

Health Care Group Demands More Money for Opioid Prevention

Working to screen high school students for drug abuse

MADISON (AP) – A health care advocacy group wants Governor Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers to devote more money into a program to screen high school students for drug abuse. Walker has called a special legislative session to pass 11 bills to curb opioid abuse. One would allocate $200,000 more to the Screening, Brief Intervention Referral to Treatment program. The…

Man Paroled in Minnesota Charged in Fatal Nebraska Shooting

Released less than two years ago in Minnesota

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A man released on parole less than two years ago for a Minnesota slaying has been charged with fatally shooting an Omaha woman and injuring her fiance last fall. Omaha police say 31-year-old Tyeric Lessley was arrested Tuesday in Omaha and is shceduled to appear before a judge Thursday afternoon. Court records say he’s charged with…

Trial Set for Ex-Milwaukee Officer Charged in Fatal Shooting

Start date for the trial is set for June 2017

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Attorneys in the case of a former Milwaukee police officer accused of fatally shooting a black man have told a judge there will be a June trial. The agreement between District Attorney John Chisholm and defense attorney Richard Kohn came during a hearing Thursday. It indicates a plea deal is not in the works. Former officer Dominique…

Trump Holds First News Conference Since Winning the Election

Plans for the wall were announced and a promise to keep jobs in the United States

WASHINGTON (AP) – President-elect Donald Trump held his first full news conference on Wednesday, since winning the 2016 presidential election. The last time Trump held a news conference, he was plunging into a heated general election campaign with Hillary Clinton and suggested Russia could help dig up some of his rival’s emails. At the news conference, Trump beamed over plans by…

Study: Some Bats Showing Resistance to White-Nose Syndrome

First tentative steps to recovery?

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – The little brown bat, a species that has been decimated by a deadly fungus, could be taking its first tentative steps to recovery. Researchers for the first time are finding the bats showing some resistance to white-nose syndrome – the fungus that has been killing millions of them across North America. White-nose syndrome was first discovered…

Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death by Federal Jury

Convicted of Slaying Nine Black Parishioners

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ The Latest on the federal sentencing trial of convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof (all times local): 5:45 p.m. The brother of a woman slain by Dylann Roof at Emanuel AME Church says jurors made the right decision in sentencing him to death. Malcolm Graham told The Associated Press by phone the death sentence for Roof…

Bill Would Take Midwest, Wyoming Wolves Off Endangered List

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Some members of Congress are making another run at taking gray wolves in the upper Midwest and Wyoming off the endangered list. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service had tried to take wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming off the list, saying those populations had recovered sufficiently to allow resumed hunting under state management plans….

Rusty Patched Bumblebee Declared Endangered

The first time any bee species has made the endangered list

This 2012 photo provided by The Xerces Society shows a rusty patched bumblebee in Minnesota. Federal officials said Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, that the rusty patched bumblebee has become the first bee species in the continental U.S. to be declared endangered after suffering a dramatic population decline over the past 20 years. (Sarina Jepsen/The Xerces Society via AP)TRAVERSE CITY, Mich….

Mother Accused in Teen’s Dismemberment was Child Welfare Worker

Along with her boyfriend, dismembered adoptive daughter as part of rape-murder fantasy

Photos of Sara Packer, 41, Grace Packer, 14, and Jacob Sullivan, 44 (Bucks County Prosecutor’s Office) EASTON, Pa. (AP) – Authorities say a Pennsylvania woman charged along with her boyfriend with dismembering her adoptive daughter as part of a rape-murder fantasy, previously worked as an adoption supervisor for a children’s welfare agency. Allentown’s The Morning Call newspaper reports Sara Packer…

Michigan Sheriff Puts Self Behind Bars to Learn about Jail

Checked in on Sunday evening and will stay through Tuesday

MASON, Mich. (AP) – A new Michigan sheriff has put himself behind bars to help learn more about how his county jail works. Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth and Undersheriff Andrew Bouck checked themselves into the Ingham County Jail in Mason on Sunday evening. In a statement, the sheriff’s office says they were booked into jail, given jumpsuits, and are…

Reports: Multiple People Shot at Fort Lauderdale Airport

At least nine people were shot according to Miami area TV stations

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – News media outlets are reporting that multiple people have been shot at Fort Lauderdale international airport. On its official Twitter account, airport officials said there was an “ongoing incident” in the Terminal 2 baggage claim area. They did not elaborate. Miami area television stations are reporting that at least nine people were shot and that the…

10-Month-Old Revived Twice After Being Exposed to Fentanyl

The incident remains under investigation

METHUEN, Mass. (AP) – Authorities in Massachusetts say a 10-month-old baby had to be revived twice after she was exposed to fentanyl. Police arrived at the Methuen residence early Saturday afternoon after receiving a report of a child not breathing. First responders took the child to Lawrence General Hospital, where police say she stopped breathing twice and had to be…

Wisconsin Legislators Ask to Reinstate OWI Vehicle Seizure Law

The authority was taken away in 2009

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – State lawmakers have been asked to once again give Wisconsin circuit court judges the authority to order the seizure of vehicles owned by repeat drunken drivers. That authority was taken away from judges in 2009 and replaced with a law that emphasized the use of ignition-interlock devices. At the time, there were concerns about taking…

Oscar Mayer Plant in Madison Prepares to Close

Will permanently close in the first quarter of 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The already dwindling number of employees at the Oscar Mayer plant in Madison will continue to shrink as the facility prepares to permanently close in the first quarter of 2017. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the company produced processed meats for decades and once employed more than 4,000 people, is scheduled to close by the…

Late Fees Paid for Books Checked Out in 1970s

Calculated using the nickel a day fee form the 70s-era

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) – A Minnesota family has given a Maryland library a check for about $1,550 to cover the late fees for two books that were supposed to have been returned more than 40 years ago. Jon Kramer, of Minneapolis, says he was searching through his deceased parents’ library last month at their vacation cabin on an island in…

Russia Weighs Retaliation After Obama Administers Sanctions

New sanctions were announced on Thursday

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Latest on the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s interference in the U.S. elections, which it denies (all times EST): 4:15 p.m. Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham say sanctions against Russia announced by the Obama administration on Thursday are “a small price” for Russia to pay for interfering with U.S. elections. They say they’ll lead…

Red Solo Cup Inventor Dies at Age 84

Robert Hulseman invented the infamous cup in the 1970s

Courtesy: Fox 32 ChicagoNORTHFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Former Solo Cup Company President Robert Hulseman, who invented the now party-essential, Red Solo Cup, has died at the age of 84. His son, Paul Hulseman, says his father died on December 21 at his home in Northfield, Illinois, of complications after a series of strokes. The elder Hulseman invented the Red Solo…

Charles Manson Follower Seeks Parole 47 Years after Killings

Currently the longest serving female prisoner in California

Courtesy: New York TimesSACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A parole hearing has started for Patricia Krenwinkel, an accomplice of cult killer Charles Manson and the longest-serving female inmate in California. The hearing, Thursday, comes 47-year after Krenwinkel helped kill pregnant actress, Sharon Tate and six other people, including grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary. The 69-year-old has been denied parole…