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Minnesota Senate passes GOP tax cut but fight will continue

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Senate’s Republican majority has passed an $8.4 billion tax cut bill. The highlights include permanent income tax cuts for all taxpayers and excluding all Social Security income from the state income tax. Democratic leaders say the plan would disproportionately benefit the well-off. But six Democrats joined with Republicans on the 42-24 vote to approve the package Thursday. There’s little common ground between the Republican plan and the tax package unveiled by the House Democratic majority on Monday. Senate GOP leaders acknowledge that the final tax plan that emerges from the session could look very different.


Minnesota Legislature approves emergency $1M for bird flu

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Legislature has rushed through $1 million in emergency funding to bolster the fight against bird flu. The highly contagious disease has cost the state’s turkey farmers more than 1 million birds so far. Senate Agriculture Chairman Torrey Westrom pointed out before the unanimous votes in both chambers Thursday that the numbers of affected Minnesota farms and birds have doubled in less than a week. Minnesota is the top turkey producing state, with nearly 700 farms that raise about 40 million birds per year. Across the US, the outbreak is the biggest since 2015, with Iowa the hardest hit state.


No charges filed in no-knock warrant killing of Amir Locke

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota prosecutors have declined to file charges against a Minneapolis police SWAT team officer who fatally shot Amir Locke while executing an early morning no-knock search warrant in February. The 22-year-old Locke, who was Black, was staying on a couch in an apartment when authorities entered without knocking as part of an investigation into a homicide. Locke was not named in the warrant. Authorities said he was shot seconds after he pointed a gun in the direction of officers. Locke’s family has questioned that, saying body camera footage appeared to show he was started awake. The footage shows Locke was holding a gun before he was shot. His death sparked a reexamination of no-knock search warrants in Minneapolis and beyond.


Minnesota scientist cites COVID shutdowns in governor bid

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota scientist and entrepreneur Hugh McTavish has announced his bid for governor as a third-party candidate. He cited division in state government and what he called poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic for throwing his hat in the ring Thursday. McTavish is an author, inventor and founder of two pharmaceutical companies. He’s running as the candidate for the Independence-Alliance Party — the same party of former wrestler Jesse Ventura, who pulled off a historic upset in the 1998 race for governor. McTavish says he’d implement a system resembling jury duty where 1,000 randomly selected Minnesotans would be decided to make governmental decisions.


Bird flu’s grisly question: how to kill millions of birds

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — When cases of bird flu are found on poultry farms officials act quickly to slaughter all the birds in that flock even when it numbers in the millions, but animal welfare groups say their methods are inhumane. USDA officials defend their methods as the most humane options available under the circumstances. The goal is to kill all of the birds within 24 hours to limit the spread of avian influenza and prevent them from suffering with the disease. The methods used to do that include spraying birds with firefighting foam to cut off their air supply, piping carbon dioxide into their barns or in some cases shutting down a barn’s ventilation system and allowing the temperature to raise high enough to kill the birds inside.


Hoeven: North Dakotan jailed in Ukraine moved out of Kyiv

A North Dakota farmer jailed in Ukraine has been moved to a new facility away from the capital city of Kyiv. Sen. John Hoeven told KX News that Kurt Groszhans was moved to Lviv. Groszhans, of Ashley, has been jailed since November on charges that he plotted to assassinate Ukraine’s then-agriculture minister, Roman Leschenko. Groszhans’ family has said the charges are false and aimed at silencing his claims of corruption in Ukraine. He is among a handful of Americans jailed in Ukraine or Russia whose home paths have been complicated by the war.


Gunman dead after firing more than 100 rounds, officer

ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Police say a gunman fired more than 100 rounds in his suburban Minneapolis neighborhood, seriously wounding a police officer before the suspect was shot and later died. Roseville Police Chief Erika Scheider says officers responded to a report of shots fired around 7:30 pm Tuesday and came under fire. Scheider says an officer was shot in the face and his colleagues rushed him to a hospital, where he was in stable condition. The chief says the shooting continued for about an hour before a Roseville officer spotted the suspect outside a home, returned fire and the suspect sustained a significant injury to his groin area. The chief says the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will determine whether gunfire from the officer led to the suspect’s death.


Feds: Medical device CEO owes more than $6 million in taxes

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A CEO of a suburban Minneapolis medical device company is accused of failing to pay more than $6 million in payroll taxes, interest and penalties to the Internal Revenue Service. Larry Lindberg was charged Monday in federal court with one count of tax evasion. His lawyer said the former pharmacist and owner of Midwest Medical Holdings in Mounds View plans to plead guilty later this month. The Star Tribune reports that the IRS opened its case against the 68-year-old Lindberg in 2011, prosecutors said. Lindberg agreed to several payment plans over the years but ultimately defaulted on all of them. Authorities say he spent the money on real estate, personal travel and other non-business spending.

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