Associated Press

Mitchell Man Accused Of Killing Wife Denies Violating Order

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) – A Mitchell man accused of suffocating his wife has denied violating a protection order. Thirty-nine-year-old James Brinker has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and manslaughter in the death of 36-year-old Marie Brinker last October. Brinker allegedly was staying at the couple’s residence despite a protection order filed against him. Brinker denied violating the order…

Custer Park Wildfire Grows Dramatically Overnight

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) – Officials say a wildfire that started in western South Dakota’s Custer State Park has grown dramatically overnight. They say the fire grew from about 6 square miles on Tuesday to about 55 square miles on Wednesday and is 7 percent contained. They say no homes or park buildings have been destroyed and an effort to protect…

Democratic Sources: Lt. Gov. Smith To Replace Franken

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A Democratic operative with knowledge of the appointment says Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has chosen Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill Sen. Al Franken’s seat until the November election – and Smith will run in that election to complete Franken’s term through 2020. The operative spoke on condition of anonymity because the operative wasn’t authorized…

3M To Close Eagan Plant In 2018

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) – 3M says it will close its plant in Eagan next year. The St. Paul company says it’s part of a realignment that will affect 430 employees across the U.S. and Mexico in 2018. 3M spokeswoman Lori Anderson says the Eagan plant employs about 150. The Eagan plant handles commercial air filtration products, refrigeration filtration products and…

I-94 Traffic Stop In North Dakota Yields 200 Pounds Of Pot

JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) – A traffic stop on Interstate 94 in southeastern North Dakota ended with officers seizing nearly 200 pounds of marijuana. Stutsman County Sheriff’s Sgt. Matt Thom stopped a van Monday about 9 miles east of Jamestown, and smelled marijuana. A search turned up 198 pounds of the drug and nearly $5,000 in cash. Thirty-one-year-old Mae Thao, from…

South Dakota Wildfire Grows Beyond Custer State Park Borders

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) – Strong winds are fanning the flames of a growing wildfire in South Dakota, pushing the fire beyond the borders of the Custer State Park and prompting new evacuations. Custer County Emergency Management director Mike Carter said Wednesday that residents of about 200 homes east of the park have been evacuated or warned to evacuate. The park…

Minnesota Governor To Name Franken’s Replacement Wednesday

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will name his pick to replace Sen. Al Franken on Wednesday. Franken announced his resignation last week amid a growing cloud of sexual misconduct allegations. The second-term Democrat’s official resignation date has not yet been set. Dayton’s pick will serve through next year’s election, when voters will pick a candidate to…

Minnesota Announces Restrictions On Using Herbicide Dicamba

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota has announced restrictions on the use of the herbicide dicamba for 2018 in response to complaints by soybean growers across the country that it harmed their crops this year. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s rules for the coming growing season set a June 20 cut-off date for applying the herbicide. They also prohibit applications when the…

Wildfire Spreads At Custer State Park In South Dakota

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) – A spreading wildfire has destroyed a building in Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Lydia Austin, a park spokeswoman, said Tuesday that the fire has grown to more than 4.6 square miles, from 4 square miles on Monday. Five homes in the park have been evacuated and one unused building was burned…

South Dakota School District Investigated For Discrimination

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A federal agency is investigating allegations that a western South Dakota school district discriminated against students with disabilities and retaliated against the individual who filed a complaint. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating the Rapid City Area Schools district based on a discrimination complaint from August 2016. The agency is…

Authorities Say 2 Dead After School Bus Fire In Western Iowa

OAKLAND, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say two people have died in a school bus fire in western Iowa. Investigators say there may have been as many as 20 students on the bus when the fire erupted around 7 a.m. Tuesday. The bus was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. The ages and identities of the victims weren’t immediately released. The…

Trump Wants To Send Man Back To Moon, On To Mars

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump wants to send man back to the moon – and on to Mars. Trump signed a policy directive Monday instructing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to “refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery.” The move, Trump said, “marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first…

‘On Point’ NPR Host Ashbrook Facing Misconduct Allegations

BOSTON (AP) – The host of one of National Public Radio’s most successful programs has been placed on leave while he’s investigated for allegations of wrongdoing including engaging in “creepy” sex talks and unwanted contact with 11 mostly young women and men. The allegations against “On Point” host Tom Ashbrook include unwanted hugs and neck and back rubs to other…

Wildfire Closes Custer State Park In South Dakota

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) – Multiple agencies have responded to a wildfire that has closed Custer State Park in the Black Hills. Custer County Emergency Management said Monday all main roads, including Highways 16A and 87, in and out of the park will be closed until further notice. Emergency managers say the Blue Bell Lodge at Custer has been evacuated. Officials…