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Peaceful Rockford protest ends with destruction of property, arrests

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - Peaceful, yet boisterous protests became destructive Saturday as more than a thousand demonstrators converged on Rockford Police District 1 headquarters. The events began just before 4 p.m., at Haskell Park, where a crowd of a few dozen quickly became several hundred within the hour. Some held signs honoring George Floyd that bore phrases like "I can't breathe" and "Say his name," while the Black Lives Matter slogan was even better represented.…

ARRESTED: Former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin in custody in death of George Floyd

By Tim Sullivan and Amy Forliti Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis officer who was seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in custody after pleading that he could not breathe, was arrested Friday. Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrested Derek Chauvin. He's charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.  The arrest comes after three days of protests,…

George Floyd aftermath: Protesters torch Minneapolis police station

By Tim Sullivan and Amy Forliti Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Protesters angered by the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died while in police custody, gained access to a Minneapolis police precinct on Thursday, the third straight night of violent protests spreading beyond the city. Livestream video showed the protesters entering the building, where fire alarms blared and sprinklers ran as blazes were set. Police appeared to have left the building located in the…

Minnesota National Guard called in as looting breaks out in St. Paul over death of George Floyd

By Tim Sullivan and Amy Forlitti Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called in the National Guard on Thursday as looting broke out in St. Paul and a wounded Minneapolis braced for more violence after rioting over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man in police custody, reduced parts of one neighborhood to a smoking shambles. The Minneapolis unrest ravaged several blocks in the Longfellow neighborhood, with scattered rioting reaching for miles across the…

2020 Wisconsin State Fair canceled over coronavirus concerns

Staff Report WEST ALLIS, Wis. - The Wisconsin State Fair Board of Directors has voted to cancel the 2020 state fair because of the coronavirus pandemic. "The board and staff have been closely monitoring COVID-19 data from local, state and federal health officials during this time," the board said in a statement. "While some restrictions have recently been lifted and businesses are beginning to re-open, most are requiring strict safety measures, including social distancing, the wearing of…

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey: Derek Chauvin should be charged with murder in death of George Floyd

By Amy Forliti and Jeff Baenan Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The mayor of Minneapolis called Wednesday for criminal charges to be filed against the white police officer seen on video kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed black man during an arrest, even after the man said he couldn't breathe and stopped moving.  Based on the video, Mayor Jacob Frey said he believes officer Derek Chauvin should be charged in Monday's death of George Floyd. Chauvin and three other officers were fired…

Minneapolis officers fired after handcuffed man dies during arrest

By Amy Forlitti and Jeff Baenen Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Four Minneapolis officers involved in the arrest of a handcuffed black man who died in police custody were fired Tuesday, hours after a bystander's video showed the man pleading that he could not breathe as a white officer knelt on his neck. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced the firings on Twitter, saying "This is the right call." The man's death Monday night after he struggled with officers was under investigation by…

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp offers state for GOP convention

By Zeke Miller and Ben Alexander Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Georgia's governor is offering his state and its "world-class facilities" as host of the Republican National Convention — a day after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the convention out of North Carolina if that state's Democratic governor doesn't assure him that the August gathering can go forward despite coronavirus fears.  Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, sent an open plea to Trump on Tuesday to consider…

Alliant Energy announces solar projects in six Wisconsin counties

Staff Report MADISON, Wis. - Alliant Energy on Monday announced plans to acquire and advance 675 megawatts of solar in mostly rural areas in six Wisconsin counties. Projects in Grant, Jefferson, Richland, Rock, Sheboygan and Wood counties are part of the the company's Clean Energy Blueprint, a strategic roadmap to cost-effectively accelerate renewable energy while reducing carbon emissions. Once operational, the energy from the projects will be enough to power 175,000 homes per year –…

Biden says he was too ‘cavalier’ with black voters comment

By Bill Barrow and Kat Stafford Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Joe Biden says he "should not have been so cavalier" after he told a prominent black radio host that African Americans who back President Donald Trump "ain't black." The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee quickly moved to address the fallout from his Friday remark, which was interpreted by some as presuming black Americans would vote for him. In a call with the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce that was added to his…

Trump calls on governors to allow churches to reopen, some faith leaders balk

By Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday labeled churches and other houses of worship as "essential" and called on governors nationwide to let them reopen this weekend even though some areas remain under coronavirus lockdown. The president threatened to "override" governors who defy him, but it was unclear what authority he has to do so. "Governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of…

‘New normal’ abnormal as countries reopen, live with coronavirus

By Chris Blake and Michelle R. Smith Associated Press BANGKOK (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of high school seniors in South Korea had their temperature checked and rubbed their hands with sanitizer as they returned to school Wednesday, many for the first time since late last year after their new term was repeatedly pushed back by the coronavirus pandemic. Students and teachers were required wear masks and some schools installed plastic partitions around desks. In a reminder that the…

Company tests UV light treatment Trump was mocked for suggesting

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -  A pharmaceutical company is testing a coronavirus treatment that involves bringing ultraviolet light into the body. "Healight" was announced by Aytu BioScience April 20, four days before President Donald Trump inquired whether ultraviolet light could be used inside the body and was mocked for it. The treatment involves the use of a catheter in the trachea. Aytu BioScience has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Cedars-Sinai Medical…

GOP: ‘Bloated’ $3T coronavirus package will be DOA in Senate

By Andrew Taylor and Alan Fram Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats have powered a massive $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill through the House, an election-year measure designed to brace a U.S. economy in free fall and a health care system struggling to contain a pandemic still pummeling the country.  Friday's 208-199 vote, with all but one Republican opposed, advances what boils down to a campaign-season display of Democratic economic and health-care priorities. It has no…

Trump: Trials show coronavirus vaccine on track for end of 2020

Staff Report THE WHITE HOUSE - President Donald Trump said Friday that he’s hopeful to have a coronavirus vaccine on the market by the end of the year or shortly thereafter. Moncep Slaoui, a former pharmaceutical executive who Trump has tapped to serve as the administration’s virus czar, said that early trial data suggests that “a few hundred million doses of vaccine” will be delivered by late 2020. Trump, speaking at a Rose Garden event, reiterated that he wants to see states move…