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(AP) After two days of delays, a federal trial is set to begin in Milwaukee in a case involving the state's latest election maps. The maps show which voters are in which voting districts. The district boundaries are adjusted every 10 years to reflect updated U.S. Census numbers. Republican lawmakers drew up the latest maps in strict secrecy last year and passed them in a GOP-led Legislature. Democrats have challenged the GOP-friendly maps for shifting the districts for hundreds of thousands of voters without a good reason. An immigrant-rights group has also sued, alleging that the boundaries divide Latino blocs, weakening their voting power. They're suing the state Government Accountability Board to prevent it from implementing the new maps. The trial starts Thursday morning. It's expected to wrap up late Friday.
(AP) Several Republican state lawmakers are proposing a Vikings stadium plan that would drastically reduce the size of the taxpayer contribution. Sen. Roger Chamberlain of Lino Lakes says Thursday his bill would have the state contribute $300 million from sales taxes on stadium-related purchases including tickets, concessions and parking. That's less than half the $600 million to $700 million taxpayer share under discussion in recent stadium negotiations. Vikings owners would have to make up the difference on a roughly $1 billion stadium. A Vikings spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Chamberlain's bill eliminates the state's business property tax which he says would make it easier for the Vikings to get private support for the project. He says he's trying to find a plan that can pass the Legislature.
(AP) Minnesota state lawmakers are just starting to sort through options after the release this week of new state political boundaries. The redistricting maps released by a court panel Tuesday paired up 48 House and Senate incumbents. Those lawmakers are now deciding if they will run against a fellow incumbent, move to a new district or retire from the Legislature.
A few lawmakers are facing off. In southwest Minneapolis, Democratic representatives Frank Hornstein and Marion Greene say they'll run against each other in a primary. Greene says they're friends but neither wants to quit. In the Bemidji area, Republican Rep. Larry Howes and DFL Rep. John Persell will face off. A number of other paired lawmakers say they are still considering their options.
The decision has been made...La Crosse's Post Office will lose its sorting facility.
That's according to a release just sent by the Postal Service to a major postal workers union. La Crosse's post office is one of five in Wisconsin which would stop sorting local mail, sending it instead to a larger processing center. The decision would end overnight mail delivery within the city of La Crosse, because all the items mailed in La Crosse would have to go through St. Paul. Post office boxes and window service would remain at La Crosse's post office on State Street.
The TSA demonstrated new Advanced Imaging Technology at the La Crosse Municipal Airport this morning. AIT safely screens passengers for metallic and nonmetallic threats, including explosives, without physical contact. Millimeter wave technology bounces harmless electromagnetic waves off the body, and the energy emitted is 1000 times less than international limits and guidelines. Carrie Harmon says it's all about privacy.