Today in the NPR News Update we look into a ruling affecting bald eagles near wind turbines, offer a photo tour of Minnesota's burgeoning breweries, note the increase in flu deaths, and review Prince's Minneapolis gigs. Also: Women at the gun range.
EAGLE DEATHS: Federal officials have given a developer the green light to move ahead with a controversial wind project in southeastern Minnesota that, if approved, would be the first time a wind farm has been given permission to legally kill bald eagles.
FLU DEATHS: The newly released case numbers brings the state's influenza death toll to 60 so far this flu season. However, the Minnesota Department of Health says there's nothing particularly unusual about the situation.
TACONITE HAZE: The Environmental Protection Agency has issued final rules aimed at cutting air pollution from Minnesota's taconite plants that contribute to haze over the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks.
PASSING NOTES: Rumors at school are nothing new, but social media allows rumors to spread much faster and further than before. A growing number of school officials these days are finding themselves in situations of social media management and damage control.
PROPERTY TAX RELIEF: This session's tax debate at the State Capitol is expected to include proposals aimed specifically at lowering property taxes. Democrats in the Minnesota House have already introduced a property tax refund measure among their early, priority bills.
PRINCE JAMS: His six-piece horn section marched out NOLA-style, cycling through a funky, complex melody, followed by a drummer, bassist, guitarist, and three back-up singers. Prince himself emerged on the dark stage soon after. Andrea Swensson, of The Local Current blog, talked about the show with Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer.
BIATHLON TRAINING: National Guard soldiers from eight states will be in Minnesota next week to test their skiing and shooting skills. The Guard sponsors regional biathlon competitions for guard teams from across the country. Winning brings bragging rights for the Guard teams, as well as the chance to compete against national teams around the world.
MORE BEER! Some days it feels like Minnesota is awash in fresh ales, lagers, stouts and porters, and we've pulled together a collection of MPR photography over the past year or so from our coverage of this burgeoning trend and the people behind it.
WOMEN ON THE RANGE: Women are a growing market for gun sales in this country, but a gender gap persists when it comes to their attitudes about gun control. Polls show women are more likely to favor certain gun restrictions, as we discovered when we talked so a few at a Twin Cities-area gun range.
MORE RESEARCH: A scarcity of research on how to prevent gun violence has left policymakers shooting in the dark as they craft gun control measures without much evidence of what works.
BLACKOUT BROKEN: Management at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra on Thursday have canceled several more concerts, as negotiations continue with the locked-out musicians. Musicians say they have decided to no longer honor a media blackout requested by a federal mediator.
TOYOTA SETTLES: Toyota Motor Corp. has settled what was to be the first in a group of hundreds of pending wrongful death and injury lawsuits involving sudden, unintended acceleration by Toyota vehicles, a company spokesman said Thursday.
FLAWED: Lance Armstrong was certain his "fate was sealed" when longtime friend, training partner and trusted lieutenant George Hincapie, who was along for the ride on all seven of Armstrong's Tour de France wins from 1999-2005, was forced to give him up to anti-doping authorities.
DOUBT: NPR's David Greene talks with a group of young adults who've struggled with the role of faith and religion in their lives. They do not speak of emptiness without religion, but recognize that it fills needs. They talk of having respect for religion, but say that it's not something they identify with now.