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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers are considering a proposal to do away with high-stakes graduation exams for high school students and replace them with tests designed to gauge whether they are ready for college or the workforce. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Thursday the tests wouldn't require a certain score to get a diploma — a proposal that has encountered resistance from Republican lawmakers and business owners.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Federal officials have chosen the members of a panel that will advise them about a program to improve the Great Lakes environment. The Great Lakes Advisory Board will consist of scientists and representatives of advocacy groups, businesses, state and local governments, tribes and other interests.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama is pushing back against the notion that she and President Barack Obama don't socialize enough in Washington. The first lady says in an interview in the April issue of Vogue magazine that she and the president were straightforward when they said — before moving from Chicago to Washington in 2009 — that their family, including two young daughters, would be their priority.
NEW YORK (AP) — Keith Olbermann and Current TV say they've settled their dispute nearly a year after Olbermann was fired by the network and responded with a $50 million lawsuit. Both parties say in a Wednesday statement that the terms of the settlement are confidential. Olbermann was fired last March as a host and executive at the left-leaning cable talk network.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Buble has sold millions of albums, but as he readies the release of his newest project, he's less concerned with his future sales, thanks to his wife's pregnancy. "I'm nervous and excited, and truly I think it's given me great perspective," the singer said at the music video shoot for his new single, "It's a Beautiful Day."
NEW YORK (AP) — The nation's largest cable company is planning a television "watchathon" for the last week of March, collaborating with several television networks to make entire series available for free on demand. The Comcast Corp.'s plan encourages binge viewing, where people spend hours catching up on television series they may have missed the first time around and serves as a grand look into what may be the future of TV viewing.
BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) — A Brainerd man is facing felony charges after a pipe bomb was discovered in a foreclosed home during a search of the residence.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope Wednesday, becoming the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Francis, associating himself with the humble 13th-century Italian preacher who lived a life of poverty.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The administration of Gov. Mark Dayton is vowing to shrink the number of Minnesota students who don't graduate from high school. Right now 23 percent of public school students do not graduate from high school in four years. Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon says Wednesday the administration wants that to be 10 percent or less by the year 2020.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota won't have a showdown over medical marijuana this year. Heather Azzi of Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, a pro-marijuana policy group, said Wednesday that bills to permit marijuana for medical reasons will be introduced in the next week or two. But Azzi, the group's political director, said the legislation won't move through Legislature this year. "We just had a lot of background work to do before we got started," she said.