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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — On a frigid January morning, Rich Larson scales a big tamarack tree, breaking off branches as he climbs towards his target. About 30 feet high, as the wind swirls around him, Larson, 59, spots what he's looking for: a small, tightly woven mass of branches called a "witch's broom" — the genetic source of many landscape plants and shrubs sold at nurseries. "Hey I'm moving around pretty good up here!" he exclaims as the tree swayed back and forth in the wind.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The entertainment leading up to the Super Bowl is so A-list, Beyonce may not even have the most anticipated performance surrounding the big game. Justin Timberlake is due to give his first major musical performance in four years. Stevie Wonder is performing for the masses at an outdoor concert. CeeLo Green is reuniting with his old hip-hop clique, Goodie Mob, and Rascal Flatts is teaming up with Journey for a concert. Those represent only a fraction of the all-star events to celebrate the Super Bowl.
NEW YORK (AP) — All five nominees for album of the year at this year's Grammys will perform at the awards show next month. The Recording Academy announced Thursday that R&B singer Frank Ocean will join Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, Jack White and fun. at the Grammys, to take place live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10. Alicia Keys and Maroon 5 will join forces for a special performance. Presenters include Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Carly Rae Jepsen, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra may be locked out, but that's not stopping them from celebrating the orchestra's Grammy nomination. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Minnesota Orchestra benefactor Judy Dayton will host a community celebration of the orchestra's Grammy nomination Friday night at the Minneapolis Convention Center Auditorium.
STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) — State corrections officials are investigating an incident that left four workers injured at the Stillwater prison. Minnesota Department of Corrections spokesman John Schadl says one contract employee and a prison guard were taken to a local hospital Wednesday after an altercation and later released. Schadl says two additional employees suffered minor injuries and did not require hospital treatment.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Patty Andrews never served in the military, but she and her singing sisters certainly supported the troops. During World War II, they hawked war bonds, entertained soldiers overseas and boosted morale on the home-front with tunes like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" and "I Can Dream, Can't I?"
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School will sing "America the Beautiful" before Sunday's Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. The chorus features 26 children from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed in a Dec. 14 shooting rampage. The performance will be part of CBS's pre-game show, and will be broadcast live. Alicia Keys will sing the national anthem.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Survivors of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis may be able to keep a piece of scrap steel as a reminder of the historic event. About 25 to 30 survivors of the 2007 collapse have asked the state for the mementos now that the legal issues have been resolved. Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Gutknecht says the state hopes to honor those requests, but will need to make sure they are doing so according to the law.
MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. (AP) — The four-legged member of the counseling team at the high school in suburban Chicago waits patiently, as a crush of students fills the hallways. Her tail wags with the first pat on the head, then another and another. "Puppy! Ohhh, puppy dog!" one teenager croons, as he affectionately tousles the ears of the 18-month-old golden retriever. Junie began her role as a "therapy dog" at Prospect High School less than four months ago.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will travel to Minneapolis Monday to pitch his proposals for reducing gun violence. It will be the president's first trip outside of Washington centered on the gun proposals, which include a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, as well as universal background checks. Obama unveiled his plan in response to the horrific shooting of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.