Emergency personnel worked at the scene in March 2018 where a Tesla electric SUV crashed into a barrier on U.S. Highway 101 in Mountain View, Calif.

NTSB: Tesla Autopilot, distracted driver caused fatal crash

Tesla's partially automated driving system steered an electric SUV into a concrete barrier on a Silicon Valley freeway because it was operating under conditions it couldn't handle and because the driver likely was distracted by playing a game on his smartphone, the National Transportation Safety Board has found.

Lobbyists fight surge of bills targeting plastic packaging

February 24
Leaders at Eureka Recycling, which services Minneapolis and St. Paul, say a growing amount of plastic entering their doors can’t be sorted and recyc
Faltering recycling systems and concerns about ocean plastics have spurred state lawmakers from California to Maine to propose new rules targeting plastic waste, particularly from packaging. Many prompt a visit from Ameripen, a decade-old nonprofit that now has registered lobbyists in eight states.

Summer of Voyageur National Park wolf research reveals a berry surprise

February 22
Researchers filmed wolves eating berries last summer after looking at GPS collar data and finding a pack that was spending a lot of time in an area wi
Using real-time data from GPS collars to set up trail cameras, researchers found that blueberries may play a more important role in the canines' diet than researchers had known.
Nation
February 24
This Feb. 18, 2020 photo made available by NASA shows the InSight lander's dome-covered seismometer, known as SEIS, on Mars. On Monday, Feb. 24, 2020,

Mars lander confirms quakes, even aftershocks on red planet

NASA's newest Mars lander has confirmed that quakes and even aftershocks are regularly jolting the red planet.
World
February 24
Italian soldiers wearing sanitary masks patrol Duomo square in downtown Milan, Italy, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. At least 190 people in Italy’s north ha

Virus pushes beyond Asia, taking aim at Europe, Mideast

The new virus took aim at a broadening swath of the globe Monday, with officials in Europe and the Middle East scrambling to limit the spread of an outbreak that showed signs of stabilizing at its Chinese epicenter but posed new threats far beyond.
Local
February 24
Anna Wise checks the new demand-initiated water softener in the basement of her Edina home.

Minnesota pollution regulators target salt-thirsty water softeners

Water softeners are a major source of the chloride poisoning in Minnesota's lakes, rivers and streams, but they're not top of mind for most homeowners.
Local
February 22
Under Minnesota law, drivers are not allowed to have a cellphone or other electronic device in their hand while at the wheel. Drivers can touch their

Tickets for violating Minnesota hands-free cellphone law seldom get tossed out

Of more than 9,700 citations for breaking Minnesota's hands-free law, less than 2% have been dismissed.
Science
February 22
Hennepin Healthcare, which operates HCMC, will build a new center that will provide mental health treatment for mothers.

New HCMC program helps reduce return visits to hospital for homeless folks

Staff doing more outreach work while patients are still hospitalized.
Business
February 21
3M headquarters in Maplewood.

3M Co. agrees to pay $55M to settle PFAS contamination case in Michigan

Settlement money will be used for environmental remediation near shoe maker's disposal site.
Science
February 20
The astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., in 1965.The Rubin Observatory, named after her, will study the cosmic push-pu

Astronomer upended universe; now namesake observatory seeks to do the same

It is the first national observatory named for a woman, the National Science Foundation said.
Science
February 20
Cooking and grinding almonds may help break down cell walls in the nut, which would make them more digestible, researchers said.

Changing counts reveal inexact science of calorie labels

But health experts said they are still valuable.
Science
February 20
Susan Saran, a longtime Buddhist, often drives to a nearby monastery to practice her faith. Saran is fighting her retirement community over her right

Dementia directives may not be honored

It's a cruel quandary for Americans who have turned to them.
Science
February 20
In an undated photo from Leeds Teaching Hospitals/Leeds Museums and Galleries, the mummy of Nesyamun, a priest who lived in Thebes about 3,000 years a

Scientists bring voice to ancient mummy with 3D-printed vocal tract

In life, Nesyamun was an Egyptian priest who sang and chanted words of worship at the Karnak temple in Thebes. In death, he was mummified…
Nation
February 20
FILE - This early Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 file photo shows an aerial view of large Icebergs floating as the sun rises near Kulusuk, Greenland. Greenland

Warmest January ever puts 2020 on track to be one of top 10 hottest years

January was warmest one on record, beating 2016.
Variety
February 20
A Google sign on the campus in Mountain View, Calif.

New Mexico sues Google over collection of children's data

New Mexico's attorney general sued Google Thursday over allegations the tech company is illegally collecting personal data generated by children in violation of federal and state laws.
Variety
February 20
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2019, file photo a woman types on a keyboard in New York. Larry Tesler, the Silicon Valley pioneer who created the now-ubiquito

Computer scientist who pioneered 'copy' and 'paste' has died

Larry Tesler, the Silicon Valley pioneer who created the now-ubiquitous computer concepts such as "cut," "copy" and "paste," has died. He was 74.
Local
February 19
As part of the BP legal settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded Minnesota agencies more than $6 million for loon conservation efforts.

Money to prevent lead poisoning of loons released to MPCA

Federal dollars for the public awareness effort derive from the U.S. settlement with British Petroleum over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
National
February 19
Wind-driven flames from a wildfire race up a slope and cross the road in Malibu, Calif.

Report: Work to reduce wildfire risks has economic benefits

Projects to reduce the risk of wildfires and protect water sources in the U.S. West have created jobs and infused more money in local economies, researchers say, and they were funded by a partnership between governments and businesses that has become a model in other countries.
Nation
February 18
A mock-up of the Crew Dragon spacecraft was on display for members of the media at SpaceX on Aug. 13, 2018 in Hawthorne, Calif.

SpaceX aims to launch up to 4 tourists into super high orbit

SpaceX aims to launch up to four tourists into a super high orbit, possibly by the end of next year.
Nation
February 17
In this image from a video taken on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, Paul Molesky, right, and Cheryl Molesky, who evacuated off the quarantined cruise ship the

They escaped an infected ship, but the flight home was no haven

Ship quarantine didn't work from start to finish.
Local
February 16
Several species of bees, butterflies and moths have been brought to the brink of extinction in Minnesota over the past two decades. Above, a rusty pat

Cities could get power to ban pesticides as bee numbers fall

A measure introduced last week would essentially give cities their first chance in more than 30 years to have some form of local control over what pesticides can be used within their boundaries.
Local
February 15
Bill Ekblad, the state’s new “cybernavigator,” will help scores of local election workers detect and prevent voting fraud.

Minnesota's new 'cybernavigator' racing to protect 2020 elections

Cybernavigator warns of multiple threats, including attempts at "hacking the mind."
St. Paul
February 15
St. Paul resident Dick Kelly mounted video cameras both inside and outside his home for peace of mind. Last year, the cameras caught an unknown man wi

Are smart home surveillance systems a new neighborhood watch?

Network of smart homes helps police crack cases but raises privacy issues.