Sam's Top 5 Things to Know for Thursday

1. Justice Department Appoints Special Prosecutor in Russia Probe

Kstp: The Justice Department on Wednesday appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into potential coordination between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

The appointment gives Mueller, who led the FBI through the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and served under presidential administrations of both parties, sweeping powers to investigate whether Trump campaign associates colluded with the Kremlin to influence the outcome in his behalf, as well as the authority to prosecute any crimes uncovered during the probe.

The broad mandate, beyond any specific Trump-Russia connection, also covers “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation” — suggesting Mueller could explore the circumstances of the firing last week of FBI Director James Comey as well as a memo that Comey drafted to chronicle a February conversation with the president.

2. White House: Trump Interviewing 4 FBI Candidates

Kstp: The White House says President Donald Trump will be interviewing four potential candidates to lead the FBI, including former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says Trump will be meeting later Wednesday with Lieberman, former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, FBI acting director Andrew McCabe and Richard McFeely, a former top FBI official.

The meetings come more than a week after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The president has suggested he hopes to name Comey's successor before he departs Friday for his first overseas trip as president.

3. Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden, dies at 52

Fox News: Singer Chris Cornell, the lead vocalist for the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, passed away last night in Detroit. He was 52.

Brian Bumbery told the Associated Press in a statement that Cornell’s death was “sudden and unexpected” and said his wife and family was shocked.

The statement added that the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy.

As the lead singer for Seattle-based Soundgarden, Cornell helped architect the 90's grunge rock movement. He was also a Grammy award-winning, Golden Globe nominated singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer and lyricist.

In addition, Cornell became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.

4. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says he's taking job in Department of Homeland Security

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said Wednesday he would leave office next month to accept a federal appointment as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

He said he would work in the department's Office of Partnership and Engagement as a liaison with state, local and tribal law enforcement and governments.

"I'm looking forward to joining that team," Clarke said Wednesday on Vicki McKenna's radio talk show on WISN-AM (1130).

Clarke campaigned around the country for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump last year and has defended the first-term Republican president against critics in the early months of his administration.

The fourth-term sheriff said he would start the job in June.

5. Shopper tackles deer in Wadena Wal-Mart pet aisle

Star Tribune: A shopper in a central Minnesota Wal-Mart wrestled a deer to the floor — in the pet aisle, of course — and held down the animal until it could be carried outside and set free.

The wild kingdom mayhem occurred about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the big-box store in Wadena, police said.

A photo of the man pinning down the deer was posted on Facebook and is attracting quite a bit of social media attention.

The animal calmed down enough to allow store employees to tie dog leashes to its legs before it was carried outside and freed, according to police.

Stephanie Koljonen, the shopper who posted the photo of the deer whisperer covering the animal’s eyes in an effort to keep it from resisting, said, “We were shopping for dog dishes, and we were hearing something falling and a lady screaming.”

Next thing Koljonen knew, she saw the deer sliding about on the smooth floor and then the man pinning the animal against a bag of dog food.

Koljonen said the deer came in through the store’s garden door, which is motion-activated, and “just walked down the aisle.”

Police said that neither the deer’s hide nor hair appeared hurt in all the commotion.

Also, no humans were harmed in the making of this rescue, according to police


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