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Thursday P.M. Report

Star Petters witness gets year in prison, Target sales up 3.4 percent in August, and Cornerstone Bank settles on Hecker assets.

Star Petters witness gets year in prison: The Tom Petters employee who helped put him away was herself sentenced to one year in prison this morning. Former Petters Co. executive Deanna Coleman, who went to federal prosecutors to blow the whistle on Petters’ $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme and recorded her boss on a hidden wire for them, had entered into a plea deal for a reduced sentence one one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Read full story

Target sales up 3.4 percent in August: Target Corp.’s retail sales rose 3.4 percent in August, compared with the same time last year, a trend its CEO Gregg Steinhafel said was “in line with expectations.” Sales hit $5.02 billion in the four-week period that ended Aug. 28, up from $4.86 billion in the four weeks that ended Aug. 29, 2009. Comparable-store sales in the same time period increased 1.8 percent over last year. Read full story

Cornerstone Bank settles on Hecker assets: Cornerstone Bank of North Dakota has dropped its claims to some of former Twin Cities auto dealership mogul Denny Hecker’s largest assets. The settlement removes some thorny legal issues holding back the liquidation of Hecker’s assets. Hecker filed for bankruptcy in June 2009, owing $767 million. The bankruptcy court already has ruled that n o portion of that amount will be forgiven. Read full story