An additional 70 million … In The Washington Post, Amrita Jayakumar reports: “Target said Friday that the massive cyber attack it suffered during the height of the holiday shopping season may have affected an additional 70 million customers and swept up far more information than it originally reported. The giant retailer told customers in December that up to 40 million customers’ credit and debit card information had been stolen. But now the company says that an additional 70 million customers also may have had their personal information — including names, mailing addresses, e-mail address and phone numbers — stolen.” To quote the wisdom of noted financial guru Randy Moss, “Straight cash, homie.”
In the Strib, Evan Ramstad and Thomas Lee say: “To date, little fraud has been reported related to the breach. But since it was initially announced in Dec. 19, Target has twice been forced to acknowledge that more information got out than it thought. … ‘In light of the recent data breach, our top priority is taking care of our guests and helping them feel confident in shopping at Target,’ John Mulligan, Target’s chief financial officer.” Personally, I’d feel more confident if they dropped the “guest” shtick.
The Vikings seem to have a top candidate for their new coach. Joe Soriano of the NFLSpinZone says: “ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports [in a tweet] that the favorite for the Minnesota Vikings head coaching vacancy is Mike Zimmer, who is interviewing with the Tennessee Titans today after speaking with the Vikings yesterday. The Vikings have cast a very wide net in their head coaching search with the likes of Darrell Bevell also involved, but it looks like the organization is keying in on hiring a head coach with a background on defense. While the Vikings could use an offensive guru as their head coach due to a lack of a franchise quarterback, their defense is horrible.”
Right on schedule … Esme Murphy of WCCO-TV says: “The number of flu cases is up sharply in Minnesota. Last week, there were 144 flu-related hospitalizations across the state. That’s up from 118 the week before. The increased cases have Fairview Health Services screening visitors at its seven hospitals. Visitors with the flu are being asked not to visit patients at Fairview Hospitals and visitors who do show up will be screened for flu symptoms.” How about the airlines screening for “flu-like symptoms”?
It’s been almost as bad a 12 months for coaches as it has been for priests. David Hanners of the PiPress says: “The former head women’s basketball coach at a small Christian college has been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, accused of engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl. Ryan Paul Chmielewski, 30, of St. Bonifacius was jailed Tuesday afternoon, a day after police — posing as the girl — summoned him to her family’s Shorewood home. He will make his first court appearance Friday. His bail is set at $100,000.”
Some unusual recognition for Duluth’s mayor. The News Tribune reports: “Duluth Mayor Don Ness received an extra-special birthday present Thursday evening, when Minnesota’s largest business publication proclaimed him its Person of the Year at an awards ceremony in Minneapolis. Ness marked another milestone the same day as he celebrated his 40th birthday. … ‘More than any other nominee, Don Ness stood out for exceptional leadership that has strengthened our state’s economy, business opportunities and culture,’ Twin Cities Business Editor-in-Chief Dale Kurschner said … . ‘Duluth is starting to become hip,’ Kurschner said.” Look out, Nordeast.
Speaking of seeking hipness … Mark Reilly of the Business Journal writes: “Dunkin’ Donuts is apparently making another run at the Minnesota market — assuming it can find some investors to do the actual running. Northland News Center reports that the Canton, Mass.-based chain wants to open as many as 15 franchises in Duluth and the Twin Cities. … In 2008, it talked of opening as many as 100 stores in the state. It signed a franchisee in 2009, but you can see for yourself how well that worked out.” Look for the Dunkin’ gang to hype themselves as “craft’ and “artisanal,” maybe even “bespoke.”
$1.7 million to put arts on the road … Graydon Royce of the Strib says: “The Minnesota State Arts Board has posted the winners of 2014 arts touring grants. The program allows groups and individuals to bring the arts to greater Minnesota. Forty-one grants were made, totaling just more than $1.7 million. The largest grants, for $100,000 each, went to Asian Media Access for a tour of a pan-Asian dance drama to three cities and to the Minnesota Orchestra for a Common Chords residency in Bemidji. The jazz group, The New Standards, was awarded $93,000 to tour several cities throughout the state, including a holiday show in Rochester. VocalEssence will be granted $92,000 to tour southeast Minnesota and Theater Latte Da is authorized to use $88,000 to tour its original show, ‘Steerage Song,’ about the early 20th century immigrant experience.”
And in a slippery slope/gateway survey, Jesse Marx of City Pages reports: “A new St. Cloud State University survey shows that the overwhelming majority of Minnesotans favor legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. … At the time the survey was conducted, 45 percent of Minnesotans said at some point in their life they had smoked the herb. … The highest support for medical marijuana came from self-described Libertarians (90 percent) followed by Democrats (86 percent) and Republicans (62 percent).” The “Libertarians” would be who? Those Ron Paul college dude “volunteers”?