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Hackers break in to SuperValu files

Minnesota state parks embrace yurts; wild rice sulfate study; a look at social-media fundraising; pig rasslin’; and more.

SuperValu has been hacked. The AP says, “Hackers accessed a network that processes store transactions. Account numbers, expiration dates, cardholders’ names and other information may have been stolen, the company said. Grocery stores — as well as some stand-alone liquor shops — in Minnesota, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland and Missouri may have been affected between June 22 and July 17. The cards from which data may have been stolen were used at 180 SuperValu stores and liquor stores run under the Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Shop ‘n Save and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy names.”

Guilty, as charged. The Forum News Service story says, “A former Duluth businessman accused of stealing nearly $800,000 from the Minnesota Department of Revenue was found guilty of felony theft Thursday in state district court in Duluth. … Kevin Charles Owens, 54, was charged in 2010, after allegedly cashing two checks from the department that were erroneously sent to him in 2008. … Owens will be sentenced Sept. 15, but he’s unlikely to serve additional time. The ‘presumptive’ sentence for the crime is 363 days, but that time is usually stayed.” Now, if he had grabbed $20 out of the till at a Kwik Trip…

So you want to get out of here and maybe go back to my… yurt? Ann Wessel at the St. Cloud Times says, “The shelters of nomads and adventurers are coming to three Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. By sometime in September, three yurts at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area and two each at Glendalough and Afton state parks should be fully furnished, equipped with woodstoves and ready to rent.” I’ll stop off at the liquor store and find something to mix with yak milk.

A bit more on the recent study of sulfates’ impact on wild rice. John Myers of the Forum News Service writes, “The peer review panel was called to St. Paul by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency this week to critique the state’s two-year, $1.5 million study on the impact of sulfate on wild rice. The panel’s report could have a major impact on current and future mining in the state as the PCA, under legislative mandate, decides whether the state’s current 10 parts per million limit for sulfate is needed in wild rice waters.”

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So does this “Ice Bucket Challenge” shtick actually work? At WCCO-TV, Heather Brown looks at social media fund-raising: “Last year, Movember raised $123 million for prostate cancer. Minnesota’s own Give to the Max campaign brought in $17 million. [Trista Harris, president of the Minnesota Council on Foundations] believes part of the reason the Ice Bucket challenge has been so successful is because people are directly asking others to give, a key component to fundraising. The cost to start up a social media fundraiser can range from zero dollars, like the Ice Bucket Challenge, or thousands that stem from sophisticated social media strategies.”

What did you expect The Grand Old Man to say? Jim Spencer of the Strib reports on Medtronic’s founder talking up the Irish-based Covidien deal. “Medtronic Inc. founder Earl Bakken has reached out to employees of the company to promote its purchase of Covidien, a deal that has stirred controversy over the tax benefits it would bring. … Bakken’s missive is the latest move in a campaign to rally support for the purchase. Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak and Covidien CEO Jose Almeida are currently crisscrossing the country explaining to employees the strategic advantages of marrying the companies. Despite their efforts, the merger continues to draw political and legal fire.”

Because so much gets done when they’re in D.C.? Abby Simons of the Strib reports that GOP Senate candidate wants the Washington power class to get back to, uh, work. “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden said Thursday that both President Obama and Congress should return to Washington from their respective breaks to address the country’s immigration crisis and the conflict in Iraq.” Don’t forget that impeachment thing.

The Washington professional football team, whose name shall not be uttered in polite company, will sympathize with folks at Warroad High. Tim Post of MPR says, “A Minneapolis-based coalition is threatening to sue the Warroad, Minn., school district if it doesn’t stop using the image of a Native American for its school mascot. … ‘When you attach the word ‘warriors’ to the image of American Indian people that’s where it becomes not only a problem but it becomes illegal,’ said Alan Yelsey, a member of the coalition’s board.”

Meanwhile, in pig rasslin’ news from Wisconsin, Adam Rodewald of the Green Bay Press Gazette: “An animal rights group known for taking undercover video of animal cruelty has vowed legal action against the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, a local parish priest, county sheriff and dozens of others involved in a church-sponsored pig wrestling event. Members of the animal protection organization called SHARK released video footage Thursday it claims depicts animal abuse, animal fighting and child neglect at the St. Patrick Catholic Church’s ‘Pig Rassling’ event.”