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What CVS’ takeover of Target’s pharmacies will mean for consumers

Plus: NFL Players Association files lawsuit against NFL in Minnesota court over Brady case; MSP to get a retail makeover; the latest on Walter Palmer; and more.

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

MPR’s Martin Moylan checks out Target’s sell-off of its pharmacies to CVS. “Target is ditching its pharmacy business because selling prescription drugs didn’t draw enough customers or yield enough profit, although it did generate $4 billion in sales. Those sales represent a lot of people — Target won’t specify how many — who’ll have to decide if they’ll continue getting their meds inside a Target store or go elsewhere. The Minneapolis retail giant is expected to complete the sale of its pharmacy business by year’s end, assuming regulators approve. Drug store chain CVS would then take over the pharmacies in some 1,700 Target stores.”

The NFL Players Association is suing the NFL in Minnesota. Mike Florio at NBC Sports says, “On Tuesday, the NFL filed a four-page lawsuit against the NFLPA in Manhattan. On Wednesday, the NFLPA filed a much longer lawsuit against the NFL and the NFL Management Council in Minnesota. The 54-page petition requests that the the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota vacate the arbitration award in the Tom Brady case, arguing that the four-game suspension ‘defies’ the Court’s decision in the recent Adrian Peterson case, ‘ignores’ the ‘law of the shop’ and essence of the labor deal, and ‘gives the back of the hand’ to fundamental principles of ‘procedural fairness and arbitrator bias.’”

Isn’t Rubio the one with chronic money problems? Patrick Condon of the Strib says, “Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson endorsed Marco Rubio for president on Wednesday and will be Minnesota state chairman for the Florida senator’s presidential campaign.  Johnson was the Republican candidate for governor last year, but lost to Gov. Mark Dayton. The Plymouth resident is also a former member of the Republican National Committee. Johnson told the Star Tribune that he likes several of the Republican contenders but that Rubio distinguished himself in the crowded field of 17 declared candidates.” More than Donald Trump and Scott Walker? High bar.

What? No Whole Foods in Embarrass or Boyd? Tom Meersman of the Strib says, “There’s a “grocery gap” in many parts of Minnesota, according to a new poll, and many consumers can’t take advantage of healthy foods because they don’t have a nearby store that sells them.  The poll, commissioned by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, found that 56 percent of those questioned don’t believe that all Minnesotans have access to healthy food, regardless of where they live or their socioeconomic background. Two-thirds of those in the poll reported shopping for food once a week or more at traditional grocery stores, 47 percent at big-box mass merchandisers, and 19 percent at convenience stories.”

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There’s a lot of good Minnesota stuff in a New York Times story about (the usual) bungling by the TSA. Says Ron Nixon, “An internal report that measures performance, sent out last month by the T.S.A.’s Midwest regional headquarters, devotes just three pages to security, while the remainder focuses on wait times and customer service, according to Andrew Rhoades, an assistant security director at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. ‘Many of the measurements work against prudent security practices,’ Mr. Rhoades said. Mr. Rhoades had previously reported what he said were security lapses to T.S.A. headquarters, and in response, he said, the T.S.A. tried to transfer him. … An assistant security director disclosed that Sara Jane Olson, who was convicted in a plot by members of a radical 1970s group to kill Los Angeles police officers by planting bombs under their squad cars, was allowed to use an expedited inspection lane even after having been identified by a screener. A supervisor overruled that employee.”

Speaking of good times at MSP, Tim Nelson of MPR says, “The Twin Cities International Airport is heading for a retail makeover. Airport staff are poised to make recommendations for a refresh of dozens of shops and restaurants next week, most of them in Terminal 1. Detailed recommendations aren’t public yet, but airport staff say they want to offer more opportunity for local businesses, ethnic food and combinations of food and entertainment, among other things. They’ll be talking about their recommendations at a Metropolitan Airports Commission committee meeting on Monday.’ I’d like a Costco, with $1.50 hot dogs.

Maybe those pieces from the missing airliner will knock our fearless lion-hunting dentist off the front page. But until then, the New York Times’ Christina Capecchi and Katie Rogers say, “The outrage and attention surrounding the lion’s death online caused Dr. Palmer to keep his office closed on Wednesday as he joined an ever-expanding group of people who have become targets of Internet vigilantism, facing a seemingly endless shaming until the next issue comes along. … Even a local crisis management expert was pulled in to the fray. The specialist, Jon Austin, who operates a Minneapolis-based communications firm, said in an email that he had been asked only to circulate Dr. Palmer’s initial statement. On Wednesday, Mr. Austin ended his involvement with the matter, but not before his own Yelp page was flooded by angry commenters.”

At the PiPress, Tad Vezner writes, “While international outrage against a Minnesota dentist who killed a beloved Zimbabwe lion showed no signs of abating Wednesday, any legal ramifications against him appear to be an uphill battle. The Bloomington dentist was castigated by the governor, his practice targeted by hundreds of protesters in person and thousands online, and at least one U.S. congresswoman has called for an investigation into whether he broke the law — any law. … Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle called Palmer a ‘morally deadened human being’, and in a written statement, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., called on the U.S. attorney’s office and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate ‘whether U.S. laws were violated.’”

Also in the PiPress, outdoor writer Dave Orrick says, “Many hunters don’t tolerate violations of game laws. So, Walter, don’t be surprised if you sense skepticism from hunters when they learn that in 2008 you admitted to lying to authorities when questioned about shooting a Wisconsin black bear outside your permit area. You faced consequences for that. And if you broke the law in shooting this lion, you should face consequences again. But not what you’ve been subjected to: the threats, the epithets, the unbridled verbal assaults from around the world. Your dental practice has been sent askew, your family exposed, if not downright terrorized. All because you killed a lion. It’s often observed that conservationists (including hunters) see animals for the entire population, while animal-rights activists (including anti-hunters) see individuals. So I say ‘a lion,’ while they say ‘Cecil’ — and call you a beast. It’s unjust, this treatment from some espousing to the animal rights side. I think most hunters would agree with that.”

As for extradition, which plenty of people seem to think would be a good idea, Peter Cox and Jon Collins at MPR say, “Extradition is not an automatic process, [attorney Joe] Tamburino said. In a situation where the accused has the resources to hire attorneys, the extradition process can be especially long and complex. ‘The individual would be able to say to our government, ‘Look I’m an American citizen, I don’t think I should be extradited for whatever the legal argument they’re going to make,’ Tamburino said. ‘Then they’d get a fair hearing in court on that.’ The federal government could reject extradition for a number of reasons including humanitarian or legal objections, but American citizenship or wealth don’t automatically mean someone can avoid extradition.”

And if the question is punishment, PETA has an answer. a WCCO-TV story says, “The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) says that if a Minnesota hunter did indeed illegally kill a beloved lion in Zimbabwe, he should be ‘extradited, charged, and, preferably, hanged.’” And what about the idea of giving Dr. Walt a pocket knife and airdropping him alone into the heart of lion country? You know, for the thrill of the “hunt.”