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Minnesota poultry producers wary of bird flu outbreaks in other states

Plus: Target looks to urban markets to boost sales; St. Paul school board stops short of renaming Ramsey Middle School; Winona candy factory to reopen; and more.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Not again. MPR’s Mark Steil reports: “Bird flu cases discovered this past week in Tennessee and Wisconsin have prompted a new wave of anxiety for poultry producers. … The first new outbreak was discovered late last week in a chicken flock in Tennessee, and a second case was confirmed this week on a Wisconsin turkey farm. … These cases are a different virus than the one that devastated poultry two years ago in Minnesota and other states. That outbreak infected more than 100 farms in the state, forced the destruction of millions of birds and cost the state economy nearly $650 million.”

Struggling? Ouch. A site called Modern Cities reports: “Struggling Minneapolis-based retailer is thinking big by betting on a small store, urban revolution. … Target posted a 1.5% decline in same-store sales and adjusted earnings of $1.45 a share in the fourth quarter of 2016, badly missing estimates. The discount retailer has now seen same-store sales decline for three straight quarters. Amidst pressure from online retailers like Amazon, who plan to open a series of drive through grocery stores nationwide, Target is looking to ignite slumping sales trends by expanding into new urban neighborhoods with a small-store format tailored to each local market.”

A cautious stand on honoring human rights violators. The Pioneer Press’ Josh Verges reports: “The St. Paul school board will not proactively change the names of any school buildings, rejecting a proposal by the board’s student advisers. … The Student Engagement and Advisory Board in December asked the school district to rename schools that honor people who have committed human rights violations. … Students cited the name of Ramsey Middle School as an example of ‘institutional oppression’ because the state’s first governor, Alexander Ramsey, advocated the extermination of American Indians. … The school board said Tuesday it will consider only a minor change to its naming policy. The proposed addition says that any person for whom a school is named should have a ‘legacy that aligns with the values of the district.’ The proposal also adds a cross-reference to the district’s racial equity policy.”

Some good news for Winona. In the Winona Post, Chris Rogers writes: “It was a sad day last March when Ferrara Candy Company announced plans to close a business that employed 125 people and had manufactured candy in Winona for 75 years. On Monday, Chicago-based Midwest Co-pack announced plans to reopen the plant and put some of the same people and equipment that once made gummy bears back to work making gummy pet supplements. Twenty-five people are already employed at the plant, Midwest Co-pack is hiring more, and the firm hopes to continue to grow.”

In other news…

If there’s a local angle by God we’ll find it: “Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner renting from Twin Metals owner” [Pioneer Press]

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Vote next month: “Kroll draws challenger in bid for second term as Mpls. police union head” [Star Tribune]

More football moves: “Left tackle Matt Kalil leaving Vikings for Panthers” [Pioneer Press]

Nice: “East Side Freedom Library wins national award” [Pioneer Press]