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Target to close two Minnesota stores

Plus: Minnesotans aren’t fat; lethal combo killed man and woman found at restaurant in Coon Rapids; Science Museum sees massive demand for ‘Thunder Lizard’ hoodies; Red House Records sold; and more.

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Losing two. Says KMSP-TV, “Two Target stores in Minnesota will be closing early next year, according to a Target spokesperson. The Fergus Falls and Hastings locations will close on Feb. 3, 2018. The store employees are being given the option to transfer to other Target locations.

Maybe we’re just big-boned. Emily Cassel at City Pages assures us, “If there’s one thing Midwesterners are tired of hearing, it’s that we’re all fat. We’re so tired of hearing it, in fact, that it shows up in places like Buzzfeed (via the somewhat on-the-nose listicle ‘16 things all Midwesterners are tired of hearing’) and Forbes (‘Six ignorant stereotypes about Middle America’). It’s an especially exhausting epithet given that we, uh, aren’t. WalletHub released a report yesterday that ranked our great nation from fattest to thinnest. … Folks on the West Coast and in the Northeast do tend to be thinner, but for the most part, the Midwest is pretty much in the middle of the pack. Minnesota, meanwhile, is sitting pretty at #40.”

A lethal combo. Pat Pheifer of the Strib reports, “The man and woman found dead in a car in the parking lot of a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Coon Rapids last month died of carbon monoxide poisoning, with recent cocaine use a ‘significant condition,’ authorities said Tuesday.”

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Trampled by demand. MPR reports: “Fans of the Netflix show ‘Stranger Things’ swarmed the Science Museum of Minnesota’s website Tuesday to snap up the museum’s vintage ‘Thunder Lizard’ hoodies, which became a sensation after appearing on a recent episode. Online sales began at 8 a.m. for the sweatshirt and demand quickly overwhelmed the site. The store was back online at 11 a.m. By 4 p.m., 10,000 units of Thunder Lizard apparel worth about $400,000 had been sold, the museum said.”

A ‘yes’ for the state’s biggest school districtThe Strib’s Beena Raghavendran reports: “Responding to the state’s biggest school bonding request in two decades, voters in the Anoka-Hennepin district said ‘yes’ to spending $249 million on new buildings and construction. The funding boost aims to finance two new elementary schools. … In all, metro-area school districts this fall asked for more than $1 billion for construction, technology and facilities improvements. Anoka-Hennepin, with more than 38,000 students, last asked for a bond in 1999.”

Sold. In music news, The AP reports: “St. Paul-based folk and Americana music label Red House Records has been sold to Compass Records Group of Nashville, Tennessee. The sale was announced Tuesday. Grammy-winning Red House was formed 34 years ago and is home to artists such as The Wailin’ Jennys, John Gorka and The Cactus Blossoms.”

Tobacco votes. The AP reports, “St. Cloud’s mayor says he’ll block the City Council’s vote to raise the tobacco-buying age from 18 to 21. Mayor Dave Kleis says he won’t sign off on the resolution passed Monday night by the council on a 4-3 vote. The council would need five of its seven members to vote to overturn the mayor’s action. Meanwhile, the City Council in Bloomington voted to increase the age to 21 on a unanimous vote Monday night.”