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Target reports shortfall in holiday sales

Also: Head of TSA in Minnesota apologizes for braid-pulling agent; 3M waste site still leeching PFAS; a difficult corn harvest; Ike’s closes; and more.

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REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Lumps of coal for big box stores. The Associated Press is reporting on weak numbers from big retailers for the holiday season: “Target’s disappointing growth of 1.4% percent for November and December, dragged down by toys and electronics, fell well below the previous year. Target joined a growing list of retailers reporting meager performances during the critical holiday shopping season. Target cut its expectations for same-store sales growth for the entire quarter Wednesday. Shares fell more than 7% in midday trading, making it the biggest decliner in the benchmark S&P 500.”

Tough season for Minnesota corn growers. Sarah Kocher at the St. Cloud Times reviews last year’s corn harvest: “Kevin Wesbur, who farms corn and soybeans and raises beef cattle about three miles southwest of Elrosa, said a lower test weight created challenges while harvesting, too. ‘We’re constantly trying to reset the combine, because when it’s low test weight, when it’s that wet, a lot of time the combine, even with the rotor, will crush the kernels,’ Wesbur said. This creates more a crop with more foreign material, is harder to dry and can also cause issues at the elevator.”

More science applied over here, please. Nick Woltman at the Pioneer Press has continuing coverage of 3M’s problematic waste disposal site in Oakdale: “The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has discovered that potentially harmful chemicals are still leaching into surface water from a former 3M waste disposal site in Oakdale, despite the company’s efforts to contain them, regulators told 3M in a letter last week. The MPCA has given the Maplewood-based manufacturer 45 days to come up with a new plan to keep perfluoroalkyl substances — better known as PFAS — from contaminating nearby water sources, the letter said.”

Keeping us safe. Matt Sepic at MPR News has an update on the braid-pulling TSA officer at MSP: “The head of the Transportation Security Administration in Minnesota has apologized to an Indigenous rights activist after she voiced concerns about disrespectful treatment at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Tara Houska is Ojibwe and wears her hair in long braids. While heading home to Bemidji, Minn., Monday morning, Houska said a TSA officer pulled on her braids as if they were horse reins and said ‘giddyup.’

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Timing is everything. WCCO-TV reports the union plow drivers in St. Louis County walked off the job Wednesday morning: “In a statement Tuesday, a spokesperson for Teamsters 320 said the strike will affect all St. Louis County Public Work Buildings, around which there will on-going pickets. The county says it has a plan in place to clear the roads using supervisors and staff from other departments. There are more than 3,000 miles of roadway in St. Louis County, the largest in the state in terms of size.”

In other news…

CD2 race update: “2 Republican Women Join Race To Unseat Democrat Rep. Angie Craig” [WCCO]

No. 1 in the state: “Ramsey County commissioners vote unanimously to continue welcoming refugees” [KMSP]

U.S. Bank Stadium attracting more birds and attention: “A Clear Menace” [The New Republic]

Im-pet-iment: “Some St. Paul pet owners could face higher costs to bring impounded pets home” [KSTP]

Next, make kale taste good: “Beyond plant-based meat, General Mills is now investing in plant-based seafood” [Star Tribune]

Bad reviews: “St. Paul’s Highland, Grandview theaters cited for fire code violations” [Star Tribune]

Last call: “Facing eviction, Ike’s cocktail bar closes in downtown Minneapolis” [City Pages]

Stock up: “Forecast says 8-12 inches of snow on Twin Cities’ doorstep starting Friday” [Star Tribune]