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Violent customers prompt Target to remove some LGBTQ merchandise from stores ahead of Pride

Plus: Legislature puts $41 million toward helping unhoused youth; southwestern Minnesota deals with wind energy transmission traffic jam; two young men plead guilty to carjacking and kidnapping; and more.


For The Associated Press, Anne D’Innocenzio writes, “Target is removing certain items from its stores and making other changes to its LGBTQ merchandise nationwide ahead of Pride month, after an intense backlash from some customers including violent confrontations with its workers. … Target declined to say which items it was removing but among the ones that garnered the most attention were ‘tuck friendly’ women’s swimsuits that allow trans women who have not had gender-affirming operations to conceal their private parts. Designs by Abprallen, a London-based company that designs and sells occult- and satanic-themed LGBTQ clothing and accessories, have also created backlash.”

For KARE 11, Kent Erdahl says, “When the Minnesota Legislature approved the massive $6.2 billion Health and Human Services budget on the final day of the 2023 session, tucked within all the spending was a $41.5 million investment that will help bolster the fight against youth homelessness for the next two years. ‘It was a dream,’ said Beth Holger, CEO of The Link, a nonprofit that helped Minneapolis youth overcome homeless, sexual exploitation and criminal recruitment. ‘It sounds dramatic, but it will literally help save many lives to get youth in off the street, and to safe shelter and housing.'”

For KSTP-TV, Emily Baude writes, “Two Minneapolis men have pleaded guilty for their roles in an armed carjacking and kidnapping earlier this year, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The news release says that in U.S. District Court on Monday, 18-year-old Jamal Timothy Funchess and 21-year-old T’Shawn Teon Palton each pleaded guilty to carjacking, kidnapping and holding a victim at gunpoint for several hours.”

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In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Drew Dawson writes, “If/when Minnesota becomes the latest state to legalize, Wisconsin would be nearly entirely surrounded by states that decriminalized usage of the psychoactive drug. With another neighbor making the move to legalize, we wanted to know how the new law could affect Wisconsin. Here’s what you should know. … Does Wisconsin lose revenue by not legalizing? In short, yes. For example, Illinois collected $36 million in tax revenue from Wisconsin residents purchasing marijuana in the Land of Lincoln where cannabis is legal, according to a state estimate released in March.”

For The Minnesota Reformer, J. Patrick Coolican says, “There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen. This insight has been attributed to figures as varied as Marx, Lenin and Steve Bannon, and I heard it from a shrewd lobbyist at the Capitol last week.  Whatever the provenance, this is what we’ve experienced around the Minnesota Legislature this year. … Will Stancil, a scholar of housing and education discrimination at the University of Minnesota Law School, compared it to a state version of the New Deal.”

Also at KSTP-TV, this from Kirsten Swanson, “For more than two decades, wind farms have towered over the rolling hills of the Buffalo Ridge, a 60-mile stretch of land in southwestern Minnesota. The area — dubbed by locals as the state’s ‘Wind Belt’ — contributes a significant amount of renewable energy to Minnesota while generating millions of dollars in tax revenue for local communities. The wind farms are also critical to achieving the state’s new energy standards. In February, Gov. Tim Walz signed the Clean Energy Bill, requiring that 100% of Minnesota’s electricity come from renewable energy sources by the year 2040. But all of that power has nowhere to go. ‘We’re having an energy traffic jam on the transmission lines,’ said Molly Malone, a Murray County commissioner.”

A Mental Floss story by Jon Mayer says, “The following list debunks one myth about each state in the U.S., from the Rocky Mountain not-so-high of Colorado to New Mexico. That’s right, New Mexico. … 28. Misconception: Minnesota is Canada’s southernmost province. When people refer to Minnesota as Canada’s 11th province, they’re generally just having some fun with the similarities between the state and its neighbor to the north. Many parts of Canada—especially the prairie provinces—have a similar climate to the Gopher State, so it’s no surprise that they share cultural touchstones like ice fishing and hockey. It’s not rare for a Minnesotan to be misidentified as a Canadian, so let us share one particularly odd aspect of the cross-country relationship.”