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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Target tech. chief steps down

MINNEAPOLIS -  Target Chief Information Officer Beth Jacob has resigned in the wake of the massive data breach.  Jacob's resignation is effective immediately and her biography has already been removed from Target's website. 

The Minneapolis-based retailer plans to overhaul its information-security team and will look externally for an interim CIO who can help guide the company through the process.  CEO Greg Steinhafel said in statement, "Target is working with Promontory Financial Group to help evaluate our technology, structure, process and talent as part of this transformation."


MnDOT is reporting difficult travel conditions in areas of southern Minnesota that received significant snowfall overnight.  Blowing snow and icy roads are to blame for a few crashes.  The National Weather Service says ten-and-a-half inches fell in south-central Minnesota near Mapleton while nearby St.James got nine-and-a-half inches.  Madelia, Comfrey and Austin all had about nine inches,  New Richland received more than eight and the Mankato/New Ulm area has six inches.  The fast moving system skirted just south of the Twin Cities.


DNA matching that of a man shot and killed by Minneapolis Police has been "forensically-tied" to a stolen gun.  Police say the nine millimeter gun was taken from a Minneapolis home in May of 2013.  The day after the gun was reported stolen, 22-year-old burglary suspect Terrance Franklin was shot and killed by police in the basement of an Uptown home after Franklin allegedly grabbed one of the officer's guns and began shooting at them.  Five months later, the stolen gun was discovered in a sock found under a back porch near the home where Franklin had been killed.  Officials have determined the sock contains a DNA match to Franklin.  In September, police were cleared by a Hennepin County grand jury of any wrongdoing in Franklin's death.


A bipartisan bill that allows Minnesota voters to register online is headed to the House floor after clearing the House Elections Committee.  Representative Steve Simon of Hopkins says in an era when we do so much else online..."this is the direction that we should be headed." Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's Office began accepting online voter registration in September without legislative approval, which resulted in a lawsuit.  The judge's ruling is expected in April.  A Senate panel is expected to take up an online voter registration bill next week. 


A bill to legalize medical marijuana cleared a House committee last night after hours of testimony.  Joni Whiting of Jordan lost her daughter to melanoma skin cancer and says after two years of experimental therapies and endless surgeries to her face, a doctor recommended marijuana to relieve Stephanie's extreme pain and nausea.  Against her will, Whiting says her other adult children took Stephanie out of the house to use marijuana and three days later, here daughter regained her appetite and her engergy level.  Whiting says now she supports medical marijuana and would be willing to risk going to prison if it meant, quality of life for her daughter.  She says her only regret is not allowing her daughter to use marijuana in her home throughout her illness.