Minnesota News Briefs: Target reportingMinnesota News
-- Target Corporation is reporting a 4.2-percent increase in August same-store sales.
MINNEAPOLIS - Target Corporation is reporting a 4.2-percent increase in August same-store sales.
That beat analysts' expectations of a three-point-one-percent gain in stores open at least one year. CEO Gregg Steinhafel issued a statement saying, "sales were stronger in the second half of the month as guests responded to Target's broad assortment and compelling value for their back-to-school and back-to-college shopping." The Minneapolis-based discount retailer had overall sales of $4.5 billion dollars during the four weeks ending August 25th.
A Republican-controlled panel this morning voted to reject two-year contracts for Minnesota's two largest state employee unions, AFSCME and MAPE. Republicans don't like the proposed two-percent raise and have concerns about the state's contribution for health care benefits. The issue is expected to be revisited by legislators during next year's session.
If you're going up north on Interstate 35 between Duluth and the Twin Cities this holiday weekend, be sure to allow some extra travel time. Mn-DOT's Beth Petrowske says there are two different construction projects under way and motorists will encounter single-lane construction zones. North of Hinckley, there are a couple of I-35 alternates for travelers to consider: Highways 61 and 23 in Pine and Carlton counties.
Minnesota's two major party candidates for U.S. Senate face off this afternoon at the State Fair. Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican challenger Kurt Bills will debate local and national issues over the noon hour. Klobuchar and Bills matched up for the first time earlier this month at Farm Fest near Redwood Falls.
After releasing statewide math and reading test scores earlier this summer, Minnesota education officials have now taken another look at the data to see how much progress students are making toward meeting the new reading and math standards. State Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says they are starting to see some gap closure, especially at the earlier grades in mathematics. She says when it comes to reading we are pretty stagnant. But Cassellius predicts that literacy aid going to schools, plus the focus on making sure all students read well in third grade, will help.
A Grand Rapids man has died after an accident several days ago in northern Minnesota. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner says 67-year old Donald Boyer and his wife were injured Sunday as he pulled his trike off the side of a highway. The three-wheel vehicle suddenly lurched and took off down a hill, ejecting the two riders. Boyer's wife, Donnell, survived the accident.
Talk about a "hot discount" at the Minnesota State Fair today. Seniors 65 and older pay only seven-dollars to enter the fairgrounds which forecasters say will heat up into the 90's to near 100-degrees by afternoon. At the Grandstand tonight: Rascal Flatts.
Minnesota students are making some progress toward meeting the new mathematics standards, but state Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says "we are pretty stagnant still on our reading." That's the conclusion after the state took another look at statewide test scores released earlier this summer, with an eye on how much progress students are making. Cassellius predicts better results in reading, because it will now also be taught in science and social studies classes as part of a more comprehensive approach to instruction. Cassellius predicts that literacy aid going to schools, plus the focus on making sure all students read well in third grade, will help schools move up the bar in reading.
Reports say more layoffs are on the way for a Massachusetts medical device maker with a large presence in Minnesota. There are no specific numbers being released by Boston Scientific, which operates plants in Arden Hills and Maple Grove. About 4,500 employees work at those facilities, producing pacemakers and defibrillators. Overall, Boston Scientific dropped 1,400 jobs last year.
Last night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty described President Barack Obama's tenure in the White House as "one bad decision after another." Pawenty went on to add that the president has "created more excuses than jobs." Pawlenty was thought to be under serious consideration as Mitt Romney's running mate before Romney tapped Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.