Minnesota News Briefs: Macy's to close downtown St. Paul storeMinnesota News
-- Macy's department store in downtown St. Paul is closing in March. Company officials made a formal announcement this morning.
ST. PAUL - Macy's department store in downtown St. Paul is closing in March. Company officials made a formal announcement this morning.
Employees were notified Wednesday afternoon the company would be closing its doors. The store will be holding a final clearance sale starting on Monday. The St. Paul store is one of several around the country closing due to poor profit showings.
Members of Minnesota's congressional delegation who were elected in November are being sworn in today on Capitol Hill. Democrat Rick Nolan is returning to Congress after representing northern Minnesota in the late 70s. Nolan defeated first-term Republican Chip Cravaack in the state's Eighth District. Senator Amy Klobuchar begins her second six-year term in the U.S. Senate today. Representatives Michelle Bachmann, Keith Ellison, John Kline, Betty McCollum, Erik Paulsen, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz also won re-election.
A judge is ordering a Duluth head shop owner to pay for two police officers to provide full-time security outside his store. The Last Place on Earth was ruled a public nuisance because of the products it allegedly sells and the behavior of its patrons. The judge says owner Jim Carlson's claim that there was no proof his business has sold synthetic marijuana over the past year is irrelevant. The order says police calls to the area of Last Place on Earth increased 81 percent from August 2011 to September 2012. Carlson's lawyer says he plans to appeal the judge's order.
Austin-based Hormel Foods is buying Unilever's Skippy peanut butter line for $700-million. Skippy debuted in 1932 and includes eleven varieties of peanut butter products sold around the world. Hormel officials say they hope to strengthen business overseas and branch out beyond the company's meat business. The sale is pending final regulatory approval.
A North Mankato couple is scheduled to be in court Monday where a hearing will be held on whether their parental rights should be terminated. Russell and Mona Hauer are charged with six felonies each for allegedly starving their adopted son. Authorities say the eight-year old hadn't been given solid food for two months and weighed 34 pounds when he was examined by a doctor. He is in foster care, while the Hauers' other three children remain with their parents. A criminal trial is scheduled for May. The Hauers are seeking to have the charges dismissed.
There is some movement in the lockouts that have silenced the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Negotiators have met recently in both cases, and are expected to meet again in the coming days. Little is being made public about either situation. The Minnesota Orchestra has canceled concerts through February 10th.
Two one-million-dollar winners in the State Lottery's New Year's Day raffle have not yet stepped forward to claim their prizes. The two winning Minnesota Millionaire Raffle tickets were sold in Crow Wing County and Pine County. There are also five $100,000 dollar prizes, and officials say two of those winners have already contacted lottery headquarters. A complete list of winning numbers can be found at mn-lottery-dot-com.
The DNR says Minnesota's inaugural wolf hunting season is over at the end of the day today because the target quota of 400 wolves had nearly been met. The season closed earlier in the northeast and east-central zones but will remain open for one more day in the northwest. Hunters have until a half-hour after sunset to get their quarry. Wolf trappers have until 10 p.m.
Officials say at least 300 people were arrested for DWI on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in Minnesota. Jean Ryan with the state Traffic Safety Office says unfortunately those people made poor decisions, got behind the wheel and drove impaired -- and they'll suffer the consequences. The number of arrests is right around the average for the last five New Year's holidays. Ryan says law enforcement needs to continue getting the message out that, if you drink and drive, you'll be arrested and taken off the road.
Wind energy advocates in the state are hailing passage of the bill that averts the so-called "fiscal cliff." Michelle Hesterberg with Environment Minnesota says the deal extends tax incentives for wind power which are very critical for the industry. Hesterberg says the extension means wind power projects that start construction this year will be eligible for those tax credits. Advocates say the wind industry in Minnesota supports between between two- and three-thousand jobs.