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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Mall wall collapses in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS  --  Investigators are trying to determine what caused a partial building collapse this morning in south Minneapolis. 

A third story wall under construction collapsed at the Karmel Mall and fell down onto the sidewalk.  Minneapolis Police Inspector Todd Loining says as many as 25 people were evacuated from the mall when police arrived.  There were no injuries. 


The U.S. House of Representatives will observe a moment of silence tonight in honor of former Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar. The seventy-nine-year-old Oberstar died unexpectedly Saturday morning in his sleep.  Oberstar served 18 terms in Congress and chaired the powerful House Transportation Committee.  Eighth District Congressman Rick Nolan (DFL-Duluth) will manage the time to honor Oberstar following the final votes of the day. Funeral services are Thursday in Potomac, Maryland.  


A Minnesota lawmaker is calling for immediate international assistance to help find more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian girls.  On April 14, armed members of the terrorist group Boko Haram abducted 276 girls during a raid at an all-girls school.  Reports indicate that the girls are being sold as wives for $12 each in an act of human trafficking.  U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Plymouth) called on the administration to help locate and recover the kidnapped girls.  Klobuchar has been a leader in the effort to fight sex trafficking both in the U.S. and around the world.  Here at home she has introduced a bill that would give prosecutors tools to crack down on sex trafficking and ensure victims of these horrific crimes receive the support they need  It's modeled after Minnesota's Safe Harbor laws.


Homark Homes is planning a six-million-dollar expansion of its manufacturing facility in Red Lake Falls.  The project is expected to create 19 jobs paying an average wage of 16 dollars an hour within three years.  The employee-owned builder of manfactured and modular homes is expanding its product line to include multi-family modular housing.  The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development will award Homark 456-thousand dollars from the Job Creation Fund if the company meets performance goals. 


A provision that would have allowed Sunday sales of growlers in Minnesota taprooms has been stripped from a state Senate liquor bill.  Growlers are refillable jugs that brewpubs use to sell take-out craft beer.  Duluth Senator Roger Reinert says Minnesota has made a lot of progressive changes recently, but we continue to meet roadblocks on the Sunday sales issue.  Reinert blames opposition from the Teamsters Union for killing the growler provision.  A liquor bill in the Minnesota House includes Sunday growler sales and is awaiting a full floor vote.


A Chicago man faces felony charges in St. Louis County for selling heroin in the Duluth area.  Thirty-eight-year-old Antonio "Tone" Long  was arrested last week during a raid by the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.  The search led to 34 grams of heroin, 33 grams of crack cocaine and a .45 handgun, which police say was stolen from a gun show Moose Lake.  Investigators say Long has previous attempted murder and felony battery convictions in Illinois.