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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Target Corp. earnings drop significantly

MINNEAPOLIS -   Minnesota-based Target Corporation is reporting a 14-percent decrease in first-quarter earnings. The drop is blamed on the massive data breach during the holiday shopping season and the retailer's costs of expanding in Canada. 

Target earned $418-million in the first quarter -- down from $498 million in 2013.  The Wall Street Journal reports traffic at Target stores fell for the sixth-straight quarter.  Interim CEO John Mulligan says the company has made changes to its management team and is investing additional resources to drive U.S. traffic and sales, improve its Canadian operations and advance its ongoing digital transformation.


Authorities have released details of a fatal head-on crash Tuesday morning near Hutchinson.  The State Patrol says 28-year-old Ryan Allen of Hutchinson was driving a car that collided with a vehicle driven by 57-year-old Mark Lies of Hutchinson at the intersection of Highways 7 and 22.  Allen died at the scene.  Lies was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center with serious injuries.  He was not wearing a seat belt.  


A retired car salesman in the Twin Cities has turned the tables and now volunteers his time helping people buy their next vehicle.  81-year-old Ted Weinberg sold cars for 49 years and now has his "Auto Buying Service" based in Plymouth.  Weinberg says he helps take the intimidation out of buying a car by doing some negotiating for his clients.  He says most are senior citizens and he tries to go with them to the dealerships as often as he can.  Weinberg estimates he saves his clients on average between one- and two-thousand dollars by keeping them from being talked into buying extras.  He stresses not all car salesmen and not all dealerships are bad.


Those passionate about living in Duluth came out in droves to push the city into the second round of "Outside" magazine's "Best Town to Live In" competition.  With 82-percent of the vote, the Zenith City advanced to the second round to take on Athens, Ohio.  At last check Duluth was handily winning. If Duluth advances to the sweet 16, they'll face the winner of La Crosse, Wisconsin versus Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Duluth's 82-percent margin was the third-largest in the competition and there were more votes for the port city than for any of the other 63 towns. Votes will be counted through Saturday. The winning city will be announced June 15th.  To cast your vote go to... www.voteduluthcom.


Congressman Rick Nolan (DFL-Duluth) has announced the winner of the 8th District Congressional Art Competition. Nate Choi, a senior at the Marshall School in Duluth, was named "Best in Show" for his painting "Topper Hockey Pride" that depicts a win by the Marshall hockey team.  Nate and a companion will be flown to Washington, D.C. in June and his piece will be on display at the U.S. Capitol for a year with other winners from across the nation.  Work from runner-up artists in the 8th District will be displayed in Nolan's Duluth office.