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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Target bans guns in premises

MINNEAPOLIS  --  Target Corporation is asking customers to leave their guns at home -- even in places where the law allows concealed carry. 

A statement released by company officials acknowledges the issue is complicated, but says it boils down to a simple belief that "bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience" they are striving to create.  Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America says, "moms everywhere were horrified to see images of people carrying loaded assault rifles down the same aisles where we shop for diapers and toys."  Her organization is applauding the decision by the Minneapolis-based retailer.


A South Dakota man is charged with criminal vehicular homicide after hitting a bicyclist who was pulling her children in a bike trailer near Steen in southwestern Minnesota.  The criminal complaint says 25-year-old Christopher Weber of Brandon admitted he was checking his cell phone when his pickup struck and killed 33-year-old Andrea Boeve on Highway 270.  Boeve's one- and four-year-old children in the bicycle trailer suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  Weber made an appearance this afternoon in Rock County District Court.  


A grandson charged with plotting to burglarize and kill his grandmother pleaded guilty today (Wed) in Kandiyohi County Court.  The Star Tribune reports 18-year-old Robert Warwick in a plea deal admitted to first-degree murder while committing a felony.  Another count of first-degree premeditated murder was dropped.  Two others involved in the plot, 20-year-old Brok Junkermeier and 17-year-old Devon Jenkins, have already pleaded guilty for their roles in the death of 79-year-old Lila Warwick at her Willmar home.  


A St. Cloud tow truck driver is dead after another semi tow truck rolled over him Tuesday afternoon.  45-year-old Christopher Clavin was sent to Protech Repair in St. Joseph to pick up a disabled tow truck belonging to the company he worked for, Collins Brothers Towing.  Eyewitnesses say they saw Clavin connecting both tow trucks and a short time later they heard him shout.  The disabled tow truck had rolled back, apparently rolling over Clavin.  The accident remains under investigation.  


Investigators in Wadena County say speed and alcohol were factors in a one-vehicle crash Sunday that killed a man from Motley.  The sheriff's office says the pickup went off a road into the ditch in Lyons Township and deputies located 25-year-old Michael DeWald dead at the scene.  DeWald's passenger, 36-year-old Karl Kliber of Villard, was taken to a Staples hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.  The fatal crash is still under investigation. 


The U.S. Postal Service is moving ahead with cost-cutting plans to close 82 mail processing facilities across the country early next year, including four in Minnesota -- Duluth, St. Cloud, Bemidji and Mankato. Their mail-handling operations will be transferred to facilities in either Minneapolis or St. Paul.  It's not yet clear whether any postal service employees will lose their jobs as a result.  In previous consolidations, employees were transferred to other facilities.


The Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is facing another lawsuit, filed this morning on behalf of a former altar boy who says a longtime priest raped him at a southeast Minnesota rectory.  Court papers allege "John Doe 110" was about 10 years old and an altar boy at Guardian Angels Church in Hastings in the early 1950s when Reverend Alphonsus Ferguson sexually assaulted him --  leaving the boy with permanent injuries.  The victim is now 74 and still lives in Minnesota.  Father Ferguson passed away in 1973.  John Doe 110's attorney Patrick Noaker says the case is worrisome because Ferguson doesn't appear on the archdiocese lists of perpetrators or sex offender registries.


The Federal Trade Commission is suing T-Mobile over bogus charges on phone bills.  The lawsuit alleges the wireless provider added millions of dollars of unauthorized charges onto customer's bills.  The charges were for subscriptions for services like celebrity gossip or horoscopes, which often cost about ten dollar a month.  The FTC says T-Mobile was refunding up to 40-percent of the charges in a given month and that should have alerted the wireless company that they were bogus.