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AAA projects slight increase in Thanksgiving travel

AAA said in its annual forecast for Thanksgiving travel Tuesday that traffic will be up slightly over a year ago. The company predicted that an estimated 43.6 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home, up from 42.9 million in 2011.

Arctic Cat bumps CEO to board chairman

Arctic Cat Inc. has tapped president and CEO Claude Jordan to be the new chairman of the board, the Star Tribune reports. Jordan joined the Plymouth-based recreational vehicle maker as president and COO in 2008, became CEO in January 2011. He replaces longtime chairman and former chief executive Christopher Twomey, who will remain on the board.

Target to debut new cast of holiday characters

After three years, Target Corp. is replacing the Christmas Champ, the crazed Target lady in a red jumpsuit played by Minnesota-native Maria Bamford, with the Deals Duet. The Business Journal reports the Minneapolis-based retailer will debut its holiday marketing campaign on Wednesday.

Minnesota GOP looks to regroup after election losses

Minnesota Republicans are preparing for their new role as the minority party at the state Capitol. As they position themselves for the 2014 elections, GOP leaders are considering how aggressive the party should be in trying to block DFL initiatives. Meanwhile, calls for revisiting the candidate selection process are growing after U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills was buried in Amy Klobuchar's re-election landslide.

Minnesota Zoo's expansion plans call for new Adventure Park, animal exhibits

The Minnesota Zoo's new master plan, which was approved by its board on Nov. 1, features some ambitious ideas for the Apple Valley facility. CEO Lee Ehmke told the Pioneer Press, "We inspire to become a world-leading zoo with the ultimate intention on saving wildlife and wild places. This is the next step in that evolution."

5 injured, 2 critically, in Austin shooting spree

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is helping local authorities investigate a shooting spree around midnight Sunday outside of an Austin events center that injured five people -- two of them critically. Authorities say the shooting took place at the Lansing Corners supper club after a "hip hop-rap"-type event and gang activity was not being ruled out as a factor

Concern grows about environmental impact of anti-bacterial chemical

Traces of a chemical compound called triclosan are showing up in the environment and raising concerns about its potential to impact human health. The St. Cloud Times reports that Prof. Bill Arnold from the University of Minnesota, who is researching triclosan, met with river advocates and citizens in St. Cloud. He told them that the chemical is showing up in increasing levels in sediment at the bottom of the Mississippi River.

Target, investors agree to pay $166 million Mervyn's settlement

A bankruptcy judge has signed off on a settlement under which the creditors of the now-bankrupt Mervyn's, the former Target Corp. clothing subsidiary, will collect a $166 million settlement from Target, private equity firm Cereberus Capital Management and about 40 other investors, the Star Tribune reports.