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This Hour: Latest Minnesota news, sports, business and entertainment

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CHURCH ABUSE-MINNESOTA

Minnesota archbishop won't resign amid criticism

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis says he won't resign despite criticism over the archdiocese's handling of sexual abuse claims involving priests.

Archbishop John Nienstedt made his comments in in a column that will appear in Thursday's archdiocese newspaper, The Catholic Spirit. He says he's bound to stay in office as long as Pope Francis wants.

Nienstedt says he'll continue to apply the hard lessons he's learned over the past months.

He says he's never knowingly covered up clergy sexual abuse. He says he's created a new leadership team that puts victims first. And he maintains he's always been honest with Catholics of the archdiocese.

Nienstedt says he hopes to win back trust.

CARGILL-BEEF PLANT

Cargill to close beef plant, cites cattle shortage

NEW YORK (AP) - Cargill says it plans to close a Milwaukee beef-processing plant which employs about 600 people on Friday due to a shortage of cattle.

The meat producer says a Midwest drought in 2011 and 2012 hurt cattle levels. Now, many herders are breading the cattle they have and not selling them. Cargill says US beef cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1951.

The Milwaukee plant which is being closed slaughters live cattle and packages beef products.

Employees were told about the closure on Wednesday. A separate plant at the site, which produces ground beef and employs about 200 people, will remain open.

Cargill says the 600 people losing their jobs can apply for work at other facilities in the region.

Minneapolis-based Cargill has about 143,000 employees around the world.

OFFICER SHOOTING-MINNESOTA

Suspect in Minnesota officer killing in custody

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Police in Minnesota say a man wanted in the shooting death of an officer is in custody after being shot by police.

St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos says 39-year-old Brian Fitch Senior got out of a minivan firing at officers Wednesday evening. Police returned fire, striking Fitch and a woman who was with him.

Paulos says Fitch's condition is unknown. The woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

A daylong manhunt was underway for Fitch in the killing of Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick. Patrick was fatally shot while making a traffic stop in West St. Paul. He was the first Mendota Height's police officer to be slain in the line of duty.

Mendota Heights is a St. Paul suburb of about 11,000 people.

MNSCU-FACULTY UNION

MnSCU reaches deal with university faculty

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has reached a tentative contract agreement with its university faculty union.

MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone announced the deal Wednesday. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the agreement comes after nearly a year of negotiations.

Details were not released. Earlier this year, the two sides brought in a state mediator to help with the talks.

In a statement to its members, the Inter Faculty Organization says the mediator urged the sides to hold off on releasing details to the media.

The settlement must be approved by the full faculty and the MnSCU Board of Trustees.

If the faculty and board approve the contract, it will go to the Legislative Subcommittee on Employee Relations. If the subcommittee approves it, it will go into effect pending approval by the state Legislature next year.

HEALTH OVERHAUL-MINNESOTA

MNsure board approves extra $3.16M for consultants

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota's health insurance exchange plans to pay another $3.16 million to get more work from a consulting firm that's helping to fix its troubled information technology system.

MNsure awarded a $4.95 million contract this spring to Deloitte Consulting LLP for help in assessing problems with its system plus project management work.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the additional funds approved by the MNsure board Wednesday will pay for improvements to the MNsure website and related systems before most consumers start using it again on November 15th.

Officials say the action doesn't raise the overall price tag for MNsure because the funds are coming from $155 million in federal grants. Federal grants also paid for the original $4.95 million contract with Deloitte.

SUGAR FIGHT-CRYSTAL

Judge says Crystal CEO should testify in lawsuit

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A federal judge says American Crystal Sugar Company CEO David Berg should testify in a federal lawsuit pitting the refined sugar manufacturer against the corn syrup industry.

Berg challenged a subpoena from corn syrup marketers who want to ask about his role in opposing a campaign by corn refiners claiming sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are nutritionally the same.

American Crystal didn't agree to participate in the lawsuit and Berg says he can't offer relevant information. Lawyers for the corn syrup group say Berg will be a better witness than the plaintiffs because he's a bystander to the suit.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson ruled Wednesday in Fargo that the defendants should be allowed to "explore whether Berg has information relevant to the underlying claim for damages."

FOILED SCHOOL ATTACK

Appeal planned in dismissal of school plot charges

WASECA, Minn. (AP) - Prosecutors say they plan to appeal the dismissal of six charges against a 17-year-old boy accused of plotting to kill his family and attack his southern Minnesota high school.

The teen appeared in a Waseca County courtroom Wednesday for a hearing on whether he should be sent to adult court. The Star Tribune says the hearing was postponed while prosecutors appeal the dismissal of attempted murder and attempted damage to property charges.

A judge Monday dismissed those charges, but let stand six counts of possessing explosives.

The teen was arrested in April after bomb-making materials were found in a storage locker in Waseca, 70 miles south of Minneapolis.

Police say they also found guns, explosives and a journal that outlined a plan to kill his family and fellow students.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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