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Briefly

Retail pharmacies to close

ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota health care provider HealthPartner says it will close 30 of its retail pharmacies next year amid a broader shrinking of the industry.

Minnesota Public Radio News reported Friday that about 300 workers will lose their jobs as a result of the closures. The company, which sells health insurance and also runs hospitals and clinics, declined to comment to the radio station.

The retail pharmacy industry has been shrinking for over a decade, starting with the closing of many independent pharmacies in rural areas.

Sarah Derr, executive director of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association, says organizations like hers recognize prescriptions might be filled by machines in the future.

HealthPartner will also close its mail-order pharmacy business in 2020.

Man convicted of killing wife

ST. JAMES (AP) — A southern Minnesota man has been convicted in the fatal shootings of his wife and his adult stepdaughter following an argument over a forgotten wedding anniversary.

A jury in Brown County District Court didn’t buy Scott Engelbrecht’s argument that he accidentally shot his stepdaughter after he thought she shot his wife. Jurors deliberated about four hours and returned guilty verdicts Thursday night on charges of first-degree and second-degree murder, as well as assault for pointing a gun at his stepgrandson. Engelbrecht, 60, is facing a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Joyce Engelbrecht, 67, and Rachel Linder, 43, were killed on June 16, 2018. Prosecutors say the shootings at the family’s home in St. James happened after the Engelbrechts argued over a missed anniversary.

Aitkin Co. man charged in death

AITKIN (AP) — An Aitkin County man is charged with murder after authorities say they found a missing woman’s body buried in a crawl space under the home where he lived.

The family of 35-year-old Michelle Mae, of Outing, reported her missing Oct. 3. Sheriff’s officials say her Jeep was found near the defendant’s residence a day later.

WDIO-TV reports a criminal complaint says Mae met 34-year-old Joshua Karjala online. The complaint lists evidence of clothing, bedding and electronics that were found in a fireplace, crawl space and in the basement of the residence.

The complaint alleges that Karjala told a nurse at the Aitkin County Jail that he had been using methamphetamine laced with ecstasy and that he “may have killed a girl.”

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