August 2011 More Back issues

Cover Story

Zygi Wilf Plays The Game-August 2011

Throughout his real estate career, he has preferred to stay in the backfield. Getting a new stadium deal has pushed him onto the rough and raucous gridiron where sports and politics do fierce battle.

Featured Stories

Deja Vu?-August 2011

The debate over where the Vikings should play revives a familiar plan for a sports and entertainment corridor near Minneapolis’s North Loop. Bruce Lambrecht, one of Target Field’s earliest and most controversial advocates, believes his


More Than Tall Corn

Iowa deserves praise, not opprobrium, for its presidential caucus system.

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Developer Trooien’s Bankruptcy Exit Plan Approved

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Nancy Dreher on Thursday reportedly approved Jerry Trooien's reorganization plan through which creditors will receive about $7.7 million-a fraction of the $90 million that is owed to them.

Little Green Apps

The Weidt Group, a pioneering energy usage consultancy, has created mobile applications to help clients develop energy-efficient buildings.

MN Nonprofit in Running for $50K Innovation Prize

Twin Cities Rise! is one of 15 semifinalists selected from a pool of roughly 900 entries. It's recognized for its pay-for-performance model, through which the organization receives funding in exchange for meeting benchmarks and tracking

Taking On Minnesota’s Water Issues

The Minnesota government shutdown, which put 22,000 state employees out of work last month, contributed to an increase in July's unemployment rate. The state unemployment rate rose 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 7.2 percent

Gen. Mills Works to Up Share of Greek Yogurt Market

According to the Star Tribune, General Mills is mounting new offensives, including adding yogurt-making capacity and launching a new ad campaign, to help it compete in the rapidly-growing Greek yogurt segment.

Mpls Ad Firm Creates Song, Dance for Penguin Exhibit

Clarity Coverdale Fury's work for the Minnesota Zoo's new penguin exhibit brings together local talent for a multi-faceted advertising campaign featuring a song and dance, a television commercial, a music video, radio ads, and more.

Proto Labs Files for IPO, Expects to Raise $100M

The Maple Plain-based maker of custom mechanical parts-which reported $64.9 million in 2010 revenue-will use the net proceeds from its offering for "working capital and general corporate purposes."

Star-Studded Starkey Gala Raises $7.2M

The Starkey Hearing Foundation raised $7.2 million at its annual event-which attracted more than 1,600 guests, including celebrities like Bill Clinton, Miley Cyrus, and Kevin Costner.

WI Pursues SheerWind; Co. Interested in Osceola

Wisconsin officials have met with SheerWind executives in recent months in an attempt to get the Chaska-based start-up to bring its wind farms that are in the works-and related jobs-to the state.

CoCo Launches Weekly “Hackathons” in Mpls.

Hackathons will bring together creative thinkers each week at CoCo's new Minneapolis location to glean ideas from one another and stay on the cutting edge of digital technology-while also attempting to find solutions to real-world

Enventis Launches $24M Rural Broadband Project

Enventis said that its new fiber-optic network will expand high-speed Internet access in rural parts of the state-allowing for economic development opportunities, increased adoption of telemedicine, and better connections to state and local government offices.

Ex-BP CEO Might Oversee Safety at MN Mine

Tony Hayward, the top executive at BP during the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, may be heading to northern Minnesota to oversee safety at the proposed PolyMet mine.

88 MN Post Offices On List of Possible Closures

The U.S. Postal Service, which lost $8 billion last year, on Tuesday released a list of more than 3,600 offices, branches, and stations around the nation that are being reviewed and could be shuttered. Launches Video Contest for Donors

The winner of the contest, "Does this make my heart look big?", will receive a new MacBook Air laptop and will have his or her video featured on the "Give to the Max Day" homepage

Greco to Give Free Rent for 1 Yr. in Uptown Apt.

The Minneapolis company will give away key cards at the Uptown Art Fair to those who "like" its newest resort-style apartment complex on Facebook; one person's card will unlock a year of free rent that's

Parasole Chef, MN Students Win Nat’l Food Contest

A group from South Education Center Alternative in Richfield and Chef Todd Bolton of Parasole won the Recipes For Healthy Kids Challenge, a nationwide competition launched last September as part of the Let's Move! campaign;

UHG Offers Solutions to Rural Health Care Challenges

The Minnetonka-based health insurer points out that rural areas face more challenges in receiving high-quality health care, but it says that increased use of technology and other solutions could help better serve less-populated areas.

St. Paul Engineering Firm Bonestroo to be Bought

The St. Paul-based engineering firm, which is among the state's largest, is set to be acquired by Canada-based Stantec; Bonestroo employees are expected to be retained, and most of the firm's 11 offices will remain

American Crystal Locks Out 1,300 Workers

Ninety-six percent of union workers reportedly voted Saturday to reject the company's labor contract offer; replacement workers started Monday morning, and no new negotiations have been set.

Best Buy Launches “Deal of the Day”

The electronics giant is using e-mail, text messaging and social media to alert customers about the deals, which will last until midnight or until inventory is gone; the first deal was offered Monday.

Boston Sci, Medtronic Weigh In on Possible FDA Changes

Following a harsh review of the FDA system under which most medical devices are approved for market, Boston Scientific said that it "believe[s] in the strength of the 510(k) process," and Medtronic said it supports

Central Corridor Businesses: Loans Aren’t Enough

The amount available in loans for businesses that are adversely affected by the construction of the Central Corridor light-rail line was boosted to $4 million in April, but some say it's not enough; however, only

Local Trucking Co. Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Marlon Danner admitted that he talked truck drivers into returning state-mandated settlement money that they received because he underpaid them when working on a federally funded project.

Sun Country Purchase Price, $34M, Revealed

The airline's purchase price was previously undisclosed, but recent court documents revealed that the company was sold for about $10 million more than the minimum bid price.

FDA in MN: Scrapping 510(k) May Not Be Necessary

Following a harsh review that concluded that a new framework is needed for the FDA's most common medical device approval process, the agency's officials told local industry leaders that the process needs some "fine-tuning" but

MN Cos. Invited to Join South Korea Trade Mission

The Minnesota Trade Office is organizing a trade mission this fall to South Korea-one of Minnesota's fastest-growing export partners-and it is asking local companies to apply by August 12 to take part in the trip.

MN Cos. Like Bioplastics But Lack Market Resources

Minnesota manufacturers want to incorporate sustainable processes and products into their operations, but they need to gain a better understanding of the market opportunities, according to a new report from the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.

MN Firm Accused of Scamming 200 Homeowners

The Minnesota Department of Commerce alleges that Modify My Loan US began operations in Minnesota without a license, used false advertising, didn't disclose its poor financial condition to customers, charged fees for services that weren't

MN Game Co. Lands Star Wars Licensing Rights

Fantasy Flight Games already has a Star Wars card game and a miniatures game featuring X-wing spaceships in the pipeline-and it's promising more products under the popular franchise.

Salmonella Threat Prompts Cargill Turkey Recall

Two days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a multi-state outbreak of salmonella that has resulted in one death and made dozens of people sick, Cargill issued a recall of about 36

Target Sales Up in July, Beat Wall Street

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted a 3.7 percent jump in the retailer's same-store sales-a key industry barometer-but the company reported a 4.1 percent rise.

U Discovery May Greatly Reduce Food-Borne Illness

In the wake of a significant Cargill food recall, the University of Minnesota has discovered a natural lantibiotic that could be used to preserve food and to kill harmful bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses.

Wind Rotor Co. Suzlon Fined $490K for Polluting

Suzlon Rotor Corporation reportedly reached a consent agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency under which it will correct various manufacturing problems; the agreement detailed air quality, hazardous waste, solid waste, and storm-water runoff handling

2 Local Buildings Get Nod for Affordable Housing

A building in Minneapolis and a building in St. Paul were selected as finalists in a ranking of the nation's top affordable housing projects-and both were recognized in the historic rehabilitation category.

Best Buy Kiosks Expand to CA, College Campuses

The electronics retailer's kiosk business has opened 150 locations within the past three years and has plans to open 100 more, including some in Anaheim, California's Downtown Disney District and on various college campuses.

MN Co. to Pay $278K for Hazardous Waste Violations

St. Paul-based plastics manufacturer Interplastic Corporation has agreed to pay a $15,000 civil penalty and spend $263,800 on environmental projects and upgrades for alleged environmental violations at its Minneapolis and Vadnais Heights plants.

Twin Cities Lead Nation in Volunteerism

In 2010, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area ranked first for volunteerism among large U.S. cities for the fifth consecutive year-and Minnesota ranks third among all 50 states and Washington, D.C., when it comes to volunteerism.

U.K. Official Admits to Meeting with Porton CEO

U.K. Defense Secretary Liam Fox admitted to The Guardian that he met with Porton Capital CEO Harvey Boulter before Boulter allegedly tried to extort $30 million from 3M Company to settle a pending lawsuit.

Iron-Ore Co. with Cargill Tie Inks Power Deal

Magnetation, a company with new technology for producing iron from used ore, recently entered a joint venture with Cargill and plans to open its new plant in northern Minnesota in May.

Gov’t Knew About Salmonella in Cargill Meat

Salmonella was discovered at Cargill's Arkansas plant last year and at stores earlier this year through routine government inspections-long before the company's August 3 recall of 36 pounds of ground turkey-but federal rules don't allow

Is the U Too Administration-Heavy? Review Underway

There is some disagreement about whether the University of Minnesota has too many administrators-and claims that there are prompted the University Senate Committee on Finance and Planning to conduct a review of vice-presidential units, which

Mpls./St. Paul: Most Playful Metro in U.S.

The Twin Cities have been ranked as the most playful metro area in the United States, largely due to the health and happiness of residents-most of whom were found to be socially and emotionally satisfied

RedBrick Raises $5M, Prepares for More Growth

The company, which works with employers to design customized wellness programs and incentives, has raised $60 million in venture capital investment since 2006 and intends to eventually go public.

Rybak Pitches 2 Percent Property Tax Levy Hike

The mayor's proposed property tax levy increase is the smallest hike he's delivered while serving as mayor and is lower than the increase that was previously projected for the 2012 budget.

Brooklyn Park Man Guilty in $5.1M Mortgage Fraud

Eric Devon Bernard, the last of three defendants to be found guilty in connection with a 2006 fraud scheme, worked with others to fraudulently obtain loan proceeds in connection with the sale of seven residential

Jim Lupient of Lupient Auto Group Dies at 76

Local car dealer Jim Lupient, who built his first store, Jim Lupient Oldsmobile, in 1969, went on to found Lupient Automotive Group-which today operates dealerships throughout the Twin Cities.

U of M Researchers Find Gender Bias on Wikipedia

Significantly fewer females than males edit and post content to the popular online information source-which, in turn, has less coverage of topics that may be of particular interest to women, according to new findings.

Canterbury: Trouble Recouping Losses from Shutdown

Canterbury CEO Randy Sampson expects the estimated $3 million loss in revenue attributable to the state government shutdown to have an adverse effect on third-quarter and full-year financial results-and he suspects that added races and

Caribou’s Largest Shareholder to Sell 29% Stake

Arcapita Bank, B.S.C., is offering 5.15 million shares of common stock through a public offering and will grant the underwriters an option to purchase up to 772,245 additional shares to cover over-allotments.

Five MN Cities Among “Best Places to Live”

The southwest Twin Cities suburb of Chanhassen was named the 10th-best small U.S. city in which to live by Money magazine; Arden Hills, Lino Lakes, Savage, and Shoreview also made the top 100 list.

MN Approves Change to Tuition Reciprocity with WI

Under the new agreement, Wisconsin students attending college in Minnesota will have to make up the difference between Wisconsin's and Minnesota's resident rates-a cost that was previously covered by the State of Wisconsin.

Network Pairing Start-Ups, Investors Launched Tues.

The Minnesota Angel Network, which plans to enroll at least 30 companies this year, will prepare entrepreneurs to interact with angel investors and then connect the two groups through an online portal.

Ameriprise Sells Troubled Brokerage Unit for $150M

Miami-based Ladenburg Thalman Financial Services has agreed to buy the company's Securities America brokerage unit-for which Ameriprise paid $150 million or more to settle legal claims that it previously faced.

Shareholder Asks Regis to Cut Costs, Sell Some Assets

Starboard Value LP, which owns about a 4.4 percent stake in Regis, asked Regis to dramatically cut operating expenses, sell its non-core businesses, and return focus to its core salon business in North America; Regis

Gov’t Shutdown Ups July Unemployment Rate to 7.2%

Minnesota lost 19,800 jobs last month, prompting the unemployment rate to rise; however, the July jobless rate was calculated during the period when 22,000 state workers were out of work as a result of the