December 2011 More Back issues

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Who the Hell is Ken Dahlberg?

Cargill, Inc., said Monday that it has resumed ground turkey production at its meat processing facility in Springdale, Arkansas, after introducing new food safety measures following a salmonella outbreak that led to two recalls. In

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Big Thanks to Small Firms

The Minnesota Chamber’s Grow Minnesota and Business Connection programs offer a private-sector approach to economic development.

Mobi Slick

A local company believes that the market can support a new crutch design.

The Video Game

Minnesota companies are finding that videos are a crucial element of promoting their brands online.

Top 10 Business Lawsuits of the Year

We recount the accusations of debt dodging, product failure, bad management, and mutant sugar beets that brought Minnesota business into court in 2011.

Winter’s Dessert

That would be bread pudding, the humble postprandial comfort food that’s becoming haute.

AllOver Media Grows With Acquisition of Intran

Non-traditional advertising company AllOver, which has placed ads at about 40,000 gas stations and convenience stores across the country, has bought Intran Media Vehicles, which puts vinyl advertising on trucks.

American Crystal Seeks Workers Amid Lockout

The Moorhead-based sugar producer has reportedly begun advertising for temporary workers and said that its "long-term goal" is to hire 1,300 workers if the lock-out continues.

Ford Center Closes on Financing, Renovation Nearly Done

A California-based investor announced that it collaborated with two other community development entities to provide a $23 million tax credit financing package for the renovation of the downtown Minneapolis building, which is expected to be

L.A. Fitness to Buy 5 MN Clubs From Chicago Co.

Irvine, California-based L.A. Fitness-which has 12 fitness clubs in the Twin Cities-is buying 171 clubs from Chicago-based Bally Total Fitness, including all five of Bally's Minnesota locations.

Medtronic to Sell External Defibrillator Biz for $487M

The medical device company's Washington-based Physio-Control unit has reportedly been plagued with quality issues since Medtronic bought it in 1998, but buyer Bain Capital, LLC, called it a "market leader" and said that it has

More Retailers Cut Ties with Sparboe Farms

After an undercover video depicting animal abuse at Sparboe Farms prompted Target and McDonald's to cut ties with it, Lunds and Sam's Club have reportedly also pulled the farm's eggs from their stores.

Forbes: MN Is the 15th-Best State for Business

Minnesota didn't budge from its spot on last year's list; while the state ranked third for its quality of life and also scored higher than most other states for labor supply and growth prospects, it

Himle Horner Changes Name, Moves to Mpls.

The new name reflects ownership changes that have occurred in recent years; former co-owner Thomas Horner left the firm in 2010, and Todd Rapp became a co-owner in 2008 and now shares that title with

Hormel Doles Out $16.5M in Profit-Sharing Program

Eligible Hormel Foods workers received a share of $16.5 million in profit-sharing payouts; meanwhile, Marvin Windows and Doors, which has traditionally given bonuses to its workers, reportedly will not pay out profit-sharing bonuses this year

Local Real Estate Pros Convey “Eroding Confidence”

A twice-yearly survey by the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business indicates that local real estate professionals are less confident about the near future of the commercial real estate industry than they were

30 Former Petters Associates Agree to Repay $8.5M

Thirty former associates of Tom Petters have reportedly agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle "clawback" lawsuits that are attempting to recover funds for victims of the Ponzi scheme; meanwhile, attempts to reach a deal

Ecolab Completes $8.3B Nalco Acquisition

The two companies received the necessary shareholder approval and antitrust clearance to proceed with the deal, and the post-merger company will have 2011 sales in excess of $11 billion.

Labor Worries Continue For American Crystal

American Crystal's locked-out workers claim that CEO Dave Berg likened them to a "cancerous tumor," while the company claims that Berg's words were taken out of context.

Local Real Estate Titan Boyd Stofer Dies at 62

Boyd Stofer was chairman and CEO of Marquette Real Estate Group; he developed Northland Executive Office Center, Southpoint Tower, Northland Plaza, and the Centennial Lakes mixed-use development during his 33-year career with the company.

Minnesota Budget Forecast: $876M Surplus

The state took in more revenue and spent less in fiscal 2011 than it had previously anticipated-resulting in a forecasted $876 million balance for the remainder of the current budget period.

Target Announces Deals, Gears Up for Strong Dec.

Same-store sales last month missed Wall Street expectations and were "near the low end" of the company's expectations, but Target aims to capture significant sales in December through various discounts and promotions.

City Leaders Seek $50M Nicollet Mall Renovation

Minneapolis officials have reportedly named a renovation of the Nicollet Mall walkway in downtown Minneapolis as their top funding request for the state Legislature when it puts together a bonding bill during the 2012 session.

Ohio Manufacturer to Add 100 Jobs in MN

Chart Industries, Inc., an Ohio-based manufacturer that already has a plant in Minnesota, is planning to open another manufacturing facility in the state that will create at least 100 jobs.

Partners Sought for St. Paul Union Depot Transit Hub

Requests for proposals and qualifications have been issued in an attempt to secure private partners to develop and manage Union Depot in St. Paul, which is being transformed into a multi-modal transit hub.

Pawlenty Joins Board of Another Co.: Digital River

Digital River CEO Joel Ronning said that former Governor Tim Pawlenty-who joined two other company boards in late October-brings "diverse business development and finance experience along with a strong international perspective."

TCF CEO Cooper on “Who the Hell is Ken Dahlberg?”

"Growing up in poverty during the Great Depression, Ken rose to be a genuine war hero, a business entrepreneur, and a Minnesota legend," according to TCF Financial Corporation Chairman and CEO Bill Cooper, who wrote

Vikings Stadium Hearing Focuses on Financing, Watch Live

A Tuesday hearing at the state capitol-which is anticipated to feature a series of testimonies from state and city officials, Vikings representatives, and the public-is scheduled to run until 6 p.m. Ted Mondale stressed the

$25M Renovation to Begin on Downtown Mpls. Hyatt

The architecture and design concept for the hotel's 533 guest rooms, and its public areas and restaurants, will incorporate elements that reflect Minnesota's culture and history; the renovation will be completed in late spring 2012.

Ecolab Buys Third Company in a Week

St. Paul-based Ecolab, which completed its purchase of Nalco Holding Company a week ago and announced on Monday that it bought Italian company Esoform, said it has acquired another company-a Brazil-based pest elimination business.

Kahler Hotel Builds 4,000-Lb. Gingerbread House

In an effort to do something festive for guests staying during the holiday season, the Kahler Grand Hotel in Rochester made a 16-foot-tall gingerbread house that contains more than 4,000 pounds of edible gingerbread.

Mosaic Settles Potash Dispute, Cancels Trial

Plymouth-based Mosaic reached an out-of-court settlement with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan; under the terms of the agreement, Mosaic's contract to supply the company with potash will expire at the end of 2012.

Who Has Upper Hand in the Vikings Stadium Debate?

Media reports indicate that Tuesday's Senate hearing about a new Vikings stadium seemed to focus on Minneapolis' efforts-and it left some Ramsey County leaders frustrated. But key state lawmakers still seem split over which potential

Appeals Court Upholds Petters’ Conviction, Sentence

A three-judge Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Friday reportedly ruled that Petters wasn't denied access to a full defense of his case, that jury instructions were appropriate, and that his sentence was

Cargill Cited for Safety Violations at Milwaukee Plant

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said that Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation-a subsidiary of Cargill-violated the agency's process safety management and fall protection standards at the company's beef production plant in Milwaukee.

Medtronic Pays $23.5M to Settle Kickback Allegations

The U.S. Department of Justice accused the Fridley-based medical device giant of using two post-market studies and two device registries to pay physicians fees ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for each patient that they implanted

St. Paul-Based Synovis to Be Sold for $325M

Deerfield, Illinois-based Baxter International has agreed to buy St. Paul-based Synovis Life Technologies for $325 million-a deal that was unanimously approved by Synovis' board.

Allianz Life: CEO Promoted, New CEO Named

Chief Administrative Officer Walter White will become the company's new president and CEO on January 1; he succeeds Gary C. Bhojwani, who was promoted to chairman of Allianz Life and will assume responsibility for its

Bixby Energy Admits to Fraud, Gets Deal

U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones applauded Bixby for demonstrating "true corporate responsibility" and said that it "serves as a fine example for other companies" after it admitted to defrauding investors of up to $7 million

Downtown Council Pitches Ambitious Plans for Mpls.

The Downtown Council, in conjunction with local business leaders, has a plan to boost downtown Minneapolis' residential population, revitalize Nicollet Avenue, build a "downtown sports district," develop a new park, and more.

MN Unemployment Hits Lowest Rate Since 2008

Despite the dropping unemployment rate, state officials say the state continues to shed jobs, and the conflicting indicators make it difficult to draw clear conclusions about Minnesota's labor market.

Securian Promotes EVP Hilger to President

Company Chairman and CEO Robert L. Senkler said that preparing internal candidates to take on greater responsibility is part of the company's culture-and Christopher Hilger's transition to president has been in the works for the

Cargill Resumes Turkey Production in Arkansas

Following a salmonella outbreak that led to two recalls earlier this year, the company has introduced new food safety measures at its Springdale plant-which it said were approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Local Publisher ECM Agrees to Buy Sun Newspapers

Negotiations with Sun Newspapers' parent company, Dallas-based American Community Newspapers II, are ongoing-but Coon Rapids-based ECM hopes there will be a signed agreement by the end of the year.

Young Rappers Win U.S. Bank Video Contest

The Minneapolis-based bank selected three winners in a youth video contest-including top-prize winner "Save Song," which features a rap performed by "Young Muny & Lil Savings."