Two committees of the Minnesota House of Representatives held hearings in Eagan Tuesday on the state's troubled airline industry. Lawmakers heard airline executives, Metropolitan Airports Commission officials, and state development officials detail damage to the state's airlines and overall economy from the September 11 terror attacks.
Northwest Airlines says it believes it can lay off employees without paying severance under a provision in the carrier's contracts with its unions.
Northwest Airlines is preparing to announce it will lay off thousands of employees. Already the company has said it will cut its flight schedule by 20 percent. The moves come as Northwest and other major carriers are struggling with lost revenues and sharply lower passenger demand resulting from last week's terror attacks in New York and Washington. Congress will resume discussion later this week on a plan to bail out the airlines with billions of dollars in direct aid and loan guarantees.
Airlines resumed limited service Thursday after the first nationwide shutdown in history. Businesses that rely on air freight have been scrambling to find alternative ways to ship product, or have just been waiting until service returns to normal.
The terrorist attacks in New York and Washington have raised concerns about gasoline supplies. In the hours after the attacks, motorists lined up at some service stations around Minnesota, hoping to fill their tanks before prices rose too high. Some stations raised prices as their supplies ran out, leading motorists and politicians to decry price gouging at a time of national crisis.
The 142nd Minnesota State Fair opens Thursday for its annual 12-day run. This year's fair features some old standards such as mini donuts, crop judging, farm machinery and lots of livestock. But there are some new arrivals at this year's Great Minnesota Get-Together.
Minneapolis-based American Express Financial Advisors has announced it will lay off up to 1,000 workers in Minneapolis. The move is part of a larger workforce reduction at the company's parent, American Express. Economists say it's a sign that the economic slowdown is spreading from manufacturing to financial services
A new Minnesota Public Radio/Pioneer Press poll shows the majority of Minnesotans believe their family's financial health is about the same as it was a year ago, despite the economic slowdown.
Public television stations across the state are facing a crisis. By May, 2003 all public TV stations in the country must convert to digital broadcasting technology. But Minnesota's public broadcasters are having trouble funding the switch, and the Legislature in its recent session provided far less money than supporters had requested.
There was a time when small communities throughout the Great Plains flourished. But for years now, a host of powerful forces, including farm consolidation and federal farm policy, are sparking an exodus from farm country. There's a new urgency to the debate in Washington and in the Midwest over how to stem the decline.
Ford Motor Company executives and shareholders are in St. Paul for the company's annual meeting. CEO Jacques Nasser and Chairman William Ford addressed a range of challenges facing the company, from improving environmental standards to raising the fuel efficiency of Ford vehicles. They also reiterated a commitment not to close the company's St. Paul facility in the next few years.
The economic slowdown is sparking cost-cutting campaigns at newspapers nationwide. In the Twin Cities, both the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press have announced plans to reduce expenses. But as newspapers look for ways to respond to profit-hungry investors, concern is growing that the measures may threaten their ability to carry out the mission of informing the public.
3M reported a seven-percent drop in earnings in the first quarter and said it will eliminate 5,000 jobs over the next 12 months as it consolidates and streamlines the company to increase speed and productivity. At least one analyst says more job cuts will come.
For the most part, communities along the Mississippi River have averted catastrophic flood damage, thanks in part to timely dike construction and sandbagging. State and federal offices are only now adding up the economic impact of the high waters, and one official estimates the bill from property damage alone will top $11 million. But that doesn't tell the full tale. Businesses that rely on the river to move raw materials or finished products are suffering.