May Department Stores Co. announced Wednesday it will buy Marshall Field's department stores and nine Mervyn's locations in the Twin Cities for $3.24 billion in cash. The move strengthens May's presence in the Midwest, giving it 62 Marshall Field's stores, mostly in Chicago, Detroit and the Twin Cities. The nine Mervyn's stores will be closed.
Today marks the start of the first summer since 9/11 that visitors can return to the Minnesota Air Guard Museum at Twin Cities International Airport. The museum features more than a dozen historic military aircraft, and the story of the nation's first Air National Guard unit. Security concerns forced the museum to close after 9/11, but it will be open most Saturdays this summer. New displays include the role of one Twin Cities-based flight crew on the day of the attacks.
If you drive, you're undoubtedly watching gas prices. They change a lot -- sometimes more than once a day, and mostly upwards over the past several months. Last week, Twin Cities gas prices jumped 20 cents a gallon, to $2.20 in many cases. They've fallen since then, but that got us wondering about why prices change so much.
Minnesota's job market improved dramatically in April. The state's unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent. The decline was the largest ever. The state's economy added more than 12,000 jobs -- the most in several years. But job seekers say there's still a lot of competition for work.
The U.S. officially came out of a recession almost two and a half years ago. Since then, the economy has grown, but the number of jobs has not. Minnesota has fewer jobs now than at the end of the recession. So does the nation as a whole, despite solid gains in the first three months of the year.
As more companies hunt for cheaper labor in places like India and China, offshore outsourcing has become a flashpoint in the presidential campaign and in state legislatures. Outsourcing is spreading from the manufacturing sector into the service economy and affecting white-collar workers, many with higher wages and skill levels. While outsourcing often gets blamed for job losses, finding cheaper labor can also save or even create jobs.
Negotiators for Twin Cities bus drivers and the Metropolitan Council are expected to return to the negotiating table before a March 2 strike deadline. The Amalgamated Transit Union's nearly 2,200 drivers overwhelmingly rejected an offer last week. Benefits are a key issue in the dispute.
Golden Valley-based General Mills faces possible civil charges by securities regulators in connection with its sales practices. The company has been accused of improperly shipping excessive amounts of its products to supermarkets in order to show higher sales. A common business practice to boost sales is coming under greater scrutiny by regulators.
Golden Valley-based General Mills says it may face civil charges in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company says it has received a "Wells notice" that also covers General Mills' CEO and chief financial officer. The company disclosed the SEC's investigation of its sales practices and related accounting last October.
A group of high-profile CEOs has joined together to address concerns about the Twin Cities' long-term economic health. The group called the Itasca Project holds its fourth meeting today, and includes the chief executives of 3M and Northwest Airlines and other Fortune 500 firms.
Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp is warning customers not to respond to bogus e-mails that are intended to trick people into giving out sensitive personal information. The e-mails appear to come from the bank and say the recipient's account has been blocked because it may have been compromised by outside parties.
Mesaba Airlines and its pilots union announced a contract settlement early Sunday after a marathon bargaining session approaching 40 hours in length. The deal means Mesaba will resume operating flights for Northwest Airlines to more than 100 cities after canceling all its flights Saturday.
Mesaba Airlines and its pilots union face a strike deadline Friday at 11:01 p.m. A walkout would ground about 600 daily flights Mesaba operates for Northwest Airlines. Negotiations continue over issues including wages, work rules, and job security. The dispute reflects the upheaval in the airline industry since 2001.
Mesaba Airlines and its pilots union begin an 11th-hour round of contract talks Monday. The Twin Cities-based regional airline and its 840 pilots face a strike deadline Friday night.
The Twin Cities has a long history in the mutual mund industry. But now some are concerned that the industry is losing scale, not because of the mutual fund scandals, but for a variety of other reasons.