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David Phelps

Reporter | Professional services
phone: 612-673-7269
David Phelps covers the business of law, advertising and financial services. He previously led coverage of the Tom Petters fraud investigation and continues to cover its afternmath. Phelps is a former member of the Star Tribune Washington Bureau who has also covered state and local government and politics.
Recent content from David Phelps
Tom Petters disputes claims that he's a high-stakes gambler

Tom Petters disputes claims that he's a high-stakes gambler

In more than three dozen e-mail exchanges with the Star Tribune over the past two years, Tom Petters spreads blame in his massive fraud case.
Business magnate, arts patron Bruce Dayton dies at 97

Business magnate, arts patron Bruce Dayton dies at 97

Bruce Dayton, the father of Gov. Mark Dayton, was the bookish, numbers-oriented analyst among the five Dayton brothers who built a retail empire.

Olson ad agency lands California Lottery account

Contract worth $13.5M; agency also handles the Minnesota Lottery.
Contract vote on pilots pact at Sun Country set for next month

Contract vote on pilots pact at Sun Country set for next month

The union representing pilots said the pact includes 'significant' pay raises.
Former TV reporter Trisha Volpe makes mark in legal field

Former TV reporter Trisha Volpe makes mark in legal field

Trisha Volpe goes from covering the courts to working in them
Sun Country, pilots reach tentative labor agreement

Sun Country, pilots reach tentative labor agreement

The tentative accord brings a five-year labor dispute to a close.
Sandpiper pipeline project likely delayed with ruling

Sandpiper pipeline project likely delayed with ruling

Minnesota Court of Appeals ordered a full scale environmental review, meaning the PUC must revisit a June decision that endorsed the need for the proposed pipeline.
Select Comfort acquires BAM Labs, developer of smart bed technology

Select Comfort acquires BAM Labs, developer of smart bed technology

The SleepIQ system, which BAM developed, is sold as an accessory to Select Comfort's beds.
Travel Leaders Group appoints Ninan Chacko as CEO

Travel Leaders Group appoints Ninan Chacko as CEO

Ninan Chacko replaces Barry Liben, who is returning to Tzell Travel Group.
Obituary: B. Niles Batdorf was the last of a breed of family doctors

Obituary: B. Niles Batdorf was the last of a breed of family doctors

B. Niles Batdorf was among the last of a breed of family doctors. Part country doc, part hand holder, Batdorf treated his patients with care…

SEC accuses Owatonna fiber optics firm of investor fraud

Regulators say the southern Minnesota company has no employees, no operations and no revenue.
SixSpeed is where extreme sports and extreme marketing come together

SixSpeed is where extreme sports and extreme marketing come together

At St. Louis Park's SixSpeed, extreme sports and extreme marketing go hand in hand
Pohlad family settles $255M estate tax case with IRS for $36M

Pohlad family settles $255M estate tax case with IRS for $36M

A $255.8 million government claim on the estate of the late billionaire banker Carl Pohlad has quietly settled for a fraction of the initial demand of the Internal Revenue Service.
Griffin Archer agency is advertising's version of small ball

Griffin Archer agency is advertising's version of small ball

Emphasizing a hands-on approach, Griffin Archer keeps its overhead low

Sun Country Airlines taps Hallmark division exec as new CEO

The carrier had been searching for a new top executive for about a year.
Arby's farewell to Jon Stewart created by Minneapolis' Fallon agency

Arby's farewell to Jon Stewart created by Minneapolis' Fallon agency

Agency says fast food chain a 'smart, risky client.'
Hubbard Radio takes ownership position in podcast giant

Hubbard Radio takes ownership position in podcast giant

Its stake in PodcastOne, the largest U.S. podcast network, is its latest deal in past two years.
Radisson Blu taps into growing Latin American market

Radisson Blu taps into growing Latin American market

Parent company Carlson said three hotels are planned for the growing market.

Imris set to emerge from bankruptcy pending sale approval

The Minnetonka company would become private.
Haberman ad agency makes big move into marketing organic farm products

Haberman ad agency makes big move into marketing organic farm products

The Haberman ad agency has established a national presence as a pioneer in marketing healthy food.
CEO pay surges in Minnesota, widening gap with workers

CEO pay surges in Minnesota, widening gap with workers

Executive pay levels reach new peak as average workers' wages stagnate, and the chasm grows.

BMO Harris settles Petters Florida bankruptcy dispute for $16 million

Two Florida hedge funds initially sued for $24 million.
Ad man and former North Oaks Mayor Ray Foley dies

Ad man and former North Oaks Mayor Ray Foley dies

On a December morning in 1967, Minnesotans woke up to a different, but familiar voice doing advertising voice-overs for Twin Cities Federal Savings and Loan.…

Financial adviser sentenced to 25 years for $10M swindle

Sean Meadows apologized to a courtroom full of victims. The judge said it didn't ring true.
Davanni's updates its look, menu to appeal to younger crowd

Davanni's updates its look, menu to appeal to younger crowd

Local pizza chain fine-tuning its menu and look to appeal to younger crowd

Daily nonstop Hawaiian service from MSP delayed until November 19

Direct flights to Honolulu will begin in November instead of October.
Taylor Corp. buys Ohio-based Standard Register Co. for $307 million

Taylor Corp. buys Ohio-based Standard Register Co. for $307 million

Deal was approved Wednesday by a bankruptcy judge.
Small companies: Clockwork Active Media leads the way

Small companies: Clockwork Active Media leads the way

The distinction between work life and home life is blurred at this northeast Minneapolis company, which believes you can't excel at one if you don't excel at the other.

Faegre Baker Daniels ordered to turn over funds related to Tom Petters case

The account of Frank Vennes Jr. held funds from sales of jewelry, rare coins.

Dorsey's Peter Carter takes top legal job at Delta

Carter replaces Richard "Ben" Hirst, who is retiring.

Fish & Richardson adding 150 employees in downtown Minneapolis

The Boston-based law firm is consolidating its administrative and technical jobs here.

Star Tribune will start printing USA Today

Gannett is closing its Maple Grove plant.
Former baggage handler sues Delta over loss of job

Former baggage handler sues Delta over loss of job

Christopher "Kip" Hedges' lawsuit asserts Delta violated provisions of federal law prohibiting company interference in union activities.

Tyrone Herman gets 10 years for operating $20 million Ponzi scheme

Herman was sentenced in US. District Court on wire fraud charges.
TCF takes its brand to a new level

TCF takes its brand to a new level

A new ad campaign and rebranding aimed at millennials starts next month

U.S. government wants $335,000 turned over to receiver in Tom Petters case

Faegre Baker Daniels did not disclose some assets given by co-conspirator Frank Vennes Jr.
Obituary: Jerry Soderberg, 86, was a quiet force in politics

Obituary: Jerry Soderberg, 86, was a quiet force in politics

Harold "Jerry" Soderberg's fascination with presidential politics made him an eyewitness to history.From Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s to Paul Simon in the 1980s, with…
Obituary: Intellectual property law giant John Gould dies at 88

Obituary: Intellectual property law giant John Gould dies at 88

One of the founders of Merchant & Gould helped clients such as 3M, Medtronic, Red Wing Shoe and Radisson.
Sun Country talks with pilots turn tense, with talk of downsizing

Sun Country talks with pilots turn tense, with talk of downsizing

In a statement, the head of Sun Country's Air Line Pilots Association said airline Chairman Marty Davis is warning of a "downsizing" of the carrier if a labor agreement is not reached.
Petters prosecutor Joe Dixon moves to Fredrikson law firm

Petters prosecutor Joe Dixon moves to Fredrikson law firm

The former assistant U.S. attorney is joining the law firm of Fredrikson & Byron.
Luminara obtains injunction against flameless candle rival

Luminara obtains injunction against flameless candle rival

Market potential for Disney-inspired product said to be significant.
Reunited Dubbs & O'Meara ad agency navigates the digital age

Reunited Dubbs & O'Meara ad agency navigates the digital age

The two strong-willed partners run a media-buying company that counts the Minnesota Twins, Summit Brewing and the Minnesota Zoo as clients.

Alltech to buy Mankato's Ridley Inc. for $428 million

Alltech, a large animal health company, is acquiring Ridley for $428 million in all-cash deal.
Strong dollar drags down 3M profits

Strong dollar drags down 3M profits

But measured by where the business happened, 3M's sales grew around the world.
Minnesota, federal authorities step up efforts on investment fraud

Minnesota, federal authorities step up efforts on investment fraud

After a surge in investment adviser fraud cases, a joint task force has been formed.
Feb. 15: Investment fraud on the rise in Minnesota

Feb. 15: Investment fraud on the rise in Minnesota

The number of advisers in the state who are facing criminal action has tripled from the previous two years, and authorities are taking action.
Pentair reports lower than expected quarterly earnings as oil and energy markets struggle

Pentair reports lower than expected quarterly earnings as oil and energy markets struggle

Pump maker said it's seeing a "global spending pause."

Owatonna Chart Industries plant closing, eliminating 65 jobs

The Owatonna operation of Chart Industries will close June 1, affecting 65 workers. The Ohio-based company informed Owatonna city officials and the Minnesota Department of…
St. Louis Park native Dan Khabie digital ad agency with global reach

St. Louis Park native Dan Khabie digital ad agency with global reach

He is CEO of Mirum, one of the largest and newest international ad agencies in the digital marketplace.
Minnesota and Safelite glass company in a battle over auto-glass repair practices

Minnesota and Safelite glass company in a battle over auto-glass repair practices

A battle is brewing between the Minnesota Commerce Department and one of the state's largest auto-glass repair firms over alleged unfair sales practices.Safelite Group, based…
Obituary: Lifelong pilot Don Hanson loved to soar, help

Obituary: Lifelong pilot Don Hanson loved to soar, help

To say that Don Hanson loved flying would be an understatement. Hanson didn’t just fly the plane, he was part of it. From piloting bombers…
MN vs. China legal tussle turns nasty over flameless candle technology

MN vs. China legal tussle turns nasty over flameless candle technology

Eden Prairie firm fighting Chinese manufacturer for potentially lucrative market share.
Large companies: Employee engagement comes through loud and clear

Large companies: Employee engagement comes through loud and clear

One employee said: "Encouragement is constant, gratitude is shown often." Said another: "Recognition is given when good work is prevalent, and coaching is given when standards are not met."
FRWD ad agency takes brand directly to consumers

FRWD ad agency takes brand directly to consumers

A small Minneapolis ad agency takes brands directly to consumers.
AllOver Media purchased by private equity firm

AllOver Media purchased by private equity firm

The Plymouth-based ad company was sold to a private equity firm that will help finance its plans for expansion.
Judge says it's time to set timetable to settle Petters bankruptcy claims

Judge says it's time to set timetable to settle Petters bankruptcy claims

Bankruptcy Judge Gregory Kishel denied the claim at hand but told the trustee and attorneys that it was a matter of time before creditors would get antsy.
Ruling could affect $1 billion in Petters clawback lawsuits

Ruling could affect $1 billion in Petters clawback lawsuits

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that state law doesn't include a key provision that makes it easier to recover false profits from a Ponzi scheme.
Attorney Drawz's career defined by cases like New Brighton water fight

Attorney Drawz's career defined by cases like New Brighton water fight

For 34 years, attorney John Drawz has led New Brighton's battle for clean water
Carlson CEO Trudy Rautio retires; new management team named

Carlson CEO Trudy Rautio retires; new management team named

Trudy Rautio has been an executive with the company for 18 years and is only the second nonfamily member to run it. Now, the hotel and travel groups will have separate CEOs.

June 23: Carlson board sharpens its focus

Firm will spend TGI Friday's cash to buy 100 percent control of Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

Aug. 8: IBM wins $14.2M suit against Carlson

Judge ruled Carlson's financial picture, not IBM's performance, led to termination of IT contract.
Jan. 17: Carlson puts hotel growth in newcomer's hands

Jan. 17: Carlson puts hotel growth in newcomer's hands

David Berg's charge includes freshening some of the company's hotel concepts while expanding others.
After strong 4Q, Best Buy signals new cost-cutting phase

After strong 4Q, Best Buy signals new cost-cutting phase

Quarterly earnings beat expectations, but Joly warns that growth will slow

Carlson Rezidor reports 4 percent revenue growth

Hotel chain reports 57 openings, higher revenue.
Sun Country pilots approve strike authorization

Sun Country pilots approve strike authorization

No work action is imminent; talks set to resume in March.
Fallon gets back in Super Bowl game with ad for Loctite

Fallon gets back in Super Bowl game with ad for Loctite

The Minneapolis agency created an ad that will run early in the fourth quarter.

Fallon gets comeback honors from Ad Age

Ad Age named Fallon its "comeback agency of the year" on Monday for its recovery from the near-disastrous loss of two major clients, Cadillac and Purina, in 2013.
Big Tobacco fighter Mike Ciresi to start boutique law firm

Big Tobacco fighter Mike Ciresi to start boutique law firm

Mike Ciresi, one of Minnesota's best known trial lawyers, is leaving Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi after 43 years to form his own boutique law firm with two partners from his old firm.
Minneapolis law firm Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand is now just Maslon

Minneapolis law firm Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand is now just Maslon

The name change underlines the importance of branding in the modern marketplace.
Petters' middleman claims he was offered a shorter sentence

Petters' middleman claims he was offered a shorter sentence

Two years after his sentencing, middleman Frank Vennes said he was promised a better deal.
Pohlads enter electronics business with $70 million deal for Polaroid

Pohlads enter electronics business with $70 million deal for Polaroid

The deal puts the family in control of an iconic brand now focused on electronics.
Warehouse firm finds going green is good for business

Warehouse firm finds going green is good for business

Logistics firm CEO finds prairie grass and solar panels are not only the right thing to do, they make good business sense.
Obituary: Ron Rochat entertained with trumpet, taught youngsters how to play

Obituary: Ron Rochat entertained with trumpet, taught youngsters how to play

Ron Rochat was a standout three-sport athlete at Osseo Senior High School in the late 1930s, but it was his ability to coax music from…
No. 14: Under-the-radar St. Peter family among richest Americans

No. 14: Under-the-radar St. Peter family among richest Americans

From Cambria quartz countertops to Davis Family Dairies to Sun Country Airlines, the Davis family owns and manages some of the state's landmark homegrown businesses. They employ 2,600 workers and take in about $710 million a year in revenue.
Gabriel deGrood Bendt ad agency acquired by St. Paul firm

Gabriel deGrood Bendt ad agency acquired by St. Paul firm

GdB will stay in Minneapolis under new ownership
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