Staff Directory 10644746

Dee DePass

Reporter | Manufacturing
phone: 612-673-7725
Dee DePass covers the manufacturing industry for the Star Tribune with an eye toward new products and technology, job growth and distribution developments in Minnesota.
Recent content from Dee DePass
Former Starkey CFO takes the stand in embezzlement trial against former executives

Former Starkey CFO takes the stand in embezzlement trial against former executives

Scott Nelson says a key business setup in the case originally was suggested to save owner Bill Austin money.
Starkey Labs owner tells federal court of his high-flying life

Starkey Labs owner tells federal court of his high-flying life

Bill Austin told of his transformation from modest businessman to billionaire, jetting around the world to help the hearing-impaired poor, and having a mystical experience in Mexico when he says an angel spoke through him.
Starkey's Bill Austin questioned about key company documents

Starkey's Bill Austin questioned about key company documents

Austin said defendants hid papers from him.
From rockets to nuclear plants, PaR Systems a maverick in robotics field

From rockets to nuclear plants, PaR Systems a maverick in robotics field

The Shoreview company has built machines to make rockets and help clean up the worst nuclear disasters.
Starkey owner testifies he never approved actions by former executives

Starkey owner testifies he never approved actions by former executives

Austin said he felt betrayed by the company's former president now on trial for embezzlement.
Starkey judge says defense attorneys will be able to question Austin on personal matters

Starkey judge says defense attorneys will be able to question Austin on personal matters

Defendants get a tactical win as Austin's character will become a matter for jurors to consider.
Uponor joint venture produces device to let you know if there is a leak in your pipes

Uponor joint venture produces device to let you know if there is a leak in your pipes

A new device warns homeowners of a water problem — from a faucet drip to a frozen pipe — and it can automatically shut service off to help prevent huge and costly damage.
Midwest manufacturing grows in January but at slower rate than December

Midwest manufacturing grows in January but at slower rate than December

Minnesota growth a bit slower than the region, but it is still strong.
Need help navigating the skyways? There's an app for that

Need help navigating the skyways? There's an app for that

Honeywell has developed an app called Minneapolis Skyway Maps to help Super Bowl LII visitors.
Electrolux to close St. Cloud Frigidaire plant at end of 2019

Electrolux to close St. Cloud Frigidaire plant at end of 2019

Move is part of a consolidation of company's U.S. operations.
Polaris turnaround accelerates, but shares tumble on latest results

Polaris turnaround accelerates, but shares tumble on latest results

The company's latest profit was weighed down by tax adjustment and other one-time costs.
Minnesota companies take advantage of brand-building opportunities around Super Bowl

Minnesota companies take advantage of brand-building opportunities around Super Bowl

Visitors will see familiar names as event sponsors and on special attractions.

Former Starkey executive Jeff Longtain said he took phony commissions

Testifying in the fraud trial against two other former executives and their business associates, he also said he came to believe that $2.3 million from a restricted stock sale was also improper.
3M, in the groove as global economy thrives, raises outlook on tax-law gains

3M, in the groove as global economy thrives, raises outlook on tax-law gains

Strong fourth quarter, tax savings drive optimistic outlook for coming year.

Defense attorneys in Starkey trial try to poke holes in government's case

Defense payroll and other company records question Bill Austin's claims.

Prosecutors allege defendants in Starkey embezzlement case altered documents

Confiscated papers show underreported bonuses, theft, FBI prosecutor says.
Starkey trial continues with FBI testimony

Starkey trial continues with FBI testimony

Prosecutors start to unleash results of search warrants and computer forensics.

Starkey witness says computer searches found questionable documents

Two Starkey Laboratories IT managers got the surprise of their careers in 2015 when the company's owner ordered them to search co-workers' computers for evidence…
Trial begins in $20 million embezzlement case at Starkey Labs

Trial begins in $20 million embezzlement case at Starkey Labs

Prosecution lays out fraud case, while defendants' attorneys allege misdeeds by company owner Bill Austin in opening statements.
Fraud trial against former Starkey executives starts Tuesday

Fraud trial against former Starkey executives starts Tuesday

The businessmen are accused of embezzling a combined $20 million from the company.
3M launches new bluetooth air filter

3M launches new bluetooth air filter

It has a sensor that monitors air quality and sends an alert to the homeowner when it is time to make a change.
Ecolab buys New York firm Cascade Water Services Inc.

Ecolab buys New York firm Cascade Water Services Inc.

Cascade expands Ecolab's boiler and HVAC water treatment unit.

Iron Range hopes to strike gold with IRRRB development grants

IRRRB grants help with business demolition, expansion, energy and job training programs.
Midwest manufacturers continue to grow, though levels slip in Minnesota

Midwest manufacturers continue to grow, though levels slip in Minnesota

Business confidence shot to the highest levels in nearly 7 years despite concerns over NAFTA.
New owners bring Essar project out of bankruptcy

New owners bring Essar project out of bankruptcy

Bankruptcy plan includes payment to contractors from stalled project.
Tucci Benucch at Mall of America closing after 25 years

Tucci Benucch at Mall of America closing after 25 years

Workers will go to other restaurants in Twin Cities.
Aid from Minnesota helps companies like Spectro Alloys in Rosemount to grow

Aid from Minnesota helps companies like Spectro Alloys in Rosemount to grow

One of several expansion projects receiving state aid, the company plans to add equipment and hire 10 workers.
After 25 years, Caribou Coffee sets sights on growing

After 25 years, Caribou Coffee sets sights on growing

The Brooklyn Center-based coffee chain is now the nation's second-largest, and it's betting on bagels, the Super Bowl and even more stores.
Minnesota employers cut 4,000 jobs in November, but jobless rate drops

Minnesota employers cut 4,000 jobs in November, but jobless rate drops

The state's unemployment rate of 3.1 percent is a level not seen since summer of 2000.

Graco buys Florida equipment firm Smith Manufacturing

The deal, which closed Dec. 15, expands Graco's surface-preparation equipment business.
Polaris RZRs still struggling with fires

Polaris RZRs still struggling with fires

Firm and feds warn of risks in previously recalled RZR off-road vehicles.
Fired Starkey CFO pleads guilty to conspiracy in plea agreement

Fired Starkey CFO pleads guilty to conspiracy in plea agreement

Former CFO could face up to 60 months in prison on conspiracy charge.
3M will shut Eagan filtration plant in 2018

3M will shut Eagan filtration plant in 2018

About 150 employees will be affected.
Caribou Coffee turns 25 years old with a deal and a new drink

Caribou Coffee turns 25 years old with a deal and a new drink

Celebration includes discounts, new drink and antler-themed antics.
3M sales to grow 5 to 7 percent in 2018

3M sales to grow 5 to 7 percent in 2018

Maplewood-based multinational company said the U.S. and China will lead the way.
3M will sell Corning its optical-fiber telecom business for $900 million

3M will sell Corning its optical-fiber telecom business for $900 million

$900M deal is the latest sales transaction for the Twin Cities corporation.
Cleveland-Cliffs acquires iron ore reserves from Glacier Park Iron

Cleveland-Cliffs acquires iron ore reserves from Glacier Park Iron

The company bought or leased nearly 3,800 acres near Nashwauk, Minn.
Graco Inc. declares 3-for-1 stock split

Graco Inc. declares 3-for-1 stock split

It marks the company's 12th split since becoming a public firm in 1969.
Fired president demands Starkey pay his legal fees for embezzlement case

Fired president demands Starkey pay his legal fees for embezzlement case

Company spokesman calls lawsuit filed by Jerry Ruzicka 'incredulous.'
Ecolab's buying spree continues

Ecolab's buying spree continues

New small deals add to the St. Paul company's pest elimination, and sanitizing and food services operations.

North Central Stamping employee gets 33 months in jail for embezzlement

Former controller pleaded guilty to stealing $1.1 million to fund car restoration hobby.
3M gives $8 million more to University of Minnesota campaign

3M gives $8 million more to University of Minnesota campaign

The new gift will support STEM and business education and brings 3M's total gift to $26 million.
3M sues Kerr Corp. alleging dental-patent infringement

3M sues Kerr Corp. alleging dental-patent infringement

Lawsuit is focusing on two dental-composite products.
Midwest factory growth slowed in November

Midwest factory growth slowed in November

Creighton University report finds orders and exports rise even as deliveries slow.
Movie theater/restaurant Alamo Drafthouse Cinema coming to Woodbury

Movie theater/restaurant Alamo Drafthouse Cinema coming to Woodbury

Complex with nine theaters and bar to open in Woodbury in May
This year's tax payment from Minnesota's iron ore industry is down 11 percent

This year's tax payment from Minnesota's iron ore industry is down 11 percent

The $96.5M reflects lower production in 2016, the third such decrease.
Rebirth plans for old Magnetation site in Grand Rapids on hold

Rebirth plans for old Magnetation site in Grand Rapids on hold

New owners shift focus to finishing Nashwauk plant, restoring Iron Range jobs.
Proto Labs to buy sheet metal firm Rapid Manufacturing for $120 million

Proto Labs to buy sheet metal firm Rapid Manufacturing for $120 million

Deal to close by year end and add 300 workers.
Former Minneapolis cop Vern Bartholomew, a kind soul who helped anyone in need, dies at 100

Former Minneapolis cop Vern Bartholomew, a kind soul who helped anyone in need, dies at 100

His work included time as a chauffeur and bodyguard to Hubert Humphrey.
Fires prompt another recall for Minnesota-based Arctic Cat

Fires prompt another recall for Minnesota-based Arctic Cat

Dozens of mechanical failures were reported, including five with fires.
Canada helping to boost traffic out of the port at Duluth

Canada helping to boost traffic out of the port at Duluth

Uptick in Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway iron ore shipments contributed most to numbers.
Ecolab opens 'Water University' to teach water conservation

Ecolab opens 'Water University' to teach water conservation

The need is real, as global water demand is expected to exceed supplies by 2030, the company says.
Polaris realigns, eliminating 110 positions

Polaris realigns, eliminating 110 positions

Polaris Industries has executed a global realignment that eliminated 110 positions, including some in Medina and Plymouth.
Uponor and state launch new apprenticeship program

Uponor and state launch new apprenticeship program

Partnership with state will teach production skills.
Manufacturing surges in Midwestern states

Manufacturing surges in Midwestern states

Minnesota and other states in the region set a healthy pace for growth.
Ecolab third-quarter results beat expectations

Ecolab third-quarter results beat expectations

However, company's full-year guidance is narrowed due to the big storms and other factors.
Polaris and Arctic Cat both post new recalls

Polaris and Arctic Cat both post new recalls

Separate Polaris action affects unknown number of RZR XP4 Turbo vehicles.
For baby boomers, hunt for work proving to be daunting

For baby boomers, hunt for work proving to be daunting

As unemployment grows for 55-plus workers, many struggle to restart careers.
Proto Labs sees double-digit jump in 3Q sales, profits

Proto Labs sees double-digit jump in 3Q sales, profits

A surge in industrial customers pushed results.
Graco posts record 3Q sales and earnings

Graco posts record 3Q sales and earnings

Sales from all divisions and geographies grew.
Polaris rises again, helped by off-road vehicle surge and purchase of parts company

Polaris rises again, helped by off-road vehicle surge and purchase of parts company

Its latest results easily beat analysts' expectations.
Blandin in Grand Rapids to close production line, affecting 150 workers

Blandin in Grand Rapids to close production line, affecting 150 workers

Half of the 300 jobs will be lost.
3M beats expectations, helps Dow hit a record

3M beats expectations, helps Dow hit a record

3M, along with Caterpillar and other industrials, posted strong third quarter earnings, leading the Dow Jones Industrial index to another record.
Pentair's electric division spinoff will be called nVent Electric, stay in Minnesota

Pentair's electric division spinoff will be called nVent Electric, stay in Minnesota

When Pentair spins off its new electrical division, the Twin Cities will get a new U.S. public company headquarters.The pumps and filtration giant Pentair —…
Walser Automotive buys Polar Chevrolet and Mazda

Walser Automotive buys Polar Chevrolet and Mazda

The dealership also announced that CEO Paul Walser was stepping down.
Denny Hecker transferred to Duluth federal prison

Denny Hecker transferred to Duluth federal prison

The move, published on the Bureau of Prisons website, is the latest in a string of transfers for Hecker.
Aramark to acquire AmeriPride uniform and linen supplier for $1 billion

Aramark to acquire AmeriPride uniform and linen supplier for $1 billion

Deal for the firm based in Minnetonka is set to be final by the end of 2017.
3M Co. launches new Combat II Ballistic Helmet

3M Co. launches new Combat II Ballistic Helmet

3M's new helmets are lightweight while providing increased safety from the dangers of bullets and bomb fragments.
Polaris selects McKinsey & Co. veteran to lead off-road vehicles division

Polaris selects McKinsey & Co. veteran to lead off-road vehicles division

Chris Musso replaces company veteran in a troubled division.
Actually, Denny Hecker isn't in a halfway house; he's still in prison

Actually, Denny Hecker isn't in a halfway house; he's still in prison

His former bankruptcy attorney said he called and told her he was in a halfway house, but Bureau of Prisons confirms he has not been moved to Minnesota.
Federal Cartridge lays off another 200 workers in Anoka

Federal Cartridge lays off another 200 workers in Anoka

Move comes as parent company names new CEO.
Polaris going after autonomous driving contract for Army

Polaris going after autonomous driving contract for Army

The company already makes a military version of its RZR vehicle.

Midwest manufacturers enjoy growth again in September

Manufacturers in the central states enjoyed a 10th month of growth in September, despite ingredient price hikes and slowing employment gains, according to the Creighton…
Dayton OKs reboot of bankrupt Essar Steel project on Iron Range

Dayton OKs reboot of bankrupt Essar Steel project on Iron Range

Chippewa Capital Partners has secured bank financing commitments and a large customer for the taconite ore.
Emerson expanding again in Shakopee, Chanhassen

Emerson expanding again in Shakopee, Chanhassen

Its Minnesota locations are seeing the benefit of the recovery, coinciding with oil's.
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