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
Iron ore industry recovery help Cliffs Natural Resources first quarter results

Iron ore industry recovery help Cliffs Natural Resources first quarter results

However, while sales were up, debt restructuring resulted in a loss for the period.
Virginia billionaire and partners win bankruptcy auction for ex-Essar assets

Virginia billionaire and partners win bankruptcy auction for ex-Essar assets

The group pledged to invest more than $550 million into the failed Iron Range taconite project and complete it.
Polaris' first-quarter results are better than expected

Polaris' first-quarter results are better than expected

The sports vehicle maker's latest results beat expectations after one-time costs.
As the recalls pile up at Polaris, trouble gets deeper and deeper

As the recalls pile up at Polaris, trouble gets deeper and deeper

Polaris' position as an icon of Midwestern manufacturing know-how has suffered with 12 rounds of recall notices affecting 338,800 vehicles.
Polaris sued in vehicle fire that killed two riders in Utah

Polaris sued in vehicle fire that killed two riders in Utah

Company denies claims that design defects contributed to tip-over crash and fire in Utah.

First Starkey defendant pleads guilty to tax evasion

Former executive forfeits $2.3 million, will testify.
Pawn America files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Pawn America files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

The Chapter 11 filing is to reorganize the firm and is not a liquidation, the company said.
Polaris recalls 51,000 more vehicles due to fire risk

Polaris recalls 51,000 more vehicles due to fire risk

Customers reported 13 heat shields fell off causing five fires.
Ecolab selling downtown St. Paul tower that once housed its HQ

Ecolab selling downtown St. Paul tower that once housed its HQ

PAK Properties plans to renovate the downtown St. Paul tower into "modern office space."
Starkey argues 'too many red flags' in bid to group defendants in lawsuit

Starkey argues 'too many red flags' in bid to group defendants in lawsuit

The hearing technologies company moves to link criminal defendants' actions to a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by another former employee.
Valspar to sell industrial wood-coatings assets for $420M to calm feds

Valspar to sell industrial wood-coatings assets for $420M to calm feds

Valspar Corp. will sell the assets of its industrial wood-coatings business to Axalta Coatings System for $420 million, company officials announced Wednesday.
Cliffs, Chippewa Capital Partners make bids for the former Essar Steel Minnesota

Cliffs, Chippewa Capital Partners make bids for the former Essar Steel Minnesota

The offers come as a bankruptcy reorganization deadline nears.
3-D technology is game-changer for recruiting future engineers

3-D technology is game-changer for recruiting future engineers

From dinosaurs to hearts, Stratasys schools students on latest technology.

3M sues K2 Concepts and Phoenix Automotive for patent violation

Action alleges China-based manufacturer violated patents on paint-spraying products.
New filings allege bizarre behavior by Starkey owner Bill Austin

New filings allege bizarre behavior by Starkey owner Bill Austin

Starkey officials say that the new allegations are "scurrilous, unfounded or false" and a distraction from federal embezzlement charges against fired president Jerry Ruzicka.
3M schools Trudeau on its innovations

3M schools Trudeau on its innovations

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to 3M's Canadian headquarters comes on the heels of pledging a $600 million "innovation budget," to improve Canada's technology sector.
Pentair launches 5-year, $5 million clean-water project in Honduras

Pentair launches 5-year, $5 million clean-water project in Honduras

Pentair joins effort to reduce waterborne illnesses in mountainous western Honduras.

Former workers sue GlassBridge for withholding severance

The three allege they were denied payments by the firm's successor, GlassBridge.
Polaris corrects RZR recall numbers

Polaris corrects RZR recall numbers

Polaris Industries now says it has recalled 145,000 of its RZR all-terrain vehicles in 2016. The number was incorrectly reported as 901,000 in an official…
Federal Cartridge in Anoka has cut more workers

Federal Cartridge in Anoka has cut more workers

In all, 172 workers downsized through layoffs and buyouts since about March 1. The Anoka facility cites slow market as the cause.
JavaCycle turns coffee-bean waste into sweet-smelling fertilizer

JavaCycle turns coffee-bean waste into sweet-smelling fertilizer

The parent company of Hill Bros. Coffee and Chock Full O'Nuts has partnered with the tiny, Minnesota-based operation to convert millions of pounds of roasted coffee-bean waste into commercial fertilizer.
Polaris paid out $132 million in 2016 related to recalls

Polaris paid out $132 million in 2016 related to recalls

Costs piled high for Polaris Industries last year as it tackled recall after recall of its recreational vehicles due to fire hazards.The $4.5 billion Medina-based…

Sherwin-Williams postpones Valspar purchase until June

The merger was supposed to close by the end of April.
Polaris Industries recalls 19,200 more ATVs

Polaris Industries recalls 19,200 more ATVs

ATV heat shield woes prompt 47 fires, four minor injuries
3M becoming major player in worker safety sector

3M becoming major player in worker safety sector

The Maplewood-based company's safety-education efforts have caught the eye of regulators as well as customers.
Stratasys and VA hospitals create first hospital 3-D printing network

Stratasys and VA hospitals create first hospital 3-D printing network

Five VA hospitals will produce prostheses and other customized devices.
3M to buy Scott Safety for $2B, its second-largest acquisition

3M to buy Scott Safety for $2B, its second-largest acquisition

Scott Safety will add new breathing protection products and $570 million in sales to 3M's portfolio.
Gummy vitamins for dogs? Yes, and they will be made in Winona

Gummy vitamins for dogs? Yes, and they will be made in Winona

The Ferrara gummy bear factory that shut in Winona a year ago, displacing 125 workers, will soon reopen as a maker of gummy vitamins for cats and dogs.
Higher expenses, severance packages eat into Valspar profit

Higher expenses, severance packages eat into Valspar profit

In its waning days as an independent company, Valspar Corp. reported quarterly earnings reflecting the challenges that partly led to a merger agreement with rival…
Stratasys loses less money in fourth quarter

Stratasys loses less money in fourth quarter

The 3-D printing company expects to still lose money in fiscal 2017, but sales are improving.
Digi-Key considers $200 million expansion in Thief River Falls

Digi-Key considers $200 million expansion in Thief River Falls

Company is giving state, Thief River Falls the first chance to make a pitch.

Minnesota sees stable exports in fourth quarter

Medical equipment and machinery remained top sellers, with dairy products seeing the biggest uptick in demand.

Federal Cartridge lays off 110 workers in Anoka

Downturn in ammunition market spurs the layoffs.

Government recalls 13,500 Polaris off-road vehicles over fire concern

Latest notice covers 13,500 off-road recreational vehicles.
Proto Labs Chairman and founder Larry Lukis will retire after 18 years

Proto Labs Chairman and founder Larry Lukis will retire after 18 years

Larry Lukis' vision led to $298M annual revenue, 1,700 workers.

Former Starkey executive Jeffrey Longtain charged with felony tax evasion

The government's case mentions improper payments and unreported income including more than $100,000 for personal golf membership fees.

Midwest manufacturers seeing uptick in business

Minnesota growth challenged by ongoing ag sector weakness.
Arctic Cat wins patent infringement case filed by Bombardier

Arctic Cat wins patent infringement case filed by Bombardier

Canadian judge rules Arctic Cat did not violate snowmobile patents.
Life Fitness builds $11 million expansion in Owatonna

Life Fitness builds $11 million expansion in Owatonna

Project won state funding and will result in 100 more workers.
Big-box janitors win three-year labor contract and $4.5 million in wage hikes

Big-box janitors win three-year labor contract and $4.5 million in wage hikes

New agreement with SEIU Local 26 covers 500 Twin Cities janitors.
Ecolab misses 4Q expectations but posts strong 2017 forecast

Ecolab misses 4Q expectations but posts strong 2017 forecast

Oil sector is improving while institutional business strong

Janna Marlene Wood, who helped Shakopee police reach out, dies at age 28

Janna Marlene Wood was with the Shakopee Police Department just six months when Halloween rolled around in 2013. Shakopee Police Chief Jeff Tate walked into…
$3.3 billion in nonfuel minerals produced in Minnesota

$3.3 billion in nonfuel minerals produced in Minnesota

State ranks fifth in mining of iron, sand and gravel.

Wage pressures starting to hit Minnesota companies

Minnesota is a hotbed for the trend, which comes after years of stagnation.
Proto Labs beats expectations during challenging fourth quarter

Proto Labs beats expectations during challenging fourth quarter

3-D printing sales up at the Maple Plain-based manufacturer.

Honeywell, Teamsters reach agreement for Twin Cities workers

Contract adds sick days, modest pay raises, but ends retiree health care.
Minnesota companies put safety as a top priority

Minnesota companies put safety as a top priority

Accidents on the job are down in Minnesota but are still costly to employers
New managers of former Essar Steel Minnesota ask bankruptcy court for mineral rights

New managers of former Essar Steel Minnesota ask bankruptcy court for mineral rights

New entity, Mesabi Metallic, hopes to restart and finish construction in Nashwauk in two years.

Andersen Corp. employees will split $17M in profit-sharing

Housing rebound trickles down to door and window maker.
Minnesota, Midwest manufacturing conditions improve

Minnesota, Midwest manufacturing conditions improve

Creighton University survey also shows the highest business confidence level in six years.

Pentair buys carbon dioxide filtration firm based in Denmark

Filtration company also reported fourth quarter profits that were down but beat expectations.
Catalyst honoring 3M Co. for promoting women to leadership

Catalyst honoring 3M Co. for promoting women to leadership

The national women's leadership program also is BMO Financial and Rockwell Automation.

Weak oil and gas markets lead to fourth-quarter loss for Graco

But overall sales rose 7 percent for the quarter.

State sues Roseville trucking company for fraud and wage theft

Lawsuit claims trucking company, along its sister firms, wrongly withheld workers' wages after pretending to shut down.
New charges filed against Jerry Ruzicka, Scott Nelson in Starkey case

New charges filed against Jerry Ruzicka, Scott Nelson in Starkey case

The latest allegations involve filing false tax returns.
Divestiture required before Valspar and Sherwin-Williams finish merger

Divestiture required before Valspar and Sherwin-Williams finish merger

Valspar acquisition should finalize in 90 days, officials said.
Analysts: Textron might have the deep pockets Arctic Cat needs

Analysts: Textron might have the deep pockets Arctic Cat needs

Bringing Arctic Cat under golf cart maker Textron Inc.’s umbrella might be just the deep-pocketed shove needed to push a determined but struggling underdog into…
Minnesota snowmobile maker Arctic Cat sold for $247 million

Minnesota snowmobile maker Arctic Cat sold for $247 million

Textron says company facilities in Minnesota will stay largely intact
CEO: Polaris forging ahead after 'difficult and challenging' year

CEO: Polaris forging ahead after 'difficult and challenging' year

Profits fall 43.5 percent in fourth quarter after recall costs and other issues.
3M's Q4 profits beat Wall Street expectations despite flat sales growth

3M's Q4 profits beat Wall Street expectations despite flat sales growth

Earnings rose 11 percent in Q4, and company executives see better global conditions ahead.

Teamsters fear lockout at Honeywell

About 1,000 Twin Cities workers could be affected after contract expires Jan. 31.
Maplewood-based 3M launches 'smart'-hearing protection for hunters, civilian shooters

Maplewood-based 3M launches 'smart'-hearing protection for hunters, civilian shooters

3M offers phone-compatible products that automatically adjust to background noises

3M wins early injunction in patent lawsuit in Spain

A court in Spain ruled in 3M’s favor this week when it ordered a preliminary injunction against a company 3M accused of violating its patented…
Essar Steel Minnesota accuses parent firm of siphoning funds meant for Iron Range project

Essar Steel Minnesota accuses parent firm of siphoning funds meant for Iron Range project

Suit says mismanagement of money caused bankruptcy and $1 billion in unpaid bills

Ecolab buys Abednego, a water recycling expert

The deal will give the firm $40M in new annual revenue.

Fed report finds Minnesota manufacturers upbeat

Investments in factories, employment will stay the same or rise, survey says.
Polaris says it's end of the line for Victory motorcycles

Polaris says it's end of the line for Victory motorcycles

Polaris will abandon its Victory Motorcycle brand as market share dwindles.
Obituary: Celia "Mama" Garcia, who cooked with love

Obituary: Celia "Mama" Garcia, who cooked with love

When counselors at the teen recovery center in Blaine instructed cook Celia Garcia to give each child just one helping of soup, she waited until…
Former Polaris chief takes CEO role at CliqStudios

Former Polaris chief takes CEO role at CliqStudios

Tom Tiller takes over for the upscale kitchen cabinetmaker's founder.

Minnesota manufacturing improves in December as jobs, exports, orders rise

Expansion returned in the Midwest after a long period of weakness, Creighton University's index shows.
Wrongful termination suits again Starkey moved back to state court

Wrongful termination suits again Starkey moved back to state court

Federal judge says U.S. attorney was wrong to move them to federal court.
Training programs on the rise for Minnesota's changing manufacturing jobs

Training programs on the rise for Minnesota's changing manufacturing jobs

An expected surge in factory job openings means huge opportunities for job hunters, provided they know what manufacturing skills are in hot demand and where to get training.

Teamsters' drivers vote to strike O'Reilly Auto Parts in Minn.

Delivery drivers from Teamsters Local 120 voted unanimously to strike O’Reilly Auto Parts in Minnesota unless the company agrees to a renewed labor contract that…
Polaris Industries issues yet another recall, this time on Indian Motorcycles

Polaris Industries issues yet another recall, this time on Indian Motorcycles

The vehicles' fuel rails may reposition, causing a fire hazard, officials said.
Good news for Iron Range: Keetac iron ore plant will reopen in March

Good news for Iron Range: Keetac iron ore plant will reopen in March

The U.S. Steel-owned plant is the latest to reopen after a huge slump in the iron ore industry on the Range.
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