Staff Directory 89522247

Mike Hughlett

Reporter | Food industry
phone: 612-673-7003
Mike Hughlett covers the food industry for the Star Tribune,.including General Mills and Supervalu. Previously, he was a food reporter for the Chicago Tribune.
Recent content from Mike Hughlett
Oil country eases into break from frantic growth

Oil country eases into break from frantic growth

The oil boom that ignited North Dakota's economy in the early part of this decade created new jobs, new businesses, new housing and new amenities. And while the downturn that started in late 2014 tamed western North Dakota's economy, it never crushed it.
Life Time Fitness CEO Bahram Akradi seeks board seat at Northern Oil

Life Time Fitness CEO Bahram Akradi seeks board seat at Northern Oil

A newfound activist investor, Akradi has upped his ownership stake in Northern Oil and Gas to nearly 10 percent.
North Dakota says oil output increased in April

North Dakota says oil output increased in April

More rigs operated in the state, but price jitters keep the outlook guarded.
Indian tribes, business leaders make their cases in Enbridge Line 3 debate

Indian tribes, business leaders make their cases in Enbridge Line 3 debate

A public hearing in St. Paul on Tuesday sought public input into the replacement of the pipeline that wends across northern Minnesota.
Minnesota moving up in rankings for solar energy

Minnesota moving up in rankings for solar energy

During the first quarter, the state ranked fourth nationally for new solar power installations compared with the same period a year ago, according to data released Thursday by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a trade group.

Minnesota Power partners in $700 million gas-fired plant in Wisconsin

The Duluth-based utility also announced contracts to buy wind and solar power.
Kim Lund awarded $45.2M for her stake in Lunds & Byerlys

Kim Lund awarded $45.2M for her stake in Lunds & Byerlys

The judge's ruling ends a legal squabble involving the four Lunds siblings who jointly own the well-known grocery store chain.
After crash, North Dakota oil industry shows strong signs of a rebound

After crash, North Dakota oil industry shows strong signs of a rebound

After prices skyrocketed – and then crashed – optimism is again fueling new rigs and jobs in North Dakota's oil fields
Dick Maki, member of World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, dies at 82

Dick Maki, member of World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, dies at 82

The Ely native was a baritone player who marched for most of his life.

State Commerce Department recommends lower rate hike for Minnesota Power

The utility had asked for a 6.1 percent rate increase.

State further restricts PUC oversight of electric co-ops

The new legislation was tucked into the omnibus jobs and energy bill.

Minnesota's solar energy subsidies look to be on their way out

The Made in Minnesota program was eliminated in legislation heading to Gov. Mark Dayton.
Enbridge pipeline could cause more damage than alternatives, but it's not largest spill risk

Enbridge pipeline could cause more damage than alternatives, but it's not largest spill risk

State looks at environmental impacts of Enbridge options.
N.D. oil output slips in March but still came in above forecasts

N.D. oil output slips in March but still came in above forecasts

Production remained above 1 million barrels a day after falling short of benchmark over the winter.
Minn. regulators approve historic Xcel Energy rate increase of $244 million

Minn. regulators approve historic Xcel Energy rate increase of $244 million

Residents will pay 10.6 percent more over four years, while most industrial and commercial customers will pay 6.9 percent more.
Ten K Solar 'discontinuing' current operation

Ten K Solar 'discontinuing' current operation

The manufacturer said it will discontinue current operations, but it has offered few details.
Minnesota sees an 80 percent jump in solar energy capacity this year

Minnesota sees an 80 percent jump in solar energy capacity this year

The state now has 447 megawatts online, according to the state.
Lawsuit against NHL over concussions heating up

Lawsuit against NHL over concussions heating up

Many of the 126 former players in the suit have Minnesota connections.
Utilities square off over serving Minnesota Vikings

Utilities square off over serving Minnesota Vikings

Xcel's agreement to provide service to the NFL team's complex in Eagan sets 'a dangerous precedent,' MERC argues.
CenturyLink gains flexibility to raise rates in Minnesota

CenturyLink gains flexibility to raise rates in Minnesota

CenturyLink, the state's dominant provider of landline phone service, will be mostly deregulated after a decision Thursday by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
Minnesota continues to be a top state for wind power

Minnesota continues to be a top state for wind power

Xcel Energy leads utilities in the energy as well.

Minnetonka man charged with defrauding customers of renewable energy firm

Customers of Renewable Energy SD paid over $13 million but never received equipment or refund.
Supervalu to buy California-based cooperative Unified Grocers for $375 million

Supervalu to buy California-based cooperative Unified Grocers for $375 million

It's buying a California-based cooperative for $375 million.
Mortenson's bottom line lifted by wind and solar energy projects

Mortenson's bottom line lifted by wind and solar energy projects

Golden Valley-based Mortenson has become a national leader in the construction of wind and solar energy projects.
Enbridge, state fail to reach settlement in pipeline tax dispute

Enbridge, state fail to reach settlement in pipeline tax dispute

Mediation failure means case will end up in court with rural counties fearing big tax liability.
Trump rescinds Clean Power Plan; state won't see much change

Trump rescinds Clean Power Plan; state won't see much change

State law and industry forces have already set course toward renewable energy.

Otter Tail building natural gas plant in South Dakota

Fergus Falls, Minn.-based Otter Tail Power Co. said Monday it plans to build a natural gas-fired generator in eastern South Dakota, which will help make…
Enbridge tax challenge could cost northern Minn. counties millions

Enbridge tax challenge could cost northern Minn. counties millions

If Enbridge wins its property tax challenge, some N. Minn. counties might owe it refunds.
Dakota Plains co-founder indicted on federal fraud charges

Dakota Plains co-founder indicted on federal fraud charges

Ryan Gilbertson's attorney said he will fight the charges stemming from an alleged stock scheme.
New fee for electric vehicles proposed in Minnesota

New fee for electric vehicles proposed in Minnesota

Legislators propose $75 to $85 a year to offset missing gas tax money from drivers.
Xcel unveils new phase of wind power construction, with huge plant in S.D.

Xcel unveils new phase of wind power construction, with huge plant in S.D.

The site in eastern South Dakota will produce as much energy as Xcel's giant wind farm in Colorado.

Senate passes legislation that could diminish PUC oversight

Gov. Dayton may veto bill regarding electricity co-ops.

Cargill sells petroleum trading business to Macquarie

The Australian firm will keep the trading unit's Minneapolis office.

Minnesota Power residential customers face 6.5 percent increase on bill

State regulators OK a 6.5 percent residential rate hike.
North Dakota oil production is doubtful to grow much in next few months

North Dakota oil production is doubtful to grow much in next few months

The industry saw an improved January after a dismal December.
Trump administration a wild card for ethanol industry

Trump administration a wild card for ethanol industry

With production on the rise, there's anxiety over unknown policy shifts.
Dayton signs law allowing Xcel to build natural gas-fired plant in Becker

Dayton signs law allowing Xcel to build natural gas-fired plant in Becker

It is scheduled to replace two coal-fired plants in Becker that will be closing by 2026.

Minnesota Power cuts rate hike request, citing revived demand

Residential customers would pay 10 percent more under the revised request, the company says, while 11 big industrial users would pay less.
Legislation would boost standard for renewable energy

Legislation would boost standard for renewable energy

The bills would up the goal for Minnesota to 50 percent by 2030.
Obituary: Minnetonka veteran used medical skills to save other POWs in World War II

Obituary: Minnetonka veteran used medical skills to save other POWs in World War II

Alois "Al" Kopp was a pharmacist's mate on the USS Houston in 1942 when it was torpedoed and sank in the South Pacific. Almost two-thirds…

Police investigating kidnapping, suicide outside North St. Paul school

A man forced his ex-girlfriend into his car at gunpoint Saturday in North St. Paul, and then fatally shot himself after she escaped, according to North St. Paul police.

Man, woman are found dead in Rosemount home

Shooting deaths appear to be result of murder-suicide, police say.
Troubled pension fund sticking point in Lund sibling feud

Troubled pension fund sticking point in Lund sibling feud

Union employees vote Sunday to ratify a deal for Lunds Inc. to pull out of the union pension fund.
North Dakota oil production down again

North Dakota oil production down again

Barrels per day dipped below 1M to lowest level in 3 years.
Judge urges Lund grocery chain heirs to halt feud

Judge urges Lund grocery chain heirs to halt feud

A five-day trial baring a bitter divide in the Lund supermarket family ended Monday with a judge peeling off philosophical pearls, quoting from the Bible and American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.
Lunds court battle continues with siblings taking company's side

Lunds court battle continues with siblings taking company's side

Kim Lund wants to cash out her stake in the family-owned grocery chain; her siblings all say it would hurt them and the company.
Lund heiress says she wants inheritance for philanthropy

Lund heiress says she wants inheritance for philanthropy

Kim Lund is suing the Lunds Inc. grocery chain and her brother, saying they have refused to cash out her share, which she says is worth $80.4 million.
Lunds & Byerlys caught in the middle of sibling court battle

Lunds & Byerlys caught in the middle of sibling court battle

Kim Lund, the oldest of two sisters and two brothers who own the Lunds & Byerlys chain, wants to cash out her one-quarter stake. But the $21 million-plus offer she got from Lunds — whose CEO is her brother Russell "Tres" Lund — fell well short of the $80.4 million she claims she's due.
Xcel profit rises 10 percent, but revenue fell on warmer-than-usual winter

Xcel profit rises 10 percent, but revenue fell on warmer-than-usual winter

Even adjusted for weather, electricity consumption fell in Xcel's eight-state territory.

Legislature could intervene in dispute over solar fees

Legislation would kill the state utility regulators' review of those policies.
Solar incentive program in cross hairs this legislative session

Solar incentive program in cross hairs this legislative session

Bills to kill subsidies for installations and alter another are moving through the Legislature.
Xcel's pitch for new Becker power plants gets OK from House committee

Xcel's pitch for new Becker power plants gets OK from House committee

The $800M project would be built in Becker, Minn.
North Dakota oil production slightly down

North Dakota oil production slightly down

The Bakken fields are still producing more than 1 million barrels a day.
Legislators propose bills to allow a new Xcel plant in Becker

Legislators propose bills to allow a new Xcel plant in Becker

Utility regulators had put the decision on hold, asking for more study.
Prairie Island one of 17 nuclear reactors with parts from French forge under investigation

Prairie Island one of 17 nuclear reactors with parts from French forge under investigation

Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirms Prairie Island is one of the plants.

Great River deal will boost wind power capacity by 65 percent

Wholesale co-op to buy power from wind farm expected to open in 2019.
TerraCOH believes it can tap the potential of geothermal energy

TerraCOH believes it can tap the potential of geothermal energy

TerraCOH's vision is grand. The fledgling firm would use carbon dioxide emissions to power a ­geothermal energy system, which would in turn produce low-cost, clean electricity.

Shipyard settles safety violations for reduced fine

Fraser to pay $700K, admit no fault, change practices.

Teamsters vote to authorize strike at St. Paul Park refinery

The contract expires at midnight Dec. 31 at Western Refining facility
Xcel Energy flips switch on new plant, more than doubling Minn. solar energy generation

Xcel Energy flips switch on new plant, more than doubling Minn. solar energy generation

Minnesota had just 43 megawatts of capacity at the end of the third quarter, but more is coming soon.
Prairie Island parts made at French forge that is being investigated

Prairie Island parts made at French forge that is being investigated

Nuclear reactor vessels at Prairie Island were built with steel made in France.

Dakota Plains files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Company plans to sell assets to Houston firm for about $8.55M.

Minnesota Power gets approval for interim rate increase

The 5.6 percent hike will add an average $4 to monthly bills for customers of the Duluth-based utility.
North Dakota oil production back over 1 million barrels a day

North Dakota oil production back over 1 million barrels a day

Prices are also near a high for the year.
Dakota Access pipeline delay hurts developer, not necessarily N.D. oil producers

Dakota Access pipeline delay hurts developer, not necessarily N.D. oil producers

For North Dakota's overall oil industry, the pipeline's delay isn't a big short-term issue since petroleum production is in the dumps. That's not likely to change much in 2017.

Ameriprise settles discrimination charges by U.S. Department of Labor

But the company denies that it underpaid some black workers.

Activist investor is still critical of Buffalo Wild Wings

Hedge fund CEO wants company to refranchise most of its restaurants.
Amid jubilation, N.D. pipeline protesters still wary of future

Amid jubilation, N.D. pipeline protesters still wary of future

Pipeline company called the Corps' move "purely political" and expressed confidence that project will go forward under Trump.
Standing Rock standoff followed a long and complicated road

Standing Rock standoff followed a long and complicated road

The increasingly tense standoff over the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota boils down to a clash between economic and cultural interests.
St. Paul Park refinery part of $4.1B sale to Tesoro

St. Paul Park refinery part of $4.1B sale to Tesoro

How the sale will affect SuperAmerica brand remains to be seen.
New federal mandate a victory for Minnesota's ethanol producers

New federal mandate a victory for Minnesota's ethanol producers

The EPA is requiring a 6.4 percent increase of biofuels in 2017.
Obituary: Peter Meintsma, former mayor of Crystal, brought civil tone to civic discourse

Obituary: Peter Meintsma, former mayor of Crystal, brought civil tone to civic discourse

He loved music and taught history and political science for more than 30 years, but Peter Meintsma will best be remembered in Crystal as the…

Otter Tail plans a new $250 million wind farm in southeastern North Dakota

The $250 million project would more than double the firm's wind-energy generation.
North Dakota oil production inches down again

North Dakota oil production inches down again

For second month, per day production is under 1 million barrels.

St. Paul man convicted of fraud and conspiracy in trade case

After a five-week trial, a St. Paul man has been found guilty of fraud and conspiracy in connection with multimillion-dollar trade deals backed by a…
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