The “as-seen-on-TV” MyPillow product is getting cozier in Minnesota.

The Chanhassen-based pillow manufacturing firm is opening a second factory in Shakopee, a 125,000-square-foot facility that will accommodate 500 workers.

Founded in 2005, the company now ships 30,000 pillows a day. Business has been steady since a 2011 infomercial featuring CEO Mike Lindell, the company’s mustachioed founder, demonstrating the pillow’s softness.

MyPillow also sells pillow toppers, pet beds, travel pillows and travel bags.

The company’s annual revenue has exceeded $100 million, based on reports over the last few years. The current Shakopee facility measures 70,000 square feet.

Natalie Daher


Community ed programs to get more funding

The population of Jordan and surrounding townships has increased by nearly 1,000 people since the 2010 U.S. Census, meaning that the district’s community education programs are eligible to receive more funding.

The district will receive about $5,400 in additional funding, beginning in May 2017.

The Jordan school board passed a resolution at its June 13 meeting to provide updates of the district’s population to the Minnesota Department of Education.

Nathan Warden, director of Jordan Community Education and Recreation, consulted with Jordan’s city planner and the state demographer and determined the district’s population had jumped to 9,985, compared to 8,983 in 2010 and 9,421 in 2000.

The number includes adults and children living within the school district’s boundaries, including the city of Jordan itself and four nearby townships.

Districts experiencing a lot of growth, like Shakopee’s, update their population with the state every year to ensure the right amount is levied for community education programs, Warden said.



Mondale, groups join case against parcel sale

Former Vice President Walter Mondale has joined two conservation groups — the St. Croix River Association and American Rivers — in filing an amicus brief in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court pitting a Hudson, Wis., family against the state of Wisconsin and St. Croix County.

In the case, the Murr family contends that the county wrongfully blocked them from selling property on the St. Croix River and using the sale proceeds to finance improvements for their adjacent summer home.

The family says that the county has violated its Fifth Amendment rights to be protected against unjust taking of private property.

The county says that a cliff on the property makes it illegal to develop and sell under current zoning ordinances, and that making an exception for the Murrs would endanger the river.

The brief from Mondale and the conservation groups argues that the court should reject the Murrs’ claims because the St. Croix is entitled to protection as a federally designated Wild and Scenic River and that Congress intended that protection to include local and state action.

As a U.S. senator, Mondale co-sponsored the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and helped to win that protective designation for the St. Croix.



Prior Lake city engineer to take Savage job

Prior Lake’s city engineer will have a short commute to his new job. Seng Thongvanh will take over as Savage’s city engineer on July 11.

He’s worked in Prior Lake’s engineering department for several years, broken only by a midterm stint with the Metropolitan Council between 2008 and 2011.

Thongvanh will succeed John Powell, who will continue to work in Savage’s engineering department during the transition.

Natalie Daher


Kabat named assistant city administrator

Nate Kabat, a planner with Carver County, will become assistant city administrator for Chaska on July 6.

Kabat, who has been working in the county’s Planning Zoning and Environmental Services Division, will succeed Jeffrey Dahl, who left the position to become Wayzata city manager.

Kabat also served as coordinator for Carver County’s Resilient Communities partnership with the University of Minnesota. As part of the initiative, Kabat worked with Chaska officials on traffic studies in the community and a solar project.

He was chosen from among four finalists.

Beatrice Dupuy