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DEVELOPING:   According to multiple people “in the know”, Taylor Corporation and MN Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is very close to reaching an agreement to buy the Star Tribune.   Taylor has expressed an interest previously, and has intensified negotiations recently.  One person with knowledge of the transaction suggested that  think that there is “an agreement in principle.”   The Star Tribune is currently owned by a series of outside investment groups led by Wayzata Investment Partners. who bought the newspaper out of bankruptcy While at MinnPost David Brauer wrote about Taylor’s interest and connection to the final bids for the paper emerging from bankruptcy.  MINNPOST:   STRIBBOARD:
SID:  This morning the Star Tribune’s Sid Hartman wrote, VERBATIM: “Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague and former Gophers and North Stars hockey player Lou Nanne, who is the chairman of the $190 million fundraising drive to upgrade the school’s athletic facilities, have refused to comment on the progress of the drive….But boosters must be contributing, because the Star Tribune has learned that ground will be broken this December on a $70 million football facility that will include not only a modern indoor practice facility but coaching offices and other amenities for the program…The new facility is expected to be located in an area behind the Bierman Building, and speculation is that the new outdoor track will be moved to somewhere in St. Paul.”  READ:

LOUIE:  On KSTP AM1500, today, VERBATIM: “The report about a $70 million football practice facility for the Gophers apparently is incorrect…Lou Nanne, chairman of the fundraising project that hopes to raise $190 million for facilities for the Gophers, said the Star Tribune report is "totally incorrect."   QUOTE:  "I'm out of town and I read this morning the erroneous report that Sid Hartman wrote about having plans to break ground in December for a $70 million facility. That's totally irresponsible," Nanne said on his weekly appearance on the Mackey & Judd show. "There are no plans to break ground and the facility that we're looking at is not remotely close to 70 million [dollars]. We want to get that word out because that is just totally, totally incorrect."…Gophers Athletics Director Norwood Teague declined comment through a University spokesman. Associate Athletic Director Chris Werle confirmed to 1500 ESPN that Nanne's information in the radio interview is accurate.”  READ:

JOBS: via news release, VERBATIM: “Minnesota employers cut 100 jobs in February, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The loss, combined with a revised gain of 800 jobs in January, brought total job growth in the state over the past year to 44,714, a growth rate of 1.6 percent compared with a U.S. growth rate of 1.5 percent during that period. The Minnesota unemployment rate climbed 0.1 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted 4.8 percent, well below the U.S. rate of 6.7 percent. The state’s labor force participation rate climbed 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month to reach 70.5 percent. That two-month gain was the biggest jump in the labor force participation rate in 13 years. Minnesota is now 5,200 participants shy of having a record 3 million people in its labor force.”  READ:
THIRD: according to a WalletHub study released yesterday, Minnesota is the 3rd least federally dependent state in US. READ:
INDICATOR: according to 24/7 Wall St, Winona-based Fastenal Co. is one of five “Companies That Act as Leading Economic Indicators.” VERBATIM: “Fastenal is front-and-center of the economy, making and selling thousands of fasteners and industrial products. Sales in 2012 and 2013 seemed to stagnate. February 2014 sales were up 7.7% from a year ago as weather problems eased. The company does have retail exposure, but the company often has a clear picture of what is coming months ahead on the wholesale level for the purposes of acting as a leading indicator. Wunderlich Securities analyst Brent Rakers sees 14% to 15% sales growth in May.”  READ:

VIKINGS: via news release, VERBATIM: "Vladimir Ducasse (doo-CASS) signs with the Vikings after spending the first 4 seasons of his career with the New York Jets. Ducasse, a 2nd-round pick (61st overall) in 2010, appeared in 50 games for the Jets, making 5 starts. In 2013, Ducasse appeared in all 16 games and started the first 4 games of the season. A native of Prince Au Port, Haiti, Ducasse moved to the United States in 2002 before playing collegiately at Massachusetts."
CATALOGS: via Jodi Xu at Bloomberg, VERBATIM: “Bluestem Brands Inc., which sells cosmetics and home goods to low- and middle-income customers through websites and catalogs, is working with Lazard Ltd. as it explores a sale... The Eden Prairie, Minnesota company may fetch as much as $1 billion in a sale… It has drawn early interest from private-equity funds and publicly traded special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, two people said, without identifying any potential bidders. Bluestem said last week that it notched its fourth consecutive year of double-digit revenue growth, reporting 2013 sales of $839 million, an increase of 20 percent from the year-earlier period. The company canceled an initial public offering in November 2011 in which owners including Bain Capital Partners LLC and Battery Ventures were seeking a valuation of over $500 million.”  READ:
WORTHALOOK: Midwest Living is running a photo spread called “20 Minneapolis Instagram Photos We Love”  VIEW:
DULUTH: via Zach Hammer at WDIO, VERBATIM: “The group looking to build a multimillion dollar development on Duluth's waterfront announced Wednesday that they have secured the funding to move forward with the project. Sandy Hoff, president of Duluth real estate company F.I. Salter and one of the co-developers of the Pier B Waterfront Project, says they have found a group of banks and investors willing to back the $29 million development. First, however, the Pier B Holding Group has to buy the second half of the property on the old LaFarge Cement site from the Duluth Economic Development Authority. On Wednesday, DEDA voted unanimously to grant another 90-day extension for the group to gather the necessary funds to do so.”  WATCH/READ: (SPONSORED by Gardner Builders)
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ATVs: via Enhanced Online News, VERBATIM: “Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), the leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles (ORVs), today announced the company has entered a 10-year, exclusive partnership with the Boy Scouts of America, the largest youth organization in the U.S., to provide all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), side-by-sides (SxS) and safety equipment to select Boy Scout camps across the country.”  READ:
BEER: via Bent Brewstillery on Facebook, VERBATIM: “We're proud to announce we're going to be the Minnesota Timberwolves Beer of the Game Friday 3/28. We'll be pouring Nordic Blonde in the Hoops & Hops area of section 111. Come by, grab a beer, and cheer as the T-Wolves take on the Lakers.”  READ:
CARGILL: via Mike Hughlett at Star Tribune, VERBATIM: “Cargill Inc. will outsource some of its information technology services, a move that will affect 900 jobs worldwide, including 300 in the Twin Cities. The Minnetonka-based agribusiness giant told employees this week that it will move certain IT functions to Tata Consultancy Services, a big global IT outsourcing firm based in Mumbai, India… Some employees in the affected IT division will remain with Cargill, others will be offered jobs with Tata, and others will be laid off, she said. However, a source said that a majority of the 900 Cargill jobs would likely be cut.”  READ:
CARGILL2: via Andy Hoffman and Rachel Morison at Bloomberg, VERBATIM: “Cargill Inc., the largest closely held U.S. company, will stop trading in European power and gas as well as global coal markets following a strategy review. “Significant changes in the coal and European power and gas markets have led Cargill ETM to withdraw from these two sectors,” the company said today in a statement. The closing of the two trading desks will cause a “small number” of job reductions, Louis de Schorlemer, a Cargill spokesman, said by telephone. He declined to comment on how many staff would lose their jobs, saying only that ‘it is limited.’”  READ:
PERSISTENCE: via Fast Company, the science that links creativity and persistence, READ:  (SPONSORED by Studio/E: Great minds, navigating change. Click here to explore:
USB: via Business Wire, VERBATIM: “As a result of the Federal Reserve’s non-objection to U.S. Bancorp’s plan to increase its dividend rate, the Company will recommend in June that its board of directors approve an increase to the annual dividend rate beginning with the second quarter dividend payable in July 2014. The Company expects to recommend a second quarter dividend of $0.245 per common share, a 6.5 percent increase over the current dividend rate. At this quarterly dividend rate, the annual dividend will be equivalent to $0.98 per common share. Additionally, the board of directors of U.S. Bancorp has approved a one-year authorization to repurchase up to $2.3 billion of its outstanding stock, beginning on April 1, 2014, to replace the current authorization, which expires on March 31, 2014.”  READ:
MORE: via CNBC, VERBATIM: “U.S. Bancorp from Minnesota said it will increase its dividend… U.S. Bancorp investors will like what they see there.”  WATCH:
COOL: via Kevin Hoffman at City Pages, take a look at this forest shaped like the state of Minnesota   SEE:
BRIGHT: via Inc., VERBATIM: “These brilliantly inspiring workplaces have sprawling rooftop gardens, bright atriums, and lots and lots of exposed brick. Take the tour.” SLIDESHOW:  (SPONSORED by Gardner Builders)
FARMING: via U of MN Extension news release, VERBATIM: “As corn prices declined in the fall of 2013, so did farm incomes for a majority of Minnesota farms, according to a joint analysis conducted by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and University of Minnesota Extension. Overall, net farm income was $41,899 for the median farm. That compares to $189,679 in 2012, a 78 percent decrease. While crop farm incomes plummeted due to declining commodity prices, livestock farms did not fare much better as incomes for dairy, hog and beef farms also declined… Prospects for livestock producers are better for the coming year. After several years of high feed costs that benefited crop producers, the tables will likely be turned in 2014.”  READ:
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SUGAR: via news release, VERBATIM: “Copersucar and Cargill announced today an agreement to combine their global sugar trading activities into a new joint venture that will originate, commercialize and trade raw and white sugar. The joint venture, in which both Copersucar and Cargill will own a 50-percent stake, will have a global footprint. The joint venture will build on the capabilities of both companies with the intent of increasing the efficiency, quality and services in the sugar supply chain as well as leveraging an in-depth understanding of the worldwide market to the benefit of our customers.”  READ:
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HEALTH: via news release from Take Action Minnesota, VERBATIM: “Carver county ranks healthiest in Minnesota and Mahnomen is the least healthy county in the state, according to the fifth annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI)… According to the 2014 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in Minnesota, starting with most healthy, are Carver, followed by McLeod, Waseca, Steele and Nobles.  The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Mahnomen, Cass, Mille Lacs, Traverse and Wadena.  QUOTE: “Minnesota has some of the worst racial and geographic health disparities in the country,” said Liz Doyle, TakeAction Minnesota’s Associate Director.  “As evidenced by these 2014 rankings, our state’s least healthy counties include large numbers of lower-income and Native American populations living in remote areas of our state.”  RANKINGS:
TODAY: via news advisory, VERBATIMMN for a Fair Economy will release Big Boxes, Small Paychecks report on the day of the MN Retail Association's "I am RETAIL" lobby day.  QUOTE:  “As the minimum wage increase debate continues at the Minnesota legislature one month into session, a new report highlights the role rich corporations like Target, as leaders in the lobbying group Minnesota Retailers Association, are playing in fighting against raising the minimum wage to $9.50 and indexing it to inflation…”
MONDAY: Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman will deliver the 2014 State of the City address this Monday at 12 noon at the Arlington Hills Community Center.
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About Business Take- In the era of Twitter, Facebook and the 24-hour, minute by minute news cycle business take was the most requested new publication by readers of morning take.  It is designed to be a short, quick read for Minnesota opinion leaders and executives.. The goal of business  take is not to aggregate much news of the day, but rather preview the day ahead and help crystallize or foreshadow items on the horizon  I will be transparent about when clients are included, or if I am involved in some event.   Please provide tips and constructive feedback. thanks - blois

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