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Pentair helps contain Gustav waters; also: SuperValu goes after casual diners; Best Buy keen on social network site

Pentair played a role in keeping New Orleans above water this week. The city’s 17th Street Canal includes 11 pumps manufactured by the Golden Valley-based company. The “Fairbanks” pumps can move 160,000 gallons of water per minute. The system was able to help lower the canal’s water level by 3 feet within the first hour it was closed on Monday, according to the company.

More competition for struggling restaurants. SuperValu is launching a line of premium foods meant to mimic casual dining fare. Among the Culinary Circle products are chicken marsala over linguini, pork carnitas enchilada casserole and Tuscan tomato soup. SuperValu said the products will sell for about 20 to 25 percent less than restaurant prices.

While some companies block employees from viewing social network sites, others are recognizing the sites can be useful communication tools. Best Buy is among a handful of companies that has launched employee-only social network sites. Blue Shirt Nation was launched for advertising employees in 2006 and has since expanded to the entire company. So, what happens if you ignore your boss’s friend request?

Do you have an inside scoop or news tip about a Minnesota company? Spotted something interesting in your RSS reader? Drop Business Agenda a note at dhaugen [at] minnpost [dot] com.

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