Thursday P.M. Report

Home sales dip in November, but decline is slower: Home prices in the Twin Cities metro area slipped in November from the year-ago period, but the relatively slim decline was greeted by area Realtor groups as evidence that the housing market was at last stabilizing. The median sales price for a home in the metro area totaled $170,000 in November, down from $175,000 during the same month last year. The month-over-month decline was larger, down about 6 percent from October to November, but that dip was largely because of the expiration of the federal government’s tax credit for first-time home buyers and the change in seasons. Read full story

Pawlenty touts ethanol on trade mission to South America: Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is wrapping up a trade mission to Brazil and Chile, said today that he believes there are opportunities for the state to partner with South American organizations to research next-generation ethanol technology and establish global ethanol standards. Pawlenty noted that researchers in Brazil are studying cellulosic ethanol and many of the other next-generation ethanol technologies that researchers at the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College and other Minnesota organizations also are researching. Read full story

Former Polaris CEO Tiller lands at solar startup: Tom Tiller, former CEO of Polaris Industries, has been appointed CEO of a Colorado-based company that manufactures solar panels, Abound Solar. The firm makes low-cost, thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules. Tiller will start his new position Jan. 18 and take over for interim CEO Doug Schatz, who will assume the role of chairman. Read full story

UMore Development board to be named: The University of Minnesota Board of Regents is set to name on Friday the board of governors that will head the recently formed UMore Development. The university will serve as the sole member of the limited liability company, which was created in October to handle the university’s development of UMore Park, a 5,000-acre plot of largely open land in Rosemount and Empire Township, southeast of the Twin Cities. Read full story

Kowalski’s will sell rare type of beef: Kowalski’s Markets will soon be the exclusive Twin Cities vendor of Akaushi beef, a choice variety of meat rarely found outside of Japan. The company’s nine metro locations will begin carrying the traditionally Japanese-style beef on Dec. 17. Anticipating great fanfare, the grocer is currently taking reservations for the new product. Read full story

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