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Friday A.M. Report

Sentence stretched for mortgage broker, Staples to open Bloomington store, Great Northern buys K&M Manufacturing, and study finds Vikings playoff game brought $6M to area.

Judge, fearing future victims, stretches sentence for former mortgage broker: A federal judge said he is certain that a former mortgage broker convicted of fraud would victimize others upon his release, as he sentenced him to more than 22 years in prison. Michael Fiorito, 41, of Prior Lake, was sentenced to 270 months in prison Thursday by U.S. District Judge Patrick Schlitz. Fiorito was convicted in May 2009 of six counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud after investigators said he stole more than $500,000 from Minnesota homeowners behind on their payments or facing foreclosure. Read full story

Staples to open Bloomington store in former Office Depot building: Circuit City Plaza — a Bloomington strip center that lost four of its five national retail tenants during the recession — has taken its first step toward refilling its vacant space, signing Staples Inc. to a lease for 20,000 square feet. Framingham, Mass.-based Staples plans to open the store in August. It will be the company’s fifth Twin Cities area location, joining stores in Apple Valley, Minnetonka, Roseville and Woodbury. Read full story

Great Northern buys K&M Manufacturing: Great Northern Equipment Distributing Inc.  said it has purchased K&M Manufacturing for an undisclosed amount. Rogers, Minn.-based Great Northern distributes small engines and outdoor power equipment. The company is owned by Minnesota’s Don Kotula and his family, who also own the Burnsville-based Northern Tool + Equipment retail chain. Read full story

Study: Vikings playoff game brought $6M to Twin Cities: When the Minnesota Vikings beat the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs earlier this year, the local hospitality industry might have been the biggest winner. The Jan. 17 game generated $5.8 million in spending for the Twin Cities economy, according to an economic impact analysis by the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality. Meet Minneapolis, the city’s convention and visitors bureau, commissioned the study. Read full story