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Klobuchar makes closing arguments in Iowa

Plus: Minnesota medium-sized companies attractive for acquisitions; MnDOT considers future of State Highway 13; how Cargill got into the nutritional supplements business; and more.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaking in Cedar Rapids on Sunday.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaking in Cedar Rapids on Sunday.
REUTERS/Brenna Norman

At MPR, Cody Nelson says, “Sen. Amy Klobuchar is making her final pitches to Iowa voters this weekend ahead of the state’s presidential caucuses Monday, touting her relatively moderate platform and saying she’s the best candidate to defeat President Trump in November. She’s making several last-minute campaign stops across Iowa before returning to Washington for the continuation of President Trump’s impeachment trial on Monday — and she is pledging to continue her campaign regardless of how she finishes here.”

For The Hill, Al Weaver says, “By the time Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) appeared at Crawford Brew Works on Saturday morning, the bar was crowded with Iowans from one end of the bar to the other.  The midwestern senator made her first appearance of the week in the state after spending most of past two weeks in Washington, D.C., at President Trump’s impeachment trial. … Klobuchar’s name was also frequently mentioned by undecided caucus-goers at events held by her competitors on Thursday and Friday ahead of Monday’s caucuses, which are vital to the viability of her campaign as she remains a big underdog in the remaining early-voting states. However, the question remains for Klobuchar’s campaign: Is it too little too late? For her supporters, they’re holding out hope that it isn’t.”

Stribbers Neal St. Anthony and Patrick Kennedy report, “ … U.S. middle-market companies, those valued at $100 million to $1 billion, are commanding premium prices of up to 10 times operating earnings in what remains a sellers’ market, marked by historically low interest rates, thanks to the Federal Reserve, and a slow-growth economy where it’s cheaper to buy sales than earn them organically. The trend toward more, lower-priced transactions is particularly pronounced in Minnesota. According to Dealogic, a financial-data provider, there were 147 transactions in Minnesota in 2019 valued at a total of $10.6 billion. That compares with 135 transactions valued at $22.9 billion in 2018.

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Andrew Krueger of MPR says, “The Minnesota Department of Transportation wants to hear from drivers who use a major highway in the southern Twin Cities metro. State Highway 13 in Savage and Burnsville is a main east-west route south of the Minnesota River. It serves local residents and commuters, as well as industrial and port facilities along the river. But David Elvin, a planner with MnDOT, said the highway — as designed now — is over capacity. ‘We’re asking a lot of this highway and it’s having a little trouble doing everything we’re asking of it,’ he said. ‘People who drive it know that it’s congested. And one of the reasons is that there’s close to 55,000 cars a day on a road that is pretty much designed to handle 45,000.’”

Says an AP story, “As the U.S. steps up its response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Homeland Security is warning airline passengers that their flights may wind up rerouted if officials discover mid-flight that someone onboard has been in China in the last 14 days. That guidance was included in a notice released by the department Sunday as new travel restrictions officially go into effect for flights commencing after 5 p.m. EDT. Under the new rules, U.S. citizens who have traveled in China within the last 14 days will be re-routed to one of eight designated airports, where they will undergo enhanced health screening procedures.”

Stribber Kristen Leigh Painter says, “An insurance company in the early 2000s noticed workers inside the Diamond V plant in Cedar Rapids, a maker of animal supplements from fermented ingredients, simply weren’t getting sick as often as their spouses or the company’s office workers. The insurer and an independent immunologist investigated and confirmed that the factory workers had healthier immune systems. That discovery is the reason Cargill Inc. today has dipped its toe into the consumer market for nutrition supplements. Among its early customers: Goop, the ethereal lifestyle brand of Gwyneth Paltrow. Last year, Goop began using an ingredient from Diamond V in an immunity-boosting chew called ‘Perfect Attendance’. ‘The future is micro-ingredients,’ Dave MacLennan, Cargill’s chief executive, said.”