Statewide: October 22, 2010 Archive
Posted at 10:54 AM on October 22, 2010
by Bob Kelleher
Two reports came out this week demonstrating the resurgence in shipping from Great Lakes ports, including the Port of Duluth-Superior.
With three months to go before ice closes the shipping season, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority reports tonnage shipped so far up 25 percent from the same period the year before.
As a whole, St. Lawrence Seaway Cargo shipping is up 18 percent over the same period. The Seaway includes ports across the Great Lakes from Duluth to Montreal.
Shipping figures include cargo coming and going. Some of the Seaway tonnage includes steel imports from Romania and South America. There's also some wind turbines moving along the lakes from Quebec to Indiana.
In Duluth, the lions share of tonnage traditionally goes to taconite shipping. The small mostly-iron pellets are heavy, and a lot of them move through Duluth and Superior docks.
When you consider a 25 percent increase in tonnage, you need to understand that taconite shipping skidded to a virtual halt around the early summer of 2009. Since then, the demand for taconite from steel mills has slowly edged upward, reopening Iron Range taconite mines, and restoring much of the taconite movement by ships. Taconite shipping alone is up 69 percent over last year's dismal figures.
But the real story in Twin Ports shipping is grain. Grains shipments to ships through Duluth and Superior elevators is running 89 percent over the same period last year. It's also up 15 percent over the five year average. In September alone, according to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, the port experienced a 123 pecent increase in outbound grain shipments; primarily durum wheat and spring wheat going to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Much of that grain demand is blamed on shortages in Russia and a Russian ban on grain exports from that country.
Although not necessarily connected, employment figures just released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development show the Duluth-Superior metropolitan market gaining over 1,000 jobs between August and September, at a time the state as a whole lost almost 10,000.
Posted at 1:44 PM on October 22, 2010
by Elizabeth Baier
Filed under: Southeast Minnesota
The head of Rochester's public school system has been named a finalist for the top positions in Macon, Ga.
Rochester Superintendent Romain Dallemand will travel to Georgia this weekend for a final round of interviews, according to local television reports.
Dallemand is one of two finalists for the Bibb County school board position. The other is James E. Benfield, the current superintendent of Yadkin County Schools in North Carolina, according to an article in a Macon newspaper.
Dallemand became superintendent of the Rochester Public School District in 2007. He's also worked in school administrative positions in Connecticut and Florida.
After he arrived in Rochester, the school district developed a five-year plan to close the academic achievement gap. The program is based on the assumption that students can be taught to be successful in any area.
In 2008, Dallemand told MPR that by 2013, all students in the district will be proficient in reading, math and science, and all will be prepared for careers after high school.
"I always like to say that in Rochester we have a very good school district. However, 22 percent of our students are not proficient in reading and in math" Dallemand said.
Officials with the Macon School District have told various media outlets they will announce the new superintendent as early as Nov. 4.