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Education Department Announces Series of Statewide Meetings

Posted on December 06, 2011 at 1:09 PM
Categories: Education, Commerce, Environment

Today the Minnesota Department of Education announced a series of statewide public meetings to provide information about Minnesota’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver request.

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and MDE staff will embark on a statewide tour to present information about Minnesota’s waiver request and plans for a new accountability system that will more accurately and fairly measure schools progress.

“While the goals of NCLB are noble and some aspects of the law have been effective, it’s clear Minnesota can, and must do better,” said Commissioner Cassellius. “That’s why Governor Dayton has taken the lead in making Minnesota one of the first states to create an accountability system that is more responsive to the needs of our students, our schools and our state. These meetings will provide the public an opportunity to hear about Minnesota's waiver request, ask questions and offer feedback.”

The first meetings will be held in Rochester on December 7 and in St. Cloud on December 14. To read the full announcement and for more information about the waiver request, click here.


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Governor Dayton moves to simplify Minnesota's environmental review process

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 8:18 AM
Categories: Environment, Jobs

Yesterday, Governor Dayton built on his Administration’s success in streamlining the permitting process for businesses while preserving environmental protections, signing Executive Order 11-32 — which ordered the Environmental Quality Board to conduct an assessment and deliver recommendations to improve Minnesota’s complex environmental review process.

MPR reports:

Dayton said the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued more than 1,300 new permits within his goal of 150 days.

MPCA Commissioner Paul Aasen said that's a 80 percent success rate for all permit requests and a 96 percent success rate for new permits. He said the findings should end a stigma that environmental permitting takes too long in Minnesota.

"Environment and business can coexist very nicely," Aasen said. "We've always believed that and we're doing out best to make sure that we are not a piece of that perceived issue."

Dayton said his order instructs the Environmental Quality Board to look at more ways to speed up the environmental review process.


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Governor Dayton purchases hunting license ahead of First Annual Governor's Pheasant Opener

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 4:30 PM
Categories: Environment

Today, Governor Dayton purchased his small game license and pheasant stamp ahead of this weekend's First Annual Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Montevideo, Minnesota. He was joined by DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr and DPS Commissioner Ramona Dohman.

phopener.jpg

The West Central Tribune has an article today previewing this weekend's Governor's Pheasant Opener. The article notes that Governor Dayton "wants to thank the state’s military veterans, and has asked the sponsors to invite veterans recently returned from deployments in the Middle East." Check it out below:

MONTEVIDEO — Mayor Debra Lee Fader has lots of experience at welcoming hunters to Montevideo.

She and her husband, Brad, own the Sportsmen Inn, a 23-room motel that promotes itself as a “hunting and fishing headquarters.’’

This weekend will be a tad different, she admits, with Gov. Mark Dayton hosting the first-ever Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Montevideo.


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New solar energy plant celebrates grand opening on Iron Range

Posted on October 12, 2011 at 1:27 PM
Categories: Environment, Jobs, Technology

This week a new solar energy plant celebrated its grand opening on the Iron Range.  Minnesota was chosen for Seattle-based Silicon Energy’s second plant because of a state incentive program encouraging the purchase of solar panels made in-state.

IRRRB provided $1.5 million in equipment loans for the project and the agency worked over several months to create a package to assist Silicon Energy with building a plant in Mountain Iron, Minnesota. The company has already hired 15 employees and plans to add additional employees over the next few months in manufacturing, engineering, and sales. 

Minnesota Public Radio highlighted the news earlier this week:

Mountain Iron, Minn. — A new solar energy plant on the Iron Range celebrated a grand opening Monday.

Seattle-based Silicon Energy began training workers to produce photovoltaic systems at a plant in Mountain Iron last month. Minnesota was chosen for Silicon Energy's second plant because of a state incentive program encouraging purchase of solar panels made in-state, said company president Gary Shaver.


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Star Tribune: Dayton savors first-ever governor's pheasant hunt

Posted on October 10, 2011 at 1:34 PM
Categories: Environment

This weekend, the Star Tribune spotlighted Governor Dayton's First Annual Governor's Pheasant Opener, which is being held this Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15 in Montevideo, Minnesota. See the article below:

Star Tribune: On Outdoors: Dayton savors first-ever governor's pheasant hunt

Gov. Mark Dayton has no illusions about his chances of bagging a rooster pheasant Saturday at the first-ever Governor's Pheasant Opener near Montevideo in western Minnesota.

"I'll be a little rusty, but we'll see what happens,'' Dayton said Friday. "I don't pretend to be the best shot in the state. But any day out there walking around is a good day. It's a great rite of fall passage in Minnesota.''

Dayton grew up hunting ducks and pheasants but said a pheasant hunt last fall with Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., at an annual Montevideo-area event was his first hunt in years. He said he decided to launch a Governor's Pheasant Opener at Peterson's suggestion.

The pheasant season opens at 9 a.m. Saturday, and Dayton said the purpose of his event is similar to the annual governor's fishing and deer hunting openers: "It highlights some of the wonderful outdoor activities in Minnesota. It will be an annual event for as long as I'm governor.''


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Governor Dayton tours site, thanks firefighters in Greenbush, MN

Posted on October 10, 2011 at 11:25 AM
Categories: Environment

This morning Governor Dayton toured the fire site in Greenbush, Minnesota and thanked firefighters at the Incident Command Center for their ongoing efforts and hard work.

On Friday, the Governor issued an Emergency Executive Order to provide assistance to the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center and ordered the National Guard to help with fire efforts.

greenbush.jpg greenbush2.jpg


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DNR Commissioner Landwehr: Minnesota battles Asian carp

Posted on September 27, 2011 at 4:28 PM
Categories: Environment

Tom Landwehr, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, wrote an op-ed in today's Star Tribune titled, "Minnesota battles Asian carp," outlining the steps Governor Dayton and his administration are taking to stop the spread of Asian carp in Minnesota waters. Read it below:

Star Tribune: Minnesota battles Asian carp

'The threat posed by Asian carp requires decisive strokes, not just treading water."

Those words did not appear in the Star Tribune, but in a Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper editorial recently excoriating the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Congress for not doing enough to protect the Great Lakes from the threat of Asian carp.

Here in Minnesota, however, we intend to do everything possible to stop the spread. Gov. Mark Dayton has made it very clear: We will take decisive strokes and not tread water.


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