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Connie Gores named president of SMSU

Connie Gores
Connie Gores was unanimously approved by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Board of Trustees.

Connie Gores was unanimously approved by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Board of Trustees on Tuesday morning as the next president at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall,” the Marshall Independent reports. Gores will be the first woman to lead SMSU; she will succeed Interim President Ron Wood. The article says Gores “has served at Winona State University since 2007 as the vice president for student life and development and as interim president (summer 2012).”

The NewPage paper mill in West Duluth has laid off 13 employees, reports Candace Renalls in the Duluth News Tribune. “NewPage Corp., owner of the Duluth mill and seven other mills in the United States, is eliminating 300 of its 6,000 positions at its eight U.S. paper mills because of rising costs and declining demand for its paper products,” she writes, adding, “Those 13 employees were abruptly dismissed Feb. 19. They received severance packages, but Christenson said he wasn’t allowed to say what it entailed. The mill’s employees are not unionized. The Duluth mill, which began operations in 1987, makes paper used for catalogues, magazines, advertising inserts and other commercial paper. It also has recycled pulp mill that produces high-quality pulp from recovered paper.”

“About a month after it announced plans that it would invest $30 million at one of its two largest facilities, Viracon announced Monday that Owatonna would be the site for the investment project,” reports Al Strain in the Owatonna People’s Press. “Owatonna was competing against Viracon’s facility in Statesboro, Ga.,” he writes. “The plan calls for at least $30 million in investments that will go toward the construction of a new, 100,000 square-foot building on site at the Owatonna location.” The story says the Owatanna City Council approved an incentive package last week that included an agreement for $4.35 million in Tax Increment Financing for the project. Strain reports, “The plan is to begin construction on the new building, which will go over a portion of Fourth Street Northwest that will be vacated by the city, in April this year. … the goal is to have the plant in full operation by the end of the summer in 2014.”

“Embattled Red Wing Mayor Dennis Egan told the city council on Monday he plans to resign on April 1 and will work in the meantime to ensure a smooth transition,” Brett Boese reports in the Rochester Post-Bulletin. “Egan, who runs a lobbying firm Egan Public Affairs, will continue as executive director for the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council, the job that created a firestorm of criticism about a potential conflict of interest earlier this month. He first announced his plans to step down on Friday.” According to the article, “The city will have 85 days — from the day the mayor's written resignation is accepted — to conduct a special election. It's projected to cost around $25,000, which is an unbudgeted expense.”

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