To build Iron Range economic hopes we must keep working


The steam cloud pouring out of the stack at Keewatin Taconite once again guides my daily commute from the wilds of Itasca County into Hibbing. For nearly two years, the eastern sky bore only the unforgiving blaze of the sun. Now fluffy white billows remind that hundreds of miners are back at work. Unfortunately, KeeTac’s… Read More →

Outsider bid pulls off upset in Essar bankruptcy auction

As the old saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt. Today, a bankruptcy court in Delaware ruled on the case of Essar Steel Minnesota. The judge didn’t go with the incumbent, now renamed Mesabi Metallics. Nor did the well established Cliffs Natural Resources prevail. Instead, Chippewa Capital Partners, LLC, a group controlled by Tom Clarke’s ERP Iron Ore, announced… Read More →

NASA scientist predicts future raid on Great Lakes water

Natural resources spur debate in Minnesota. Mining and forestry find their way into many controversies. But water? Well, people want it to be clean, but no one begrudges anyone a cool glass of water. Have another! Water your lawn if you want. No need, of course, because there’s plenty of water everywhere. This is, after… Read More →

Cheeseburgers, health care & rural identity: adventures in podcasting

At this point, the words “blog” and “podcast,” once trendy markers of an innovative agent of media disruption, have reached the point in their life cycle where the words themselves are pretty boring, perhaps even grating, on their own. But people read and listen to blogs and podcasts in great numbers, particularly if you count the… Read More →

Trump’s tariff on Canada softwood may spike prices, slow construction

President Donald Trump’s Commerce Department made news in these parts by slapping a 15 percent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber. Trump says Canadian subsidies create unfair trade conditions, a charge that Canadian officials dispute. It comes down to how Canada handles the ownership of timber lands. In the U.S. private interests hold most lands, an… Read More →

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Outsider bid pulls off upset in Essar bankruptcy auction

As the old saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt. Today, a bankruptcy court in Delaware ruled on the case of Essar Steel Minnesota. The judge didn’t go with the incumbent, now renamed Mesabi Metallics. Nor did the well established Cliffs Natural Resources prevail. Instead, Chippewa Capital Partners, LLC, a group controlled by Tom Clarke’s ERP Iron Ore, announced… Read More →