When the levee breaks

Tailings basins are a key part of Mesabi Iron Range mining history, but are also making headlines across the world. Balancing responsible mining with environmental risk is a critical question going forward.

Essar sues state but misses deadline; Cliffs hungry for ore

Essar Steel is fighting back against state attempts to debar the company, but in doing so reveals it will miss another deadline on the long beleaguered iron ore project. Meantime, Cleveland-Cliffs hungrily seeks new ore reserves, reopening a mine in Michigan and waiting to develop its property near the Essar site.

Bankruptcy claims remaining ShopKo stores, including Duluth

ShopKo announced today that bankruptcy would force it to close all its remaining stores, including six in Northeastern and Central Minnesota, by June 16. Stores in Duluth, Ely, Two Harbors, Aitkin, Mora and Moose Lake are among those that will close. ShopKo’s woes are nothing new, and are in keeping with general problems in the… Read More →

Arts provide economic, aesthetic boost to NE Minnesota

Last year I wrote about the economic impact of the arts in Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range region. An organization called Creative Minnesota explored the total reach of the arts, including the revenue generated within the economy and the number of jobs created. Today, the same organization released a new 2019 report as part of Arts… Read More →

Study shows rural ‘recreation counties’ holding population

In real terms, the biggest factor in most of the challenges facing Iron Range communities is population loss. The economic contraction of the late 1950s and 1980s sent people away from core Range communities. This impacted local businesses, school enrollments, housing values, and myriad other issues. There are other factors, more to consider, but basically… Read More →

Hot Off the Press

Bankruptcy claims remaining ShopKo stores, including Duluth

ShopKo announced today that bankruptcy would force it to close all its remaining stores, including six in Northeastern and Central Minnesota, by June 16. Stores in Duluth, Ely, Two Harbors, Aitkin, Mora and Moose Lake are among those that will close. ShopKo’s woes are nothing new, and are in keeping with general problems in the… Read More →