See all the trucks go by

Diesel fuel smells like home. It reminds me of the idling school bus and the pungent workshop at my family’s junkyard in 1986. Trucks leave deep treads on my memories. Big yellow mining trucks dot the landscape of the Mesabi Iron Range as they have for generations. I played with a Tonka Truck as a… Read More →

Summer 2018 brings color to Range communities

I drive through Nashwauk, Minnesota, most days. It’s a nice little town, but a little worn down. That’s not unusual for the cities of the western Mesabi Iron Range. These boom towns bloomed in a white pine wilderness a century ago, each at the mouth of a specific iron mine. Now that mining is more… Read More →

Up in Smoke: Superior disaster reminds why we watch industry

Just six days ago the Twin Ports of Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin could have been blown to smithereens. A billowing fire engulfed the Husky Oil Refinery in Superior, encroaching just 150 feet from a tank of hydrogen fluoride. An explosion of that tank would have atomized Superior and released a deadly toxic cloud for… Read More →

Iron Range parades, street dances and fireworks

As a young kid I marched in the Keewatin Fourth of July parade as a patriotic penguin, Donald Duck, and other flag-festooned creatures. As an older kid I remember piling into a car with my friends, touring Range towns for street dances and fireworks. Before cell phones we would often try to anticipate where we… Read More →

Hear ‘Dig Deep’ drill into 2018 campaign

As I previewed a few days ago, we held a Dig Deep live event at KAXE studios in Grand Rapids this week. Moderator and producer Heidi Holtan led a conversation between conservative commentator Chuck Marohn and liberal commentator, yours truly. We analyzed Minnesota politics as it stands today. Specifically we explore the uncertain race for… Read More →

Hot Off the Press

Iron Range parades, street dances and fireworks

As a young kid I marched in the Keewatin Fourth of July parade as a patriotic penguin, Donald Duck, and other flag-festooned creatures. As an older kid I remember piling into a car with my friends, touring Range towns for street dances and fireworks. Before cell phones we would often try to anticipate where we… Read More →