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The nation’s rural reckoning of 2016

When the founders crafted our Constitution more than two centuries ago, they enshrined the rural agrarian roots of the United States. Country gentlemen trusted city folk about as much then as they do now, and for largely the same reason: power. For who would rule this nation? The farmers and loggers of the country, or… Read More →

Keewatin Taconite as seen from the air. PHOTO: Peter Clevenstine, Mineesota DNR

Iron Range uncertainty endures even as iron ore surges

Last night, history professor Jeff Manuel and I spoke to a patient, nice-sized crowd at the Grand Rapids Public Library about the past, present and future of the taconite industry on the Mesabi Iron Range. Our conclusion was as follows: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OK, perhaps that’s a little glib. Point is, you look at the short term you… Read More →

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Great Northern Radio Show hits Zenith City

That second week in November was a doozy. It started with a wild election result that left the nation speechless (for a few minutes, anyway). Then the Great Northern Radio Show made its Duluth debut on Saturday, Nov. 12. You now have a chance to hear this broadcast again. Northern Community Radio will rebroadcast both… Read More →

Taconite pellets along train tracks. PHOTO: Michael Hicks, Flickr CC.

Taconite Tuesday at Grand Rapids Library

This Tuesday, Nov. 29, I host a discussion at the Grand Rapids Public Library with Professor Jeff Manuel, author of “Taconite Dreams” and a well-respected voice researching deindustrialization in the United States. Longtime readers might recognize Jeff’s name. I spoke highly of his book “Taconite Dreams” last winter. He’s one of the few people I’ve… Read More →

(PHOTO: Paulann Egelhoff, Flick CC)

Stunning turn in Dakota Access Pipeline debate

Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it would deny the current easement request for the Dakota Access Pipeline, instead seeking alternative routes. Protesters supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to the pipeline — which would have crossed the band’s water source, Lake Oahe — celebrated Sunday’s news as an unexpected triumph. For months, peaceful… Read More →

Hot Off the Press

Stunning turn in Dakota Access Pipeline debate

Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it would deny the current easement request for the Dakota Access Pipeline, instead seeking alternative routes. Protesters supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to the pipeline — which would have crossed the band’s water source, Lake Oahe — celebrated Sunday’s news as an unexpected triumph. For months, peaceful… Read More →