Minnesota’s summer clock more ticks than tocks

I’ve heard a version of the following statement from several different people this year: “I’m not worried about lightning, thunderstorms or tornados, but I am worried about ticks.” This from the hearty meat-and-potatoes stock of Northern Minnesota, people who chip ice off their beards to eat food they killed with a crossbow. You know it’s got… Read More →

The real problem behind legislative chaos

I teach communication at a community college. I am the loathsome cur who assigns students to complete group work. Students often hate group work. Some don’t like the “group” part; others dislike the “work” component. In any event, relative strangers suddenly find their grade hooked onto someone else’s wagon. They become interdependent, whether they like it… Read More →

FARGO, Season 3, Ep. 6: “The Lord of No Mercy”

The FX series “Fargo” takes viewers on a “true crime” adventure through the snow-swept landscape of Minnesota. Based on the Coen Brothers Academy Award winning film “Fargo,” each season of the TV series explores a new story cast from the themes of innocence lost, human failings, and the redemptive power of goodness. Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown… Read More →

There be titanium dioxide in them thar’ hills

If you’ve never heard of titanium dioxide, you’d qualify as normal. But you’ve probably used white paint, eaten red candy, or applied sunscreen before. All of those products use titanium dioxide. So do plastics and some electronics. The stuff sells at $3,200 per metric ton. Today, researchers release a report showing that the Iron Range region could… Read More →

Koochiching County at the crossroads

Last Thursday, I was part of a panel for a “Policy and a Pint” forum about Northern Minnesota employment issues. The Citizen’s League and MPR’s The Current sponsored the event. One of the big themes to emerge from the dialogue was the idea that Northern Minnesota needs to attract people. Returning young professionals, yes, but… Read More →

Unique arts camp at historic Mesaba Park near Hibbing

In 1929, Finnish immigrants founded Mesaba Park, a cooperative park located on Northstar Lake between Cherry Township and Hibbing. They sought to provide a safe meeting place for workers and a low-cost recreational facility for their families. It was unique then, and even more so today having survived the decline of the cooperative movement elsewhere. The… Read More →

Hibbing native: save the world, eat bugs

If we’re being honest, we’ve all eaten a bug at one time or another. I’ve dined on a few pedaling my bike across the back roads of Northern Minnesota. And never mind how many crawl into our mouths at night without us knowing. Yet not many of us eat insects on purpose. Our parents told us… Read More →

Itasca County shark? A mystery unsolved

Itasca County boasts plenty of critters that could eat you. Bears. Mosquitos. Turkey buzzards. But until now no one’s ever worried about a shark. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported May 17 about a father and son duo who fished a tiger shark jaw out of the Mississippi River near Grand Rapids. Tiger sharks can only survive… Read More →

Sue Hakes of Grand Marais to explore MN-8 bid

With Congressman Rick Nolan considering a run for governor, a potential Democratic candidate for his Eighth Congressional District seat announced her exploratory committee today. Sue Hakes, who previously served as Cook County Commissioner and Mayor of Grand Marais, will test the field as Nolan considers his future. “When I think about Minnesota’s Eighth District, I think… Read More →

Dylan Fest 2017 honors Northern MN’s own Bob Dylan

Every May, Bob Dylan’s shared hometowns of Duluth, where he was born, and Hibbing, where he grew up, celebrate music, poetry and culture in his honor. This year, Dylan is fresh off his Nobel Prize for Literature. And while the former Bobby Zimmerman isn’t expected to appear at this year’s festivities, a full lineup of… Read More →