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 →

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.

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 →

After 10 years, final Minnesota ‘all hockey hair team’ video drops

Iron Range hopes for a state high school hockey championship fell just short with Greenway’s Saturday afternoon loss to St. Cloud Cathedral. It was an amazing run for the Raiders, though, with some great games, hearty effort and exciting play. And they placed respectably in the 2019 Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair Team… Read More →

It ain’t over ’til it’s oven

We come here not to mourn the oven, but to bury it. Northern Minnesota author Aaron Brown relates the fiery final minutes of his family’s electric range.

Dylan monument at Hibbing HS to be revealed fall 2019

Like an eddy in a fast-moving stream, Robert Zimmerman matriculated from Hibbing High School in 1959. Just three years later, under a new name of his own design, Bob Dylan began transforming the musical world from the stage of Carnegie Hall in New York. Decades before I was born, Dylan lived in the same neighborhood… Read More →

Iron Range state hockey hopes skate with Greenway

The Minnesota State High School boys class “A” hockey tournament begins today, always a cultural touchstone in this part of the world. Living in the Iron Range region of Northern Minnesota means dwelling among fever dreams of this state competition. Men and women are driven mad by title hopes, and sometimes spend a lifetime rueing… Read More →

Just our duck; the quack is back

You’ll just have to go to the festival yourself to see if the duck is everything it’s … QUACKED UP TO BE! Ha ha ha! Ha. ha. ha … OK, can we talk about this?

Good times are best times to invest in Iron Range future

Times are good in the iron and steel industry. Here in Northern Minnesota, the mines on the Mesabi Iron Range now operate at full capacity. Prices for both iron ore and finished steel run high. But are the communities of the Iron Range and the mining companies operating here really prepared for the changes ahead?

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.