Fargo series to return with Chris Rock in lead role

I wasn’t sure I’d get to fire up the MinnesotaBrown “Fargo” Review again. After all, showrunner Noah Hawley had said he’d only bring the show back if he found a good story to tell. Well, apparently he has. And he’s brought in a heavy-hitter from the comedy world to headline the cast. FX has announced… Read More →

Mesabi Metallics internal fight casts shadow over project

So, I was gone for a week. As near as I can tell, I’ve returned to a world in which Nashwauk’s Mesabi Metallics owns half a mine with half a processing plant on it, run by two competing management groups. Last week, some of the money behind Chippewa Capital Resources, owners of the Mesabi Metallics… Read More →

Further North: Back in the U. S. of A.

I’m back in the U.S.A. My family and I just returned from a week-long vacation in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We had a wonderful time in Canada. You know what’s on the news in Canada? Wildfires. Public policy (not politics … policy). Bears. Every day, the bears do something different. Sometimes they sneak into an old lady’s kitchen… Read More →

The enduring importance of obituaries

The first assignment they gave me at journalism school was to write my own obituary. It’s a good way to teach the inverted pyramid writing style. That’s where you put the most important information first. Plus, it reminds young journalists that they’re expendable, valuable perspective for the current state of the industry. The other thing… Read More →

Sweet summer’s last act, a pause

Sweet Summer’s Last Act Basswood leaves hang like dinner plates, flags drooping on the pole. The animals grow brazen now, I think that one’s a mole. Brown and white skinned road workers can no longer be distinguished. Last night’s maple log has yet to be extinguished. Biting flies rule the day; mosquitos rule the night…. Read More →

Spend a summer night with Great Northern Radio Show

You might recall that the Great Northern Radio Show broadcast from the Reif Center last month. I write, host and produce the show for Northern Community Radio. We just released the podcast episodes this week. The first episode is titled “Nostalgia.” We put together a collection of music, comedy and stories exploring that fuzzy feeling about a… Read More →

Campaign season means signs are all around us

Someone just posted a campaign sign down the road. Well, there goes the neighborhood. This sentiment now spreads across Northern Minnesota’s tumultuous political environment. A political cycle defined by white hot rage now enters a new phase: paranoia that the other side is messing with your signs. I’ve worked in journalism and I’ve managed political… Read More →

R-O-C-K in the Co-op, eh?

The Mesaba Co-Op Park sits on the border between Cherry and Hibbing. You can’t escape this place as a key setting for Iron Range history. This refuge for mostly socialist Finnish immigrants became a playground and a proving ground for 20th Century leftist politics in Northern Minnesota. And it’s still here! While the place continues… Read More →

Digging deeper into immigration debate

Immigration policy burns at the heart of the political and cultural battle presently tearing this nation asunder. So, it made for a great topic for our most recent podcast of “Dig Deep.” This radio/podcast hybrid features conservative commentator Chuck Marohn and myself, the liberal commentator. My friend Heidi Holtan produces the program for Northern Community… Read More →

Canadian company gives solar second chance on Range

Next month, a Canadian company will reopen a solar panel manufacturing plant in Mountain Iron, hoping to shake off the bad juju of a previously failed project. Heliene opens in August with plans of hiring 130 people by September. They’ll produce commercial-scale solar panels for sale in the North American marketplace. They enjoy the aid… Read More →