NASA scientist predicts future raid on Great Lakes water

Natural resources spur debate in Minnesota. Mining and forestry find their way into many controversies. But water? Well, people want it to be clean, but no one begrudges anyone a cool glass of water. Have another! Water your lawn if you want. No need, of course, because there’s plenty of water everywhere. This is, after… Read More →

Power poles like fingers to the sky

They’re putting in new power poles along the county highway near our dirt road in Balsam Township. The old poles, faded grey, lean askew like the bright orange temporary fence that tries and fails to prevent people taking a short cut to the portable toilets at a tractor show. The new poles lay alongside the… Read More →

Orchids to Mesabi Daily News for Onion reform

The world boasts no shortage of internet trolls. Anonymous criticism, partisan blather, all designed to divide and demean members of the community. Rarely, however, does the anonymous vile of your average online comments section get full page treatment in the printed editorial page of a daily newspaper. For the past two decades, however, the Saturday… Read More →

Governor to state: ‘I caught you a delicious bass’

When the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that 2017 would be a catch-and-release season for the state’s most popular fish — the walleye — on one of its biggest, most popular lakes — Mille Lacs — anglers and resort owners revolted. The cries rang out. “How can you be so sure the walleye population is… Read More →

IRRRB reform divides Iron Range delegation

The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board would see its governance structure change under new reforms currently attached to House Republican legislation. The board, comprised of legislators from the Taconite Tax Relief Area, now oversees IRRRB spending of taconite tax revenue. This is money paid by iron mines in lieu of local property taxes. The… Read More →

‘Three’s company’ in Essar bankruptcy case

Things happen quickly in bankruptcy proceedings for the former Essar Steel Minnesota iron ore mine near Nashwauk in Northern Minnesota. Late yesterday, we learned of a new player on the scene. This, after I reported new developments early Monday morning. Mesabi Metallics, the reorganized successor to Essar Steel Minnesota, still wants to finish the project with its… Read More →

Hibbing opens roads, some streets to ATV traffic

The Iron Range city of Hibbing is opening its roadways to all terrain vehicles (ATVs). Hibbing joins Itasca County and other Iron Range towns in considering and ultimately adopting looser regulations for the popular recreational vehicles. The Hibbing Daily Tribune reports on the ATV ordinance, passed in a March 22 council meeting. It opens up… Read More →

Higher and Higher: Duluth councilor looks up for development

The new 11-story Maurice’s Headquarters and Office Building in downtown Duluth added some heft to the skyline of this mid-sized metro in the Middle West last year. Now one city councilor is looking up, not out, for future development of the city. At-large city councilor Zach Filipovich has proposed a resolution for tonight’s Council meeting… Read More →

Another salvo in Cliffs, Mesabi Metallics iron ore war

If this sounds familiar, bear with me. Cliffs Natural Resources and its outspoken CEO Lourenco Goncalves think very little of the former Essar Steel Minnesota or its reorganized successor, Mesabi Metallics. Goncalves’ company wants the leases to mine iron at the former Butler Taconite site near Nashwauk on the western Mesabi Iron Range. But Mesabi Metallics… Read More →

The Chinese engineer who mined an American life on Minnesota’s Iron Range

Wen Ping Pan was arguably the fastest man in China in 1912. Also among the nation’s best tennis players, he had his pick between competing in the Olympics against Jim Thorpe or playing in the esteemed Davis Cup tennis tournament. Ultimately, he did neither. Geopolitical change would radically alter this young man’s life, most of… Read More →