Nothing but open road on route to MN-8 DFL nod

Last year I made a lot of hay out of the race for Congress in Minnesota’s Eighth District. The end result ended up less climactic and influential than we all thought. U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN8) ended up winning by just over five points, becoming one of few Republicans to win open seats in an… Read More →

Northwest Wisconsin congressman Duffy to resign

Some news from the other side of the Twin Ports harbor. Politico reports that U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI7) will resign from Congress at the end of September. Duffy told supporters in a Facebook post that he was leaving to focus on his family, including a new baby with health complications. He writes: With much… Read More →

Inspiring Mesabi Range running back featured on ESPN

Taquarius Wair dons the green and gold of the Mesabi Range Norseman football team. A freshman running back from Minneapolis, he joins many on his team in following dreams of playing college football to the Iron Range. But his story resembles no other. Burned in a terrible house fire when he was a small child,… Read More →

Nothing like an original

There’s nothing quite like going to the movies. I know people watch more films through television and streaming services now. But the shared experience of gathering around a big screen for an all-new experience still excites me long after I spent the summer of 1997 seeing every movie that came to town. This summer, for… Read More →

Look for influences, not adoration, in Dylan’s hometown

Can’t Bob Dylan just answer a straight question? Why must his rare public utterances be so cryptic? Why can’t he sing the way they they teach at Hibbing High School? Gosh darn it, why did he say he was from New Mexico when he went on Ed Sullivan? And why can’t Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing,… Read More →

Zebra mussels in Range mine pit raise questions

Northern Minnesota has been standing sentinel against zebra mussels for a number of years. We worry our freshwater lakes could be overrun by this invasive species. Typically, however, we imagine the pests arriving on the hulls of traveling boats and trailers. That doesn’t seem to explain why they showed up in an Iron Range mine… Read More →

Festival of Sail enters Duluth harbor

Tens of thousands of people pile along the lakeshore as the 2019 Duluth Festival of Sail returns with vintage ships and an enormous rubber duck. Here’s some video from today’s parade of sails as vintage replica ships like the U.S.S. Niagara enter the Duluth-Superior Harbor: The family and I took in the Tall Ships festival… Read More →

Emblematic of his era, Iron Range lawmaker Joe Begich dies

I met Joe Begich in the late 1990s, five years after he had retired from the state legislature. He was a senior statesman of sorts, an uncle at the Iron Range DFL reunion who could offer either useful context or long-winded tangents. Begich was, of course, a dedicated laborite and fierce Iron Range advocate. He… Read More →

Then and now: lessons from the forgotten past

Please excuse me. I’m suffering from the adverse effects of time travel. Disoriented and distracted, I wonder what small action 100 years ago might have created our present condition. For the past couple years, more intensely of late, I’ve researched the Hibbing of a century ago for a book. Methodically reading the newspapers of another… Read More →

Confessions of an assistant coach

The movie, “The Bad News Bears,” really set unreasonable expectations for under-qualified little league baseball coaches. For one thing, letting the children smoke and drink beer is even more taboo now than it was in 1976. For another, teaching children how to do anything requires extraordinary patience. Teaching them to lean into a pitch that,… Read More →