Critical school votes test Northern MN political climate

Today, voters in two Northern Minnesota school districts will render their verdict on separate school bond referendum measures. The result will speak greatly toward public attitudes about the economy, taxation and public education in rural Minnesota. Grand Rapids In Grand Rapids, voters will consider two questions that would cost taxpayers up to $74 million. The… Read More →

Sportsball provides bright light in dreary MN spring

Northern Minnesota doesn’t know what to do with success. Frankly, it’s an occurrence that seems rare enough these days to ignore outright. But one can’t help but notice that this year, at least as far as local sportsball is concerned, everything is coming up Milhouse. Gold medal U.S. curling team staffed by Iron Range and Duluth… Read More →

What you are getting wrong about the Iron Range

Comparing the Mesabi Iron Range to Appalachia is always tricky. On one hand, there are apt likenesses. Both feature small towns and an economy built around mining. Both showcase the razor’s edge between capitalism, the environment, and the rights of workers. On the other, historical differences are strong. Appalachia is much bigger than the Iron… Read More →

8th District DFLers walk tightrope on mining as convention nears

The five Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidates for Congress in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District have just eight days until their April 14 endorsing convention. On April 4, the group participated in a DFL-sponsored forum at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet. The UpTake covered the event. We’ve already established that, barring something truly extraordinary… Read More →

Hear the latest Great Northern Radio Show from Bemidji

Last month I brought my Great Northern Radio Show to Bemidji State University for our latest blend of Northern Minnesota-themed variety programming. I think it turned out well, with plenty of funny bits and good music. The program aired live on Northern Community Radio and featured a sold out venue at the Thompson Recital Hall… Read More →

Tooth in Advertising: program attracts dentists to Range

I’ve got decent insurance now, so my three kids could go to the dentist starting at an early age. That wasn’t the case for my parents. But when it came time for my boys to go to the dentist, we still had a hard time getting them in. My lifelong dentist wasn’t accepting new patients,… Read More →

Ulysses S. Grant: the forgotten emancipator

My great-great-great grandfather Peter Crist lost an eye fighting for Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in the Army of the Potomac. Crist would stand just a few miles from the Appomattox Courthouse when Robert E. Lee surrendered to Grant, ending the U.S. Civil War. After the surrender, my maternal ancestor would guard the White House on… Read More →

Hibbing film scores box office success

Last week I wrote about Karl Jacob’s movie “Cold November,” a quality indy film that tells a beautiful story set right here in Northern Minnesota. In the scheduled run last week, “Cold November” ended up being the highest grossing film at the Mann’s Cinema 8 in Hibbing. As a result, the theater added an additional… Read More →

Comparing MN-8 candidates in first public forum

On Sunday, the seven announced candidates for Congress in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District participated in their first major public forum. The event was sponsored by student groups from the College of St. Scholastica and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The Uptake was there to gather video. Five DFLers — including Kirsten Kennedy, Michelle Lee, Jason Metsa,… Read More →

So we started a trade war: now what?

Last Thursday, President Trump officially enacted steep tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum despite criticism that doing so could start a trade war. But the Trump Administration also enacted a system of waivers that would allow many allies to seek exception from the tariffs. And as soon as that window opened, top steel exporters like… Read More →