Season finale? Great Northern Radio Show broadcasts Nov. 9 at Hibbing

Hi all — some rather big news buried in the press release for my Nov. 9 Great Northern Radio Show at the Hibbing High School auditorium. If you haven’t seen the Great Northern yet, this may be your last chance for a long while. Anywhere from two years to forever. More to come on the… Read More →

Late but great, hear the most recent Great Northern Radio Show

I don’t know what it is about summer, but it always seems to delay the release of our Great Northern Radio Show online audio. At long last you can hear Sarah Morris, Thomas X, Katie and the Occasionals, the Great Northern Radio Players and yours truly in the show we broadcast June 22 at the… Read More →

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 →

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 →

Explaining the hot idle

If you’re a regular reader of MinnesotaBrown.com you’ve probably noticed far fewer posts that usual this summer. This is what I sometimes call a “hot idle.” The term refers to what the mines do when they halt production of iron ore but keep their equipment “hot” and ready for a quick restart. It’s usually something… Read More →

The power of getting together for the Iron Range Fourth of July week

Last week, Andrew Krueger at Minnesota Public Radio interviewed me about the Fourth of July tradition on the Iron Range. The piece aired last Saturday. Independence Day brings one of the most fun weeks on the Iron Range. I explain some of the origin story and cultural significance of this week’s activities in the interview…. Read More →