Highway 53 bridge opening delayed

Though Bridge Daze celebrating the new Highway 53 bridge between Virginia and Eveleth will go on this week, motorists won’t cross the new tallest bridge in Minnesota until mid-September. On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced that weather delayed their target opening date this week. Barring setbacks, officials hope to open the bridge to… Read More →

What’s in a name? Cleveland-Cliffs is back

Cliffs Natural Resources is now Cleveland-Cliffs. That means that the grand old man of American iron mining now wears his old duds. Lourenco Goncalves , Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The historical name Cleveland-Cliffs is synonymous with our strong heritage, and is the perfect one for our next era of growth. As we did… Read More →

WWII anti-fascist film holds up disturbingly well

Like most folks, I’ve spent some time thinking about the flare up of white nationalist violence last weekend in the United States. For me, this is a disturbing continuation of trends we’ve seen in all corners of this country. Division, threats and death. What do I think? Why recreate what was so well articulated 74… Read More →

Nolan confirms re-election bid in MN’s swingin’ 8th

Ending weeks of parlor speculation, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN8) told the St. Paul Pioneer Press last week that he will run for re-election in his Northern Minnesota swing district. That news had been implied, but not explicitly stated, when Nolan announced he wouldn’t run for governor earlier this summer. On one hand, Nolan feels… Read More →

Highway 53 bridge name contest down to final vote

Nearly complete, the Highways 53 and 135 rerouting project between the Mesabi Iron Range towns of Virginia, Eveleth and Gilbert will be Northern Minnesota’s largest, most expensive infrastructure project of our generation. The showpiece of the whole thing is a new Highway 53 bridge spanning the Rouchleau Pit outside Virginia. That bridge is almost done…. Read More →

Iron Rangers say ‘porketta,’ Arby’s says ‘porchetta’

While language is probably the most important hallmark of a culture, food is a very close second. Everyone’s gotta eat, and what you eat tells a lot about where you live and which traditions you carry through the generations. Here on the Mesabi Iron Range in Northern Minnesota, a melting pot of cultures made a… Read More →

The high cost of inaction on rural broadband

Longtime readers know my position on rural broadband. In short, I view it as one important part of blended strategy to diversify the economy of Northern Minnesota. To extend the fastest and highest capacity delivery system would mean more fiber optic lines buried underground. This is the most obvious and also the most expensive way… Read More →

Minnesota bug clouds tripping radar balls?

Here in Northern Minnesota, the deer flies are always bad this time of year. They’re worse this year. Everybody’s talking about deer flies. And they may have even showed up on radar. But first, some thoughts about radar. Every day I pass by the Nashwauk Radar Ball, a mysterious white orb overlooking Highway 65 north… Read More →

A summer storm brings peace

We live in times of constant stress and outrage. The ubiquity of media means that anyone from a kindergartner to a retiree can feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Last Thursday, we had a summer storm blow through Balsam Township. Not the worst we’ve seen, but a real whipper. A healthy basswood… Read More →

Former Magnetation brass buy Canadian iron mine

Tacora Resources, Inc., a newly formed mining company based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, just acquired the assets to the Scully Mine in Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Cliffs Natural Resources closed the Scully Mine in 2014. The company left behind unfunded pensions and considerable animosity among the rural population of this small town in Labrador…. Read More →