Crowd questions Mesabi Metallics in tense meeting

Hundreds packed the Nashwauk Township Community Center Monday night to ask questions of Gov. Mark Dayton, state officials and the CEO of Mesabi Metallics. The governor called the town hall meeting after months of local criticism. A proposal to build a new mine on the site of the long defunct Butler Taconite site once carried… Read More →

DNR confirms Zebra mussels in Pokegama Lake chain

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed Monday it found invasive zebra mussels in the Blandin Reservoir along the Mississippi River near Grand Rapids. That means that several waters connected to the reservoir now enter the infested waters designation. They include: Lake Pokegama Jay Gould Lake Little Jay Gould Lake the Mississippi River from Lake… Read More →

Iconic ship slips past Duluth bridge

The retired iron ore ship William A. Irvin has been docked near Canal Park in downtown Duluth so long that it’s become part of the permanent landscape. Perhaps that’s why so many people stayed up practically overnight Friday into Saturday morning to see the immobilized ship move once again. This YouTube video by photographer Dennis… Read More →

Governor, Mesabi Metallics to hold Nashwauk forum

On a sunny July day in 2016, Gov. Mark Dayton and a gaggle of mining officials took questions inside the Nashwauk Township Community Center about the former Butler Taconite plant just a few miles down the road. Now, just over two years later, Dayton will hold a similar event, only this production boasts a whole… Read More →

Great Northern Radio Show at Hibbing HS auditorium

I’m spinning headlong into an intense couple of months of work projects. I’m teaching full time and continue working on my book. Now I have something new to announce: An exciting Nov. 17 Great Northern Radio Show broadcast at the Hibbing High School auditorium. We’ve played Hibbing a couple times, but never this ornate 1,800-seat… Read More →

Some questions matter more in mining debate

I follow sports. I like to watch baseball and football in particular. Some of my friends are far more into sports than I am. Others don’t care about sports at all. For the first group, I sometimes fall disappointingly short in conversation. I just can’t recall the same statistics and analysis to explain why the… Read More →

Cliffs vows ore for Hibbing Taconite, plans for Nashwauk

Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves still wants to mine iron ore near Nashwauk. He vows that Hibbing Taconite will always have enough ore from his company, if they need it. Further he says Northshore Mining continues to make progress with direct-reduced iron products. Finally, he predicts smooth contract negotiations between his company and the United Steelworkers…. Read More →

Essar rejoins Nashwauk project; ArcelorMittal looms large

The complex tale of an incomplete iron ore mine on the western Mesabi Iron Range took several new turns this week. Each twist reinforces a central truth. Distant, powerful corporate forces act on impulses far removed from Northern Minnesota’s hopes and dreams. Mesabi Metallics still holds state mining leases on land outside Nashwauk. This was… Read More →

Minnesota’s Iron Range region can feed itself

Minnesota’s Iron Range region is known for mining. But that’s only one of the resources provided in the Dakota legend of the Big Man Hills, or Sleeping Giant. Another has provided food far longer: the soil beneath our feet. Minnesota’s three major iron ranges hold a bad reputation for farming, due to the high iron… Read More →

Radinovich holds narrow lead in NY Times poll

Joe Radinovich holds an extremely narrow lead over Pete Stauber in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll of Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District. Radinovich led 44 percent to Stauber’s 43 percent in the four-day poll that ended yesterday. Thirteen percent remain undecided in the survey, which did not name independent candidate Ray “Skip” Sandman. The… Read More →