Eelpout fever in Northern Minnesota

Last week we experienced a winter thaw in Northern Minnesota. This week the weather cooled off. The southern part of the state faces a blizzard today, while the rest of the state wonders what time of year it really is. The answer is simple. Eelpout. It’s eelpout season. The annual Eelpout Festival is happening now… Read More →

U.S. Steel CEO invites Trump to Iron Range

On Thursday, U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi invited President Donald Trump to visit the company’s operations on Northern Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range. Ron Brochu at Business North reports on the exchange. “What a great company. I love Caterpillar. I’ve been driving ‘em for a long time,” the president said. “Well, come out and see us… Read More →

Author to share novel about 1916 Mesabi strike at MDC

Author Megan Marsnik will read from her novel “Under Ground” and discuss its setting amid the Mesabi Range Strike of 1916 Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm. The Discovery Center currently features the exhibit “Enough! The 1916 Mesabi Range Strike.” This is an absolutely necessary viewing for anyone… Read More →

New Highway 53 bridge on track for 2017 opening

Construction continues on the new Highways 53 and 135 bridges between Eveleth and Virginia. Drone cameras continue to document the process, giving us all a clear picture of the progress. When complete, the Highway 53 bridge will become the tallest bridge in Minnesota. The entire project is expected to cost $240 million. Thus, this easily represents… Read More →

‘Brew World Order’ in Grand Rapids, Minn.

How many craft breweries does one small town in Northern Minnesota really need? Apparently two. Right now, Grand Rapids, like most towns found along the Mesabi Iron Range, has zero breweries. That is, of course, not counting the legions of people who make hooch tasting of liquid bread and Windex in their basements. But local brews… Read More →

New state basketball award named for Bob McDonald

Three generations of Iron Range basketballers know well the legacy of former Chisholm coach Bob McDonald. The winningest coach in Minnesota State High School League history, McDonald led hundreds of boys on a journey that was one part basketball skill and one part character-building. Now, new generations will come to know the name Bob McDonald… Read More →

Mesabi Metallics responds to governor’s criticism

The new CEO of Mesabi Metallics, Matthew Stock, wants to meet with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to argue his case that his company can finish a brand new yet somehow beleagured taconite mine. It was clear from Gov. Dayton’s statement on Feb. 8 that he wasn’t ready to jump on the Mesabi Metallics bandwagon. Sure,… Read More →

Midnight in the Temple of Man (Toys)

Growing up on Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range, the occasional family trip to Duluth gave us a rare view of the chain stores and restaurants seen only on our television set. Every family member demanded a stop at their favorite destination. A second-hand clothing store for one sister. Designer clothes for the other. The big book store for mom… Read More →

Armadillo Project seeks to lift soldiers from darkness

Shelly Hanson was the first director and stage manager for my Great Northern Radio Show. One of her jobs was to warm up the crowd before we went live. I still remember the show night when, during the warmup, her phone buzzed. She told the crowd that she knew it was rude to look at… Read More →

Cliffs boasts big earnings, state support in Essar battle

Last week, Cliffs Natural Resources CEO Lourenco Goncalves announced that his company posted a $199 million profit in 2016. That reflects a positive swing of almost $1 billion from the dismal 2015 downturn of the American steel industry. It’s also basic math, as Cliffs finally has all its Minnesota mines up and running, filling orders… Read More →