‘Dueling’ Iron Range realities at the Minnesota Reformer

Some news. I will now write occasional columns and long form pieces for the Minnesota Reformer. I posted this on social media a week ago, but am finally getting around to updating readers here at the blog. Read today’s column here. You know that I’ve been writing fewer posts these days while working on my… Read More →

Amy Klobuchar: the senator from Minnesota

I first met Amy Klobuchar in a back alley in International Falls, Minnesota, not far from a paper plant along the Canadian border. Looking back at that 2006 day gives us clues about her upcoming presidential campaign.

Et tu? Caucus revolt renders Shakespearian outcome for Bakk, Range DFL

State Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) ousted Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook this afternoon at a Senate DFL caucus meeting. Ironically, the rebellion took place in a Carpenter’s Union hall, the kind of place where Bakk built his Iron Range labor credentials. Kent will lead Senate Democrats as the legislature reconvenes in ten days…. Read More →

Five NE Minnesota colleges move toward merger

On Wednesday, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees approved plans to merge five community and technical colleges in Northeastern Minnesota. After a two-year planning period the board will vote again on whether to go through with it. The new college organization, if approved, would be in operation by Fall 2022. These five… Read More →

There was a peaceful school called Rock Ridge

Tonight the Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears and Virginia-Mountain Iron-Buhl Blue Devils renewed their storied Iron Range high school hockey rivalry. But this game was less about the final score (Bears won 4-1) than about the announcement made on the ice between periods. Last year, voters from both school districts authorized the building of a new shared… Read More →

‘Making It’ makes lovely tribute to Great Northern Radio Show

It’s been another busy stretch of work and writing so you haven’t seen much more than my weekly newspaper column here at MinnesotaBrown. I did want to share this episode of PBS North’s “Making It Up North,” produced by Karen Sunderman and Steve Ash. They followed us around for the whole day of our final… Read More →

MinnesotaBrown’s Top Posts of 2019

We’re closing a momentous year and a momentous decade here at MinnesotaBrown. For most of you 2019 probably did not provide the most riveting year of material from yours truly. You saw 1-2 posts per week. Much less political coverage. Fewer posts about Northern Minnesota arts and culture. It would have appeared to you that… Read More →

Hey Jenna Fischer, here are specific things to know about the Iron Range

As you may have noticed I’ve been blogging less to focus on my new book. So I wasn’t able to click-grab news about “The Office” star Jenna Fischer coming to the Iron Range to film a new hockey movie next month. That’s a shame. One of the most popular posts I’ve ever published was when… Read More →

Bakk to the Future?

What’s this? Another post? Why, it’s a full on blogging relapse. Late last week we learned State Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) would challenge State Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) for the Senate DFL caucus leadership post. The meeting was supposed to be held today but Bakk pushed it back until later in the week. Bakk, of… Read More →

2020 race for MN legislature will pivot on northern SD5

When Republicans took control of both houses of the Minnesota legislature in 2016 they made hay off the massive swing that took place in the fifth state senate district. This northern district, which includes parts of Itasca, Cass, Hubbard and Beltrami counties, was previously represented by a DFL senator and two DFL representatives. After 2016,… Read More →