Harassment scandal roils governor, MN-8 races

Yesterday, MinnPost published a bombshell story by Sam Brodey about a top Rick Nolan staffer accused of harassing women who worked in Nolan’s office. Several women told Brodey that Nolan’s D.C. office legislative director Jim Swidirski harassed and groped them. Swidirski was allowed to resign quietly in 2015. Nolan then retained Swidirski as a campaign… Read More →

Steelworkers contract talks test strong market

This month contract negotiations opened between the United Steelworkers of America and two big steelmakers, U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal. Already, the union says the two sides are far apart. Workers hope for a better outcome than the last labor negotiations in 2015. That contract froze pay and added costs to retirees. However, it also held… Read More →

Calculating Minnesota’s 8th District DFL primary

As a hot, wet Northern Minnesota summer slogs into its dog days, so too does the DFL primary in the Eighth Congressional District. Less than a month away, the Aug. 14 primary election will send a new DFL nominee to face a well-financed Republican challenger backed vociferously by President Trump. That challenger, Pete Stauber of… Read More →

Another chance for western Mesabi mine

Billionaire Tom Clarke and his Chippewa Capital Partners will have a chance to finish the $2 billion Mesabi Metallics iron mine and pig iron plant at the former Butler Taconite plant in Nashwauk. On Wednesday, Gov. Mark Dayton announced that the state will restore mineral leases withheld from the project after the bankruptcy of its… Read More →

The mellow melee of Minnesota’s race for governor

So, consider this list: a senior member and prominent leader in the State House the attorney general of a prosperous state A successful congressman from a swing district Two of them are going to get sucked up some mystery tube. No one knows where the tube goes. The other one gets to fight a dragon… Read More →

Finland’s whitetail deer have Iron Range roots

Finnish-Americans gave Northern Minnesota saunas, labor activism and light switches that are on the outside of the room for some reason. But few here know they also gave the “old country” more whitetail deer than they can shoot. Right now about 100,000 whitetail deer roam the Finnish countryside. In 1934, that number was a cold,… Read More →

Boundless primary choices await Northern MN voters

Over the Fourth of July holiday political candidates marched in parades across Northern Minnesota. Each hoped to make valuable connections with voters during a tumultuous election cycle. But here on the Iron Range, this mushroomed into an ungainly number of candidates. This was particularly evident on the DFL side. With stacked primaries in Minnesota’s Eighth… Read More →

Northern Lights brings Barber of Seville to Iron Range

Each summer the Northern Lights Music Festival brings a fully staged classical opera to stages across Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. This summer, festival founder Veda Zupancic and her company bring Rossini’s Italian comic opera “The Barber of Seville.” The festival also backs chamber orchestra, instrumental trios and kids programming across the region. Events kick off… Read More →

Bovey seeks ‘Grace’ wherever it may be found

Not many states have an official state photograph, but here in Minnesota we do. Eric Enstrom took the picture “Grace” in 1918 at his studio in downtown Bovey, Minnesota. I wrote about the back story last year. This iconic image appears in homes and churches across the Christian world, so ubiquitous and replicated that people… Read More →

U rejects, rejoice! Rural Minnesota is probably fine

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the University of Minnesota system is exploring strategies to build enrollment statewide. The main University of Minnesota campus in the Twin Cities remains popular, constituting 71 percent of the system’s enrollment. They even have to turn away students from elite programs. But to reach its goals, the Board… Read More →