Iron Range in isolation: talking COVID-19

Last week I appeared on KAXE with Heidi Holtan talking about the COVID-19 situation on the Mesabi Iron Range. Check it out. This was my first radio appearance since being sheltered in place with my family here in the woods of northern Minnesota. We make a couple trips to town each week for groceries and… Read More →

On the missing pieces in Iron Range political coverage

On Sunday, the national political publication Politico profiled the shifting political winds on northern Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range. Reporter Adam Behsudi and photographer M. Scott Mahaskey toured the region a few weeks ago.  And yes, I appear in the story. It’s worth reading. But if you do, consider reading my latest column for the Minnesota… Read More →

COVID-19 crisis threatens iron ore demand

NOTE: This post also appears in the Hibbing Daily Tribune as part of a content partnership. Economic effects of the global pandemic could reach taconite mines on Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range later this year. U.S. automakers Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler announced Wednesday they would close all American production plants in response to the… Read More →

Iron Range epidemics and the greater good

NOTE: This article also appears in the Hibbing Daily Tribune. It’s part of a new expanded partnership between this blog and the newspaper that runs my column. Frank Hibbing could sense iron nearby when he and his team camped beneath a grove of towering white pines on the western Mesaba Iron Range. Indeed, they would discover… Read More →

Minnesota’s iconic hockey hair video dekes out fans, parties back in

Forty years after the “Miracle on Ice,” we get another one.  Last year, the mysterious creator of the annual 2020 Minnesota State High School League “All Hockey Hair” team announced his retirement after ten years of hilarious videos.  But this year, against all odds, he’s back. The video’s a little shorter, a little more to… Read More →

Story of Minnesota Ojibwe chief Hole in the Day headed to Hollywood

This land we call Minnesota rests on layers of stories. Dig and you find more. Dig and the stories grow deeper and more complex. Some of these fantastic tales seem suited for the movies, and soon enough that may be true. Such is the story of a Northern Minnesota leader that most local schools still… Read More →

Klobuchar to drop campaign, endorse Biden

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar will end her campaign for president tonight and endorse former Vice President Joe Biden at a rally in Texas.  The unexpected news came less than a day before polls open in the Minnesota presidential primary and the broader Super Tuesday spate of nominating contests. Klobuchar was expected to carry her home… Read More →

Super Tuesday in the land of 10,000 pundits

It’s Super Tuesday Eve, if that’s a thing, and I’m up with a new column in the Minnesota Reformer. Check it out. Here’s a taste: Minnesota won’t be the pivotal Super Tuesday race. The winning campaign here might not even survive the night. And, as I said, there’s no telling what voters will do at… Read More →

‘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.