U.S., Canada lift steel tariffs in shifting trade landscape

Well, the short, unnecessary trade war with our friendly neighbor Canada appears to be over. Last week, the United States and Canada jointly lifted countervailing tariffs on steel and aluminum. These two nations have long dickered over elements of trade policy, but have generally accepted that they’re good for each other. Canada buys more from… Read More →

Virginia, Eveleth, Gilbert approve shared high school plan

Tonight voters in the Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert school districts appear to have approved a plan to build a shared high school that would serve both communities. The districts have not yet released vote totals, but will on Wednesday. Unofficial reports showed the measure passing in all three communities. Despite the lack of information, referendum supporters… Read More →

What if Bob was one of us? Dylan Fest features music, culture and Joan Osborne

What if Bob was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Well, he pretty much is. Duluth’s Dylan Fest will hold its annual celebration of its native son Bob Dylan May 18-26, 2019. Meanwhile Dylan’s Iron Range hometown of Hibbing continues efforts to commemorate its complex influence on one of the world’s… Read More →

Monumental school vote approaches in Virginia, Eveleth-Gilbert districts

This Tuesday, May 14, voters in the Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert school districts will vote in a school bond referendum. The result will shape the future of these communities and, quite possibly, the entire educational strategy of the Mesabi Iron Range. If that sounds like I’m laying it on a bit thick, consider the following: If… Read More →

World’s largest mining company moves on PolyMet

Today, global mining giant Glencore moves one big step closer to owning the proposed Northern Minnesota copper-nickel venture PolyMet. Glencore is the largest mining company in the world by revenue with properties on six continents. It is three times larger than the next largest mining company. It is 11 times larger than the world’s largest… Read More →

Budget ne-boat-iations: State leaders seek to break impasse on fishing opener

It’s almost tradition now. Like powdered wigs and rapping three times on the door of the weather-predicting groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Yes, this weekend Minnesota state legislative leaders and the governor will negotiate the biennial budget while angling on the opening weekend of the walleye and northern pike season. Gov. Tim Walz and House Speaker… Read More →

The think piece on Dorothy’s ruby slippers you didn’t know you needed

The iconic film “The Wizard of Oz” is 80 years old. It’s such a cultural touchstone that at least five generations have now seen it so many times that they know the lines. And like “The Wizard of Oz,” we’ve well repeated the story of how a pair of costume ruby slippers worn by the… Read More →

Grandpa and the way home

At one time my grandpa kept a bar in his house in Keewatin, a small wood-paneled room full of 1950s and ‘60s sports memorabilia, Norwegian flags and light-up beer signs. In 1990 or so, I think I was around 10, he showed me the things on the shelves and said “I’m dying. One day all… Read More →

On comments

I’ve often spoken about my stint as the 21-year-old editor of a small daily newspaper on the Iron Range. You could argue I was too young, too inexperienced, and too pie-eyed for that whole thing to work, and that’s all objectively true, but I sure learned a hell of a lot. One of the duties… Read More →

‘Think spring’ with latest Great Northern Radio Show

You can now hear the latest podcast for the Great Northern Radio Show from our April 13 broadcast at the Chief Theater in Bemidji, Minnesota. It was the 30th variety show I’ve written, produced and hosted for Northern Community Radio, our fifth from the “First City on the Mississippi River.” It was the first time… Read More →