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 →

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 →

Mesabi Metallics to try building upon Essar bones

Mesabi Metallics issued a plan last week to bring the former Essar Steel Minnesota iron ore project in Nashwauk, Minnesota, out of bankruptcy and back into construction. A judge must now consider whether the newly reorganized company has sufficiently proven its case to keep the state mineral leases along the western Mesabi Iron Range. “Creditors will receive vastly… Read More →

Animation depicts Hibbing’s new Beltline roundabout

This summer, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Iron Range city of Hibbing will install a two-lane roundabout at the intersection of Highways 169 and 37. News of this change has already caused many Range residents to go, “blurggle, blurggle, a-fuff-fuff-fuff!” This is one of Hibbing’s busiest intersections. I spend a portion of most mornings… Read More →

Minnesota fifth largest source of U.S. minerals

Minnesota is the fifth largest producer of American mineral resources according to a recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey. The state remains the largest producer of iron ore in the country, but also produces many millions of dollars worth of industrial sand and stone.   From the Myers story: The USGS report reiterated what… Read More →

ERP Iron Ore finalizes purchase of Magnetation

Bankrupt Magnetation is officially under new ownership. State of Virginia-based ERP Iron Ore finalized a purchase agreement of Magnetation according to ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. WDIO reported the story earlier today. Magnetation, based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is a scram mining and iron ore processing company. The company recycles iron ore from waste piles in Northern Minnesota and… Read More →