Therapist with Hibbing roots highlighted for suicide prevention efforts

For the fourth straight year, human life expectancy in the United States declined. This has relatively little to do with longevity. After all, more people are living longer. But rather it has everything to do with how many people we lose to depression and addiction each year. The Huffington Post published a long form essay… Read More →

Event seeks Range voices on sustainable future

There aren’t many blogs about the Iron Range. You’re reading one of them. That means that if you google “Mesabi Iron Range” you find me. With this cool but largely unprofitable fact comes great responsibility. For instance, people e-mail me and want to know why the Iron Range is the way it is, how it… Read More →

Mining gold near Togo? The rush is … on hold

So I binge watched “Deadwood” recently. I know, I know. No one wants to hear what I’m watching on TV. We’re all busy watching one of 9,000 shows on 50 different platforms, having independent experiences that confine us all to our own small community of strangers. Or we’re not watching TV at all because we’re… Read More →

Iron Range districts eye shared school, new model

Student desks form even rows on hardwood floors. A chalkboard at the front of the room frames the teacher’s heavy, spacious desk. Heavy vinyl maps roll down from the ceiling. Most of us recognize this picture as school. In fact, this scene so imprints our minds that decades later we still dream about it. It’s… Read More →

Fire destroys Cook store, but not community spirit

Last Sunday, my family struck deer camp a week early. I got sent home with a large amount of cheese curds, which is never a bad deal. My uncles always pick up the cheese from Zup’s in Cook. Monday night, a large fire destroyed the Zup’s Food Market, Cook’s only grocery store and heart of… Read More →

State issues mining permits to PolyMet: Now what?

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued permits for PolyMet Mining on Thursday, ending one long chapter of this story and beginning another. The permits mean PolyMet is now free to mine copper, nickel and other minerals from its proposed location near the former LTV iron mine at Hoyt Lakes. But doing so is not… Read More →

Steelworkers reach tentative agreement with U.S. Steel

The United Steelworkers of America and U.S. Steel reached a tentative labor contract agreement on Monday, Oct. 15. Union leaders will now present the terms of the deal to their membership for a ratification vote. About 14,000 workers at mills and mines across America would work under this contract. Steelworkers leadership seemed pleased and optimistic… Read More →

Steelworkers ratify contract with Cleveland-Cliffs

Members of the United Steelworkers of America voted to ratify a new labor contract with Cleveland-Cliffs this week. The new deal maintains their current benefits while increasing their pay. Cliffs operates United Taconite and, until next year, contracts to operate Hibbing Taconite. Their plant at Northshore Mining is nonunion. Negotiations with U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal… Read More →

Glimmers of hope in Steelworkers negotiations

Late last week, the United Steelworkers reached an agreement with Cleveland-Cliffs on a labor contract. Broadly speaking, the talks between Cliffs and the USW seemed to go well. The company acknowledged the improving state of the domestic iron ore and steel business, and shared some of the success with its workers. However, more contentious negotiations… Read More →

Crowd questions Mesabi Metallics in tense meeting

Hundreds packed the Nashwauk Township Community Center Monday night to ask questions of Gov. Mark Dayton, state officials and the CEO of Mesabi Metallics. The governor called the town hall meeting after months of local criticism. A proposal to build a new mine on the site of the long defunct Butler Taconite site once carried… Read More →