Cleveland-Cliffs noses in with Nashwauk land buy

Earlier this year, Cleveland-Cliffs lost its bid to acquire the former Essar Steel Minnesota project in the Mesabi Iron Range town of Nashwauk, Minnesota to Chippewa Capital Partners. However, Business North reports that Cliffs is back on the scene today after buying land and mineral rights previously attached to that project. From that story: The… Read More →

Iron Range newspaper profiles early ‘silence breakers’

On Sunday, the Mesabi Daily News featured a major story about the #metoo movement with a special tie to Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. Penned by editor Jerry Burnes and reporter Leah Ryan, “One of the First Silence Breakers” includes an interview with Lois Jensen, the original Eveleth Mines sexual harassment case plaintiff. This story is… Read More →

‘Blue-Collar Battleground’ opens at Chisholm museum

Job creation. Job training. Worker shortage. Part time work. Stagnant wages. Higher productivity. Health care. Retirement savings. These words filter through our news like water down a pipe, presenting clear evidence that the “labor history” of America is hardly finished. Rather, we’re living in the continuation of an unresolved labor movement. This Thursday, Dec. 7,… Read More →

Beep-Boop, you can drive my car

News coverage of driverless cars tends to skew from “Oh, wow, look at these fancy gadgets” to “Look out, the robots are taking over!” But we’re going to need to take a very real look at autonomous vehicle technology. After all, it will dramatically reshape our lives in Northern Minnesota. Like most change, the issue… Read More →

Rural housing crunch hits home

One of the biggest challenges in moving to Northern Minnesota is finding housing. The same struggle broadly applies to all of rural Minnesota. Sure, we’ve got lots of houses. “For sale” signs dot the streets of Iron Range communities. But if you’re not looking to buy, or especially if you’re not looking to buy what… Read More →

Hill Annex Mine State Park to change … but how?

Rumors of the demise of Hill Annex Mine State Park have abounded for a long time. For one thing, it’s an odd state park. Hill Annex serves as more of a museum of mining history coupled awkwardly with a massive trove of pre-historic fossils. (The amount of fossils blown to smithereens in the history of… Read More →

Make or break moment for Iron Range mining projects

I’m part of a tortured, high-strung group of people who receive regular e-mail and social media updates about the mining business. It’s part of my duty to better understand the industry that shapes Iron Range history and its current economy. And in recent months the news has been far less depressing than usual. For instance,… Read More →

‘Cool view’ at the Iron Range’s new Highway 53 bridge

Though it’s been in use for a couple months now, I made my first trip to the other side of the Mesabi Iron Range to see the new Highway 53 bridge last week. An online contest gave this 1,000-foot-tall span the moniker “Taconite Sky Bridge.” (The legislature must act to make that official). What the… Read More →

Minnesota moose decline stems from spread of deer

Scientists say they’ve solved the mystery of the missing moose. The brain-eating bacteria that kill so many moose, and leave others more vulnerable to wolf predation, is carried by the spread of whitetail deer into Northeastern Minnesota. For the past several years, we’ve been wondering why Minnesota’s moose population — once a strong feature of… Read More →

Blandin layoffs highlight divided economy

Wall Street is surging. Minnesota’s economy continues to add jobs. But in Grand Rapids, a set of layoffs reminds that the United States has two economies heading in different directions. On Tuesday, UPM-Blandin announced the impending closure of its Line 5 plant amid declining demand for its coated paper products. The move will cause 150 people… Read More →