Hibbing J.C. Penney store to close

The Star Tribune reports that the Hibbing J.C. Penney store is among eight small town locations closing in Minnesota amid the company’s nationwide downsizing. Other locations include: Baxter, Fairmont, Faribault, Hutchinson, Red Wing, Thief River Falls and Winona. The inventory liquidation sales begin on April 17, according to the Star Tribune. The store will close June… Read More →

‘All-218’ final for state high school boys hockey title

UPDATE: Hail, Hail the 218! Grand Rapids and Hermantown win the AA and A championships, respectively! The sun rises on a hockey holiday in the state of Minnesota. The class A and AA championship games take place today in St. Paul. Thrilling many here, no doubt, these showdowns feature three teams from our hardscrabble hockey-loving 218 area code… Read More →

Culver’s to open in Grand Rapids, MN

A new Culver’s restaurant will open this year in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The restaurant recently posted a “crew member” job for a new location at 1175 Pokegama Ave. South. That address is found between the McDonald’s and Jimmy Johns locations near the former Kmart building. The headhunting site Johnson Jobs lists July 3 as the posting date,… Read More →

With slim 5-4 DFL majority, new look IRRRB to talk big issues Tuesday

The newly reorganized Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) will meet for the first time this year on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at the Minnesota Senate Building in St. Paul. What looms on the docket? No less than the future of the agency’s role in regional economic development and the Giant’s Ridge Ski Resort. The nine-person board… Read More →

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 →