Radinovich holds narrow lead in NY Times poll

Joe Radinovich holds an extremely narrow lead over Pete Stauber in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll of Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District. Radinovich led 44 percent to Stauber’s 43 percent in the four-day poll that ended yesterday. Thirteen percent remain undecided in the survey, which did not name independent candidate Ray “Skip” Sandman. The… Read More →

Authorities recover Dorothy’s stolen ruby slippers

In 2005, someone stole a pair of ruby slippers worn in the 1939 classic film “The Wizard of Oz” from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. For the next thirteen years, Dorothy’s missing slippers became the subject of an exhaustive search that even included several dives into a nearby mine pit. Today, the… Read More →

Union works past deadline, but prepares for strike

All the mines on Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range run hot today, despite the expiration of labor contracts at facilities owned by U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal last night. The United Steelworkers of America agreed to stay on the job while negotiations continue. The union represents workers at mines and mills throughout the North American steel industry…. Read More →

Northeastern Minnesota celebrates its Labor roots

Maybe it’s just because I’m practically drowning in Iron Range history research these days, but Labor Day seems a significant holiday to mark this year. After all, we see workers standing for fair pay across the Mesabi Iron Range this week. Lately I’ve been writing a lot about the transition of the region’s economy, on… Read More →

United Steelworkers to rally Thursday over contract talks

On Thursday, Aug. 30, members and supporters of the United Steelworkers will hold rallies and demonstrations¬†across the Mesabi Iron Range. They seek to bring attention to the union’s ongoing impasse with major steelmakers over a new labor contract. This story highlights a critical moment in the economic recovery that reached the Iron Range in 2016,… Read More →

New Hibbing mine view takes shape

This summer, tourists in Hibbing have been denied the classic Iron Range experience of seeing the Mahoning Hull Rust Mine View and its Grand Canyon-style mining vista. Hibbing Taconite consumed the old mine view with mining activity this summer while a new overlook underwent construction about a mile away. Though the new mine view isn’t… Read More →

Big change coming to Hibbing Taconite

Yesterday, Cleveland-Cliffs announced it would exit its agreement to manage Hibbing Taconite next year. On Aug. 1, 2019 owners will need to have a new management structure in place to run the second largest iron mine in Minnesota. Hibbing Taconite is owned by a combination of three companies. They include the world’s largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal… Read More →

Mesabi Metallics internal fight casts shadow over project

So, I was gone for a week. As near as I can tell, I’ve returned to a world in which Nashwauk’s Mesabi Metallics owns half a mine with half a processing plant on it, run by two competing management groups. Last week, some of the money behind Chippewa Capital Resources, owners of the Mesabi Metallics… Read More →

Canadian company gives solar second chance on Range

Next month, a Canadian company will reopen a solar panel manufacturing plant in Mountain Iron, hoping to shake off the bad juju of a previously failed project. Heliene opens in August with plans of hiring 130 people by September. They’ll produce commercial-scale solar panels for sale in the North American marketplace. They enjoy the aid… Read More →

Cliffs wins Nashwauk land case, deals blow to Mesabi Metallics

To paraphrase “The Simpsons” Episode #222: Everything’s coming up Lourenco Goncalves. It’s been a very good week for Goncalves and Cleveland-Cliffs. The company declared strong earnings. Netting $165 million in the second quarter, Cliffs is selling iron ore pellets at $112 per ton. That’s a dramatic increase from the doldrums of 2015 and 2016. Industry… Read More →