New laws may block language counselors at Concordia

The director of the Concordia Language Villages program warns that new immigration and visa laws could dramatically impact its language and cultural immersion program located on a complex near Bemdiji, Minnesota. “There has been a very significant development over the weekend regarding our J-1 Camp Counselor Exchange Visa, writes Christine Schulze in a letter posted… Read More →

Nourishing new roots on the Iron Range

I found myself pacing through an Iron Range cemetery the other day, looking for a particular stiff. On my grim patrol I realized that the graveyard was laid out according to national origin. Eastern Europeans and Italians, Swedes and Norwegians, Germans and Irish could all be found in separate sections, at least until the 1940s… Read More →

State Senator named director of Lake Superior Zoo

Soon, State Sen. Erik Simonson will tame ravenous beasts, feed ferocious predators, and see that no harm befalls innocent tour groups. And then when he comes home to Duluth he’ll run a zoo. Simonson, a Duluth Democratic-Farmer-Laborite, was named the executive director of the Lake Superior Zoo today. He will accept early retirement from his… Read More →

Survey to spur high speed internet across Iron Range

I have fiber optic internet service direct to my home in rural Itasca County. Why? Enough of my neighbors filled out a survey and kept pressure on local leaders to get our area added to broadband expansion projects by Paul Bunyan Communication. Residents of the east central Iron Range will now have the same opportunity…. Read More →

Talking class division on ‘Dig Deep’

When I was 24 and attending grad school, I watched every episode of Donald Trump’s first season of “The Apprentice.” The show was on during one of the few nights of the week that my wife and I could watch TV together. We watched every episode in real time, pre-DVR. The act wore thin in… Read More →

Highway 53 bridge opening delayed

Though Bridge Daze celebrating the new Highway 53 bridge between Virginia and Eveleth will go on this week, motorists won’t cross the new tallest bridge in Minnesota until mid-September. On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced that weather delayed their target opening date this week. Barring setbacks, officials hope to open the bridge to… Read More →

What’s in a name? Cleveland-Cliffs is back

Cliffs Natural Resources is now Cleveland-Cliffs. That means that the grand old man of American iron mining now wears his old duds. Lourenco Goncalves , Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The historical name Cleveland-Cliffs is synonymous with our strong heritage, and is the perfect one for our next era of growth. As we did… Read More →

WWII anti-fascist film holds up disturbingly well

Like most folks, I’ve spent some time thinking about the flare up of white nationalist violence last weekend in the United States. For me, this is a disturbing continuation of trends we’ve seen in all corners of this country. Division, threats and death. What do I think? Why recreate what was so well articulated 74… Read More →

Nolan confirms re-election bid in MN’s swingin’ 8th

Ending weeks of parlor speculation, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN8) told the St. Paul Pioneer Press last week that he will run for re-election in his Northern Minnesota swing district. That news had been implied, but not explicitly stated, when Nolan announced he wouldn’t run for governor earlier this summer. On one hand, Nolan feels… Read More →

Highway 53 bridge name contest down to final vote

Nearly complete, the Highways 53 and 135 rerouting project between the Mesabi Iron Range towns of Virginia, Eveleth and Gilbert will be Northern Minnesota’s largest, most expensive infrastructure project of our generation. The showpiece of the whole thing is a new Highway 53 bridge spanning the Rouchleau Pit outside Virginia. That bridge is almost done…. Read More →