DFL primary in Senate District 11 special election

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Two Democrats, four Republicans and a member of the Legal Marijuana Now party filed for the District 11 special election for the Minnesota State Senate. The field could narrow today during the drop period, but the rest will be decided in a Jan. 22 primary election before the rapidly approaching Feb. 5 general election.

District 11 covers Carlton, Pine and parts of St. Louis and Kanabec counties. It’s the rural east central “ribs” of Minnesota. Cloquet is an industrial paper town on the north side. Moose Lake, Pine City and Hinkley follow to the south. The Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa reservation is found here as well.

Petition to give Northwest Angle to Canada lacks support

A petition to give Northern Minnesota’s Northwest Angle to Canada seems to lack local support. Nevertheless, we are left to contemplate geographic oddities and the peculiar existence of this strange appeal to President Trump.

Walz reappoints Phillips at Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation

After an active search, Gov.-elect Tim Walz opts to reappoint Mark Phillips as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.

Lourey appointed to Human Services, prompting special election in SD 11

State Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick) will be the next commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Gov.-elect Walz made the announcement Thursday.
Lourey’s appointment creates a special election for Senate District 11, which includes Carlton, Pine and parts of St. Louis and Kanabec counties. 

In corporate welfare gone wrong, the end never comes

After 17 years of failure and broken promises, you’d think Excelsior Energy would just go away. But the largest Iron Range economic development failure in history isn’t done rubbing our noses in the grift.

Stauber sworn into Congress for Minnesota’s 8th District

U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN8) took office today with the new United States House of Representatives.

State OKs Highway 53 upgrades in 2019

Highway 53 between International Falls and Cook to receive $7.2 million upgrade this summer.

We can save rural, but we can’t stop change

A controversial news analysis from the NY Times asks whether rural America can be saved.

The story behind tariffs, steel and the Iron Range

Eight months ago, President Trump’s administration slapped significant tariffs on several classes of foreign products, including steel. These tariffs have been at the center of speculation over America’s economy, global trade and politics ever since. The conventional wisdom here on Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range is that the tariffs have been good for us. Sure, they… Read More →

What next for Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation?

Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim Walz launched his official administrative transition team this week. Walz and retiring Gov. Mark Dayton both hail from the Democratic Farmer Labor Party, so we can expect some continuity in policy and certain key staff positions. Nevertheless, many new people will hold high level state posts when Walz takes office in 2019…. Read More →