Layman, Bakk IRRRB reform bills get closer

Following up on my post earlier this week, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board met this week in St. Paul. Also this week, two Iron Range legislators, one Republican and one DFLer, moved toward each other with bills to reform the agency. In a contentious 5-4 vote, the board endorsed a plan to privatize Giant’s… Read More →

Midsummer festival at Mesaba Co-op Park

This weekend, the living vestige of Iron Range history known as Mesaba Co-op Park holds its 87th annual Midsummer Festival. The park, located near Cherry east of Hibbing on North Star Lake off Highway 37, was built by Finnish-Americans in 1929. The Midsummer Festival includes fun for all ages, music, food, storytelling, outdoor activities and more… Read More →

Glencore implosion shows troubling reality of Range projects

Right now people are voting on DFL primary day in the Minnesota House 3A Special Election. It’d be safe to assume that a good number of people are voting at least in part based on their opinion of controversial Northeastern Minnesota nonferrous mining proposals in the Lake Superior and BWCA watersheds. Some for. Some against. But the outcome… Read More →

Smoke Week

Here in Northern Minnesota, we’ve been dealing with a thick haze of smoke from Canadian wildfires for more than a week. Just this week the smoke finally dipped further south, blanketing the Twin Cities and Southern Minnesota. Yesterday, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recorded air quality indexes as high as 200 in the Twin Cities,… Read More →

Eveleth mine celebrates 50 years with public event

I spent most of my childhood trying to find shapes in the steam cloud billowing out of Eveleth Taconite’s plant at Forbes. Now known as United Taconite, the Iron Range iron mine and processing facility will celebrate 50 years of mining this Sunday with a public event. EVELETH, MN – Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:… Read More →

Cliffs to close Duluth office

WDIO is reporting that Cliffs Natural Resources will be closing its Duluth office at the end of the month. About 30 people work at the office. Some will be moved to mine sites, while others will be offered jobs at company headquarters in Cleveland. Cliffs has a long history of operations in Northern Minnesota. The… Read More →

Ely explorers retrace Teddy’s fateful journey on Rio Roosevelt

During the last Great Northern Radio Show, broadcast live from Ely (click and save the podcast!), Amy Freeman detailed the North American expedition she and husband Dave embarked on last year. Dave couldn’t be on the show because he was on the Rio Roosevelt in Brazil, conquering the same jungle waters that almost claimed the life of… Read More →

Schmit leads on MN rural broadband

I don’t like to fawn too much over elected officials, even the ones who are my friends. But OMG I’m in full senator crush mode over State Sen. Matt Schmit (DFL-Red Wing) and his recent interview with Brian Lampert in MinnPost about the vital role of rural broadband in Minnesota’s future. Schmit was one of the… Read More →

Emerald ash borer, meet Polar Vortex

One of the stories bandied about amid the Polar Vortex of the past few days was the theory that this frigid cold might help knock back the emerald ash borer threat in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Ash borer larvae die off when the temperature is sustained below zero for several days. It would take extremely… Read More →

Court rules against Timberjay information request

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in a case with wide-reaching public information implications last week, declaring that a private contractor employed by an Iron Range school district did not have to divulge data to the Timberjay newspaper. The Timberjay information request, led by its publisher Marshall Helmberger, sought more information about the multi-million dollar St…. Read More →