DeNucci, Venema advance in Itasca Co. primary

Ben DeNucci and Casey Venema advanced from a low-turnout Nov. 3 primary election to the Dec. 12 special election for the open District 5 Itasca County Board seat. DeNucci, the mayor of Nashwauk, won 757 votes to 449 for Venema, a Lawrence Township supervisor. Roger Weber of Nashwauk Township finished with 142 votes. The story… Read More →

Tuesday special election for Itasca County board

This Tuesday, Oct. 3, voters will select from three candidates in the District 5 Itasca County board primary election. The top two will advance to a Dec. 12 general election in the race to replace Commissioner Mark Mandich, who resigned due to health issues earlier this year. The Scenic Range News Forum previewed the race… Read More →

Good girl, Daisy

People blame many problems on the internet. Email scams. A lack of civility in political discourse. Naughty naked people and bad medical advice. But for me the biggest way the internet affected my life is the fact that my wife Christina can view dogs available for adoption anywhere in the country, all day long. She… Read More →

Fear itself: a backyard tragedy

During a storm last winter, a pine bough fell on the chain link fence in our backyard. The tree mangled the fence, but failed to knock it down. Bending it back together as best we could we figured we’d get to fixing the fence sometime next summer. Summer came, but the fence remained broken. Projects… Read More →

A summer storm brings peace

We live in times of constant stress and outrage. The ubiquity of media means that anyone from a kindergartner to a retiree can feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Last Thursday, we had a summer storm blow through Balsam Township. Not the worst we’ve seen, but a real whipper. A healthy basswood… Read More →

West Range Itasca County race takes shape

Last week I reported a vacancy on the Itasca County Board after Mark Mandich resigned his District 5 seat on the western Mesabi Iron Range. Two candidates emerged over the past few days. Ben DeNucci Nashwauk Mayor Ben DeNucci said he was running for the Itasca County Board. DeNucci owns a bar in Nashwauk and… Read More →

Itasca County commissioner resigns

Commissioner Mark Mandich resigned his seat on the Itasca County Board this week. The board accepted Mandich’s resignation at their meeting Tuesday. My sources tell me that Mandich cites health problems as his reason for stepping down. The Itasca County Board authorized a vacancy, instructing the county auditor to prepare a special election. Details on… Read More →

Power poles like fingers to the sky

They’re putting in new power poles along the county highway near our dirt road in Balsam Township. The old poles, faded grey, lean askew like the bright orange temporary fence that tries and fails to prevent people taking a short cut to the portable toilets at a tractor show. The new poles lay alongside the… Read More →

MinnesotaBrown’s Top Posts of 2016

Goodbye, 2016. Hello, 2017. As we mark this turn of the calendar page, let’s look back at the year that was at MinnesotaBrown.com. This year I celebrated 10 years of blogging at MinnesotaBrown.com. Fifteen years of writing a column in the Hibbing Daily Tribune. Twenty years of work in Iron Range media, dating back to… Read More →

They say snow; it ain’t gonna snow hard

[One half of a composite of several recent conversations] They say it’s gonna snow hard. It ain’t gonna snow hard. You know how I know? The deer ain’t movin.’ Them deer know when a blizzard is comin.’ You see ‘em movin’ all over hell an’ back. It ain’t gonna snow hard. You remember that guy… Read More →