200 miles north of the Super Bowl

The fighter jets patrolling the skies above Super Bowl LII also maneuver above my home 200 miles north of Minneapolis. Roaring ghosts chasing the horizon. I think this is where they turn around or refuel. Safe. Remote. Nothing down here but trees, lakes and us. In this way living 200 miles from the Super Bowl… Read More →

Rural Broadband: An Oral History

If you get a chance, read “‘If it were easy it would have been done by now’: Why high-speed internet remains elusive for many in rural Minnesota” by Tim Gihring of MinnPost. It’s a good story about a topic we cover here at MinnesotaBrown, but it also includes an almost embarrassing amount of press for… Read More →

Ben DeNucci elected to Itasca County board

Voters elected Nashwauk Mayor Ben DeNucci as the next District 5 Itasca County Commissioner in a special election held today, Tuesday, Dec. 12. DeNucci carried 959 votes, or 58 percent, while his opponent  Lawrence Township Supervisor Casey Venema carried 691 voters, or  just shy of 42 percent. This according to a late night press release… Read More →

A journey through time, to town and back

Just before the 20th Century a trip into town from Balsam Township in east central Itasca County took two days at full speed. The winding journey required paddling a canoe down the Prairie River, crossing several portages depending on the time of year. I imagine one might camp at the midpoint somewhere near the modern… Read More →

The sky before snow

The first touch is warm. The heat of the incubator or mother’s arms. Tight swaddling keeps the heat in. The first sense. Touch. In the hours before the first snow falls, the sky warns of change to come. The sky reaches down to touch you. This embrace is cold. The cold air surrounds us today… Read More →

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 →