The end of ‘Vanity’ stores, mainstay of Minnesota malls

KFGO Radio in Fargo reports that Vanity is closing all 140 of its stores in 27 states, including the ones found in malls across Northern Minnesota. The move is part of a bankruptcy that company executives from the 60-year-old Fargo-based clothing store chain blame on competition from online retailers. According to KFGO, Vanity employs up… Read More →

Great Northern Radio Show this Saturday in Bemidji

I’m excited to report that my Great Northern Radio Show returns to the airwaves and the stage of the Historic Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji this Saturday at 5 p.m. They tell me tickets are selling fast so get yours now (audience should be seated by 4:30). For everyone else, the live event airs from 5-7 p.m. on… Read More →

Eelpout fever in Northern Minnesota

Last week we experienced a winter thaw in Northern Minnesota. This week the weather cooled off. The southern part of the state faces a blizzard today, while the rest of the state wonders what time of year it really is. The answer is simple. Eelpout. It’s eelpout season. The annual Eelpout Festival is happening now… Read More →

Great Northern Radio Show back March 4 in Bemidji

Barring some big news, the blog will go dark the rest of this week. I’ll be finishing the script for my next Great Northern Radio Show, live from the Chief Theater in Bemidji, Minnesota, on Saturday, March 4. This will be a good one. We’ll be celebrating the vibrant music scene in Bemidji with a… Read More →

New Northern Minnesota lawmakers sworn in

Several new state lawmakers from the Northern Minnesota were sworn in at the Capitol in St. Paul today. State Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL-Hibbing) now represents District 6A, including Hibbing, Chisholm, Floodwood, Nashwauk, Keewatin and Bigfork. “As a lifelong Ranger, I know how important it is for us to never stop fighting for our economic vitality and… Read More →

Candidates debate in northern MN

With only a month to go before the Nov. 8 general election, folks are finally tuning into their local elections after 18 months of hardcore bloviation about the U.S. presidential race. Here in Northern Minnesota, legislative, city council and school board forums will take place over the next few weeks. These are often the best way to learn about… Read More →

Only time knows ‘truth’ of Great River


With more than 1,000 lakes and many rivers, Itasca remains one of Minnesota’s most watery counties. And like the old adage goes, “whiskey is for drinking, but water is for starting wars.” The word “Itasca” comes from the inner syllables of the Latin words “Veritas” and “Caput,” meaning “Truth” and “Head” of the Mississippi River…. Read More →

Happy Paul Bunyan Day!

I woke this morning to news that it was Paul Bunyan Day. So, Happy Paul Bunyan Day, I guess. I’m afraid I didn’t get you a card. I’m already dressed, so I’m not even wearing plaid. Paul Bunyan is, of course, the American folk giant who worked as a lumberjack in the heyday of the… Read More →

Iron Range Fourth of July 2016

It’s time for another Iron Range Fourth of July in Northern Minnesota. Regardless of economic or political winds, the region always unites for its uniquely exuberant observation of Independence Day, which lasts several days (up to a month) as celebrated in local custom. Below is MinnesotaBrown’s 2016 Iron Range Fourth of July listing for parades, fireworks displays and street… Read More →

Competitive 2016 races set in Northern MN

The filing period for federal, state and many local races closed Tuesday, May 31. Here in Northern Minnesota some interesting races have emerged alongside many sleepy contests. Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District No surprises here. Incumbent U.S. Rep Rick Nolan, a Democratic-Farmer-Laborite from Crosby faces challenger Stewart Mills, a Nisswa Republican. The only news from filing is that there… Read More →