Iron Range parades, street dances and fireworks

As a young kid I marched in the Keewatin Fourth of July parade as a patriotic penguin, Donald Duck, and other flag-festooned creatures. As an older kid I remember piling into a car with my friends, touring Range towns for street dances and fireworks. Before cell phones we would often try to anticipate where we… Read More →

Stewart Mills offers surprising analysis on mining

When Stewart Mills announced he would not make another run for Congress in Minnesota’s Eighth District this year, he offered decidedly sharp words for the Republican political establishment. Now it appears that Mills found a new occupation: blogger. Mills writes a new blog called Outstate, which reports on a blend of national and state political… Read More →

Voters approve Grand Rapids, Brainerd school bonds

Updating my earlier post, voters in the Grand Rapids and Brainerd school districts approved a series of bond measures today. Late results showed a close, mixed result in Grand Rapids and an overwhelming passage in Brainerd. In Grand Rapids, taxpayers approved a question of raising $69 million to build two new elementary schools and remodel… Read More →

Critical school votes test Northern MN political climate

Today, voters in two Northern Minnesota school districts will render their verdict on separate school bond referendum measures. The result will speak greatly toward public attitudes about the economy, taxation and public education in rural Minnesota. Grand Rapids In Grand Rapids, voters will consider two questions that would cost taxpayers up to $74 million. The… Read More →

Phifer, Radinovich hold best cards for DFL endorsement

This weekend Leah Phifer expanded her delegate lead for the DFL endorsement for Congress in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District. Phifer, a former homeland security analyst from Isanti County, drew a large number of named and uncommitted delegates in Duluth while carrying Lake and Cook county conventions as well. Phifer’s chief rival for the endorsement, former… Read More →

Mills opts out of MN-8 run, hints at GOP woes

Stewart Mills announced Wednesday he would not seek the GOP nod in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District in 2018, ending the possibility of a Republican showdown in this tight swing district. Wrote Mills in a social media statement: I have decided not to have my name on the ballot this election cycle, this is not a… Read More →

The marauding bog of All Hallow’s Eve

October, month of the dead. The leaves fall and the flowers die. Colors fade to gray, brown and a deathly yellow. Hence the annual debauchery of Halloween, one final howl before the virginal snow and holy days of winter. Which monster will haunt you this All Hallow’s Eve? Dusk bathes the shoreline of North Long… Read More →

Talking journalism on ‘Dig Deep’

Last week Northern Community Radio broadcast another series of episodes of “Dig Deep,” a podcast exploring contemporary issues from unique points of view. The show features Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns, a conservative, and yours truly, a known liberal. We attempt to collaborate on solutions and sticking points in current political issues, rather than just… Read More →

Vlad vs. Donald in Nevis Pig Races

UPDATE: Pig race results below. Last year, I highlighted the annual Nevis Pig Races in an essay previewing the 2016 election. In that race, a pig named Donald raced against a pig named Hillary to “settle” the ongoing political squabbling. No such luck. The race ended in a tie, so no one was satisfied. Then… Read More →

Nisswa night cops ‘rick-roll’ themselves

I used to work as an overnight disc jockey. I was also the editor of an afternoon newspaper. That meant that my day started before the end of what would normally be the “night shift” at the cop shop downtown. A strange feeling overtakes you as you realize that most people you know are sleeping, but… Read More →