Iron Range state hockey hopes skate with Greenway

The Minnesota State High School boys class “A” hockey tournament begins today, always a cultural touchstone in this part of the world. Living in the Iron Range region of Northern Minnesota means dwelling among fever dreams of this state competition. Men and women are driven mad by title hopes, and sometimes spend a lifetime rueing… Read More →

Leaders scramble to save Hill Annex Mine State Park

Hill Annex Mine State Park is surely an oddity among state recreational facilities. You can’t camp there. Virtually every natural feature you see emerged from the wholly unnatural act of removing iron ore from the ground. Nevertheless, the Calumet, Minnesota, park represents a glimpse back into time, and provides important context to what happens to… Read More →

Just nine miles remain on ‘Cross-Range Expressway’

I’ve told this story before, but my grandfather served on the Keewatin City Council in the 1960s. One of the most important pieces of city business at the time was largely out of his control. The state of Minnesota decided to rebuild Highway 169 as a four-lane highway, bypassing the city of Keewatin and many… 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 →

Itasca County special election coasts to Dec. 12

On Tuesday, Dec. 12, voters will finally cast their ballots in the Itasca County District 5 commissioner special election called more than half a year ago. The seat opened with the resignation of Commissioner Mark Mandich on June 21. County officials scheduled a special election an insane six months later, with a primary in October…. Read More →

Hill Annex Mine State Park to change … but how?

Rumors of the demise of Hill Annex Mine State Park have abounded for a long time. For one thing, it’s an odd state park. Hill Annex serves as more of a museum of mining history coupled awkwardly with a massive trove of pre-historic fossils. (The amount of fossils blown to smithereens in the history of… 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 →

Moving mountains for an Iron Range future

Soon the Hull Rust Mine View in historic North Hibbing will be closed for good, set to reopen next year at a new location to the east. Shortly thereafter Hibbing Taconite will blow to bits the very mountain of taconite on which the viewing stand sits to send the iron ore on its way to… 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 →