Range DFLers hurtle toward Tuesday’s 6A primary

It’s Primary Election Eve in Minnesota. Tuesday, Aug. 9, brings the statewide primary election, in which local candidate pools will be narrowed and parties will sort out their nomination battles for state and federal offices. Today I’ll analyze the only major Iron Range legislative primary: the House 6A race to succeed State Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing)…. Read More →

Inside fundraising in House 6A Range DFL primary

Last week at the blog we dove into a debate over who funds Iron Range campaigns. At the time we didn’t have access to the first major campaign finance reports. Well, the Campaign Finance Board released those reports Tuesday morning. You can view them for yourself here. So let’s explore the fundraising for Northern Minnesota’s… Read More →

House 6A candidate decries lobbyist influence

An Iron Range DFL primary usually creates sparks, but until Friday the House 6A DFL contest had been remarkably quiet. One letter to the editor even complained that the candidates seemed too similar to make a decision. The race features four DFL candidates seeking to replace Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing), including Nashwauk Mayor Ben DeNucci, teacher Julie… Read More →

Midsummer festival at Mesaba Co-op Park

This weekend, the living vestige of Iron Range history known as Mesaba Co-op Park holds its 87th annual Midsummer Festival. The park, located near Cherry east of Hibbing on North Star Lake off Highway 37, was built by Finnish-Americans in 1929. The Midsummer Festival includes fun for all ages, music, food, storytelling, outdoor activities and more… Read More →

Mt. Iron-Buhl OKs $29 million school

UPDATE: On Tuesday, May 3, Mountain Iron-Buhl voters approved the bond referendum, paving the way for the new school proposal to move forward. The original piece, published May 2 follows: Voters in the Mountain Iron-Buhl school district will decide Tuesday on whether to accept a $29 million plan to build a new high school on Highway 169…. Read More →

Hakly plans House 6A write-in campaign

Steven Hakly of Iron has announced the unusual decision to seek the District 6A House of Representatives seat as a write-in candidate. Hakly, 59, is a union equipment operator and former Marine. “I’ve put myself behind the 8 ball right off the bat A write-in candidate! What the hell am I thinking?” wrote Hakly in… Read More →

DFLer Mike Thompson joins crowded 6A race

Mike Thompson, a DFLer from Cherry, announced in today’s Hibbing Daily Tribune that he will run for the House 6A seat being vacated by State Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) this fall. Thompson is a car salesman who works at the Hibbing Chrysler Center. Though it’s not clear how many candidates plan to honor the DFL… Read More →

Super Bowl done, now for superb owls at Sax-Zim Bog

The 9th Annual Sax-Zim Bog Birding Festival starts Friday, Feb. 12 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. It provides serious and casual birders alike a unique opportunity to see great gray owls, northern owls, pine grosbeaks and many other wintering species. The IRRRB’s Lee Bloomquist published an article on the Sax-Zim Bog Birding Festival… Read More →

Oracle breaks winds of change in 2016


The gas burner spews a flame of blue, red, orange and yellow into the ghostly white sphere above. I’m trying to type on an old manual typewriter, no easy task on a hot flying monstrosity operated by a muskrat. “Gnnaaaaagh!” shouts the muskrat. Steamy breath in cold air, his jaunty captain’s hat adding authority to… Read More →

A tale of two junkyards

I was raised in the 1980s and early ’90s on a family-owned junkyard along the storied Iron Range Highway 7 on the edge of the Sax-Zim Bog. Two trailer homes rested upon these swampy grounds: one filled to the ceiling with hubcaps and the other which housed my family. The steam cloud from Eveleth Taconite filled… Read More →