Northern Lights brings Barber of Seville to Iron Range

Each summer the Northern Lights Music Festival brings a fully staged classical opera to stages across Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. This summer, festival founder Veda Zupancic and her company bring Rossini’s Italian comic opera “The Barber of Seville.” The festival also backs chamber orchestra, instrumental trios and kids programming across the region. Events kick off… Read More →

Summer 2018 brings color to Range communities

I drive through Nashwauk, Minnesota, most days. It’s a nice little town, but a little worn down. That’s not unusual for the cities of the western Mesabi Iron Range. These boom towns bloomed in a white pine wilderness a century ago, each at the mouth of a specific iron mine. Now that mining is more… Read More →

Iron Range downtown revitalization projects on tap

You can’t legislate beauty. But you can clean a place up and take some pride in your community. You can also deploy public art as a way to change attitudes and outlooks. That’s the logic behind a small but growing movement to revitalize Mesabi Iron Range communities. The IRRRB announced their 2018 Downtown and Business… Read More →

The horrible, solvable problem of hunger

A mother flees an abusive husband with her four children. She hasn’t worked in a long time and her parents live out of state. She’s leaving the shelter soon, but isn’t on her feet yet. An retired contractor wracked with a bad back can’t pick up jobs anymore. He is alone. One day he finds… Read More →

Shuster Rink wins historic men’s curling gold for U.S.

Redemption makes the best stories. The hardest thing in life is to be knocked down and come back better than before. It doesn’t matter if it’s navigating relationships, recovering from injury, overcoming failure, or sliding a 40-pound stone across the ice. The U.S. Men’s Curling team, led by Chisholm native John Shuster, won the gold… Read More →

Curling team with Northern MN ties vies for Olympic medal

Bad luck? A curse? Whatever you want to call it, U.S. men’s curling team skip John Shuster struggled in his last two Olympics. As part of America’s first medal-winning curling team — a bronze in 2006 — Shuster led the last two teams to ignoble collapses in 2010 and 2014. Until now. After a poor… Read More →

Resiliency: the skill we all need to survive

Every living thing around us knows resilience. The snow-speckled maple out our window went dormant for the long cold winter, ready to release sap and resume life come spring. The chickadee stands on thin, nearly bloodless legs, all so these spritely little birds may flit among the branches no matter how cold the air. The… Read More →

Mesabi Iron Range takes action on mountain bike trails

Last week brought a very busy Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board meeting. In addition to discussions of reform and school funding, the board also green-lighted the commissioner’s plan to fund three mountain bike trails on the Mesabi Iron Range. The almost $5 million grant package helps volunteer-based organizations and Giants Ridge develop three distinct… Read More →

‘Blue-Collar Battleground’ opens at Chisholm museum

Job creation. Job training. Worker shortage. Part time work. Stagnant wages. Higher productivity. Health care. Retirement savings. These words filter through our news like water down a pipe, presenting clear evidence that the “labor history” of America is hardly finished. Rather, we’re living in the continuation of an unresolved labor movement. This Thursday, Dec. 7,… Read More →

Young Range professionals seek to ‘Be the Change’

The Iron Range young professionals organization ReGen will launch a month of “Be the Change” events in October. The kickoff is Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm. That program features the Theater of Public Policy, a comedy act that blends good natured local and Minnesota political humor. Here’s how ReGen describes… Read More →