Angry Lake Superior shuts down Duluth’s lakefront

An autumn storm infuriated Lake Superior today, sending large, dangerous waves into Canal Park and forcing the evacuation of much of the lakefront area. A gale warning remains in effect until midnight tonight. The Duluth News Tribune reported on the power outages, damage and flooding found along the shores of Lake Superior. Duluth photographer Andrew… Read More →

Lake Superior generates cold wind, clean beer

Duluth brags about its local beer. Maybe too much. But brewers and scientists alike suggest that Lake Superior water really does aid the process of beermaking. Dan Kraker recently filed a story on this topic for Minnesota Public Radio. He talks to several local brewers who swear by the pure water available to them in… Read More →

LIVE: First major debate in Minnesota’s 8th District

This morning the three candidates in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District face off in their first major debate. Democrat Joe Radinovich, Republican Pete Stauber and independent Ray “Skip” Sandman will talk issues. This brings welcome relief from a campaign marked by negative ads and low name identification. At 10 a.m., the Duluth Chamber of Commerce and… Read More →

Iconic ship slips past Duluth bridge

The retired iron ore ship William A. Irvin has been docked near Canal Park in downtown Duluth so long that it’s become part of the permanent landscape. Perhaps that’s why so many people stayed up practically overnight Friday into Saturday morning to see the immobilized ship move once again. This YouTube video by photographer Dennis… Read More →

Northeastern Minnesota celebrates its Labor roots

Maybe it’s just because I’m practically drowning in Iron Range history research these days, but Labor Day seems a significant holiday to mark this year. After all, we see workers standing for fair pay across the Mesabi Iron Range this week. Lately I’ve been writing a lot about the transition of the region’s economy, on… Read More →

‘Saving Brinton’ in Duluth this week

I had my 20th class reunion this past Saturday. It was a lovely day of telling stories about the past. One of the scheduled events was a stop at our old high school. The plan was to watch a video my friends and I made my senior year. This short film, shot and edited on… Read More →

Last look at Minnesota’s 8th District DFL primary

Next Tuesday, Minnesota voters head to the polls for the state’s primary election. Here in Northern Minnesota, both Republicans and DFlers face a choice for the 8th District Congressional District. The winners will face each other and independent Skip Sandman in the Nov. 6 general election. Today I’ll re-introduce those candidates and share notes from… Read More →

U rejects, rejoice! Rural Minnesota is probably fine

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the University of Minnesota system is exploring strategies to build enrollment statewide. The main University of Minnesota campus in the Twin Cities remains popular, constituting 71 percent of the system’s enrollment. They even have to turn away students from elite programs. But to reach its goals, the Board… Read More →

Build steel bridges, not steel cages

We’ve outlived our immigrant ancestors. Imprints of hungrier times remain etched on our communities, but they are easy to ignore. The fight for workplace safety and fair pay. The demand for free public education. The streets and amenities built to last beyond the mines on the edge of town. The shared humanity of the many… Read More →

German TV station explores Bob Dylan’s Hibbing roots

Last fall the German/French art network ARTE-TV visited Hibbing, Minnesota, as part of a “Bob Dylan’s America” series exploring the roots of the erstwhile Robert Zimmerman, Hibbing Class of 1959. Host Wolfgang Niedecken interviewed me for local color up at the former Hull Rust Mahoning Mine View in North Hibbing. You can view the episode… Read More →