Duluth senate primary will document changing DFL coalition

It’s primary election day in Minnesota. And while there are some interesting races around the state — notably the 5th Congressional District DFL race for Congress in Minneapolis — only one merits significant attention here in the North. In the State Senate District 7 DFL contest Sen. Erik Simonson of Duluth faces a spirited challenge… Read More →

Don’t call it a mall

I once hung out in Iron Range shopping malls for fun. I didn’t even need to “get my steps.” No, I went to the mall to meet friends, buy Vanilla Ice cassettes, and sip something called “cappuccino” while surfing this new thing called “the internet” at a locally-owned mall coffee shop. It was very exciting… Read More →

Media mergers in northern Minnesota and beyond

By now you may have seen the last column I wrote for the Hibbing Daily Tribune and the first that I penned for the newly merged Mesabi Tribune. Then last Friday I did a couple interviews about the merger of the Hibbing Daily Tribune and Mesabi Daily News. First I went on the KAXE Morning… Read More →

Wanna hear the most annoying sound in Duluth?

Hey, wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world? That would be the sound of the fully loaded freighter Presque Isle scraping the side of the canal on its way out of the Port of Duluth this morning. Nobody was hurt. Somebody, however, has a bad case of the Mondays. Related posts: No related… Read More →

The haunting truth of human nature

For the past couple years I’ve been reading old Hibbing newspapers for my book. I find that reading every paper from every year is exhausting but still the best way to research. This method provides context about everything going on in the community, including the national and international news that shaped people’s attitudes. So I’ve… Read More →

Duluth attorney McEwen thumps Simonson for DFL State Senate endorsement

Jen McEwen, a Duluth attorney, won the Senate District 7 DFL endorsement today after party officials tabulated online balloting. She outpaced incumbent State Sen. Eric Simonson (DFL-Duluth) with more than 70 percent of the vote on the first ballot, a stunning margin for an endorsement challenge. Of 435 eligible delegates, 374 cast votes. “I am… Read More →

Refugee debate strays from reality

I recently spoke with a Northern Minnesota military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. In casual conversation he described his efforts to help an Iraqi translator and his family get to America. This Iraqi man took enormous personal risk to work alongside U.S. forces. Now, he and his loved ones face even greater threats… Read More →

Mayor Larson wins in Duluth while council sees changes

Mayor Emily Larson cruised to re-election over challenger David Nolle in Tuesday’s municipal elections. Larson won by more than 5,000 votes, about 63 percent to Nolle’s 36 percent. Larson heads an administration that has largely continued the progressive policies begun under former mayor Don Ness. She also inherited the challenges that have bedeviled Duluth for… Read More →

Festival of Sail enters Duluth harbor

Tens of thousands of people pile along the lakeshore as the 2019 Duluth Festival of Sail returns with vintage ships and an enormous rubber duck. Here’s some video from today’s parade of sails as vintage replica ships like the U.S.S. Niagara enter the Duluth-Superior Harbor: The family and I took in the Tall Ships festival… Read More →

Northern Minnesota can take a hike

I don’t go “hiking.” I have, however, been lost in the woods for several hours. You tell me the difference. In both cases, the goal is to not die. By the end, your feet ache with every step. The feeling when you finish? Accomplishment! And a good excuse to eat something imprudent. Maybe hiking’s not… Read More →