‘Holy’ Miles Lord echoes through Minnesota history

To some, judges are supposed to stay hidden in the chambers of Minnesota law, better forgotten than seen or heard. But we learn about one judge who relished the spotlight and used it well in “Miles Lord: The Maverick Judge Who Brought Corporate America to Justice.” This new book from the University of Minnesota Press comes… Read More →

MN Sunday liquor basically fine, nothing special

There’s a lady who smokes outside this one liquor store I drive by fairly often. I think she works there. She was out there again last Sunday. That got me wondering, how are Sunday sales going? Well, the local paper was a step ahead of me. I saw this later that day. A Nov. 26… Read More →

Northern Minnesota already firing up the SAD bus

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but Northern Minnesotans already grow weary with an early winter. In fact, stories about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “SAD” appear on the news, seemingly months ahead of schedule. SAD generates depression-like symptoms in people, primarily during short, dark winter days. The lack of daylight is one of the leading causes…. Read More →

Elections nudge Duluth political scene, but not much

Off-year elections generally only get attention because of “what it all means.” The year-round political speculation industry loves a taste of something real to add some heft to the conjecture. So we can look at yesterday’s election and say that Democratic success in New Jersey and Virginia means something. President Trump’s unpopularity seems to be… Read More →

Lake Superior wave breaks records

By now you’ve heard your fill of Gordon Lightfoot’s wonderful but perhaps overplayed masterpiece, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” The 42nd anniversary of the iron ore ship’s sinking in an early winter storm will be marked Nov. 10. The song’s iconic line “when the gales of November come early,” was on many lips this… Read More →

The Hunt for Bob October

All this brisk autumn air reminds me of the first time I saw Bob Dylan perform at the DECC in Duluth on October 22, 1998. The show was an elaborate excuse for me to see my girlfriend from Hibbing after I had moved away from the Iron Range for college. She wasn’t as much of… Read More →

Leah Phifer announces DFL challenge in MN-8

This summer, national security analyst Leah Phifer of Isanti drove more than 7,000 miles of Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District on her motorcycle to meet voters and decide if she should run for Congress. Today, Phifer announced she would seek the DFL endorsement for the MN-8 seat, challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan of Crosby. Though… Read More →

State Senator named director of Lake Superior Zoo

Soon, State Sen. Erik Simonson will tame ravenous beasts, feed ferocious predators, and see that no harm befalls innocent tour groups. And then when he comes home to Duluth he’ll run a zoo. Simonson, a Duluth Democratic-Farmer-Laborite, was named the executive director of the Lake Superior Zoo today. He will accept early retirement from his… Read More →

The high cost of inaction on rural broadband

Longtime readers know my position on rural broadband. In short, I view it as one important part of blended strategy to diversify the economy of Northern Minnesota. To extend the fastest and highest capacity delivery system would mean more fiber optic lines buried underground. This is the most obvious and also the most expensive way… Read More →

Minnesota bug clouds tripping radar balls?

Here in Northern Minnesota, the deer flies are always bad this time of year. They’re worse this year. Everybody’s talking about deer flies. And they may have even showed up on radar. But first, some thoughts about radar. Every day I pass by the Nashwauk Radar Ball, a mysterious white orb overlooking Highway 65 north… Read More →