Shipping season begins on Lake Superior

Never mind the equinox until the lakers leave the equi-DOCKS! Ha! Get it? The Lake Superior shipping season reopens today, marking the actual start of Northern Minnesota’s spring. Of course, we celebrated the vernal equinox this past Monday. That’s nice and all, but only big honking ships full of taconite and coal can really get… Read More →

In Russia, accordion plays you

Russia seems to dominate political discussions these days. Overlooked in all this is the fact that, on better days, Russians lay down some tight folk music. This Sunday, March 12, accordionist Stas Venglevski and dulcimer player Tatyana Krasnobaeva will perform at the World of Accordions Museum and Harrington Arts Center across the bridge in Superior, Wisconsin. The show starts… Read More →

The end of ‘Vanity’ stores, mainstay of Minnesota malls

KFGO Radio in Fargo reports that Vanity is closing all 140 of its stores in 27 states, including the ones found in malls across Northern Minnesota. The move is part of a bankruptcy that company executives from the 60-year-old Fargo-based clothing store chain blame on competition from online retailers. According to KFGO, Vanity employs up… Read More →

With Sunday liquor vote today, ‘Driving to Superior’

(Listen to “Driving to Superior” from Aaron Brown’s Great Northern Radio Show) “Sunday sales,” one of the perennial issues before the Minnesota legislature, might actually be resolved this year. In Minnesota, it’s illegal to sell off sale liquor or full strength beer on Sundays. You have to go to a bar or stock up one of… Read More →

Timeless truth of ‘wire and lights in a box’

As televisions bleat the confusing news of our times, I can’t help but visit my memories of Mike Simonson. Mike was my mentor at KUWS on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Superior and a veteran radio news reporter. He taught me how to ask questions. On a good day I remember. Mike required student… Read More →

Midnight in the Temple of Man (Toys)

Growing up on Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range, the occasional family trip to Duluth gave us a rare view of the chain stores and restaurants seen only on our television set. Every family member demanded a stop at their favorite destination. A second-hand clothing store for one sister. Designer clothes for the other. The big book store for mom… Read More →

Slice of Life: 78 years of columns from Floodwood writer

Every once in a while I congratulate myself because I’ve written a continuous weekly newspaper column for the Hibbing Daily Tribune since June of 2001. Every Sunday (and sometimes more often) I’ve had an original thought, sometimes coherent, in the paper. As of today, that’s almost 16 years of columns, not insignificant in today’s media… Read More →

A cautionary tale from Duluth’s Russian sister city

U.S./Russia relations continue to make headlines during President-elect Trump’s transition. Setting aside reports of Russian interference in American politics, there is the fact that Russia has sought to reassert itself as a counterbalance to American power on the world stage. The Russian intrigue is guaranteed to continue into Trump’s presidency. Trump announced last week that his first foreign trip will… Read More →

Lake Superior shipping season ends today

As cold as it was last week, sailors and dock workers were still on the job in the harsh Lake Superior winds. While there will still be maintenance work to do, the ships are coming in off the water today. The locks at Sault Ste. Marie close today, marking the end of the shipping season on… Read More →

New Northern Minnesota lawmakers sworn in

Several new state lawmakers from the Northern Minnesota were sworn in at the Capitol in St. Paul today. State Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL-Hibbing) now represents District 6A, including Hibbing, Chisholm, Floodwood, Nashwauk, Keewatin and Bigfork. “As a lifelong Ranger, I know how important it is for us to never stop fighting for our economic vitality and… Read More →