Walz reappoints Phillips at Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation

After an active search, Gov.-elect Tim Walz opts to reappoint Mark Phillips as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.

In corporate welfare gone wrong, the end never comes

After 17 years of failure and broken promises, you’d think Excelsior Energy would just go away. But the largest Iron Range economic development failure in history isn’t done rubbing our noses in the grift.

What next for Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation?

Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim Walz launched his official administrative transition team this week. Walz and retiring Gov. Mark Dayton both hail from the Democratic Farmer Labor Party, so we can expect some continuity in policy and certain key staff positions. Nevertheless, many new people will hold high level state posts when Walz takes office in 2019…. Read More →

Iron Range districts eye shared school, new model

Student desks form even rows on hardwood floors. A chalkboard at the front of the room frames the teacher’s heavy, spacious desk. Heavy vinyl maps roll down from the ceiling. Most of us recognize this picture as school. In fact, this scene so imprints our minds that decades later we still dream about it. It’s… Read More →

Steelworkers ratify contract with Cleveland-Cliffs

Members of the United Steelworkers of America voted to ratify a new labor contract with Cleveland-Cliffs this week. The new deal maintains their current benefits while increasing their pay. Cliffs operates United Taconite and, until next year, contracts to operate Hibbing Taconite. Their plant at Northshore Mining is nonunion. Negotiations with U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal… Read More →

Cliffs vows ore for Hibbing Taconite, plans for Nashwauk

Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves still wants to mine iron ore near Nashwauk. He vows that Hibbing Taconite will always have enough ore from his company, if they need it. Further he says Northshore Mining continues to make progress with direct-reduced iron products. Finally, he predicts smooth contract negotiations between his company and the United Steelworkers…. Read More →

Minnesota’s Iron Range region can feed itself

Minnesota’s Iron Range region is known for mining. But that’s only one of the resources provided in the Dakota legend of the Big Man Hills, or Sleeping Giant. Another has provided food far longer: the soil beneath our feet. Minnesota’s three major iron ranges hold a bad reputation for farming, due to the high iron… Read More →

Union works past deadline, but prepares for strike

All the mines on Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range run hot today, despite the expiration of labor contracts at facilities owned by U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal last night. The United Steelworkers of America agreed to stay on the job while negotiations continue. The union represents workers at mines and mills throughout the North American steel industry…. Read More →

United Steelworkers to rally Thursday over contract talks

On Thursday, Aug. 30, members and supporters of the United Steelworkers will hold rallies and demonstrations¬†across the Mesabi Iron Range. They seek to bring attention to the union’s ongoing impasse with major steelmakers over a new labor contract. This story highlights a critical moment in the economic recovery that reached the Iron Range in 2016,… Read More →

Iron Range parades, street dances and fireworks

As a young kid I marched in the Keewatin Fourth of July parade as a patriotic penguin, Donald Duck, and other flag-festooned creatures. As an older kid I remember piling into a car with my friends, touring Range towns for street dances and fireworks. Before cell phones we would often try to anticipate where we… Read More →