Former Magnetation brass buy Canadian iron mine

Tacora Resources, Inc., a newly formed mining company based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, just acquired the assets to the Scully Mine in Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Cliffs Natural Resources closed the Scully Mine in 2014. The company left behind unfunded pensions and considerable animosity among the rural population of this small town in Labrador…. Read More →

Itasca County A-OK with ATVs along most county roads

Starting July 15, Itasca County will allow all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to drive on the right-of-ways along county roads. The Grand Rapids Herald-Review reported the county board action in a June 28 story. The ordinance comes after a long debate within county government. Some see danger allowing ATVs so close to active traffic. Others see merits…. Read More →

Community, cars, ticks highlight June 2017 Great Northern Radio Show

On June 17, 2017 my Great Northern Radio Show broadcast live from the Reif Center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. We had more than 500 people packed into the Wilcox Theater to hear our brand of music, comedy and storytelling in what we dub the “big, big show from your hometown.” This show ended up sounding… Read More →

Car wash confidential

For me, one of the big realizations of summer is that my car is filthy. I don’t just mean dirty. No, I mean that I can grow potatoes in my undercarriage. I live at the end of a long dirt road in Itasca County, a place where the miles of dirt road exceed the number… Read More →

Iron Range Fourth of July 2017

It’s time for another Iron Range Fourth of July in Northern Minnesota. Regardless of economic or political winds, the region always unites for its uniquely exuberant observation of Independence Day, which lasts several days (up to a month) as celebrated in local custom. Below is MinnesotaBrown’s 2017 Iron Range Fourth of July listing for parades, fireworks displays and street… Read More →

Top 10 Reasons to attend Great Northern Radio Show

Tomorrow, on June 17, my Great Northern Radio Show will broadcast live from the Reif Center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. I wrote about the show a couple weeks ago. One of the reasons I developed such an interest in broadcasting and the variety show format was my early teenage love affair with late night shows. So, with… Read More →

Great Northern Radio Show cruises home to Grand Rapids

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Mr. Rogers. If you’ve never heard of him, or seen his groundbreaking children’s show, that’d be reasonable. It’s getting a little old now. But some of you might have seen the recording of his testimony defending federal funding of public broadcasting back in 1969. Others might have seen the viral story… Read More →

Itasca County shark? A mystery unsolved

Itasca County boasts plenty of critters that could eat you. Bears. Mosquitos. Turkey buzzards. But until now no one’s ever worried about a shark. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported May 17 about a father and son duo who fished a tiger shark jaw out of the Mississippi River near Grand Rapids. Tiger sharks can only survive… Read More →

Officials push new rails on the Iron Range to cut transport costs

Say, ladies and gents, the brass says someday an iron horse might reach across the whole Mesabi Iron Range. Ain’t that a corker! Wait until Mr. James J. Hill hears about this. Slang from the 1880s aside, local officials and elected leaders — at the behest of companies like Minnesota Power — are pushing for more… Read More →

To build Iron Range economic hopes we must keep working


The steam cloud pouring out of the stack at Keewatin Taconite once again guides my daily commute from the wilds of Itasca County into Hibbing. For nearly two years, the eastern sky bore only the unforgiving blaze of the sun. Now fluffy white billows remind that hundreds of miners are back at work. Unfortunately, KeeTac’s… Read More →