First game for boys creates memories, empties wallet

If there’s one thing I remember about my first Twins game, it was that my family couldn’t walk fast enough. The neighborhood around the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome seemed stranger to me than the twisted wrecks hauled into my family’s Northern Minnesota junkyard. Nevertheless, I kept a brisk pace, well ahead of my uncle and… Read More →

Dig Deep explores ‘White Knight’ ideas to fix problems

The Northern Community Radio podcast “Dig Deep” took on a new series of topics last week. The ideas came from our live event at Itasca Community College on March 21. During the Q&A after our live podcast event, one gentleman asked a question. “Is it time for a ‘White Knight” to come in and take… Read More →

Former Itasca County Sheriff challenges Layman

Last week, retired Itasca County Sheriff and current Grand Rapids school board member Pat Medure, a Cohasset DFLer, announced he would run for State Representative in District 5B. He challenges incumbent State Rep. Sandy Layman (R-Cohasset). District 5B covers western Itasca and northeastern Cass counties. Grand Rapids serves as its political and population center. This… Read More →

Voters approve Grand Rapids, Brainerd school bonds

Updating my earlier post, voters in the Grand Rapids and Brainerd school districts approved a series of bond measures today. Late results showed a close, mixed result in Grand Rapids and an overwhelming passage in Brainerd. In Grand Rapids, taxpayers approved a question of raising $69 million to build two new elementary schools and remodel… Read More →

Critical school votes test Northern MN political climate

Today, voters in two Northern Minnesota school districts will render their verdict on separate school bond referendum measures. The result will speak greatly toward public attitudes about the economy, taxation and public education in rural Minnesota. Grand Rapids In Grand Rapids, voters will consider two questions that would cost taxpayers up to $74 million. The… Read More →

Hibbing film scores box office success

Last week I wrote about Karl Jacob’s movie “Cold November,” a quality indy film that tells a beautiful story set right here in Northern Minnesota. In the scheduled run last week, “Cold November” ended up being the highest grossing film at the Mann’s Cinema 8 in Hibbing. As a result, the theater added an additional… Read More →

The sound of footsteps in an empty mall

I like to walk. My “five miles or more per day” habit is about all that’s keeping me out of the Big and Tall stores these days. (And I ain’t getting any taller). Walking is probably the only good habit I’ve ever had. So when I had an odd free moment the other day I… Read More →

Itasca conference aids navigation of ‘Post-Truth Era’

The peacock is really just a 12-pound pheasant with a fancy tail that is probably delicious. It evolved and lives today because potential mates and predators alike believe they are much larger birds with many, many eyes. It’s hardly the only species built on deception, but it’s a particularly successful one. It’s got nothing on… Read More →

Iron Range downtown revitalization projects on tap

You can’t legislate beauty. But you can clean a place up and take some pride in your community. You can also deploy public art as a way to change attitudes and outlooks. That’s the logic behind a small but growing movement to revitalize Mesabi Iron Range communities. The IRRRB announced their 2018 Downtown and Business… Read More →

Digging deeper into environmental policy

This month, the “Dig Deep” podcast explores environmental policy, a ferociously hot topic here in Northern Minnesota. “Dig Deep” is a production of Northern Community Radio, and appears both on the radio and as a podcast. My friend Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns represents a more conservative approach to issues while I present a more… Read More →