In chaos, only gratitude will do

Thank you. Simple words not said enough. We gather this week for Thanksgiving. But not like usual. We gather in our homes, mindful of events outside our control. Not all of us can travel for the holiday this year. Instead, we approach the day with trepidation as the COVID-19 pandemic rages out of control across… Read More →

All politics is national

We now understand that 2016 was no fluke. Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, a post-WWII bastion of the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, now leans toward the Republican Party. And the DFL shows no sign of regaining lost ground anytime soon. The old days are truly gone. The numbers from Tuesday’s election weren’t overwhelming. President Trump won most… Read More →

Pence in Hibbing today for campaign rally

Vice President Mike Pence and other Republican candidates will appear today at a rally at the Range Regional Airport in Hibbing. Just one week before the Nov. 3 election, the Trump campaign sees Minnesota as winnable despite polls that currently trend toward Joe Biden and the Democrats. National campaign visits to northern Minnesota are typically… Read More →

Water, land and climate

An epic conflict shapes the future of northern Minnesota. But it doesn’t feel like a conflict. Rather, it feels like selling out and settling for less. And it might take 40 years before we know what hit us. This battle gently boils in the rooms where estates are settled, where families decide how to pay… Read More →

Empty theatrics dictate 2020 politics on the Iron Range

For one remarkable fall afternoon the President of the United States and his Democratic challenger converged on the political battlefield of northern Minnesota. The Sept. 18 appearances of President Donald Trump at the Bemidji airport and former Vice President Joe Biden at a union training center near Duluth fed the hungry narrative that Minnesota may… Read More →

Cleveland Cliffs resets the Mesabi Iron Range

Before March 2, 1901 northern Minnesota served as a battleground for two immutable titans of industry, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. At stake was control of the world’s richest untapped source of iron ore and the nation-building steel it could produce. The scene grew chaotic with new mines opening, closing, and changing hands all… Read More →

Breaking barriers and saving lives during Hibbing’s most trying times

During my book research I stumbled across the story of Hattie Mosley. I wasn’t the first to note this fascinating woman’s life. She was elected to the Hibbing Historical Society’s Hall of Service and Achievement a decade ago. But few in her Iron Range hometown know anything about her. In 1918, Hibbing battled a flu… Read More →

Cleveland Cliffs acquires ArcelorMittal USA

Cleveland Cliffs becomes North America’s largest producer of iron ore and flat-rolled steel after acquiring the assets of ArcelorMittal USA. Reuters reported over the weekend that ArcelorMittal and Cleveland Cliffs were negotiating an asset merger that would dramatically affect the taconite industry on Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range. The deal merges ArcelorMittal’s American operations with those… Read More →

The comfort of seasons

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3.1) A bear bumbled through Keewatin a while back. It knocked over some garbage cans and left on the bike trail. I heard about some bears in Hibbing, too. This is the season when yearling cubs strike out… Read More →

‘Power in the Wilderness’ book one step closer to reality

Longtime readers know that I’ve been generating fewer posts these last couple years because of an enormous research and writing project. Today I have some exciting news to share. Last week I signed a book deal. The University of Minnesota Press will publish “Power in the Wilderness” sometime in early- to mid-2022. I’m due to… Read More →