ArcelorMittal will run Hibbing Taconite

Hibbing Taconite will be run by its majority owner in 2019. ArcelorMittal announced this week it would gradually take over management of the mine from Cleveland Cliffs over the next eight months. Cliffs resigned from management of the mine this year. ArcelorMittal is the largest steel company in the world. Hibbing Taconite is the second… Read More →

Local ownership critical to Range success

Locally owned and operated. These words represent more than just a good tagline for area businesses. They’re the ticket to success in our changing economy. Encouraging and expanding local ownership is a sure-fire way to bring economic strength to Minnesota’s Iron Range and beyond. Not surprisingly, it’s also a vexing challenge amid current conditions. After… Read More →

The fallacy of sunk costs on the Iron Range

“You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em; know when to walk away, and when to run. ~Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler” Observe the haphazard dashes of spray paint on plywood signs along the roads of the Iron Range. They tell you what people think their stuff is worth. “$2,000 or… Read More →

Therapist with Hibbing roots highlighted for suicide prevention efforts

For the fourth straight year, human life expectancy in the United States declined. This has relatively little to do with longevity. After all, more people are living longer. But rather it has everything to do with how many people we lose to depression and addiction each year. The Huffington Post published a long form essay… Read More →

Holiday spirit can be overinflated

It’s time for the holidays. Christmas, yes, and all that comes with it. It’s not really a holiday anymore so much as an economic and cultural event. Like the Roaring 20s, but for our credit card bill. Or like the Great Depression, but in reference to our actual depression. It’s not like the good old… Read More →

Jim and Silent Bob pitch whiskey on Tonight Show

Bob Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota, marks the changes in his sprawling career with bemused resignation. Nevertheless, some folks still wonder what the boy they knew as Robert Zimmerman is up to. Earlier this year Dylan announced his new whiskey label, dubbed Heaven’s Door. And while his “never-ending” concern tour keeps rolling, Dylan has adopted the… Read More →

Architecture that holds up

Last night I hosted my radio show at the newly restored Hibbing High School auditorium. Workers spent months renovating this town’s “castle in the woods. Now it looks as resplendent as when it first opened nearly a century ago. I can assure you that words did the scene no justice. Some high school auditoriums are… Read More →

Celebrate with the Great Northern Radio Show

It’s been a wild fall here at MinnesotaBrown. An unexpected research trip to San Francisco. Election coverage that culminated with a live appearance on National Public Radio. And now I’m getting ready for Saturday’s Great Northern Radio Show at the historic Hibbing High School auditorium. It’s been a banner year for this mid-level regional writer…. Read More →

More smoke than fire: Election 2018 on the Iron Range

For much of 2018, we labored under the premise that Northern Minnesota’s 8th District might be the pivotal race in all of the nation. This would be the place that single-handedly decided whether Democrats or Republicans would control the U.S. House of Representatives. In visions of late night counting and recounting, the eyes of America… Read More →

Oral history of this blog with notes

Earlier this week I appeared on the Duluth News Tribune Pressroom Podcast with co-hosts Christa Lawler and Brady Slater, produced by Samantha Erkkila. The podcast team and I had been trying for years to figure out when I’d be in Duluth on a weekday with time to spare. We finally found a moment after my appearance… Read More →