Amy Klobuchar: the senator from Minnesota

I first met Amy Klobuchar in a back alley in International Falls, Minnesota, not far from a paper plant along the Canadian border. Looking back at that 2006 day gives us clues about her upcoming presidential campaign.

Five NE Minnesota colleges move toward merger

On Wednesday, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees approved plans to merge five community and technical colleges in Northeastern Minnesota. After a two-year planning period the board will vote again on whether to go through with it. The new college organization, if approved, would be in operation by Fall 2022. These five… Read More →

State OKs Highway 53 upgrades in 2019

Highway 53 between International Falls and Cook to receive $7.2 million upgrade this summer.

Northern Minnesota wolves maintain clear boundaries

Scientists with the Voyageurs Wolf Project study the behavior of wolves in Northern Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park. One recent social media post shows how wolves maintain their territory. As you see above, collared wolves from different packs move a great deal in pursuit of prey. But they almost never encroach on the territory of neighboring… Read More →

Enrollment decline poses new challenge to state colleges

Trying to read trends is difficult. You have to figure out what’s part of a normal cycle and what might be indicative of change. And then, if it is real change, you have to determine what’s causing the change. Is it inevitable or malleable? Are you causing it or is it something else? That’s the… Read More →

New film explores 1916-17 Northern MN labor uprisings

Filmmaker Gary Kaunonen of KCC-TV in International Falls just released a new documentary about a pivotal time in Northern Minnesota’s labor history. It’s called “Northern Minnesota’s Labor Wars.” The years 1916 and 1917 brought major labor uprisings in the mines of the Mesabi Iron Range and the lumber camps of the state’s far northern pine… Read More →

Koochiching County at the crossroads

Last Thursday, I was part of a panel for a “Policy and a Pint” forum about Northern Minnesota employment issues. The Citizen’s League and MPR’s The Current sponsored the event. One of the big themes to emerge from the dialogue was the idea that Northern Minnesota needs to attract people. Returning young professionals, yes, but… Read More →

Brangelina blowout happened in International Falls

Normally I strive to break the notion that Northern Minnesota is “flyover” country. We must fight the pervasive notion that we of Middle America only serve as the soft marshmallowy interior for the much more interesting coastal regions. And I’ll resume that campaign in the near future. Meantime, we are learning that the high profile breakup between… Read More →

ANALYSIS: Rob Ecklund wins 3A race

Rob Ecklund was elected State Representative for Minnesota House District 3A Tuesday by a wide margin. The Koochiching County Commissioner and Boise Cascade union paper worker earned 64 percent of the vote to Republican Roger Skraba’s 19 percent and independent Kelsey Johnson’s 16 percent. Ecklund carried 80 of 83 precincts, losing a pair of small… Read More →

LIVE BLOG: MN House 3A Special Election today

Today voters head to the polls in Minnesota District 3A. This district is the state’s largest geographic House seat sprawling across Koochiching, northern and eastern St. Louis, most of Lake and all of Cook counties. This is a special election to replace the late Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake), who died last summer. Polls will… Read More →