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 →

Sue Hakes of Grand Marais to explore MN-8 bid

With Congressman Rick Nolan considering a run for governor, a potential Democratic candidate for his Eighth Congressional District seat announced her exploratory committee today. Sue Hakes, who previously served as Cook County Commissioner and Mayor of Grand Marais, will test the field as Nolan considers his future. “When I think about Minnesota’s Eighth District, I think… Read More →

Dylan Fest 2017 honors Northern MN’s own Bob Dylan

Every May, Bob Dylan’s shared hometowns of Duluth, where he was born, and Hibbing, where he grew up, celebrate music, poetry and culture in his honor. This year, Dylan is fresh off his Nobel Prize for Literature. And while the former Bobby Zimmerman isn’t expected to appear at this year’s festivities, a full lineup of… Read More →

FARGO, Season 3, Ep. 5: “The House of Special Purpose”

The FX series “Fargo” takes viewers on a “true crime” adventure through the snow-swept landscape of Minnesota. Based on the Coen Brothers Academy Award winning film “Fargo,” each season of the TV series explores a new story cast from the themes of innocence lost, human failings, and the redemptive power of goodness. Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown… Read More →

Northeast Minnesota labor trends like a rummage sale

This week I’ll be taking part in Policy and a Pint, a discussion series sponsored by the Citizen’s League and MPR’s The Current. The event, titled “Talent Within the Range,” runs from 6-8 p.m. tomorrow, May 18, at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm. (Tickets are free; sign up here). In honor of the occasion, I’ll… Read More →

Aluminum and automation: our workforce confounded

This week I’ll be taking part in Policy and a Pint, a discussion series sponsored by the Citizen’s League and MPR’s The Current. The event, titled “Talent Within the Range,” runs from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm. (Tickets are free; sign up here). In honor of the occasion, I’ll… Read More →

School’s out for fish: hook, line and existentialism

This weekend brings Minnesota’s fishing opener, Mother’s Day, and the beginning of graduation season. These annual events affect us all, but none so much as local fish. Thus, today’s play in three acts. We begin in the weeds: FISH: Mother! Oh, mother, I am to graduate! MOTHER: Who are you? FISH: It is I, your… Read More →

Minnesota leaders share bipartisan anti-fish aggression

For one day each year Minnesota politicians are judged on a bipartisan scale of how many fish they catch in a high pressure situation. The Minnesota fishing opener was today, meaning that anglers can catch larger fish like walleye, northern pike, and bass. Each year, the governor of our state hosts a major event celebrating… Read More →

FitBit names Duluth ‘fittest city in America’

In what’s either a tremendous bragging point or a disturbing product of a corporate surveillance state, FitBit announced this week that Duluth, Minnesota, is the “fittest city in America.” FitBit formed this conclusion from tracking fitness data like steps, activity and sleep duration from its customers across the nation. To be perfectly fair, all this… Read More →

U.S. Steel CEO Longhi to retire; Burritt takes over

One of the Mesabi Iron Range’s largest mining companies will be under new leadership next month. Mario Longhi, CEO of U.S. Steel, will retire June 1. Company chief operations officer David Burritt will take the helm. U.S. Steel is an integrated steelmaker, meaning that the company mines its own ores, produces steel in blast furnaces, and finishes… Read More →