FARGO, Season 3, Ep. 4: “The Narrow Escape Problem”

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 →

Talking Iron Range workforce challenges at ‘Policy & Pint’

I’ll be bringing the panel discussion lighting and regional analysis thunder to an event Thursday, May 18 at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm. The Citizens League, in partnership with MPR’s The Current, will be presenting “Policy and a Pint” from 6-8 p.m. You can get tickets now. (Now free, thanks to grant support). The event… Read More →

‘Colleges create hope for northern Minnesota’

This Sunday I had an op-ed in the Duluth News Tribune. The topic: the state higher education funding bill being debated right now in St. Paul. The headline: “Colleges create hope for northern Minnesota.’ After going through the role higher education played in Northern Minnesota history, I look at the advantages of investing in higher education… Read More →

Louisiana-Pacific starts siding line in Canada, not Cook

Officials with Louisiana-Pacific announced Friday that the company would start a new line of wood siding at its plant in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. That plant currently produces OSB, or oriented stand board, a form of wood paneling. That means that the company’s development of the former Ainsworth plant in Cook, Minnesota, moves to the back burner. William… Read More →

The good ship Taconite, flagship of empire built on Mesabi Range profits

For just shy of $1.3 million you could be the owner of yacht currently docked near Vancouver, British Colombia. Made of virgin teak, this century-old wooden pleasure ship has been on the market a couple years. Apparently, today’s oligarch-on-the-go simply doesn’t have the time to maintain such an antique. I can distinctly recall my father’s frustration trying to restore… Read More →

FARGO, Season 3, Ep. 3: “The Law of Non-Contradiction”

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 →

Officials push new rails on the Iron Range to cut transport costs

Say, ladies and gents, the brass says someday an iron horse might reach across the whole Mesabi Iron Range. Ain’t that a corker! Wait until Mr. James J. Hill hears about this. Slang from the 1880s aside, local officials and elected leaders — at the behest of companies like Minnesota Power — are pushing for more… Read More →

As words change amid Info Age, ‘Truth’ rises to the top

Every time we use a word we create a small, rapidly vaporizing artifact of a time, a place, and its people. That’s why language is the cornerstone of any culture. Each year I report on the annual list of top words from the Global Language Monitor in Austin, Texas. I spoke with Paul JJ Payack,… Read More →

London’s Liberty House, backer of bid for Essar project, also bought US steel mill

This week brought the surprising news that Chippewa Capital Partners submitted the successful bid for the former Essar Steel Minnesota iron ore project on the western Mesabi Iron Range. Chippewa Capital Partners is a financing group formed around ERP Iron Ore, a company founded by Virginia state entrepreneur Tom Clarke. The larger backer, however, is GFG… Read More →

FARGO, Season 3, Ep. 2: “The Principle of Restricted Space”

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 →