Minnesota fifth largest source of U.S. minerals

Minnesota is the fifth largest producer of American mineral resources according to a recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey. The state remains the largest producer of iron ore in the country, but also produces many millions of dollars worth of industrial sand and stone.   From the Myers story: The USGS report reiterated what… Read More →

U.S. Steel vows (nonspecifically) to restore 10,000 jobs

In recent days, we’ve been talking about the general improvement of stock and commodity prices as they relate to Mesabi Range iron mines. One of my key observations was that despite the surge, U.S. Steel’s Keewatin Taconite remained closed after 18 months. Well, stop the presses. Maybe. On Wednesday, U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi said on… Read More →

Sister Hazel headlines Merritt Days 2016

In recent years, the Iron Range city of Mountain Iron booked some hot act from the 1990s to headline its Merritt Days festival. This year is no exception, as the announced Aug. 13 act will be Sister Hazel. Now, Sister Hazel didn’t leap off the screen at me, either, until I looked them up and… Read More →

Ticks, ethics & bioeconomics on the Range

What do ticks, digital ethics and “the bioeconomy” have in common? The short answer is that dogs have no use for studying these things, but the University of Minnesota does. The University of Minnesota is sending some of its researchers around the state for its “Minnesota Sparks” tour. The idea is to encourage broader conversations about interesting… Read More →

Mt. Iron-Buhl OKs $29 million school

UPDATE: On Tuesday, May 3, Mountain Iron-Buhl voters approved the bond referendum, paving the way for the new school proposal to move forward. The original piece, published May 2 follows: Voters in the Mountain Iron-Buhl school district will decide Tuesday on whether to accept a $29 million plan to build a new high school on Highway 169…. Read More →

Red dirt, green ideas at Iron Range Earth Fest

Given the constant controversy about environmental issues that permeates Iron Range political thought, one might find it strange that the Iron Range Earth Fest is preparing its 8th annual offering this Saturday, April 23. But in truth the Iron Range is a perfect place to talk about the concept of sustainability. Without getting into the… Read More →

U.S. Steel slashes 25 percent of salaried jobs

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel, owner and operator of two major mines on the Mesabi Iron Range and co-owner of a third, announced Wednesday it would slash 25 percent of its salaried workforce. The job cuts are focused on its North American operations. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The steelmaker had 21,000 employees in North America as of… Read More →

MI-B seeks collaboration funds for new school

Following legislative action in 2014, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board created a school collaboration fund from local taconite production and occupation taxes. The broad goal was to encourage fiscally challenged Iron Range school districts to share resources, curriculum and staff, or even consolidate. But in practical, baldly political terms, this fund was created… Read More →

U.S. Steel, union to resume talks this week

The U.S. Steel Corporation and the United Steelworkers resume talks this week in Pittsburgh after a cooling off period. Union officials say the company has made a new offer and that they will review and discuss the offer at these new meetings. The union has said that U.S. Steel has been asking for serious concessions in… Read More →

RAMS hires Dicklich as state lobbyist

The Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS) hired former executive director Ron Dicklich as its state lobbyist this past week, according to Bill Hanna in the Mesabi Daily News. You might recall RAMS at the center of a controversy last spring when State. Sen. David Tomassoni was hired to succeed Dicklich as executive direct despite… Read More →