Littlewolf leaves Virginia council for foundation post

Virginia city councilor Nevada Littlewolf is leaving office for a prestigious new job as CEO of a Native American foundation. Last week, the Minneapolis-based Tiwahe Foundation named Littlewolf as its new leader. The foundation grants funds to Native American communities to promote independence and stronger leadership. “I understand firsthand the importance of indigenous voices in… 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 →

Mesabi Iron Range takes action on mountain bike trails

Last week brought a very busy Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board meeting. In addition to discussions of reform and school funding, the board also green-lighted the commissioner’s plan to fund three mountain bike trails on the Mesabi Iron Range. The almost $5 million grant package helps volunteer-based organizations and Giants Ridge develop three distinct… Read More →

Hate and power on the Iron Range

As the holiday commemorating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. drew to a close last week, we were reminded that the hate he fought remains among us. In the Mesabi Iron Range city of Virginia, someone distributed flyers touting messages of white supremacy and racial resentment. The leaflets appeared in Britt… Read More →

Iron Range newspaper profiles early ‘silence breakers’

On Sunday, the Mesabi Daily News featured a major story about the #metoo movement with a special tie to Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. Penned by editor Jerry Burnes and reporter Leah Ryan, “One of the First Silence Breakers” includes an interview with Lois Jensen, the original Eveleth Mines sexual harassment case plaintiff. This story is… Read More →

‘Cool view’ at the Iron Range’s new Highway 53 bridge

Though it’s been in use for a couple months now, I made my first trip to the other side of the Mesabi Iron Range to see the new Highway 53 bridge last week. An online contest gave this 1,000-foot-tall span the moniker “Taconite Sky Bridge.” (The legislature must act to make that official). What the… Read More →

‘Taconite Sky Bridge’ now open to Highway 53 traffic

This week begins with commuters crossing the new Highway 53 bridge over the Rouchleau Pit for the first time. As we reported last week, local officials dedicated the bridge was dedicated on Friday, Sept. 15. However, the Minnesota Department of Transportation opted not to allow traffic through at that time due to rain. After the… Read More →

Highway 53 bridge opens this week

After a short delay from an optimistic August opening, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will open the new Highway 53 bridge this Friday, Sept. 15. This nearly quarter-billion dollar project reroutes Highways 53 and 135 on the east central Iron Range, creating the state’s new tallest bridge over the Rouchleau Pit outside Virginia, Minn. The… Read More →

Highway 53 bridge opening delayed

Though Bridge Daze celebrating the new Highway 53 bridge between Virginia and Eveleth will go on this week, motorists won’t cross the new tallest bridge in Minnesota until mid-September. On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced that weather delayed their target opening date this week. Barring setbacks, officials hope to open the bridge to… Read More →

Highway 53 bridge name contest down to final vote

Nearly complete, the Highways 53 and 135 rerouting project between the Mesabi Iron Range towns of Virginia, Eveleth and Gilbert will be Northern Minnesota’s largest, most expensive infrastructure project of our generation. The showpiece of the whole thing is a new Highway 53 bridge spanning the Rouchleau Pit outside Virginia. That bridge is almost done…. Read More →