Zebra mussels in Range mine pit raise questions

Northern Minnesota has been standing sentinel against zebra mussels for a number of years. We worry our freshwater lakes could be overrun by this invasive species. Typically, however, we imagine the pests arriving on the hulls of traveling boats and trailers. That doesn’t seem to explain why they showed up in an Iron Range mine… Read More →

Virginia, Eveleth, Gilbert approve shared high school plan

Tonight voters in the Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert school districts appear to have approved a plan to build a shared high school that would serve both communities. The districts have not yet released vote totals, but will on Wednesday. Unofficial reports showed the measure passing in all three communities. Despite the lack of information, referendum supporters… Read More →

Iron Range’s most active live music venue to close soon

In a blow to the Iron Range music scene, the 218 Taphouse and Shop Coffeehouse in downtown Virginia, Minnesota, will close April 15. Owners issued the news via an April 3 Facebook post, which reads as follows: Due to unforeseen circumstances The 218 Taphouse and Shop Coffeehouse will be closing April 15th. We would like… Read More →

10-week sprint to special election for Iron Range school plan

On May 14, voters in Virginia, Eveleth and Gilbert will decide whether a new $181 million shared high school plan becomes reality.

ESPN heads to Iron Range for feature on Jared Allen’s curling team

So there I am Sunday morning. Slept in, not quite accidentally. Watching ESPN to keep my blood pressure low. And then what should appear on my screen? Why, it was a hotel parking lot on the Mesabi Iron Range. Specifically, it was the AmericInn in Virginia, Minnesota. And then one strange second later I see… Read More →

New Virginia/Eveleth-Gilbert high school plan gains major funding boost

Two rival Iron Range school districts will build a consolidated high school if voters approve a now greatly subsidized school levy. Last Friday, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board recommended to its state department a $100 million investment in a shared Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert high school. Almost $5 million per year would space out over 20 years. 

Bill would name state’s tallest bridge for Tom Rukavina

On Thursday, State Rep. David Lislegard (DFL-Aurora) introduced a bill that would name the Highway 53 bridge between Eveleth and Virginia the Tom Rukavina Memorial Bridge. Rukavina, a longtime Iron Range legislator known for his fiery speeches and pro-labor politics, died Jan. 6 after battling cancer. He was 68. The Highway 53 bridge was part… Read More →

A year after KKK flyers, Range town to rally for King holiday

This Monday, Jan. 21, the city of Virginia, Minnesota, and Mesabi Range College will host a MLK Peace and Unity march and rally celebrating the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The march starts at noon on the west side of Virginia City Hall at 327 1st Street South with the 12:15 p.m. rally at the Virginia Public Schools Gym at the west end of 500 Block of 2nd Street South.

Remembering Iron Range political legend Tom Rukavina

Minnesota political firebrand Tom Rukavina died Monday after a difficult battle with the illness that forced his retirement from the St. Louis County Board last year.

A booming voice for the working people of the Mesabi Iron Range, Rukavina made his name in the state legislature where his short stature, booming voice and sharp-elbowed sense of humor made him beloved by political friends and foes alike. 

Why livability is key to Northern Minnesota strategy

The Iron Range, all of Northern Minnesota, and most of rural America share many problems, while maintaining some unique ones. Nevertheless, we could all make good use of one potential solution: We need people. Our small towns and rural institutions were built for a certain number of people. Not a ton of people, but a… Read More →