Summer 2018 brings color to Range communities

I drive through Nashwauk, Minnesota, most days. It’s a nice little town, but a little worn down. That’s not unusual for the cities of the western Mesabi Iron Range. These boom towns bloomed in a white pine wilderness a century ago, each at the mouth of a specific iron mine. Now that mining is more… Read More →

The dislocated workers we choose to ignore

NEWS FLASH: Officials today announced the shutdown of a major taconite mine on the Mesabi Iron Range. More than 700 workers will lose their jobs in the midst of an uncertain future for their industry. Here on the Iron Range, stories like this get our attention. We’ve been through them before. Everyone knows what to… Read More →

Open legislative seat spurs Iron Range DFL primary

We sense many disturbances in the 2018 Iron Range political force. (Apologies. It is May the Fourth after all). Setting aside the roaming Death Star of Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District race, the Mesabi Iron Range also stumbled into an open legislative seat in District 6B. Current State Rep. Jason Metsa is running for the aforementioned… Read More →

Busting trusts in the 21st Century

When Hibbing mayor Victor Power took the stage at a Minneapolis Labor Day rally in 1915, he lambasted the powerful steel trust for its abuses of working people. Every person in the sprawling crowd knew he was talking about U.S. Steel. Then the world’s largest corporation, the massive reach of U.S. Steel controlled the wages… Read More →

Tooth in Advertising: program attracts dentists to Range

I’ve got decent insurance now, so my three kids could go to the dentist starting at an early age. That wasn’t the case for my parents. But when it came time for my boys to go to the dentist, we still had a hard time getting them in. My lifelong dentist wasn’t accepting new patients,… Read More →

The sound of footsteps in an empty mall

I like to walk. My “five miles or more per day” habit is about all that’s keeping me out of the Big and Tall stores these days. (And I ain’t getting any taller). Walking is probably the only good habit I’ve ever had. So when I had an odd free moment the other day I… Read More →

Hainey to run for Iron Range State House seat

With State Rep. Jason Metsa running for Congress, his vacated House 6B seat becomes an interesting undercard in the impending Iron Range political scrum of 2018. Today, the first DFL candidate announced his candidacy. Shaun Hainey, an employee in the St. Louis County assessor’s office, is a hobby farmer and union member from Pike Township… Read More →

DFL lawmaker Jason Metsa enters Eighth District race

Today, State Rep. Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) announced his bid for the DFL nomination for Congress in Minnesota’s Eighth District. “I am running for Congress because I know that we only make progress for Northern Minnesota families when we have each others’ backs and stand up to fight for each other,” said Metsa in his announcement…. Read More →

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 →