MinnesotaBrown’s Top Posts of 2022

↔ Another year has come and gone, and what reason — what good reason — could I give you to look back at my written work of 2022? Are we not awash in such tripe? Is there no end to the vainglory that impels the propagation of a “website” run by a “newspaper columnist”?  Well,… Read More →

Tensions over potential mine closure boil over days before election

I wrote several different versions of a post yesterday after news broke and then unbroke regarding the potential closure of Hibbing Taconite. Fortunately, I was too busy to post any of them before newer information came in. So today I wrote a piece for the Minnesota Reformer analyzing the complex economic and political storm brewing… Read More →

New disc golf course in Balsam Township

Please indulge a proud dad moment. Our oldest son Henry Brown was featured on WDIO News last night for his Eagle Scout project. Raising almost $7,000 in cash and in-kind donations, with the help of 24 volunteers, Henry built a nine-hole disc golf course at Balsam Community Park near our home in the woods. He… Read More →

Core Conversations on the future of mining in northern Minnesota

Last Friday I made my television hosting debut with a special episode of Almanac North on WDSE. It’s part of a quarterly series called “Core Conversations.” This one focused on the future of the mining industry in northern Minnesota. You can view the episode in the embedded video above or by following the link. Guests… Read More →

Brown on the Air: TV hosting debut on Almanac North

Though I wish this would have happened 15 years and six stones ago, I’ll be making my television news hosting debut this Friday, Oct. 7, in Duluth. As a print and radio-trained journalist, I view this as a mildly terrifying exercise in experimental broadcasting. At 8 p.m., you can watch a special episode of Almanac North… Read More →

Iron Range parades, street dances & fireworks for Independence Day 2022

My tradition of sharing a concise, convenient listing of Fourth of July weekend parades, street dances and fireworks displays in northern Minnesota’s Iron Range region continues in 2022. This is a small miracle. I was very close to throwing in the towel this year. One son’s travel baseball schedule demands a lot of time in… Read More →

A summer update from the writer

I’m not sure how many of you remember the days when I would report 3-7 times a week with news from northern Minnesota politics, business and culture. It’s been a few years since I’ve tried to maintain that schedule. What you see here at MinnesotaBrown these days are my Mesabi Tribune newspaper columns and commentaries… Read More →

When history and entrepreneurship collide

Editing work on my book, “Power in the Wilderness” continues. I finished the manuscript, but it’s way too long and will take months to carve down to size. You’re going to like the end product, though. Victor Power comes across as a fully formed Shakespearian character. His life and death will fascinate longtime Iron Rangers… Read More →

Virtual Chef’s Gala fundraiser show returns this week

You might recall that earlier this winter I was supposed to co-host the Second Harvest North Central Food Bank Chef’s Gala fundraiser program. Unfortunately, the show was postponed due to a COVID-19 spike in Itasca and Crow Wing counties. The event will return this Thursday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. amid an improved COVID situation… Read More →

Five northeastern Minnesota colleges merge

Today the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees approved the merger of five northeastern Minnesota community and technical colleges. The colleges include Hibbing Community College, Itasca Community College, Mesabi Range College, Rainy River Community College and Vermilion Community College. The new college will be called Minnesota North College with campuses in Ely, Eveleth,… Read More →