Real hope for rural broadband on the Iron Range

Growing up I always lived just outside the towns of the Iron Range. Back roads. Cracked pavement and dirt roads. My family ran small businesses. Some lasted a while. Some not so much. Such is the nature of small business. The ‘80s were bad. They were for a lot of people. School changed my life…. Read More →

The horrible, solvable problem of hunger

A mother flees an abusive husband with her four children. She hasn’t worked in a long time and her parents live out of state. She’s leaving the shelter soon, but isn’t on her feet yet. An retired contractor wracked with a bad back can’t pick up jobs anymore. He is alone. One day he finds… Read More →

Survey to spur high speed internet across Iron Range

I have fiber optic internet service direct to my home in rural Itasca County. Why? Enough of my neighbors filled out a survey and kept pressure on local leaders to get our area added to broadband expansion projects by Paul Bunyan Communication. Residents of the east central Iron Range will now have the same opportunity…. Read More →

LIVE BLOG: Primary Night on the Iron Range

Welcome to the Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 MinnesotaBrown primary election live blog. Your intrepid host Aaron Brown will provide analysis of Iron Range results throughout the evening. We’ll pay close attention to the House 6A DFL contest and St. Louis County commissioner races. 11:00: There will be more to write in coming days, but we can… Read More →

Mesabi Academy to close

The Kidspeace Mesabi Academy juvenile corrections and school facility in Buhl will close at the end of June. The move comes amid controversy over an American Public Media investigative report on allegations of abuse and interference with a county investigation at the facility. American Public Media is the parent organization of Minnesota Public Radio. Those allegations have… Read More →

We are not monsters

The world keeps turning on the Mesabi Iron Range. Lawmakers defend the IRRRB in St. Paul, while the local paper lambasts a city council for a foreign steel pipe found in a construction project. At risk, we are told, is “our way of life.” Controversies come and go. Another election year bulges on the horizon. Two… 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 →

MPR: Abuse cover-up at Buhl juvenile center

For residents of the Iron Range, the KidsPeace Mesabi Academy in Buhl is just a part of the tapestry of the region’s economic metamorphosis. Once the beloved neighborhood Buhl school, the building was “saved” by becoming a juvenile correction center for boys. This week, American Public Media Reports — a organizational relative of Minnesota Public… 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 →

Mt. Iron-Buhl explores Plan B: new school

An unpopular plan to build a large new high school for the Iron Range districts of Mountain Iron-Buhl, Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia now abandoned, MI-B is considering building its own new school. This according to Jana Hollingsworth of the Duluth News-Tribune and other local media covering the district’s board meeting this week. One interesting feature here… Read More →