Iron Range downtown revitalization projects on tap

You can’t legislate beauty. But you can clean a place up and take some pride in your community. You can also deploy public art as a way to change attitudes and outlooks. That’s the logic behind a small but growing movement to revitalize Mesabi Iron Range communities. The IRRRB announced their 2018 Downtown and Business… 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 →

Shuster Rink wins historic men’s curling gold for U.S.

Redemption makes the best stories. The hardest thing in life is to be knocked down and come back better than before. It doesn’t matter if it’s navigating relationships, recovering from injury, overcoming failure, or sliding a 40-pound stone across the ice. The U.S. Men’s Curling team, led by Chisholm native John Shuster, won the gold… Read More →

Curling team with Northern MN ties vies for Olympic medal

Bad luck? A curse? Whatever you want to call it, U.S. men’s curling team skip John Shuster struggled in his last two Olympics. As part of America’s first medal-winning curling team — a bronze in 2006 — Shuster led the last two teams to ignoble collapses in 2010 and 2014. Until now. After a poor… Read More →

Resiliency: the skill we all need to survive

Every living thing around us knows resilience. The snow-speckled maple out our window went dormant for the long cold winter, ready to release sap and resume life come spring. The chickadee stands on thin, nearly bloodless legs, all so these spritely little birds may flit among the branches no matter how cold the air. 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 →

‘Blue-Collar Battleground’ opens at Chisholm museum

Job creation. Job training. Worker shortage. Part time work. Stagnant wages. Higher productivity. Health care. Retirement savings. These words filter through our news like water down a pipe, presenting clear evidence that the “labor history” of America is hardly finished. Rather, we’re living in the continuation of an unresolved labor movement. This Thursday, Dec. 7,… Read More →

Young Range professionals seek to ‘Be the Change’

The Iron Range young professionals organization ReGen will launch a month of “Be the Change” events in October. The kickoff is Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm. That program features the Theater of Public Policy, a comedy act that blends good natured local and Minnesota political humor. Here’s how ReGen describes… Read More →

Moving mountains for an Iron Range future

Soon the Hull Rust Mine View in historic North Hibbing will be closed for good, set to reopen next year at a new location to the east. Shortly thereafter Hibbing Taconite will blow to bits the very mountain of taconite on which the viewing stand sits to send the iron ore on its way to… Read More →

No place like our place

Regular readers know that I push for economic diversification and independence on the Mesabi Iron Range. For too long we on the Mesabi have allowed our lives to be defined by outside forces. The most obvious external influences are mining companies. They’re the reason our towns exist but also the reason we live in a… Read More →