Today the Minnesota Reformer published my latest essay about about the new $68 million cannabis facility proposed for a shuttered Grand Rapids factory. The short version is that I’m skeptical. The long version gets to the root of that issue. The title of this post refers to the notion of commercial weed on the Iron… Read More →

UPDATE: Layman won’t seek third term in State House

State Rep. Sandy Layman (R-Cohasset) announced late Tuesday she would not seek another term in the legislature. The surprising news dropped just as the filing period closed, leaving the Republican slot blank if she removes her name from the ballot. “Anyone in public service knows there is a balance that needs to be struck between… Read More →

DNR confirms Zebra mussels in Pokegama Lake chain

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed Monday it found invasive zebra mussels in the Blandin Reservoir along the Mississippi River near Grand Rapids. That means that several waters connected to the reservoir now enter the infested waters designation. They include: Lake Pokegama Jay Gould Lake Little Jay Gould Lake the Mississippi River from Lake… Read More →

Former Itasca County Sheriff challenges Layman

Last week, retired Itasca County Sheriff and current Grand Rapids school board member Pat Medure, a Cohasset DFLer, announced he would run for State Representative in District 5B. He challenges incumbent State Rep. Sandy Layman (R-Cohasset). District 5B covers western Itasca and northeastern Cass counties. Grand Rapids serves as its political and population center. This… 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 →

Officials push new rails on the Iron Range to cut transport costs

Say, ladies and gents, the brass says someday an iron horse might reach across the whole Mesabi Iron Range. Ain’t that a corker! Wait until Mr. James J. Hill hears about this. Slang from the 1880s aside, local officials and elected leaders — at the behest of companies like Minnesota Power — are pushing for more… Read More →

New bike park planned for Itasca County

A long, long time ago, humans arrived in Northern Minnesota on narrow, bumpy paths that wound through trees and around walls of ancient rock. It’s the future now. People look forward to the next big thing. In the future, what we want is … a narrow, bumpy path wound through trees and around walls of… Read More →

Navasota project tied to Minnesota Power plan

Earlier this week, I shared a developing story about a new natural gas peaking plant proposed for the city of Cohasset, home of Minnesota Power’s giant Clay Boswell coal-fired power plant. After a great deal of initial confusion, we established that the $300 million proposal by Navasota Energy of Texas for a 400 MW plant… Read More →

Cohasset proposes $300 million power plant

UPDATE: New information offers more clarity to this story. Cohasset City Administrator Max Peters said that the city backed the Navosota project as a matter of routine for potential buyers for lots in its industrial park. Though there are other bidders for this project in the Upper Midwest, this is the only one looking at… Read More →