Scenic Range NewsForum to cease publication

Another local newspaper bites the dust, this one on the western Mesabi Iron Range. On Tuesday, the Scenic Range NewsForum announced that the weekly newspaper will cease publication at the end of 2020. The newspaper published for decades at the Scenic Range News out of Bovey, Minnesota. The name refers to the local belief that… Read More →

New CEO, pilot plant highlight Prairie River Minerals activity

The iron ore industry forges ahead despite global economic recession. As evidence, one new northern Minnesota scram mining company will break ground later this month. Prairie River Minerals, LLC, told WDIO this week that it would begin constructing a pilot plant near Coleraine soon. The company will process old hematite stockpiles from earlier days of… Read More →

Northern Minnesota can take a hike

I don’t go “hiking.” I have, however, been lost in the woods for several hours. You tell me the difference. In both cases, the goal is to not die. By the end, your feet ache with every step. The feeling when you finish? Accomplishment! And a good excuse to eat something imprudent. Maybe hiking’s not… Read More →

Iron Range state hockey hopes skate with Greenway

The Minnesota State High School boys class “A” hockey tournament begins today, always a cultural touchstone in this part of the world. Living in the Iron Range region of Northern Minnesota means dwelling among fever dreams of this state competition. Men and women are driven mad by title hopes, and sometimes spend a lifetime rueing… Read More →

Northern Minnesota’s legislative linchpins

One of the prevailing trends during the Trump Administration is the ease with which we ignore other politicians or, really, political topics of any substance. For instance, two years ago I was the campaign manager for a DFL incumbent in a critical rural swing race in the Minnesota House of Representatives. We lost. Two years… Read More →

Bankruptcy petition mires Iron Range mine project

Creditors filed a petition last week to force Tom Clarke’s ERP Iron Ore into Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Minnesota Power shut off electricity to the former Magnetation property. Clarke told the Duluth News Tribune that ERP would pay back most creditors this week and work out a solution to the impasse with Minnesota Power. ERP… 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 →

ERP Iron Ore finalizes purchase of Magnetation

Bankrupt Magnetation is officially under new ownership. State of Virginia-based ERP Iron Ore finalized a purchase agreement of Magnetation according to ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. WDIO reported the story earlier today. Magnetation, based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is a scram mining and iron ore processing company. The company recycles iron ore from waste piles in Northern Minnesota and… Read More →

Format changes shake up Iron Range radio dial

Last August I shared news that Midwest Communications had purchased five new stations from Duluth-based Red Rock Radio. Wausau, Wisconsin-based Midwest owns more than 73 stations in seven states. Due to federal regulations, Midwest had to shed some of its other frequencies in Northern Minnesota to take over the new stations. On New Year’s Day, format… Read More →

Intriguing buyer seeks to acquire Magnetation assets

A year and a half after declaring bankruptcy, and nearly a year after fully idling its Iron Range scram mining operations, Magnetation might finally have a new owner. Company officials announced late Friday that ERP Iron Ore, LLC, a subsidiary of ERP Compliant Fuels, seeks to buy the idled Magnetation assets. A Dec. 15 bankruptcy court… Read More →