Veritas et scientia: e pluribus unum

Graduation day approaches for five northeastern Minnesota community and technical colleges. And as it so happens, this will be the last graduation day before the beginning of a new era in the region’s long tradition of higher education. The festivities start Tuesday, May 10, when commencement takes place at Vermilion Community College in Ely. Vermilion… Read More →

Awesome ‘Blossom’ shows Hibbing memory in ‘Jeopardy’

You might remember the old Zimmy’s restaurant on Howard Street in Hibbing. Boomtown is there now, but for several decades this was a bar and grill that paid tribute to Hibbing’s hometown singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. For years, the only picture in the place that didn’t include Bob Dylan was a framed, autographed headshot of the… Read More →

Ondara to play Hibbing HS auditorium April 23

This Saturday, April 23, the singer-songwriter Ondara will appear on the Hibbing High School auditorium stage. Northern Community Radio presents the free concert at 7 p.m. thanks to a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Though pre-ordered tickets were available at, additional seating will be available first come, first served on… Read More →

Legacy visions in Bob Dylan’s hometown

Just after World War II, Abram and Beatty Zimmerman moved their family from Duluth back to Beatty’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota. But not really.  Beatty’s real hometown had been destroyed. The houses were ripped away; brick buildings scrapped. In 24-hour shifts, machines stripped away the earth below like flesh from the bone. Men dynamited solid… 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 →

The death of stories, and their resurrection

I recently finished reading every single edition of the erstwhile Hibbing Daily Tribune and Mesaba Ore / Hibbing Daily News from the years 1913 to 1926. I’d guess that’s about 3,000 individual newspapers, eight to 24 pages apiece. Is that a humblebrag? Honestly, it seems really hard to tell. It might just be a call… Read More →

Power in the Wilderness podcast re-airs Mondays at 8a on KAXE

I’m nearing the finish line for my enormous book, “Power in the Wilderness,” about Victor Power and the action-packed world of early 20th Century Hibbing, Minnesota. It will be some time before the book is ready for you to read, however. Meantime you should check out the podcast of the same name that independent filmmaker… Read More →

Novak’s ‘Steel’ holds enormous weight

Good fiction tells truth that nonfiction struggles to spit out efficiently. As I’ve been toiling on a thick tome of Iron Range history, along comes a novel that cuts right to the point.  The story of the Iron Range isn’t just mining and immigrants, unions and politics. It’s an untold trauma that lingers for generations,… Read More →

Canine namesake highlights Power story in Hibbing

This week, the Hibbing Police Department announced the winning entry from a contest to name its newest K-9 dog. The dog will be named Dottie, in honor of one of Hibbing’s pioneering entrepreneurs, Dottie Power. Gina Forti, of Hibbing, submitted the suggestion. Dottie Power was one of the most successful merchants in early Hibbing history… Read More →

‘Hockeyland’ comes home

Northern Minnesota’s obsessive relationship with hockey has endured since the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. For some, the hockey lifestyle defines an entire 20-30 year period of life, perhaps longer as new generations continue the tradition.  Even those who don’t play hockey see their lives affected by the game. Classrooms empty during state tournaments. Local fast… Read More →