MINOS lab departs Soudan mine cavern

This week crews remove components from the MINOS laboratory on the 27th level of the Soudan Underground Mine on Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. The picture above shows massive steel “neutrino tracking” panels” being removed from the facility. Since 2003, the lab hosted notable experiments testing the nature of subatomic particles in a beam fired underground… Read More →

Lab seeks new science 2,341 feet below ground

The biggest science experiment on the Iron Range ended just a few weeks ago. Workers now dismantle the neutrino detector at the University of Minnesota laboratory at the Soudan Underground Mine while state officials ponder new use for the unusual facility. This was the topic of a Sunday feature by Jenna Ross in the Minneapolis Star Tribune…. Read More →

Uncertain fate for Soudan underground physics lab

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that advanced physics research takes place a half mile beneath the earth at the retired Soudan Underground Mine on the Minnesota Iron Range. True, what they do there can be explained. (Mostly it’s research related to isolating the neutrino, a sub-atomic particle believed to be critical to understanding the universe). Yet it… Read More →

ANALYSIS: Rob Ecklund wins 3A race

Rob Ecklund was elected State Representative for Minnesota House District 3A Tuesday by a wide margin. The Koochiching County Commissioner and Boise Cascade union paper worker earned 64 percent of the vote to Republican Roger Skraba’s 19 percent and independent Kelsey Johnson’s 16 percent. Ecklund carried 80 of 83 precincts, losing a pair of small… Read More →

LIVE BLOG: MN House 3A Special Election today

Today voters head to the polls in Minnesota District 3A. This district is the state’s largest geographic House seat sprawling across Koochiching, northern and eastern St. Louis, most of Lake and all of Cook counties. This is a special election to replace the late Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake), who died last summer. Polls will… Read More →

The not-so-special election in MN House 3A

Remember when the Iron Range political structure appeared poised for street riots heading into a closely-watched DFL primary in House District 3A? Anyway, that was a thing that happened not that long ago. Today we are just shy of a week away from the Dec. 8 House 3A general election that will determine who actually heads… Read More →

Neutrinos in the news

Two scientists, one Japanese and the other Canadian, are sharing this year’s Nobel Prize for Physics. Their combined research helped confirm that neutrinos — the tiny, invisible particles that abound throughout the universe — have mass. From the Reuters report: Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald’s breakthrough was the discovery of a phenomenon called neutrino oscillation that… Read More →

In House 3A, geography & labor politics shaped outcome

On Tuesday, Koochiching County Commissioner Rob Ecklund won Tuesday’s DFL Primary in the Minnesota House 3A special election to replace the late State Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake). Ecklund beat Tofte businessman Bill Hansen by about 450 votes, or 6 percentage points. I live blogged the election here. There are a few different ways to interpret… Read More →

Polls open in House 3A special election DFL primary

Polls are open until 8 p.m. in today’s Minnesota House District 3A special election DFL primary. It’s been a fascinating campaign, full of inky barbs and clashes between Northern Minnesota political factions. Going into today’s election, Ecklund and Hansen have emerged as frontrunners, but with the potential for low turnout and the general unpredictability of this vast, rural… Read More →

Hear the House 3A DFL showdown

Tonight at 7, the four DFL candidates in the House District 3A special election will participate in a forum at Vermilion Community College. The forum will be aired live on WELY and recorded for rebroadcast on Ely TV. The four DFL candidates are Koochiching County Commissioner Rob Ecklund, Tofte business owner Bill Hansen, International Falls… Read More →