Talking Biden, bridges, Duluth, flags and fame

I was on WCCO Radio early Monday morning talking about a host of northern Minnesota issues. President Biden was in town last Thursday touting more than $1 billion in funding to replace the Blatnik Bridge connecting Duluth and Superior. So was actor Timothée Chalamet, who visited Duluth and Hibbing to research Bob Dylan for an… Read More →

Northwest Wisconsin congressman Duffy to resign

Some news from the other side of the Twin Ports harbor. Politico reports that U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI7) will resign from Congress at the end of September. Duffy told supporters in a Facebook post that he was leaving to focus on his family, including a new baby with health complications. He writes: With much… Read More →

Up in Smoke: Superior disaster reminds why we watch industry

Just six days ago the Twin Ports of Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin could have been blown to smithereens. A billowing fire engulfed the Husky Oil Refinery in Superior, encroaching just 150 feet from a tank of hydrogen fluoride. An explosion of that tank would have atomized Superior and released a deadly toxic cloud for… Read More →

Refinery explosion rocks Superior, injures several

Today an explosion rocked the Husky oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin, shaking the whole city and causing several casualties. We’re still awaiting word on the total number of those hurt and the severity of their injuries. Already, this might be one of the worst industrial disasters in recent memory for this blue collar region. UPDATE:… Read More →

Homogenized media for a divided people

I’m not very good at self-righteous anger. It weighs on me. I torture myself with it. More often than not I end up doing no good at all when I respond in anger. These are tough, angry times. So I’ve been strategic in what I write about, trying again to spend my time in ways… Read More →

MN Power’s natural gas plant shows changing industry

Last week, Minnesota Power announced it would build a new natural gas power plant in Superior with Wisconsin-based Dairyland Power Cooperative as a partner. From a Brooks Johnson story in the Duluth News Tribune: “It’s really about giving customers affordable, reliable, less carbon-intensive energy,” Julie Pierce, Minnesota Power vice president of strategy and planning, told the… Read More →

In Russia, accordion plays you

Russia seems to dominate political discussions these days. Overlooked in all this is the fact that, on better days, Russians lay down some tight folk music. This Sunday, March 12, accordionist Stas Venglevski and dulcimer player Tatyana Krasnobaeva will perform at the World of Accordions Museum and Harrington Arts Center across the bridge in Superior, Wisconsin. The show starts… Read More →

UWS student newspaper flap brings back memories

Last Saturday, the Duluth News Tribune ran a story about perceived outrage over a recent edition of the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus newspaper, recently renamed the Promethean from its previous name, the Stinger. It was an April Fool’s Edition in which the paper renamed itself the “Pessimist” and printed made up stories. The story brought… Read More →

Trump to campaign in Twin Ports

On Monday, Republican front-runner Donald Trump will hold a campaign rally in Superior ahead of Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary. He will appear at the Richard I. Bong airport at 1:30 p.m. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Ticket information is here. This is the first time Trump has appeared in the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior…. Read More →

A tale of two junkyards

I was raised in the 1980s and early ’90s on a family-owned junkyard along the storied Iron Range Highway 7 on the edge of the Sax-Zim Bog. Two trailer homes rested upon these swampy grounds: one filled to the ceiling with hubcaps and the other which housed my family. The steam cloud from Eveleth Taconite filled… Read More →