LIVE BLOG: MN House 3A DFL Primary

Today, four candidates — Rob Ecklund, Bill Hansen, Eric Johnson and Heidi Omerza — sought for the DFL nomination in the House 3A special election DFL primary. The winner will face Republican Roger Skraba and independent Kelsey Johnson in the Dec. 8 general election. I will provide news and analysis on the race throughout the evening in… 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 →

Old fashioned newspaper fight in 3A special

We reported yesterday on the rising tumult in the race for next Tuesday’s DFL primary in the House 3A special election. Earlier this week the Iron Range’s largest newspaper attacked candidate Bill Hansen on some rather overdramatic accusations that he was speaking against unions in his criticism of copper-nickel mining rhetoric and boom-chasing economics. The next… 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 →

Everybody to the primary in House 3A special

The local DFL will not hold an endorsing convention for the Sept. 29 primary in the House 3A special election to replace the late Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake). This settles an important question many had about the process spurred by the loss of the popular, moderate DFL lawmaker to cancer last month. That means Koochiching County… Read More →

Big mix of candidates, intrigue in House 3A special election

Filing has closed for the Sept. 29 primary and Dec. 8 general election in the House District 3A special election to replace the late State Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake). Six candidates spanning the wide geographic and ideological spectrum that characterizes this enormous rural Northeastern Minnesota district will vie for one ticket to St. Paul. Early… Read More →

Paper shows PolyMet runoff could reach BWCA after all

While the proposed nonferrous Polymet mining project near Hoyt Lakes nears the end of its environmental review process, questions remain about the speed with which it could receive permits. One of the most fascinating developments I’ve seen recently is this Marshall Helmberger story in last week’s edition of the Tower Timberjay. According to a June 18,… Read More →

Fishing for end to MN legislative session

Last weekend brought the opener of the Minnesota walleye and northern fishing season, one of our northern state’s most cherished traditions. Each Opening Day our state’s governor is expected to navigate the cold waters of a lake on a borrowed boat to catch a walleye regardless of his or her skill or interest in doing so. In… Read More →

McCollum bill seeks to protect BWCA from mining

As the mining industry readies its strategy for the next few years, those seeking environment protections in Northern Minnesota generated headlines this week as well. Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), representing the St. Paul metro district, introduced legislation that would prevent mining in the same watershed as federal wildernesses like the Boundary Waters Canoe… Read More →

Getting ‘Happy’ on the Iron Range

Because it’s Friday and because I’ve been so dang grumpy lately, here are the students and staff of Tower-Soudan Elementary doing a music video for “Happy” by Pharrell Williams: Have you heard this song before? Yes. Has this kind of video been done before? Yes. But I still share and recommend this work of art as anthropological… Read More →