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With a resume that already included union miner, laid-off union miner, community organizer, president or board member of the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce, Jobs for Minnesotans and the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools, city councilor and mayor of Aurora, Dave Lislegard was a natural fit for the House 6B seat.

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VIRGINIA — Ever since she was a school girl growing up in a North Shore town, Shirley Rintala Peterson — born Shirley Dolin in Two Harbors — has been a hard worker. Now 92, Peterson looks back nostalgically on the jobs she has had over the years.

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Northeast Minnesota is where mining, recreation, and stewardship of natural resources intersect in ways that define us as Minnesotans. In the same towns populated with heavy-equipment repair shops, hoist and rigging contractors, and other mining-related industries, you also see bait and tackle stores, outdoor adventure outfitters, and ski equipment suppliers.

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VIRGINIA — People drive by the rather little-known-to-the-public factory on West Chestnut Street all the time, never really realizing just what takes place inside the modest structure.

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CHISHOLM – Recorded in the pages of the 1950 Chisholm Arrow junior high yearbook from is a collection of writings about the mining industry.

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My dad sat on our back porch, book in hand, one recent June afternoon. The warm sun filtered through the evergreens that bordered our small yard. Dogs laid on either side of his lawn chair, dozing.

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ELY — For more than 60 years the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital has been an important healthcare resource for the residents of Ely and its surrounding communities and for the thousands of visitors that converge on the area each year on their way to and from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

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Essar Steel Minnesota was heralded as the next big thing on the Iron Range. A pellet plant and a steel mill that would transform the industry in the region, along with its economy. Then financial problems hit the company — construction deadlines were missed, payments were late and the state came knocking on the door a little louder in 2016.

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Online or in the classroom, the University of Wisconsin-Superior has a path into the mining industry workforce for a number of different jobs — and just an ore boat’s length from the shores of Minnesota or from your desktop.

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HIBBING — Despite a long, successful history of playing matchmaker between job seekers and employers, staffing companies are among the most misunderstood industries in the modern job market.

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AngloGold Ashanti, the third largest gold mining company in the world, is pursuing plans to drill for the precious metal in northern Minnesota.

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In Minnesota, legislators are debating bills aimed at achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

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Scattered across the table outside Lory Fedo’s office at the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce are mining magazines, “We Support Mining” signs, mining pamphlets and even a pink hard hat with a sticker that reads “Mining Supports Us.”

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HIBBING — For five weeks in January and February a small but dedicated staff of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources employees spent 12 hours a day, seven days a week, scanning about 16,000 feet of drill core in a high-tech mobile lab located out of sight, but in the heart of Hibbing.

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HIBBING – One of the most impressive collections of core samples anywhere in the country can be found in three unassuming buildings in Hibbing.

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VIRGINIA — Iron Range Historian Harry Lamppa sits in a room at the Virginia Area Historical Society, surrounded by boxes stuffed with papers and documents, timeworn photos, and yellowed newspaper clippings.

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HINCKLEY — On a fall day at the beginning of October, Aurora Mayor Dave Lislegard traveled south to Hinckley for a tour of the Local 49 Training Center with an old friend, Jason George.

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What started as acknowledgement of the importance of our forested areas to our developing nation became a push for wilderness to stop all development. Three main road corridors – the Echo Trail, Fernberg Trail and Gunflint Trail were developed that opened up the area to recreational opportunities. This was after the area had been logged off by Swallow and Hopkins lumber company.

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VIRGINIA — Perhaps you've noticed the huge yellow production truck boxes lined up off the north side of Highway 53 near the new bridge between Eveleth and Virginia.

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HIBBING — It’s hard to tell from the bottom of the Susquehanna if there’s been much — if any – action on top of the massive stockpile. And given the big lock on the gate, it’s not accessible.

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In the last few years, our business has worked on exploration projects and mine sites in approximately 25 different states. Alaska to Hawaii, California to New York, our trucks and equipment have touched many parts of this country. We have drilled for Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Lithium, Niobium, Molybdenum, Nickel, Titanium, Scandium, Platinum, Palladium, Cobalt, Uranium, and other metals that I cannot remember, spell, or pronounce–but that is okay because I am not a geologist. Through all of our adventures, there are two constant elements, at least for me, no matter where we work in this country that hold true:

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On October 8, Clearwater Biologic, LLC—a company developed to economically remove sulfates from mining-affected waters in Northern Minnesota—was awarded $10,000 for being the best 2018 start-up company in Greater Minnesota. The award was presented by the Minnesota Department of Education and Economic Development at the MN Cup final awards ceremony at the Carlson School of Business and Management on the Minneapolis U of M campus.

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“They poured the sweat from their brows and the love from their souls to support their families. And they love their country. “

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DULUTH — President Donald Trump flew into Duluth on June 20 amid a firestorm over an immigration policy, but in the Amsoil Arena that night, he found a cathartic release in the thousands of supporters crowding the stage for his rally.

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DULUTH — President Trump brought his “America First” brand of politics with him to Duluth, where the iron mining industry found the friend it expected when he was elected into office a year and a half ago.

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The Iron Mining Association of Minnesota remains troubled by Governor Dayton’s veto of the second piece of wild rice legislation that came to his desk at the end of the 2018 legislative session. The veto was truly a disappointment to the numerous advocates who tirelessly worked to deliver the Governor a bill that would provide clarity on the state’s wild rice water quality standard that has been a point of contention for nearly a decade. The vetoed bill represented an effort to find common ground between stakeholders by developing a task force to look at wild rice science that has been fervently debated. It would have also provided assurances for regulated entities that cost-effective treatment technology must be available before they are required to expend funds for sulfate treatment. Industrial businesses and communities remain in limbo, uncertain about the exponential costs that would be unavoidable if the current standard is enforced.

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HIBBING — Customer service is the name of the game for Barr Engineering, an engineering and consulting firm with strong ties to Minnesota including an extremely successful branch in Hibbing.

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HIBBING — Iracore International, Inc., has been producing quality pipe lining systems for more than 50 years.

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HIBBING — With new building specs on one desk, plastic over the office’s windows and the occasional buzz of large machinery echoing in the adjacent warehouse, the sibling leaders of L&M Radiator can’t escape moment of construction these days.

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MOUNTAIN IRON — Motion Industries in Mountain Iron has a long and storied history in the area and offers a wealth of experience for their clients including several area mines.

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HIBBING — Within a small, fenced field a few blocks from the Hull-Rust, the world’s largest open pit mine, 812 tons of rock from the Duluth Complex near Babbitt is under study by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Division of Lands & Minerals researchers.

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EVELETH — Two United Steelworkers conferences aimed at setting the direction for this summer’s labor contract negotiations between steelworkers, mining and steel companies, are underway in Pittsburgh.

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SOUDAN — “If you haven’t been [to the Soudan Underground Mine] it is one of the three or four drop-to-your-knees outstanding experiences you can have at a state park,” said Erika Rivers, director of State Parks and Trails at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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As the developments surrounding the Mesabi Metallics Nashwauk Project have unfolded in the media we watch as millionaire battles millionaire for the buried treasure north of Nashwauk. We open the paper to read of midnight no-trespassing sign installation and the scuffle that ensues.

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CHISHOLM — Construction of a new tourist attraction dedicated to the thousands of immigrant miners and their descendants who played a role in developing the Mesabi Iron Range is about to get underway.