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I recently spoke with a Northern Minnesota military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. In casual conversation he described his efforts to help an Iraqi translator and his family get to America. This Iraqi man took enormous personal risk to work alongside U.S. forces. Now, he and his…

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When a person feels threatened or harassed, they have the option of seeking a court order to keep the other person away from them. While the public tends to call all of these documents “restraining orders,” there are several different types of these orders, and they each have different requi…

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My son Henry and I joined our friend John Latimer for the Grand Rapids area Audubon Christmas Bird Count in December. Our day started at 7 a.m. and 24 degrees below zero. Most birds, obviously smarter than us, huddled somewhere out of sight. We spied a beautiful bevy of ten swans and a lonel…

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Ice fishing is one of my favorite winter activities, but it’s something I haven’t done for the past couple of winters.

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When I was a senior in high school our band went on a field trip to Chicago. One of the stops was Six Flags Amusement Park.

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Ho ho ho! Jolly ol’ St. Paul here! Nah, I’m no saint, but it fit the picture! The holidays are here, and 2020 is just around the corner. Tis the season to be generous, and as the Board President for United Way of Northeastern Minnesota, I’m hoping you will consider supporting United Way in y…

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Scene: A desert rest stop south of the Euphrates River. A low wage employee speaks from behind a counter.

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We made it!! Thanks to the support of so many in our community, Mesabi Outdoor Adventures will have canoes, kayaks, paddles and life jackets for the spring, summer and fall in 2020. Because we were able to meet our challenge goal to raise $3,000 before Dec. 15, to buy this gear, we will also…

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You know that Christmas tune, “Silver Bells?” It’s one of my absolute favorites.

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There is a troublesome social issue in America involving the relationship between law enforcement and the communities we serve which has taken an unfortunate turn for the worse. There is constant controversy about police brutality and police corruption, and the situation continues to worsen.…

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The month of December is a very busy and exciting time for the Hibbing Schools students and staff. Here are some of the activities we have planned:

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Four hundred and seventy-five dollars. According to a 2016 report, that’s the average price you can expect to spend monthly if you need insulin in the United States of America.

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For the past couple months I’ve been writing a book. Writing a book is something you do alone. Nobody really wants to talk to you about your book. They just want to break the awkward silence that comes from sitting next to an author.

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Politicians love the middle ground. And why not? Nearly every Washington consultant tells them they should be be all things to all people. Sometimes, however, an issue comes along that demands leadership.

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Hi, my name is Aaron. I’m an Iron Ranger. I say that with some confidence. I was born here in Hibbing, the largest city on the Mesabi Iron Range. My parents took me home from the hospital to Keewatin. That’s on the Iron Range. We moved to Nashwauk, same deal. Then we moved to a trailer house…

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When I was a kid I had a metal toolbox full of toy cars. All kinds of cars. Sports cars. Pickup trucks. The General Lee from “Dukes of Hazzard.” The Batmobile. And even though all of these cars had four wheels you could tell them apart, just like you can tell people apart even though they al…

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Most days you can sit by the window of the Subway restaurant in Grand Rapids, Minn., and watch pieces of wind turbines inch their way through the intersection of Highways 2 and 169.

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In two weeks, tables will be set, families will gather, and Thanksgiving meals will be prepared from coast to coast. Depending on your family dynamic, this traditional holiday gathering (or any of those that follow shortly thereafter) could fill you with abundant joy or agonizing angst. I’m …

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One of the most difficult decisions a judge has to make is primary custody of a child. The consequences of those decisions are extremely serious, and the emotions are often running very high. To complicate matters, often the parties are representing themselves. So how does a judge make that …

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, established by President Woodrow Wilson on November 11, 1919. I’ve been reflecting on vets this month and have to think we all feel the same way about them. Without vets, we aren’t free to hav…

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One of the best sight gags in the 1978 comedy “Animal House” comes from the image of John Belushi in a shirt that simply reads “COLLEGE.” No specific school. Just “COLLEGE.” We learn in the movie’s closing credits that Belushi’s barely literate character goes on to become a U.S. Senator.

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If timing is everything, then the opening date of the 2019 firearms deer season should work out well for hunters — both casual and hardcore — as it lands right around what is traditionally the peak of the annual whitetail rut in Minnesota.

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In W.P. Kinsella’s novel, “Shoeless Joe,” later made into the movie “Field of Dreams,” the farmer Ray Kinsella builds a baseball field in the middle of his corn. People think he’s crazy. I suppose he is. But the experience heals him.

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As I browsed displays at a craft show recently, I was in awe of the creativity shown by the crafters participating.

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No matter what you say, you’re always wrong. You apologize constantly. You can’t seem to say or do anything right, so after a while, it’s easier to stay quiet. To stay small.

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When I was a child I loved having sleepovers with our cousins that we were close with growing up.

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This time of year the men of my family gather around the big wooden table up at the hunting shack to talk engines and tell stories. I do well with the stories though I struggle with the engines.

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Can you smell it? Amid the scent of decaying leaves and mud, the smell of hunting is in the air. Right now, hundreds — heck, thousands — of hunters could be out in the wilderness in search of wild game. It’s a bad time to be around this area if you’re a duck, goose, grouse, rabbit, turkey or…

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Last year, at least 14 people were killed in Minnesota as a result of violence by a current or former intimate partner. That’s nine women, one man and four people who were bystanders, family members or friends, according to the 2018 Homicide Report put out by Violence Free Minnesota.

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The history of movies, like the history of the world, begins with light and shadows. At first, people recreated reality with shadows on the wall. Film made it possible to capture real images. You could see yourself, or your friend, or a famous celebrity, captured during a moment in time. The…

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Every minute, 24 people in the U.S. are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner. That’s more than 12 million women and men each year, according to data from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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Those who read “Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity” by Charles L. Marohn, Jr., a new book published by Wiley, might at first be overwhelmed by Marohn’s bad news. America’s cities are insolvent. And though he doesn’t mention them by name, his metrics would cer…

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The misguided passions of youth run strong. It took time for me to mature into an emotionally stable adult. How old am I? About that long. Maybe longer.

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She has stolen our hearts.

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The stages of a year are a lot like the stages of life. Each one has something to teach you. By the end of it, you’re not the same person you were at the beginning. And that’s good. Because otherwise you would get sick of yourself.

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“I’m sorry for what I said and how I acted when my world was falling apart,” my friend confessed to me over the phone the other day.

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We hear it all the time. The abundant rocks and dirt found on the edges of our Mesabi Range towns became the steel that powered modern American manufacturing and infrastructure. And they still do!

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I graduated from law school in 1993, completing three years of formal legal education, in addition to my college degree. But for lawyers and judges, learning is always an ongoing process. The law evolves and changes over time, and it’s extremely important to keep current. There are several w…

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Fall brings the end of the Minnesota golf season, the start of the hunting season, and the kick-off of the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota (UWNEMN) campaign. This year, it is more important than ever to support our local United Way and all of its agencies and programs.

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A couple weeks ago I traveled to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for research on my book about Victor Power. Power was born in Calumet, Michigan, and raised in Escanaba before moving to Hibbing, Minnesota, as a young man. He became a consequential figure here on the Mesabi Iron Range. More on tha…

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There’s nothing quite like going to the movies. I know people watch more films through television and streaming services now. But the shared experience of gathering around a big screen for an all-new experience still excites me long after I spent the summer of 1997 seeing every movie that ca…

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When we find our people – the ones who lift us up – we should hold onto them tight.

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Can’t Bob Dylan just answer a straight question? Why must his rare public utterances be so cryptic? Why can’t he sing the way they teach at Hibbing High School? Gosh darn it, why did he say he was from New Mexico when he went on Ed Sullivan?

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