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HOYT LAKES — Driving along the towering landscape, dotted with swans and animal tracks — moose or deer is the consensus of the truck — and sagging fall colors on this mid-October day, it’s hard to imagine a place can be fraught with both controversy and local hopes of economic vitality

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Hibbing Taconite is scratching for ore anywhere it can.

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In northeastern Minnesota, the 677 residents in Marble lay claim to an auto repair shop, bar, church, elementary school, library and post office. They live just west of the Hill-Annex Mine State Park that interprets how such whistlestop towns sprung up more than a century ago beside iron ope…

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The days have been numbered for the old Northland Office building in downtown Virginia for quite some time. Now entering the final stages of deconstruction, the offices that were once housed there have moved across the street to a brand-new, zero energy building. The Virginia Government Serv…

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HIBBING — When Andrew Reed in 2007 was graduating from high school in Orr, students were under the impression that northeastern Minnesota’s taconite industry was on its last legs.

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To the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel”: All around the Iron Range, the miners ate their pasties. They tasted good and stayed so hot, gulp went the pasties!

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IRON RANGE — If you surveyed the right population of America’s electorate, they might want to do to the political system what Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman did to some land at the United Taconite mine in Eveleth on a rainy September morning.

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IRON RANGE — The first Wednesday of every month, a group of local silver-haired activists known as the Steelworker Organization of Active Retirees — known simply as SOAR — gets together for donuts, coffee and to dish on politics.

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HIBBING — Explorers, engineers and geoscientists interested in mining search for records of the mineral deposits captured in bedrock.

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SILVER BAY — In August, Cleveland-Cliffs hosted a ribbon cutting event celebrating the completion of a $100 million expansion at Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. This expansion has allowed the plant to now produce more DR-grade pellets.

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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 …

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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 tack…

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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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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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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 …

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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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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 …

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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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The economic impact of Iron Range mining extends far beyond northeastern Minnesota's 110-mile long iron formation.

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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.