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Mesaba Daily News via YouTube
Mesaba Daily News via YouTube
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No One Celebrates The 4th of July Like The Iron Range

I grew up on the range, right on Main Street in Biwabik, MN.  There were two holidays that really got you excited as a kid.  One was obviously Christmas, and the next was Independence Day.  I thought that everywhere celebrated The 4th of July like we did.  It wasn't until I grew up and moved away that I realized it wasn't as big of a deal in other places.  

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Ken Hayes
Ken Hayes
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You’ve Never Seen A Sliding Hill Like The One At Palo’s Laskiainen Festival [VIDEO]

I took my family up to Laskiainen Festival in Palo, MN this weekend.  Laskiainen (lus-key-eye-nen) is a Finnish celebration of the changing seasons.  Locally, there is a celebration every year in Palo, and this was actually our first time going.   We were excited to try out the sliding hill!  When we go there, it was a little more intense than we imagined.

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Cathy Kates
Cathy Kates
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Ken & Cathy Talk About Laskiainen, and Cathy Tries To Pronounce It [VIDEO]

My family and I are traveling up North to the Laskiainen Finnish Sliding Festival in Palo.  It's a Finnish tradition of celebrating the coming of spring and preparing for the upcoming season.  There's arts, crafts, music, food, and most importantly a sliding hill.  Cathy's had some problems in the past pronouncing these Northern Minnesotan festivals, (who can blame her) so I wanted to see how she would do with this one.

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Have You Ever Tried Ham Salad Spread?

Not a lot of people I know have tried Ham Salad Spread, but it was a pretty common thing for me growing up on the range.   It actually has been referred to as Funeral Spread before as well.   Not because it kills you, but because odds are if you were at a funeral on the Iron Range, the church ladies would usually make this. 

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How To Locally-Source Your Thanksgiving Meal; Duluth-Superior Offers A Surprising Number Of Options

Forget the fact that locally-sourced meals have become all the rage;  truth be told - food is just simply better tasting and better for you when it comes from a local farm.  The carrot that comes from the ground in Lakewood Township trumps the one that spent two weeks on a train coming from Argentina.  Add in the fact that there are (usually) less preservatives and the question about whether or not to serve locally is moot.

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Here’s What Iron Range Solidarity Looks Like [PHOTOS]

Yesterday in Virginia, MN miners, their families, retirees, community leaders, and other unions marched together in the Solidarity in Steel Rally and March.  Roughly 2,000 people participated in their "Fair Contract Now" fight.

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Getty Images/Paula Bronstein
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Iron Range Loses Iconic Tourist Destination Mineview in the Sky [VIDEO]

The mining industry on the Iron Range has certainly been in the news lately.  Some good news, like laid off workers being asked back, some not so good news with closures that include an iconic tourist destination, Mineview in the Sky

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Tony Rogers via YouTube
Tony Rogers via YouTube
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Tower Soudan Underground Mine Takes You Half A Mile Down into the Earth [VIDEO]

The Tower Soudan Underground Mine is located in Northern Minnesota and offers tours of the now closed down underground mine.   This morning during our "Are you smarter than Cathy" trivia game, I asked her how far down the mine shaft went.  The answer was 2,341 feet, which is about 2,160 feet more than she thought.  (She had no idea.)

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Watch Two Semitrucks Drive Side By Side Sharing The Same Load [VIDEO]

This was a first for me, and I saw it this weekend on the Iron Range.  State Patrol cars came down the highway and were actually driving in the opposite lane, forcing the traffic off the road completely.  Then, the semi trailers appeared driving side by side, on the back was a large piece of mining equipment straddling both trailers.

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Temporary Road Closures Through End Of July For The Iron Range

Construction season is in full swing and no Northland area is immune.  This time the road closures are affecting the Iron Range.  For at least half the summer there will be temporary road closures to allow resurfacing of 21 miles.

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Curtis Lahr via YouTube
Curtis Lahr via YouTube
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Take A Look At What Lies Beneath The Surface of an old Iron Range Mine Pit [VIDEO]

Growing up on the Iron Range, I was surrounded by abandoned old iron ore pits.  These craters left in the earth by mining companies filled up with clear ground water.  They are almost a crystal-blue to greenish water that is just beautiful, in my opinion.  Thanks to a GoPro and some scuba divers, we get to see what lies underneath.

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Quim Llenas/Getty Images
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Get Bit By The Acting Bug: Action Movie To Be Shot On The Range Is Looking For Extras

I know from auditioning for the Google Movie that it can be stressful.  But the fun while shooting the the film is TOTALLY worth it!  Just think, you could be an extra in an action movie that's being filmed on the Iron Range.  It's entitled Sdanka's War and they are in need of "extras".  You should consider it.  Really!!!!

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