For more community-driven stories, visit our archive.

Roller Derby: Flat track fun arrives on the Iron Range

When the words roller derby come up, they are likely to raise curiosity and misconceptions. In reality, roller derby is a legitimate sport that combines skill, endurance and strength in a fun and exciting atmosphere. More...

Posted 4/24/2014 06:57 PM

Shock subsides into determination

A family’s journey with diabetes

Teagan is pretty much your average three-year-old. She’s smart. She’s funny. She’s wild and so full of life. You wouldn’t know it just by looking at her but Teagan has type 1 diabetes. More...

Posted 4/24/2014 06:57 PM

Young thespians enjoy being Small Parts Players

Since 2001 Small Parts Players Regional Children's Theater Company has been providing kids ages 7 – 18 with amazing opportunities for acting. More...

Posted 4/17/2014 06:57 PM

Post script

I glimpsed the face of the man who had given the gift that funded the carving of this cross when he saw it for the first time about a week before Christmas. More...

Posted 4/17/2014 06:57 PM

Carving stories: Two tales that are one

Editor’s note: Contributor Kristin Foster shares with us two tales that are really one, as only Kristin can tell it. These beautiful stories - of love, hope, and faith - are perfect for the Easter season. More...

Posted 4/17/2014 06:57 PM

PolyMet: Visit with us at Earth Fest

Hybrid cars. LED lights. Solar panels. Wind turbines. All of the above are required for sustainable energy solutions. They also require a number of metals – metals that the proposed PolyMet project will responsibly and economically mine. More...

Posted 4/17/2014 06:57 PM

Iron Range Earth Fest:

A successful university-community partnership

While “Going Green” has become one of the most commonly used phrases of the decade, true sustainable development is not only about the environment, or the economy or the community, but all of the above and much more. More...

Posted 4/17/2014 06:57 PM

Exchanging hospitality with the Salvadorans

We are Lawrence and Lauren Aho from Virginia, and we joined the delegation from Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Alango on a mission trip to El Salvador this January. More...

Posted 4/10/2014 09:18 PM

Recycling at Earth Fest

Recycling is an activity we can all do on a daily basis to save resources, keep waste out of the landfill, and support our economy. This year, at the Iron Range Earth Fest on Saturday, April 26, in Mt. More...

Posted 4/3/2014 08:37 PM

Thoughts on turning 70 years old

I’m excited! My birthday is approaching and I will be seventy. My mother began having labor pains the day before Easter. She was in the midst of making a lemon meringue pie for the holiday. More...

Posted 4/3/2014 08:37 PM

VHS Speech Team presents Showcase

On Saturdays from January to April, thousands of students from across the state wake up in the early hours of the morning. These students dress in their best - suits, ties, skirts, and blouses. More...

Posted 4/3/2014 08:37 PM

Volunteers gain as much as they give

Iron Range residents have a strong tradition of participating in activities that will benefit their communities, and most folks see volunteering as a form of charity – purely based on one’s being unselfish. More...

Posted 4/3/2014 08:37 PM

St. Louis County Rescue Squad Volunteers

Their mission: To search, rescue and save lives

As if the -25 degree air temperature wasn’t brutal enough this past February 26, biting winds gusted at 30 miles an hour, making conditions feel far worse. With the sun already set, the blowing snow in the darkness was almost blinding. More...

Posted 4/3/2014 08:37 PM

Virginia pastor to participate in the Yukon River Quest

The 16th annual Yukon River Quest is scheduled for June 25-29, 2014. The 444- mile race features racers from all over the world, competing in kayaks, canoes, and voyageur canoes. More...

Posted 3/27/2014 07:31 PM

Is your soil healthy? Find out at Earth Fest!

You can learn about the health of your soil at this year’s Iron Range Earth Fest. More...

Posted 3/27/2014 07:31 PM

Little Free Library needs carpenter to build a box

The last blast of winter proved that a person can only watch so many reruns of Law and Order. What the snowbound person needs to take them away and forget the snow piling up in the driveway is a good book. More...

Posted 3/27/2014 07:31 PM


This morning it was 10 below 0 at our house. Officially, technically, it is the sixth day of spring. Winter, you can leave anytime now. Don’t take offense, winter, but you’ve overstayed your welcome. More...

Posted 3/27/2014 07:30 PM


CHISHOLM - The famed Kursk Root Icon of Our Lady of the Sign, an 800-year-old artifact of Christian history from Russia, will be visiting St. Basil of Ostrog Orthodox Church in Chisholm on Thursday, Mar. 27, at 10 a.m. More...

Posted 3/21/2014 10:04 AM

SWOP: Summer Work Outreach Project

A symbiotic partnership of youth and community

They visit the residents of our local nursing homes. They work for the libraries. They trim the grass around the gravestones. They paint hockey rinks. They pick up our litter. They tend community gardens. More...

Posted 3/21/2014 10:04 AM

Nashwauk’s George Raskovich: My mentor, friend, savior

It’s 1956. Darkness had just arrived on a summer night in Nashwauk, MN. I was sitting gingerly on one of the back steps of our house trying to stay away from my three sisters and a moments-ago-completed harsh parental discipline incident. More...

Posted 3/21/2014 10:04 AM


Heirloom quality hats with a designer flair

I walked around as a child under age 7 with a drawing pad doing fashion illustrations. I would study the way people stood in the old catalogs and I would try to create interesting clothing. More...

Posted 3/13/2014 09:15 PM

Made At The Lake: Birch Branch Triptychs and more

“You have it made,” my friend always said since I lived on a lake. Hence the name, Made At The Lake. My father was a logger who went on to build a sawmill, so I’ve always been around wood. More...

Posted 3/13/2014 09:15 PM

Somebody’s baby

NOTE: Located in Buhl, Mesabi Academy, a subsidiary of KidsPeace (based in Pennsylvania), is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Corrections and is a member of the Minnesota Counsel of Child Caring Agencies (MCCCA). More...

Posted 3/13/2014 09:15 PM


VHS to present spring musical

VIRGINIA - The Queen City set sail on an ocean liner last April when Virginia High School presented Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, the school’s first musical production in fifteen years. More...

Posted 3/13/2014 09:15 PM

Special Sections

Mining Features

How to apply for a job at local mining companies

ArcelorMittal Minorca Mine More...

Posted 8/28/2014 08:20 PM

Wrangling at the Effie Rodeo

Some glimpses of the Effie Rodeo this summer. More...

Posted 8/28/2014 08:20 PM

Metal munchers:

Biomining for copper

Editor’s note: I saw this little news story in MINE magazine and was intrigued. It brought to mind the bacterial sulfatereducing studies being conducted near Aurora (see story p. 19). More...

Posted 8/28/2014 08:20 PM

Real Estate

Your Legal Rights

How to spot a scam

Scammers are constantly reinventing new ways to perpetrate old ploys. Whether you’re contacted by phone, mail, email, text, or inperson, the following tips provide advice on how to spot a scam. Look for these telltale red flags More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Traditional Scandinavian music planned at The Loft

VIRGINIA – Lyric Center for the Arts announced that Vestafor, a group made up of three American musicians specializing in traditional Scandinavian music and dance, will be performing at The Loft in Virginia on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. More...

Posted 10/2/2014 10:15 PM

E-book written by former Embarrass pastor

Pastor Chuck Barnes, formerly of Embarrass, has written an e-book entitled "Saints and Sinners Under the Pines" about some of his experiences as a pastor on Minnesota's Iron Range. The book also celebrates the good that small congregations do. More...

Posted 9/25/2014 05:12 PM

Pets  Free Access 

Seven home remedies for your dog

When you’re feeling under the weather, you might find that the perfect thing for treating what ails you is something you already have in the kitchen. Did you know that you can treat your ailing dog with some simple home remedies too? More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Nonprofit organizations team up to save lives of community cats

Alley Cat Allies partners with Humane Alliance to train veterinarians

BETHESDA, MD—Research shows that 80 percent of pet cats have been spayed or neutered—but less than three percent of outdoor cats—stray and feral cats— have been sterilized. More...

Posted 10/9/2014 10:36 PM

Top 5 tips for hiking with your dog

Does your fall outing with Rover include a hike?

Fall is right around the corner, so why not turn that daily walk into an interesting and fun hike? It’s no secret that exercise is a necessity for both you and your dog. More...

Posted 10/2/2014 10:15 PM

Range History  Free Access 

A recipe for the “perfect” grandmother

When I first became a grandmother, I reflected on what recipe made the “perfect” grandmother. What ingredients do we need? How much time is required? Will I be a perfect grandmother? More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

This Week in Range History

My childhood park – Buhl’s Burton Park

Author Sam Ewing believes that when you go back to your hometown, you find it wasn’t the old home you missed but your childhood. So here I was, on one day this past July, visiting the location of one of my favorite childhood memories. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Buhl veteran's WWII experiences come to life in "FURY" A film starring Brad Pitt opening October 17

You may have known George ”Pecky” Smilanich as a “dobri” Serbian kid from Sitnica (old mining location near Buhl), a Buhl High School track star, a member of Buhl’s 1941-42 State Basketball Championship Team, a WWII Sher More...

Posted 10/9/2014 10:36 PM

Healthy for Life  Free Access 

Time to lighten up and relax

Staying out of the line of fire

Hello everybody! How is your motivation going these days? More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM


Shore up the immune system this October

In October, embrace what nature has to offer this autumn for a healthier lifestyle. In this month which brings awareness to breast and lung cancers, consider this season’s apples and pumpkins as valuable foods for health. APPLES More...

Posted 10/9/2014 10:36 PM


Raking in success

The raking work-out They all fall down - but the leaves must come up in order to capture that green grass of home appearance for the following spring! More...

Posted 10/2/2014 10:15 PM

Hometown Recipes  Free Access 

Fun ethnic treats: fastnacht donuts and flancat!

Little Mary (I call her) is the woman in the hat from Keewatin. What a delightful lady and so much fun. I met her many years ago at hamburger night at the American Legion in Keewatin where she and her friends would meet every Wednesday. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

A nostalgic classic: S#@t on a SHINGLE, otherwise known as Chipped Beef on Toast

Editor’s Note: Because I had a craving for this dish, I decided to reprint this column from four years ago. I hope you enjoy it! – Jean Cole If not for Scott Wudinich of Eveleth I would not be writing about S.O.S. More...

Posted 10/9/2014 10:36 PM

Catch your favorite recipes from Barefoot Cooking

This week we are again sharing recipes from the cookbook Barefoot Cooking from the Bunkhouse to the Beach, a collection of recipes from area residents Cheryl Lundberg and Polly Podpeskar, R.D. More...

Posted 10/2/2014 10:15 PM

Sports Events  Free Access 

3/5 - Boys Basketball

All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted: Cherry at Cook Ely at Mesabi Academy - 7 p.m. Eveleth/Gilbert at Duluth Marshall Mesabi East at Two Harbors Orr at Chisholm Tower/Soudan at Nashwauk/Keewatin More...

Posted 2/25/2010 05:10 PM

3/13 - Virginia Area USBC Annual Mixed Association & Hall of Fame Banquet

The Virginia Area USBC Annual Mixed Association and Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Saturday, March 13 at the Virginia Elk's Club. Happy Hour is at 5:30 with dinner to be served at 6:30. The cost is $15. More...

Posted 2/22/2010 02:54 PM

2/13 - Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing

Saturday, February 13 through Monday, February 15th. 1-800-MINN-DNR More...

Posted 2/5/2010 03:21 PM

Business  Free Access 

Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule in effect - take steps now to protect yourselves

DULUTH - Minnesota Power reminds its residential customers who may have trouble paying their energy bills that the Cold Weather Rule will help protect them from service disconnection during the winter – as long as they take a few steps to ensure tha More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:13 PM

Iron Ore Alliance addresses rail delays during Governor’s roundtable

DULUTH – The Iron Ore Alliance emphasized the importance of fixing the current state of rail service at Governor Mark Dayton’s rail delay roundtable in Duluth Tuesday. Larry Sutherland, general manager for Minnesota Ore Operations at U. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Attorney James Cope recertified as Civil Trial Law Specialist

VIRGINIA – The Minnesota State Bar Association announced the recertification of James R. Cope of Cope & Peterson as a MSBA Board Certified Civil Trial Law Specialist. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Local Events  Free Access 

Hometown Calendar

Friday, April 23 YMCA Black & White Event Mesabi YMCA, Mt. Iron Silent & Live Auction, Entertainment, Plated Dinner, 6:00 p.m. More...

Posted 4/22/2010 09:15 PM

3/11 - Book Lover's Tea at Library

The Friends of the Virginia Public Library will sponsor a Book Lover's Tea on Thursday, March 11th at 12:00 in the library auditorium. More...

Posted 3/4/2010 02:56 PM

3/6 City of Mt. Iron 2010 Winter Carnival

City of Mt. Iron 2010 Winter Carnival will be held at the South Grove Recreation Complex, 8766 Mud Lake Road on Saturday, March 6th. Come and enjoy some fresh air and old fashioned family fun for all. Hot dogs, chips and hot cocoa will be available. More...

Posted 3/3/2010 05:03 PM

Spies in Steel  Free Access 

Spies in Steel


Posted 6/24/2011 10:22 AM

Classic Car Talk  Free Access 


Members of the Virginia Dream Machines Car Club answered some questions about their memories revolving around their first car. More...

Posted 8/9/2012 10:14 PM

1969 Chevrolet CORVETTE ZL1

The 1969 Corvette was the second production year of the 1968 - 1982 “C3” generation. The wheelbase remained the same as the C2 (1963-1967) Corvettes and must of the chassis was also the same. More...

Posted 4/20/2012 12:28 AM

Back in time... 1960’s Drag Racing

Junior Brogdon’s “Phony Pony” ran under various guises, including single engines and twin engines, both blown and unblown. The unruly car ran its best times of 8.36 at 165 with a single blown 289 Ford small block. More...

Posted 2/3/2012 03:29 AM

Earth Fest 2010  Free Access 

Conservation Tips From Minnesota Power

Deciding to make your home more energy efficient is easy. Knowing where to begin is the hard part. Do you start with new windows and doors? Replace your furnace? Install solar panels on your roof? More...

Posted 4/15/2010 08:16 PM

Iron Range Earth Fest 2010 SPEAKERS SCHEDULE

Mt Iron Community Center - Mt Iron Room 10:00 - 10:45 Creating a Healthy Home with Feng Shui - More...

Posted 4/15/2010 08:16 PM


Full Story
Posted 4/15/2010 08:16 PM

Focus On Veterans  Free Access 

Best Practices lead the industry and serve as a model

VA sharply reduces drug-resistant staph infections in hospitalized veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiative targeting potentially life-threatening staph infections in hospitalized patients has produced significant positive results, according to recent statistics released by VA. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

VA partners with Walgreens on vaccines for Veterans


Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Nominations sought for Research Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to serve as a member of the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses (RAC). More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

High Heels and Handbags  Free Access 

Spring Closet Cleaning 2012:

Phase Two—Shoes

Well readers, I did it. I am writing Part 2 of this spring saga after the Great Pants Massacre of 2012. There were many casualties, but the survivors were real winners, destined to become fashion rock stars of the season. More...

Posted 4/20/2012 12:28 AM

Spring closet cleaning 2012: Phase one - pants

I went to work today in an ill-fitting pair of pants. I know now where the term came from: the fit literally makes you ill. Every step that I took, every accidental glance in the mirror made me sick to my stomach. More...

Posted 3/22/2012 10:58 PM

Flowers and a candy heart world

My friends and readers of this column know all about my CRAZY LOVE for Valentine’s Day. More...

Posted 2/10/2012 02:04 AM

In Our Words  Free Access 

Point of pride for Minnesota

St. Paul College and two-year campuses in Greater MN dominate ‘Best Community Colleges in U.S.’ rankings

Some refreshingly good news about the quality of our public education system almost got out last week, but was mostly overlooked or underplayed by mainstream media. More...

Posted 9/16/2010 09:54 PM

Legally Speaking  Free Access 

Your Legal Rights: Magazine subscription solicitation

From the Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson

People should be on guard against deceptive magazine subscription solicitations using false representations and phony claims. More...

Posted 2/23/2012 10:05 PM

Senior Legal Line: Can I get out of this contract?

A legal question and answer line for Seniors


Posted 2/10/2012 02:04 AM

Spousal Maintenance

(formerly known as Alimony)

In divorces, the request for payment of marital maintenance by one side will trigger apoplexy for the other side and big legal bills for everyone. Maintenance is payment of future income or earnings by one spouse to the other spouse. More...

Posted 3/24/2011 08:55 PM

Out of the Blue  Free Access 

Out of the Blue

It happens every four years. An event so huge and suspenseful, it holds the whole world hostage. A group of zombies in a thrall as we wait to see what happens. The result leaves millions laughing and leaping for joy. More...

Posted 7/10/2014 08:25 PM

Out of the Blue

Little boys like to brag about their dad. “My dad is (fill in the blank) than your dad.” I’m not so little anymore, but I still have that little boy inside me that is proud of his dad. My dad may not be bigger than your dad. More...

Posted 6/12/2014 07:28 PM

Out of the Blue

If you’re from Minnesota, you know the feeling all too well. Everything seems to be going great and then the wheels fall off. The wind leaves the sails. The pencil runs out of lead. You’re left to wonder what might have been. More...

Posted 5/15/2014 08:55 PM

Outdoors by Jerry McCormick  Free Access 

Ladybug palettes and patterns

What does a ladybug look like? Everyone knows what a ladybug looks like! That seems like a simple question. Unfortunately, the answer turns out to be a long one, like lots of answers to questions about things in nature! More...

Posted 10/2/2014 10:15 PM

It’s a bug eat bug world

Some bugs wants to eat us, we know that! Other bugs want to eat our vegetable gardens or flower gardens. But, there are lots and lots more bugs out there. What do they eat? More...

Posted 9/18/2014 06:23 PM

A bee or not a bee?

It might not “bee” what you think

Do you remember the first time you got stung by a bee? I do, despite the fact that it happened over 50 years ago! A bee sting makes quite an impression. It hurts! It hurts enough that you are not going to forget about it anytime soon. More...

Posted 7/3/2014 11:25 AM

Storytellers  Free Access 

“Be real careful who you tell!!”

As I sat looking out the window at the falling rain on a late September morning, the phone rang. It was a friend of mine who happens to be a well known outdoor sports writer. More...

Posted 10/14/2010 06:58 PM

Pssst! Wanna know a little secret?

Those of us who grew up on Minnesota’s Iron Range, and in the City of Virginia in particular, are very likely familiar with Canelake’s Candies. More...

Posted 9/23/2010 09:40 PM

“Look! There He Is Again!”

Summers are short in the Northland. That’s why most of us try to spend as much time enjoying the out of doors as possible even if it means just sitting in the shade. More...

Posted 9/9/2010 10:05 PM

Guest Columnists  Free Access 


LIBRA (September 23 to October 22) Financial matters once again figure in any major action you might take regarding career, travel or other endeavors. You’ll want a ready reserve to help you back up those moves. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Norman Lloyd approaches 100-year milestone

Norman Lloyd admits he’s taking things a bit easy these days. This year, he currently has only one film waiting for release and he now plays just two tennis matches a week. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM


LIBRA (September 23 to October 22) Although you can expect on-the-job cooperation from most of your colleagues this week, some people might insist on knowing more about your plans before they can accept them. More...

Posted 10/9/2014 10:36 PM

Community Videos  Free Access 

Pike River Swampers

from CommunityTV, Virginia Community Access Television


Posted 5/19/2010 11:29 AM

Channel 5 LIVE!

Click here to watch Virginia Public Access Channel 5 Live More...

Posted 4/1/2010 12:12 PM

Channel 5 TV: Virginia Public Access More...

Posted 3/31/2010 12:58 PM

Misc  Free Access 

Weather widget


Posted 1/10/2014 11:54 AM

Top DVD Rentals and Sales

Top 10 Video Rentals 1. Cowboys and Aliens (PG-13) Daniel Craig 2. The Hangover Part II (R) Bradley Cooper 3. The Help (PG-13) Viola Davis 4. Mr. Popper’s Penguins (PG) Jim Carrey 5. Super 8 (PG-13) Kyle Chandler 6. More...

Posted 12/29/2011 09:49 PM


Virginia • Mountain Iron-Buhl Eve leth-Gilbe rt Wee k of JANUAR Y 1st, 2011

Breakfast MON DAY: Choice of Breakfast Cereal & Graham Crackers or Hot Oatmeal & Graham Crackers or Yogurt & Graham Cracker. More...

Posted 12/29/2011 09:49 PM

Gilbert artist Don Pirius:

Painting with love

Life offers few rewards greater than meeting someone for the first time and realizing that though you’ve never communicated before you are not strangers. Past experiences, insights, and even dreams merge into an immediate friendship. More...

Posted 5/1/2014 07:51 PM

Livin’ the life on Mr. Ed’s Farm

Spring brings birth and renewal

HIBBING - Unlike the majority of my generation who grew up on farms, I still farm. I retired from a regular job two years ago so I could farm even more. More...

Posted 5/1/2014 07:51 PM

Jeffrey Spenner is MSO's third conductor candidate

Don’t miss Mesabi Symphony Orchestra’s spring concerts

Your Mesabi Symphony Orchestra is pleased and excited to announce our spring concert cycle. Our program is centered around Beethoven's Sixth Symphony, the Pastorale. More...

Posted 4/24/2014 06:57 PM

Iron mining and the environment: Reclaiming the land

Before the first shovel can dip into the ground for the first time, iron mining facilities undergo an extensive environmental permitting process that reviews and sets parameters on water use, wetland mitigation, dust control, erosion prevention, over More...

Posted 4/17/2014 06:58 PM

Background on the Cross of the Messiah

The Messiah Lutheran Church dedicated the Cross of the Messiah, the processional cross that now leads us into worship, on December 1, the first Sunday of Advent. It was given in loving memory of Peggy Mattila by her husband Jack. More...

Posted 4/17/2014 06:57 PM

Iron Range Earth Fest presentations & workshop • April 26, 2014

Mt. Iron Community Center 10-10:45: Solar Energy: How You Can Shape Our Energy Future More...

Posted 4/17/2014 06:57 PM

Help our birds, butterflies and bees

Earth Fest presentation will tell you how

With a minimal budget and maintenance, how can you create a landscape to provide food, water and cover for birds, butterflies and bees, and the rest of your favorite fauna? What plants do well up North? What plants should you ask for at the nursery? More...

Posted 4/17/2014 06:57 PM

We love the Iron Range Earth Fest

MT. IRON – Hometown Focus has been a sponsor of the Iron Range Earth Fest since its inception five years ago. We were thrilled when over 500 people attended that first year. Now attendance is over 1200 visitors annually. More...

Posted 4/17/2014 06:57 PM

We're SIX and kindergarten is behind us

Happy Anniversary, HTF!

Every spring I write a story about Hometown Focus’s anniversary and give thanks to our supportive contributors, readers, and advertisers, and acknowledge the hard work of my amazing co-workers. More...

Posted 4/10/2014 09:18 PM

The jig is on

Through the noose to Easter

The next day we decided to call her Lois. It was the Thursday before Saint Patrick’s Day. My family attended a performance of the traditional Irish music group Dervish at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. More...

Posted 4/10/2014 09:18 PM

April is National Poetry Month!

The microphone is open and April is National Poetry Month! Come read your favorite poem or share your own writing on Monday, April 7, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the First Stage of the Lyric Center for the Arts 514 Chestnut Street, Virginia. More...

Posted 4/3/2014 08:37 PM

Essentia volunteers love their “jobs”

VIRGINIA – There are many reasons why a person decides to volunteer at Essentia Health-Virginia. Peggy Hellyer credits her husband’s kidney stones, which introduced her to the hospital’s care. More...

Posted 4/3/2014 08:37 PM

Memories of Elder Metsa from one mayor to another

My very first encounter with the Metsa family was many years ago as a very young child. More...

Posted 4/3/2014 08:37 PM

Honoring my dad, Elder Metsa

The circle remains unbroken

I had the greatest Thanksgiving of my life this last November. I had driven up to Cook, MN to visit my dad, Elder Metsa, and share the day with him. More...

Posted 4/3/2014 08:37 PM


“I’m off tomorrow, you know,” a familiar voice said over the phone. “How about we go snowshoeing?” I suggested. More...

Posted 3/27/2014 07:31 PM

Ely couple mixes craft with adventure

ELY - Scott and Joany Haag built a beautiful log home a short distance from Ely on the bank of Bear Island River. Both are skilled craftsmen with an inspirational adventurous spirit. More...

Posted 3/27/2014 07:31 PM

Don’t forget: Iron Range Home Show!

Enjoy the indoor venue of the weekendlong Iron Range Home, Sport and Travel Show this weekend at the Miners Memorial Building in Virginia! With the winter-ish weather still lingering, what better to do that visit with friends – indoors! More...

Posted 3/27/2014 07:31 PM

How we spent the wintery blast

If it were not for piles of books, during this recent cold spell, my wife and I would be divorced or have killed each other! Some of you with only a TV may not have been that lucky. More...

Posted 3/27/2014 07:30 PM



While in Minneapolis in the mid 1970s, Carol Sperling was inspired by the spinners and weavers of the Weaver’s Guild of Minnesota. More...

Posted 3/21/2014 10:04 AM

When innocence was lost

The human spirit has evolved from a natural-based way of living to a dollarfocused culture. Our way of living has led to tragic results in sustainability. More...

Posted 3/21/2014 10:04 AM


brings joy to strangers

Quirks. We all have them. One of mine is buying high school annuals at garage/estate sales and then trying to find someone who would like them. As a historian I hate to see these books discarded if they are still in good shape. More...

Posted 3/21/2014 10:04 AM


Annual Iron Range Home Show a harbinger of spring

VIRGINIA – Hometown Focus has participated in the annual Iron Range Home, Sport and Travel Show for several years. It’s a blast to visit with the hundreds of people who attend the event as well as the other exhibitors. More...

Posted 3/21/2014 10:04 AM

Nathan Schroeder: 2014 Iditarod Rookie of the Year

“Nathan did it! Iditarod 2014 Rookie of the Year!” The email with large letters came to me at 12:10 p.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 12, from Linda Nervick who was the media contact for Nathan Schroeder’s 2014 Iditarod run. More...

Posted 3/13/2014 09:15 PM


Sewing = happiness for Greaney resident

I grew up on a farm where we learned to entertain ourselves and were taught to be self-sufficient. My mom taught me to sew when I was very young. More...

Posted 3/13/2014 09:15 PM


I f ever an actor was identified by one career role, it was Donna Douglas with her portrayal of Elly May in the highly popular CBS 60s comedy, “The Beverly Hillbillies.” In the four decades since the series ended its nine season run in 19 More...

Posted 3/13/2014 09:15 PM

Obituaries  Free Access 


Mobile Man

Find the Clue Prizes & Cash to WIN!

Download our Discover MN app from iTunes or Google Play and click the WIN button. Every Friday marks a new contest, new prize and new clue. Mobile Man will be hidden in one of our advertisers in the app, ready for you to find him. More...

Posted 10/20/2014 03:18 PM

Bumper Sticker

Find the Bumper Sticker Gift Certificates to WIN!

Listen, Find, Call, Win! Listen to the WEVE Morning Show weekdays to learn what WEVE and Hometown Focus are giving away! Find the Weve got Focus! More...

Posted 10/20/2014 03:17 PM


Find the Clue Gift Certificates to WIN!

The third week of every month Hometown Focus holds Facebook Contests. Go to our Facebook page and Like & Share to WIN or Comment & Share to WIN. Winners will be chosen randomly and posted on our Facebook page. More...

Posted 10/20/2014 03:16 PM


Operation Round Up gives more than $41,000 to community programs

GRAND RAPIDS – Lake Country Power’s Operation Round Up® participants are committed to lending a helping hand to the communities and residents of northern Minnesota. More...

Posted 1/16/2014 08:50 PM

Wide Open Services to host Open House

PIKE TOWNSHIP – There’s a new business in Pike Township and they’re having an Open House on Friday, Jan. 17 and Saturday, Jan. 18 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. More...

Posted 1/16/2014 08:50 PM

Gov. Dayton releases bonding proposal

ST. PAUL - Today, Governor Mark Dayton unveiled a $986 million statewide bonding proposal designed to create over 27,000 jobs and improve Minnesota’s public infrastructure. More...

Posted 1/16/2014 08:50 PM

News Briefs  Free Access 

Owl dreams

I thought I heard an owl last night, sometime during the middle of the dark night, for in the past on rare occasions, I have had great horned owls in my yard, sitting on the clothesline pole, stoic in its presence, eying the feeder for mice or voles. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

DNR seeks volunteers to join deer goal setting teams

STATEWIDE – People interested in helping the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources establish deer population goals for large portions of northeastern, northcentral and east-central Minnesota can apply online. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Iron Rangers’ Carignan named SIJHL player of the week

THUNDER BAY, ONT. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League has announced its most latest player of the week award recipient is Minnesota Iron Rangers goaltender Kyle Carignan. Carignan was recognized for the weekly period ending Oct. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Home & Garden Tips  Free Access 


Decorator Secret: Mixing and matching fabrics How To: You can mix fabrics together in dozens of different ways. However, if you have never so much as paired two patterns together, start with these three helpful tips. 1. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

End of season reminders

There is precious time to complete garden chores before the snow begins to pile up. Tropicals (hibiscus, mandevillas, bay leaf, geraniums) need to come indoors for the brightest light. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM


Decorator Secret: Update your look using what you have to get a new look! How To: More...

Posted 10/9/2014 10:36 PM

Health  Free Access 

Understanding depression; tracking the fracking

Q: My 35-year-old son moved back home because he wasn’t coping with “life on the outside.” He’s seeing a therapist and taking an antidepressant, but I don’t think he’s really working on getting better. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Flu vaccine facts; varicose veins

Q: I usually get a flu shot, but a couple of times I ended up getting sick anyway. Does it really matter if I get the shot or not? -- Sally P., Minneapolis More...

Posted 10/9/2014 10:36 PM

Firsts: Reach for something greater

My wife and I went out to dinner with another couple and I brought up the subject of “firsts.” I said to them that I had been reading a book that challenged me to have a habit of trying things that I had never done before. More...

Posted 10/2/2014 10:15 PM

Massage for Your Health  Free Access 

Consistency is key to your goals

Have you ever tried to do something only to realize that to obtain your goal or even stay at your goal, you need to be consistent with the steps that got you there in the first place? More...

Posted 10/9/2014 10:36 PM

Searching for a massage therapist?

Oh what do you ask when looking for the right massage therapist for yourself? Everyone has their own list of needs/ requirements when searching. More...

Posted 9/25/2014 05:12 PM

Massage and heart health

We always hear about the importance of taking care of our health and one of those ways is ensuring our internal organs are in good working order. More...

Posted 9/11/2014 08:41 PM

Sports  Free Access 

Iron Rangers’ Millis named Amyotte’s Awards & Promotions Player of the Week

THUNDER BAY, ONT. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced today that Minnesota Iron Rangers forward Drew Millis has been named the Amyotte’s Awards & Promotions Corp. player of the week for the period ending Oct. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Babbitt renames arena in Ron Castellano’s honor

BABBITT - The City of Babbitt, along with the Babbitt Blue Line and the Babbitt Figure Skating Club, is proud to announce a dedication and renaming of the Babbitt Arena in honor of Ron “Sonny” Castellano. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

Memorial bowling tourney slated

VIRGINIA - A Memorial 9-Pin No-Tap Tournament will be held Saturday, Oct.25 in Virginia. Bowlers will bowl 4 games, 2 at each bowling alley. Plaza Bowl at 3:30 p.m. and the Virginia Bowling Gardens at 5:30 p.m. Entry fee is $30. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

i On Sports  Free Access 

Blue Devils beat Alexandria 4-3 at state

Exhale, Blue Devils fans. Your team finally won a hockey game at state. More...

Posted 3/11/2010 10:13 PM

i on Local Sports

The moment I will remember most from Wednesday’s Section 7A Boys Hockey Championship Game, won 3-0 by Virginia/ MI-B over Hibbing/Chisholm, is not the jubilant celebration after back-to-back title wins - though the Blue Devils’ smiles wer More...

Posted 3/4/2010 11:50 PM

Charlotte Overbye

i On Local Sports Spotlight

bio: Charlotte Overbye, a junior at Mountain Iron-Buhl, became the all-time leading scorer in school history, surpassing former boys basketball standouts Steven Golobich and DJ Winfield earlier this season. More...

Posted 2/19/2010 01:04 AM

Calendar  Free Access 

Mt. Iron Merritt Days Lions Pancake Breakfast

Mt. Iron Merritt Days Lions Pancake Breakfast Mt. Iron Senior Center 7:30 a.m. More...

Posted 8/10/2010 02:38 PM

Fresh Stuff  Free Access 

Container gardener demonstration

April 12 in Eveleth

Gail Coon, owner of Swanson’s Greenhouse on Hwy 53, South of Eveleth, will present a program on using flowers and vegetables in container gardens on April 12, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at St. More...

Posted 3/29/2011 03:53 PM

News Briefs

Container Gardening Demonstration

Gail Coon, owner of Swanson’s Greenhouse on Hwy 53, South of Eveleth, will present a program on using flowers and vegetables in container gardens on April 12, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at St. More...

Posted 3/29/2011 03:45 PM

Container Gardening Demonstration

Gail Coon, owner of Swanson’s Greenhouse on Hwy 53, South of Eveleth, will present a program on using flowers and vegetables in container gardens on April 12, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at St. More...

Posted 3/29/2011 03:41 PM

Auto Focus Tips  Free Access 

Back in time... 1960’s Drag Racing

Sheldon Konblatt’s funny cars were never the normal run of the mill machines. The first one had to be the strangest. The “Peanuts” Galaxie was unique at best. More...

Posted 1/6/2012 01:13 AM

1962 Chevrolet CORVETTE

The most noticeable style changes for 1962 were the removal of the side cover chrome trim, a blacked-out grille and ribbed chrome rocker panel molding leaving this model almost completely devoid of chrome. More...

Posted 1/6/2012 01:13 AM

Back in time...

1960’s Drag Racing

Eddie Pauling was never afraid to try something different. His first two funny cars were both of the rear-engine variety. More...

Posted 11/23/2011 02:49 PM

Conducting Commerce  Free Access 

Defining Friendly Customer Service -

what it is and what it isn’t

A few days ago I attended a community planning meeting for my adopted hometown of Orr, Minnesota. The meeting was the first in a series to develop a long term plan for the future of our town and surrounding area. More...

Posted 2/17/2011 11:02 PM

How to sell money at a discount

Although I didn’t realize it until 30 years later, my first real job in the sales profession was all about selling money at a discount. More...

Posted 2/10/2011 08:19 PM


For several years I had a framed copy of Mark Twain’s quotation: “I am an old man and have known a great many problems, but most of them never happened” hanging on the wall in my office. More...

Posted 2/3/2011 10:42 PM

Fishing  Free Access 

5th Annual Let’s Take a Kid Fishing on Lake Vermilion event slated for July 16

COOK—Keep the momentum going. Those four words are a good way to summarize the volunteers who work tirelessly in doing their part to introduce youth to the sport of fishing. More...

Posted 6/19/2014 09:18 PM


For a number of years it’s been my tradition, the night before Minnesota’s fishing opener, to get a Dave’s pizza and a cold can of pop, drive to the mall parking lot where I can watch the steady parade of cars and trucks heading nor More...

Posted 5/31/2012 09:29 PM

Lake Vermilion Resort Association Fish Report

All fish were released. The Lake Vermilion Resort Association supports the Catch and Release Program. Week of August 21-27, 2011 More...

Posted 9/1/2011 05:47 PM

Insurance Matters  Free Access 

Insurance matters

The health insurance maze

Addressing health insurance in a short article is similar to transporting iron ore with a pickup truck versus a yuke. It simply isn’t possible. More...

Posted 9/27/2012 07:49 PM

Blue Guitar Highway  Free Access 

Bring It On Home To Me

I have been very fortunate, some may say blessed, to have had the pleasure to play with some of the finest musicians in Minnesota. More...

Posted 8/8/2013 07:11 PM

2013: What would Woody Guthrie do?

First of all, I would like to thank Scott and Jeff Asbach, Jean Cole, and the staff at Hometown Focus for letting me share my column Blue Guitar Highway with you over the last year. More...

Posted 1/3/2013 09:23 PM

Father knows best

I am always amazed at how close my friends from Virginia and I have stayed over the years. Most of these friendships started in grade school, junior high, or high school and remain strong to this day. More...

Posted 12/27/2012 09:18 PM

In Your Words  Free Access 

A Letter of Thanks

Over the past six months, I have been on quite the journey and touched by such wonderful care and generosity of so many people that I want to write this letter to express my thanks and to let everyone know how much it is all appreciated. More...

Posted 8/4/2011 07:48 PM

Are trees on the Iron Range in peril?

Scientists like Janine Bloomfield, Ph.D.*, believe that global warming will have an effect on tree species. Dr. More...

Posted 9/23/2010 09:40 PM

Letter to my neighbor

Editor’s note: The author of the following letter requested to remain anonymous, and we have granted the request. - Jean Dear Neighbor, More...

Posted 9/9/2010 10:04 PM

Ojibwe Reflections  Free Access 

Out of the Blue

Today was one of just two days out of the year that is major sporting event-free. The other was Monday. More...

Posted 7/18/2013 09:57 PM

Out of the Blue

The Wild limped into the playoffs. More...

Posted 5/9/2013 07:52 PM

Cheeseburgers for breakfast

Our mother, Pat, has always been a true believer in the value of a good breakfast and, in the winter, the nutrition, economy and staying power of a warm bowl of Quaker Oats. More...

Posted 3/18/2010 08:56 PM

Nature's Why and How  Free Access 

Why are there so many types of insects?

Have you ever stepped outside on a beautiful summer morning only to be bombarded with dozens of types of insects? More...

Posted 7/26/2012 09:16 PM

The scoop on poop:

Why it’s important to pick up after your dog

Anyone with young children knows the hazards of a pile of dog feces left in the park. Unpleasantness aside, pet waste can have a tremendous effect on plants and other organisms in both parks and natural ecosystems. More...

Posted 4/6/2012 12:51 AM

Nature’s WHY AND HOW

Salty road blues

For anyone travelling during the recent snowstorms, you may have salt to thank for the passable roads. Many tumbles down icy stairs are avoided every year because of salt. More...

Posted 3/9/2012 02:47 AM

Sallyworld  Free Access 


The unfiltered comments of small children (and adults)

Greetings & Sallytations! A recent conversation with my granddaughter, Sunshine, age 4: “Gramma, you look very beautiful today.” Me: “Thank you, Sunshine.” She goes on, More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM


Time flies…when you’re writing a “weight loss” column

Greetings & Sallytations! More...

Posted 10/9/2014 10:36 PM


Living on the edge, warranty free. Lean and mean in 2015?

Greetings & Sallytations! Warranties. I was in a big-box store recently buying a coffee pot. It was $30. When I was checking out, the cashier asked if I wanted to add an extra warranty to the appliance. Are you kidding me??? More...

Posted 10/2/2014 10:15 PM

Website Wisdom  Free Access 

Canoe drummers

I’d be lying if I told you we always catch fish whenever we go fishing. More often than I care to admit, I simply write off the fishless days as pleasant outings and a chance to go exploring. More...

Posted 6/6/2013 10:27 PM

Optimize your site to bring more phone calls

Editor’s note: This is the last Website Wisdom column we will be running, as Sean’s growing business is taking more of his time. We thank him for his contributions this past year! More...

Posted 6/24/2010 11:08 PM

Give Your Website Some Personality

Giving your web presence a “fun factor” is no doubt beneficial to your business, no matter what industry you’re in. More...

Posted 6/18/2010 08:57 AM

Obituaries  Free Access 

Mark “Burt” Burton Brinkman

Mark “Burt” Burton Brinkman, 54, of Virginia, died on Thursday, October 9, 2014, at Duluth Essentia Hospital.He passed away peacefully with his wife, Sue, and family by his side. More...

Posted 10/16/2014 04:06 PM

Vicki Lee Skubic

Vicki Lee Skubic, 63, passed away in her Virginia, MN home on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 surrounded by family and dear friends. She fought leiomyosarcoma fearlessly for four years. More...

Posted 10/15/2014 04:51 PM

Mae Elina Wuori

Mae Elina Wuori, age 91, of Eveleth and formerly of Duluth, passed peacefully with her family by her side Thursday, October 9, 2014, at Essentia Health in Virginia, MN.  She was born April 13, 1923 in Kettle River, MN the daughter of Frank and I More...

Posted 10/15/2014 04:44 PM

Classifieds  Free Access 


LIVESTOCK WWBoven’s Browns Pullets: 19-22 weeks old, just starting to lay. Beef by the Quarter or Half. Pork –half or whole. Farm raised chickens. Call Joe Sopp @ 218-290-1024**** More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM


ATVS 2006 Arctic Cat Prowler: Side by Side w/roof & windshield, front & rear hitches, 1,300 mi., $5,400 OBO. 218-254-2265 or 218-208- 9573**** 2011 Yamaha 250 V-Star: 750 mi., $3,300 OBO. Call Jim @ 217-780- 0977 More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM


AUTOS BUICK 2007 Mercury Milan Premier: V6, heated leather seats, only 79K, excellent condition, $9,500. 218-744- 4629 after 7 p.m.*** More...

Posted 10/16/2014 07:02 PM

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