For more community-driven stories, visit our archive.

Bridge, highway relocation over three-quarters complete

VIRGINIA – The Highway 53 relocation project continues to roll along ahead of schedule – quite safely and just two-percent above budget.  The target date for the opening of the Rouchleau Pit bridge and the highway is August 15, acco More...

Posted 5/4/2017 10:44 PM

Essay winners write about what freedom means to them

COOK – Jake Panichi and Helen Koch were deemed winners in a recent essay contest sponsored by the VFW Auxiliary. The challenge put forth by the auxiliary was for youngsters to describe what freedom means to them.  More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:44 PM

Remembering our veterans

The United States of America is a free country, but only the veterans can take the credit. We have freedom because of our veterans, but we don’t thank them enough for what they did! More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:44 PM

Girls from Germany and Denmark become like family

Foreign exchange students and hosts bond over shared experiences

CHISHOLM/VIRGINIA – The atmosphere I felt when meeting foreign exchange students Carina Brunner from Germany and Sine Andersen from Denmark and their host families was festive. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:44 PM

Assisted living: A care option worth considering

When I was a child I remember thinking that 70 years old was old. I grew up in a farm community, and I remember my grandma and many other parishioners making food for funerals at the church on a weekly basis. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:45 PM

Some autism facts and figures

• Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3. • Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive& More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:45 PM

Fundraiser held for Northland Autism Walk

VIRGINIA – A “small but mighty” team of parents held an autism awareness fundraiser in conjunction with Papa Murphy’s of Virginia on Thursday, April 26.  More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:45 PM

HOPE Springs 5K raises $60,000 for Hibbing oncology patients

HIBBING – The 5th Annual HOPE Springs 5K walk/run and Kids’ Fun Run—presented by Essentia Health—was held at the Hibbing Memorial Building on April 22. This event is the largest 5K held north of Duluth. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:46 PM

Annual Youth Science Fair held at Assumption Catholic School

HIBBING – Did you know that water can explode or how to grow the clearest crystals? More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:46 PM

Iron Range Science & Engineering Festival is May 2 – 4

CHISHOLM – The 6th Annual Iron Range Science & Engineering Festival will be held at Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm on Tuesday, May 2, Wednesday, May 3, and Thursday, May 4, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:46 PM

Work progresses on Hwy. 53 relocation

VIRGINIA – The Highway 53 relocation project is back in full swing – despite this past week’s inclement weather. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:47 PM

Walleye stamps support better Minnesota fishing

Anglers can support walleye stocking by purchasing $5 walleye stamps that help the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provide more places to fish for walleye.  More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:47 PM

Home is the key to strength, stability and self-reliance in our lives

VIRGINIA – I grew up as a kid of missionaries, which meant that my parents moved a lot when I was growing up. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:47 PM

Dobbs Logging of Littlefork named Minnesota Logger of the Year

The Minnesota Sustainable Forestry Initiative® State Implementation Committee (SIC) named Dobbs Logging as its 2017 Logger of the Year during the Minnesota Logger Education Program conference recently held in Bemidji.  More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:48 PM


A year of growth, change and another award nomination

VIRGINIA – It must be an honor to be nominated for a prestigious award. And no doubt winning such an award must be thrilling, humbling, satisfying and many other things. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:44 PM

What is it like being a staff writer?

I consider myself a newbie at Hometown Focus even though I have been on the editorial staff since August of 2015. Often times I am asked what it’s like working for the paper; I love it even though it’s a crazy ride. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:44 PM

Eveleth-Gilbert Drama Guild presents Almost, Maine

EVELETH/GILBERT – The Eveleth- Gilbert Drama Guild will present the romantic comedy Almost, Maine on April 27, 28 and 29 in Eveleth.  More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:44 PM

Choralaires to present spring concert on May 5

VIRGINIA – The Choralaires will present their spring concert on Friday, May 5, at 7 p.m. at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Virginia. There will be a variety of musical selections, as well as musical stylings from small groups, duets and solos. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:44 PM

HTF loves contributors of ALL ages

The Alaspa siblings from Embarrass were frequent visitors to the HTF booth at the Iron Range Home Sport and Travel Show in Virginia in March. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:44 PM

Bridge City Music Festival at Miners next Saturday

Day-long Christian music event looks to grow in second year

VIRGINIA – The Bridge City Music Festival will open in Virginia for the second year in a row on Saturday, April 29. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:44 PM

Public forum explores the question: What makes a good citizen?

COOK – Community leaders and activists will explore the question “What Makes a Good Citizen?” in a panel discussion to be held Thursday, April 27, from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Cook Community Center in Cook.  More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:45 PM

Natural Harvest Food Co-op is moving to new, eco-friendly building

VIRGINIA – Natural Harvest Food Coop, the Iron Range’s largest food cooperative, will open the doors of their brand new eco-friendly store on Wednesday, April 26. The new store, located at 732 N. 4th St. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:45 PM

Serving Virginia—the Queen City—is rewarding

VIRGINIA – I have just completed my first three months on the Virginia City Council. It has been an incredible experience learning about city government.  More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:45 PM

My Tattoo

This tattoo belongs to Tiffany Tahija of Chisholm. The main portion of the tattoo is made up of the paw prints of  Tiffany’s two dogs (named Brown Dog and Black Dog) put together with a semicolon integrated into the design. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:45 PM


Health Features

Nicotine poses serious health threat to youth and pregnant women

E-cigarette and other nicotine product use rises rapidly in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health this week reissued its nicotine heath advisory to inform parents and health care providers about the health dangers of nicotine for children, teens, and pregnant women. More...

Posted 5/11/2017 11:04 PM

Minnesota awarded $5.4 million federal grant to combat opioid addiction

Minnesota has been awarded $5.4 million in federal grants to combat opioid addiction in the state. The Opioid State Targeted Response Grant, awarded by the U.S. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:47 PM

Fairview Range welcomes pediatrician to Hibbing clinic

HIBBING – Fairview Range welcomes board certified pediatrician Lisa Buenger, M.D. to its medical staff at Fairview Mesaba Clinics-Hibbing. She brings experience and compassion as a pediatrician for 16 years in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Dr. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:47 PM


Governor Dayton approves $2.6M for UMD's Natural Resources Research Institute

The Supplemental Budget approved by Governor Mark Dayton Wednesday included $2.6 million for the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth. More...

Posted 6/2/2016 10:21 PM

Open house to be held on June 15 for Hwy. 38 project north of Grand Rapids

MARCELL – Residents and business owners are encouraged to attend an open house on Wednesday, June 15, to learn more about the 2017 resurfacing project on Highway 38 between Itasca County Road 19 near Pughole Lake to Marcell. More...

Posted 6/2/2016 10:21 PM

Youth Energy Summit (YES!) awards energy action projects

BRITT – Four teams participating in the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) presented their work on energy action projects to a panel of judges on May 11. More...

Posted 5/28/2015 09:37 PM

Bridal Features

Casual weddings are gaining popularity; throw one to remember

Elegant, lavish weddings provide moments couples will remember for years to come. But while such storybook ceremonies and receptions remain popular, casual affairs are gaining popularity.  More...

Posted 5/4/2017 10:43 PM

Incorporate flowers into your wedding; they add beauty and ambiance

Weddings are special moments for couples and the guests they invite to share their happiness on their big days. More...

Posted 5/4/2017 10:43 PM

Consider the pros and cons of Friday weddings

Couples give a great deal of thought to the day they choose to get married. Many engaged couples are more attached to a particular season than a specific day, but some couples will consider any time of year to say "I do."  More...

Posted 5/4/2017 10:43 PM


Police K-9 trials in Hermantown June 25 – 27

HERMANTOWN – The Hermantown Police Department and St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office are co-hosting the 2017 USPCA—Region 18 K-9 Trials. Trials are held annually throughout the state. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:45 PM

Online puppy scams nip hopeful pet owners

Warmer temperatures often spur would-be pet owners to action. Many, looking for puppies, turn to the internet and type in the dog breed they’re looking for, starting their search for the right pet that way.  More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:45 PM

Be aware of pet vaccination side effects

Certain vaccinations for companion animals are recommended or required depending on where the pet will be living. Just like immunizations administered to humans, pet vaccinations are designed to help pets develop immunities to certain diseases.  More...

Posted 6/15/2017 11:50 PM

Range History

Remembering the muscle car era: 1964-1974


Although muscle car sales were relatively modest by Detroit production standards, they hold a big place in classic car history. In 1964, there were Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, and Pontiac muscle cars, with Buick joining in a year later. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:46 PM


Emergency services: Do you call 9-1-1 if your CAT is on fire?

ITASCA COUNTY – “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”  “My cat’s on fire,” a man yells in panic.  “Sir, by the time we send someone out to your location…”  “Listen to me,&rdq More...

Posted 6/15/2017 11:50 PM

Flag Day

A history of the celebration of Old Glory


Posted 6/8/2017 11:09 PM

Healthy for Life

Healthy for Life

A tribute to June bugs, June brides and June graduates

Welcome everyone to the generous multifaceted month of June. Here’s to embarking on some wonderful days of summer ahead with gratitude and plenty of rays of praise. More...

Posted 6/8/2017 11:09 PM

Healthy for Life

Celebrating Memorial Day and the green grass of home

Hello to everyone as we shift our focus on the back door of May, entering into a glimpse of summertime. More...

Posted 5/25/2017 11:29 PM

Healthy for Life

Enjoying grapefruit and the blessings and renewal of the month of May

This week we welcome the month of May which can present a busy time of year as people begin preparing for warmer days ahead and new adventures. More...

Posted 5/4/2017 10:43 PM

Hometown Recipes


The following recipes are from a cookbook called Twenty Dinners by Ithai Schori and Chris Taylor. I was looking for some different salad recipes and the three listed certainly are. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:45 PM


While a person may not usually think of soup as being a summer dish, I like soup any time of the year. Just recently I woke up with a fever and a sore throat. Some may like a warm, soothing cup of tea with honey added to ease a scratchy throat. More...

Posted 6/15/2017 11:50 PM

Wrap it in foil, light the campfire and cook away

The sun is shining and the rain has let up – at least for the time being. More...

Posted 6/8/2017 11:09 PM

i On Sports

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


Mt. Iron Merritt Days Lions Pancake Breakfast  Free Access 

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

Minerals are vital to modern veterinary medicine  Free Access 

You may be aware of how critical minerals are to modern medical technologies that keep you and your family healthy. More...

Posted 8/25/2016 10:20 PM

Auto Focus Tips

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


The 1970 Dodge Dart lineup returned with Swinger 340 and Dart GTS trim lines. All Darts had new front and rear styling. The Swinger 340 was available for $2,808 but now included a three-speed manual as standard. More...

Posted 11/23/2011 02:49 PM

1967 Chevrolet El Camino

Ten of the 15 colors offered for the 1967 Chevrolet El Camino were new. A black vinyl roof covering available with all exterior colors was added to the options list.  More...

Posted 10/13/2011 06:55 PM

Conducting Commerce

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


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

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

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

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

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

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



The woes of interrupting Wild and Wacky Wednesday

Greetings and Sallytations!   As many of you may know I work at the Mt. Iron Public Library. During the summer, I'm quite busy with our unique reading program called Wild and Wacky Wednesday. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:46 PM


Time to enjoy the Land of the Loon Festival and reading a good book

Greetings and Sallytations!   More...

Posted 6/15/2017 11:50 PM


Horn honking, struggling at a bank drive-through, and cleaning out beans

Greetings and Sallytations!   I have a variety of tales to share today. I find humor in strange things and thought I should write about them.  More...

Posted 6/8/2017 11:09 PM

Website Wisdom

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


Slider test  Free Access 

image desc Content goes here More...

Posted 6/23/2015 11:34 AM

Weather widget  Free Access 


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

Eveleth area DNR conservation officers make weekly report

ST. LOUIS COUNTY – The following are weekly reports submitted from the Eveleth Area DNR office:  More...

Posted 5/4/2017 10:43 PM

My Tattoo

This tattoo belongs to Anthony Jayasuriya of Nashwauk. The Naga mask design is traditional from his native home of Sri Lanka. Anthony said, “It is a sign of protection to ward off evil and disease for my being as well as my children. More...

Posted 5/4/2017 10:44 PM

It’s dirt track racing time (weather permitting)!

Hibbing Raceway  Hibbing, MN   More...

Posted 5/4/2017 10:44 PM

What freedom means to me

The dictionary’s definition of freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.  More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:44 PM

Zuly shares her chick photo with HTF!

BEAR RIVER – I was taking a walk back on our trails [on Saturday] and I thought it was funny how quickly the weather changed; only in Minnesota does the weather go from 70 degrees one day to below freezing the next.  More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:44 PM

A tailored approach to education

Reasons for homeschooling are as diverse as students themselves

AURORA – When thinking of the Renaissance, most grudgingly flash back to high school days of art appreciation and history of the Middle Ages. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:45 PM

Mesabi East gardening: STEM, STEAM, learning, growing and more

AURORA – Some have been buried too deep and have had to struggle to emerge. Some need a little more time just to mature. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:45 PM

Northland Foundation awards $406,130 in grants

NORTHEAST MINNESOTA – Investing in people and communities for a thriving northeastern Minnesota, the Northland Foundation approved a total of $406,120 in 33 grants during the first quarter of 2017. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:45 PM

One hen, one owl, one boy

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a children’s story—a work of fiction—written by Dorothy Skantz Engebretsen. –Cindy Kujala, HTF interim editor   “Oh me! Oh my!” fussed Hannah Hen. She was in a sour-pickle mood. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:46 PM

St. Louis County Sheriff presents seven 911 Life Saver Awards

ST. LOUIS COUNTY – St. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:46 PM

LCP annual meeting addresses authenticity of co-ops and plans for future

GRAND RAPIDS – Keeping the coffee hot, the milk cold and batteries charged is at the core of Lake Country Power’s mission. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:46 PM

My Tattoo

This tattoo belongs to Jeff Russell of Chisholm. It was designed by Sine Andersen of Denmark, a foreign exchange student sponsored by Jeff and his family over the past year (see related story on p. 31). More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:47 PM

Olcott Park Fountain Restoration Project committee sets fundraising goal

VIRGINIA – The Olcott Park Fountain Restoration Project has been in the news recently regarding its nomination to be listed as a National Historic Site. This is good news. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:47 PM

CSAH 101 renamed Representative Joe Begich Highway by County Board


Posted 4/27/2017 11:47 PM

Learn about Habitat for Humanity at upcoming informational meetings

AURORA/HIBBING/VIRGINIA – Spring time represents new growth and new beginnings. It can mean a new home for a family in need of a simple, decent and affordable home. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:48 PM

VinE receives Agency of the Year Award from United Way of Northeastern Minnesota

Volunteers in Education (VinE), a nonprofit dedicated to helping students achieve academic success by providing tutoring services to local students, recently received the Agency of the Year Award from the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota.  More...

Posted 4/27/2017 11:48 PM


My undersea adventures on the Mayan Barrier Reef

Roatan is located approximately 40 miles off of the northern coast of Honduras. It is located in the Caribbean Sea on the Mayan Barrier Reef. The main industry of Roatan is tourism, which includes scuba diving, cruise ships and eco-tourism. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:44 PM

March of Dimes kicks off biggest fundraiser to help babies be born healthy

VIRGINIA – Hundreds of families and business leaders are joining together at the 2017 Range March for Babies, the March of Dimes annual fundraiser and the biggest local event to help more babies get a healthy start in life. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:44 PM

Band concert to be held at Eveleth City Auditorium

EVELETH – The Mesabi Community Band, under the direction of Paul Helfter, will make history when it plays the first concert in the newly restored Eveleth City Auditorium on Thursday, May 4, at 7 p.m.  The concert will commemorate renowned More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:44 PM

Minnesota makes it easier to get opiate overdose reversal drug at pharmacies

Minnesota is making it easier for Minnesotans to get the opiate overdose reversal drug naloxone for themselves, family members or others at risk of an overdose.  More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:44 PM

Skills Fair presents diverse opportunities

EVELETH – The Eveleth campus of Mesabi Range College was a busy place on April 6th as students from many area high schools including Virginia, Grand Rapids, Cherry, Hermantown, Bigfork, North Woods and Mesabi East attended the Skills & Know More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:44 PM

It’s easy to become an HTF contributor

We invite you to join the growing ranks of Hometown Focus contributors! Over 700 community members have shared their news, stories, photos, history, recipes and videos with us. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:45 PM

Area colleges hold joint Engineering Ethics Conference for students at HCC

Approximately 200 Itasca Community College Engineering and Iron Range Engineering students and program personnel participated in a joint Engineering Ethics Conference on March 16 at Hibbing Community More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:45 PM

Virginia High School 2016-2017 Quarter 3 Honor Roll

“A” HONOR ROLL  GRADE 12   More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:45 PM

A sandhill crane forages in the Sax-Zim Bog

This sandhill crane was photographed by Andrene Myrum of Hibbing in the Sax-Zim Bog (Forbes, Toivola, Meadowlands area). More...

Posted 4/20/2017 10:45 PM

Mining Features

Great Lake iron ore trade up in April

CLEVELAND – Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5.8 million tons in April, an increase of 8.8 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments topped the month’s 5-year average by nearly 21 percent.  More...

Posted 5/25/2017 11:30 PM

Road Machinery & Supplies celebrates 25 years with Iron Mining Association

VIRGINIA – The Iron Mining Association of MN (IMA) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The association represents Minnesota’s iron mines and more than 150 businesses that supply goods and services to the industry.  More...

Posted 5/25/2017 11:30 PM

Minnesotans are supportive of iron mining

DULUTH – Ninety-three percent of Minnesotans believe the state should continue to mine iron ore, according to results from the 2016 Minnesota State Survey.  More...

Posted 5/25/2017 11:30 PM

Real Estate

Our local “shifting” market


Posted 12/15/2015 09:20 AM

Ad hoc committee sought to facilitate Olcott Park fountain restoration

As a young child growing up in Virginia, one of my fondest memories was when my parents would take my siblings and me to Olcott Park in Virginia. To me, it was a huge parcel of land that contained many wonders.  More...

Posted 3/5/2015 10:35 PM

JPJ Engineering has new office location

HIBBING – JPJ Engineering, Inc. More...

Posted 12/24/2014 09:31 PM




Follow @Hometownfocus for more contests. Win cash & prizes! INSTAGRAM PHOTO CONTEST! #HTFILoveMyPet / Oct. 9 – Nov. More...

Posted 8/21/2015 08:10 AM

What IS This?  Free Access 

Mystery Item Contest

If you are the first person to correctly identify the Hometown Focus's weekly Mystery Item, you win a FREE Friday Night Fish Fry Dinner at The Shack Bar and Restaurant on Hwy. 169 north of Virginia. More...

Posted 7/14/2015 08:25 AM

This week's winners & next week's prize!  Free Access 

Click here to see. More...

Posted 1/26/2015 01:08 PM

Home & Garden Tips

Are you troubled by pantry pests?

Those tiny insects that find a home in your pantry staples contaminate more food than they actually consume. They love all the dried foods that are found stored in cupboards and pantries. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:47 PM

How to streamline household cleaning

Travel down the cleaning aisle of a neighborhood store and you will be met with product after product designed for specialized cleaning. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:47 PM

Celebrate dad on Father’s Day

Father’s Day has been a day of celebration since the early 1900s. The third Sunday in June is the day to honor those special dads in your life. Plan a special meal or outdoor activity just for him. More...

Posted 6/15/2017 11:51 PM


Food allergies; take your blood pressure meds and save your life

Q: What's with everyone always worrying about food allergies? Is this hysteria or medically real? I mean, I can't even send my son to school with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! --Rosemarie F., Springfield, Missouri   More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:46 PM

Read the labels: Healthy foods may actually cause weight gain

A desire to lose weight compels many people to pursue healthy lifestyles. Foods dubbed as "healthy" foods may not help people lose as much weight as they hope. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:46 PM

Coach Tom’s Corner

Weight loss is essential in maintaining good health

For National Employee Health and Fitness Month (yes, that’s a real thing in May) I was doing some staff wellness programming for a regional employer. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:45 PM

Massage for Your Health

Chair massage: A good introduction to the benefits of massage

What exactly is a chair massage? It is an excellent question that I was asked just last week. The person asking had read my article about giving chair massages during the graduation night event at Cherry High School. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:46 PM

Graduation night: A safe festival of fun

Have you ever been to a graduation night celebration either as a graduate or a chaperone? Graduation night can appear to be organized chaos. More...

Posted 6/8/2017 11:09 PM

Spring is here:

Time to get our bodies moving

While the calendar states spring arrived over two months ago, it doesn’t seem like it here on the Iron Range. With all the rain we have had and cooler temperatures outside it feels more like the beginning of spring. More...

Posted 5/25/2017 11:29 PM


Area schools participated in Arrowhead Grand Prix archery event February 4

The Arrowhead Grand Prix archery event was held on Saturday, Feb. 4, at Hill City, MN. The event was hosted by Cromwell-Wright, Ely, and Northern Light Community schools. More...

Posted 2/16/2017 11:10 PM

Unique, local artwork coming to the new Vikings stadium

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. More...

Posted 1/15/2015 09:52 PM

Magnetation LLC announces first production at new iron ore concentrate plant

GRAND RAPIDS – Magnetation LLC (Magnetation) announced today that it has successfully produced its first iron ore concentrate at its new plant, Plant Four, located near Grand Rapids, Minnesota. More...

Posted 1/8/2015 07:54 PM

Sports Events

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


Minnesota’s unemployment rate falls to 3.7 percent in May; U.S. rate 4.3

Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in May, matching a post-recession low point last seen in June 2015, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:46 PM

NorthRidge Community Credit Union announces promotions, staff addition

VIRGINIA/HOYT LAKES/ BIWABIK/ELY – NorthRidge Community Credit Union (NRCCU) announced two promotions and an addition to the member services staff.  More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:46 PM

Reduced Conflict Intersections are reducing deaths

A new safety study by the Minnesota Department of Transportation shows that the state’s Reduced Conflict Intersections are saving lives.  More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:46 PM

Local Events

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

Classic Car Talk


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

Custom Paint

Only rarely was the grill of one make of car replaced by another one. One exception was the 1937 Buick Grille, often used on a Ford in the 50’s & 60’s. The grille swap of choice was the ’53 DeSoto. More...

Posted 12/9/2010 11:40 PM

Iron Range Classic Car Talk

Lloyd Bachman’s 1967 Chrysler Newport Custom

It has only 53,000 original miles. It is in super condition, no body work or rust. This car is his pride and joy! More...

Posted 2/12/2010 12:32 PM

Earth Fest 2010

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

Outgoing VFW commander wants veterans respected for their service

Over the centuries millions of Irish people left these shores. Many went on to become leading business, political and community leaders. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:45 PM

Chemical attack simulation tests guardsmen, new evaluation team

DULUTH – Minnesota National Guard members serving in a variety of roles tested their skills as evaluators and domestic response assets during a combined training exercise simulating a chemical explosion in the harbors of Duluth from June 3-9.&n More...

Posted 6/15/2017 11:50 PM

MN 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion trains at Ford Hood, TX

FORT HOOD, TX – The Minnesota National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion traveled to Fort Hood to provide aerial support to the 278th Regiment during an eXportable Combat Training Center (XCTC) training exercise. More...

Posted 6/15/2017 11:50 PM

High Heels and Handbags

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

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

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

Out of the Blue

It was announced recently that Randy Moss will be inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor. Happy for the guy; he’s still my favorite athlete I ever watched as an adult. He’s my age and a fellow West Virginian. I feel connected to him. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:46 PM

Out of the Blue

“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.”

Fatherhood, a great privilege, is one I’ve not been granted. Someday, maybe. More...

Posted 6/15/2017 11:50 PM

Out of the Blue

I’ve been a fan of the underdog for as long as I can remember. Unless I have a rooting interest in one of the teams, I’ll always root for the underdog. More...

Posted 6/8/2017 11:09 PM

Outdoors by Jerry McCormick

A nature nerd’s Florida vacation

There are many reasons people go to Florida for vacations: warmth, sunshine, beaches, golf, and sporting events, to name a few. But Florida also is a favorite of nature nerds, like me. Sometimes, in regard to travel, we are called eco-tourists. More...

Posted 11/3/2016 09:27 PM

Ladybug look-alikes

Not all orange and black beetles are ladybugs, and not all ladybugs are orange and black! There are several kinds of beetles that strongly resemble ladybugs. Also, insects that are orange and black are a very interesting bunch.  More...

Posted 9/29/2016 09:27 PM

Outdoor sounds: Chirps, trills, hisses and whisperings

Summer nearly is over. Have you been listening? One clue about the passage of the season is that most birds have gone silent. During late summer, with the lack of birds singing, it sometimes seems deathly silent in the fields and woods. More...

Posted 9/1/2016 10:24 PM


“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


LEO (July 23 to August 22) Heed that keen Leonine instinct. It’s trying to tell you to delay making a decision until you’re sure there are no hidden problems that could cause trouble later on.   More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:47 PM

The Long Line

When summer rolls around: Celebrating midsummer or “juhannus”

Is it just me, or does it almost seem like a miracle each year when summer finally rolls around? Here in Minnesota, it is not a secret that our winters are dark, harsh, and long. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:46 PM


LEO (July 23 to August 22) Some snags could cause delays in those plans you’re eager to see put into operation. But be patient. The Clever Cat  will soon have good reason to celebrate a job well done.   More...

Posted 6/15/2017 11:51 PM



AUTOS BUICK  2009 Buick Lucerne: 56K mi., loaded, like new, $12,000. 218-262- 3056***  AUTOS CADILLAC   More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:47 PM


2 Brand New 10” Dia. Stainless Steel No-Tip Dog Food Bowls, $5 ea. 218-749-4204  LOST: Black Male Pug on 4/15/17; west of Cook on Plum Creek Rd. Generous reward. Please leave msg @ 218-666-5829   More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:47 PM


ATV  Yacht Club Trailer: 50”x10’, Galvanized frame, stored inside, spare tire, wheel jack, lifetime license, ramp & tilt, like new, $775.218-741-8335   More...

Posted 6/22/2017 11:47 PM

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