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Strength of Iron Range economic recovery surprising to locals

by Dee DePass, Star Tribune

When Jim Bailey lost his oil fracking job last year, the Bemidji resident took a chance relocating his family to Hibbing, which lies in the heart of the Iron Range and its boom-or-bust economy.

Bailey and his wife, Tracy, bought the shuttered Courtyard Cafe on historic Howard Street. In December, they received some splashy company when the large BoomTown Brewery & Woodfire Grill opened a block up the road.

Not far away, cranes and cement trucks are cranking out factory additions at the pipemaker Iracore International, the truck cooling-system maker L&M Radiator and the custom manufacturer Range Steel Fabricators.

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