The Number: $51,626

That was the median household income in Northeastern Minnesota in 2017, a 3.9 percent increase from the year before. Hooray, but hold on: "Almost 50 percent of households in the region were still in the lowest income categories, compared to only about 38 percent of households statewide," according to Cameron Macht with the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The Word: "Startup Competition. Seed Funding. Mentorship. Pitch Coaching. Exposure. Connection to experts. For all Minnesotans. From any industry. For free." So goes the staccato rhythm of self-promotion that reads like the Twitter bio of every #entrepreneur ever. And how appropriate, because this is all about the MN Cup, an annual competition for entrepreneurs and startups put on by the Carlson School of Management at the U of M that gave away $500,000 in seed funding last year. Applications will be accepted today through April 26; visit for more info.

The Lead: In our electronic age, this is not an email I expect to receive: "New Piano Tuning Business." But here comes Jonathan Cleghorn, who has set up shop as Iron Range Piano Co., offering tuning and repair and other piano services across the Northland. So, if you're in the mood for a melody, he'll have it sounding all right.

The Listing: A three-bed two-bath in Lakeside-Lester Park for $162,500 lasted approximately 38 seconds on the market before, according to Zillow, a sale was pending. That's a price to move in a popular and thus more expensive neighborhood, even at just 865 square feet. It's on a big lot with a garage (which my editor says is mandatory in his house hunt, good luck buddy considering 50.7 percent of all Duluth homes were built before 1949 per Census data). It's these homes in the $150,000-$250,000 range that move the fastest and that we seem to have the least of, so don't blink.

The Call: Digging deep

Here's some serious investigative work I need help with: I'm putting together a database of potholes - craters, in some cases - in the city. Won't you send the biggest and baddest my way? works best or find me on Twitter @readbrooks.


The Memo is a weekly roundup of things to know, ya know? Send business news of all kinds to and give crater reporter Brooks Johnson a call every now and then at 218-723-5329.