Longtime Chisholm newspaper publisher Ponikvar dies at 96

Published 10:27 am Thursday, October 15, 2015

CHISHOLM — Longtime newspaper publisher and Minnesota Iron Range political force Veda Ponikvar has died. She was 96.

Ponikvar died Tuesday of natural causes at Heritage Manor Nursing Home in Chisholm, where she had lived for the past year and a half, her nephew John Nobens of Hibbing told The Associated Press.

“If she believed in a cause, it was 100 percent. If she didn’t believe in it, it was 100 percent ‘no,’” Nobens said of his aunt. “There wasn’t a lot of gray in her life.”

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The daughter of Slovenian immigrants, Ponikvar was a staunch advocate for the Iron Range, the blue-collar, ethnically diverse iron mining region of northern Minnesota, and her hometown of Chisholm.

“Some people called her the Iron Woman, and she was exactly that,” state Sen. Dave Tomassoni, a Democrat from Chisholm.