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Remembering Iron Range legend Bill Hanna

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VIRGINIA, MN-- In journalism, there are two sides to every story, and those who knew the late Bill Hanna would say the same about him.

"The one everybody saw was his first and foremost his journalistic side," said Regional President and Publisher of APG Media, Chris Knight.

Knight has known Hanna for 25 years.

"Bill and I worked out a pretty good working relationship and then I became his publisher."

Knight said Hanna was a well-respected journalist across Minnesota.

"It wasn't uncommon to walk by Bill's office when he was at the Mesabi Daily News and Amy Klobuchar would be in there or maybe Mark Dayton."

Virginia Mayor, Larry Cuffe Jr can attest to Hanna's grit.

"Bill Hanna was a bulldog, I mean when he got his teeth into a story, he never let it go," said Mayor Cuffe Jr.

Mayor Cuffe Jr. adds Hanna was an old-school reporter and a force to be reckoned with.

"He was tenacious but he was fair."

Hanna also had a soft side shared Knight.

"He had a big family; he was originally from Northeast Minneapolis and really proud from being from there."

Hanna, a busy journalist always made time for what was important in life, Knight told us.

"He was very close to his family, they got together often, he traveled to Minneapolis to spend a lot of time with them."

Knight shared Hanna was a huge Twins fan and he caught a Joe Mauer home run ball at one of their home games.

"He also ended up giving the ball that he caught to a young child that was sitting in front of him so it's kind of speaks to Bill's big heart too."

A tough journalist with a kind heart, someone Knight calls irreplaceable.

"You can't fill his shoes; you'll just have to go about it in another way."

According to the Mesabi Tribune, funeral arrangements are pending with a funeral home in Minneapolis.

Lyanne Valdez

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