News

Sun
05
Sep

Joint garage plan in trouble

With a make-or-break vote set for Tuesday, Ely city officials aren’t yet sold on plans for a joint public works garage.<BR><BR>At least four of seven city council members have expressed reservations about or outright opposition to city involvement in a $7 million plan to put public works operations of four entities - St. Louis County, Ely, Lake County and Morse Township - under one roof.<BR><BR>“My big concern is where are we going to get the money to pay for it,” council member Jerome Debeltz said of the proposal, which calls for Ely to spend $2.8 million over 15 years, including a $112,000 design phase commitment that comes up for a vote Tuesday (5:30 p.m., City Hall).<BR><BR>The project, in the works for months, is almost certain to be derailed if the city opts out this week, according to St.

Sun
05
Sep

Roadsides show flashes of fall color

Many park officials report trees displaying early fall color. In general, fall color is progressing throughout the entire state of Minnesota, with the prairie grasses and fall wildflowers nearing peak fall color. Minnesota’s fall color season may occur earlier than usual due to unseasonably cool temperatures throughout much of the state. <BR><BR>On average, peak fall color arrives in the northern one-third of the state the middle of September to early October. One exception is the North Shore Drive where trees along Lake Superior turn color a week later than inland trees due to the warming effect of the lake. <BR><BR>Bear Head Lake State Park -Ely<BR><BR>A few of the maples, paper birch, and quaking aspen are beginning to turn red, orange and yellow. One-quarter of the pin and choke cherry are turning red, and one-half of the spreading dogbane is now yellow.

Mon
30
Aug

Community Readiness Committee formed from Mesaba Project after Teck Cominco leaves

The Iron Range may see the economic impact of as many as four major projects sooner than expected. Updates on the Mesabi Nugget Project, NorthMet Project, Mesaba Energy Project and the Soudan Underground Laboratory were presented to the Community Readiness Committee, formerly the Mesaba Project Committee. <BR><BR>Over 60 people, in addition to the two dozen committee members, were also in the audience at the Hoyt Lakes Arena Wednesday, August 25. <BR><BR>The committee was formed to assess what is needed for each of these projects, such as road and infrastructure requirements, school and housing needed, as well as keeping everyone informed on the progress being made.<BR><BR>Mesabi Nugget president, Larry Lehtinen gave an update on the Erie Nugget Project, for a Large Scale Demonstration Plant (LSDP) destined for development at the former LTV Cleveland Cliffs site.

Mon
30
Aug

Gardner Trust awards $6,300 for Ely artists and arts organizations

The Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust board of trustees completed their 2004 grant round at their August 18 meeting. The board was very pleased to award $6,300 in total for an individual artist grant, project grants, and operational funding grants this year. “There were many good applicants this year,” said executive director, Keiko Aylsworth, “and the board had really great discussions about each application. Community impact was highly rated as well as serving more children and families as well as collaborative efforts.”<BR><BR>Individual artist grant recipient, Kevin Strauss, will be working one-on-one with a storytelling mentor of international recognition and will produce a CD with his own stories.

Mon
30
Aug

6A, council forums set for VCC theatre

A pair of candidates forums will be held in Ely the week before the Sept. 14 primary election.<BR><BR>Those seeking election to Minnesota House of Representatives seat 6A have been invited to a Sept. 7 event, while Ely mayoral and city council candidates are set to take part Sept. 8.<BR><BR>Both forums will be held in the theater at Vermilion Community College.<BR><BR>Starting times for both events will be announced later.<BR><BR>Several local organizations are working together to sponsor the forums.<BR><BR>The Ely Rotary Club, the Arrowhead Association of University Women, the Ely Echo, WELY Radio and the Ely Timberjay are all on board as sponsors.<BR><BR>The groups sponsored similar candidates events in 2002.<BR><BR>Three candidates are in the 6A race as incumbent Democrat David Dill faces a primary challenge from party-endorsed candidate Bill Hansen.

Mon
30
Aug

Judge rules for Friends in Chain of Lakes case

A federal judge has ruled in favor of environmental groups over permit levels for motorboats on lakes connected by water.<BR><BR>U.S. District Court Judge Jack Tunheim ruled in favor of the Friends of the Boundary Waters writing that the Forest Service was not given authority by Congress to recalculate a cap on permits. <BR><BR>The decision, once implemented, would drastically reduce the number of permits available on the Moose Lake chain.

Sun
29
Aug

Report: Extend ‘16’ if need arises

A hotly-debated proposal to extend Lake County Highway 16 in Fall Lake Township seems destined for even further debate.<BR><BR>The results of more than a year of research and public input were displayed Tuesday during an open house at the Fall Lake Town Hall, with both friends and foes of the project finding things they liked about the scoping report authorized by Lake County.<BR><BR>The report, drafted by the Howard R. Green Company of St. Paul in consultation with representatives of the township, county, U.S.

Sat
28
Aug

Back to school for area students

Summer vacation is all but over for local students.<BR><BR>Classes begin this week both in the Ely School District and at Vermilion Community College.<BR><BR>Students in grades 1-12 are scheduled to report for school Wednesday, while Ely’s two kindergarten groups start Friday and Sept.

Mon
23
Aug

Loon Calling Contest winners announced

A CROWD GATHERED on the Chocolate Moose terrace last Tuesday to enjoy the Ely Echo’s annual Loon Calling Contest. It was a warm, sunny afternoon just right for participants to enjoy their free ice cream cones complements of The Chocolate Moose. <BR><BR>The contest is sponsored by the Echo, Piragis Northwoods Company, Chocolate Moose and the Ely Chamber of Commerce.<BR><BR>The top three girls’ division contestants had first place going to Lydia Kaprelian of Wauwatosa, WI, second place winner Elizabeth Garvin of North Liberty, IA andthird place winner Lucy Stouffer of Ely.<BR><BR>Nailing first place for the boys was Danny Finke of Cosmos, MN, second place went to Reed Kaprelian of Wauwatosa, WI and in third place was Ki Coleman of Oshkosh, WI.<BR><BR>A tie for second place meant there were four winners in the adult division of the loon calling contest. First place winner was Laney Laitala of Crystal MN.

Mon
23
Aug

City holds key to joint garage project

Plans for a joint public works garage outside of Ely have reached a pivotal stage.<BR><BR>St. Louis County has committed to the $7 million project and is waiting for Ely to do the same.<BR><BR>City officials heard another sales pitch from county commissioner Mike Forsman last week, agreed to discuss the project in detail at an Aug. 31 study session and moved toward a Sept. 7, in-or-out vote.<BR><BR>Ely would have nearly 30,000 square feet of space in the 69,000 square foot facility and be on the hook for over $2.8 million in costs, and city participation is all-but-essential if the project is to go forward, Forsman told council members Tuesday.<BR><BR>“It is extremely important and possibly a deal breaker,” said Forsman.

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