News

Fri
28
Jan

Winter Festival set for Feb. 3-6 this year

The 2005 Voyageur Winter Festival will take place in Ely this weekend, starting with a “Frozen Film Festival” and wrapping up with a “Skandilous Dance Performance” Sunday night.<BR><BR>Inbetween will be the Festival’s signature attraction, the international snow carving symposium at White-side Park.<BR><BR>“The Festival was shortened to three full days instead of two weekends but we have a lot going on,” said event organizer Muffin Nelson. “It’s a fun family event in one big weekend.”<BR><BR>The Voyageur Winter Festival has taken many forms over the years and this year organizers are recognizing two people who helped get it all started.<BR><BR>“Bill and Gloria Miller are the ones credited with founding the festival which as I understand it grew out of the cross-country ski race,” said Nelson.

Mon
24
Jan

Cable company plans to increase basic rate

Starting in March, those with Ely’s basic cable television package will see a $1 increase in their monthly bill.<BR><BR>Charter Communications, the local cable provider, has notified city officials that the monthly rate for their 12-channel basic service will jump from $12.45 to $13.45.<BR><BR>Those with the basic package will be the only ones seeing a price hike, according to a letter from company public relations manager Mike Hill.<BR><BR>Charter is lowering its monthly rate for expanded basic service from $25.54 to $24.54, in order to offset the increase for the basic package.<BR><BR>As few as five percent of Ely’s cable customers will see an overall increase in their bill, according to Hill.<BR><BR>“Very few people have just the basic service,” said Hill.

Sun
23
Jan

Fourth annual Fun Run with Ragnar and friends this Saturday

The fourth annual Fun Run with Ragnar and Friends hits the trails and the roads this Saturday, Jan. 29, in Ely, Babbitt and Tower. <BR><BR>Local celebrity and NFL mascot Joe “Ragnar” Juranitch will bring some of his friends from the Minnesota Vikings to the area to raise money for snowmobile trails. <BR><BR>Vikings players Jermaine Wiggins and Michael Bennett could be joining Ragnar on the trails and at the check-in stations of Tank’s Bar, Benchwarmers in Tower and Grand Ely Lodge. <BR><BR>Bennett is a native of Milwaukee, WI and an avid snowmobiler. He is the starting running back for the Vikings and this year moved into 10th place in Vikings career rushing with 2,425 yards.<BR><BR>A tight end, Wiggins joined the Vikings this year and has been a favorite target of quarterback Daunte Culpepper. Wiggins played on two Super Bowl teams.

Sun
23
Jan

43-below in Ely, colder nearby

Mother Nature saved the worst for last.<BR><BR>Residents of Ely and the surrounding area suffered through more than 100 consecutive hours of subzero temperatures, but the most frigid conditions were at the tail end of the five-day deep freeze.<BR><BR>Monday morning, temperatures in Ely sunk to 43-below zero at the weather station overseen by Vermilion Community College instructor Pete Doran.<BR><BR>Several other area residents reported colder readings, some reaching 50-below, and Embarrass attracted national and international attention for its recorded low of 54-below, the coldest in the nation.<BR><BR>Embarrass, which has traditionally battled it out with Tower and International Falls for the coldest temperature readings in the area, was bombarded with publicity after Monday’s readings.<BR><BR>Embarrass made national radio and television news reports as well as popular internet news sites.<BR><BR>And Tuesday, l

Sun
23
Jan

Twins’ visit a hit with fans, students

A heavy blanket of snow covered baseball diamonds around the area Tuesday and Ely was just coming out of a long stretch of below-zero temperatures.<BR><BR>It may have seemed to be an odd time to be talking baseball, but baseball was on the minds of hundreds of area students and residents.<BR><BR>The reason was the Minnesota Twins’ annual winter caravan stop in Ely, which included an assembly before public school students and a luncheon attended by about 175 people at the Grand Ely Lodge.<BR><BR>A Twins delegation including outfielder Lew Ford, pitcher Grant Balfour, former Twin and current radio announcer Dan Gladden, television announcer Clay Matvick and several team representatives were in town.<BR><BR>They signed autographs, mingled with fans, promoted the 2005 Twins season, and even helped raise funds for local youth baseball.<BR><BR>The lunch event doubled as a fundrasier for the Ely Baseball Association, which sponsor

Sun
23
Jan

Twins’ visit a hit with fans, students

A heavy blanket of snow covered baseball diamonds around the area Tuesday and Ely was just coming out of a long stretch of below-zero temperatures.<BR><BR>It may have seemed to be an odd time to be talking baseball, but baseball was on the minds of hundreds of area students and residents.<BR><BR>The reason was the Minnesota Twins’ annual winter caravan stop in Ely, which included an assembly before public school students and a luncheon attended by about 175 people at the Grand Ely Lodge.<BR><BR>A Twins delegation including outfielder Lew Ford, pitcher Grant Balfour, former Twin and current radio announcer Dan Gladden, television announcer Clay Matvick and several team representatives were in town.<BR><BR>They signed autographs, mingled with fans, promoted the 2005 Twins season, and even helped raise funds for local youth baseball.<BR><BR>The lunch event doubled as a fundrasier for the Ely Baseball Association, which sponsor

Mon
17
Jan

Morse has only contested race

An incumbent has bowed out while two political newcomers have entered what will be the area’s only contested township election.<BR><BR>The filing period for the Mar. 8 balloting closed last week with incumbent supervisors in both Fall Lake and Eagles Nest townships running unopposed.<BR><BR>But in Morse Township, one of three seats on the board of supervisors appears certain to change hands.<BR><BR>In a decision that seems certain to change the area’s political landscape, incumbent Jack Willis didn’t file for re-election while two others - Bob Berrini and Bill Hane - have entered the race.<BR><BR>The winner gets a three-year term on the board and joins holdovers Len Cersine and Terry Soderberg.<BR><BR>Willis represented Morse on the Ely Area Joint Powers Board and the area’s ambulance committee and researched many issues on behalf of the town board.

Mon
17
Jan

School facing budget blues again

Dwindling reserves and declining enrollment are likely to force another round of budget cuts in the Ely School District.<BR><BR>Monday, school board members approved a resolution authorizing administrators to recommend reductions for the 2005-2006 school year.<BR><BR>It’s too early to estimate how much will be cut from the district budget or even the size of the anticipated shortfall, superintendent Tom Bruels said last week.<BR><BR>But enrollment could tumble by as many as 25 students, reducing revenue by as much as $150,000, and a 2004-2005 budget gap that was solved partly by using $300,000 in reserves has already taken a large chunk of the district’s ‘rainy day’ funds.<BR><BR>That may make the next budget cycle all the more difficult, according to Bruels.<BR><BR>The district has consolidated administration, reduced staff and cut programs over the decade, as enrollment has declined from over 900 students in 1995 to 645 t

Mon
17
Jan

B-r-r-r-r!!! Bitter cold puts Ely in deep freeze

Winter seemed to arrive right on time in Ely, and since December the area has been bombarded with snow and had at least the usual complement of subzero temperatures.<BR><BR>But that was just an appetizer.<BR><BR>The main course arrived late last week, with an Arctic-express of cold air that plunged temperatures well below zero, created bitterly-cold wind chill conditions and led to a barrage of school closings and event cancellations.<BR><BR>Local temperatures fell to 25-below zero Friday morning, combining with biting winds to create wind-chill readings to about 40-below.

Mon
17
Jan

Celebrating 50 years of family ownership

“Bowl For Your Health”<BR><BR>Do you remember where you saw those famous words?<BR><BR>Think back to those cold winter days, the ones when we ran out of things to do or the weather for skating, sledding and skiing became too harsh.<BR><BR>Where could a boomer kid burn off some excess energy?<BR><BR>Head on down to the Ely Bowling Center for some indoor exercise and if you demonstrated some dexterity and drive, bowling was a sport that passed more than time, but gave you an almost life-long activity. <BR><BR>Who filled our need? <BR><BR>John R. and Leona (Pecha) Perushek, better known to the community as Pecksy and Lee.<BR><BR>This columnist had the chance to visit with the Perusheks recently.

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