News

Sun
31
Oct

Bear Center close to land deal

The North American Bear Center may soon have the land it needs to develop a full-scale bear museum outside of Ely.<BR><BR>This week, St. Louis County commissioners are expected to give final approval to a plan that would allow the non-profit organization to buy 33.5 acres of tax forfeited land just west of town on Highway 169, the proposed site for the new facility.<BR><BR>Construction would begin next summer in an effort to open by 2006.

Sun
31
Oct

A special day for Ely’s Polka Pal

In Ely, Don Micklich and Saturday mornings go hand-in-hand.<BR><BR>For four decades, area residents have woken up to the sounds of Frankie Yankovic, Ely’s own Barich Brothers and every other notable polka act on the morning-long polka show hosted by WELY Radio’s Polka Pal Don.<BR><BR>Micklich’s devotion hasn’t gone unnoticed.<BR><BR>Several years ago, Micklich gained polka music’s lifetime achievement award and his Saturday program on WELY is so popular that volunteers show up each week to take down the requests called in by loyal listeners.<BR><BR>And on Saturday, Oct.

Sun
31
Oct

Wolf Center critical of Bush television ad

As the presidential race heads toward a dramatic conclusion, Ely’s International Wolf Center has jumped into the fray by denouncing a television advertisement sponsored by the Bush campaign.<BR><BR>Center officials are howling about a commercial that they say compares wolves to terrorists.<BR><BR>The commercial, released Oct. 23 and playing around the country, shows wolves in a wooded setting while a speaker warns of a terrorist threat to America.<BR><BR>That struck a nerve with the center director Walter Medwid, who’s based in the organization’s Minneapolis office.<BR><BR>“Using wolves as a metaphor for terrorists rekindles the old fears and prejudice that we have worked hard to overcome,” said Medwid. “Wolves suffer when the most powerful office in the world associates them with such a widely feared and revised symbol of evil.

Sun
31
Oct

Now, it’s up to the voters

Bush or Kerry? Breaker or Dill? Salerno or Skraba?<BR><BR>The answers, finally, are in your hands.<BR><BR>The seemingly endless barrage of television, radio and newspaper advertisements, letters to the editor, public meetings and on-the-street discussions will be over in less than 24 hours, when decisions in an emotionally-charged election campaign go to the voters.<BR><BR>Polls open in four Ely precincts, neighboring townships and around the state at 7 a.m.

Fri
29
Oct

Four charged in burglary, including granddaughter

Two men and two women have been charged in county court following a burglary at an Ely residence that included over $250,000 in cash.<BR><BR>The home of Rudolph Robich west of Ely on Hwy. 169 was burglarized on Saturday, Oct. 16. In addition to the case, a safe and several firearms were reported stolen. <BR><BR>According to Lt. Edward Kippley of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Department in Virginia, one of the four charged is Robich’s granddaughter.<BR><BR>Stacy Jauhola, 20, of Ely was charged with second degree burglary and possession of stolen property.

Sun
24
Oct

Vermilion opens downtown Tech Center

Vermilion Community College will soon have a downtown presence with the opening of its TechNorth Prep Center.<BR><BR>Part of the True North economic initiative advanced by the regional community college system, the TPC will be the home of a VCC employee and a location aimed at marketing and promoting the development of high-technology jobs in the Ely area.<BR><BR>VCC has signed a one-year lease for 1,200 square feet of office space in the Queen City Federal building on East Sheridan Street. The college will use the space previously occupied by Ely Realty.<BR><BR>Bill Henning, former Ely area economic developer and current member of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, is working for VCC as a consultant on the project.<BR><BR>“What the TPC is going to do is provide a contact point with the college,” said Henning.

Sun
24
Oct

City prepares for purchase of county land for Bear Center

Whether or not the proposed North American Bear Center site east of Ely becomes reality will face another test this Tuesday.<BR><BR>The St. Louis County Board will be reviewing selling land to the city of Ely which would then deal with the NABC directly.<BR><BR>City Attorney Larry Klun briefed the city council on the issue at last Tuesday’s regular meeting.<BR><BR>Klun said some new issues have popped up including two private property owners who have been using part of the county property. <BR><BR>Mayor Frank Salerno said there are even some private structures on the county land.<BR><BR>“The county recognizes that,” said Klun. “I’m exploring the option of the city managing those parcels and obtaining the administrative burden from the county and getting a 10 percent discount on the purchase price.” <BR><BR>Klun said the value of the land will be revealed when the county board meets on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

Sun
24
Oct

No decision yet on Tourville, EADA

The divide over whether or not the current city clerk should also be hired as the area economic director was clear on Tuesday night.<BR><BR>With Clerk John Tourville seated in the middle, council members Mark Zupec and Mike Hillman battled Mayor Frank Salerno and Paul Kess. <BR><BR>Jerome Debeltz and Butch Pecha largely sat out the debate and Dan Przybylski was absent from the meeting.<BR><BR>After some heated exchanges and several legal opinions, the next step was laid out: a meeting with the Ely Area Development Association to discuss the issue. <BR><BR>Also looming ahead is a review of Tourville’s job performance which has yet to be completed and could further complicate the issue.<BR><BR>There were definitely complications over how economic development efforts were going to be run in the city of Ely.

Sun
24
Oct

Jaycees’ Haunted House returns

The Ely Jaycees have turned Hidden Valley into their own high school.<BR><BR>Their own Haunted High School.<BR><BR>With Halloween fast approaching, it’s time for the local service organization’s annual Haunted House, and both children and adults are invited to go through the house of horrors for what organizers say will be a frighteningly good time.<BR><BR>The scares and special effects start at 7 p.m. Friday, with additional performances the following evening and Halloween night, Sunday Oct. 31.<BR><BR>A seasonal hit since its inception in 1997, the 2004 event takes on a new look with props, characters and the interior patterned after a high school - with more than a few special effects.<BR><BR>“It’s going to be made up just like a high school,” said Rob Wilmunen, one of about a dozen Jaycees members preparing for the event.

Sun
24
Oct

Ely set to address meth issue

Amid alarming statistics and evidence of a growing problem in the community, Ely is about to shine the spotlight on methamphetamine use.<BR><BR>Next month, Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital will host a public forum on the issue, aimed both at raising awareness and educating people about the destructive stimulant.<BR><BR>On Nov. 16 (7 p.m.) at Washington Auditorium, those attending will hear from Brian Poppenberg, a St.

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