News

Mon
11
Oct

Fall Lake Township to take over jurisdiction on portion of Cloquet Line from Forest Service

Everyone had quite a surprise at the regular Fall Lake Township meeting this month. <BR><BR>Kawishiwi District Ranger Mark Van Every was in attendance to discuss the issue of the use of ATVs on the Cloquet Line. <BR><BR>“The new (Superior National) Forest Management Plan states that all higher standard roads be closed to ATVs,” said Van Every.<BR><BR>As reported last month, Van Every had said this is in line with national policy, restricting off road vehicle traffic to designated routes because of potential safety issues. This raised the ire of many ATV users in the area.<BR><BR>Van Every’s purpose at the Fall Lake Township meeting was to show that the Forest Service is willing to sit down and work together to solve problems in the area of recreational use. <BR><BR>He asked the township to take over jurisdiction on the portion of the Cloquet Line that falls within Fall Lake Township.

Mon
11
Oct

Council blocks EUC proposal

City council members want the Ely Utilities Commission to soften proposed penalties for late payments.<BR><BR>Tuesday, the council backed the first reading of an ordinance that calls for both a $20 late fee and 18 percent annual interest changes for accounts at least 15 days past due.<BR><BR>But at the same time, the council directed the EUC to revise the proposal before it comes up for final approval at the Oct. 19 session.<BR><BR>Debate last week indicated that the council would not back the current plan.<BR><BR>Some pushed for the EUC to eliminate the $20 late fee, while others pushed for a reduction of the 18 percent interest rate, the highest allowed under state law.<BR><BR>“To me, 18 percent seems like a little much,” said mayor Frank Salerno.

Sun
10
Oct

Mathews withdraws from council election

The city council race was jolted last week as candidate Robin Mathews pulled out.<BR><BR>Mathews, one of six contenders vying for three open council seats, is leaving Ely to take a new job.<BR><BR>He and his family will move to Pine County, in east-central Minnesota, where he was named the county’s land surveyor.<BR><BR>Mathews’ name will remain on the ballot, but he’s no longer pursuing election and would be unable to take office if he was elected.<BR><BR>In an Echo letter to the editor, Mathews said he and his family have chosen to leave Ely for both family and economic reasons.<BR><BR>He cited both the rising cost of living and limited economic opportunities in the area, noting that his wife is the only person in his household who receives benefits.<BR><BR>“I took employment with salary and benefits that were significantly less than jobs I had held previously,” said Mathews.

Thu
07
Oct

Prescribed burn completed between Snowbank and Moose

With near-perfect weather last week the U.S. Forest Service completed another clean-up task from the July 4, 1999 windstorm in and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. <BR><BR>A total of 1,649 acres between Snowbank Lake and Moose Lake was burned Wednesday to reduce the fuel load in that area. <BR><BR>The objective of the burn was to reduce the fuel load which will then reduce the potential for fire starts growing into large wildfires in the future. <BR><BR>Aircraft were used to start and monitor the blaze, which could be seen for miles from the smoke billowing up. <BR><BR>Bell 206 helicopters started the fire from several areas to control the area to be burned. The helicopters flew out of a landing area off the Snowbank Road, just before Smitty’s.

Mon
04
Oct

Cameras roll in Ely schools

Just days after the school year began, somebody spilled pop in one of the hallways at Ely Memorial High School.<BR><BR>Now that the school has a brand-new security system - complete with video surveillance cameras - it didn’t take long for school officials to find the guilty party,<BR><BR>The culprit “fessed up pretty quickly,” high school principal Joselyn Murphy joked during the school board’s Sept.

Mon
04
Oct

Committee backs liquor license suspensions

The city’s liquor committee has recommended that three-day license suspensions be issued to businesses that failed a spring compliance check.<BR><BR>The unanimous vote followed a public hearing last Tuesday and goes to the city council this week (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., City Hall).<BR><BR>Six Ely liquor establishments would be barred from selling alcohol for a three-day period, beginning Friday, if the council endorses the committee recommendation.<BR><BR>Facing suspension this week are the Ely VFW, Portage Bar, Vertin’s Pub, Mike’s Drive In Liquors, Ely Bowling Center and Zaverl’s Bar.<BR><BR>Two other businesses that were cited in the May sting operation by Ely police - Kwazy Wabbit and Zup’s - accepted suspensions in September and waived their right to a public hearing.<BR><BR>The rest were subject to last week’s hearing, when the committee followed past precedent and recommended suspension.<BR><BR>Ely’s liquor o

Mon
04
Oct

Hospital adds new shareholders, pushes for more

Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital’s drive to attract more shareholders is paying dividends.<BR><BR>About 35 individuals or organizations have come on board during a month-long push that ends this weekend, and hospital representatives have heard from many others who have expressed interest or sought further information.<BR><BR>“People have called from all over,” said Mary Zupancich, public relations director for the hospital. “We’ve had great interest and a lot of questions about ‘what is this exactly?’ and ‘I really can buy a share of the hospital?’”<BR><BR>For a $100 contribution, the same amount required when the hospital opened nearly 50 years ago, individuals or businesses will acquire a share of the hospital and a say in hospital business through the election of board members.<BR><BR>Until Oct.

Mon
04
Oct

Norex goes digital, moves to new location

The future is now for digital photography in Ely, MN. Norex Photo purchased and installed the latest in digital photo lab equipment last week.<BR><BR>Now located at 402 E. Sheridan St. (the former Legion building), Norex is offering a bevy of new products and services.<BR><BR>“This summer we saw a lot more people coming in with digital cameras looking for prints,” said Kyle Allen, owner of Norex. <BR><BR>“Our old equipment was analog so we decided to update and be on the cutting edge for film and digital formats,” said Allen.<BR><BR>The cutting edge is a new Agfa D-Lab 1 with a Sherpa 24-inch wide format printer as well.<BR><BR>“The new equipment allows us to make prints from wallet size all the way up to 24x36, on site from film or digital format,” said Allen.<BR><BR>After negatives are developed from film customers, the D-Lab uses LED technology to scan the images digitally.

Sun
03
Oct

Tomahawk Trail one of 10 best in U.S. and Canada

Ely’s winter tourism reputation took a giant leap forward last week when the Tomahawk Trail was listed as one of “The 10 Best Incomparable Snowmobile Adventures.”<BR><BR>The surprise award came from Supertrax International, a 250,000 circulation snowmobile magazine.<BR><BR>“This will have a super impact on us,” said Ely Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Fryer. <BR><BR>“That type of publicity is what we need and want. You can’t buy advertising at any level and get the same results as an award like this one,” said Fryer. <BR><BR>Of the 10 areas listed, seven are in Canada with the other two U.S. sites being the Snowy Mountains in Wyoming and Wild Elko in Nevada.<BR><BR>“Wow. What a compliment to our area and the Ely Igloo snowmobile club,” said Igloo Club President Nick Wognum.

Mon
27
Sep

Rendezvous event set for this weekend

At the east end of Ely in the garden area of Spirit of the Wilderness, Lucus Lisson, Michelle Weed and Todd DeNio set up tents to promote this year’s second annual End of the Road Rendezvous and Living History event. It will take place Friday through Sunday, October 1-3 at the South Kawishiwi Campground, located 10 miles southeast of Ely on Hwy 1. <BR><BR>The Rendezvous will have demonstrations, exhibits, a black powder shoot, tomahawk throw, frying pan toss, and much more. The Rendezvous focuses on what happened in the area from 1700-1849 with voyaguers, free independent traders and trappers that lived with the Indians and did the work here. After this time the the majority of the fur trade started spreading west to the mountains. <BR><BR>Todd Denio will show his collection of pipes. One pipe, which Todd bought over the internet, is from 1785. Todd carved one pipe out of native pipestone.

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