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LCP members to benefit from $2.5 million Capital Credit retirement

Lake Country Power members will see a capital “credit” on their electric bills this month, just in time for Christmas. Lake Country Power’s board of directors authorized a retirement of $2.5 million in capital credits. Capital credits are the core of co-op membership.
“We are not-for-profit, but we are required by our lender, the federal government, to make a margin, and maintain safe, reliable electric service for member-owners,” said General Manager Greg Randa. “Our goal is to provide member-owners with electricity at a price that is as close to cost as possible. Over time co-op margins are returned to members in the form of capital credits.”
Of the $2.5 million, a member’s general retirement amount will result from one, or all of the following calculations:
The oldest years represent more than $1.47 million of the overall total being retired:


First Amendment applies to everyone including elected officials

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
We take the First Amendment pretty seriously in the newspaper business in Ely, Minnesota. When a city council member was harshly criticized for posting a meme on a Facebook closed group for some reason it stoked a fire storm.
Let’s back up. What’s a meme? Here’s Google’s interpretation: “A humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.”
The meme so upsetting to some was a picture of Dr. Kevorkian that read, “Do you suffer from Trump acceptance rejection disorder (tard)? Ask you doctor if suicide is right for you.”


Boys boast returning talent

by Tom Coombe
With the core of a 20-win team returning, the Ely Timberwolves have high hopes for the new season.
The high school boys basketball team opens the 2016-17 campaign Saturday at Two Harbors, the first step in an effort to take the next step in Section 7A.
Ely’s season was cut short early last winter in a 42-41 playoff heartbreaker, but the Wolves return several key players from a team that went 20-7.
“We hope to be competitive with everyone on our schedule and we also hope that we are playing our best basketball in March,” said Tom McDonald, who has been head coach at Ely since 1990.
McDonald will guide an athletic Wolves team that boasts experience, quickness and an ability to rack up points in a hurry.
Junior Carter Gaulke is Ely’s top returning scorer and a potent three-point shooting threat.


Deer harvest up 44%, bucks up 21%

The final Tower area deer tally is in and although the numbers are preliminary, the harvest is definitely on the way back up after a series of poor years.
In north St. Louis and Lake counties, deer registration is up 44% compared to 2015.
“The deer herd has again demonstrated its ability to rebound from severe winters, similar to the late 1990’s, given conservative antlerless harvest, good habitat and mild winters,” said DNR wildlife manager Tom Rusch.
Seven out of nine permit areas showed registration increases, one permit area (BWCA) showed a decline and one had no change (Isabella).
“Three factors drove increased hunter success: a young, growing deer population, antlerless deer permit availability, most permit areas were bucks only in 2015, and October-like weather conducive to stand hunting success,” said Rusch.


Annual meeting, annual check-up for Ely-Bloomenson Monday at hospital

by Tom Coombe
It’s time for what serves as an annual check-up of sorts for the area’s leading healthcare institution.
Monday night, shareholders in Ely’s Health and Hospital Foundation will gather to elect two new board members and get a series of reports on the health of Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital.
The annual meeting convenes at 7 p.m. in the hospital’s lower-level meeting room.
Earlier this week, hospital administrator John Fossum provided a sneak preview of what to expect, indicating that recently-completed financial reports “paint a mixed picture.”
A year ago, EBCH posted a roughly $250,000 operating profit on roughly $16.4 million in total revenues, but the hospital continues to face a series of financial challenges.
Those include continued uncertainties in the health insurance system, Medicare reimbursements that at times fail to cover costs, and competition from other hospitals.


LETTER: ... remember that facts need to be correct and applied accurately to stories

Dear Editor:
Accuracy is not a factor my classmate, Becky Rom, retains when forming positions that have grave consequences for a town she calls home....ELY, MN.
It is extremely important to remember that facts need to be correct and applied accurately to stories, which are intended to be perused by the reader.
If you do not state facts that support your intended perspective, you are falsifying your outcomes to suit your needs.
As your classmate I feel the need to bring out some inconsistencies in her recent article from the Minneapolis newspaper. First at age 12/13 she stated that in seventh grade she was selected by our English teacher, Mr Doug Drechsler, who was a first year teacher in 1962, to take the lead in a debate over the BWCA. At that age it was not a big concern of us since, we were still able to travel in the Basswood Lake area by motorboat and snowmobile.


Rita E. Baudek, 83, of Babbitt, dies

Rita Elvira Baudek, 83, Babbitt, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016 at St Mary’s Hospital in Duluth.
Rita was born Oct.18, 1933 and in lived in Ely, graduating from Ely Memorial High School in 1951. She was a cheerleader in high school and active in club activities.
She currently lived in Babbitt. Rita married Mathew Baudek on May 12, 1952 and they were together for 64 years. Rita was a dedicated wife and mother and raised six children in Ely before moving to Babbitt in 1979. She adored her grandchildren. Rita was active in bowling, golf, ceramics and time with her lady friends. She was very generous and at times the life of the party. She was also active at St. Pius X Catholic Church as a reader, choir member and worked and served on many special committees.


Gertrude Jensen, 90, of Babbitt, dies

Gertrude R. Jensen, 90, passed away at home on December 2, 2016, with her family by her side. She was born on August 20, 1926, to Albert and Mary (Thielen) Herold at the family farm in Elkton, SD.
She married Melvin Jensen on February 27, 1954, in Elkton where they farmed until they moved to Babbitt, MN, in 1957, and then to Madison, WI, in 1971 and returned to Babbitt in 1990.
Gert enjoyed sewing, quilting, reading, gardening, baking, crossword puzzles, playing cards, cheering on the Minnesota Twins and was always ready to take a drive to the casino. Her faith was very important to her and she hardly ever missed a mass on Sunday. Gert was a homemaker and devoted her life to her four children and helped to raise her grandchildren.


From the miscellaneous drawer - Lessons learned

There was an advantage to growing up in a household with two politically-opposite parents.
They always voted, and almost always they voted at opposite ends of the spectrum. And not always endorsing the party or person they had voted for in the past.
And above everything, they believed in freedom of speech. That also entailed the freedom not to speak.
Over the years at the Echo I’ve learned some odd truths.
When a person is angry about something, perhaps not even within his or her control, is it better to rant and rave, bringing additional attention to the anger-causing incident, or is it better to keep one’s peace?
One way drags out the issue and may cause more hard feelings, the other allows the incident to fade into perspective or even become an object lesson of respect for differences.
If one chooses to be offended, just living with criticism or differences in viewpoints is enough to make one testy and disagreeable.


Ely’s hometown newspaper - The Ely Echo - is loaded with news and photos

Forsman post stokes furor -
Presidential election Facebook meme embroils first-term Ely council member in controversy; some demand his resignation;

Cramer gets $10K to resign;

In Ely, levy up, taxes down -
Despite city, county increases, many property owners see decrease;

Annual meeting, annual check-up for Ely-Bloomenson Monday at hospital;

First Amendment applies to everyone including elected officials;

Recount looms in Nolan-Mills race;

And so much more! On newsstands and by email today, in the Post Office for home delivery tomorrow! Let’s get YOU started with Ely’s favorite, locally owned and operated newspaper!


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