Obama aide hears Range pleas

DISCUSSING THE FUTURE of the steel industry in America on Tuesday were Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, (under the American flag) White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, US Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and many others Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Jeff Anderson/Rep. Nolan’s office.


What to our wondering eyes should appear, but the Santa photos from Holiday Fantasy!

Thank you to Santa and all the children - may your every wish have come true this Christmas and always!

This week's Ely Echo has the photos of OVER 40 children who visited Santa at the Miners Dry House that day.

The Ely Greenstone photos from Nov. 28 at Miners Dry House were stored inside the camera instead of on the removable chip!


Ecklund gains 3-A seat

A county commissioner from International Falls with deep roots in labor and the DFL party will be the Ely area’s next representative in St. Paul.

Rob Ecklund won a resounding victory in Tuesday’s House District 3A special election, racking up nearly 64 percent of the vote in a three-way race, and easily defeating Republican Roger Skraba of Ely and independent candidate Kelsey Johnson.

With all of the precincts reporting in a vast district that stretches from International Falls to Grand Marais and includes Ely and the surrounding area, Ecklund amassed 4,591 votes. Skraba, a former Ely mayor, collected 19.5 percent of the vote (1,399) and Johnson, who hails from Gnesen Township, got 16 percent (1,144).

Ecklund, who survived a hotly-contested September DFL primary to reach the general election, will fill the Minnesota House seat last held by David Dill, who passed away this summer after serving the district for a dozen years,


Wolves go down in state semis

Underwood quarterback Justin Masloski had six touchdowns as the massive Rockets ended Ely's storybook football season with a 37-14 state semifinal romp Friday night at St. Cloud.

The Rockets had too much size - and too much of Masloski - for the Timberwolves.

Masloski broke away from the Ely defense for a 43-yard touchdown sprint two minutes into the game, and he added three more scores - all at least 25 yards - in the first half.

Underwood improved to 13-0 and won the rematch of a 2013 semifinal to end Ely's season for the second time in three years.

The Wolves, making the third state semifinal appearance in school history, finished 12-1.

Underwood controlled the game with Masloski's running - the quarterback had 161 yards on 11 carries - and a defense that kept the potent Wolves off the board until the final quarter.


New mobile app available for County Land Explorer

Just in time for hunting season, a new mobile app is available for the popular St. Louis County Land Explorer.
The Land Explorer is an interactive map application that has proven popular for business, personal and recreational uses.
It combines information from several County databases to provide the most up-to-date property details.
The Land Explorer allows users to view and search land records data by address, parcel identification number (PIN) and other methods.
Since its launch in 2013, the St. Louis County Land Explorer ( has been one of the most used features on the County’s website.
The mobile app version of the County Land Explorer is free, and is available for anyone with an Apple or Android smart phone or tablet.
To download the new app, people should go to the appropriate app store and search for “Explorer for ArcGIS” by Esri.


Emery Bulinski, 93, of Ely, dies

Emery S. Bulinski, 93, died peacefully at the Ely Bloomenson Hospital on Sunday, September 27, 2015, in the presence of his loving family, while the surrounding Northwoods were illuminated with the glow of the rare harvest supermoon.
Born in Chicago in 1922, he grew up on Diversey Avenue and helped support his family during the depression by selling newspapers and shining shoes on the Gold Coast. His passion for sports led him to hop the fence at Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play. He attended Lane Tech High School, where he graduated “shortest” in his class and learned to operate a lathe, initiating a life-long love of machining and later led to his position as a precision machinist at Seren Tool Works and his work on the first US rocket nose cone to successfully re-enter the earth’s atmosphere without burning up.


Gift presented to honor Ely’s mining past

SPECIAL GIFT HONORS ELY MINES - Craftsman Donald Dergantz, right, made a presentation of his inlaid table and stools to Seraphine Rolando and John Seliga of Ely Greenstone’s Ely Arts & Heritage Center last Saturday during the Arts Gala. Dergantz, who had worked in the Zenith Mine in his youth, now lives in Illinois where he retired after managing rock quarries there. Photo by Pam Roberts


EDITORIAL: Five days of drama at ISD 696

In five days the Ely school district went from business as usual to the threat of losing a principal to the resignation of a board member to the resignation of the superintendent to the superintendent rescinding her resignation. In a word, drama.
Now there appears to be a lawsuit on the horizon and a very uncertain future for the top administrative seat at 696.
A week ago Friday the agenda for Monday’s school board meeting was released. Included on it was a listing under new business: administrative configuration.
Soon the word was out, there was a proposal to change from two principals to one with Mary McGrane being either reduced to a dean of students or possibly eliminated.
Phones rang, Facebook lit up and there was a full house at Monday’s board meeting - so much so it had to be held in the Media Center.
But where did this come from? How did it get on the agenda? Who created this firestorm?


Hook and Bullet Club - Remembering Vertins

Vertins was the hot spot to hang out on a Friday night in my high school days in the early 1980s. Whether you were standing on the corner or taking up space in a booth, Vertins was where we spent a lot of Friday and Saturday nights.
This past week I took Evan and Megan out to lunch at Insula, the latest iteration of Vertins.
Grabbing the handle on the front door triggered memories right away. Like shaking the hand of an old friend after 20 years.
The look inside is different and a great improvement over what it had been the last time Vertins was open as a restaurant. The new owners have made their mark in a most positive manner.
But the memories will continue. And people will call it Vertins.
My earliest memories of Vertins were going out to dinner with my grandparents in the back room - the formal section of Vertins.


Minnesota’s newest state park reaches important milestone

 Gov. Mark Dayton, DNR Chief Tom Landwehr and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith sharing a laugh.

Minnesota’s newest Park on Lake Vermilion had Gov. Mark Dayton, DNR Chief Tom Landwehr and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith sharing a laugh.

Construction began today (May 8, 2015) on a campground at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northeastern Minnesota that will accommodate more than 250 people nightly in tents and RVs, the Department of Natural Resources said.

The campground at Minnesota’s newest state park is expected to open in fall 2016.

“Our vision is to create a model ‘next generation’ state park,” said Erika Rivers, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “That means we are exploring new ideas and demonstrating best practices as we design and build park facilities.”
Future phases of construction at the park, pending funding, will include a visitor center, trail system, cabins, group camps and nature play areas, as well as additional hike-in, boat-in and ATV-in campsites.


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