News

Mon
15
Jul

ECHC Announces Changes and New Director

Some things never stay the same, and that’s certainly been true of the Ely Community Health Center as it increasingly serves more clients, makes changes in their schedule, adds services and welcomes their new Executive Director.
The mission of ECHC is to deliver affordable health care services to advance individual and community health. The free clinic, which serves uninsured and underinsured patients, relocated to the beautifully renovated AFU building at 111 South 4th Avenue East this past fall.
For 3 ½ years ECHC has been serving patients on Monday evenings, but beginning August 1, the center will switch to Thursdays with hours remaining the same, from 5:30-7:00. Patients now have the opportunity of newly added dental services in the form of fluoride varnish treatments.

Fri
12
Jul

Fourth of July in the park

GO GET EM - Kids head into the YoungLife sawdust pile in Whiteside Park on July 4. Photos by Eric Sherman.

Fri
12
Jul

Stauber: Bring back lottery

by Tom Coombe
Local businesses were hurt, the economy suffered and wilderness enthusiasts were inconvenienced by a controversial change to the BWCAW permit reservation system, according to U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber.
The first-term Congressman vowed action after meeting with Elyites earlier this year and he followed through Wednesday, taking his case to a committee room in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The U.S. Forest Service must start listening to the people,” Stauber said Wednesday. during a hearing in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.
Stauber spoke out in support of his own legislation - the Letting Outdoor Tourism Thrive for Every Recreation Yearly (LOTTERY) Act.
The legislation would return the BWCA reservation portal on recreation.gov for boat permitting back to the lottery system, which was used before the switch that was implemented this year.

Fri
12
Jul

Probe sought of “land grab”

by Tom Coombe
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Western Caucus, including Eighth District Representative Pete Stauber are seeking an investigation of what they’ve termed an “Obama Administration scandal-plagued land grab in northern Minnesota.”
Stauber, caucus chairman Paul Gosar of Arzona, and Minnesota’s Tom Emmer, are seeking a U.S. House investigation into Obama Administration actions in late-2016 that temporarily curtailed the Twin Metals Minnesota project and set the wheels in motion for a potential mining ban in some parts of northeastern Minnesota.
Both actions were later reversed by the Trump Administration.
The U.S. House members, all Republicans, have also made Freedom of Information Act requests demanding “all documents and communications involving federal agency employees and external organizations, including environmental and conservation groups,” related to the issues.

Fri
05
Jul

Wolf Center holds ribbon cutting for new exhibit

RIBBON CUTTING - The International Wolf Center held a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the new exhibit called ‘Discover Wolves’ thanking the people who made this happen. Helping to cut the ribbon were Ely mayor Chuck Novak, longtime wolf researcher David Mech and Rep. Rob Ecklund. The project took several years to organize, to fund, design and build. It is finally here and will be a new addition to the many attractions to Ely. Photo by Pam Roberts.

Fri
05
Jul

Board extends ‘super’ deal

by Tom Coombe
Outgoing superintendent Kevin Abrahamson will lead the Ely School District for up to three more months while his replacement obtains necessary licensure.
At a special meeting June 28, school board members approved the deal with Abrahamson, in which he will remain superintendent and mentor new chief executive Erik Erie.
Erie, who most recently served as high school principal at Mesabi East, was hired for the district’s top job just three days earlier on a 4-2 vote.
The transition was approved to give Erie time to complete superintendent licensure requirements, which include 280 practicum hours that he can complete under the oversight of Abrahamson.
Abrahamson, who is leaving the district after four years, will be paid $6,000 a month to continue as part-time superintendent for the length of the agreement, which goes until Oct. 1 or the time Erie gains licensure.

Fri
05
Jul

This is how we Fourth

by Tom Coombe
Homes and cabins, campgrounds and resorts all seemed to empty at the same time Thursday, filling Ely’s streets and sidewalks for the annual Independence Day parade.
For nearly 90 minutes, and under a baking sun, thousands watched bands and dance troupes, politicians and local organizations and even a karaoke-singing octogenarian pass them by.
The parade served as the focal point of Ely’s July 4 festivities, with Whiteside Park filling before and after the event for games, a community picnic and a performance by the city band.
Earlier in the day, an annual four-kilometer run around the Trezona Trail took place while the evening activities, held after the Echo’s deadline, were to include both a concert at Semer’s Park and the annual fireworks display over Miners Lake.

Wed
26
Jun

Gardner Humanities Trust created 30 years ago

The Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust was created by the City of Ely in 1989. ”And to-date, the Trust has disbursed grant awards totaling nearly $779,000 to individuals, organizations and events in Ely,” stated Trust executive director, Keiko Williams. “This is super exciting to be celebrating 30 years of giving arts funding to our community and to see all the wonderful impact for individuals and youth, as well as, all the super programming that has occurred due to our grant awards.”

This all started, first, with Donald G. Gardner in the 1940’s. Gardner, a businessman from Ohio, purchased a cabin and became a summer resident on Ojibway Lake, then called Twin Lakes, in 1941. Gardner was an art collector and also a philanthropist who donated a painting to the City of Ely in 1944 titled ‘Breakfast in the Garden,’ painted by Frederick C. Frieseke. The painting was hung in the Ely Public Library in 1945.

Fri
21
Jun

A bear problem you can’t put a lid on

A bear that has been spotted around the Ely area with a garbage can lid has been able to evade live traps set by the Minnesota DNR.
The problem however, may lie with the bear being fed either on purpose or inadvertently through bird feeders.
DNR wildlife manager Tom Rusch of Tower said, “Bear feeding is the root cause of all of this. And this is Ely’s future. This scenario of human tolerant habituated, nuisance bears, bears without fear of people not acting normal in some people’s point of view and perfectly normal in someone else’s.”
He gave a scenario of two neighbors having opposite reactions to a bear in the yard.
“There’s nothing illegal but it sets us up for one neighbor against another and creates a huge drain when the DNR has to get in the middle of it somehow. You don’t want it but your neighbor loves it,” said Rusch.

Fri
21
Jun

PILT changes would raise property taxes in Lake County

by Nancy McReady
When the Lake County commissioners make their periodic trips to Fall Lake, there’s often a variety of topics. This past week was no different.
Fall Lake supervisors and residents were informed there will be a change in how state payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) distributions will be received and distributed.
Lake County and Fall Lake receive PILT to assist with the large amount of public land in the county. The amount is determined by the Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR has recommended the most fair and equitable way to distribute the payment would be the same as the way the payment is calculated.
This includes a per acre and a value-based amount.
Kerry Davis asked, “Will we be happy or sad about this change?”
The answer was, sad.
Seeing that budgets have already been set for 2020, this change will not be implemented until 2021.

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