News

Sun
15
Mar

Winton mayor offers help to seniors

To all Winton Residents:
I know this Coronavirus information you have been listening to over the past few days is quite scary. Please take the precautions that are being advised regarding hygiene. And please, our elderly residents, stay home if you have no specific reasons to be out. You are the most at risk to any illnesses right now. If there are Winton elderly that need groceries or errands that need to be run, contact the Clerk's office at 365-5941 and leave a message. I'll do my best to make those arrangements for you. Stay healthy!
Kathy Brandau
Mayor, City of Winton

Sun
15
Mar

Ely schools closed Wednesday through March 27 following Walz order

In response to Gov. Walz order, Ely public schools will have classes on Monday and Tuesday but will be closed Wednesday through March 27. Starting March 30 instruction will resume. District working on distance learning plan should schools close for a longer period of time.

The Ely School Board will hold an emergency meeting on Monday, March 16 at 6 p.m. to address school closure plans.

MSHSL shuts down all school athletics/activities from Mar. 18-27 - consistent with exec order closing schools during same timeframe

Governor Walz Directs Schools to Make Long-Term Strategic Plans for COVID-19

Walz orders the temporary closure of schools to allow for new safety measures

Children of health care professionals, emergency workers to receive care

Thu
12
Mar

City of Ely statement on Coronavirus response plans

by George Burger, City of Ely Emergency Management Director
The Minnesota Department of Health is leading the statewide response to Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). The City of Ely is prepared and working with all appropriate agencies to stay ready. For questions on COVID-19 call the Minnesota Department of Health hotline at 651-201-3920.
As of Thursday, March 12, City of Ely departments and facilities are operating as normal.
The City of Ely is taking precaution when it comes to assuring clean and healthy workplaces and public facilities. Supervisory staff are also taking steps to maintain a safe continuity of services by reviewing and making necessary changes in procedures to prevent the spread of illness. We have actively posted flyers in offices and public spaces to remind both staff and public to take the same precautions as they would to avoid colds and flu.

Thu
12
Mar

Ely hospital ready for Coronavirus

While there have been no reported cases of Coronvirus in the Ely area, the local hospital responded to a request for information Thursday afternoon.
“Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital is fully prepared to take care of Ely and the communities we serve. Our team is updated daily and following all recommendations made by the CDC and the MN Department of Health. We are fully stocked with our supplies and have added a link to the CDC on our websites where they are posting live updates,” said hospital spokesperson Jodi Martin.
“Currently, there are no home testing kits available, and testing is at the discretion of the provider. We will continue to provide updates via our Facebook page, including tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mon
09
Mar

1854 Authority retracts letter over taconite mining

The 1854 Authority has reversed course on a letter opposing Minntac's planned expansion.
In a later to the Minnesota DNR, Darren Vogt, Resource Management Division Director, said, "On February 10, 2020, the 1854 Treaty Authority submitted a comment letter in which it recommended that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources deny approval U.S. Steel's request to amend its Minntac Permit to Mine. Specifically, U.S. Steel is requesting authorization to expand its current Minntac mining operations to include 45 additional acres north of Kinney, Minnesota.
"After further discussion and consideration, the 1854 Treaty Authority has decided to formally retract its February 10, 2020 comment letter. The Authority will continue to monitor developments related to the Minntac Permit and will participate in permit-related proceedings as it deems appropriate."

Fri
06
Mar

Coyle out as CEO at Ely hospital

by Nick Wognum
There has been a change in the chief executive officer position at Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital.
The hospital board announced Thursday that CEO Michael Coyle and the board finalized a “formal separation” on March 4.
A statement from the board released Thursday said “We were faced with very difficult decisions; rest assured that we take this employment matter very seriously and have given thoughtful consideration to each decision made. The board is dedicated to the long-term health and well-being of our patients, employees, and members. We are honored and dedicated to serving in the best interests of our community.”

Fri
06
Mar

Pro-mining group fills council chambers, council postpones decision on resolution

by Nick Wognum
The fuse was lit with a full house at Wednesday’s Ely city council meeting but the main event took place after nearly everyone left.
Pro-mining supporters filled nearly every chair in the council chambers and many stood along the walls.
That left some wooden chairs outside the room for those opposed. But when the sign carrying pro-mining group left midway through the meeting, Becky Rom and her group moved in and did the majority of speaking at the end of the meeting.
If Rom and her group were looking for the Ely city council to suddenly have a change of heart on supporting Twin Metals Minnesota and PolyMet mining projects, that didn’t happen.
Council member Al Forsman wore a blue “We Support Mining” shirt and the council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the two copper-nickel ventures.
Ely Mayor Chuck Novak said the resolution supporting Twin Metals and Polymet would normally be on the consent agenda and not read.

Fri
28
Feb

Ambulance will add extra staffing in attempt to cover additional transports

by Nick Wognum
The Ely Area Ambulance Service will put an additional two people on duty 12 hours a day in order to help cover missed transports.
The announcement came at an ambulance joint powers board meeting in Winton on Wednesday.
The second crew would work from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day and take people from Ely to Duluth or other medical facilities.
The ambulance service has been criticized for not being able to provide transports which has led to patients waiting up to 10 hours for a transport to Duluth.
The joint powers board helps to fund the ambulance through annual contributions based on population.
The towns of Morse and Fall Lake and the cities of Ely and Winton make up the ambulance joint powers board.
Board chair Kathy Brandau said the board could put a levy on property tax statements to help fund ambulance operations.

Fri
28
Feb

City eyes $9.3 million sewer plant project

by Tom Coombe
Ely city officials are moving ahead with a better than $9 million project at the wastewater treatment plant.
A public hearing held Wednesday offered more details about a project that has been in the works for years.
And despite the hefty price tag, current estimates show the project would not significantly impact utility rates.
Harold Langowski, the city’s operations director and clerk/treasurer, said that a combination of grant funds and retiring debt will minimize the hit to Ely residents and business owners.
Langowski told city council members that the project could result in a rate increase of as little as $1 a month over 20 years.
That’s because the city is in line to receive as much as $7 million in state grant funding for the project, with about $2.2 million in low-interest loans also part of the equation.
But Langowski said current debt payments of over $165,000 per year will be retired next year.

Fri
21
Feb

Mayor in a “Tweetstorm”

by Tom Coombe
Ely Mayor Chuck Novak faced the wrath of several area residents Tuesday, in the wake of public comments in which he supported a boycott of Fortune Bay Resort Casino.
Several prominent opponents of copper-nickel mining projects used the public forum opportunity at the end of the regular city council meeting to blast Novak - both for a social media post and comments in an article that appeared in the Hibbing Daily Tribune.
Novak praised State Sen. Tom Bakk’s decision to move an annual political fundraiser from Fortune Bay and urged organizers of the Fun Run snowmobile event to do the same, after the Bois Forte Band joined tribal partners in supporting legislation that could doom the Twin Metals Minnesota project near Ely.
But Novak’s comments struck a nerve with several who spoke at City Hall.

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