News

Fri
04
Aug

World journalists in Ely on Friday

What do CNN and the Ely Echo have in common? Visits each year from the new Fellows of the World Press Institute.<BR><BR>Arriving in Ely on Wednesday afternoon are mid-career journalists from Australia, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Georgia, Liberia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Senegal and Spain. <BR><BR>During their extended stay in the United States they will travel throughout the country, visiting major newspapers and other media outlets as well as meeting political and business leaders.<BR><BR>On Friday, August 11 at 8:30 a.m. the journalists will gather in the meeting room at Grand Ely Lodge. The Ely Echo will provide coffee and sweets during the prelude to the Panel Forum.<BR><BR>Journalists and guests will be seated by 9 a.m. for the discussion.

Fri
04
Aug

It was Mother Nature's festival

Organizers of any event held outdoors - particularly in northern Minnesota - know that weather is often a leading factor in determining the level of success.<BR><BR>That certainly was the case last weekend in Ely, as Mother Nature wreaked some havoc during the 26th annual Blueberry/Art Festival.<BR><BR>The crowds were still large - about 40,000 people attended the community's signature summer celebration - and some vendors reported record-setting sales.<BR><BR>But blistering heat during the first two days, when temperatures topped 90 degrees, as well as a torrential Sunday morning downpour that included 2.49 inches of rain and cleared Whiteside Park, prevented the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event from being the best yet.<BR><BR>"I think the crowds were down and definitely because of the heat people didn't stay as long," said Chamber Director Linda Fryer.

Fri
28
Jul

Elyites sure know how to throw a party

Two words not in Frank Udovich's vocabulary - "no" and "small." <BR><BR>When informed that the Slovenian Consul General Dr. Zvone Zigon would be in Ely for a visit with local dignitaries and business people, Udovich readily offered to host the reception at his Creek Ridge Lodge on White Iron Lake. <BR><BR>What started out as a small gathering turned into a fanfare with 100 people, mostly of Slovenian descent. In addition, there was the Slovenian Choir, several area accordion players, including Udovich himself, and tables of food which included blood sausage and potica. The hosts, the Slovenian Women's Union of Ely handled all the preparations and cleanup. <BR><BR>Guests were greeted at the door and given a typical Slovenian welcome - a shot of slivovitz (a very strong plum brandy) and a piece of bread.

Fri
28
Jul

Ely art scene is blossoming in 2006

Evidence of local artistic talent is popping up all over town during these busy summer months. The most recent opportunity to catch the artistic spirit of the Ely community was the Premiere Juried Art Show proudly presented by Ely Greenstone Public Art in celebration of Ely Area Visual Artists. <BR><BR>The event opened with a well attended Gala Gallery Reception and Private Preview on the evening of Saturday, July 22 at Semers Park Pavilion. The show opened free to the public, Sunday afternoon, July 23. <BR><BR>There were over 50 works of art in a variety of media: watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastel, pen and ink, graphite, pulp painting and watercolor frost, as well as photographs, wood carvings, stained glass, mahogany and cane, and metal sculpture.

Sun
23
Jul

Blueberry festival expands

Is it possible to cram even more vendors, food booths and people into Whiteside Park for Ely's annual Blueberry/Art Festival?<BR><BR>Festival organizers think so. They've expanded the arts and crafts show - which starts next Friday - by adding 40 new booths.<BR><BR>Combine that with the usual turnover among vendors, and the estimated 40,000 or so visitors who pass through the park for the three-day event will have plenty of new items to look at and food to sample.<BR><BR>"We have 70 brand-new exhibitors," said Rita Grose, who organizes the festival for the Ely Chamber of Commerce. "We have added three or four more new things to the food section. We are really excited this year.

Sat
15
Jul

Turner leaving VCC, school board

The Ely School Board has a vacant seat, the community has two less volunteers and the Ely schools have three fewer students following the sudden resignation of Keith Turner.<BR><BR>Turner, who has been the head football coach at Vermilion Community College since 1998, accepted a coaching and teaching position at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point earlier in the week.<BR><BR>That decision ended Turner’s long association with Vermilion - the Ohio native played football for the Ironmen in the mid-1980s and returned to the campus as a coach and academic advisor in 1990 - and Ely, where he and his wife Genie had been active on several different fronts.<BR><BR>“It’s very hard to leave,” Turner said Thursday, hours before he was to submit his resignation at that night’s school board meeting and hours after he resigned at Vermilion. “Our kids right now don’t want to leave.

Fri
14
Jul

Turtle Wildland Fire grows to 1,650 acres

A lightning strike near Turtle Lake within the BWCAW on July 7 was the cause of what has grown from an 80 acre fire on Friday, July 14 to a 1,650 acre fire on Sunday. This is in the Gabbro/Bald Eagle lakes area. It has moved west toward Peitro Lake and across the protage from Petro to Gull Lake.<BR><BR>Portage closures as a result of the fire include: Bald Eagle to Turtle, Turtle to Clearwater, Clearwater to Camdre, Camdre to Pietro, Pietro to Gull and Gull to Bald Eagle. No visitors will be allowed to come down to this area from the Lake One chain. There will be no travel or camping in the Weasel PMA.<BR><BR>Visitors in the Lake One area may see or smell smoke. Smoke may also be seen or smelled in the Ojibway/Triangle area and Moose Lake.<BR><BR>Fires of this type are managed for resource benefit and actively managed to ensure that the fire stays within set boundaries and meets objectives, the US Forest Service states.

Sat
08
Jul

Skraba files for second term

Citing achievements including more than $21 million in project work in Ely this summer and saying he has “unfinished business that I want to take care of,” Ely Mayor Roger Skraba announced last week that he’d seek a second term in office.<BR><BR>Skraba, who unseated Frank Salerno two years ago, filed for re-election Wednesday, the opening day of a two-week filing period.<BR><BR>Incumbent Mike Hillman and city government activist Gordon Sheddy were the first to enter the city council contest.<BR><BR>Three seats - Hillman’s as well as the positions now held by Dan Przybylski and Butch Pecha - are up for grabs.<BR><BR>When Ely voters look to fill the community’s top position, Skraba said he hoped they’ll consider his efforts in lining up funding and helping to coordinate a series of projects that are coming to fruition.<BR><BR>“We’ve got $21 million worth of projects we never had before,” said Skraba, citing the joint public w

Fri
07
Jul

World Press Institute announces 2006 Fellows

Arriving in Ely on Wednesday, August 9 for a three-day stay is an exciting group of journalists. They are the guests of the Ely Echo and eight area host families during their stay. The visit includes a Thursday workout at Voyageur Outward Bound and a public forum on Friday, August 11, hosted by the Ely Echo at the Grand Ely Lodge at 9 a.m.<BR><BR>A Liberian reporting via the Internet from a refugee camp in Ghana, an investigative reporter who covers crime in Brazil, the Spanish author of a book on Muslim immigrants, and business editors from China, the Czech Republic and Myanmar are among the 10 international journalists selected as 2006 fellows of the World Press Institute, based at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. <BR><BR>Broadcast journalists from Australia and Senegal, the editor in chief of the only independent newspaper in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and a feature writer from Papua New Guinea complete WPI’s 2006 class.

Sat
01
Jul

Ely set for a very festive Fourth

Organizers of Ely’s Fourth of July festivities have planned a celebration that follows local tradition.<BR><BR>A full day of activities, from an afternoon parade and park events to the annual fireworks display over Miners Lake, is in the works.<BR><BR>Independence Day is set for Tuesday, and even though it doesn’t fall on or around a weekend, turnout for the Ely celebration is expected to be high.<BR><BR>Young Life Ely, the local branch of the national Christian youth organization, has taken over sponsorship of the festivities in conjunction with the city of Ely.<BR><BR>“This is our fifth year and we’re trying to make it bigger and better,” said Martha Scott, who heads Ely’s Young Life organization.<BR><BR>Much of the schedule is almost identical to that of previous years, although Scott said there are a few new wrinkles.<BR><BR>One involves a new event - bed races that will take place down Seventh Avenue next t

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