News

Fri
19
Jun

July 4 march set in Ely

by Tom Coombe
It may not be an official parade, but a Fourth of July event in Ely is shaping up to be perhaps the next-best thing.
Using the traditional parade route as well as an additional five blocks to allow people to spread out, Ely will have a “Patriotic March” on Saturday, July 4.
Starting at 1 p.m., the march figures to look much like traditional Independence Day parades in Ely, complete with the Ely Honor Guard, fire trucks, floats, bikes and a plethora of groceries and goodies distributed by Zup’s Food Market.
“We thought it was important for Ely to have this,” said Nick Wognum, one of several members of the Ely Patriotic Club, which formed this month and is organizing the event. “Whether or not you call it a parade doesn’t matter. It’s the chance to express our First Amendment rights and gather on the Fourth of July in a patriotic way, like we always have in Ely.”

Fri
19
Jun

VCC on track to reopen in fall

by Tom Coombe
A virtual ghost town for nearly three months, Vermilion Community College will come back to life later this summer.
The 2020-21 school year is set to begin on time in late-August, with classes being held in-person and students residing in on-campus housing.
School leaders made that official this week with a letter to incoming students indicating a return to “business as usual” - with some new safety enhancements - amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our current plan is to be open,” provost Shawn Bina said Wednesday. “The governor can change it on us if something happens further with the pandemic, but we do plan to be open while following CDC and Department of Health guidelines.”
Student housing will operate at reduced capacity because of the pandemic, and buffets will go by the wayside in the cafeteria in favor of entirely plated meals.

Fri
19
Jun

New Zup's store in Cook opens

RIBBON CUTTING was held Tuesday by Zupancich family members for the new Zup’s store in Cook following a fire in November of 2018. Pictured are Ed Zupancich, Marge Zupancich, Paul Zupancich, Jim Zupancich Sr., Pat Zupancich, Steve Zupancich, Jim Zupancich Jr. and Matt Zupancich.

Fri
12
Jun

An Ely march for solidarity

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s Peaceful March in Solidarity lived up to its title.
About 250 people filled the sidewalks on several blocks and marched from Central Avenue to Whiteside Park Saturday afternoon.
The peaceful gathering was led and organized by Ian Lah, a 2012 Ely High School graduate who recently returned to his hometown.
Lah said Wednesday he felt called to do something here to support the Black Lives Matter movement and was overwhelmed by the results.
“I just figured there’d be like 30 people, maybe 50 people, but people kept showing up,” said Lah. “I was at the park and I turned around and saw so many people I thought ‘wow, that’s a lot of people.’ I was so proud to see my community, my family, my friends show up and be able to voice their opinions and thoughts and use the march to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all the marches happening.”

Fri
12
Jun

Parade plans head to council

by Tom Coombe
A citizens group will ask the Ely city council to provide traffic control for a July 4 parade.
The preferred route would start at Fourth Avenue East and use Harvey and Sheridan Streets but an additional eight blocks would be added to allow for social distancing of those who come to watch. The parade would end at 16th Avenue East.
If MnDOT doesn’t approve of using Sheridan, the parade could follow Pattison from Fourth to Second Avenue East up to Harvey and down to 16th Avenue.
Parade viewers will be asked to not set out chairs ahead of time to better allow people to spread out.
Due to the late start, organizers expect a shorter than usual parade but the event figures to resemble previous July parades in Ely.
The Ely Honor Guard has offered to lead the parade and the Ely Klown Band has offered to provide live music. Kids would be encouraged to decorate their bicycles and be part of the event.

Fri
05
Jun

Ely home burns in fire

by Tom Coombe
An Ely house was destroyed by fire Thursday afternoon.
Shortly after noon, fire crews were dispatched to the Central Avenue home owned by Paul Starkovich.
Thick smoke billowed out of the top of the structure and the rear erupted in flames.
Starkovich was inside at the time with a friend and two dogs and all were able to escape the home, located across the avenue from the Ely Area Credit Union, near the intersection of Central and West Chapman Street.
Starkovich was taken to Ely-Bloomenson Community hospital and later released.
The home appeared to be a total loss.
The Ely fire department responded to the blaze within minutes and fire crews were still on the scene several hours later.
The cause of the fire was not clear, as of deadline.
Tom Erchull, Ely’s fire chief, was still on the scene at the time of the Echo’s deadline and not immediately available for comment.

Fri
05
Jun

City cancels July 4 parade

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s July 4 parade, which typically draws thousands of people, has been formally cancelled.
But in the wake of that decision, plans are quickly evolving for an alternative, independently-run parade, procession or patriotic demonstration on Independence Day.
Council members addressed the issue briefly at Tuesday’s regular meeting, acknowledging a recent decision by the city’s July 4 committee to pull the plug because of the coronavirus crisis.
“I would offer this, we’ve got some rules out of St. Paul that we must adhere to,” said mayor Chuck Novak.
Novak indicated that he’s also inclined to support the recommendation of the committee, which opted to join many other communities across the state in cancelling parades this year. On the Iron Range, it is believed that only Eveleth is moving forward with its parade.
“I’m not in any mood to override them,” said Novak. “I think I’m going to respect the committee.”

Fri
29
May

Resolution against Walz’s executive orders unveiled

by Nick Wognum
An Ely city council resolution opposing Gov. Tim Walz’s executive orders that have shut down numerous Ely businesses was discussed Tuesday night.
Council member Al Forsman drafted the resolution and originally requested a special meeting so it could be passed quickly.
Now it will be on the agenda for Tuesday’s regular meeting, although the final language is likely to change from what was presented.
The resolution currently includes:
“That the City Council supports the choice of all residents to continue to stay at home or the choice to move about freely within the City and to support the economy of Ely while maintaining behaviors to preserve the health and safety of all residents;
“That the City Council encourages all citizens to follow Minnesota Department of Health and CDC guidelines for social distancing and general conduct while out in public;

Fri
29
May

For a unique group, it’s a unique ending

by Tom Coombe
Who could have ever predicted this?
A school year that started in Ely like any other has ended amid a worldwide pandemic that has kept students away from campus for more than two months.
The members of the Ely Memorial High School Class of 2020 will reconvene on campus tonight, with undeniably the most unconventional commencement in school history.
Instead of walking across the stage at Washington Auditorium, each of Ely’s 45 seniors will walk alone across a temporary platform in the arena parking lot, picking up the diploma that certifies their graduation.
The drive-up graduation is the best school officials can do, given the circumstances and statewide restrictions on mass gatherings.
Principal Megan Anderson acknowledged this week that “even graduation itself is a tough adjustment, and we’re trying to make the best out of a crummy situation.”

Fri
22
May

A Memorial Day Tribute…

by Diana Mavetz Petrich
A day to say thank you, but it doesn’t seem like enough.
Several years ago, while cleaning out my parent’s basement with my sister Janice, I came across a letter addressed to my mother from my Dad’s older sister Mary Mavetz Rudnick Lobe. She asked if my mother wanted the January 15, 1945 copy of Life Magazine with Johnny’s (my father’s) picture in it. I had never heard anything about this before. I took the letter upstairs and asked my mother what Mary was talking about.

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