News

Thu
17
Mar

Bakk announces retirement from state Senate

Minnesota State Senator Tom Bakk (I-Cook) announced Thursday he will not seek re-election for another term in the Senate and will retire at the end of the year.
“Representing the people of the Arrowhead region has been one of the greatest rewards of my life, made possible by the support and patience of my family,” Bakk said.
“My heartfelt thanks to my constituents for entrusting me to be their voice at the Capitol for so many years. I have always tried to do my best for the people I’ve served even if it was not always easy or popular with my own political party. The friendships and the memories I have made will carry with me forever.”

Fri
11
Mar

Burnout OKd for five years

by Tom Coombe
One of Ely’s most popular events is staying put.
City council members, with Heidi Omerza and Angela Campbell absent, voted 5-0 to issue a five-year interim use permit for the annual Jake Forsman Memorial Car Show and Burnout Competition.
The council’s move, which was recommended by the city’s planning and zoning commission, allows the event to continue at its current location in front of City Hall and authorizes the closure of Chapman Street from Second to Fourth Avenue East the day of the event, which this year is set for Saturday, Oct. 1.
Held each fall, the event goes on in memory of the late Jake Forsman and serves as a scholarship fundraiser for students pursuing careers in mechanical trades.
Cancelled in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the event resumed last fall and attracted big crowds, with several hundred people usually taking in the event.

Fri
11
Mar

Cersine returns to Town of Morse board after capturing 100% of votes on Tuesday

Len Cersine’s name was the only one on the Town of Morse ballot and that was just fine with 38 voters on Tuesday.
Cersine received all 38 votes and returns for a three-year term on the board.
Moderator Terry Soderberg guided the 21-minute annual meeting after the election concluded.
Treasurer Mary Ann Lekatz read the township’s financial statement.
She noted that while the total funds had increased from $296,436.55 to $467,821.72, the township hadn’t closed on the $136,000 purchase of four parcels of land on the Taconite Trail.
Morse is looking to get reimbursed for expenses related to this purchase from the DNR.
Lekatz also said the new fire hall building on Hwy. 88 was paid off in 2021.
Soderberg guided the nine township residents through the proposed 2023 budget.
The general fund portion decreased by $13,600 to $212,700 due to there not being a primary and general election that year.

Fri
04
Mar

Ely welcomes new cops, hails life-saving work of a veteran

by Tom Coombe
For all the right reasons, the Ely Police Department took center stage Tuesday night at City Hall.
Officer Christian Deinhammer was saluted for his life-saving role on an emergency call last October, while the department also swore in a pair of new members- assistant chief Mike Lorenz and Zach Ward.
The recognition and ceremonies came prior to the start of Tuesday’s regular council meeting.
And in addition to council members and city staff, there was a much larger crowd than usual in the chambers with family members of all three officers as well as the rest of Ely’s department and some local emergency responders in attendance.
Deinhammer was hailed by Ely police chief Chad Houde, who was emotional at times as he explained how his colleague stepped in and saved the life on an individual who was suffering from an opioid overdose.

Sat
26
Feb

Mask off moment at 696

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s school mask mandate could soon be over.
At a special meeting on Monday, school board members are set to consider a recommendation that the year-long mandate be rescinded.
Interim superintendent John Klarich presented the plan earlier this week to members of the school district’s safe learning advisory committee, and said it was time that Ely District 696 join most other area districts and make masking in school voluntary rather than required.
“We’re one of the last schools to have a mask policy in place,” said Klarich. “I think it’s time for the school board to vote.”
Klarich cited local, state and national trends showing declines in Covid-19 prevalence as well as a growing list of entities that are easing mask requirements.

Sun
20
Feb

State ends Twin Metals review

by Tom Coombe
In the wake of federal action that has derailed the Twin Metals Minnesota copper-nickel mining project, the state of Minnesota has followed suit and ended its environmental review of the proposed mine near Ely.
The action was announced Tuesday, with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen notifying the company that the agency “has directed its staff to stop work on the environmental review for the proposed Twin Metals project.”
That decision, which came after consultation between DNR staff and Twin Metals officials, follows a late-January edict by the Biden Administration to cancel two federal mineral leases that are pivotal to the project.
Despite the key blows, Twin Metals is pressing on with its plans to develop an underground mine that promises hundreds of new jobs. Legal action may be next in an attempt to rejuvenate the project.
In a statement released this week, the company said:

Sun
20
Feb

Mask mandate under fire

by Tom Coombe
After first indicating they’d wait a month, Ely school officials are set to determine the fate of the district’s indoor mask mandate.
A special meeting of the school’s safe learning advisory committee has been called for Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., when an end to the year-long mandate figures to be the only issue up for debate.
The meeting, which may lead to a recommendation for school board action, comes amid public pressure to end the forced masking policy, and while mask mandates at numerous other schools are going by the wayside.
Monday night, when school board members in Ely indicated they’d wait until Mar. 14 to address the issue, school board members at the newly-formed Rock Ridge district in Virginia and Eveleth rescinded their mask mandate.
Cloquet also ditched its mask policy the same night, as did a slew of other districts across Minnesota and following similar action in many other states.

Fri
11
Feb

Cliffs to idle Northshore Mining in the spring

by WDIO-TV

Cleveland-Cliffs announced on Friday that the company is going to idle Northshore Mining in the spring, and it could go into the fall or beyond.

Northshore’s mine is in Babbitt, and the pellet plant is in Silver Bay. Nearly 600 people work between the two.

CEO Lourenco Goncalves told investors that one factor is they need fewer pellets, because they are using more scrap metal.

During the last call, in October, he referenced that Northshore could be idled every now and then, and be their swing operation.

Fri
11
Feb

Beardfest packs them in

by Tom Coombe
More music, a new venue and a packed house made for perhaps the best Great Nordic Beardfest yet.
The eighth annual event was held last weekend after a one-year hiatus and with a few new wrinkles, including a Saturday night finale at Ely’s Historic State Theater before a sellout crowd.
Nearly 70 competitors took part over the two-day event, which started at the Boathouse Brewpub Feb. 4 before moving up Sheridan Street to the theater
Organizer Shaun Chosa promised the biggest Beardfest yet and he delivered, with big crowds cheering the competitors both nights, and with the beard and mustache contests augmented by fundraisers as well as musical acts, including three on Saturday.
More than 200 tickets were sold at the theater.
“The State Theater’s capabilities were stressed but they did awesome, and showcased an excellent sound system,” said Chosa. “It also showcased what the theater can be used for besides movies.”

Fri
11
Feb

Visser to leave school board

by Tom Coombe
For at least the third time in a decade, a mid-term vacancy will exist on the Ely School Board.
Applications are being sought from district residents to fill a seat now held by Darren Visser.
Visser has notified school officials that he’s moving outside the district, which would make him ineligible to serve, and will give up the seat he won in 2020.
As a result, Visser’s seat will soon become vacant and the district is advertising for interested applicants.
The process is already underway with applications due Feb. 24, and plans in place for the current board to interview candidates at a Feb. 28 meeting.
The board will fill Visser’s seat by appointment until the next regular election, set for later this year.
According to an advertisement placed this week by the district, interested candidates must complete an application form, submit a resume as well as a brief letter outlining reasons they desire a seat on the board.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News