News

Fri
10
Apr

Ely area puzzles great for Stay at Home order

Eric Sherman saw a possible new product that could benefit from the state’s Stay at Home order: puzzles.
“With the COVID-19 thing and photography shut down I had enough time to think of new ideas and puzzles popped into my head,” said Sherman. “I put out the feelers and had 150 people say they wanted them.”
In just 12 days Sherman has sold 108 and believes they will be a big hit once he gets more in to sell. The first batch sold out right away. Sherman has ordered 320 more through the Ely Echo.
There are now nine different puzzles made from photos taken in the Ely area.
The puzzles are available at ericshermanimages.com and will be at local retailers in Ely. The 500-piece puzzles cost $39.99 plus tax.

Thu
09
Apr

Ely motel may house virus victims

by Tom Coombe
Two Ely motel rooms are being reserved for local residents who might need “safe place to shelter” if they test positive for the coronavirus.
It’s part of a countywide effort to secure up to 90 rooms for people who may be required to self isolate, with St. Louis County teaming with entities including the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency to book rooms in Ely, Virginia, Hibbing and Duluth.
Social media posts Wednesday confirmed that Ely’s Adventure Inn is participating in the program.
Mayor Chuck Novak declined to identify the motel but offered more details about the initiative after speaking with county representatives, and amid erroneous reports that people from outside the area would be sent to Ely.
“The rooms that are being contracted in Ely are for the purpose of being available in case someone here tests positive,” said Novak. “They are not planning to send people from anywhere else here at this point.”

Fri
03
Apr

Technology hinders school rollout

by Tom Coombe
The first week of distance learning in Ely provided confirmation to what local officials have been contending for years: the digital divide is real.
Access to technology, and slow, intermittent and non-existent internet service have been among the obstacles faced by both Ely students and teachers as the school district began a distance learning initiatives that will extend at least until the end of April.
Superintendent Erik Erie said this week’s launch has “laid bare how difficult broadband service is around Ely.”
“We were a little surprised at first as most people appeared to have internet service and devices,” Erie said Thursday. “As we got into this, we’re getting more requests not only from students but faculty... Initially, we didn’t think we would need as many technology devices and help with the internet. That’s grown significantly.”

Fri
03
Apr

Ely couple fights illness on cruise that finally ends

THURSDAY UPDATE:
Text message from Valerie Myntti sent at 2:50 p.m.
Hi Tom!
We are not sure if we will be able to disembark. We will have to pass an extensive medical screening.
We might have to quarantine onboard for an additional 14 days or at a family condo in South Beach (Miami). We are happy to do whatever the CDC and authorities advise. We are not interested in infecting anyone with whatever germs we have!!
We cannot wait to get back to our little red cabin at the end of the road. We have been in a windowless inside stateroom since March 22, amusing ourselves with cooking shows, and some good books! We need some sun and fresh air! And to see our lake!
Loads of love to all in Ely.

Fri
27
Mar

Distance learning starts in Ely

by Tom Coombe
Classrooms and hallways will be empty, but education in Ely will go on in unprecedented fashion.
Starting Monday, students in the Ely district will join thousands of their counterparts across Minnesota in “distance learning,” an initiative prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and on course to last at least through May 4.
For the last week-and-a-half, Ely teachers in both the Memorial (grades 6-12) and Washington (K-5) buildings have brainstormed and improvised, fast-tracking a curriculum conversion in an effort to continue to deliver education in an unconventional manner.
Instead of sitting in their classrooms, students will log on to the internet each day - using everything from email to Google Classroom and even YouTube to gather lessons and complete coursework.
“It’s going to look different in both buildings because you have that difference in age between high school and the elementary,” said high school principal Megan Anderson.

Sat
21
Mar

Second COVID-19 case announced in St. Louis County

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed the second presumptive case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in St. Louis County. The individual is a woman in her early 60s who is currently recovering at home. Her infection is linked to domestic travel, and not the result of community transmission. The woman was tested on March 19. It is believed she has had contact only with members of her immediate household, and they have been asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure date and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

St. Louis County Public Health has not been asked to provide essential services.

"We are encouraged to hear that this again is a travel-connected case, and not community transmission," said County Board Chair Mike Jugovich, "But we also recognize it is likely only a matter of time, and that is why we continue to emphasize the preventive recommendations to all."

Fri
20
Mar

School lands $7 million

by Tom Coombe
If area voters do their part, a state agency will provide $7 million for a major project on the Ely school campus.
That became certain Wednesday, when the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board voted 7-0 to approve a $7 million grant, contingent on voter approval of a $10 million bond referendum now set for August.
Those are the key pieces of a nearly $20 million project that combines renovation and new construction, including a structure that would link the Washington and Memorial buildings and include new classrooms, cafeteria and commons space, a secure entry and additional gymnasium space. The Industrial Arts Building would be demolished to make room for the new structure.
The IRRRB vote, which came at a meeting conducted via conference call because of the coronavirus pandemic, capped months of effort by school officials to secure additional funding for the long-discussed project.

Fri
20
Mar

Fire extinguished at roundhouse building

Firefighters from Ely, Morse-Fall Lake and Babbitt were called to a fire at one of Ely's oldest buildings on March 12 when flames were spotted come from the eve of the roundhouse building near Wilderness Outfitters. Owned by Leustek and Sons, the building is used as a repair shop. The building sustained fire damage to the eaves of the roof but was quickly extinguished.

Mon
16
Mar

Ely council takes action

by Tom Coombe
Ely council members met in emergency session Monday to address the coronavirus crisis, but the city is stopping short of declaring a city emergency.
The public library and recreation center will close, travel for city council members and staff will be limited and committees will meet only on an as-needed basis, but mayor Chuck Novak said “there’s no intent to have a local emergency declaration” and instead follow guidelines set by the state and federal governments.
Novak also added that “I don’t think we’re in a position” to mandate the closure of restaurants, bars or other businesses.
“We don’t want to overstep things,” said Novak. “We also want to be cautious.”
The mid-afternoon meeting was unlike any held at City Hall, with council members and those in the audience sitting at least six feet apart to comply with “social distancing” suggestions to deter the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.

Mon
16
Mar

Ely responds to coronavirus 2.0: Business updates; Schools offer free meals

Here’s an update as of Thursday afternoon, March 26, as Ely area businesses respond following Gov. Tim Walz’s order to “stay at home” for two weeks starting Friday night.
Arrowhead Outdoors announced it will be closed until Friday, April 10.
The Ely Area Food Shelf has adjusted its distribution method to curbside delivery and posted, “If you are in need of food please don’t hesitate to call 218-235-8527. If you are newly laid off or unemployed we are here for you, contact us at the above number. If you are a senior or in the higher risk category and isolating we can make arrangements to deliver food to you in a non-contact method. Wash your hands, cover your cough, stay home and look for joy everyday!”
The Ely License Bureau was given notice from the state that all Deputy Registrar offices must close for the two weeks.

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