News

Fri
13
Sep

Public meeting held on Level 3 sex offender

by Nick Wognum
Over 30 people turned out for a community notification meeting Monday in Ely following the move of a registered sex offender to the community.
Many of the people in the audience live west of Central Avenue.
The offender, Michael John Nord, 41, has moved to the 200 block of West Harvey Street in Ely.
Nord, who served his sentence and was released in March, 2016, has a history of sexual contact with known adult females, according to the release. The investigating agency was the U.S. Army.
He gained access at a bar where he mixed a chemical into their drinks rendering them vulnerable. Contact included penetration.
Brad VanderVegt, the community notification coordinator for the state Department of Corrections, along with Ely police officer George Burger addressed the crowd.
In a question and answer session at the end of the meeting, it was asked if Nord is allowed in bars.

Fri
06
Sep

In Ely, Smith sides with mining foes

by Tom Coombe
During a visit to Ely Tuesday that included meetings with those both for and against the Twin Metals Minnesota project, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D) sided with opponents on a key issue.
Smith criticized the Trump Administration’s decision to halt a two-year study that could have led to a 20-year ban on mining on more than 235,000 acres of national forest land in northeastern Minnesota.
It was a decision that delighted mining advocates and angered those opposed to the proposed copper-nickel mining venture near Ely, and Smith pulled no punches during an afternoon press briefing at Vermilion Community College.
“I think the Trump Administration made a mistake when they stopped that study,” said Smith.
Smith did not directly address a question about her position on another pivotal Trump Administration decision: one that reversed an Obama Administration edict and reinstated federal mineral leases held by Twin Metals.

Thu
05
Sep

Public meeting set on sex offender

A community notification meeting will be held Monday in Ely following the move of a registered sex offender to the community.
The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall.
In accordance with state law, the Ely Police Department will release information regarding Michael John Nord, a Level III sex offender subject to public notification.
According to a news release, Nord, 41, has moved to the 200 block of West Harvey Street in Ely.
Nord, who served his sentence and was released in March, 2016, has a history of sexual contact with known adult females, according to the release. The investigating agency was the U.S. Army.
He gained access at a bar where he mixed a chemical into their drinks rendering them vulnerable. Contact included penetration.
Representatives of both the Ely Police Department and Minnesota Department of Corrections will attend the public meeting and be available to provide information related to public safety.

Sat
31
Aug

Cameras and signs to be posted along Trezona Trail in Ely to warn users about recent wolf attack

Cameras and signs will soon be posted along the Trezona Trail in Ely to warn users of the trail about recent wolf encounters in the area. On Thursday, Aug. 15, a dog out for a run with its owner was attacked by a wolf at about 8:30 p.m. A report was made to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by the dog’s owner, detailing his encounter with the wolf near the Shagawa Lake boat landing.

Fri
30
Aug

Time to go show

by Tom Coombe
Five years after it was rescued from disrepair and decay, Ely’s State Theater building will live again.
A major and massive renovation project is coming to a close and the building’s owner has completed a long search for a tenant: a nonprofit organization formed this year by nearly a dozen area residents.
That group,operating under the name Ely’s Historic State Theater, is brainstorming ideas, generating funds and working toward a late-fall grand opening, perhaps in November.
The nonprofit will lease the building from Alley A Realty, which has purchased and refurbished numerous Ely buildings, and intends to make it home to an array of potential events.
In addition to movies, the main theater is set up as a multi-purpose venue, with the stage extended to accommodate for theater productions and an open area at the front of the room to go with 234 completely refurbished theater seats.

Fri
30
Aug

School year starts Tuesday in Ely

by Tom Coombe
Some may consider it bad news that it’s time to go back to school. Here’s some good news. The hot water system is finally fully functional in the Ely school buildings.
In Ely and in most other Minnesota communities including those around the Iron Range, school doors will swing open this week with the first day of classes on Tuesday.
The 2019-20 school year also brings some new faces to the district, including right at the top, with Erik Erie set to take over as superintendent this month, pending the completion of licensure requirements.
A longtime principal at Mesabi East in neighboring Aurora, Erie was tabbed this summer to replace Kevin Abrahamson, who is leaving after four years as the district’s part-time chief executive.
Megan Anderson (Memorial) and Anne Oelke (Washington) return as building principals, but both will be overseeing some new staff members.

Fri
30
Aug

Journalists open window to the world

JOURNALISTS from around the world and their Ely hosts posed in front of the Chamber of Commerce before leaving town. Photo by Nick Wognum.

by Tom Coombe

Tue
27
Aug

Forest Service to burn near Basswood and Crab lakes

Superior National Forest managers plan to conduct some prescribed fires in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) on the LaCroix, Kawishiwi and Gunflint Ranger Districts. Depending on the fuels and weather conditions, the prescribed fire units will be burned starting as early as September 3, 2019 and before the end of October, 2019.

Fri
23
Aug

Twin Metals, labor unite

by Tom Coombe
If Twin Metals Minnesota is permitted to develop a copper-nickel mine near Ely, it will be built with union labor.
That was the backdrop for a celebration Wednesday, as labor and company officials formally signed a project labor agreement at a ceremony that attracted about 100 people.
Dignitaries, elected officials and project supporters were on hand to hail a link between labor and industry - one that could lead to several million hours of work in the construction of Twin Metals’ proposed mining operation south of the city limits.
“This is about jobs that form the middle class,” said State Sen. David Tomassoni (D-Chisholm). “And it’s happening in Ely, Minnesota. That’s a really big deal.”

Mon
19
Aug

Anti-mining meeting in Ely raises stir

by Tom Coombe
An unannounced meeting in Ely, where anti-mining advocates showed up en masse to share their concerns with representatives of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, appears to have raised more questions than it answered.
About 100 people gathered in the theater at Vermilion Community College Monday and - according to a published report - railed against proposed copper-nickel mining projects and were critical of Klobuchar for not taking a hard stance in opposition.
The meeting was not publicized and was apparently organized in secret, although another publication was notified of the session.
Klobuchar aides Ida Rukavina and Brian Werner attended, and the Klobuchar office have since claimed surprise over the nature of the meeting.
“We were surprised,” said Ben Hill, a spokesperson for Klobuchar. “We weren’t trying to be sneaky. We were under the impression there would be no press there. There was confusion about what the meeting was.”

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