News

Sat
12
Nov

One-vote margin in board race

For the second time in as many school board elections, Ely voters split nearly right down the middle when selecting between two candidates.<BR><BR>Incumbents Peggy York-Jesme and Ray Marsnik and first-time candidate Bill Erzar were decisive winners in Tuesday’s school board balloting, but just one vote separated Candy Sorensen and Walt Gessler in the contest for the third and final four-year seat up for grabs.<BR><BR>Sorensen was declared the victor Tuesday after an initial count showed her with 807 votes, compared to 806 for Gessler, a former board member.<BR><BR>Gessler said Wednesday that he was still weighing his options, but that it was likely he’d request a recount.<BR><BR>A similar scenario played out in 2003, when Gessler and Turner tied with 264 votes apiece, a scenario that led to a recount that showed Turner on top.<BR><BR>Sorensen, who like Erzar was making her first bid for a board position, said she expects a

Sat
12
Nov

Committee to weigh ambulance proposal

Ownership would change but service wouldn’t if Ely’s ambulance operation is restructured.<BR><BR>That’s what local government and hospital officials are saying about the proposal, which will be presented next Saturday (Nov. 19), when the area’s ambulance task force reconvenes at Grand Ely Lodge (9 a.m.).<BR><BR>“It’s pretty much the same,” said Winton Mayor Lee Tessier, who is part of a subcommittee that has explored the proposed changes.

Sat
12
Nov

Tight race nothing new for an Ely election

The one-vote difference in Tuesday’s Ely School Board election was just the latest in a series of unusually close local elections.<BR><BR>The initial count earlier this week showed that Candy Sorensen had 807 votes and Walt Gessler 806 in a race for an Ely School Board seat.<BR><BR>A recount is likely, and it would make the second time in as many elections that Gessler has been involved in a contest that required a second count of the ballots.<BR><BR>In 2003, Gessler and Turner tied with 264 votes in a school board race.

Fri
11
Nov

Westlins host AFS student Kaosu Takasi

Dennis and Kathy Westlin with sons Jake and Sam are enjoying a school year with foreign exchange student Kaosu Takasi from Japan. He’s like another brother, another son or as Kaosu adds jokingly - another pet. <BR><BR>Jake saw a film in Frank Ivancich’s history class promoting the AFS program. Jake thought it would be nice to have a foreign exchange student or someone of another culture live with them. And since he’d already been to Europe, he thought Japan would be a good choice. <BR><BR>The Westlins called Ely’s AFS coordinator Gordy Jacobson and filled out the applications for a Japanese student, or a student from Thailand as a back up choice. They were happy to receive Kaosu from Nagoya, a Japanese city of over 2,117,000 people. <BR><BR>It takes some time to become comfortable in new surroundings but Kaosu is slowly adjusting to his new family.

Sat
05
Nov

Improvements made at Hidden Valley

The Ely area has already had its first dustings of snow and more is sure to follow.<BR><BR>That means it won’t be long before Hidden Valley is a hub of activity, serving as the home base for youth and high school ski programs and doubling as a popular recreation spot for cross country skiers from Ely and outside the area.<BR><BR>The start of the ski season will also mark the culmination of months of effort by the Ely Nordic Association, a community nonprofit that has taken on management duties at Hidden Valley.<BR><BR>This winter, skiers are sure to notice the completion of two projects taken on by ENA this year.<BR><BR>Lights have been installed on about one kilometer of the approximately 10-kilometer trail system at Hidden Valley, and a new septic system is in place.<BR><BR>“We‘re really excited about (the developments),” said Deb Sussex, president of an organization that includes approximately 90 paid members.

Sat
05
Nov

Wanted: public opinion on CC

The facility is aging and deteriorating, the list of repairs is long and the price tag is steep.<BR><BR>Those seem to be the only certainties about the proposed Community Center renovations, and as city council members wrestle with the massive project and equally massive expense, they’re turning to the public for guidance.<BR><BR>At the urging of council member Chuck Novak, the city will hold at least three public hearings - the first of which has been slated for December - to talk about the project.<BR><BR>With council members divided over putting city funds into the project, and amid calls for a possible voter referendum on the issue next year, citizens will soon have the opportunity to weigh in.<BR><BR>“I think we have to engage the public,” said Novak “It’s got a lot of sentimental value to me and a lot of other people, but the dollars are just scary.”<BR><BR>The city has already secured a $100,000 Community Development

Sat
05
Nov

School issues go to local voters

Tuesday’s decisions by local voters may go a long way in determining both the immediate and long-term future of the Ely School District.<BR><BR>Four of the six seats on the Ely School Board are at stake, and the district’s financial fortunes take center stage as well with an excess levy referendum.<BR><BR>If approved, property taxes will increase and the district will receive more than $240,000 in additional operating revenue, which school officials say they need to combat growing budget deficits.<BR><BR>Turnout is almost certain to be a factor in both the school board contest and the levy decision.<BR><BR>The last three school board contests - all in odd-numbered years - have had large fluctuations in turnout.<BR><BR>Just 502 voters, only 14 percent of the district’s electorate, participated in a 2003 race that included four candidates and a successful write-in campaign by current board member Keith Turner.<BR><BR

Sat
05
Nov

PLAs sought for city projects

Ely city officials will consider a request that they require union labor on upcoming city projects.<BR><BR>Members of several Iron Range labor groups attended Tuesday’s city council meeting, requesting that the city follow the lead of St. Louis County, which is looking at a resolution that would mandate project labor agreements for county developments.<BR><BR>“We really believe it’s a good tool to get local labor on job sites,” said Gordon Smith, an organizer with a regional painters union. “They’re the people in the community who are supporting the community... A PLA helps a lot to ensure that local labor is used on projects.”<BR><BR>With major projects on the horizon, including the joint public works garage and a possible housing development and Community Center renovations, now is the time to make sure that union labor is hired, according to council member Mark Zupec.<BR><BR>“We’re looking at $20 million in projects,” said Zupec.

Sat
29
Oct

Some progress, but no settlement

Barring a last-minute change of heart, the Ely School District and the local faculty union won’t have a contract agreement prior to the Nov. 8 excess levy referendum.<BR><BR>Tuesday’s negotiating session ended without a deal and with health insurance coverage looming as the primary stumbling block.<BR><BR>School board members will meet Tuesday to discuss strategy and the sides aren’t set to meet again until Nov.

Sat
29
Oct

Foreign exchange student Nanna Knudsen looks forward to Ely’s winter and senior year privileges

Polly and Rick Anderson always wanted six children. Up until a couple years ago they’ve had four girls and it’s been that way for a while. <BR><BR>Then as of last year they had their fifth girl and this year their sixth girl. (Will they quit at six?) <BR><BR>These last two ‘daughters’ came about from the AFS program, having Ely’s last year’s 49th foreign exchange student Carlotta from Italy, who spent half the school year at the Andersons. <BR><BR>It went so well that they applied for another student and received one of this year’s three foreign exchange students. (The other two AFS students are Kaus from Japan, and Alti from Finland. They will be featured later in the Echo.) <BR><BR>After sorting through many biographies and trying to figure out who would fit in best with their family, the Andersons chose Nanna Roland Knudsen from Denmark and offered their home and family to her.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News