News

Sat
29
Oct

Fiber lines to every house in Ely?

A proposal to bring fiber optic lines to every home and business within the city limits was pitched at a study session last week.<BR><BR>With the Ely city council and Ely Utilities Commission meeting in a joint session, Dick Nordvold of Iron Range Resources presented the plan, “Fiber to the Premises.”<BR><BR>Following the meeting, Nordvold described how the proposal is being modeled after the Utah “Utopia” project that Ely council member Chuck Novak went to look at along with other Range officials.<BR><BR>“Fiber optic cable provides really a future proof technology for ultra high speed broadband connectivity,” said Nordvold. “Up here we’re dealing with 56k modems in some places and the world itself is going to fiber or ultra high speed bandwidth.”<BR><BR>Nordvold said the United States has fallen to 16th place in the deployment of broadband internet connections.

Sun
23
Oct

Laptops for everybody?

Ely City Council members were divided Tuesday over a proposal to purchase laptop computers for themselves.<BR><BR>They delayed a decision after lengthy and at-times heated debate at the tail end of a nearly four-hour meeting.<BR><BR>Member Mike Hillman presented the idea and was quickly backed by mayor Roger Skraba.<BR><BR>They said that computers were a tool they needed to conduct city business away from City Hall.<BR><BR>“Why are we making all of these investments in techology if I can’t use it?” Hillman asked.<BR><BR>Other council members, however, questioned both the need and the estimated $12,000 expense.

Sun
23
Oct

Report touts airport’s economic impact

There’s no commercial service and activities are sporadic, but Ely’s airport is vital to the community and has a significant economic impact.<BR><BR>That was the message delivered Tuesday by Rollie Green, chairman of the Ely Airport Commission, during a report to the city council.<BR><BR>And Green had some data to back his claim.<BR><BR>According to a report generated by University of Minnesota researchers, the city-owned airport last year had a total economic impact of $1.8 million on the Ely area and resulted in 38.89 jobs.<BR><BR>That’s not what was generated directly by the airport, but an accumulation of both direct and spin-off spending tied to airport activities.<BR><BR>“It has a very definite economic impact as far as the city is concerned,” said Green.

Sat
22
Oct

Lake County planning for wildfire protection

There was a small turnout for the wildfire preparedness meeting held at the Fall Lake Town Hall Thurs., Oct. evening with only eight residents of the Lake County and Ring Rock area of St. Louis County in attendance. <BR><BR>Ely Fire Chief Lou Gerzin opened the discussion with introductions of panel members Lake County Commissioner Clair Nelson, Mark VanEvery, Jim Hinds and Trudy Fagre with the U. S. Forest Service. <BR><BR>VanEvery explained that the meeting was being held in accordance with the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 which authorizes community wildfire protection planning which includes forest management and hazardous fuel reduction projects on public and private lands in regard to community wildfire response. <BR><BR>The plan will address the local forest conditions, assess values and prioritize a plan of action.

Sat
22
Oct

No consensus on bonding request

The deadline is less than two weeks away, but city officials haven’t yet reached common ground on a request for state bonding money.<BR><BR>At least three proposals, all revolving around the joint public works garage project, are under consideration.<BR><BR>City council members could choose one of the three, or perhaps another involving some combination of what’s already been discussed, before the Nov.

Mon
17
Oct

Northshore reaches settlement in gender discrimination lawsuit

Attorneys for Northshore Mining and a plaintiff class of female employees jointly announced they have reached an agreement to settle a gender discrimination class action lawsuit.<BR><BR>Northshore will pay $1.3 million in the case that involves 42 current and former female employees. The settlement amount includes attorneys’ fees. <BR><BR>In the suit, Holly Mathers, Sue Gundy, Rose Seelen and Dianne Thiel, alleged that they and other women had been discriminated against on the basis of gender in promotions, training, job assignments and overtime.<BR><BR>The lawsuit was originally filed in December, 1999 and was certified as a class action in September, 2003 to include 38 other current and former female hourly and non-exempt employees of Northshore Mining.

Mon
17
Oct

Oberstar lauds Ely projects

Congressman Jim Oberstar talked about his Slovenian heritage, tried out a logging simulator and trumpeted federal funding allocations he secured for the area during a whirlwind visit to Ely Wednesday.<BR><BR>The Eighth District Representative stopped at Vermilion Community College, the downtown technology center and the college’s outdoor learning center before holding a press conference at the Grand Ely Lodge. He them moved on to Fortune Bay Resort and Casino for a political fundrasier that evening.<BR><BR>At some of the stops he discussed his Slovenian roots and longtime connections to Ely - harkening back to dealings with the late J.P.

Mon
17
Oct

Echo newscasts airing on WELY

Radio station WELY has added local news - provided by the Ely Echo - to its programming lineup.<BR><BR>The news broadcasts, which originate from the Echo news room, began earlier this month and air several times each weekday, generally at 10 minutes before the hour.<BR><BR>“Having local news is part of the responsibility of a community radio station,” said WELY General Manager Bill Roloff. “We added local news because there was no place for people to get daily local news.”<BR><BR>Echo editor Tom Coombe goes on the air with most of the reports, and general manager Nick Wognum fills in when necessary.<BR><BR>“We’re very happy to be providing the news for WELY,” said Coombe. “We’re getting the chance to get the news out on a daily basis and we’re giving our readers a peek at what’s coming in their newspaper on Saturday. On the radio, you don’t have time to give more than the headlines and a few tidbits of information.

Mon
17
Oct

Website host has big problems

Three months of Ely Echo news disappeared over the weekend when 1upsoftware, the Echo host, had internal problems.<BR><BR>On Monday Echo staffers learned the site had been compromised and information posted had been lost.<BR><BR>At this time the site will be rebuilt for the issue sent to its subscribers for Saturday, October 15, 2005. The missing weeks will be reposted at a later date.<BR><BR>We apologize to our online readers for the inconvenience.

Sat
06
Aug

County backs housing project

Plans for a 26-unit housing development in Ely picked up steam last week with support from the St.

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