News

Fri
29
Apr

Sharon Geiger is official winner of Ely Echo’s Ice Out Contest after inadvertent mix-up

Here’s a clue: One shouldn’t try to pack and move a business during ice out.<BR><BR>Here’s why: First I forgot to write anything about the Shagawa Lake Ice Out Contest ending with the disappearance of ice. This took place on Sunday, April 17 at 1:46 p.m. as reported by the staff at Grand Ely Lodge’s Antlers Lounge, official judges.<BR><BR>However, it wasn’t until hours beyond the Echo’s Thursday night deadline, days later, that I remembered I had forgotten to announce it in the Echo. As it happened, Nick and Tom were still slaving away at the new 15 East Chapman Street offices and answered my call.<BR><BR>What happened next is an embarrassment. I had looked through the entries of week one and two and had found no entries for April 17.<BR><BR>In week three there was one entry for the date: April 17 at 2:30 p.m., Lorraine Korpi, Ely.<BR><BR>Week four’s entries were a different matter.

Mon
25
Apr

City search comes up empty

Back to the drawing board.<BR><BR>That was the consensus of the Ely City Council Tuesday, when they decided not to select either of the two remaining finalists for the vacant city clerk-treasurer position and opted instead to readvertise for applicants.<BR><BR>Three days earlier, finalists Walter Salo of Chisholm and Connie Kittlesen of Baxter interviewed for the job, but the council decided against offering either one of them the city’s top adminsitrative post.<BR><BR>“I didn’t feel very comfortable,” said council member Mark Zupec.

Sun
24
Apr

Group explores ambulance change

Local officials say they’re going to take a closer look at projections that show the Ely area may be better off financially by moving to a stand-alone ambulance service.<BR><BR>Estimates released April 16, during the second meeting of an area ambulance task force, revealed that an ownership change could result in a net savings of as much as $100,000, largely because of Medicare regulations.<BR><BR>Leaders at Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital, which owns and operates the service, have pushed for changes in which the hospital would turn ownership over to local governments, but continue to run the service as it is through a contract agreement.<BR><BR>But before they’ll recommend any changes to the current service, representatives of area governments say they want a thorough analysis of the numbers. <BR><BR>“I’d like to see the first two years (of financial projections) and a budget,” said Morse Supervisor Len Cersine.

Sat
23
Apr

Trezona Trail Celebration group to plant on Arbor Day

Interest in beautifying the Trezona Trail with plantings of trees and shrubs to honor and celebrate lives is growing; the group to date has received contributions from 37 individuals or families. Last Thursday, in observance of Earth Day and this Thursday, April 28, in observance of Arbor Day, a total of 10 trees and shrubs will be planted.<BR><BR>Two Armur Cherries were planted south of the Trail opposite Irresistible Ink on Miners Drive. One is to honor Judy Myers, who moved with her family last summer to <BR><BR>Indiana, and her contributions to Ely from members of the Ely Chapter of P.E.O., an international organization supporting education for women.

Sat
23
Apr

Sam Cook to speak at annual ‘Smile’ event

Noted outdoor writer, columnist, author and former Ely Echo reporter Sam Cook is scheduled to be the guest speaker at this year’s “Smile, You’re in Ely” dinner.<BR><BR>The 14th annual event, sponsored by the Ely Chamber of Commerce, is set for 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Grand Ely Lodge.<BR><BR>Festivities begin with a social, from 5 to 5:30 p.m., followed by a half-hour update on Chamber activities. Dinner is set for 6 p.m., with Cook slated to begin an hour later.<BR><BR>Cook, who worked for the Echo during the 1970s, is an outdoor writer and columnist for the Duluth News-Tribune and has landed several journalism awards.

Mon
18
Apr

Ely school budget rollbacks begin

Two Ely teachers are feeling the impact of the local school district’s budget crisis.<BR><BR>Monday, school board members approved reductions to two high school teaching positions - the first in a series of budget cuts for 2004-2005.<BR><BR>Industrial arts teacher Rob Simonich and science instructor Todd Hohenstein will go from full-time to .71 time next fall, due to continued declines in enrollment.<BR><BR>“(The reductions) are necessary at this point because we don’t have the students to generate full-time positions,” said superintendent Tom Bruels.<BR><BR>And further cuts in teaching staff are likely to follow next year and beyond Bruels said, as a drop in student population hits the high school.<BR><BR>K-12 enrollment at Ely has dipped from 921 students in 1995 to 645 this year, and the district projects another 22-student decrease for 2005-2006.<BR><BR>Combined with rising expenses and skyrocketing health i

Mon
18
Apr

Ely Echo opens today at 15 East Chapman St.

The Ely Echo office has relocated to 15 East Chapman Street as of today. <BR><BR>Job printing of brochures, envelopes, menus and more will continue to be offered by the Echo, although the newspaper will no longer be printed on site. The Echo’s web offset newspaper printing presses were the last ones being used in Ely. The Echo retained its top of the line job printing Hamada press.<BR><BR>Extensive printing and design services by in-house staff will be a feature at the new location. Also offered are the 10 cent copies and quick service on the Echo’s high speed copier/collater.<BR><BR>The Echo management thank its employees and the many businesses and individuals for their cooperation in this remodeling and move.<BR><BR>The Echo will hold an open house in the near future at 15 East Chapman Street. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays. The phone number is 365-3141.

Mon
18
Apr

Council, school board share ideas

For the first time in several years, school and city officials in Ely sat down to talk shop.<BR><BR>Wednesday morning’s breakfast session at Vertins covered a grab bag of issues, from economic development to pursuit of a BWCAW user fee.<BR><BR>And late in the nearly two-hour meeting, discussion moved toward an issue that has already garnered significant attention and is sure to get more in the coming months: the Ely School District’s financial crisis and subsequent proposal for an excess levy referendum this fall.<BR><BR>School board members pressed for input, questioning council members if the community will support property tax hikes to assist the district.<BR><BR>Mayor Roger Skraba didn’t mince words in his response.<BR><BR>“If you’re going to cut football but keep the teachers at full pay and benefits, you’re not going to get a referendum,” said Skraba.

Sun
17
Apr

Ruth Saari – Banner maker at First Lutheran Church, creatively serves the Lord

Ruth (Wik) Saari came to America from Sweden when she was nine years old in 1931. Her father, Einer, came to America first to prepare a place for his family. Three years his wife Jenny and their four children joined him. They settled in Cook, Minnesota near the area where the hospital now is. <BR><BR>After Ruth graduated from high school they moved to Evanston, Illinois. Again it was her dad and brothers who moved first with the mother and girls following later. <BR><BR>Ruth had met Bill Saari while living in Cook. In December of 1941 Ruth moved to Ely and she and Bill were married Dec. 24, 1941. The following spring Bill went into the military service and Ruth moved back to Illinois to live with her parents until Bill returned from the service <BR><BR> While Bill was gone, Ruth worked for Western Union as a messenger manager. She would schedule the routes and send the messengers out.

Sun
10
Apr

Council clears meth ordinance

It could soon be much more difficult to make methamphetamine in Ely.<BR><BR>Last Tuesday, the city council approved the first reading of an ordinance that regulates the sale of so-called methamphetamine precursor drugs.<BR><BR>Advanced by the Ely Meth Community Action Team - a group of volunteers working on several fronts to combat meth use in the area - the ordinance places restrictions on the sale of medicines that contain the key ingredients for making meth.<BR><BR>Drugs or products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine - active ingredients in over-the-counter cold and allergy products such as Sudafed - are subject to the ordinance and would no longer be available on the shelves of local stores.<BR><BR>Instead, similar to cigarettes and tobacco, the drugs would be required to be behind checkout counters, inside a locked display case, or within six feet of an unobstructed view of an attended checkout counter.

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