News

Sun
12
Sep

City hopefuls engage in tame debate

For the current election season, Wednesday's public forum for Ely's mayoral and city council candidates was an anomaly.<BR><BR>Disagreements were mild, debate was civil, the audience was respectful and polite.<BR><BR>And in clear contrast to ongoing state and federal races, animosity was hard to spot.<BR><BR>Mayor Frank Salerno and challenger Roger Skraba, along with eight contenders for three city council positions, exchanged ideas and opinions - and found much common ground - during a two-hour forum at Vermilion Community College.<BR><BR>The sharpest comments in the event attended by about 55 people came from two of the candidates hoping to unseat incumbents.<BR><BR>Louis Kotzian, an employee in the city's public works department, called for new blood in city office.<BR><BR>"It's time for a change,"&#160;said Kotzian. "We need a new council.

Sun
12
Sep

A guide to voting on Tuesday

If past history is any indication, Ely area voters will turn out in force for Tuesday’s primary election.<BR><BR>Some, no doubt, will be first-time voters.<BR><BR>Others may not be familiar with the rules associated with a primary election.<BR><BR>Combine that with a limited amount of pre-election advertising and voter education and some voters may be confused, perhaps even apprehensive, about going out and casting a ballot this week.<BR><BR>Here’s a guide to what voters, either those who don’t miss an election or folks coming out for the first time, can expect.<BR><BR>Where to vote<BR><BR>Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.<BR><BR>Those outside of Ely vote at their respective town or city hall.

Mon
06
Sep

New shop repairs recreational equipment

Recreation and vacation times are valuable and you want to be sure your boat motor, 3-wheeler, ATV or snowmobile purrs along. But when something goes wrong and you have to stop your engine, call Troy and Sheila at Ely Powersports and Repair. <BR><BR>Troy Tuhkanen and Sheila Mora-vitz have teamed up to rev up a new ATV, snowmobile and marine repair shop and dockside service in Ely. The business opened on July 5 on the west end of town sharing space in the old Mike Coombe Ford building where the Bear Center and Spirit of the Wilderness are now. <BR><BR>Troy, who is originally from Cotton, MN managed a business just like this for three years in Duluth. He intended to purchase that business but the deal fell through. And since his fiancée, Sheila Moravitz is from Ely and has a lot of family here, they decided to start the same type of business in Ely and have mostly family operating it.

Mon
06
Sep

Only city candidates to take part in forum

Just one of two candidates forums scheduled in Ely this week will go on as planned.<BR><BR>Ely’s mayoral and city council candidates have been invited to take part in a two-hour debate set for Wednesday (7 p.m.) in the theater at Vermilion Community College.<BR><BR>Scheduling conflicts forced organizers to scrap Tuesday’s forum, which was to include candidates for Minnesota House of Representatives seat 6A.<BR><BR>The public is invited to attend and submit questions to the candidates.<BR><BR>Format for the event includes opening and closing remarks by each candidate, and the opportunity to answer questions written by the audience, screened by a panel of four and then given to the moderator.<BR><BR>Several local organizations are working together to sponsor the forums.<BR><BR>The Ely Rotary Club, the Arrowhead Association of University Women, the Ely Echo, WELY Radio and the Ely Timberjay are all on board as spon

Mon
06
Sep

Morse plan impact could be felt by property owners looking to subdivide

It was the only the first draft but the new Morse land use plan generated some intense response at a public meeting Thursday night.<BR><BR>With over two dozen in attendance, Rudy Schoolderman of ARDC ran through the basics of the plan, which was originally completed in 1979 and updated in 1982, 1984 and 1988.<BR><BR>A Morse Township steering committee has been working on the plan for over 18 months. <BR><BR>The plan deals with zoning and more specifically lot sizes. The problem at this point is that the plan is difficult to read and finding out the impact on a specific parcel requires one-on-one discussion.<BR><BR>The plan does not indicate what was in place before, only what the new zoning changes would be. <BR><BR>There are multiple zoning levels on some lakes, making it difficult to determine what would or would not be allowed.

Mon
06
Sep

It’s festival time - again - in Ely

This weekend’s Harvest Moon Festival won’t have the crowds or the hustle and bustle of Ely’s summer Blueberry/Art Festival.<BR><BR>And that’s just how those organizing and attending the event seem to like it.<BR><BR>The 11th annual event begins Friday and continues through the weekend at Whiteside Park, and should the weather cooperate, as many as 10,000 people could attend.<BR><BR>A smaller version of the July Blueberry event, the Harvest Moon - sponsored by the Ely Chamber of Commerce - includes about 130 arts and craft exhibitors and food vendors.<BR><BR>That’s 10 more vendors than there were a year ago, but a far cry from the Blueberry/Art Festival, which has about 250 exhibitors.<BR><BR>“This is just more of a low-key type of event,” said Chamber director Linda Fryer. “There aren’t as many booths and there aren’t as many people and it isn’t as crazy down there as it is for Blueberry.

Sun
05
Sep

Joint garage plan in trouble

With a make-or-break vote set for Tuesday, Ely city officials aren’t yet sold on plans for a joint public works garage.<BR><BR>At least four of seven city council members have expressed reservations about or outright opposition to city involvement in a $7 million plan to put public works operations of four entities - St. Louis County, Ely, Lake County and Morse Township - under one roof.<BR><BR>“My big concern is where are we going to get the money to pay for it,” council member Jerome Debeltz said of the proposal, which calls for Ely to spend $2.8 million over 15 years, including a $112,000 design phase commitment that comes up for a vote Tuesday (5:30 p.m., City Hall).<BR><BR>The project, in the works for months, is almost certain to be derailed if the city opts out this week, according to St.

Sun
05
Sep

Roadsides show flashes of fall color

Many park officials report trees displaying early fall color. In general, fall color is progressing throughout the entire state of Minnesota, with the prairie grasses and fall wildflowers nearing peak fall color. Minnesota’s fall color season may occur earlier than usual due to unseasonably cool temperatures throughout much of the state. <BR><BR>On average, peak fall color arrives in the northern one-third of the state the middle of September to early October. One exception is the North Shore Drive where trees along Lake Superior turn color a week later than inland trees due to the warming effect of the lake. <BR><BR>Bear Head Lake State Park -Ely<BR><BR>A few of the maples, paper birch, and quaking aspen are beginning to turn red, orange and yellow. One-quarter of the pin and choke cherry are turning red, and one-half of the spreading dogbane is now yellow.

Mon
30
Aug

Community Readiness Committee formed from Mesaba Project after Teck Cominco leaves

The Iron Range may see the economic impact of as many as four major projects sooner than expected. Updates on the Mesabi Nugget Project, NorthMet Project, Mesaba Energy Project and the Soudan Underground Laboratory were presented to the Community Readiness Committee, formerly the Mesaba Project Committee. <BR><BR>Over 60 people, in addition to the two dozen committee members, were also in the audience at the Hoyt Lakes Arena Wednesday, August 25. <BR><BR>The committee was formed to assess what is needed for each of these projects, such as road and infrastructure requirements, school and housing needed, as well as keeping everyone informed on the progress being made.<BR><BR>Mesabi Nugget president, Larry Lehtinen gave an update on the Erie Nugget Project, for a Large Scale Demonstration Plant (LSDP) destined for development at the former LTV Cleveland Cliffs site.

Mon
30
Aug

Gardner Trust awards $6,300 for Ely artists and arts organizations

The Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust board of trustees completed their 2004 grant round at their August 18 meeting. The board was very pleased to award $6,300 in total for an individual artist grant, project grants, and operational funding grants this year. “There were many good applicants this year,” said executive director, Keiko Aylsworth, “and the board had really great discussions about each application. Community impact was highly rated as well as serving more children and families as well as collaborative efforts.”<BR><BR>Individual artist grant recipient, Kevin Strauss, will be working one-on-one with a storytelling mentor of international recognition and will produce a CD with his own stories.

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