News

Sun
20
Jun

Highway 21 work to start mid-July, includes major detour for Johnson Creek culvert work

For all the griping about the state of Highway 21 between Ely and Babbitt, making the repairs may cause some additional complaints.<BR><BR>The $2.9 million project will include a detour that could last several weeks to replace the culvert between Johnson Lake and One Pine Lake. <BR><BR>Hardrives of Zim was awarded the contract for the work by St. Louis County. <BR><BR>“We had a preconstruction meeting yesterday,” said St. Louis County resident engineer Earl Wilkens. “There are 42 pipes that need to be replaced on that project and that work will start in the middle of July <BR><BR>“Then the actual pavement work would start sometime in early August and the completion date on the entire project is Sept. 24.”<BR><BR>Nearly 15 miles of the busy highway between Babbitt and Ely will see a new driving surface as well as some subgrade work. <BR><BR>“What we’re going to be doing is three operations to the road.

Sat
19
Jun

Steger’s Arctic Transect ends early

Will Steger’s trip across Nunavut came to a halt earlier than planned.<BR><BR>Arctic Transect 2004 was supposed to be a seven month, 3,000 journey across the Canadian arctic.<BR><BR>But the weather, bad ice and being six weeks behind schedule made Steger abandon plans to complete the trek. The decision to end at Pond Inlet came on June 6.<BR><BR>This is a portion of Steger’s journal entry for that day, “The warm weather continues today. It is very warm, the streams are flowing full tilt, there is a lot of melt from the mountains above. The leads - open sections in the ice - are also widening. For instance, to get out to our camp right now I’m jumping a number of leads. When we got here four days ago the leads were an average of a foot and a half or two feet wide. And they rise from the bottom of the ice up, so there is a kind of lip on the edge. They are now even wider.

Sat
19
Jun

Reunion preparations reach final stage

For Pat Koski and the virtual army of volunteers who are working on the 2004 Ely Memorial High School All-Class Reunion, several months worth of labor and planning are bearing fruit.<BR><BR>The preparations are nearly complete, and the celebration is just about set to begin.<BR><BR>Next week, several hundred Ely graduates will participate in the first local all-class event in nine years.<BR><BR>Set for June 30-July 5, the reunion combines individual class events with several all-class activities and the community’s Fourth of July celebration.<BR><BR>Add it all up, and it’s nearly a week’s worth of festivity and fun that Ely graduates won’t soon forget, according to event organizers.<BR><BR>“After Monday night’s (reunion committee) meeting, I think most of us walked out with a smile on our face and the thought that this is really coming together well,” said Koski, who co-chairs the organizing committee along with Mary Ann Le

Fri
18
Jun

Man drowns in Newton Lake

A capsized canoe led to a drowning on Newton Lake June 13. <BR><BR>Ronald Davidson, 59, of Davidson, Ohio was canoeing on Newton Lake in the BWCAW at about 8 p.m. with a passenger when their canoe capsized.<BR><BR>According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, a canoe with two people aboard capsized in the current between Newton and Fall Lakes. <BR><BR>After the canoe capsized the two passengers were able to get their personal flotation devices on. One of the passengers was able to make it to shore and the other was unconscious when pulled out of the water by his partner. <BR><BR>The partner tried to revive Davidson with CPR but was unsuccessful. <BR><BR>Davidson was later pronounced dead. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.<BR><BR>

Fri
18
Jun

Reunion preparations reach final stage

For Pat Koski and the virtual army of volunteers who are working on the 2004 Ely Memorial High School All-Class Reunion, several months worth of labor and planning are bearing fruit.<BR><BR>The preparations are nearly complete, and the celebration is just about set to begin.<BR><BR>Next week, several hundred Ely graduates will participate in the first local all-class event in nine years.<BR><BR>Set for June 30-July 5, the reunion combines individual class events with several all-class activities and the community’s Fourth of July celebration.<BR><BR>Add it all up, and it’s nearly a week’s worth of festivity and fun that Ely graduates won’t soon forget, according to event organizers.<BR><BR>“After Monday night’s (reunion committee) meeting, I think most of us walked out with a smile on our face and the thought that this is really coming together well,” said Koski, who co-chairs the organizing committee along with Mary Ann Le

Sun
13
Jun

Ely hospital offers to assist Babbitt in relocating clinic to Municipal Center

In a move that could save the city of Babbitt thousands of dollars, the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital has put forth an offer to assist in moving the clinic to the Municipal Center.<BR><BR>Joanie Kragness of SMDC and EBCH Administrator John Fossum pitched the idea to the city council Monday night. <BR><BR>The council had been looking at remodeling the west wing or north wing of the city-owned Municipal Center to create space for a clinic.<BR><BR>Fossum said the hospital had looked at upgrading the building it owns in Babbitt and leases to SMDC. <BR><BR>“For us the cost of upgrades to the property exceed the amount of rent we would need to pay for the improvements,” said Fossum.

Sun
13
Jun

2004 Peter Mitchell Days starts with prom, history, Walleye Whamma fishing contest

Buy your button, grab a schedule and get ready for the 2004 Peter Mitchell Fun Days in Babbitt.<BR><BR>Events start this Friday with the and continue through Sunday, June 27.<BR><BR>Two new events have been added and each will debut on Friday night. The first is a history program at 6:30 p.m. at the Municipal Center. The history of Babbitt will be presented by Marvin Lamppa. <BR><BR>Then at 7:30 p.m. it’s the Senior Citizens Prom with live music for those 50 and up, also at the Municipal Center.<BR><BR>Saturday brings the fifth annual Walleye Whamma fishing contest. Held on Birch Lake, this event has been popular with both locals and visitors with prizes totalling over $9,000.<BR><BR>The top walleye caught in Birch Lake will fetch $1,500.

Sun
13
Jun

Tourville fills in as economic developer

Bill Henning’s retirement may lead to structural changes in the Ely area’s economic development efforts.<BR><BR>A task force has recommended that city clerk John Tourville take on Henning’s duties as director of the Ely Area Development Association on an interim basis.<BR><BR>And Tourville could become the area’s permanent economic developer under proposals being addressed by the task force, which includes both EADA representatives and members of local governments.<BR><BR>No formal proposal for meshing Tourville’s city position with the economic development job have emerged, but his contract with the city is up in August and council members may opt to include economic development duties in a new job description, or in a renamed city administrator or city manager position.<BR><BR>The move would, in effect, bring economic development management directly under the wing of the city rather than the EADA, a private organization that contract

Sun
13
Jun

Reader’s Digest to feature Elyite

An Ely man’s quest to improve the fortunes of Vietnamese children is attracting national attention.<BR><BR>The July edition of Reader’s Digest will include a story on the efforts of Kim McCluskey, the employee of Piragis Northwoods Company who raised money to build a home for three orphaned girls near the remote village of Pingoi.<BR><BR>And McCluskey, with the assistance of Vietnamese guide Vu Huy, is taking up another mission: raising funds to build schools in the remote areas of Vietnam.<BR><BR>McCluskey coordinates Vietnamese canoe trips for Ely’s Piragis Northwoods, in conjunction with Huy.<BR><BR>Earlier this month, McCluskey returned Huy’s hospitality by showing him around town and taking him on a fishing and canoeing trip outside of Ely.<BR><BR>“We hope to see a bear while he’s here,” said McCluskey.<BR><BR>Huy’s help has been pivotal, according to McCluskey, in the efforts to help the orphaned girls.<

Sun
13
Jun

Ely Chamber of Commerce holds membership drive

A booming tourism economy thrives on the attention given to visitors and businesses through the Ely Chamber of Commerce. This week marks the annual membership drive as the Chamber readies for its new fiscal year starting July 1.<BR><BR>In this issue of the Ely Echo are listed the names of all the members who make up the many facets of the Chamber and information about what functions the Chamber performs in the community. <BR><BR>It helps to fund many services which benefit local residents year around, and it uses its marketing expertise to stretch its budget to bring notice of the northland’s beauty to people around the country.<BR><BR>The Ely Chamber of Commerce is currently an ‘Explore Minnesota Affiliate Travel Information Center’. The partnership was established to provide standardized information for on the road travelers and increase economic benefits to the state and its communities.

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