News

Mon
09
Aug

Banner charts hospital’s progress

It’s become a whole lot easier to track the progress of a massive fundraising effort by Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital.<BR><BR>Earlier this summer, EBCH partnered with Ely’s Piragis Northwoods Company, placing a giant ‘thermometer’ banner outside the popular downtown store.<BR><BR>EBCH will add more color to the thermometer as it moves closer to its goal of collecting $900,000 toward the development of a new assisted living complex.<BR><BR>Over $250,000 has already been pledged, and hospital administrator John Fossum filled in another blank space on the banner earlier this month.<BR><BR>Hospital officials are hoping that increased visibility will spur the fundraiser, which was launched last year.<BR><BR>“This has been a discussion point for awhile,” said Fossum.

Mon
09
Aug

Council balks at replacing trees

Ely’s City Hall is more visible than ever, thanks to the recent removal of two trees at the front of the building.<BR><BR>And some city officials want to keep it that way.<BR><BR>Tuesday, council members tabled a proposal to plant trees outside the building.<BR><BR>“I think City Hall really looks good right now without the trees there,” said council member Butch Pecha.<BR><BR>Large trees that blocked the view of much of the front of the building were taken down last month when it became necessary to do so to complete some renovation work to the building.<BR><BR>That’s given passersby a much better view of the building, and provide a look that several council members would like to keep.<BR><BR>When mayor Frank Salerno discussed a proposal to plant eight-to-10-foot high trees where the old trees had been located, council members balked.<BR><BR>“You’ve repaired the building and made it look real nice, a

Sun
08
Aug

While Grandpa napped, David Chelesnik drew his picture

This is nothing to snore about and yet that’s when it all began… back when Dave’s grandpa was napping while babysitting … snoring away on the couch, grandson David who was eight years old, got out his crayons and drew a picture of grandpa taking a snooze. It actually turned out halfway decent and Dave Chelesnik’s painting hobby began. <BR><BR>When he was 13 or 14, someone from the mine where his father John worked, gave him a set of oil paints and David Chelesnik Sr. has been painting ever since. Dave was going to go to college (UMD) to become an art instructor in the ’60s but back then the art department was stressing mainly modern art and wasn’t much interested in wildlife. David was so frustrated he made art his minor and got a business degree instead. He then went to work at Erie Mining Company’s accounting department. <BR><BR>Dave spends a lot of time outdoors and most of his paintings are of what he sees out there.

Mon
02
Aug

Ely remains in media spotlight

Ely’s reputation as a prime tourist attraction continues to grow.<BR><BR>Just days after the area was featured on NBC’s ‘Today’ show, Ely was the subject of a feature story on the front page of the New York Times’ travel section.<BR><BR>In the Times’ Sunday, July 25 edition, travel writer Barbara Lazear Ascher detailed her trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.<BR><BR>The piece was also featured prominently on the newspaper’s internet site.<BR><BR>Ascher wrote about canoeing on South Hegman and North Hegman lakes and visits to Ely’s Piragis Northwoods Company and the Chainsaw Sisters Saloon.

Sun
01
Aug

Cliffs, Steelworkers announce tentative labor agreement

Cleveland-Cliffs announced Wednesday that tentative contract settlements have been reached with the United Steelworkers union, representing approximately 2,000 hourly employees at its four managed iron ore mines in Minnesota and Michigan. <BR><BR>Contracts at Hibbing Taconite and United Taconite in Northern Minnesota, and Empire and Tilden Mines in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are set to expire on August 1.<BR><BR>Company officials said no details of the settlements would be released publicly until union members have ratified the contracts.<BR><BR>John S. Brinzo, Cliffs' chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We are pleased that tentative settlements have been reached. These were difficult negotiations but together we have achieved labor agreements that are fair to our employees, while allowing the Company to maintain a competitive position within our industry.

Sun
01
Aug

A picture perfect weekend

The best Blueberry/Art Festival ever?<BR><BR>Considering the event’s 24-year history and it’s traditionally large crowds, the 2004 event had to be very special to earn that description.<BR><BR>But that’s just what festival organizer Rita Grose had to say last week, after she had a few days to wind down from the three-day frenzy at Whiteside Park.<BR><BR>“This was absolutely the best as far as quality goes, and as far as attendance goes,” said Grose, who coordinates the event for the Ely Chamber of Commerce.

Sun
01
Aug

Building the economy with technology

Growing the local economy with technology-based jobs has long been a priority for Ely area leaders.<BR><BR>But turning those hopes and plans into action and specific results has proven to be a formidable challenge.<BR><BR>That’s why the Ely Area Joint Powers Board enlisted the services of John Powers, a Duluth consultant and community planner, to devise a strategy for making the knowledge-based technology sector a vital component of the local economy.<BR><BR>After months of research, Powers presented the first draft of his strategy at Wednesday’s Joint Powers session.<BR><BR>The 23-page document details the keys to success for knowledge-based business, steps needed to foster growth in the Ely area, and a plan for using both existing talent and businesses and attracting entrepreneurs from outside the area.<BR><BR>“There already are strong aspects of it here,” Powers said of the knowledge-based technology industry.

Sat
31
Jul

World Press journalists coming to Ely this week

Nine foreign journalists will spend this weekend in Ely as part of the annual World Press Institute fellows’ tour.<BR><BR>The journalists meet with major political leaders and nationally-noted economists, and see America’s largest cities’ media outlets during a four-month visit to the country.<BR><BR>And, just as they have for the past 12 years, the journalists will also make Ely - and the Ely Echo - part of their visit.<BR><BR>The journalists will spend three nights in homes of area families and individuals and meet the public Sunday (10:30 a.m.

Tue
27
Jul

Fire danger is high in NE Minnesota

After three weeks without rain northeastern Minnesota is primed for wildfire. Fourth of July weekend was the last rainfall in the area. Hot weather and lower humidities have elevated fire danger over the past week.<BR><BR>Another indication of fire conditions is the Wildland Fire Use fire currently burning in Voyageurs National Park. It was caused by lightning and is currently at just over 450 acres. Information on that fire can be found at www.nps.gov.voya.<BR><BR>This time of the year severe weather has the potential to cause multiple starts in dry conditions. <BR><BR>Those planning trips to northeastern Minnesota are asked to be mindful of the fire conditions and take extra care making sure campfires are out cold.<BR><BR>August 9 marks the 60th birthday of Smokey Bear, the icon of fire prevention.

Mon
26
Jul

Carry Pat Milan’s ‘Ski E-Z” or ‘Ely-Z’ chairs with you and you can sit anywhere

While vacationing and skiing in France, sitting on a slope, sitting on the ground, sitting in the snow, the thought occurred to Pat Milan, by the seat of his pants, “there must be a better way than sitting in the snow, on the ground, on the side of the slope.” <BR><BR>Sometimes people take their skis and shove them into the snow and put the ski poles across the bindings and sit on the poles, but that’s not very comfortable. <BR><BR>Pat thought there must be a better way and that’s when he started working on a chair design using skis and poles. He designed the comfortable chair while he was living in Switzerland. When he was back in the States he began searching for a manufacturer. <BR><BR>He would have liked to have his chair manufactured in the United States but it was not cost effective so he went with a manufacturer overseas.

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