News

Sun
24
Oct

Vermilion opens downtown Tech Center

Vermilion Community College will soon have a downtown presence with the opening of its TechNorth Prep Center.<BR><BR>Part of the True North economic initiative advanced by the regional community college system, the TPC will be the home of a VCC employee and a location aimed at marketing and promoting the development of high-technology jobs in the Ely area.<BR><BR>VCC has signed a one-year lease for 1,200 square feet of office space in the Queen City Federal building on East Sheridan Street. The college will use the space previously occupied by Ely Realty.<BR><BR>Bill Henning, former Ely area economic developer and current member of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, is working for VCC as a consultant on the project.<BR><BR>“What the TPC is going to do is provide a contact point with the college,” said Henning.

Sun
24
Oct

City prepares for purchase of county land for Bear Center

Whether or not the proposed North American Bear Center site east of Ely becomes reality will face another test this Tuesday.<BR><BR>The St. Louis County Board will be reviewing selling land to the city of Ely which would then deal with the NABC directly.<BR><BR>City Attorney Larry Klun briefed the city council on the issue at last Tuesday’s regular meeting.<BR><BR>Klun said some new issues have popped up including two private property owners who have been using part of the county property. <BR><BR>Mayor Frank Salerno said there are even some private structures on the county land.<BR><BR>“The county recognizes that,” said Klun. “I’m exploring the option of the city managing those parcels and obtaining the administrative burden from the county and getting a 10 percent discount on the purchase price.” <BR><BR>Klun said the value of the land will be revealed when the county board meets on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

Sun
24
Oct

No decision yet on Tourville, EADA

The divide over whether or not the current city clerk should also be hired as the area economic director was clear on Tuesday night.<BR><BR>With Clerk John Tourville seated in the middle, council members Mark Zupec and Mike Hillman battled Mayor Frank Salerno and Paul Kess. <BR><BR>Jerome Debeltz and Butch Pecha largely sat out the debate and Dan Przybylski was absent from the meeting.<BR><BR>After some heated exchanges and several legal opinions, the next step was laid out: a meeting with the Ely Area Development Association to discuss the issue. <BR><BR>Also looming ahead is a review of Tourville’s job performance which has yet to be completed and could further complicate the issue.<BR><BR>There were definitely complications over how economic development efforts were going to be run in the city of Ely.

Sun
24
Oct

Jaycees’ Haunted House returns

The Ely Jaycees have turned Hidden Valley into their own high school.<BR><BR>Their own Haunted High School.<BR><BR>With Halloween fast approaching, it’s time for the local service organization’s annual Haunted House, and both children and adults are invited to go through the house of horrors for what organizers say will be a frighteningly good time.<BR><BR>The scares and special effects start at 7 p.m. Friday, with additional performances the following evening and Halloween night, Sunday Oct. 31.<BR><BR>A seasonal hit since its inception in 1997, the 2004 event takes on a new look with props, characters and the interior patterned after a high school - with more than a few special effects.<BR><BR>“It’s going to be made up just like a high school,” said Rob Wilmunen, one of about a dozen Jaycees members preparing for the event.

Sun
24
Oct

Ely set to address meth issue

Amid alarming statistics and evidence of a growing problem in the community, Ely is about to shine the spotlight on methamphetamine use.<BR><BR>Next month, Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital will host a public forum on the issue, aimed both at raising awareness and educating people about the destructive stimulant.<BR><BR>On Nov. 16 (7 p.m.) at Washington Auditorium, those attending will hear from Brian Poppenberg, a St.

Sun
24
Oct

Edwards rallies for Range support

Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards mixed a traditional DFL message with sharp attacks against the Bush administration - as well as a direct appeal to those who like to hunt, fish and snowmobile - during a visit last week to the Iron Range.<BR><BR>Edwards charmed a partisan crowd of about 5,000 Tuesday night at the Hibbing Memorial Arena.<BR><BR>The number-two man on the Democratic ticket talked about creating jobs, lowering health care costs and raising the minimum wage.

Mon
18
Oct

EBCH curtails development, fund drive

Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital has pulled the plug on two major initiatives.<BR><BR>Plans for a hospital owned and operated assisted living complex have been shelved, following action by the EBCH board of directors.<BR><BR>Meanwhile, the EBCH Foundation - the fundraising arm of the non-profit organization - has ended an 18-month capital campaign that raised $300,000, just one-third of what was targeted.<BR><BR>The moves come as the hospital board prepares for the annual meeting of hospital shareholder, set for Dec. 6, and mark a decided shift in focus.<BR><BR>Over the last several years, EBCH has pushed toward the development of an assisted living complex.

Mon
18
Oct

Bush cabinet member comes to Northland

President Bush’s top gun on land management came to northeastern Minnesota last week and stumped for votes.<BR><BR>Interior Secretary Gale Norton spoke to a crowd of about 250 in Canyon Wednesday, drumming up support for President Bush and rattling off administration policy in favor of logging and multiple-use on public lands, and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWAR) in Alaska.<BR><BR>Logging trucks lined Highway 53 when Norton arrived and loggers made up much of the audience at the event, held in a large garage owned by Canyon logger Peter Wood.<BR><BR>Norton played to her audience, opening the address with criticism of the U.S. Forest Service and a call for further logging on national forest lands.<BR><BR>“We’ve had well-intentioned but misguided management of our forests for decades and decades,” Norton said. “When you thin the forest you can create jobs.

Sun
17
Oct

Federal monies sought for garage

Local officials are turning to the federal government for help in funding a proposed joint public works garage.<BR><BR>They’ve already lobbied Congressional staffers in hopes of lining up support for the plan to put public works operations of at least two entities - Ely and St. Louis County - under one roof.<BR><BR>County commissioner Mike Forsman, one of the most ardent proponents of the $7 million initiative, said a push is on to secure federal funding that would lower Ely’s obligation, currently estimated at $2.8 million.<BR><BR>“What we’re doing is trying to take the edge off the city’s responsibility,” said Forsman. “We’re hoping at least to whittle that ($2.8 million) down. Anything we can get will help out.”<BR><BR>Forsman and Ely leaders including city clerk-treasurer John Tourville have already met with representatives of U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton (D) and U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar (D). They also plan to reach out to U.S. Sen.

Sun
17
Oct

Van Every answers questions from ATVers

In front of a room full of ATV owners, U.S. Forest Service Kawishiwi District Ranger Mark Van Every fielded questions and explained new rules now in place.<BR><BR>Over 50 people turned out last Wednesday for an Ely/Winton Stumpjumpers ATV meeting held at Grand Ely Lodge. <BR><BR>In the Superior National Forest there are 40 miles of designated ATV trails. In the Ely area, there is one mile of designated ATV. That is the Bianchi Trail from Ely to the Taconite Trail.<BR><BR>With the announcement of the new Superior National Forest Management Trail, what most ATV users are upset about is the rule stating that cross-country travel for the retrieval of big game is not allowed. <BR><BR>Van Every said one person traveling cross-country encourages others to cross in the same area. This cannot be done without damaging vegetation, soil and wildlife, which may impact lakes and streams.

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