News

Mon
17
May

Children’s Art Camp will be held June 16-18

Art Camp will take on a slightly new focus this year when the event takes place June 16-18. Sponsored by Ely Greenstone Public Art, the popular camp, now in its third year, will be held at Semers Park.<BR><BR>Fliers will be sent home with Ely students in grades 2-6, ages 8-12 exclusive, with information about the event. Classes will be held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 12:30 -4 p.m.<BR><BR>Volunteers have been meeting to plan the classes to be offered. Additional helpers are welcomed to assist. Call Anne Swenson at 365-5917 or 365-3141 or Judy Fredrickson at 365-4020 if you are interested in helping one or more days.<BR><BR>There is a tuition fee of $20 per child, but scholarships are also available.<BR><BR>Class space will be limited so that student receive lots of personal attention. Early enrollment is encouraged. Camp participants will be limited to a total of 40 students, with 10 students in each class.

Mon
17
May

Morse waiting for Fall Lake fire payment

Morse Township will pursue a written agreement with Fall Lake for the operation of their joint fire department.<BR><BR>But in the meantime, Morse will continue to cover all expenses associated with operating the department, much to the chagrin of at least one township supervisor.<BR><BR>At Tuesday’s town board meeting, supervisor Jack Willis was on the losing end of several 2-1 votes - all dealing with fire department expenses or operations.<BR><BR>Willis, who was outvoted by supervisors Len Cersine and Terry Soderberg, contends that Morse should hold back on any further fire department spending until Fall Lake comes on board.<BR><BR>“We’re still going down that road where the town of Morse is paying the whole bill,” said Willis.

Mon
17
May

Minnesota Wild players coming to Ely on June 1

The Minnesota Wild hockey team will include Ely as part of its promotional travel tour this summer. <BR><BR>On June 1 one current player and other representatives of the Wild will be in town.<BR><BR>At 10 a.m. the Wild will visit with elementary students at Washington Auditorium. <BR><BR>A luncheon will follow in the Ely Ice Arena, from 10:45 a.m. to noon. Tickets for the luncheon are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. <BR><BR>Tickets are available from Blue Line members or by calling Betsy Leustek at 365-4903. <BR><BR>The Wild visit is sponsored by Wells Fargo, the Ely Blue Line and WELY. <BR><BR>Autographed items such as sticks, pucks, photos and yearbooks will be raffled off at the luncheon.

Mon
17
May

Dispatcher service could be axed

Police and fire dispatcher service in Ely would be eliminated under a cost-cutting plan advanced by the city’s budget committee.<BR><BR>Committee members voted 2-1 Thursday to recommend that the city council discontinue the positions and move the current dispatchers into other jobs within the city.<BR><BR>The council could act on the recommendation, which calls for a six-month transition period, as soon as Tuesday’s regular (5:30 p.m., City Hall) meeting.<BR><BR>Two years ago, the council rejected a similar proposal and opted to maintain full-time emergency dispatch service. <BR><BR>But given recent budget deficits and declines in state aid to local governments, council member Paul Kess said that dispatchers provide a luxury the city can no longer afford.<BR><BR>“It’s a great service and people are used to it,” said Kess. “But it isn’t a core service.

Sun
09
May

Henning to retire from EADA

Bill Henning, Ely’s economic developer for nearly a decade, will retire at the end of the month.<BR><BR>The director of the Ely Area Development Association notified the organization’s executive board of his plans last week.<BR><BR>Henning, a 57-year-old native of Brooklyn, N.Y. and a retired Air Force pilot had been with the EADA since 1995.<BR><BR>“There’s a time for everything,” said Henning. “There was a time for me to retire from the Air Force. There was a time for me to move to Ely. My body was telling me that it was time to (retire) now or they were going to carry me out of this office dead. I’m not leaving town, but it’s been going on nine full years that I’ve been at this. The normal (tenure) of an economic developer is three years.”<BR><BR>Henning, who was appointed by Gov.

Sun
09
May

Business owners request action on Loe Industrial Park roadways

The three hour long Ely City Council meeting started by zipping through the consent agenda items. It soon thereafter found the councilors facing a determined Nichole Boitz of Studio North, representing the 22 business owners located in the Loe Industrial Park.<BR><BR>Boitz requested that the council have “the infrastructure committee put as a priority” the roadways in the industrial park.

Sun
09
May

Tourism concerns score with city officials

The clock on the back wall of Ely’s City Hall council chambers still reads Central Standard Time, but the daylight of the tourism season was the reality on Tuesday.<BR><BR>While the birds of spring chirped outside the open window and leaves were ready to unfurl in the backyard of Bare Bones Studio, the council addressed tourism-related issues. <BR><BR>First at bat was Paul Pengal from the Ely Little League who pitched for a change in the water charge for maintaining the city owned field. He said that the water bill had been $250 in the past but last year had jumped “to over $800.” He requested an exception for water used in watering the field, noting that the city waters grass in other parks and at the cemetery. <BR><BR>Pengal reminded the council of the economic benefit to the city from Ely Little League hosting past district tournaments and the opportunity to host next year’s state Little League tournament.

Mon
03
May

Teachers, district close to contract agreement

Representatives of the Ely School Board and the local teachers union are near agreement on a new two-year contract.<BR><BR>The pay scale for Ely faculty members would increase by one percent each year while current benefits would remain the same in a contract that covers both the current school year and 2004-2005.<BR><BR>But the deal isn’t ready for ratification by either the school board or the union rank-and-file just yet, according to district superintendent Ray Toutloff.<BR><BR>A contract language issue still needs to be worked out, Toutloff said Thursday.<BR><BR>“We’re close,” said Toutloff.

Mon
03
May

City of Babbitt to purchase Kasson assets

The City of Babbitt will again enter into an agreement to purchase the assets of a troubled company. <BR><BR>This time it’s Kasson Manufacturing, the pool table company that has been struggling financially for the past six months. <BR><BR>The Babbitt city council met Friday morning and approved a plan along the lines of a previous deal.<BR><BR>Babbitt bought the former Tirecyle rubber plant and sold it to BIRCO through a non-recourse loan from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board. <BR><BR>Mayor Don Negley said this would be a similar situation with the city acting as “a conduit.” <BR><BR>Council action included appointing Negley and council member Dick Niss to negotiate with the company’s creditors, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Northland Foundation and Minnesota Power. <BR><BR>The city will also have to work with U.S. Bank, which owns the inventory at the plant.

Mon
03
May

Auction nets over $13,000 for ECR

Ely Community Resource’s annual art auction and fundraiser generated over $13,000 for the community service organization.<BR><BR>More than 160 people attended the April 23 event at the Ely Community Center, bidding on approximately 175 items of art.<BR><BR>When it was over, ECR officials were smiling.<BR><BR>“We did great,” said ECR Executive Director Patti Zupancich. “We don’t have final numbers yet, but we raised about $13,200 from the art alone.

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