News

Fri
24
Jul

“Shop” space integral part of school building project

by Tom Coombe
Anyone who’s listened to school superintendent Erik Erie’s presentations about the upcoming $10 million bond referendum has probably heard him proclaim “Industrial arts are alive and well in Ely.”
Newly-released details fortify that position, including some alterations from original plans that create additional space for industrial arts or often-called “shop classes.”
Current drawings show about 10,500 square feet for industrial arts in the new structure that would link the Memorial and Washington buildings, should the Aug. 11 referendum be approved.
That’s a roughly 4,000 square foot increase from initial designs, and come on the heels of a comprehensive look at industrial arts classrooms at numerous area schools - led by longtime Ely industrial arts instructor Rob Simonich.
The result was a reconfiguration that, according to Simonich, not only meets Ely’s needs but puts the school in a leading position with the region.

Fri
24
Jul

In Ely, “More” COVID cases

by Tom Coombe
The Ely area has seen an increase in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19, but further details are murky.
While Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital reported Monday that there have been no increase in cases locally for two months, physician Joe Bianco of Essentia Health - which operates Ely’s clinic - reports some growth.
“We have seen more cases,” said Bianco. “It’s difficult to give a quantity because some people get tested and other entities which we don’t have records to and there’s no central place for Morse Township or Ely so I can’t give you can exact number. But there are more cases.”
Bianco, however cautioned that the current hike was anticipated, and not cause for alarm.
“It’s not like we’ve seen an exponential rise,” said Bianco. “We’re not a hot spot. We completely all expected to see cases. ”

Fri
17
Jul

Treehouse Broadband dialing up project

A $450,000 wireless broadband project in the Town of Morse is moving forward.
Isaac Olson of Treehouse Broadband updated the Morse board on Tuesday night. Olson said over the last four weeks he’s talked to over 100 people in the area the project will cover.
He’s also met with island owners on Burntside Lake.
One lease is signed and five or six others have been given to the owners for the repeaters on the island.
He said an antenna has been installed on the Winton water tower with testing ongoing.
The two taller towers are planned for Wolf Lake and Little Long Lake with a spot planned that is within sight of the Ely water tower will be built using a 30-foot tower instead of 100 footer.
He is putting together updated costs on those two locations which would be able to redistribute the township funding to the two towers and/or to help fund expansion elsewhere.

Fri
17
Jul

You can learn about the story of Ely by visiting the cemetery

by Bill Erzar, Chairman
Ely Cemetery Committee
Tonight, as I sit here at home, I have spent basically the last week checking gravestones and monuments at the Ely Cemetery, that have fallen over, are leaning, have bases that are deteriorating, headstones that are loose from bases, have broken components, those that need cleaning, and those that are missing panels from the old Cast Metal type of monuments.
I have walked, knelt at, and laid down at some markers to rub off the moss or lichens, or cleared away some overgrown grass and dirt to read the names on those weather worn stones. Many of our early Elyites, were of Slovenian and Finnish ancestry.

Fri
10
Jul

Tourism on the rebound

by Tom Coombe
Despite an anemic spring local officials expect that when all is said and done, lodging tax receipts will rebound from current levels.
A recent influx of summer tourism traffic, and reports that some area resorts are expecting steady business through September, is helping to drive that optimism.
That’s despite a report presented at Tuesday’s city council meeting showed that collections from the area’s three percent “bed tax” are down by about 15 percent.
April and May totals also figure to be significantly down, due largely to coronavirus-related stay at home orders that shuttered some local lodging establishments.
Nevertheless, Ely Mayor Chuck Novak voiced some optimism and backed it up with both data and anecdotal evidence.
“My comment is that this is not as bad as I thought it would be,” said Novak.

Fri
10
Jul

Ely Patriotic March was a success

BIG TURNOUT for the Ely Patriotic March as people gathered to celebrate our country’s Independence Day with a parade along Sheridan Street Saturday.

See this week's Ely Echo for three full pages of photos from the event PLUS a full page from the motorcade event at Carefree Living!

Subscribe by emailing us at elyecho@aol.com or call 218-365-3141. Thank you!

Fri
03
Jul

March (parade) on the 4th

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s first Patriotic March highlights an unconventional Independence Day celebration town.
Both the official July 4 parade and festivities in Whiteside Park were casualties of the coronavirus pandemic, but the march, set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, has the look of a traditional parade.
It will use the traditional parade route as well as an additional five blocks to allow people to spread out.
Earlier in the day, people should look to the sky as another Ely Fourth staple - a military plane flyover - is in the works.
Retired Air Force pilot and Ely American Legion post commander Steve Saari announced Wednesday that “the 148th Fighter Wing from Duluth will salute the celebration of our independence on the Fourth of July with a 2 ship Block 50 F-16 flyover from east to west down Sheridan Street.”
The flyover is scheduled to take place some time between 11:15 and 11:25 a.m. on Saturday.

Tue
30
Jun

BLM will prepare EIS on Twin Metals project

Twin Metals Minnesota announced it has received the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Notice of Intent to scope and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Twin Metals’ proposed copper-nickel-cobalt-platinum group metals mine in northeast Minnesota.
The BLM notice formally initiates the scoping and environmental review process at the federal level under the National Environmental Policy Act, which will allow for a thorough analysis of the potential impacts and benefits of Twin Metals’ proposed project.
Multiple federal agencies and tribal governments will be engaged in the process, and the public will have several opportunities to participate through comment periods.
A parallel environmental review process will be led by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The BLM determined Twin Metals’ proposal to be complete in late May after the company responded to comments from federal agencies on its initial mine plan submittal.

Fri
26
Jun

Harvest Moon still on…for now

by Tom Coombe
Despite a recommendation that it be cancelled, Ely’s Harvest Moon Festival is still on as scheduled in early-September.
The Ely Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the annual event,plans to wait until July 28 before deciding the fate of the popular arts and crafts show held in Whiteside Park.
But the Chamber’s board will weigh a recommendation from the organization’s events and promotions committee, which recommended on May 26 that the Harvest Moon Festival, slated for Sept. 11-13, be cancelled.
Brian Forsberg, chairman of the Chamber’s board of directors, stressed Thursday that no final decision has been made.
“This has not yet been discussed at the board level,” said Forsberg. “At this point, the ‘go or no go’ date is July 28. The board as far as I know would not make any decision until that time.”

Tue
23
Jun

Fire destroys another home

by Tom Coombe
For the second time this month, an Ely home went up in flames and was destroyed by fire.
Tuesday afternoon, fire crews arrived at 131 East Conan Street to find the structure completely ablaze.
Nobody was injured in a home that belonged to Scott Matschiner, according to Ely Fire Chief Tom Erchull.
One dog inside the home was able to escape while another is believed to have perished in the blaze.
The home was damaged extensively and is considered a total loss, while two adjacent homes had moderate damage and another had damage to its siding.
The devastation could have been even worse, according to Erchull.
“That’s why we had Morse (Fire Department) go down to Central Avenue,” said Erchull. “That easily could have been the whole block when the houses are three feet apart. I thought it was going to be the whole block.”

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