News

Sun
15
Aug

Silent auction kicks off with art to benefit kids

During one of Kim McCluskey’s kayak guiding trips to Vietnam for Piragis Northwoods Company in April, 2003 Kim learned about three girls who had been living on a raft for about 10 months after their mother died and father left them. <BR><BR>Kim and local guide Huy stay on a double deck boat in Vietnam with clients and take off from this boat in kayaks to go on adventures. They took up a collection on their boat for the girls to help them out. <BR><BR>When Kim returned to Vietnam in September, 2003 the girls were still living on the raft. When he came back to Ely, Kim decided the girls needed a house and he told his friend Huy that he would raise the money. <BR><BR>An article appeared in the Echo, other papers picked up on it and Reader’s Digest also did a story this summer. Money started coming in and the girls now have their house and another project, a school in the remote village of Halong Bay, is almost finished.

Sun
15
Aug

School lunch prices may go up

Higher prices and more selections are probably in store for Ely students when they enter the school lunchroom this year.<BR><BR>After losing nearly $30,000 on its food service operation in 2003-2004 school officials are looking for ways to close the gap.<BR><BR>An increase in lunch prices is likely, food service director Robyn Bertelsen said at Monday’s school board meeting.<BR><BR>Also in the works are proposals to add both an after-school snack service as well as reinstating the breakfast program.<BR><BR>All of the plans will get further scrutiny over the next several weeks, and board action is likely this fall.<BR><BR>A hike in lunch prices, which would be the first in three or four years, would wipe out the deficit, according to figures provided by Bertelsen.<BR><BR>She proposed a 25 percent increase, which would set the elementary lunch price at $1.90 and establish high school rates at $2.<BR><BR&g

Sun
15
Aug

For once, a happy ending

Lost in the woods for nearly two days, 83-year-old Thor Nordwall feared the worst.<BR><BR>“I said ‘God, I didn’t think I was going to go this way,” Nordwall recalled early last week.<BR><BR>Just a few miles away, in a cabin on the North Arm of Burntside Lake that she shared with her husband, Audry Nordwall had similar fears.<BR><BR>“I knew he was strong, but you can’t go on forever out there,” Audry said.<BR><BR>A search and rescue team about 100 people strong - from authorities to community volunteers - were on the lookout Monday morning for Thor who left his cabin Saturday afternoon in search of berries but never returned.<BR><BR>The search for Thor had gone on Saturday night, all of Sunday and again on Monday, and optimism was starting to wear thin.<BR><BR>But against the odds, this story would have a happy ending.<BR><BR>Thor emerged on a trail near his cabin shortly before 11 a.m.

Sun
15
Aug

Loony Day is here

Loon callers, it’s time to hone up your calls.<BR><BR>The community is going to the birds for the Ely Echo’s 19th annual Loon Calling Contest, this Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in the courtyard at The Chocolate Moose.<BR><BR>Kids and adults may participate with their best imitations of the sounds of the two-legged birds. Past events have drawn large crowds for the coos and trills of the contestants, many of whom return each year to battle for first place in their respective age brackets.<BR><BR>The contest is part of the Loony Day celebration.

Mon
09
Aug

MPCA fines Northshore

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) concluded 23 enforcement cases totaling just under $400,000 in penalties during the second quarter of 2004. These enforcement cases occurred at sites in 16 counties throughout Minnesota.<BR><BR>Northshore Mining was fined a total of $3,400 for air quality violations. <BR><BR>Bob Beresford of the MPCA said Northshore’s penalty had to do with coal emissions at the test pilot nugget plant in Silver Bay.<BR><BR>“The penalty was a result of a stack test failure. They have a bag filter on their coal crusher, the filter controls emissions on part of their pilot nugget plant,” said Beresford. “This was new equipment but they had some problems with the equipment and it failed a test last winter. <BR><BR>“They retested a couple of months later and demonstrated compliance,” said Beresford.

Mon
09
Aug

Minnesota DNR mineral tests find gold grains

Recent minerals testing near Soudan, MN, showed some unusually high counts of gold grains, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Of the 32 samples collected to characterize sediments in the area, 28 had counts ranging from 0 to 10 grains, which is normal, but four samples contained unusually high gold counts ranging from 67 to 641 grains. The gold particles are microscopic in size, too small to be visible to the unaided eye. <BR><BR>Finding gold grains in the area isn’t a big surprise. The area was prospected during the 1860s Vermilion gold rush and some bedrock gold mineralization was found during an exploration episode in the 1980s. But the recent discovery of high numbers of pristine gold grains may be significant. <BR><BR>“These are the highest gold grain counts we’ve seen in Minnesota,” said project leader David Dahl, a DNR geologist in Hibbing. “Samples with more than 30 gold grains are uncommon.

Mon
09
Aug

Miller in custody, charged with kidnapping

A 29-year-old Ely man sought in connection with the disappearance of an Embarrass resident turned himself in last week and faces felony kidnapping charges.<BR><BR>Frank Alan Miller was apprehended Monday in Virginia when he appeared in court for an unrelated charge.<BR><BR>According to a complaint filed in St. Louis County District Court, Miller and 28-year-old Jason Anderson of Eveleth kidnapped Travis Joseph Holappa outside a Gilbert bar July 24.<BR><BR>Holappa, 25, hasn’t been heard from since and authorities suspect that he is dead.<BR><BR>Miller, who has a criminal record that includes several drug convictions and who just a month prior to the disappearance led Ely and Babbitt police on a high-speed chase that ended outside of Embarrass, is being held in the St.

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.

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