News

Fri
27
Mar

Distance learning starts in Ely

by Tom Coombe
Classrooms and hallways will be empty, but education in Ely will go on in unprecedented fashion.
Starting Monday, students in the Ely district will join thousands of their counterparts across Minnesota in “distance learning,” an initiative prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and on course to last at least through May 4.
For the last week-and-a-half, Ely teachers in both the Memorial (grades 6-12) and Washington (K-5) buildings have brainstormed and improvised, fast-tracking a curriculum conversion in an effort to continue to deliver education in an unconventional manner.
Instead of sitting in their classrooms, students will log on to the internet each day - using everything from email to Google Classroom and even YouTube to gather lessons and complete coursework.
“It’s going to look different in both buildings because you have that difference in age between high school and the elementary,” said high school principal Megan Anderson.

Sat
21
Mar

Second COVID-19 case announced in St. Louis County

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed the second presumptive case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in St. Louis County. The individual is a woman in her early 60s who is currently recovering at home. Her infection is linked to domestic travel, and not the result of community transmission. The woman was tested on March 19. It is believed she has had contact only with members of her immediate household, and they have been asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure date and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

St. Louis County Public Health has not been asked to provide essential services.

"We are encouraged to hear that this again is a travel-connected case, and not community transmission," said County Board Chair Mike Jugovich, "But we also recognize it is likely only a matter of time, and that is why we continue to emphasize the preventive recommendations to all."

Fri
20
Mar

School lands $7 million

by Tom Coombe
If area voters do their part, a state agency will provide $7 million for a major project on the Ely school campus.
That became certain Wednesday, when the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board voted 7-0 to approve a $7 million grant, contingent on voter approval of a $10 million bond referendum now set for August.
Those are the key pieces of a nearly $20 million project that combines renovation and new construction, including a structure that would link the Washington and Memorial buildings and include new classrooms, cafeteria and commons space, a secure entry and additional gymnasium space. The Industrial Arts Building would be demolished to make room for the new structure.
The IRRRB vote, which came at a meeting conducted via conference call because of the coronavirus pandemic, capped months of effort by school officials to secure additional funding for the long-discussed project.

Fri
20
Mar

Fire extinguished at roundhouse building

Firefighters from Ely, Morse-Fall Lake and Babbitt were called to a fire at one of Ely's oldest buildings on March 12 when flames were spotted come from the eve of the roundhouse building near Wilderness Outfitters. Owned by Leustek and Sons, the building is used as a repair shop. The building sustained fire damage to the eaves of the roof but was quickly extinguished.

Mon
16
Mar

Ely council takes action

by Tom Coombe
Ely council members met in emergency session Monday to address the coronavirus crisis, but the city is stopping short of declaring a city emergency.
The public library and recreation center will close, travel for city council members and staff will be limited and committees will meet only on an as-needed basis, but mayor Chuck Novak said “there’s no intent to have a local emergency declaration” and instead follow guidelines set by the state and federal governments.
Novak also added that “I don’t think we’re in a position” to mandate the closure of restaurants, bars or other businesses.
“We don’t want to overstep things,” said Novak. “We also want to be cautious.”
The mid-afternoon meeting was unlike any held at City Hall, with council members and those in the audience sitting at least six feet apart to comply with “social distancing” suggestions to deter the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.

Mon
16
Mar

Ely responds to coronavirus 2.0: Business updates; Schools offer free meals

Here’s an update as of Thursday afternoon, March 26, as Ely area businesses respond following Gov. Tim Walz’s order to “stay at home” for two weeks starting Friday night.
Arrowhead Outdoors announced it will be closed until Friday, April 10.
The Ely Area Food Shelf has adjusted its distribution method to curbside delivery and posted, “If you are in need of food please don’t hesitate to call 218-235-8527. If you are newly laid off or unemployed we are here for you, contact us at the above number. If you are a senior or in the higher risk category and isolating we can make arrangements to deliver food to you in a non-contact method. Wash your hands, cover your cough, stay home and look for joy everyday!”
The Ely License Bureau was given notice from the state that all Deputy Registrar offices must close for the two weeks.

Sun
15
Mar

K9 leads EPD to drug bust

A 34 year-old Ely woman was arrested for drug possession with the help of a K9 drug dog.
Cassie Jean Eggebraaten of Ely was arrested and booked at the St. Louis County Jail for third degree controlled substance (possession of methamphetamine in public housing zone), possession of small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to a news release from the Ely Police Department, on March 14 a walk though was conducted at Pioneer Apartments, a public housing facility.
“Walk throughs are done to enable relationships among the residents that live in public housing and enhances enforcement and problem-solving capability for everyone. Walk throughs are conducted in areas that are open to the public,” the release stated.
Sergeant George Burger was joined by Babbitt Police Department Officer Cody Siebert and his police K9, Tac, due to reports of possible drug activity.

Sun
15
Mar

Ely Area Food Shelf needs volunteer help

Message from the Ely Area Food Shelf:

Sun
15
Mar

Winton mayor offers help to seniors

To all Winton Residents:
I know this Coronavirus information you have been listening to over the past few days is quite scary. Please take the precautions that are being advised regarding hygiene. And please, our elderly residents, stay home if you have no specific reasons to be out. You are the most at risk to any illnesses right now. If there are Winton elderly that need groceries or errands that need to be run, contact the Clerk's office at 365-5941 and leave a message. I'll do my best to make those arrangements for you. Stay healthy!
Kathy Brandau
Mayor, City of Winton

Sun
15
Mar

Ely schools closed Wednesday through March 27 following Walz order

In response to Gov. Walz order, Ely public schools will have classes on Monday and Tuesday but will be closed Wednesday through March 27. Starting March 30 instruction will resume. District working on distance learning plan should schools close for a longer period of time.

The Ely School Board will hold an emergency meeting on Monday, March 16 at 6 p.m. to address school closure plans.

MSHSL shuts down all school athletics/activities from Mar. 18-27 - consistent with exec order closing schools during same timeframe

Governor Walz Directs Schools to Make Long-Term Strategic Plans for COVID-19

Walz orders the temporary closure of schools to allow for new safety measures

Children of health care professionals, emergency workers to receive care

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