News

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.”

Fri
19
Jun

July 4 march set in Ely

by Tom Coombe
It may not be an official parade, but a Fourth of July event in Ely is shaping up to be perhaps the next-best thing.
Using the traditional parade route as well as an additional five blocks to allow people to spread out, Ely will have a “Patriotic March” on Saturday, July 4.
Starting at 1 p.m., the march figures to look much like traditional Independence Day parades in Ely, complete with the Ely Honor Guard, fire trucks, floats, bikes and a plethora of groceries and goodies distributed by Zup’s Food Market.
“We thought it was important for Ely to have this,” said Nick Wognum, one of several members of the Ely Patriotic Club, which formed this month and is organizing the event. “Whether or not you call it a parade doesn’t matter. It’s the chance to express our First Amendment rights and gather on the Fourth of July in a patriotic way, like we always have in Ely.”

Fri
19
Jun

VCC on track to reopen in fall

by Tom Coombe
A virtual ghost town for nearly three months, Vermilion Community College will come back to life later this summer.
The 2020-21 school year is set to begin on time in late-August, with classes being held in-person and students residing in on-campus housing.
School leaders made that official this week with a letter to incoming students indicating a return to “business as usual” - with some new safety enhancements - amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our current plan is to be open,” provost Shawn Bina said Wednesday. “The governor can change it on us if something happens further with the pandemic, but we do plan to be open while following CDC and Department of Health guidelines.”
Student housing will operate at reduced capacity because of the pandemic, and buffets will go by the wayside in the cafeteria in favor of entirely plated meals.

Fri
19
Jun

New Zup's store in Cook opens

RIBBON CUTTING was held Tuesday by Zupancich family members for the new Zup’s store in Cook following a fire in November of 2018. Pictured are Ed Zupancich, Marge Zupancich, Paul Zupancich, Jim Zupancich Sr., Pat Zupancich, Steve Zupancich, Jim Zupancich Jr. and Matt Zupancich.

Fri
12
Jun

An Ely march for solidarity

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s Peaceful March in Solidarity lived up to its title.
About 250 people filled the sidewalks on several blocks and marched from Central Avenue to Whiteside Park Saturday afternoon.
The peaceful gathering was led and organized by Ian Lah, a 2012 Ely High School graduate who recently returned to his hometown.
Lah said Wednesday he felt called to do something here to support the Black Lives Matter movement and was overwhelmed by the results.
“I just figured there’d be like 30 people, maybe 50 people, but people kept showing up,” said Lah. “I was at the park and I turned around and saw so many people I thought ‘wow, that’s a lot of people.’ I was so proud to see my community, my family, my friends show up and be able to voice their opinions and thoughts and use the march to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all the marches happening.”

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