News

Fri
03
Jan

20th Fun Run set for Jan. 25

by Tom Coombe
The area’s biggest snowmobile event of the year does not require that participants be avid snowmobilers.
In fact, one doesn’t need to own a snowmobile at all.
While proceeds from the 20th Annual Fun Run support area snowmobile trails, the event has evolved in its two decades and now serves as one of the top family-fun events of the winter for the Ely, Babbitt and Tower communities.
This year’s event is set for Jan. 25, culminating with giant wrap-up party that evening at Fortune Bay Resort Casino, where more than 650 prizes will be given away.
And getting to the ’Bay by snowmobile is purely optional.
“I’d say the majority of people right now are going by car,” said Jimmy Zupancich, Fun Run chairman and longtime organizers. “And they’re bringing their children. It’s a great event and anyone can come.”

Fri
03
Jan

State goes after Frontier again

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has launched another investigation into Frontier Communications, focusing on the company’s billing and customer service practices. The Department’s previous investigation into the company in 2018 found that Frontier Communications failed to provide adequate, reliable phone service to Minnesota customers.
The primary issues currently under investigation include whether Frontier failed to inform customers of their service options and whether Frontier enrolled customers in long distance service plans that customers did not want or use.
“We are concerned about Frontier’s practices when customers are signing up for service and the prospect that Minnesotans are being overcharged for their phone service,” said Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley.

Fri
27
Dec

Ely’s Johnson wins gold

by Tom Coombe
Ben Johnson had what could best be described as a golden trip to Italy.
For the second time in 12 years, the Elyite came home from the Deaflympics with a gold medal, this time as an assistant coach with the U.S. Deaflympic team.
Johnson, who is in his fifth season as head hockey coach at Ely High School, was in Italy from Dec . 7-21, and the U.S. team clinched the gold medal with a 4-1 win over Canada.
In the process, Johnson made a bit of history as the first person to win a gold medal both as a player and a coach in Deaflympic hockey.
Johnson, who is hearing impaired and legally deaf, won a gold medal as a player as part of the U.S. team in 2007, at the Deaflympics in Salt Lake City.
“To win a gold medal a lot has to take place,” said Johnson. “It’s not handed to you and it was definitely earned. Our team worked hard that entire time. For me, it was a very special gold medal.”

Fri
27
Dec

Ancillary events planned to coincide with quiltmaker performance at State Theater

by Muffin Nelson
Just 30 days before Opening Night, cast, crew and company of The Quiltmaker’s Gift are delighted with the support unfolding for their production from The Ely Folk School (EFS) and The Ely Heart of the Woods Quilters.
Gail deMarcken, Ely resident and illustrator of the book that inspired this musical, can’t imagine this play without quilts everywhere. And they will be! The Ely Folk School, just across the street from our State Theater, will host a free quilt show featuring The Ely Heart of the Woods Quilt Guild. It will be open from Thursday, Jan. 23 through Sunday Jan. 26 from noon to 4 p.m. each day during the show’s run.
Also on display will be the national prize winning quilt of Cook resident Linda Bergerson fashioned from a line of Benartex fabrics based on illustrations in The Quiltmaker’s Gift.

Fri
20
Dec

New school plan: $19.8 million

by Tom Coombe
After going back to the drawing board, Ely school officials now have a new-look, nearly $20 million dollar facilities project to consider, as well as a timeline to gain outside funding assistance and take the initiative to local voters by the summer of 2020.
A school board study session Monday night revealed new drawings for a $19.8 million initiative that encompasses many of the renovations addressed by district officials during the last year, including the construction of a structure that connects the Washington and Memorial buildings and creates new classroom, commons, cafeteria and gymnasium space as well as new secure entry.
It also calls for the demolition of part of the Industrial Arts Building, as first suggested earlier this month by consultants as well as superintendent Erik Erie.

Wed
18
Dec

Twin Metals submits mine plan

by Nick Wognum
And so it begins, but this time the spotlight is squarely on the Ely area.
Trying to become the second permitted copper-nickel mine in Minnesota, Twin Metals Minnesota announced it has formally submitted its mine project proposal to state and federal agencies.
“Really it’s a kickoff to our environmental review process,” said TMM’s Dean DeBeltz. “These are the best plans we have for a 21st century sustainable mine.”
TMM’s proposed project would involve construction of an underground mining operation, processing facility, and dry stack tailings facility.
The Twin Metals project will be Minnesota’s first underground mining operation since the closure of Ely’s Pioneer Mine in 1967.
“I truly believe the Twin Metals project will be a model for modern, sustainable and environmentally responsible underground mining,” said Kelly Osborne, TMM chief executive officer.

Fri
13
Dec

Christmas money stolen from Ely nursing home

The Grinch made a stop in Ely today when money was stolen from the Boundary Waters Care Center.
During a Christmas luncheon on Friday donations were put into a jar to be used for craft supplies or bingo prizes for the residents, according to BWCC Activities Director Bonnie Forsman.
“All we know is that the jar was full and when my staff went and looked there was like $10 left in the jar,” said Forsman.
Craft items were being sold at a table with monies raised put into a jar.
One employee posted a message to the thief.
“You are not taking that money from me. You have taken it from my residents!!!!! Veterans who have served our country, mothers and fathers who have taken care of us . All that they have done for our country to make it great and now to be in a nursing home and have so little,” said Kyle Stella, BWCC Recreational Therapy Assistant.

Fri
13
Dec

Broadband, roads and taxes at Morse

The Morse town board discussed broadband at its regular meeting Tuesday night.
Morse approved a potential project that would involve the Town of Fall Lake in approaching Zito Media to expand services in the two townships.
Morse supervisor Terry Soderberg reached out to Zito Media in Pennsylvania after the partnership with Frontier was unable to get IRRRB funding.
Morse had put up $100,000, along with $200,000 from Frontier and an application was put in to IRRRB for $300,000 in funding.
But due to problems Frontier has with the state PUC the request was denied.
Soderberg said the only other partner is Zito Media that has fiber and conduit in the ground in the Ely area.
The board will have clerk Nick Wognum put together a project proposal in coordination with Fall Lake and Zito.
The board discussed the property tax statements sent out recently by St. Louis County that included the wrong phone number.

Fri
13
Dec

Recycling center move now complete

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s recycling center is now open at a new location, and around the clock.
A move announced earlier this year was completed this week, with the dropoff point for recyclables now located adjacent to the softball complex on Ely’s east end.
And in new twist, the city of Ely announced Thursday that the recycling area would be open 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
That’s in contrast to the last several years, when the recycling area was open only during posted hours.
Several recycling bins have been moved east, following the closure of the old recycling area on the west entrance to town.
The move was prompted by the development of Ely’s trailhead project and a move that will extend Fifth Avenue West from Highway 169 to the Ely hospital campus.

Wed
11
Dec

Motor permits fuel passion

by Tom Coombe
The Ely council chambers was filled Tuesday by those who say disabled veterans deserve special access to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
An aide to U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber and Kawishiwi District Ranger Gus Smith heard those appeals during a town hall meeting called by those taking up the cause.
They cited existing federal law and the difficulties associated with obtaining permits to make the case that the government should set aside day use motor permits - through the Moose Lake Chain and Basswood Lake - for disabled veterans.
Gerald Tyler, commander of Ely American Legion Post 248 and one of the organizers of the session, suggested legislation to set aside 10 percent of the day use permits for disabled veterans, while others - including Ely area veteran Bill Erzar - said the government should increase day use permits by 10 percent to accommodate veterans.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News