Editorial: History in the form of artwork is well worth saving at ISD 696

The Ely school board looks to be on board with saving historic and artistic murals that once adorned the walls in school buildings.
David Tice Workman’s Ely murals have been listed on the database of the Smithsonian Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture with assistance from Judy Pope.
Pope, a resident of Reston, Virginia and a Winton summer resident, was a dedicated volunteer at the Ely-Winton Historical Society. She also worked as a docent implementing programs on American history for children at the Smithsonian Musuems.


Editorial: High school theater makes a return to Washington Auditorium

Over the course of the last several weeks much has been written and said, and deservedly so, about the success of Ely’s high school volleyball team.
The Timberwolves’ first-ever trip to the state tournament was something to talk about, and take photos about, and write about. Ely put itself on the state’s volleyball map with a run that included an unbeaten regular season, a dominant blitz through the section playoffs and a state tournament performance that showed there’s some pretty good volleyball played in the northeastern part of the state.
With a win and two competitive defeats, Ely took sixth in the state in Class A and wrapped up a year that won’t soon be forgotten about.
It’s clear that Ely has had quite the year in high school athletics, not only with the volleyball team but with a cross country team that went to state as well.


Editorial: Volleyball trip to state capped an amazing fall - Ely should be proud

What a season! What a team!
It’s not often that a local group of kids can capture the attention and hearts of an entire community, but that’s exactly what the Ely Timberwolves’ volleyball team did over the course of the last few weeks.
An unbeaten season led to the school’s first-ever section title and state tournament berth and ultimately, a sixth-place finish in Class A.
The Wolves took much of the Ely area along for the ride.
Fans came out in droves for Ely home games.
It wasn’t all that long ago the balcony in the Memorial Gymnasium was closed during volleyball games.
This year it was filled with people, particularly for a pair of home playoff games that all but filled the gym and created an atmosphere not seen there since the days when enrollment was triple what it is now, and the place was packed on home basketball nights.


LETTER:…expressed frustration over the situation and wanting to know what to do

Letter to the Editor:
A little over a year ago, I was asked by a number of community members to speak to the issue of how covid was handled by our school system last year.
The talk was attended by 100 or so community members, most of whom expressed frustration over the situation and wanting to know what to do. I reminded those attending that elections would be the best opportunity to effect change.
Tuesday provides that opportunity. Let your voices be heard.
Steve Park
Ely, MN


LETTER: …we don’t attack someone for something their spouse does

Dear Editor,
The Zup’s board of directors would like to respond to numerous negative comments made about us by Minnesota Senate candidate Grant Hauschild. As president of the company, I am wondering why Mr. Hauschild continues to attack a business in northeast Minnesota that has been selling groceries for the past 106 years.
Andrea Zupancich may share the same last name and be married to one of our board members, but she does not make decisions for Zup’s Incorporated. Mr. Hauschild’s attacks against her make as much sense as attacking me based on a decision my wife makes at the business she runs. I don’t know how they do things in North Dakota but in northern Minnesota we don’t attack someone for something their spouse does.


Editorial: Government shouldn’t be a competitor

Over the years this newspaper has held firm on one tenet: Government has no business competing with private enterprise.
We have watched this issue come up in different forms over the years and it appears we’re seeing it return like Lazarus rising from the dead.
In last week’s Ely Echo, a story detailed how the Ely Recreation Complex was looking to acquire the former Minnesota State Revenue building in the Ely Business Park.
We have no problem with this as long as it is done without governmental involvement, specifically the city of Ely. Why? Because it will compete with private enterprise. A business owner who has paid taxes and employs people should not have to compete with a government. Period.
When this issue came up several years ago, we pointed out that Studio North is already operating a fitness center. We have a locally owned business where people can go to work out. We don’t need government competing with that business.


Editorial: Another step forward for ambulance service

There aren’t any other entities where area elected officials would open their checkbooks twice in one year. The Ely Area Ambulance Service has been rescued twice by local governments and most recently, by the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital.
The first time was for a building that would provide garage space for the ambulances and living quarters for the employees. This was a $461,000 venture that improved morale and response time. But for Morse, Fall Lake and Ely this was a $150,000 commitment in the middle of a fiscal year. The city of Winton also contributed $11,000.
Just a few months later the non-profit board that runs the ambulance announced it was in serious financial difficulty, with an expected loss of over $260,000. Again the government entities were asked to put monies on the tables and again they delivered. The burden was made lighter by the hospital donating $62,500 the same as Morse, Fall Lake and Ely. Winton put in $3,380.


Editorial: Seventh annual Stone Stash is a fun event

Coming up Friday morning you may see folks looking for painted rocks in Ely. No worries, it’s the seventh annual Stone Stash, a free event where you could pocket original artwork by local artist Joe Baltich.
Free to enter and fun to do, the Stone Stash will have 125 painted rocks that Baltich spent over 160 hours painting. There’s even a golden moose rock to be found. Whoever finds that one can bring it out to Baltich’s studio up the Fernberg and pick out a print to bring home.
What a nice, fun and family friendly event Baltich has established. He’s been working on expanding the painting abilities of interested folks through his non-profit “Into the Brush.”
IntoTheBrush.org is a non-profit for art education and improving tourism into Ely. “I’m trying to get people to come here, take art lessons and spend time looking at things artistically and study it,” said Baltich.


Editorial: Bakk adds another wrinkle to suddenly competitive Senate and House campaigns

For the most part, elections for state legislature in our neck of the woods are usually drab, cut-and-dried affairs.
Barring the contest for the occasional open seat, our House and Senate races were generally decided before a vote was ever cast.
For decades, names such as Battaglia and Johnson, and more recently Bakk, Dill and Ecklund have cruised to victory and by most accounts have represented the region well in St. Paul.
Republican opposition to these entrenched Democrats has generally been token and ultimately futile.
But the political winds? They are a changing on the Iron Range.
Look no further than Bakk, a tried-and-true Democrat who during his nearly three decades in St. Paul grew more detached from his party.
It came as no real surprise at the time that Bakk, not long after the 2020 election announced that he would leave the DFL party, become an Independent and caucus with Republicans


EDITORIAL: Newspaper reporting and content have never been more relevant

by Brett Wesner, Chair
National Newspaper Association
We all have stories of readers desperately seeking reliable information about COVID-19 during the pandemic and turning to us to deliver accurate national and state health departments’ evolving assessments as well as local reporting on treatment options in our communities.
We at NNA see it in our daily government affairs work with members of Congress, who almost uniformly admire their local community papers regardless of how they might feel about the national press.
We see it in the example of the civic leaders in Mineral Wells, TX, who were so distraught over the closing of their newspaper that they reached out to Jeremy Gulban and his CherryRoad group to open one. That he did, as he has in other communities.


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