Bear with ring story reaches London Times

Wall Street Journal reporter Erin Ailworth. Photo by Eric Sherman.

A story about a bear in the Ely area that had a garbage can lid on it has reached the London Times.
Ely Echo photographer Eric Sherman was contacted by the London Times after a story written by Erin Ailworth appeared in the Wall Street Journal.
Sherman provided photos of the bear and accompanied Ailworth into the woods to look for it.
By Sunday it was reported the bear had freed itself of the lid. The bear had been named “Ringo” by a group of people on Facebook and was seen frequently bird feeders on the east side of Ely.
Sherman said Thursday he was also contacted by Fox Business News on purchasing reprint rights for his photos.
Ailworth didn’t see the bear while she was in Ely, but she was welcomed to town on the theater marquee and helped to rescue a turtle that was crossing a paved road.


ATV safety class field day to be offered by Prospector Loop Alliance in Tower

There will be a field day for the Minnesota ATV safety course on August 22 at 4 p.m. until approximately 8 p.m. at the Tower Civic Center building.
A knowledge test and information session will be set up in the Tower Civic Center at 4:30 p.m. and a skills test on operating will be set up immediately after.
Youth ages 11 and older can attend an ATV safety certification course and receive their certificate once they complete the online portion. The ATV safety certificate becomes valid at age 12.
DNR ATV certification is required of anyone born after July 7, 1987 to operate a ATV on public land in Minnesota
Students will be asked to complete the online ATV safety course before the start of the class on August 22.


Grouse counts similar to last year

Minnesota’s ruffed grouse spring drumming counts were similar statewide this year to last year.
DNR biologists have monitored ruffed grouse populations for the past 70 years and this year, DNR staff and cooperators from 14 organizations surveyed 131 established routes across the state’s forested region.
Each year on the routes, surveyors count the number of grouse drums they hear. Drumming is the low sound male grouse make as they beat their wings rapidly and in increasing frequency to signal the location of their territory and attract females ready to begin nesting.
Drumming counts are an indicator of the ruffed grouse breeding population. Grouse populations tend to rise and fall on a 10-year cycle that can vary from 8 to 11 years, and Minnesota’s most recent population peak was in 2017.


Ely fire department hosts free National Weather Service Skywarn Training program July 16 at VCC

The Ely Fire Department is sponsoring a National Weather Service Skywarn training program on Tuesday, July 16 at VCC at 6 p.m.
This program provides training to volunteers in the detection and reporting of life-threatening thunderstorms- those that contain large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes.
There are 1,700 Skywarn spotters across northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin reporting to the Duluth National Weather Service.
The Skywarn training course, taught by NWS meteorologists and staff, covers the following topics:
• The mission of the National Weather Service and how Skywarn spotters play an important role in the warning process.
• Thunderstorm formation and the types of thunderstorms. We’ll study the meteorological dynamics involved in thunderstorm production and what it takes for a storm to produce damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes.


Vermilion Range Amateur Radio Club Field Day makes connections around the world

On June 23 and 24 the Vermilion Range Amateur Radio Club participated in their third annual Field Day event.
Field Day is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League and is a 24-hour event where amateur radio operators practice operating in less than ideal conditions out in the field.
This event serves as both a demonstration and practice if “hams” were called upon to assist with communications during an emergency.
The Vermilion Range Amateur Radio Club was formed in 2016 by a group of Ely area amateur radio operators.
Ironically, 40 years ago, on the same weekend, same days to be exact, the Vermilion Amateur Radio Club (a former club that was from Ely) held their Field Day in Whiteside Park.
The Vermilion Range Amateur Radio Club strives to be available for emergency communications and education.


State records topple for 2 species of Minnesota fish

Anglers have set new Minnesota state records for whitefish and golden redhorse.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources certified a record 13 pound, 9 ounce whitefish caught by an Oklahoma angler ice fishing on Lake of the Woods, and a 4 pound, 13 ounce golden redhorse caught by an angler who beat his own state record.

The DNR certifies state record fish in two categories: for fish caught and kept; and for caught and released northern pike, muskellunge, lake sturgeon and flathead catfish.

Billy King with record whitefish
The Oklahoma angler, Billy King, pictured right, was getting an introduction to Minnesota ice fishing with two other anglers April 6. They were catching walleye, sauger, and tulibee, and in the evening were fishing near a sandbar for the sunset walleye bite on Lake of the Woods.


Amateur Radio “Field Day” June 22-23 demonstrates science, skill, and service

Members of the Vermilion Range Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, June 22 – 23, at the St. Louis County Public Works Facility located at 2210 Hidden Valley Road in Ely. Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.


Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum

Being at our shack in the summer is a battle of the bugs. But Evan and I had to make an express trip one night after work when we found out a logging operation would be going through where we left a ladder stand.
We met one of the loggers on the road, he had just driven his $350,000 feller buncher to a spot by our shack. We followed the tracks on the road like tracking a wounded deer.
After giving the guy a ride back to his truck we set out for the stand. On our way across a swamp we apparently woke up the mosquitoes and flies. When we came back carrying the 16-foot stand, they were waiting for us.
Evan had positioned himself between two of the steps and I was holding the bottom of the ladder with one hand. This gave me the advantage, I had a free hand to swat flies.
The stand removal went smoothly, no one fell out of a tree or lost a boot in the swamp. Came home with a few bug bites but no ticks. See? Miracles can happen!



Ron Burgess, took the time to show his kids that the old adage “big baits, catch big fish.” Ron’s family caught these beauties on Lite Northern, fished under a bobber. Photo via Arrowhead Outdoors.

Babe’s Fishing Report
by Captain Russ of Babe’s Bait


Permits for Prospector ATV trail are approved

Wetland permits for the Prospector Loop ATV Trail have been approved by the government regulator agencies.
“This is major news for our project,” said Prospector Alliance President Nick Wognum. “We’ve been waiting a long time to get to this point and now we can begin construction. This is awesome!”
The Prospector Loop will connect Ely, Babbitt, Embarrass and Tower to the North Shore ATV trail system, creating a total of over 250 miles of trails.
“Now we just need a little help in St. Paul to get the rest of the funding approved and it should be a busy summer building trail,” said Wognum. “We’re in the House bill for funding, and we’ve got good support in the Senate.”


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