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Fri
15
Jan

Letter: …democracy is the freedom of speech

Letter to the editor:
Before I start, please know that I do not condone or support the violent events at our Capitol on January 6th.
The single most important ideal in our democracy is the freedom of speech. The reaction of big-tech and the media since the events of January 6 are a direct attack on that principle. 75 million Americans voted for President Trump and are deeply concerned that our democracy is under attack. Google, Apple, Amazon and other corporation’s attacks and shutdowns of social media platforms only confirms the threat to our civil liberties.

Fri
15
Jan

From the miscellaneous drawer

It seems that winter and snow in Ely lasts forever, but in the past there was a lot of competition, not only for athletes to compete. But also for volunteers to maintain safety.
Ely’s All American Sled Dog Race used to start on Miners Drive where the Veterans Memorial is now. The race crossed Shagawa, Fall and Cedar lakes before heading north.
With all those miles, it required over 100 volunteers. Newspaper cameras would freeze while announcer Duane Krause identified the racers.
Up the trail, Mary Catherine Brown kept her group ready.
The need for volunteers and safety included the annual ski jumping tournament. Bill Mills said about 50 people should help at the Hidden Valley structure.
Growing up on a farm near Starbuck, MN, my dad was in the class of 1915. The family farm was one mile south of the ski hill.

Fri
15
Jan

Ely says goodbye to Nisky

by Nick Wognum
An impromptu parade was held for the man who has led Ely’s famous Fourth of July parades for decades.
The community was stunned Wednesday morning to find out Bob “Nisky” Niskala had suddenly passed away.
Niskala was the leader of the Ely Honor Guard. He was the group’s heart and soul. Nisky took all the phone calls and made many more, setting up appearances at funerals, parades and Memorial Day ceremonies.
Wednesday night several hundred of Niskala’s family and friends lined Sheridan Street from Central Avenue to Second Avenue West for Niskala’s 10:30 p.m. parade to the funeral home.
There were tears, American flags and a police escort. Honor Guard members carried the flag draped casket into the funeral home as the crowd inched closer.
Honor Guard member Mike Pope said a few words and thanked everyone for coming.

Fri
15
Jan

Vaccination rollout stalls

by Tom Coombe
Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital has administered 170 COVID-19 vaccinations, but further rollout has been temporarily stalled.
A news release issued by the hospital this week indicated that local vaccinations are based on the rollout plan created by the Minnesota Department of Health, in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and federal Food and Drug Administration.
Hospital employees and area emergency personnel were among the first to be vaccinated in what’s been dubbed Phase 1a of the vaccination distribution across Minnesota.
But progressing further in Ely hinges on outside influences.
“The biggest obstacle we face is the inability to move onto the next phase without the state’s go-ahead,” said Patti Banks, chief executive officer of EBCH. “Even though we are done with Phase 1a after next week, currently, we are being asked to wait until everyone is done with Phase 1a.”

Fri
15
Jan

For Wolves, full speed ahead

by Tom Coombe
The Ely Timberwolves won’t outmuscle many opponents this winter, but they just might run a team or two right out of the gymnasium.
Ely’s high school boys basketball team doesn’t figure to slow down much at all during a 2020-21 campaign that begins with two home games this weekend.
While graduation took starters Dylan Fenske and Eric Omerza from a team that reached the Section 7A semifinals last winter, senior starters Will Davies, Emmett Faltesek and Brock LaTourell all return.
Add junior Harry Simons and sophomore Joey Bianco to the mix, and the Wolves boast a mix of speed, athleticism and three-point shooting ability that may offset their lack of height.
“We’ll be rather small in the starting lineup so hopefully we’ll get after some people,” said Tom McDonald, who has led the Wolves’ program as head coach since 1990. “We have experience, and I think it’s good experience. All five of those guys saw a lot of time last year.”

Fri
15
Jan

City of Ely is calling for interested applicants

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

The City of Ely is calling for interested applicants to fill the following vacancies on the

Airport Commission
2- three year terms
*residents

Cemetery Committee
1- three year term
*resident or non-resident

Gardner Trust
1- three year term
*non-resident

Library Commission
1- two year mid term
*resident or non-resident

Planning & Zoning Commission
2- three year terms
*resident or non-resident

Telecommunications Advisory Board
1- two year term
*subscriber/resident

Tree Board
1- two year mid term
*resident or non-resident

Fri
15
Jan

Special Meeting of the School Board December 21, 2020

Special Meeting of the School Board
December 21, 2020
(Board approved 1/11/2021)

1.0 The study session of the School Board of Independent School District No. 696 was called to order by Chairman Marsnik at 7:29 p.m. via video and teleconference.
2.0 On roll call the following directors were present via teleconference: Colarich, Mann, Marsnik, Omerza, Pointer. Absent: Sjoberg. Also present via teleconference: Erik Erie, Superintendent.
3.0 Moved by Omerza, seconded by Colarich, to approve Schematic Design for 21st Century Learning Facility Project and to move forward to Design Development Phase. YES: Colarich, Mann, Marsnik, Omerza, Pointer. NO: None. ABSENT: Sjoberg. Motion carried. (Vote: 5-0)
4.0 Moved by Pointer, seconded by Omerza, to adjourn at 7:40 p.m. YES: Colarich, Mann, Marsnik, Omerza, Pointer. NO: None. ABSENT: Sjoberg. Motion carried. (Vote: 5-0)

Rochelle Sjoberg, Clerk

Ely Echo 1/16/2021

Fri
15
Jan

Study Session December 21, 2020

Study Session
December 21, 2020
(Board approved 1/11/2021)

Fri
15
Jan

School Board Meeting Minutes December 14, 2020

School Board Meeting Minutes
December 14, 2020
(Board approved 1/11/2021)

Fri
15
Jan

DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports snowmobile trail conditions continued to get worse after another week of moderate use and no additional snowfall. Trout-fishing activity inside the BWCA continued to be high and success was overall good on several lakes checked. Violations included no fishing license in possession, failure to display current snowmobile registration and possession of motorized equipment inside the BWCA.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and a few snowmobile riders this past week. Fishing has been slow, with slush on most area lakes. Velsvaag also followed up on litter complaints and snowmobile complaints.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent the past week checking trout anglers in the BWCA. Anglers who ventured through the slush were rewarded with some nice lake trout in the bag. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

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