Breaking News


Fire crews here for long haul

by Tom Coombe
U.S. Forest Service officials reported progress on one front and concern on another in the agency’s efforts to contain forest fires near Ely.
And, it appears the virtual army of fire crews in the area will be here awhile.
Those were the key takeaways as Forest Service officials convened a public meeting Wednesday to address their work on containing both the Delta Lake fire as well as at least three other fires that have broken out in Canada, near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Forest Supervisor Connie Cummins said “we’re feeling pretty good about where we’re at” in the efforts to suppress the Delta Lake fire, a blaze that has resulted in several BWCAW entry point closures.
But Stewart Turner, long-term fire analyst for the Forest Service, cautioned that “one big worry is the Canadian fires.”


Storm wipes out Blueberry/Art Festival

Ellen Cashman stood in the middle of Whiteside Park Friday night after a storm ripped through with winds up to 70 miles per hour. Surrounded by carnage, Cashman delivered the news that the event would not go on.
The storm hit Ely shortly after the festival ended for the day at 6 p.m. Miraculously no injuries were reported.
In addition to the park, there were trees across roads, laying on top of houses and taking our power lines across the Ely area. Minnesota Power reported over 300 people without electricity while Lake Country Power had over 3,000.
Both the Ely and Morse/Fall Lake fire departments were flooded with calls of trees on houses and power lines, going from call to call. Live wires caused some small fires and Highway 88 was closed for a time due to a power line on the road.
Near the Chamber building on Sheridan Street there was a portable garage laying in the middle of the entrance. Anna Hallman had walked across Sheridan to take a look.


Ely Rotary marks 100 years

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s Rotary Club has turned 100, and members are planning a giant celebration.
In conjunction with the club’s annual fundraising auction, the Ely Rotary is holding an outdoor event on Saturday, Aug. 14, at Whiteside Park.
Live music both before and after the auction, a beer tent, food booths and more are part of the celebration, which will be topped off by a drawing for $10,000 in cash prizes.
Todd Heiman, current club president, laid out the plans earlier this week during the Tuesday Group luncheon at Grand Ely Lodge.
“It’s amazing to realize we’ve been doing service work in the community for 100 years, and we’re still very active and very involved.”
The club has put together a full day of festivities, combining the celebration with an auction that’s now in its 31st year and serves as the group’s major fundraiser of the year.


Letter: …we need to seek answers

To the Editor
Great River Energy’s plan to sell its Coal Creek Power Plant to Rainbow Energy Center, LLC, and then buy power from Rainbow raises serious questions. A year ago, in the Spring of 2020, Great River Energy (GRE), the power supplier for twenty-eight electric coops in Minnesota, Including Lake Country Power, announced plans to shut down its Coal Creek power plant, fueled by coal. A reason given by GRE for the sale is cost to run the plant.


From the miscellaneous drawer

Feeling guilty.
After 60 years of working, with only a few detours or escapes, I’m now retired.
Seventy years ago when my family got their first television, there were limits on tv watching.
As years passed , when I had no access, I didn’t miss it. Even radios were banned from foreigners in post war Italy.
I’m filling my time now with PBS and other popular shows.
In Illinois, a long time ago, life was more normal for a stay-at-home mom of two kids. I mowed and gardened as people do.
A phone call changed that when a neighbor called and offered to help me since I was “dying” of cancer. The word was wrong. In an attempt to improve myself before the operation, I had been “dieting.”
Young school buddies got the word wrong.
In Winton there was a garden plot at the back if the house. Among other things I grew cucumbers. Neighbor Huxley Pelkola gave me lessons in how to make dill pickles.
They were yummy.


Additional BWCA closures near US-Canada border

The U.S. Forest Service announced additional closures in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area effective July 18, due to wildfires in Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park that have the potential to spread to the US side of the border.
Recent reconnaissance flights conducted by fire managers have indicated an increase in fire behavior, despite the lighter winds; and fuels in this area are pre-heating and becoming more volatile.
Similar to the closures announced on July 15, this latest BWCAW closure order will remain in effect for at least seven days or until it is safe to open the area again.
This BWCAW Closure Order includes the following entry points:
• Little Indian Sioux River North #14
• Moose / Portage River #16
• Stuart River #19
• Angleworm Lake #20
• South Hegman Lake #77
• Little Vermilion Lake #12
• Lac La Croix Only #12A
• Blandin Trail #11
• Herriman Lake Trail #13
• Sioux-Hustler Trail #15


Gerzin new Ely football coach

by Tom Coombe
It wasn’t all that long ago, that Louie Gerzin was wearing an Ely football uniform and chewing up yards as an all-area running back and leading the Timberwolves to a pair of state tournament appearances.
Gerzin will be back on the gridiron this fall, again in Ely red and white, but in an entirely different role.
The 2014 Ely graduate has been named interim head coach of the high school football program for the 2021 sesason.
Gerzin, who was formally hired by the Ely School Board earlier this month, takes over for Cory Lassi, who resigned after three seasons as head coach at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Gerzin’s return to the Ely football program is, in many ways, out of the blue.
The position remained open over the summer after an initial posting led to a job offer, and a candidate withdrawing from consideration.


POSITION OPENING Ely Public Schools Playground Aide

Ely Public Schools
Playground Aide

Ely Public Schools is accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year for a Playground Aide to supervise students and ensure their safety on the playground/indoors as assigned. A background check is required.

Qualifications include:
• High school graduate
• Ability to work cooperatively with staff
• Ability to work effectively with students
• Willingness to work outside in adverse weather conditions
• Ability to supervise large number of students

Application available at:

A complete application must include the following:
• District Application
• 2 letters of recommendation

Return materials to: Ely Public Schools,
Attn: Superintendent Erik Erie,
600 E. Harvey St., Ely, MN 55731
or email


National Forest Timber For Sale

National Forest
Timber For Sale
Superior National Forest


NOTICE OF Special General Election

Special General Election
City of Ely
State of Minnesota, County of St. Louis
For the Office of Mayor

To the Electors of the City of Ely in the County of St. Louis, State of Minnesota

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN: that the Special General Election for the Office of Mayor
will be held at 27 South 1st. Avenue, East (the Senior Center)
on TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2021,
the polls will be open from 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.

City of Ely Offices
One Seat -Mayor

Anyone who wishes to Vote Early can obtain an Absentee Ballot Application by:

• In person – Clerk’s Office, 209 E Chapman St, Ely MN
o Monday –Friday 8am-4:30pm,
o Saturday, August 7th 10am-3pm
o Monday, August 9th 8am-5pm
• Call - City Hall, Clerk’s Office - 218-226-5449
• Email -


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