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Fri
11
Jun

Dr. Brian F. "Bud" Murn

Murn, Dr. Brian F. "Bud",
age 93, of Brooklyn Center, MN. He was born in Ely, MN on November 26, 1927. He died on June 6th, 2021. Bud was the third child born to Thomas and Mary Murn of Ely, MN, where his dad was a school teacher. In the summers, Bud's parents managed Basswood Lodge inside what has now become the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). He guided guests from the lodge on Basswood Lake throughout high school and college and loved to fish throughout his life. Bud joined the Navy shortly after his high school graduation in 1945, and served as Seaman First Class until August 1946. Following his service, he attended the University of Minnesota where he earned his Doctorate in Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree in 1953. Bud met the love of his life, Donna Wimmer on a ski slope in Colorado in 1956, and they were married in 1957.

Fri
11
Jun

Ely’s ballpark graduation

by Tom Coombe
Ely Memorial High School’s graduating class of 2021 mixed old traditions with new as they bid a fond farewell.
Commencement ceremonies were held outdoors, at Veterans Memorial Field, rather than inside at Washington Auditorium.
The graduates also took part in a parade through town after the event, continuing a tradition started only last year.
Yet the ceremonies themselves, minus the change of venue, resembled those of recent years and even decades ago.
The class was small in number, with 37 earning diplomas and 34 taking part in the commencement amid unseasonably warm temperatures.
Several hundred people watched from the stadium grandstand and the paved pavilion area at the historic ballpark, with the graduates, in full regalia, sitting in chairs on either side of home plate.
They gathered together at the end of an at-times bizarre school years, disrupted and altered because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fri
11
Jun

Ely a “small town to visit”

by Tom Coombe
In the eyes of a national publication, Ely is a must-see destination for those looking to vacation in a smaller community.
Smithsonian Magazine named Ely one of the “15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021,” in an article published earlier this week.
As the nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and travel ramps up even further, the magazine highlighted small communities and said “perhaps more than ever now is a time to appreciate small towns.”
The magazine assembled a list and added “the best small towns to visit in 2021 are prime examples of perseverance and preservation, and reminders of all that we love about small towns in the first place.”
Ely joins a list of iconic and lesser-known communities including Dyersville, Iowa, home of the baseball field from the movie “Field of Dreams.”

Fri
11
Jun

EDITORIAL : No help, no housing: Ely faces some monster challenges during busy summer

Right now it’s hard to determine what’s harder to find in Ely: an available, affordable place to live, or a table at a local restaurant at 6 p.m. just about any night of the week.
Both are in scarce, scarce supply, as anyone looking to eat out or for a place to live can attest.
Both are also interrelated, and an obvious hindrance to Ely’s efforts to get back on its feet, return to normal and get economic development moving again in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pademic.
Let’s start with the positives. It’s great to see Ely bustling with activity again.
Last summer was busy even in spite of the pandemic and our town welcomed summer residents and thousands of visitors, some who found Ely for the first time as they opted for shorter trips or were looking for a new spot once Canada closed its borders.
Yet even before a crazy busy Memorial Day weekend in the Ely area, it was obvious that 2021 would be even more hectic on Sheridan Street.

Fri
11
Jun

Northeast Range trap club team hands out awards

The Northeast Range trap club team handed out awards following the spring season. Awards went to: Ariel Kalinowski - High Gun Female; Aili Bee - High Gun Female Runner-Up; Jon Hakala - High Gun Male, High Gun Overall and the John Nicholas Sportsmanship Award; Noah Backe - High Gun Male Runner-Up; Jacob Mackai received his first 25 straight patch; Letter Awards: Hakala, Kalinowski, Foster, Kale Beno, Mackai, Harry Dammann, Wesley Sandy, Bee and Backe; Top Squad for State - Foster, Hakala, Mackai, Backe and Kalinowski. The team is coached by Ed Zupancich and Julie Huseby.

Fri
11
Jun

Walz signals support for Ecklund’s measure to strengthen deer farm oversight

In a letter to House and Senate Environment and Agriculture committee chairs, Governor Tim Walz announced his support of a proposal to transfer state oversight of cervid farms from the Board of Animal Health (BAH) to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The move is one of many steps lawmakers are considering to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Minnesota’s wild white-tailed deer population.
State Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL – International Falls), chief author of a comprehensive package of legislation to address CWD spread in Minnesota, is still advocating to incorporate the solution into a final Environment and Natural Resources budget package.

Wed
09
Jun

Marianne Markovich Donovan

Marianne Markovich Donovan, 72, passed peacefully at Boundary Waters Care Center on Friday, June 4, 2021. She was born on August 2, 1948, at the Shipman Hospital in Ely, MN, to her dear parents Julius and Ruth (LeRoy) Markovich.
She married the love of her life Daniel Joseph Donovan in 1971. They loved their life on an area farm and Marianne was particularly fond of dogs, especially her last and favorite of all, a mini dachshund named Chloe.
She is survived by daughter Julie (Lance) Lohman and grandchildren Mike and Eric, son Robert White and grandchildren Hanna and Lydia. Siblings Patsy (Dennis) Gowell, Jimmy (Nanci) Markovich and Susie (Dean) McCauley as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, great-grandchildren and a few special friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Daniel, her parents Julius and Ruth, and granddaughter Jessica Lohman.

Mon
07
Jun

Michelle "Shelley" Karen Voll

Michelle "Shelley" Karen Voll passed away unexpectedly June 3, 2021, at St. Mary's hospital in Duluth, MN. She was born August 5, 1967, in Ely, MN to Melvin and Karen (Burshem) Voll. She graduated in 1985 from Ely Memorial high school and went on to attend business school in St. Cloud where she would receive her degree. On October 24, 1987 she married Frank Joseph Akins in Ely, MN. Frank and Shelley would reside in the Twin Cities area until 1998 then moved to Soudan, MN. Shelley, while in the Cities area, worked for Norwest Mortgage Company before moving back to the Iron Range where she would work for CW Sato Travel in Ely, MN.

Fri
04
Jun

From the miscellaneous drawer

As a house is being dissected and disemboweled, one finds many unmarked treasures. Where did they come from? Why was I keeping them?
If they were important enough to keep, why weren’t the photos identified with real names? If I was the one taking the picture, why did I scribble such lousy names on them?
“Sixth grade bums” doesn’t identify my best friends of the time.
Perhaps what stirred the pot of memory was being invited to my Thornton High School reunion. I’ve been to one previous reunion. Since there were over 5,000 kids in the school and over 1,000 in my class,
A lot of distancing was the norm. Aside from a few friends in my circle, the ones I enjoyed seeing the most at the reunion were the remnants of the grade school class. It had less that 30 kids and was integrated.
High school consisted of maybe 10 communities and breaches weren’t sought.
So I replied to the reunion booster that I would not be coming.

Fri
04
Jun

Dergantz gives back to his hometown

by Nick Wognum
When an Ely area veteran passes away, his or her spouse receives a folded flag in a handmade wooden box.
Those boxes are made by Elyite Donald Dergantz who now lives in Illinois. For the past 10 years he has supplied flag boxes for Ely.
“I made one for Donna Niskala,” said Dergantz, 87, who was at the Ely Cemetery Monday for Memorial Day Services. “I make regular boxes and custom boxes.”
He also makes boxes for the American Legion Post in Crete, Illinois.
He and his daughter Stephanie Johnson drove 13 hours to be at the ceremony. It’s a trip he knows well.
“I’ve been coming up here for the last 20-some years for Memorial Day,” said Dergantz, who is a 1952 graduate of Ely Memorial High School.
He was drafted in 1954 and served two years in the Military Police. His first assignment was at West Point.

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