Breaking News

Fri
03
Apr

Technology hinders school rollout

by Tom Coombe
The first week of distance learning in Ely provided confirmation to what local officials have been contending for years: the digital divide is real.
Access to technology, and slow, intermittent and non-existent internet service have been among the obstacles faced by both Ely students and teachers as the school district began a distance learning initiatives that will extend at least until the end of April.
Superintendent Erik Erie said this week’s launch has “laid bare how difficult broadband service is around Ely.”
“We were a little surprised at first as most people appeared to have internet service and devices,” Erie said Thursday. “As we got into this, we’re getting more requests not only from students but faculty... Initially, we didn’t think we would need as many technology devices and help with the internet. That’s grown significantly.”

Fri
03
Apr

Editorial: Phone meetings require new skills

All of us are learning to do things differently under new rules due to the coronavirus pandemic. One area that is requiring new skills is for elected officials to hold telephone meetings.
As media we’ve participated in many phone meetings over the years and along the way we’ve picked up some helpful tips that can make a meeting run more smoothly.
When everyone is sitting in the same room there are plenty of visual cues. Body language, eye contact or even a raised hand. That person wants to speak to the issue at hand.
But meeting over the phone the visual portion is lost and the person running the meeting has to have new skills and deploy them.
Here’s some tips we’d like to offer:
1. Make sure everyone who joins the call announces themselves. Have one person ask, “Who just joined?”

Fri
03
Apr

Someday When I’m Social Distancing

I once wrote a column with the prophetic title, “Someday When I’m Quarantined.” In it, I vowed that if I were ever unable to leave my home for a few months, I’d finally do all of the things I don’t normally have time to do. I’d put my old photos into albums, clean my closets and take up my guitar again, much to the annoyance of anyone quarantined with me.
It was just big talk though, because I never thought it would really happen. But here we are and I’m happy to report that all my closets are now clean, my photos are organized and I’m practicing my guitar for an hour every day. You don’t believe me? I dare you to drop by and check. No. Don’t do that.

Fri
03
Apr

DNR: Keep drones grounded during the upcoming spring wildfire season

Flying a drone can be a lot of fun—but it can be downright dangerous during a wildfire, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
A drone has invaded the airspace above a Minnesota wildfire in each of the last four years. Such interference with fire operations is dangerous for firefighting aircraft, firefighters on the ground and the public. It is also illegal: Federal law prohibits interfering with firefighting operations, and that includes flying a drone over a wildfire.
With this spring’s wildfire season occurring in the midst of Minnesota’s COVID-19 response, a drone flight near fire is simply additional stress for the statewide emergency management system. Darren Neuman, the DNR’s wildfire aviation manager, likens a drone above a wildfire to a car blocking a fire engine on the highway. “When a drone is spotted, our pilots have to land. When aircraft land, our ability to fight the fire slows. Drones create a reckless ripple effect,” he said.

Fri
03
Apr

Ely’s Prigge a record-setter

by Tom Coombe
Like all other college athletes in the country, Ryne Prigge saw her spring season come to an abrupt and early end because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But before the year was cut short, the Ely native earned a spot in the record book at Bemidji State University.
Three times in a matter of just over a month, Prigge set new BSU records in the 800 meter run while competing on the women’s track team at the school.
Prigge completed the 800 in 2:16.91 at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference indoor championships, held Feb. 28-29 at Mankato.
A sophomore at BSU, Prigge place fifth in the conference while breaking a school record that she had established just a few weeks earlier.
It was Jan. 25 when Prigge finished first at the BSU Indoor Open, winning the 800 and setting a new school-best time of 2:18.04.
In between, Prigge took third at a North Dakota meet in 2:17.18, further lowering the school record time.

Fri
03
Apr

Ely Public Schools – ISD #696

Ely Public Schools – ISD #696

Notice to hold teleconference meetings pursuant to Minnesota Statute 13D.021

Due to the current federal and state emergency declarations and guidance about limiting person-to-person contact due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, by action of the school board of Ely Public Schools – ISD #696, all future meetings of the Ely Public School District Board of Education will be conducted in accordance with Minnesota Statutes 13D.021—Meetings by Telephone or Other Electronic Means—until further notice. One or more board members may participate by telephone or other electronic me

In accordance with Minnesota Statutes 13D.021, members of the public are not permitted to attend this meeting due to the current health pandemic. Persons may monitor this meeting from a remote location by FreeConferenceCall.com, Dial (978) 990-5000, enter access code 490462#.

Fri
03
Apr

City of Ely City Council Meeting

NOTICE for Meeting pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 13D.021
City of Ely
City Council Meeting
Notice of Meeting by Telephone or Other Electronic Means

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City Council of the City of Ely will hold its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 5:30pm the meeting will be held via video/teleconference.

In accordance with the requirements of Minn. Stat. Section 13D.021, Mayor Chuck Novak, has determined that an in person meeting in not practical or prudent because of a health pandemic or an emergency declared under Chapter 12 of the Minnesota Statutes.

Because of the City of Ely’s Proclamation and Declaration of Emergency, it has been determined that attendance at the regular meeting location by members of the public is not feasible.

Fri
03
Apr

Board of Appeal and Equalization for Ely

Important Information Regarding
Property Assessments
This may affect your 2021 property taxes.

The Board of Appeal and Equalization for Ely, MN will meet on April 16, 2020 from 5:00pm-6:00pm. The purpose of this meeting is to determine whether property in the jurisdiction has been properly valued and classified by the assessor.

In accordance with the requirements of Minn. Stat. Section 13D.021, Mayor Chuck Novak, has determined that an in person meeting in not practical or prudent because of a health pandemic or an emergency declared under Chapter 12 of the Minnesota Statutes.

Because of the City of Ely’s Proclamation and Declaration of Emergency, it has been determined that attendance at the regular meeting location by members of the public and the Local Board of Appeal Equalization is not feasible. Therefore, the Board members may be participating by telephone or other electronic means.

Fri
03
Apr

Ely couple fights illness on cruise that finally ends

THURSDAY UPDATE:
Text message from Valerie Myntti sent at 2:50 p.m.
Hi Tom!
We are not sure if we will be able to disembark. We will have to pass an extensive medical screening.
We might have to quarantine onboard for an additional 14 days or at a family condo in South Beach (Miami). We are happy to do whatever the CDC and authorities advise. We are not interested in infecting anyone with whatever germs we have!!
We cannot wait to get back to our little red cabin at the end of the road. We have been in a windowless inside stateroom since March 22, amusing ourselves with cooking shows, and some good books! We need some sun and fresh air! And to see our lake!
Loads of love to all in Ely.

Thu
02
Apr

Robert “Bob” Baier, Sr., 95, of Ely

Robert “Bob” Baier, Sr., 95, of Ely, passed away Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely.
Bob was born on October 15, 1924 in Austin, Minnesota to Gust and Olga (Price) Baier. His father passed away when Bob was 9 years old so he began to work early in life. He worked on farms and the CC Camps prior to getting a job with the Hormel Corp. processing Spam.
He married Harriet “Elyce” Swatosh on November 15, 1942.
Bob served in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the USS South Dakota, which later became Battleship X. Upon returning stateside he went back to work for Hormel Corp and also owned the Dew Drop Inn hamburger stand in Brownsdale.

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