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Wed
15
Jan

County plow drivers picket in Ely

St. Louis County employees who are members of Teamsters Local 320 picketed at the Michael Forsman Joint Public Works Facility in Ely on Wednesday morning. The group was set up just off the entrance to the public works facility on the Hidden Valley Road. The sticking point in negotiations has been an increase in maximum sick leave accrual cap for payout from the current 1,250 hours. The county offered 1,350 hours and the union’s request is for 1,500 hour payout.

Town of Morse supervisors discussed the strike at the board's regular meeting Tuesday night. The township has around 20 miles of roads that are plowed by St. Louis County. Supervisors approved having township employees plow the roads while the county is on strike. County management has been informed of this decision.

The county sent out a news release on the current situation.

Sat
11
Jan

Battle at the Bay takes place Saturday, January 18th

TOWER— If you have a need for speed, then you’ll want to stop by Fortune Bay’s Marina next Saturday as the Battle at the Bay unfolds.
Over 150 snowmobile racers will do their best to shatter current Straight Line Speed Association (SLSA) records. There will be 47 different classes of races going on throughout the day. Races begin at 10 a.m. at the marina and there is no charge to watch the races.

“If the weather holds out, we might actually race until 5 p.m. due to the number of racers that will be on hand,” said SLSA President Kurt Mohawk, who has been with the company for 20 years. “We’ve had to cancel four other events due to poor weather, so racers are ready to go for this event.”

The Battle at the Bay brings in racers from all over the area and state, not to mention neighboring states as well. Anyone can enter and pre-registration takes place at the marina at 9 a.m. Saturday, January 18th.

Fri
10
Jan

Ely Squirts win consolation championship

Ely Squirts won the consolation championship at the Two Harbors tournament last weekend. The lost their first game to Two Harbors 7-1, won their second game against Superior and won third game against MoundsView/Irondale 2-1. Pictured are: Coach Frank Udovich, coach Bill Forsberg, Coach Joe Majerus. Back row: Oscar Shock, Dakota Starkovich, Sean Merriman, Brady Forsberg, Ryland Sandy, Stig Majerus front: Luke Stalboerger, Cooper Mayranen, Violet Udovich, Owen Marolt, Brayden Aikens, Evan Leeson, Mason Spate, Nico Lenci, Goalie Lewey Powell.

Fri
10
Jan

“Iron” VCC squad falls to Mesabi

by Tom Coombe
Vermilion’s “Iron Five,” nearly came away with a win.
Ahead through three quarters, the Ironwomen ran out of gas in the final stanza Wednesday, as visiting Mesabi rallied for a 64-54 community college basketball victory.
The Lady Norse trailed after three quarters but outscored Vermilion 19-7 in the final quarter to pull out the Northern Division contest.
Vermilion, which fell to 0-7 for the winter, had the bare minimum of five available players as Shawna Butler, Alexis Hughes, Lauren Huchel, Alanna Sjoberg and Terri Sutton logged the entire 40 minutes without a break.
That may have taken its toll late in the contest as VCC’s shooting percentage fell from 38 percent in the opening half to just 19 in the second.
Vermilion went only seven-for-37 from the field in the second half, including one-for-14 from three-point distance.

Fri
10
Jan

DNR Conservation Officer weekly report ending January 6

District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) checked a good number of trout anglers attending the BWCA trout opener. Slush and snow conditions were tough, and some groups camping in the BWCA reported it taking seven hours to travel less than 2 miles. Violations included angling with extra lines, possessing live bait on a designated trout lake, and taking trout without a trout stamp.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Slush conditions are bad and fishing was slow all week. Snowmobile trail conditions are very nice other than lake conditions, which should be improving later next week with the decreasing overnight temperatures.

Fri
10
Jan

Hook and Bullet Club

There’s a logging operation taking place near Camp Cholesterol this winter. Evan and I have been out there to check it out and see what the “new” hunting grounds look like.
We agree there will definitely be opportunities for longer shots. Going to need to dial up the scopes.
After 20 years of hunting in that area we were ready for a change. A forest needs logging to renew periodically (and a lot better than fire).
When we started there was an area we called the “Christmas trees.” It was a stand of planted Norway where the trees were maybe five feet tall. Now they are closer to 20 feet up.
There have been several logging operations and each has provided new opportunities. We’ve relocated deer stands and adapted to the changes.
Seeing the large cut this year closes a 20-year chapter and opens a new one. Will the deer use this area as they did in the past? Only time will tell.

Fri
10
Jan

Letter: ...by establishing a program allowing motorized boat permits for disabled veterans

Dear United States Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen:
Thank you for your leadership on issues pertaining to our National Forest System.
The Superior National Forest (SNF) in northeastern Minnesota is a treasure held dear by local residents, Minnesotans, Americans hailing from nationwide, and international visitors.
Therefore, it is crucial we ensure compliance with the 1978 law establishing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Mining Protection Area, which is unique throughout our National Forest System.
It has come to our attention that disabled veterans in the region have been unable to acquire permits for accessing several lakes in the SNF.

Fri
10
Jan

Letter: Motorized boat permits for disabled veteran

Letter to Editor:
Marine Corps veteran Gerald Tyler and U. S. Air Force veteran Steve Saari head an initiative to have the United States Forest Service reserve a number of day motorized boat permits for disabled veterans each week throughout the summer. Such a reservation system would allow disabled veterans to access Basswood Lake in the BWCA through Prairie Portage, utilizing an existing boat lift service.

Fri
10
Jan

POSITION OPENING - ELY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, ISD No. 696

PLACE OF WORK: District; RATE OF PAY: $16.40/hr.; HOURS: 6.5 hours/day, 5 days/week, student contact days; QUALIFICATIONS: AA Degree or two years of college required. Include district application and transcripts; background check required. Application (non-licensed) available at www.ely.k12.mn.us or in the District Office. Send materials to: Ely Public Schools, Attn: Superintendent, 600 E. Harvey St., Ely, MN 55731. Deadline for application: Thursday, January 23, 2020.

Fri
10
Jan

Deal reached in teachers’ suit

by Tom Coombe
A settlement agreement has been reached in the lawsuit brought by 16 Ely teachers against the Ely School District.
Monday, school board members are set to go into closed session to consider terms of the deal reached between representatives of both sides.
Terms would become public if the board takes action after reopening Monday’s meeting, set for 6 p.m. at the high school.
The case stems from payroll deductions made by the district.
Court documents show the district first mistakenly overpaid the teachers during the 2017-18 school year, then reclaimed the money over a series of pay periods.
Those deductions were unauthorized and in violation of the law, according to a lawsuit filed by teacher Krista Moyer.
Most of the remaining teachers affected by the deduction later signed on to the suit.

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