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Holiday season kicks off with Festival of Trees at GEL

APPLAUSE as switches were flipped and the Christmas trees were lit during the Northwoods Partners Festival of Trees fundraising event at Grand Ely Lodge. Photo by Nick Wognum.


Riding with Santa at Pioneer Mine and Trezona Trail

WHO IS DRIVING? Along for the ride along the Trezona Trail was Santa Claus at the Holiday Fantasy event at Miners Dry sponsored by Ely Arts & Heritage Center and Stone Soup Events. Photo by Ruthanne Fenske.


Ely goes 0-2 in western debut

by Tom Coombe -


Charles Russell Johnson, age 77, dies

Charles Russell Johnson, age 77, a lifetime resident of Ely, passed away on Sunday, November 25, 2018.
He was born on April 13, 1941 to Russell and Vera Johnson.
Chas was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, trapping, four-wheeling and spending time at the shack with his family and friends. Chas also loved to go camping, painting, drawing, collecting many things and gardening.
He really enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. He always had some goofy antics going on to make people laugh.
He will be greatly missed by many people who loved him dearly.
Chas is survived by his wife Cindy, sons Chris Johnson, Chad (Kristy) Johnson, daughter Tracy (Daniel) Timm, stepdaughter Amanda (Paul) Jiacik, grandchildren: Cory, Kelsey, Hunter, Kyle, Madelene, Kasey and Savannah; and great-grandchild Nolen Johnson.
He was preceded in death by his parents Russell and Vera Johnson, his first wife Trudell Johnson and daughter Jamie Johnson.


Mildred Cooley, 102, of Ely dies

Mildred Cooley, 102, of Ely passed away on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at the Boundary Waters Care Center. Family arrangements entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home.


LeRoy A. Hartleben, 87, of Ely, dies

LeRoy A. Hartleben, 87, of Ely, MN passed away Sunday, November 25, 2018 at Carefree Living in Ely.
LeRoy was born in Hankinson, ND on August 14, 1931 to Arthur and Cecelia Hartleben. He married the love of his life, Shirley, in 1953 and moved to Ely the following year. They were married 65 years.
He was employed by Reserve Mining Company for 26 years, and also owned a carpentry and furnace installation business.
LeRoy was active in his church, where he often played guitar and sang for the congregation. He and Shirley loved music, dancing, Minnesota Twins baseball and playing cards. They were active in the Antique Car Club for many years.


Gardner Humanities Trust awards $18,084 to organizations and events

The board of the Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust voted to award $18,084 to local art organizations and fine arts events at its November 14, 2018 board meeting.
“This was a super competitive grant round due to a strict grants budget this fall,” stated Keiko Williams, executive director for the Trust. “Artists and organizations requested over $27,500 this past month but we had only $18,084 allotted for our fall grant round. Normally the Trust might use some of its operational reserve for grant awards but this summer our Community Giving Grant installed outdoor musical sculptures in Whiteside Park.”
The Trust’s project grant program supports activities in the fine arts and is intended to make possible presentations or productions. Three project grants were awarded this year to the following organizations:


Anton “Ski” Chmielewski, 85, dies

Anton “Ski” Chmielewski, 85, of Ely, Minnesota, lost his battle with cancer on Thursday, November 22, 2018, surrounded by family.
He was born February 25, 1933 in Iron River, Michigan, son of the late Anton and Annastasia (Przybylski) Chmielewski. He graduated from Iron River High School and joined the United States Air Force as a Hydraulic Mechanic, serving his country in the Korean War. He moved to Ely at the age of 32, where he worked the majority of his career with Reserve Mining and LTV Steel. In addition to his full-time employment, he usually added part-time plumbing in the evenings and mechanic work on the weekends to provide extra for his family.
Ski was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying so many activities such as; camping, hunting, fishing, canoeing, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, gardening and volunteering with the Ely Ski Club. His passion for animals, especially his collies was incredible.


Wolf management is a disaster

The federal government has made a mess of trying to manage gray wolves. From a botched attempt to delist them from protection under the Endangered Species Act to the debacles at Isle Royale, this has been one screw up after another.
Those hoping for common sense cheered when they read the Republicans who still control the House passed a bill to drop legal protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states. That bill is dead on arrival in the Senate.
But the passage of the bill in the House shows the frustration in how the Fish and Wildlife Service has been able to beat back repeated court challenges. The feds attempt to delist and return management to the state and the wolf groups fire up their lawyers and get a friendly judge in Washington to stop the delisting.


Native son: Grandparents

Grandpa and Grandma Gorshe and Dewey Novak

Grandma Novak and baby Dewey (Charlie)


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