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Thomas Jerry Blackwood Jr, 81, of Lafayette, CA, dies

Thomas Jerry Blackwood Jr, 81, of Lafayette, CA passed away peacefully on Sunday Sept. 16, 2018.
“Coach” as he preferred to be called was born in Palo Alto in 1936 to Thomas Jerry Blackwood Sr and Alice (Kovall, of Ely) Blackwood. After moving numerous times in his youth, he went on to be a 3-sport athlete at Menlo-Atherton High School in Menlo Park, CA where he was named ‘Peninsula Athlete of the Year’ in his senior year. Coach then attended college at San Jose State University before joining the Army. His decision to enlist would shape his life. He began service at the Monterey Language School, but posts in Turkey and Japan instilled in him a love of travel and history that followed him forever. Upon being discharged he enrolled at SF State University pursuing his passion for history and teaching. Upon graduating, he would go on to spend his next 40 years teaching and coaching at Miramonte High School in Orinda, California.


Betty A. Kotzian, 83, of Hibbing, formerly of Ely, dies

Betty Annette Kotzian, 83, originally of Ely, passed away at Guardian Angels on October 8, 2018. Betty was born on March 2, 1935 and was the loving daughter of Toivo and Sally (Blixtz) Carlson. Betty was a 1953 graduate of Ely Memorial High School and married her high school sweetheart, Patrick John Kotzian. They wed at the First Presbyterian Church in Ely on December 27, 1953. Betty and Pat were blessed with one son, Michael John and one daughter, Debra Kay. During their loving marriage, they lived in England, Illinois, Florida, Mississippi and Ohio.
Betty was a lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church and had been employed by Army/Air Force Exchange System, Wells Fargo and Norwest Bank of Ely. She enjoyed life to the fullest with interests in sewing, ceramics, stamping, gardening, traveling, blueberry picking and fishing. Betty was a true lover of the outdoors and positively loved Minnesota. She was always open to new adventures and challenges.


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Serious situation in Ely a MPCA in town to investigate leak of 4,854 gallons of gas at Holiday Station.

Ely Mayor Novak said that. MPCA, through gas statistics at Holiday store, learned that 4,844 gallons of gas "disappeared through the evening" in a leak that was reported Monday morning. "This has permeated into the ground somewhere - we don't know where," Novak said tonight.

Ely city officials will meet at 5 pm to address Holiday gas leak. MPCA looking at sanitary sewer on Washington Street.

State has asked Ely Holiday to close temporarily as a safety precaution.

Some of the gas from Holiday station leak wound up in Ely storm sewer and flowed into Miners Lake.

Mayor Chuck Novak: At this point, “there is no explosion concern," over gas leak of more than 4,800 gallons at Holiday station. Officials yet tonight are stopping at homes and businesses east and south of store to check for smell of gas.


Detour begins for final work on Highway 88 bridge west of Ely

The final phase of the project to replace the bridge on County State Aid Highway 88 (Grant McMahon Boulevard) west of Ely began Wednesday, May 30, and that means the road will be closed and a detour in place for the next three weeks. Detour signage will be placed on both CSAH 88 and Highway 169.

Crews will be completing final road paving, bridge painting, installation of the bridge concrete wearing course, pavement markings and road shouldering. Work is expected to be complete and the road reopened by June 18.

Most of the work was completed last fall to install the new 105-foot concrete slab span bridge that crosses the Burntside River. It replaces a nearly 80-year-old bridge that had been subject to weight limitations, and had reached the end of its serviceable life.

The total project cost is $1.26 million, with funding coming from State Aid dollars. Redstone Construction, LLC, is the project contractor.



National Weather Service Duluth MN


The National Weather Service in Duluth has issued a Red Flag
Warning for low relative humidities and gusty winds, which is in
effect from noon today to 7 PM CDT this evening.

* Affected Area...In Minnesota, North St. Louis, Northern Cook/Northern Lake, Central St. Louis, Southern Lake/North Shore, Southern Cook/North Shore, Carlton/South St. Louis and Pine.

.Dangerous fire weather conditions are expected over northeast Minnesota this afternoon. Northwest winds of 15 to 20 mph with gusts to around 25 mph are expected as humidity values drop to between 15 to 25 percent.


U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) formally reinstates two federal mineral leases

Twin Metals Minnesota issued the following statement in response to today’s action by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to formally reinstate two federal mineral leases held by the company in Northeast Minnesota.
The formal reinstatement of the leases follows a U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) legal opinion issued in December 2017 affirming Twin Metals’ right to renewal of the leases, which the company and its predecessors have held in good standing for more than 50 years. The December 2017 legal opinion negated actions taken in 2016 by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to deny the renewal of the two Twin Metals leases. Twin Metals’ federal leases are important components of the underground mine project proposal the company is preparing for submittal to state and federal agencies for extensive review through an Environmental Impact Statement.



Due to safety concerns, Superior National Forest managers are temporarily closing sections of Forest Roads in St. Louis, Lake, and Cook Counties, in northeast Minnesota.

Some Forest Roads have become covered with a thick layer of ice that has created an extreme hazard for traffic in those areas. Current specific closures include:

A five-mile portion of the Tomahawk Road (Forest Road 377) on the Kawishiwi Ranger District, temporarily closed from Highway 1, east to Forest Road 381 in Lake County, MN.

A twelve-mile section of The Grade Road (Forest Road 170) on the Tofte Ranger District temporarily closed between the Sawbill Trail and Wanless in Cook and Lake Counties, MN.

These temporary closures apply to any vehicles driven by the general public, including snowmobiles, dogsleds, and all-terrain vehicles. These restrictions went into effect Tuesday, November 28, 2017 and will continue until further notice.


Lake Country Power advising members to seek safety and warmth during outage

The conditions following the late Thursday night snowstorm is making it difficult for linemen, bucket trucks and heavy equipment to access poles, wires and downed trees. As a result, Lake Country Power is advising any members still without power by 8:00 p.m. tonight to seek alternatives to stay warm.

Line crews have restored power to more than 4,000 members since 11:00 p.m. Thursday night. Crews worked all night and day on Friday in an effort to restore electric service. While crews are making progress, they will need a mandatory rest period from 8:00 p.m. this evening until 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning.

Most outages are located in the Mountain Iron service area, including Lake Vermilion, Ely, Orr and Crane Lake. Other outages also affected members in the Grand Rapids and Kettle River service areas as well. As snow and ice melts from the lines, more outages are anticipated throughout the co-op’s service area.


Construction Begins on Hwy. 2 in Lake County

Knife River Materials will be resurfacing five miles of Lake County Hwy. 2 between Greenwood Lake and Sand Lake beginning Monday, August 14th. Flagging delays are expected for the next two to three weeks between the hours of sunrise to sunset, Mondays through Saturdays. This federally-supported investment will improve the ride quality of this connection between Ely and Two Harbors. Please direct any questions to the Lake County Highway Department at 218-834-8380.


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