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Floridians handle the cold

Jacob Worley and Jakob Wiirre grew up playing baseball in Florida, and they adjusted Monday to outdoor baseball conditions that had little resemblance to the Sunshine State.
Both Vermilion pitchers adjusted to the elements, and pitched the Ironmen to a community college baseball sweep of rival Mesabi on Monday in Aurora.
Worley was masterful in the second game, striking out 10 batters and allowing only two hits in a 4-1 Vermilion win.
In the opening game, Wiirre overcame some early struggles, settled in and struck out nine while going the distance as the Ironmen prevailed 9-7.
Vermilion improved to 4-2 on the season.
While artificial turf made the twinbill possible, it began in temperatures under 40 degrees on a damp Monday morning.
The sun peaked out by the time Worley took the mound for the nightcap, but conditions were nothing like a warm, sunny day in Florida.


POSITION OPENING Ely Public Schools Industrial Technology Teacher

Ely Public Schools
Industrial Technology Teacher
1.0 Full Time Equivalent (FTE)

Ely Public Schools is accepting applications for an Industrial Technology Teacher beginning the 2021-2022 school year; 1.0 FTE; competitive salary and fringes as per the master agreement. Background check required.

Qualifications include:
• Current Minnesota teaching license in 5-12 Industrial Arts preferred
• Previous teaching experience preferred
• Excellent communication skills

Application and full job description is available at:

A complete application must include the following:
• District Application for Employment in Licensed Positions
• Resume
• Copy of official transcripts
• Current Minnesota teaching license
• 3 letters of recommendation


Talking deer with Tom

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites the public to talk with DNR staff about deer on Wednesday, March 31. From noon until 8 p.m. on that day, wildlife managers throughout the state will be available to discuss deer-related topics with anyone who gives them a call.
For hunters that prefer to call (versus on-line input) to discuss the 2021 deer season, population status, (their) permit areas and antlerless permits, Wednesday March 31 from noon to 8 PM is the designated day. Tower area wildlife manager Tom Rusch will be in the Tower office from noon-8 p.m. to take calls at 218-300-7861.
This is in lieu of an annual post-winter in-person meeting held at Tower or Mt Iron in recent years. Please leave your name and phone number and he will return calls in the order that they are received.


Fire destroys garage

Dry and windy conditions contributed to a fire that spread to a garage and burned two vehicles.
“The shed started on fire and the wind pushed it into the garage,” said Morse-Fall Lake Fire Department chief Ted Krueger. “It was a really windy day.”
The fire occurred around 1 p.m. Sunday at a home on the 1800 block of Grant McMahan Boulevard off Shagawa Lake on Hwy. 88.
Damages include the total loss of a shed, garage and two vehicles.
“The fire was headed toward the house, it was in jeopardy but the initial attack from our crew knocked the fire down,” said Krueger.
Also responding were the Ely Fire Department, Ely Area Ambulance Service and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department.
“Ely Fire established a water supply on Shagawa Lake and delivered it to the site to Morse’s pumper tanker,” said Krueger.
The cause of fire is under investigation.


COVID closes school doors

by Tom Coombe
Middle and high school students in Ely transitioned to distance learning this week, and now elementary students are following suit.
A two-week “reset” was implemented in the Memorial Building, where nearly nine of 10 students were in quarantine at one point during the week because of COVID-19 outbreak that included 20 cases within the building.
In a surprising move, the Ely School District announced Wednesday that Washington Elementary would also close to in-person learning until Apr. 12, although only three cases were reported in the building and none since Monday.
The moves come amid a sudden outbreak that began the week of Mar. 15 and snowballed within days, prompting the school district to switch learning models for students in grades 6-12, effective Mar. 19.
By Monday, 87 percent of the high school students were asked to quarantine because of exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual, according to superintendent Erik Erie.


St. Louis County Public Health offers reminders about testing and quarantine following outbreak in Ely

A significant increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ely has St. Louis County Public Health offering reminders to people about the importance of testing and quarantining to prevent further community transmission.
In the last week, there have been 33 confirmed cases in Ely, which is 15% of the total cases for the entire county. Some of the cases appear to be travel related, while others are linked to social gatherings.
Anyone identified as a close contact of a confirmed case - meaning they've been within six feet for 15 minutes or longer - should quarantine for 14 days whether symptomatic or not. The exception is anyone who is fully vaccinated (meaning they are two weeks past receiving their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) does not need to quarantine unless they show signs or symptoms of COVID-19.


Ely Police Report for March 1-15, 2021

• Medical- Individual arrested for Domestic Assault.
• Traffic Stop- Individual issued a citation for Driving After Suspension.


Library may soon reopen

by Tom Coombe
After being shuttered for more than a year, Ely’s public library could soon reopen to the public.
Council members indicated Tuesday that they would lift an emergency order that closed the building, amid suggestions that the facility could welcome patrons within several weeks.
But details, including a date for reopening and procedures and protocols, figure to be worked out by the city’s library board.
“We’re getting ready to get ready to get ready,” said council member Heidi Omerza, also a longtime library board member. “We’re going to do it slowly and smartly.”
Since mid-March of 2020, the library was closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The library has offered curbside service for much of the time period and has maintained a strong social media presence, but visitors have not been allowed inside to peruse books, read newspapers, attend programming or use the facility’s computers.


Johnston fifth at state

by Tom Coombe
Jasper Johnston closed out a stellar prep career with yet another stellar finish.
For the fourth year in a row, the Ely senior earned all-state acclaim in Nordic skiing and had a grand finale at the Mar. 12 state meet at Giants Ridge.
After taking seventh in the opening race, Johnson saved his best for last and was fourth in the four-kilometer freestyle and settled for fifth overall, in a field of 160, in the boys division.
Johnston, who is bound for Michigan Tech, was one of four Wolves to compete in the two-day state event, joining Ely boys teammate Gabriel Pointer as well as individual qualifiers Zoe Devine and Phoebe Helms from the Wolves’ girls team.
Johnston was the only Ely skier to gain all-state recognition, and was within 1.4 seconds of third place overall.


COVID, Floodwood combine to derail Ely girls’ playoff run

by Tom Coombe
Even with a mile-wide hole in their lineup, the Ely Timberwolves put up a fight.
The high school girls basketball season came to an end Wednesday night, when seventh-seeded Floodwood got past Ely 47-35 in the opening round of the Section 7A tournament.
But it was an odd matchup typical of an odd season, after COVID-19 protocols decimated the Wolves’ roster on the eve of the postseason and after the team had put together a late-season surge.
The Wolves, who finished 8-10, were without part of their starting lineup as well as several key reserves, forcing first-year head coach Max Gantt to go with a makeshift lineup against the Polar Bears.
Sophomore Lily Tedrick and junior Laura Holmstrom stepped into the lineup and eighth-grader Clare Thomas got her first extended varsity action of the season.
The Wolves still competed well, but were done in by a pair of Polar Bear runs and scoring droughts of their own.


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