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William (Bill) Slaughter

William (Bill) Slaughter, age 59 of Ely, MN passed in peace Saturday May 7th with family by his side in Alexandria, MN.
Bill was born and raised in Ely, MN and is where he spent most of his life. He has the northland in his blood and was able to take his favorite things; fishing, hunting, camping and dog sledding and turn it into a successful career with Bill Slaughter’s Northwoods Guide Service for over 25 years.
Before starting a guide service, Bill proudly served in the United States Army and National Guard. Bill enjoyed serving in Ely’s Honor Guard and showing his respect to our active and retired military along with paying his respect to lost soldiers.


Sandra Lee Hughes

Sandra Lee Hughes, age 75, of Grand Rapids, MN and formerly of Ely, MN passed away Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital.
Born in 1947, Sandra was the daughter of Helen (Beseman) and Raymond Warrington in Ely, Minnesota. Sandra grew up on a resort outside of Ely that her parents owned and operated. She attended Section 30 School and graduated from Ely High School. She attended Vermilion Jr. College earned her Associates degree and then studied at Bemidji State University where she met Michael Hughes. They were married in 1970. They made their home in Minneapolis where Sandra was a NW Bell operator until 1999. She then was offered a job as an Account Executive with AT&T. In 1999, Michael and Sandra moved to Grand Rapids to retire on McAvity Lake.


Hook and Bullet Club - Meeting Bridger

Getting to meet a new member of the family is a pretty big deal. My oldest son Jacob and his wife Kyah made Kinlee a big sister when Bridger was born on April 24.
Weighing in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces he was a joy to hold when we were out in the Fargo area last weekend. There’s something about a human being so small, with all the baby smells that melts your heart.
We took turns and each got in some Bridger time during our visit. Those minutes were treasured. And watching Kinlee hold her baby brother was heart warming as well.
This has certainly been an interesting emotional time in life after losing my mother. There are many times when I think I can ask her a question or let her know what’s going on.
But now there’s a hole where for my whole life there was a mom. I thought how nice it would have been to have her hold her great-grandson. It was a similar scenario when my dad passed.


Regular Meeting Ely City Council-City Hall, Council Chambers April 19th, 2022

Regular Meeting Ely City Council-City Hall, Council Chambers
April 19th, 2022

The regular meeting of the Ely City Council was called to order by Mayor Skraba at 5:30pm in the Council Chambers.

PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Omerza, Callen, Campbell, and Mayor Skraba

Debeltz/Campbell moved to approve the minutes from the April 5th, 2022 Public Hearing re-garding Ordinance 353 and the April 5th, 2022 Regular Council Meeting Motion Carried Unani-mously.


Board of Adjustment Public Hearing

The Ely Board of Adjustment will be holding a public hearing on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 at 5:00 pm in the City Hall council chambers at 209 E Chapman St, Ely, MN.
The hearing is being held to consider the granting of a Conditional Use Permit to Midcontinent Communications to construct a 16x30 foot communications building for providing upgraded ser-vices in and around the Ely area. The proposed location is to be in the vacant lot immediately west of the Holiday Station on Sheridan St.-Parcel# 030-0380-01510
All questions and/or comments wished to be heard at the hearing may be submitted in person at the public hearing, by mail to the Zoning Administrator at 209 E. Chapman St. Ely, MN 55731 or by email to

Dave Huberty
Zoning Administrator

Ely Echo
May 7, 2022
May 14, 2022


Car rolls over on Sheridan Street

On Tuesday afternoon a three vehicle accident that included a car rolling on its side ended with minor injuries.
The Ely Police Department received a radio call from dispatch at 4:09 p.m. advising of a motor vehicle accident with unknown injuries had occurred at the intersection of Sheridan Street and Eighth Avenue East.
The report stated there were three vehicles involved and one was laying on its side. Ely ambulance and first responders were dispatched as a precaution.
Upon arrival, all three drivers were out of the vehicles and only reporting soreness from the crash. All three were the sole occupants in the vehicles.


WELY going off the air

Ely’s radio station may soon be silent.
Unless a buyer emerges, WELY will close and go off the air on June 1.
The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa has owned the community’s iconic and eclectic station since 2005 but has lost over $1.7 million doing so, according to a news release announcing the closure.
Those losses, and thus far unsuccessful attempt to find a new owner, prompted the decision to close.
It was a decision the band did not take lightly, according to the release.
“We have been working behind the scenes to find a buyer that could continue operating the station, but our latest plans recently fell through,” said Bois Forte Tribal Chair Cathy Chavers. “While we would have preferred to keep the station open in the hopes another buyer would emerge, we needed to move ahead with this decision.”
The decision to close affects one full-time employee and another eight part-time staffers, who were notified of the decision late last week.


EDITORIAL: WELY has risen like Phoenix before, unknown if there’s a way to do it again

The rumor of the radio station closing had been in the wind for awhile now. We had inquired if it was available and took a hard look at whether or not we could turn it around.
Then the announcement came out on Wednesday, “Barring an 11th-hour deal being struck for someone to buy WELY - End of the Road Radio, the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa will close the station on June 1, 2022.”
The first thought that came to mind was Ely should send a massive thank you note to the Band for all they did to keep it open. For 17 years the bills were paid, paychecks were cashed and the airwaves were filled with a signal from downtown Ely. But after $1.7 million in expenditures, the Band made the decision they rightly could have made years ago and announced the closure.


Walkoff win for Wolves

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school softball team was only temporarily deflated on Tuesday.
After coughing up a three-run lead in the top of the seventh, it looked as if the Timberwolves season-opening winning streak would come to an end.
But “not so fast,” responded Ely junior Madeline Kallberg, who calmly stepped up to the plate and ripped a bases-clearing double that gave the Wolves a 10-9 victory Mesabi East.
Kallberg’s one-out gapper capped a seesaw affair and gave Ely its fourth consecutive victory to open a late-starting 2022 campaign.
But the Wolves are making up for lost time, with the home win part of a furious stretch.
By May 13, the Wolves will have completed a stretch that includes eight games in 11 days.
Clare Thomas, Kate Coughlin and Rachel Coughlin all had two hits against Mesabi East, as did Kallberg, who finished with four runs batted in.
In the circle, pitcher Katrina Seliskar scattered nine hits.


Ice still on lakes, flooding on some roads

Due to the lingering winter conditions, Forest Service fee campgrounds are now expected to open around May 12.
Although it is starting to warm up, there is still a lot of snow; conditions vary across the forest.
Water services will be turned on when temperatures allow and may not be available on opening dates.
Visitors with reservations prior to the new opening dates will be reimbursed.
Many gravel roads are in rough condition due to late snow conditions this year.
As the snow melts it also can cause flooding and very muddy roads. Please practice caution and stay off of them if you can to prevent permanent damage!
Road Closures: Grassy Creek Road, known as Grassy Lake Road (Forest Road 459) is closed approx. 2.7 miles from the beginning of the road due to flooding. Mudro entry points, off of the Grassy Creek Road, are inaccessible at this time.


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