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Ely Echo Editorial: Anti-mining study’s sky is falling conclusions cater to fear, speculation

A study championed by copper-nickel mining opponents and detailed a couple of weeks ago before Ely’s Tuesday Group makes the case that despite the addition of several hundred new jobs, the Twin Metals Minnesota project would ultimately hurt - and not help - our local economy.
In the long run, we were told, the region would be better served by maintaining its current economic model.
There were charts and data to support this conclusion, although even the study - conducted by a Harvard professor - shows that the Twin Metals would provide an initial boost to the economy.
That boost would last anywhere from two-to-11 years, we were told, but from that point on any gains as a result of the Twin Metals project would be offset by “negative impacts on recreation industries and in-migration” to the study area - which went far beyond Ely to include all of St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties.


LETTER: ...find it hard to believe they can’t find a lousy 150 square feet in the park

Dear Editor,


DNR’s annual aerial survey shows Minnesota’s moose population stable

For the ninth year in a row, Minnesota’s moose population remains relatively stable, but reproductive success – one of the factors that has the greatest impact on moose survival over time – remains low.
This winter, the DNR estimated the moose population to be 3,150 animals (between a range of 2,400 and 4,320). Due to the variance in this type of annual population estimate, this year’s estimate does not suggest a decline from last year’s estimate of 4,180 moose.
This year 308 moose were observed on 39 (75%) of the 52 plots surveyed (a total 723 square miles), less than the 429 moose observed on 43 of 52 plots during the 2019 survey. This year’s 308 observed moose included 131 bulls, 138 cows, 37 calves, and 2 unclassified adults


City of Ely statement on Coronavirus response plans

by George Burger, City of Ely Emergency Management Director
The Minnesota Department of Health is leading the statewide response to Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). The City of Ely is prepared and working with all appropriate agencies to stay ready. For questions on COVID-19 call the Minnesota Department of Health hotline at 651-201-3920.
As of Thursday, March 12, City of Ely departments and facilities are operating as normal.
The City of Ely is taking precaution when it comes to assuring clean and healthy workplaces and public facilities. Supervisory staff are also taking steps to maintain a safe continuity of services by reviewing and making necessary changes in procedures to prevent the spread of illness. We have actively posted flyers in offices and public spaces to remind both staff and public to take the same precautions as they would to avoid colds and flu.


Ely hospital ready for Coronavirus

While there have been no reported cases of Coronvirus in the Ely area, the local hospital responded to a request for information Thursday afternoon.
“Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital is fully prepared to take care of Ely and the communities we serve. Our team is updated daily and following all recommendations made by the CDC and the MN Department of Health. We are fully stocked with our supplies and have added a link to the CDC on our websites where they are posting live updates,” said hospital spokesperson Jodi Martin.
“Currently, there are no home testing kits available, and testing is at the discretion of the provider. We will continue to provide updates via our Facebook page, including tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Mona (Rikhus) Akemann, age 63, of Babbitt

Mona (Rikhus) Akemann, passed away unexpectedly at her residence in Babbitt on March 10, 2020.
She was born April 19, 1956 in Fargo, ND to Ray and Orpha (Mellum).
She graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1974. Mona worked at a number of manufacturing plants in Albert Lea and Minneapolis and at Zup’s Food Market in Babbitt.
She was a big fan of the Vikings and Twins. She was an avid reader, hanging with friends and enjoyed going to casinos.
She was preceded in death by her maternal and paternal grandparents, her parents, Ray and Orpha, and sister-in-law Julie (Dave) Rikhus.
She is survived by her brother Dave of Rochester, MN and sister Sue (John) Keenan of St. Cloud and nephews and nieces along with constant companion Rascal.
Burial will be at a later date.
Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.


1854 Authority retracts letter over taconite mining

The 1854 Authority has reversed course on a letter opposing Minntac's planned expansion.
In a later to the Minnesota DNR, Darren Vogt, Resource Management Division Director, said, "On February 10, 2020, the 1854 Treaty Authority submitted a comment letter in which it recommended that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources deny approval U.S. Steel's request to amend its Minntac Permit to Mine. Specifically, U.S. Steel is requesting authorization to expand its current Minntac mining operations to include 45 additional acres north of Kinney, Minnesota.
"After further discussion and consideration, the 1854 Treaty Authority has decided to formally retract its February 10, 2020 comment letter. The Authority will continue to monitor developments related to the Minntac Permit and will participate in permit-related proceedings as it deems appropriate."


Rudolph Semeja, age 88

Rudolph Semeja, age 88 of Springfield, MO died Friday, March 6, 2020 at Morning side at Chesterfield.

Rudy will be cremated and burial will be at a later date in Minnesota under the direction of Walnut Lawn Funeral Home Ltd. DeGraffenreid-Wood Crematory.


Jerry Alexander Carlson

Jerry Alexander Carlson was born on May 26, 1934, in Ely, Minnesota. He was the son of Oscar and Helen (Sikala) Carlson. Jerry was baptized and later confirmed in his faith at First Lutheran Church in Ely. Jerry was a graduate of the Ely High School Class of 1952, Gustavus Adolphus College and later attended post graduate school at the Minnesota State University, Mankato. Following college Jerry served in the United States Army for two years.

On June 9, 1962, Jerry was united in marriage to Malene Torgerson at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead, Minnesota. This marriage was blessed with two sons, Jon and Daniel. They have resided in Hutchinson for over 57 years.

Jerry was employed as a Physical Education teacher at the Hutchinson School District #423 and retired in 1993. He was a very involved and successful boys swimming and diving coach for 47 years and also coached boys and girls tennis for over 20 years.


Hook and Bullet Club

The first day of March and we went looking for signs of spring.
Our friends at the National Weather Service said it was the first day of meteorologic spring. Of course they told us the other day it was going to go from -18 degrees in the morning to 40 in the afternoon. When I questioned this on Twitter, I got a great response: “We’re marketing, Mother Nature handles production.”
Marketing or not the calendar tells us we’re closer to the walleye opener every day. But fishing wasn’t the plan for the day, I wanted to get Mary out to the shack so she could see the change in the scenery.
This past winter the area around us was logged off. After 20 years of seeing the same trees we can now see a lot farther in nearly every direction.
“Wow!’ She said as we came up to the driveway.
“You sure can see a long ways away now.”


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