Breaking News

Thu
24
Dec

Kawishiwi Lodge to be listed on National Register of Historic Places

by Nick Wognum
One of Ely’s oldest resorts will soon be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Kawishiwi Lodge, which opened in 1924, has been recognized by the National Park Service with having 18 structures of historic interest.
Located on the shores of Lake One, Kawishiwi Lodge is well known among canoeists traveling from the Lake One entry point to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
“The resort is a rare reminder of the small-scale, family-owned resorts that were once ubiquitous in the state,” the report states.
Owned and operated by Frank and Nicole Udovich, “The resort continues to offer a visitor experience reminiscent of a bygone era.”
For the Udovich family, the award recognizes the work done by the Zgonc family to build a resort when there wasn’t even a road to get there.

Thu
24
Dec

COVID vaccinations begin

by Tom Coombe
The COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Ely.
As part of a nationwide effort to combat the virus, about 30 doses were distributed Monday to employees of Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital and the Ely Area Ambulance Service.
Another 25 workers were to get shots Wednesday, with health care employees at the front of the line to receive a vaccine that only earlier this month was approved for emergency distribution.
The Ely hospital is coordinating the vaccinations of its staff and ambulance employees from Ely, Babbitt and Tower, while local clinic provider Essentia is coordinating vaccinations for its staff.
Ely’s nursing home and congregate care facilities are also set for vaccinations in the early stages of an operations that could result in the distribution of millions of doses by mid-2021.
Rebecca Holmstrom, chief nursing officer at EBCH, said those who received shots this week will get a second dose in another three weeks.

Thu
24
Dec

Stauber knocks state restrictions

Opponents of Gov. Tim Walz’s restrictions on businesses have found a powerful ally in U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber.
Tuesday, Stauber spoke with numerous business owners and industry leaders and called on Walz to lift restrictions on bars, restaurants and other venues.
“To point to the obvious Minnesota needs to get back to an open and working economy,” said Stauber, who met via conference call in a session that also involved media representatives. “I’m going to continue to fight for a full reopening in the days to come. It’s time for our governor to level the playing field.”
Last week, Walz extended what started as a four-week “pause” that limited restaurants to takeout or delivery service and closed bars, gymnasiums, entertainment venues and other gathering places.
Walz tweaked some of the provisions effective Dec. 19, including opening gymnasiums to 25 percent capacity and allowing restaurants and bars to open outdoors.

Thu
24
Dec

Stanley J. Bezek Jr.

Stanley J. Bezek Jr., MD, of Ely, Minn., and Oro Valley, Ariz., (formerly of Virginia, Minn.), passed away on Dec. 10, 2020, at home, with family by his side after two years of treatment for pancreatic cancer.
He was a goliath in the eyes of those who knew and loved him and his legacy will sustain his memory. Stan, although born in Saint Paul, Minn., on Feb. 22, 1947, was a true Iron Ranger at heart and moved to Virginia’s “South Side” as a baby. He attended Horace Mann Elementary then Roosevelt High School, graduating as co-valedictorian in 1965. After graduating from St. John’s University in three years, he graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his Family Medicine residency at Cleveland Metro General Hospital and the University of Colorado Medical Center. He became board certified in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine.

Thu
24
Dec

Hook and Bullet Club

We never know when it will be the last trip out to the shack by truck due to snow. With the muzzleloader season over, Evan and I went out last weekend to take down deer stands and cameras.
Evan and Nella’s black lab Hank was in the back seat of the truck. Well, he was half in the back and half in the front. I’m not sure he knew where we were going but he sure was excited to be along for the ride.
There really wasn’t much snow so driving in was easy. We pulled the side-by-side on a trailer and unloaded at the top of the hill by the shack.
We went inside to grab a pack and then hopped in the side-by-side with Hank in the middle. At each stop along the way Hank would hop out and zoom through the woods, sniffing out all the smells. Deer, wolf, beaver, snowshoe hare and more had him running steady.

Thu
24
Dec

Coughlins, Thomas honored

by Tom Coombe
An unbeaten season resulted in a conference championship for Ely’s high school volleyball team, and all-conference recognition for three Timberwolves.
Senior McKenna Coughlin, junior Kellen Thomas and sophomore Rachel Coughlin all won spots on the All-Arrowhead Conference Team, as selected by league coaches.
The recognition comes on the heels of the program’s first-ever unbeaten season, a campaign that was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the program’s first Arrowhead Conference title.
McKenna Coughlin played a key role in that success. The Wolves’ only returning starter from teams that reached the Section 7A final four the previous two years, she led in many ways and topped the Wolves in several statistical categories including kills (144), digs (85) and ace serves (35).
The senior averaged better than 10 kills per game and was one of the top hitters in all of Section 7A.

Thu
24
Dec

Wognum wins 7A coaching award

Ely’s Megan Wognum has been named Section 7A Assistant Coach of the Year in volleyball.
The acclaim came last week as the Minnesota State High School Volleyball Coaches Association announced award winners across the state.
Wognum, who has been assistant coach in Ely for five seasons, was part of one of the most unique and successful seasons in Timberwolves volleyball history.
The 2020 campaign started late and was interrupted before its conclusion because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Wolves went 12-0 and completed what’s believed to be the only perfect varsity season in school history.
Wognum aided head coach Andrea Thomas with the varsity and also coached Ely’s junior varsity team to an 11-1 record.

Thu
24
Dec

Eight new camper cabins to open for reservations at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park

The new camper cabins at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park between Ely and Tower are ready for visitors. Campers can begin making reservations at 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 28 for stays beginning on Dec. 31 (four cabins) and Jan. 13 (the remaining four cabins).
These eight new cabins, which will be open year-round, reflect the latest in green-building practices. The cabins feature rustic tamarack interiors and are equipped with heat, electricity and Wi-Fi, and an outdoor food prep counter, fire ring, and table.
Outfitted with either three full-size bunks, or two full-size and two twin-size bunks, each cabin can accommodate up to six people. A new shower and restroom building, as well as an adjacent vault toilet, serve the cabins.
In honor of the history and culture of the area’s Indigenous people, the cabins are named with the Ojibwe words for the four seasons and four cardinal directions.

Tue
22
Dec

Devon Marie Richter

Devon Marie Richter passed away unexpectedly on December 12, 2020 at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, MN.
Devon was born on March 27, 1978 in Ely, MN to Sue Mauser and Art Richter. She graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1996, attended Vermillion Community College and completed her 4 year degree through St. Cloud State. She knew her career direction early on in life, working with special needs people, she excelled at her job and loved what she did.
She will be remembered for her big heart, compassion for others, bubbly personality, infectious smile and her curly hair – just to name a few. When she smiled she lit up a room and was loved by everyone who knew her, a big loss will be felt by all.
Devon is survived by her mother Sue Mauser, father Art (Patty) Richter, brother Brand (Shannon), her three fur babies Rusty, Kimba and Theo, many uncles, aunts and cousins.

Mon
21
Dec

Irene Johnson, 90

Irene Johnson, 90, passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at Carefree Assisted Living in Aurora. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

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