Breaking News

Fri
18
Dec

COVID cases plummet in Ely

by Tom Coombe
Reported cases of Covid -19 have declined dramatically in the Ely area, to a point that in-person learning would be allowed per current guidelines.
According to data released Thursday, only three new positive tests were reported among residents of the 55731 zip code in the last three days, and 10 overall in the last two weeks.
That’s in comparison to 40 in a two-week period that ended Dec. 3 and 57 from Nov. 14-27, and has brought Covid case rates to levels consistent to when the Ely schools provided in-person learning earlier this school year.
Ely’s zip code case rate per 10,000 in the last 14 days has plummeted to 16.11, compared to 37.04 last week and 91.80 Nov. 27.
Guidelines released by the state of Minnesota earlier this year suggest full in-person learning for rates of 10 and under, with rates between 10 and 19.99 recommended for in-person learning for elementary schools and hybrid at the secondary level.

Fri
18
Dec

Burglary charges stem from break-in

A Dec. 10 incident at the Zenith Apartments has resulted in felony charges against two Ely men.
Court documents say that two counts of first-degree burglary have been filed against Ashton Swanson, 23, and Justin McNulty, 24.
Both were also charged with fifth-degree misdemeanor assault in connection with an early-morning incident inside an apartment at the Camp Street complex.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the Ely Police Department, officers were dispatched to a Zenith apartment shortly after midnight.
Upon arrival, police found broken glass suggesting a window was broken from the outside, and a male occupant on his hands and knees.
The male was found with multiple scratches on his back, multiple bruises on his face and a bloody mouth, and told police he was attacked by both Swanson and McNulty.

Fri
18
Dec

From the miscellaneous drawer

I was in the office one morning recently, picking up my mail and adding some old photos of Ely’s olden days to the Echo’s collection. And I became more aware of the Echo team.
They have good leadership in Nick Wognum, now listed as General Manager, but there’s no doubt that his crew plays an important part in keeping things running smoothly.
Lisa, the ad designer, helps customers in many ways as she has for over 20 years.
And for some time since we have enlarged our print section and camera output, Cameron has been front and center to answer customers’ needs.
He also takes care of getting the Echos after they are printed in Duluth, and has had some help recently from Evan Wognum, Nick’s youngest on the road.
Tom does a great job of seeming to be everywhere. And the Echo also has the talents of Pam Roberts and all the columnists, and readers who share photos and letters with the Echo. And Brad is back to help with store sales.

Fri
18
Dec

EDITORIAL: Bakk continues to blast Walz

Minnesota state Senator Tom Bakk has made one thing clear, he’s not too happy with Governor Tim Walz.
That unhappiness may or may not have contributed to Bakk leaving the DFL but it does reflect outstate Minnesota’s disdain for how the governor has handled the pandemic.
Speaking to the Star-Tribune, Bakk said, “It was a colossal mistake to shut the entire state down” last spring, when the virus was not yet much in evidence in greater Minnesota, Bakk said. “Leaving the big-box stores open while Main Street was closed? It was like he panicked.”
We agree with Bakk on this and would like Rep. Rob Ecklund to pay attention as well. Walz has alienated small business owners and caused economic damage that may lead some to close their doors forever. All the while leaving Walmart, Target and Menard’s to continue serving customers.

Fri
18
Dec

Public Notice OUTDOOR SKATING RINK OPEN

Public Notice
OUTDOOR SKATING RINK OPEN
The Ely Outdoor Skating Rink located at the Ely Recreation Center at 1034 Main St. is OPEN for the winter season.

Skaters and Parents will need to plan ahead and be prepared to meet their warming needs (e.g. Proper gear, using your vehicle as a warming station etc.) The warming area will be closed per the governor’s orders. The Bathrooms will be open and sanitized following CDC guidelines. Chairs will be provided outside for skaters to put on their skates.

The Ice Rink will have a rink attendant and the bathrooms will be open during the following hours:
Monday – Friday 3pm – 8pm
Saturday 12pm – 8pm
Sunday 1pm – 6pm

The Rec Center Bathrooms will be CLOSED on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Ely Echo
December 19, 2020
December 26, 2020

Fri
18
Dec

DNR Conservation Officer weekly report for the week of December 14

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked on Upper Red Lake with area officers and CO Lawler. High levels of activity were observed, and many violations were encountered such as extra lines, unattended lines, overlimits of walleyes, too many walleyes over 17 inches, possession of dressed fillets, unregistered recreational vehicles, no shelter tags, and drug paraphernalia. Additional time was spent checking anglers, grouse hunters, muzzleloader deer hunters, and ATV activity in the station, with enforcement action taken for insufficient blaze orange, land-use trespass, and youth ATV violations.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) attended in-service training and instructed firearm qualifications at Camp Ripley. He monitored ice fishing and followed up on complaints of early trout fishing and trapping violations.

Fri
18
Dec

Council Minutes - December 1, 2020

Council Minutes -
December 1, 2020
Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers

1. CALL TO ORDER
The regular City Council Meeting on December 1, 2020 was called to order by Mayor Novak at 5:30pm.

2. PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess via Zoom, Debeltz, Omerza, Callen, Campbell via Zoom, and Mayor Novak
ABSENT: None

3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the minutes from the November 17, 2020 Regular Council Meeting. Motion Carried Unanimously.

4. ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS TO AGENDA:

5. MAYOR’S REPORT

6. CONSENT AGENDA:
A.Forsman/Omerza moved to waive readings in entirety of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight’s agenda. Motion Carried Unanimously.

7. REQUESTS TO APPEAR: None

8. COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A. Standing/Special
Ely Tree Board: Minutes included in the Council Packet

Fri
18
Dec

Truth in Taxation Public Hearing NOTICE

Truth in Taxation Public Hearing
Ely City Council –
Council Chambers
December 8, 2020

Call to Order:
Mayor Novak called the Truth in Taxation Public Hearing to order at 6:00pm.

PRESENT: Council Members A.Forsman, Kess via Zoom, Debeltz, Omerza, Callen, Campbell and Mayor Novak
ABSENT: None

2021 Proposed Budget and Truth in Taxation Presentation
Mayor Novak indicated that the budget committee has met several times discussing the 2021 budget. Currently the proposed levy is at 7%, the council can lower the levy, but it cannot by raised.

Fri
18
Dec

Public Hearing Minutes December 1, 2020

Public Hearing Minutes
December 1, 2020 -
City Hall, Council Chambers

Call To Order:
Mayor Novak called the public hearing to order at 4:30pm.

PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess via Zoom, Debeltz, Omerza, Campbell via Zoom and Mayor Novak
ABSENT: Council Member Callen

Purpose:
To hear public comment regarding Ordinance No. 344 regarding the licensing of Short Term Rentals.

Fri
18
Dec

Youth sports set to resume Jan. 4

by Nick Wognum
It was a good news/bad news week for high school athletes in Ely and across the state.
While Gov. Tim Walz extended what began as a four-week pause that halted all high school and youth sports in Minnesota, an announcement on Wednesday offered some light at the end of a long tunnel.
In an executive order signed the same day, Walz cleared the way for sports practices to begin Jan. 4.
Within minutes of the announcement, the Minnesota State High School League made news of its own - indicating that practices for all winter high school sports would begin on that date.
Much remains unsettled, including a firm date that games and meets will begin, but the developments breathe new life into sports seasons that have been dormant for several weeks.
Practices for winter sports were slated to begin in mid-to-late November, depending on the activity, but Walz put those on ice amid rising COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations and deaths.

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