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Hook and Bullet Club

Jon Prijatel posted one morning how he loves early mornings at the shack. His photos showed a hot fire burning in the wood stove and breakfast cooking on the gas stove.
At the same time at Camp Cholesterol I was watching the darkness start to fade away through the Norway pines. But there was an incredible light show taking place.
Through the window of my front door I could see the moon peaking up from the horizon. But not much of a moon, just a thin sliver. Boy was it bright.
My SkyView app is great to have when looking up at the stars. The moon may be easy to figure out but I didn’t know Mars was right next to the moon or that Uranus was the bright star out the window behind me. And did you know Mars appears reddish in color due to the iron oxide (rust) in its terrain and dusty atmosphere? Me either.

Nov captured that in all aspects

Dear Editor,
I would like to thank the Ely Echo for the excellent coverage you did on the 3rd Annual Jake Forsman Memorial Car Show and Burnout Competition.
The editorial, the article, and especially the photos on page 12 illustrate very well that this event is about so much more than cars. Most importantly, it is about family and community.
You captured that in all aspects of your coverage.
Thank you!
Al Forsman and the extended Forsman family


Musical planned for inaugural theatrical event at State Theater

Friends of Ely’s Gail deMarcken, illustrator of the best-selling, award-winning book The Quiltmaker’s Gift, have organized to present the musical based on the book as the inaugural theatrical event at Ely’s newly restored State Theater on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 25 and 26 at 2 p.m.
Laurie Kess is the director, Irene Hartfield, musical director, Molly Olson, choreographer, and Peter Kess, light and sound tech.
The play and the music were developed by the Phoenix Theater in Arizona. It has been presented in communities across the United States but never in Ely. The group plans to invite second and third grade students from Ely, Babbitt and Tower to a Thursday afternoon dress rehearsal performance.
The Friends of Gail have collaborated with Ely’s Heart of the Woods quilters to present a quilt show at the Ely Folk School.


WolfTrack sets new path

by Tom Coombe
An Ely winter event will continue this season with new management.
The Ely Chamber of Commerce has taken over sponsorship and coordination of the WolfTrack Classic, a sled dog racing event that has become a staple on the local winter calendar and hearkens back to the days when the community hosted the All-American Sled Dog Races.
Set for its 12th year, the WTC’s future was in jeopardy as volunteer board members looked to pass the baton to new leadership.
“No one wanted to see the race end,” said Eva Sebesta, executive director of the Ely Chamber and a one-time WTC board member. “They were having some challenges finding additional board members want what ultimately ended up happening was that the board decided they would like to follow in the footsteps of the Apostle Islands race, which the Bayfield Chamber operates. So there was some precedence.”


Touring the power of coal in North Dakota

by Nancy McReady
Each year Lake Country Power invites its co-op members on the three days/two nights Coal Creek Bus Tour to Bismarck, North Dakota.
Members from the Mountain Iron, Kettle River and Grand Rapids service areas all meet at Lake Country Power in Grand Rapids to board the coach bus. This year from Ely, Doug and Nancy McReady made their second trip to Coal Creek, and Andrew and Suzi Jackson had their first trip. There were rest stops and a lunch stop along the way to Bismarck, and even trivia and bingo games with prizes to pass the time.
Upon arrival at our hotel destination of Staybridge Suites Bismarck, members had a short period of time to freshen up before boarding the bus again and going to the Bismarck Municipal Country Club for a group dinner. This dinner was included in the price of the tour package of $170/person.


Mary A. Perushek, 91, of Ely

Mary Alice Perushek, 91, of Ely, passed peacefully on October 25, 2019 after a short stay at the Boundary Waters Care Facility. She was born on December 4, 1927 to Stephen and Mary Orlovski in Denver, CO. Embodying MN values, Mary Alice was kind, independent, modest and, with her gentle humor, was loved by all family and her many friends in Ely.

She married Michael (Mike) Grosell in 1957 (Denver, CO) and together they built up an automotive parts business that was eventually sold to General Motors. Retiring to warmer Phoenix, AZ in1980, Mary Alice was an accomplished accordion player, with a love of Polka music; quilter and crafter; happy to share her skills providing classes in the community. She was also a voracious reader. Following Mike’s death in 1992, Mary Alice had a brief happy marriage to Robert Porthan in 1995 who resided in both Phoenix and Ely; he passed away the year after.


Roger James Salo, 65, of Babbitt

Roger James Salo, 65, of Babbitt passed away Wednesday, October 23, 2019. A Memorial service will
be held Friday, November 1, 2019 at Range Funeral Home in Virginia at 2:00 pm with visitation
beginning one hour prior to the service. Pastor Roth will officiate. Following the service a Celebration of Life will be from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Hide-A-Way in Babbitt, MN. Burial will be at the Argo Cemetery at a later date. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home in Virginia. To sign the online guest book or send condolences visit

Roger was born April 26, 1954 in Winton, MN to Roger and Barbara (Nelson) Salo. He attended JFK
High School where he played football and hockey, graduating in 1972. He served in the Navy from
1972 to 1974. He attended Dunwoody College, graduating in 1976.


Hook and Bullet Club

Shack time is running very low with deer season now just two weeks away. At Camp Cholesterol we’re rebuilding a small woodshed and fixing deer stands as fast as we can.
This past weekend we had a boatload of helpers including Megan’s college roommate Sidney, Evan and his girlfriend Nella, Uncle Mike and his youngest, Hunter joining Mary and I in moving a deer stand.
The move has been in the planning stages for over a year. We considered bringing in a crane or maybe a large helicopter to make it happen. Then we realized this wasn’t a big deal and we just needed brave souls to climb up the stand, undo the ratchet straps and help us lower it to the ground.
That part went really well thanks to Hunter and when it went back up Evan was able to attach it to the tree again without any problems.


School Board Meeting Minutes

1.0 The regular meeting of the School Board of Independent School District No. 696 was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chairman Marsnik.
2.0 On roll call the following directors were present: Colarich, Mann, Marsnik, Omerza. Absent: Pointer, Sjoberg. Also present: Kevin Abrahamson, Superintendent; Keith Vandervort, Ely Timberjay, Tom Coombe, Ely Echo, Erik Erie, Megan Anderson, Anne Oelke, Tim Leeson.
3.0 Pledge of Allegiance
4.0 Moved by Mann, seconded by Colarich, to amend the agenda to add Matthew Koch as a volunteer football coach. Motion carried. (Vote: 4-0)
5.0 Open Forum: None
6.0 The following correspondence/informational items were presented:
6.1 Student Council Representative – None present
6.2 Introduction of new staff: Clara DeRemee, Matthew Koch, Max Gantt, Maddie Swenson and Brenda Olson were present to introduce themselves to the board.
7.0 Consent Agenda:


Special Meeting of the School Board

1.0 The special meeting of the School Board of Independent School District No. 696 was called to order at 6:25 p.m. by Chairman Marsnik.
2.0 On roll call the following directors were present: Colarich, Mann, Marsnik, Omerza, Pointer, Sjoberg. Also present: Kevin Abrahamson, Superintendent, Erik Erie, Megan Anderson, Anne Oelke.
3.0 Moved by Colarich, seconded by Sjoberg, to approve Spencer Aune to be responsible and accountable for overseeing the nonaudit services performed by Walker, Giroux & Hahne, LLC. Motion carried. (Vote: 6-0)
4.0 Moved by Omerza, seconded by Colarich, to certify the preliminary proposed 19 payable 20 levy to the maximum amount. Motion carried. (Vote: 6-0)
5.0 Moved by Mann, seconded by Sjoberg, to approve Superintendent’s contract for 2019-2021. Motion carried. (Vote: 6-0)
6.0 Moved by Omerza, seconded by Sjoberg, to approve repair of the gym ceiling in the amount of $63,000. Motion carried. (Vote: 6-0)


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