Breaking News

Fri
08
May

North Country Angler returns for 2020

BOATS can now be launched at LaTourell’s on Moose Lake and all other Ely area lakes with ice out coming the weekend before the 2020 Minnesota fishing opener. However, the U.S. Forest Service is only allowing day use in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area due to the coronavirus pandemic and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s stay at home order through May 17. Overnight use in the BWCA is expected to resume after May 17. On the Canadian side, the Quetico Park is closed to visitors through May 31.

Fri
08
May

Ely Marathon on as scheduled

by Tom Coombe
At least for now, the Ely Marathon and its associated events are still on as scheduled.
The 26.2-mile race that wraps up at Ely’s Whiteside Park is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26, and organizers are proceeding - and have even announced unique prize packages for the winners - with their plans.
“Although no one knows what course COVID-19 will take in September, we are hopeful about our little race taking place,” said Wendy Lindsay, who has organized the event since its inception several years ago.
Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, which is held each June, has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic while numerous other sports and community events have also been scrapped or delayed.
In Ely, the Blueberry/Art Festival set for July has been cancelled but the Harvest Moon Festival, slated for Sept. 11-13 is still on.
The marathon follows two weeks later and Lindsay says she will hold out before making a decision to postpone.

Thu
07
May

James Anthony Kotchevar

JAMES ANTHONY KOTCHEVAR Age 88 of Minneapolis, passed away May 4, 2020 at Bethesda Hospital, St. Paul. Survived by loving wife of 57 years Ethel; son Jim (Carmela) Kotchevar; three daughters Anne (Alessandro) Faldi, Mary Kotchevar & Toni (Tony) Tallman; three granddaughters Gabriela, Susana and Veronica Kotchevar; grandson George Tallman; three sisters Elinor Zgonc, Terese (Carroll) Claeys and Mary Jean Nilsen. Preceded in death by parents Mayme and Anton Kotchevar.
Jim was born on April 21, 1932 in Ely, MN to parents Anton F. and Mayme Lobe Kotchevar. He attended Ely High School where he excelled in football, basketball and track. He was a graduate of Ely High School, Class of 1950. He was a proud Slovenian and Iron Ranger. He enjoyed time with family at his cabin, listening to polkas, picking blueberries, making sauerkraut and exercising with silver sneakers.

Mon
04
May

BWCA open to day use only through May 17

The coronavirus has struck again, this time it’s the U.S. Forest Service that will only allow day use in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area through May 17.
For people with overnight BWCA permits, they are out of luck including those who planned to camp on Basswood for this weekend’s Minnesota fishing opener.
“All overnight reservations (motor, paddle, hiking) through May 17 are no longer valid and are cancelled. Permit holders will receive a full refund including reservation fee. If a visitor wants to go into the BWCAW with a motorboat for the day, they will need to reserve a day use motor permit. Self-issue day paddle permits are also available to fish for the day,” wrote Suzanne Hirsch, acting public affairs specialist for the Superior National Forest.
The Park Service has followed suit and will not allow tent camping and overnight houseboat mooring permits at Voyageurs National Park.

Mon
04
May

Jon Max Rice, 37

In Loving Memory
Jon Max Rice
October 22, 1982 – April 27, 2020

Fri
01
May

Houde named Ely's next police chief

by Tom Coombe

After six rounds of balloting, the Ely City Council finally reached a majority and picked Chad Houde to be the city's next police chief.

A 15-year-veteran of Ely's police force, Houde was selected over Ely officer Adam Borchert on a 4-3 vote in the sixth and final round. Ely police sergeant George Burger, who led after the first round of balloting with three votes but did not gain a majority, was eliminated after the fifth round while Virginia police lieutenant John Swenson fell from contention earlier in the public balloting process held late Friday afternoon, after interviews at City Hall with all four finalists.

Council members Paul Kess, Heidi Omerza, Al Forsman and Angela Campbell picked Houde in the last round, while Borchert was supported by council members Ryan Callen, Jerome Debeltz and mayor Chuck Novak.

Fri
01
May

ELY AREA BUSINESSES SALUTE THE CLASS OF 2020

Ely Memorial Class of 2020 has lost numerous events and opportunities due to the coronavirus pandemic. This week Ely area businesses salute the Class of 2020!

Fri
01
May

Graduation at the ballpark?

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s historic baseball stadium has hosted countless tournaments and even a wedding. If all goes as planned, a high school graduation ceremony could soon be added to that list.
Amid a pandemic that has closed schools since mid-March, officials in the Ely district are exploring options that would allow the high school graduating class of 2020 to return to campus for an unconventional commencement.
“My hope is we’ll still have a May 30 graduation,” principal Megan Anderson told school board members Monday night.
The next day, Anderson confirmed that plans are in the works for a ceremony that would take place at Veterans Memorial Field - the baseball stadium located on the school campus.

Fri
01
May

From the miscellaneous drawer

It’s lovely to live in the woods. Winter is my favorite time, even though four foot snow piles I wish were not are along the driveway, from plowing.
It’s marvelous to watch fox and deer wander and feed on the yellowish-green soon-to-be green grass.
What’s not lovely is the influx of eight-legged creatures who are faster than my foot or hand can assail them. Spiders are not welcome, nor are mice. Human visitors are welcome.
I’m spending less time at the office. The Echo crew: Nick, Tom, Lisa, Cam, Ann and Terri continue efficiently carrying on the work of delivering Ely area news. Guess that’s why we have more than twice as many subscribers in the area than any others.
* * *
The world as we have known it is changing. The classroom interaction of students at all levels is missing and schools and universities are empty.

Fri
01
May

EDITORIAL: Pandemic even complicates the BWCA motor permit system

The coronavirus pandemic has yet another victim, people who have motor permits for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
Info from the Forest Service on this issue shows it’s going to be tricky for permit holders this year. The main problem will be what day you can go.
Motor permits are for a seven day period with the user picking what day they want to enter the BWCA. This year, however, the USFS is encouraging users to pick what day to go a week ahead of time.
We all know the ability of weather forecasters when it comes to telling us if it’s going to rain tomorrow but a week from tomorrow? Your odds may be better with lottery tickets.
Here’s what we know:
“Ideally, day use motor permit holders can select their desired entry day to enter the Wilderness prior to this seven day timeframe, receive and print the automatically generated confirmation email seven days out from the permit week and be set to enter the Wilderness.”

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