Breaking News

Wed
20
Mar

Letter to Editor: ...Landwehr’s credibility as a nonpartisan regulator spilled into the Boundary Waters along with his principles

Letter to the Editor:
Stories have recently appeared in the print media regarding the hiring of former Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr by Ely based Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness to serve as its Executive Director. Landwehr was hired to lead their organization to fight copper-nickel mining within the BWCAW watershed, focusing on Twin Metals Minnesota’s proposed copper-nickel underground mine, which would be located near Ely, Minnesota.
Up North Jobs Inc. is an Ely based nonprofit membership organization chartered in 2013 to promote economic development and job growth in Northeastern Minnesota. Permit us to offer additional facts to bring context to the print media stories.

Tue
19
Mar

Richard Dean “Rick” Tomsich, 61, of Tower, dies

Richard Dean “Rick” Tomsich, 61, of Tower, passed away on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth.
He was born on August 8, 1957, in Ely, the youngest of seven children, to Leonard “Lanko” and Nelmi (Carlson) Tomsich. Rick was a lifelong resident of Tower. He attended Tower-Soudan High School, where he played basketball and football, graduating in 1975.
He learned the family business, Tower Bakery, first hand, alongside his parents and sisters and brothers. He worked at the bakery from age 14 until it’s closing in 1990. He then worked for Pep’s Bakery in Virginia for many years and then continued on to make the famous “Tower Bakery” pasties for everyone to enjoy.

Tue
19
Mar

DNR invites conversation about deer at March 26 open house in Tower

Ever wonder how the DNR sets deer hunting regulations? Or how you can provide input on deer management in your area?
Local wildlife managers across the state are inviting the public to come to open-house meetings to ask their deer questions and learn about the state’s most popular mammal.
In the Tower work area, the open house will be held Tuesday, March 26 from 5-7 p.m. at the DNR’s Tower area office located at 650 Highway 169, Tower.
These local, open-house-style meetings are a way to encourage discussions about deer and deer management, enhance local relationships and foster two-way communication between the DNR and the public.
The DNR began the meetings last year with the release of its statewide deer management plan.

Mon
18
Mar

Ely's largest retail store and a major employer in town will close within three months.

by Tom Coombe -

ShopKo announced Monday afternoon that it will close all of its stores later this year - including one that occupies a massive 38,000 square foot building on Ely's east end.

The announcement came as the Wisconsin-based retailer navigates rocky financial waters, including a move to seek bankruptcy protection and plans for corporate restructuring.

ShopKo closed its pharmacy operation in Ely last month amid reports that the company owed $67 million to a pharmaceutical supplier.

At the time, it appeared the Ely store would continue to operate but the retailer indicated Monday that all of its remaining stores would close by June 16.

Ely's is one of several ShopKo locations in northeastern Minnesota to close, joining stores in Duluth, Aitkin, Moose Lake and Two Harbors. ShopKo has 134 stores and another 176 ShopKo Hometown outlets across the Midwest.

Sun
17
Mar

Pee Wees knocked out at state

Two high-powered opponents made for a difficult two days for an Ely hockey team at state tournament play.

The Ely Pee Wees fell 5-0 to Moorhead Black in the opening round of the State Pee Wee B Tournament at Plymouth.

Friday's loss sent the future Timberwolves into the consolation round, where Ely was defeated 9-0 on Saturday by Chaska/Chanhassen. The loss eliminated the local squad from the eight-team tournament,

Ely qualified for state two weeks ago after winning championships at both the district and regional level. The Pee Wees range in age from 11-13 and were the first Ely team to make a state youth hockey tournament in four years.

Sun
17
Mar

First look at school project has $23 million price tag

by Nick Wognum -

Sun
17
Mar

Hook and bullet club - Snowmobiling

Boy am I glad I decided to go on a snowmobile ride with the kids last weekend. This rain will put a damper on riding unless there’s some snow to follow.
Our group included my daughter Megan, son Evan and his girlfriend Nella. We left from Ely on the Taconite and headed west toward Tower.
The trail was in great shape which created a problem - we were in Tower too early.
“Okay, how about we keep going and have lunch at the Vermilion Club?” I asked.
“Sounds good, I could go for their pizza,” said Evan.
We powered past Tower and hung right on to the Arrowhead Trail and dropped down into the 100-mile swamp. Here the trail was even in better condition, if that was possible.
We pulled off the trail at the Penguin Club section that would bring us over across Hwy. 77 to the VC. We had the same problem, it didn’t take any time.
There was a group of sledders parked behind the restaurant and the oldest guy in the group gave us the bad news.

Sun
17
Mar

Hook and bullet club - Snowmobiling

Boy am I glad I decided to go on a snowmobile ride with the kids last weekend. This rain will put a damper on riding unless there’s some snow to follow.
Our group included my daughter Megan, son Evan and his girlfriend Nella. We left from Ely on the Taconite and headed west toward Tower.
The trail was in great shape which created a problem - we were in Tower too early.
“Okay, how about we keep going and have lunch at the Vermilion Club?” I asked.
“Sounds good, I could go for their pizza,” said Evan.
We powered past Tower and hung right on to the Arrowhead Trail and dropped down into the 100-mile swamp. Here the trail was even in better condition, if that was possible.
We pulled off the trail at the Penguin Club section that would bring us over across Hwy. 77 to the VC. We had the same problem, it didn’t take any time.
There was a group of sledders parked behind the restaurant and the oldest guy in the group gave us the bad news.

Sat
16
Mar

The sad state of ethnic diversity

No one growing up in the last generation in Ely would have ever dreamed it could happen. The vanishing of St. Urho’s Day as one of the area’s most honored celebrations.
In Ely, Mill’s Clothing Store, under the proprietorship of the late Bill Mills (a Finn with an anglicized name) featured the day. Restaurants were decorated green and purple and featured Finnish foods such as kola mojakka.
In dozens of homes, Finns gathered for more or less solemn observances. For years, the arbiters of Finnish culture and Urho lore were Lorene and Ben Mauser. Lorene by birth, Ben by marriage. Why green and purple? Because St. Urho became known as the cleric who drove the grasshoppers out of Finland and saved the grape crops for wine. Aha, one might say, but is this not a takeoff on St. Patrick, the Irish saint who reportedly drove the snakes out of the Ireland? In a sense, yes; but that is not the only connection.

Sat
16
Mar

Cersine easily wins re-election

by Tom Coombe
A challenge to a Morse supervisor’s seat was easily turned down. Len Cersine beat Terry Cooper 149-58 in a high turnout for a township election.
Following the election the annual town meeting was held with the most discussion on broadband.
The budget and levy for 2020 was passed with little discussion. Residents voted to set the levy the same as 2019.
The levy will fund the bulk of a roughly $333,000 budget with a general fund levy of $163,638.10 and a road and bridge levy of $109,092.06.
There is also a debt levy of $57,500 for Morse’s share of the joint public safety facility with the Town of Fall Lake. The debt on the building is close to being paid off.
Terry Soderberg was elected as the moderator for the meeting. He and treasurer Mary Ann Lekatz went through the specifics of the budget and levy.
Lekatz said the township’s total fund balance increased slightly to $448,972.34.

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