Emery Bulinski, 93, of Ely, dies

Emery S. Bulinski, 93, died peacefully at the Ely Bloomenson Hospital on Sunday, September 27, 2015, in the presence of his loving family, while the surrounding Northwoods were illuminated with the glow of the rare harvest supermoon.
Born in Chicago in 1922, he grew up on Diversey Avenue and helped support his family during the depression by selling newspapers and shining shoes on the Gold Coast. His passion for sports led him to hop the fence at Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play. He attended Lane Tech High School, where he graduated “shortest” in his class and learned to operate a lathe, initiating a life-long love of machining and later led to his position as a precision machinist at Seren Tool Works and his work on the first US rocket nose cone to successfully re-enter the earth’s atmosphere without burning up.


Gift presented to honor Ely’s mining past

SPECIAL GIFT HONORS ELY MINES - Craftsman Donald Dergantz, right, made a presentation of his inlaid table and stools to Seraphine Rolando and John Seliga of Ely Greenstone’s Ely Arts & Heritage Center last Saturday during the Arts Gala. Dergantz, who had worked in the Zenith Mine in his youth, now lives in Illinois where he retired after managing rock quarries there. Photo by Pam Roberts


EDITORIAL: Five days of drama at ISD 696

In five days the Ely school district went from business as usual to the threat of losing a principal to the resignation of a board member to the resignation of the superintendent to the superintendent rescinding her resignation. In a word, drama.
Now there appears to be a lawsuit on the horizon and a very uncertain future for the top administrative seat at 696.
A week ago Friday the agenda for Monday’s school board meeting was released. Included on it was a listing under new business: administrative configuration.
Soon the word was out, there was a proposal to change from two principals to one with Mary McGrane being either reduced to a dean of students or possibly eliminated.
Phones rang, Facebook lit up and there was a full house at Monday’s board meeting - so much so it had to be held in the Media Center.
But where did this come from? How did it get on the agenda? Who created this firestorm?


Hook and Bullet Club - Remembering Vertins

Vertins was the hot spot to hang out on a Friday night in my high school days in the early 1980s. Whether you were standing on the corner or taking up space in a booth, Vertins was where we spent a lot of Friday and Saturday nights.
This past week I took Evan and Megan out to lunch at Insula, the latest iteration of Vertins.
Grabbing the handle on the front door triggered memories right away. Like shaking the hand of an old friend after 20 years.
The look inside is different and a great improvement over what it had been the last time Vertins was open as a restaurant. The new owners have made their mark in a most positive manner.
But the memories will continue. And people will call it Vertins.
My earliest memories of Vertins were going out to dinner with my grandparents in the back room - the formal section of Vertins.


Minnesota’s newest state park reaches important milestone

 Gov. Mark Dayton, DNR Chief Tom Landwehr and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith sharing a laugh.

Minnesota’s newest Park on Lake Vermilion had Gov. Mark Dayton, DNR Chief Tom Landwehr and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith sharing a laugh.

Construction began today (May 8, 2015) on a campground at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northeastern Minnesota that will accommodate more than 250 people nightly in tents and RVs, the Department of Natural Resources said.

The campground at Minnesota’s newest state park is expected to open in fall 2016.

“Our vision is to create a model ‘next generation’ state park,” said Erika Rivers, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “That means we are exploring new ideas and demonstrating best practices as we design and build park facilities.”
Future phases of construction at the park, pending funding, will include a visitor center, trail system, cabins, group camps and nature play areas, as well as additional hike-in, boat-in and ATV-in campsites.


PLANS CHANGE - USFS plans to ignite Slim Lake Prescribed Burn Monday

The Forest Service announced changes for the Prescribed Burns set for today (Monday, April 27).

Slim Lake South unit if fuel and weather elements are within prescription. Anticipated ignition time for the Slim South Prescribed burn today is 3:00 p.m. Dates for other two units to be determined.

Project Description: The objective of the burn is to reduce fuels between wilderness and residences and high occupancy facilities along the North Arm Road. Conditions may not be ideal for smoke dispersion today; however, the window is shrinking for reducing the fuels now versus fighting wildfire and smoke during July and August when drought conditions are expected to worsen. Smoke is likely to be noticeable over a broad area for several days.


... it’s imperative to investigate to the fullest extent what the true effect may or may not be to the water shed

Dear Editor:

I’ve spent the last few months reading Echo letters and thinking about how we got to this point in the debate over Ely’s future.

Not much has changed and those opposed to mining are sticking to their guns; Range population numbers, decreased mining payrolls, that Ely isn’t dying it’s just redefining itself, the population in the Ely area is growing not shrinking, businesses are flourishing, mining kills everything, Mount Polley could happen to the BWCA, foreign ownership, tourism is saving Ely and the proclamations are always written as undisputable fact.


Friday fish fry a local tradition; Hundreds of people, hundreds of pounds of fish

HEAD CHEF Chad Loewen and his son Thomas prepared over 200 pounds of fish during the March 27 Knights of Columbus fish fry at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely.

Photo and article by Tom Coombe


Planning to read 1,000 books in Ely

The Ely Public Library has announced a new program, “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” that will encourage reading to and for children in preparation for kindergarten. Although 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a national literacy movement; Ely is the first community in the Arrowhead Regional Library System to implement it.
The premise is straight forward - children who listen to stories have an easier transition to school and learning. Sharing a picture book with a child will help them build skills they will need later when they begin to read as individuals.
Parents or guardians sign up a child, ages birth through kindergarten, and receive a binder with great ideas for building pre-reading skills, a list of books in the library that hit the spot for kids and encouragement that 1,000 books isn’t so many, after all. For every 100 books read, the child will receive a prize.


Skiers pull out home win

by Tom Coombe
By the narrowest of margins, the Ely Nordic Wolves scored a victory Saturday in their only home meet of the winter.
Three top-10 finishes and a pivotal showing lower in the standings gave the Ely girls a one-point win over rival Duluth East in the Ely Timberwolves Invitational, which attracted over 300 prep skiers to Hidden Valley.
The Ely boys, who were minus standout junior Seth Prigge, finished fourth among about a dozen teams.
But the story of the day was the girls race, with several factors combining for the Ely win.
Ninth-grader Ryne Prigge continued to come on, taking sixth in the 5.5-kilometer freestyle race in 18:16.4.
All-stater Erin Bianco returned to the lineup after an absence caused by illness and took seventh, but her time of 19:02.9, was three-tenths of a second faster than eighth-place Stephanie Curran of Duluth East, providing an important edge in the team standings.


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