News

Sun
14
May

School board delays budget cuts, moves ahead with CFAC

Setting up a Citizens Financial Advisory Committee, calling for an excess levy referendum, reaching out to home schooled children, completing procedural layoff notices and online learning were all discussed by the Ely School Board during Monday night’s regular monthly meeting.<BR><BR>With a $740,000 deficit staring at the district for the next school year, the board did not make any budget cuts, deciding to wait until a special meeting this coming Monday. <BR><BR>Superintendent Tom Bruels has been asked by the board’s Budget and Finance Committee to come up with an additional $44,000 in cuts in addition to the $276,000 already identified in cuts and revenue increases.<BR><BR>Excess levy referendum<BR><BR>The board is also expected to make a decision on Monday when the district will hold an excess levy referendum this fall.

Sat
13
May

‘PA and Dubay’ show comes to Ely

Minnesota’s walleye fishing season gets underway Saturday, May 13 and an Ely area promotion designed to attract more anglers is in full swing.<BR><BR>A live remote broadcast by Twin Cities sports radio station KFAN - set for Monday morning at the Grand Ely Lodge - is the latest promotional effort.<BR><BR>The Ely Chamber of Commerce is appealing to those with the ‘disorder’ that it’s dubbed ‘Obsessive Compulsive Fishing,’ or OCF for short.<BR><BR>Banners are up in town and one can find reminders - including a fish sculpture that has been placed on the grass outside City Hall - all over Ely.<BR><BR>And beyond the region, the Chamber is marketing Ely as a fishing destination in the Twin Cities, Chicago and other markets under the OCF umbrella, complete with membership cards, a toll-free phone number (888-OCF-IS-OK).<BR><BR>In conjunction with the fishing opener weekend, KFAN (AM-1130) out of the Twin Cities will broadcast its

Sat
13
May

Ely DI team returning to Global Finals

For a small group of Ely High School students, a trip to Tennessee has become as much a part of the end of the school year as final exams.<BR><BR>Six ninth-graders have again reached the world championship event in Destination ImagiNation - a creativity and problem solving competition.<BR><BR>The Ely team - nicknamed the DInamytes - earned a berth in the DI Global Finals, set for May 24-27 at Knoxville, with a second-place state meet finish April 22 at Maple Grove.<BR><BR>It’s the fifth Global Finals berth in six years for the Ely contingent, but this one may mean a bit more since it came in the high school division.<BR><BR>“We’re thrilled,” said team advisor Joan Kjorsvig-Beans.

Sun
07
May

Choosing the miles because they still can

It hasn’t been an easy road for Terri Laine. She’s had trouble with one knee and a hip as a result of rheumatoid arthritis, which led to operations and some replacement parts. <BR><BR>But she’s all set to walk three miles in the Duluth Arthritis Walk on Saturday, May 20. Better yet, she’s enlisted husband Roger to walk with her to raise funds to prevent, control and cure arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability.<BR><BR>Terri was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1995. “It’s when the body attacks itself,” she explained. As such, it is an autoimmune disease.<BR><BR>At her son’s wedding, she met a woman who shared some of the same physical problems and was taking a medicine called Remicade. Known as a biologic response modifier, Remicade treats rheumatoid arthritis. Terri receives three hours of transfusions with the medicine every six weeks.

Sat
06
May

Koski named new provost at VCC

Mary Koski, a college administrator with deep ties to the Iron Range, will be the next provost at Vermilion Community College.<BR><BR>Koski emerged from a process that included more than 40 applicants, interviews with about a half-dozen contenders, campus visits by three semifinalists and the designation of two finalists - herself and Fergus Falls provost David Gabrielson.<BR><BR>Joe Sertich, the president of a multi-college district that includes Vermilion, announced Koski’s appointment on Tuesday.<BR><BR>“It is particularly encouraging to know that we were able to attract a candidate like Dr. Koski, who has the appropriate education and experience for this leadership position,” Sertich said in a news release issued to regional media.

Sun
30
Apr

Ely awarded ’07 state Legion tourney

It didn’t take long for Ely to land another major American Legion baseball tournament.<BR><BR>Less than a year after hosting teams from several states for the 2005 Central Plains Division II Regional, Ely committee members are going back to work - this time to prepare for the 2007 Division II State Tournament.<BR><BR>Minnesota American Legion Baseball Committee members voted Saturday to award the ’07 event to Ely.<BR><BR>“The state committee is very confident and comfortable with your selection and we know you’ll do a great job again,” said state Legion baseball director Darwin Berg in a letter to the Ely committee.<BR><BR>Ely has received favorable reviews from state baseball officials as well as teams that have participated in previous Legion tournaments at Veterans Memorial Field.<BR><BR>The 2007 event - tentatively set for Aug.

Sat
29
Apr

Joint Powers looks at annexation model

A new approach to a divisive issue - the annexation of property into the city of Ely - got decidedly mixed reviews at Wednesday’s Ely Area Joint Powers Board.<BR><BR>Some called a plan for government entities to share tax revenue from annexed properties - presented by former city clerk and current Biwabik City Administrator Terry Lowell - a potential model that could be followed by Ely and neighboring Morse Township.<BR><BR>But Bob Berrini, a Morse supervisor and the township’s representative on the Joint Powers Board, said his constituents aren’t in favor of annexation.<BR><BR>“Why would we want to modify anything?” asked Berrini.

Fri
28
Apr

Fish sculptures due May 6

The Fin-Tastic Reel Art completed fish creations must be brought to Semers Park, N. Lakeview Drive, Sat., May 6 between noon and 4 p.m. to be eligible for judging. Arrangements for persons unable to make that time period should be made by calling 365-7828. <BR><BR>The best judged sculptures in each of three categories will each win $500 from the Ely Chamber of Commerce. All sculptures become the property of Ely Greenstone Public Art and will be displayed in Ely throughout the summer. They will be auctioned off on August 26 at Whiteside Park during Art in the Park to benefit Greenstone’s educational programs.

Sat
22
Apr

New housing development proposed

A private developer hopes to build as many as 50 homes on Ely’s east end, but the project hinges on city assistance including the extension of utilities and roadways.<BR><BR>Following an initial presentation Tuesday to the city council, the city’s projects committee will review the plans and requests submitted by Johnson Creek Developers, Inc., headed by Elyites Ken and Jeanne Innis.<BR><BR>They plan to develop lots at the current Kapsch Garden Tracts - bordering 14th Avenue East, Boundary Street and Highway 1 - and build single family homes over the next five years.<BR><BR>But their plan, which calls for the construction of homes that would be sold for $160,000 to $200,000, is contingent on several concessions from the city, including:<BR><BR>• Improvement of the city’s portion of the right of way including clearing and building streets, curbs and gutters;<BR><BR>• Providing city utilities, specifically electricity, water

Sat
22
Apr

Council backs state smoking ban

After months on the fence, the Ely City Council has endorsed a statewide ban on smoking in the workplace.<BR><BR>Tuesday’s 6-0 vote was decisive, but came only after months of prodding by supporters and initial reluctance during the meeting - particularly by council member Chuck Novak - to take action.<BR><BR>But Novak eventually joined a majority that included all of Ely’s elected officials, except for the absent Mark Zupec.<BR><BR>Citing the health risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke, supporters brought the issue to City Hall in November and asked the council to endorse a proposed St. Louis County ban on smoking in public places, including restaurants and some bars.<BR><BR>City officials opted against action on the county proposal and pushed for a statewide resolution instead.<BR><BR>“We know that we are going to do something,” Novak said prior to the vote.

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