News

Mon
22
Nov

Soderberg wants to wait on township fire department issues

With a split between the two other supervisors, Town of Morse Board Chair Terry Soderberg decided not to side with either one.<BR><BR>Soderberg said at a Morse Township meeting last week he would rather take more time versus making a decision on how to proceed.<BR><BR>Morse and Fall Lake townships have been discussing different options for the management of the Morse Fire Department. <BR><BR>Morse Supervisor Len Cersine would like to see a joint powers arrangement while Supervisor Jack Willis is in favor of contracting with Fall Lake for fire department services.<BR><BR>Both townships continue to contract with the City of Ely for primary fire coverage. <BR><BR>“It’s clear the direction I’m proposing and it’s clear the direction Leonard is proposing,” said Willis.<BR><BR>“Are saying I’m the swing vote?” asked Soderberg.

Mon
22
Nov

EADA to explore deal with Vermilion

Ely Area Development Association members have given preliminary approval to a proposed partnership with Vermilion Community College.<BR><BR>They voted unanimously at Monday’s quarterly session to continue talks with the school about sharing office space and the services of the still-to-be-hired EADA executive director.<BR><BR>A four-member committee was tasked to hammer out the details and come up with recommendations in time for the EADA executive board’s Dec.

Mon
22
Nov

Thanksgiving night shopping kicks off season

Around the state and nation, Thanksgiving is synonymous with turkey dinners and pumpkin pie desserts, football and family gatherings.<BR><BR>But here in Ely, you can add shopping to that list.<BR><BR>If past years are any indication, the streets - and the stores - will be filled Thursday night with Ely residents, visiting family members, former Elyites and a growing number of shoppers from outside the area.<BR><BR>The occasion is Ely’s Thanksgiving night shopping, a one-night, three-hour (6 to 9 p.m.) extravaganza that rivals turkey and pumpkin pie - at least in Ely - as a Thanksgiving tradition.<BR><BR>Started during the 1980s by Gayle Meskill, who owned the now-closed Gossip Bench, the event has expanded exponentially since its humble beginnings.<BR><BR>Crowds have grown.

Mon
22
Nov

Ely fights back against meth

Pat Grahek has been a drug counselor for 21 years and a drug addict for 15 years before that. He’s never seen a drug as available as methamphetamine.<BR><BR>Ely Police Chief Archie Manning, first heard about “meth” a decade ago. Today, it’s the hottest topic among chiefs around the state and Manning’s department has dealt with a series of meth-related crimes.<BR><BR>Tim Harkonen works as a deputy sheriff in St.

Sun
21
Nov

DNR survey indicates wolf population up 20%

Minnesota’s gray wolf population has changed little in the past six years, according to a recent survey by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The current wolf population is estimated at 3,020 animals, compared with the 1998 estimate of 2,450. The gray wolf range, a 26,197-square-mile area in northern Minnesota, remained essentially unchanged from 1998.<BR><BR>“We estimated that there are now more wolf packs occupying smaller territories in the same range,” said Dr. John Erb, DNR wolf research biologist. The smaller territories may be a response to a 70 percent increase in deer in much of the range, Erb said.

Mon
15
Nov

Lowell out, Wognum in as Morse clerk

For the second time in as many meetings, Morse Township supervisors voted to hire a town clerk.<BR><BR>Nick Wognum was picked for the job last Tuesday, after the first person selected - former Ely clerk Terry Lowell - declined the Morse offer.<BR><BR>Lowell, who was selected Oct. 26 from a field of finalists that also included Wognum and Renee Adams, has since been hired as city administrator in Biwabik, a full-time position.<BR><BR>He told Morse supervisor Jack Willis that it would be unfair to both Biwabik and Morse if he tried to hold both jobs, even though the Morse position is part-time.<BR><BR>That sent Morse back to the drawing board, but supervisors decided quickly to choose between the remaining finalists for the job.<BR><BR>Wognum, general manager of the Ely Echo, was hired on a 2-1 vote with Willis and Terry Soderberg in favor.

Mon
15
Nov

Pamida renews search for new location

Pamida is once again looking for a new home in Ely.<BR><BR>The company that owns the city's largest downtown retailer is scouting out potential sites for a brand-new Pamida facility.<BR><BR>Officials of ShopKo, the parent company of Pamida, met with city and economic development representatives last month to discuss their plans for the local operation.<BR><BR>"I think you'll see a new Pamida facility in Ely," said city clerk-treasurer John Tourville.<BR><BR>ShopKo representatives were in town three years ago for similar talks, but nothing ever materialized and Pamida has remained at its Chapman Street location.<BR><BR>Tourville said initial discussions centered around a move up Chapman Street to property across from City Hall - the former home of St.

Mon
15
Nov

Ely clerk resigns

John Tourville’s tenure as city clerk-treasurer has reached a stormy conclusion.<BR><BR>Tuesday, while a divided city council couldn’t agree to start a meeting called to evaluate Tourville’s performance, the clerk-treasurer was in Virginia, accepting that city’s offer to become its operations manager.<BR><BR>Tourville has since negotiated terms of his resignation with city attorney Larry Klun. His final day on the job is set for this Friday.<BR><BR>“Virginia offered me too good of an opportunity to turn down,” Tourville said late last week.

Mon
15
Nov

Klein selected for state award

Jenna Klein’s achievements in the classroom, in athletic competition and in the community have put her in elite and select company.<BR><BR>The Ely High School senior was picked from more than 200 nominees and named the winner of the Minnesota High School Heisman Award, which goes annually to the state’s “supreme citizen-scholar-athlete.”<BR><BR>Just one boy and one girl from Minnesota are picked for the award sponsored by the Wendy’s hamburger chain, and Klein remains in the running for even higher honors.<BR><BR>If she’s named the regional champion, Klein and her family will be flown to New York next month and she’ll be a finalist for the national high school Heisman, given out at the same time as the college football Heisman Trophy.<BR><BR>The magnitude of the honor is still sinking in for Klein, who accepted the state award at a Nov.

Sun
14
Nov

McCluskey visits new school in Vietnam he helped build

With the help of donations from people in the Ely area, children in a Vietnam village now have a new school. <BR><BR>Kim McCluskey, an employee of Piragis Northwoods Company, has helped complete another project in the remote village of Pingoi.<BR><BR>Previously McCluskey, with the assistance of Vietnamese guide Vu Huy, raised money to build a home for three orphaned girls there.<BR><BR>McCluskey coordinates Vietnamese canoe trips for Ely’s Piragis Northwoods, in conjunction with Huy.<BR><BR>“This started when I went to see the girls that we built the house for.

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