News

Sun
17
Apr

Ruth Saari – Banner maker at First Lutheran Church, creatively serves the Lord

Ruth (Wik) Saari came to America from Sweden when she was nine years old in 1931. Her father, Einer, came to America first to prepare a place for his family. Three years his wife Jenny and their four children joined him. They settled in Cook, Minnesota near the area where the hospital now is. <BR><BR>After Ruth graduated from high school they moved to Evanston, Illinois. Again it was her dad and brothers who moved first with the mother and girls following later. <BR><BR>Ruth had met Bill Saari while living in Cook. In December of 1941 Ruth moved to Ely and she and Bill were married Dec. 24, 1941. The following spring Bill went into the military service and Ruth moved back to Illinois to live with her parents until Bill returned from the service <BR><BR> While Bill was gone, Ruth worked for Western Union as a messenger manager. She would schedule the routes and send the messengers out.

Sun
10
Apr

Council clears meth ordinance

It could soon be much more difficult to make methamphetamine in Ely.<BR><BR>Last Tuesday, the city council approved the first reading of an ordinance that regulates the sale of so-called methamphetamine precursor drugs.<BR><BR>Advanced by the Ely Meth Community Action Team - a group of volunteers working on several fronts to combat meth use in the area - the ordinance places restrictions on the sale of medicines that contain the key ingredients for making meth.<BR><BR>Drugs or products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine - active ingredients in over-the-counter cold and allergy products such as Sudafed - are subject to the ordinance and would no longer be available on the shelves of local stores.<BR><BR>Instead, similar to cigarettes and tobacco, the drugs would be required to be behind checkout counters, inside a locked display case, or within six feet of an unobstructed view of an attended checkout counter.

Sun
10
Apr

Trail permit legislation would help Ely Igloo snowmobile club

ST. PAUL — For years, Minnesota residents who are registered snowmobile owners have been allowed to ride on state trails for free. That could soon change, however, if a bill currently making its way through the state Legislature passes. <BR><BR>The legislation authored by Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, and Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, would require all snowmobilers to purchase a $30 sticker permit from the Department of Natural Resources before being allowed to ride on state trails. <BR><BR>Currently, only out-of-state riders have to buy sticker permits at a cost of $15 a year. The legislation would double the price, as well as eliminate the exemption for state residents. <BR><BR>Snowmobile clubs take on the responsibility of grooming and marking trails and are reimbursed by the state for their efforts.

Sun
10
Apr

Fire engulfs Ely home

“All I can think about is I want to go home. But I can’t.”<BR><BR>That was John Artisensi’s comment as he watched firefighters battle a blaze at his home at 225 East Boundary Street Thursday morning. <BR><BR>Artisensi had left his house shortly after 9 a.m., stopping in the garage before leaving to do some errands. His wife, Nez, had already left for a trip to Virginia to visit relatives.<BR><BR>Each would return to find their home devastated by fire. <BR><BR>The fire was reported to 911 around 9:40 a.m. by neighbor Mary Wognum who smelled smoke and saw flames coming from the garage. She could hear the fire crackling next door from inside her house. <BR><BR>Neighbors tried to get in the house to see if anyone was home but the front door was locked.

Sun
10
Apr

Elyite reflects from Rome on Pope’s passing

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ryan Moravitz of Ely is studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He sent his thoughts following the passing of Pope John Paul II. <BR><BR>Ryan Moravitz, a 1998 Ely High School graduate, attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II Friday morning in Vatican City.<BR><BR>“The funeral was a profound and once in a lifetime experience to be a part of,” Moravitz said in an e-mail to the Echo Friday. “I spent all night waiting to get in the square for the funeral.”<BR><BR>Moravitz has been in Rome since July, when he enrolled at PNAC and began a four-year course to enter the priesthood.

Mon
04
Apr

School prepares to slash budget

Even in a best-case scenario, the Ely School District may be in for budget cuts that include reductions in teaching positions, layoffs of support staff, and less spending for technology and activities.<BR><BR>Those were among over $144,000 in reductions proposed last week by superintendent Tom Bruels and reviewed Monday night by the school board’s budget and finance committee.<BR><BR>And those recommendations - which are subject to approval or alteration by the full six-member board - put just a dent in a two-year budget gap of approximately $880,000.<BR><BR>Bruels’ budget draft also counts on increased state aid ($219,000), a hike in student activity fees ($19,300), and perhaps revenue from an excess levy referendum ($271,000, see related story) to help close the deficit.<BR><BR>But all of those measures still leave the district with more work to do if it’s to adhere to current policy and retain at least 10 percent of a $6.9 million o

Sun
03
Apr

Civil enforcement would create five justice of the peace-type positions

Officially they would be called “hearing officers” but a proposal advancing through the city council would create justice of the peace-type positions in a new city court. <BR><BR>Faced with an overloaded county court system that often turns away city complaints on issues as mundane as violating a setback, the council reviewed a civil enforcement handbook.<BR><BR>City attorney Larry Klun explained the procedures for enforcing city code to the council at a study session last Tuesday. <BR><BR>“This would allow for monetary fines to be issued for ordinance violations,” said Klun.<BR><BR>City officials including the fire chief, zoning administrator, superintendent of public works, city administrator as well as police officers could write tickets for violations of city code.<BR><BR>Klun said the idea would be to have an education component to encourage people to rectify problems.

Sun
03
Apr

Final entries for Ice Out Contest arrive

Although there are still snow drifts in Ely area yards and piles of snow on the edges of plowed parking lots, spring will come.<BR><BR>Young boys are already playing in puddles of snow melt and grownups are eyeing the ice dams near driveways and reaching for ice chippers.<BR><BR>But Shagawa Lake? Probably still two to three feet of ice covering it.<BR><BR>So when will ice out be? Who will most closely guess the day and time a boat could travel from Grand Ely Lodge to the north shore? And who will be the lucky winner of the $100 in Grand Ely Lodge bucks? <BR><BR>We’ll just have to be patient and see. Some entries sent in did not have a complete name and address and therefore were not included. Where we could, we attempted to get the entrant to correct the error. <BR><BR>Here we go with the latest optimists and pessimists:<BR><BR>Choosing the optimistic April 3 at 1:17 p.m.

Mon
28
Mar

EADA director looking for entrepreneurs

Ely’s new economic developer will use both conventional ideas and a few new twists in an attempt to spur job growth in the area.<BR><BR>Pat Henderson, who took over as the Ely Area Development Association’s executive director earlier this month, outlined her strategies and objectives Wednesday during a meeting of the Ely Area Joint Powers Board.<BR><BR>Luring prospective employers to Ely remains a goal for both Henderson and the EADA, but other options - including efforts to stimulate growth for existing Ely firms and a push to help local entrepreneurs with business ideas - will also be pursued.<BR><BR>“I spoke to someone just today who told me economic development is done one job at a time,” Henderson told Joint Powers members.<BR><BR>She endorsed an approach that balances the pursuit of out-of-the-area companies with the use of existing support systems so those with ideas can “take them from the prototype to beginning a small busines

Mon
28
Mar

“Kiss me, Kate!” production opens April 7

Ely’s Annual Spring Musical, this year, “Kiss Me, Kate,” is complete with extravagant costumes and the vibrant music of one of musical theatre’s all-time greats, Cole Porter. <BR><BR>This 1999 Broadway revised version of “Kiss Me, Kate” opens at Ely’s Vermilion Community College on Thursday, April 7 and runs for eight big performances through April 16! <BR><BR>A “play within a play,” Kate is the story of a theatre troupe preparing Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.” The double-plot format is a recipe for an intriguing theatre-going experience since the actors must play two roles each and wear costumes of current times as well as of the Renaissance. <BR><BR>In addition to all this, Kate, always a Broadway treasure, has intact all the requirements for good musical theatre: more than one love story, a major mix-up, humor, drama, marvelous show tunes, and a perfect ending.

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