News

Sat
26
Nov

Ely gift will house Gulf Coast family soon

Laura Kenig and Anne DesLauriers have started an Ely project which aims to benefit a Gulf Coast family with a big dose of northern out reach.<BR><BR>The two women have obtained a 36 foot motorhome to bring to a family in the New Orleans area. <BR><BR>The rig is currently located in Hardee’s parking lot, but on Thanksgiving evening the women planned to move it somewhere more visible on Sheridan Street and also drive it in the Christmas Parade. That evening they will be offering tours of the rig along with cookies and cider to entice folks to contribute to the project.<BR><BR>Two anonymous donators provided most of the cost for the rig, but the two women hope to raise an additional $5,000 for specific items. The RV will bear signs indicating: “From Ely, MN to the Gulf Coast, bringing help and hope to a family in need.”<BR><BR>Kenig said, “After the hurricane hit I had a strong concern to help.

Sat
26
Nov

Sally Bronski Childs returns to Ely stage

After being gone from Ely for 20 some years, Sally Bronski Childs has returned to direct the Northern Lakes Arts Association/Vermilion Community College fall play, “Simon’s Night” by Jon Hassler. <BR><BR>Sally’s theatrical development has come full circle; she is here for another spin behind the spot light, the same place she began developing theater skills as early as high school. She was the kind of kid who was given a lot of responsibilities but very little stage time - primarily behind the scenes rather than center stage. That’s just the way it worked. She’d be the one chosen to assist the director and has been assisting in many ways over the years before becoming a director. <BR><BR>Sally brings home with her the skills that she developed in Ely and Babbitt in the late ’60s -’70s. Sally and her former husband Don Bronski moved to Ely in 1968, both as teachers.

Sat
26
Nov

New ambulance structure presented

A plan to restructure Ely’s ambulance operation has taken shape and will be subject to public review and scrutiny over the next several months.<BR><BR>Presented last Saturday at the Grand Ely Lodge were draft by-laws and articles of incorporation for a non-profit organization that would take over ownership of the service from Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital.<BR><BR>The hospital would join local government entities including Ely, Winton, Morse and Fall Lake in the endeavor, which was prompted by mounting losses in the ambulance operation and an opportunity to improve the financial bottom line by moving to a stand-alone service.<BR><BR>“Under Medicare (regulations) the financial outcome is much better if we spin this off into another operation,” said Larry Klun, Ely’s city attorney.<BR><BR>Supporters say the move, which won’t be sought for several months to allow for review by the government entities as well as further study of legal a

Sat
26
Nov

Employees picket Ely hospital

Days ahead of a key negotiating session, members of the largest single bargaining unit at Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital and Nursing Home conducted an informational picket.<BR><BR>And hospital officials feared last week that the one-day picket may be a precursor to a full-scale picket and employee strike at the facility.<BR><BR>Members of AFSCME Local 395 picketed outside the facility and at a downtown intersection Monday, and distributed informational leaflets outlining their bargaining position and frustration with contract talks that have lasted well over a year, with no settlement.<BR><BR>Last month, workers rejected what EBCH management termed a ‘final’ contract offer, and there have been no bargaining meetings since.<BR><BR>A federal mediator will bring both sides together Wednesday.<BR><BR>And while the union has made no threats to strike as of yet, a work stoppage could be called with as little as 10 days notice

Mon
21
Nov

Thanksgiving + shopping = Ely tradition

In some ways it serves as a mini-reunion and a community wide holiday celebration.<BR><BR>But Ely’s Thanksgiving night shopping extravaganza is also big business.<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>“It’s the most fun night of the year,” said Steve Piragis, owner of Ely’s downtown Piragis Northwoods Company. “How can you beat those three hours? I think it is our busiest three hours of the year.

Sat
19
Nov

School, union to study insurance

They didn’t agree on a new contract, but representatives of the Ely School District and the local teachers’ union did agree to explore possible changes to the district’s health insurance plan.<BR><BR>Tuesday’s bargaining session ended with union representatives agreeing to “consider new or different plans or insurers” in response to school board requests for concessions on insurance spending.<BR><BR>A Nov.

Sat
19
Nov

Recount shows Sorensen prevailing, 714-709

Candy Sorensen’s narrow victory in the Nov. 8 school board election was affirmed with Friday’s recount.<BR><BR>The vote totals were different, but the result was the same after the ballots were counted again in the board room at Ely Memorial High School. Sorensen prevailed 714-709 over Walt Gessler and won a four-year term on the board.<BR><BR>The totals differed sharply from the initial count, which showed Sorensen with a razor-thin one-vote margin, 807-806. Four election judges sorted through nearly 1,500 ballots, tallying 25-vote stacks to come up with the new total. The margin matched a running tally compiled by the Echo during the recount.<BR><BR>With the victory, Sorensen joins Peggy York-Jesme and Ray Marsnik as winners in the race for three four-year terms on the board. Bill Erzar defeated Bill Rauch for a two-year seat.<BR><BR>It was the second recount in as many school board elections in Ely, both involving Gessler.

Sat
19
Nov

Cameras crack burglary case

Over a year ago, Richard Gamble contracted with Ely’s Voltz Technologies to install video surveillance equipment at his downtown business: The Ely Surf Shop.<BR><BR>On Tuesday, Gamble - as well as local police - were happy he made the investment.<BR><BR>The Ely Surf Shop cameras were the key to solving a string of burglaries that had stymied police and put west end business owners on edge.<BR><BR>“We caught the (expletive),” Gamble said Tuesday afternoon.<BR><BR>It was thanks largely to the surveillance system that Christopher Brian Shusta, 29, was arrested and charged with six felony counts of third-degree burglary.<BR><BR>According to the criminal complaint filed in St.

Fri
18
Nov

Recount sought in school board election

A one-vote margin has prompted a recount in the Ely School Board election.<BR><BR>Former board member Walt Gessler, who lost 807-806 to Candy Sorensen in the initial count of the ballots from the Nov.

Fri
18
Nov

Three area women receive Heart of Gold award from hospice group

For the past three years, Northwoods Hospice Respite Partners has been recognizing outstanding service given by its members, volunteers and staff by presenting them with The Heart of Gold Award. This award was created to publicly recognize those connected with the organization who have given their time and used their knowledge to enable others to have a better way of life.<BR><BR>Each year the staff and board members are able to nominate to the governance committee those they believe deserve the award. The governance committee bases their decisions on written nominations and the name or names of those who are to receive the award is not revealed until the actual presentation. This year the award was presented to three people.<BR><BR>Ann Stewart Uehling was one of those in our community who saw the need and was one of the primary persons who served on the first NHRP Board. She is also a care giver.

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