News

Fri
13
May

Saturday is Echo’s new publication date

The Ely Echo will be in the hands and homes of subscribers on Saturdays from now on, announced general manager Nick Wognum. The change will make the publication more timely and allow shoppers to plan their shopping for the coming week.<BR><BR>“The Echo has been a Monday publication for many years,” said publisher Anne Swenson, “although it started as a Wednesday paper. We discovered that the present day earlier deadlines for news and advertising each week allowed us to come out two days earlier than previously.”<BR><BR>Starting for the summer this week is the North Country Angler which is included in this edition. The columns by Bob Cary and Nick Wognum appear in this section of the paper.<BR><BR>“The Echo’s in-house print shop is booming,” Wognum said.

Sat
07
May

Ely takes note of National Tourism Week

The contributions of travel and tourism to our country are being celebrated across the nation from May 7-15. This is an opportunity to recognize the economic, social and cultural value of tourism. <BR><BR>In terms of direct and indirect expenditures, travel and tourism in Minnesota is a $9.2 billion industry. That number is impressive yet it doesn’t reflect just how deep the travel and tourism dollar trickles. <BR><BR>The travel dollar creates about 250,000 jobs and generates $1 billion in state and local tax revenue. One out of every eight jobs is indirectly created by travel and tourism. Tax dollars, generated by travel, fund vital educational programs, build roads, hospitals, and schools; and support social and community projects. <BR><BR>Although tourism impacts the success of Ely’s overall economy, it also ensures our quality of life because it influences every business and affects almost every aspect of our daily lives.

Sat
07
May

Ely kids returning to Global Finals

If it’s spring, it’s time for school students to take a field trip.<BR><BR>Ely’s sixth-graders make an annual visit to the Environmental Learning Center past Isabella.

Sat
07
May

Skraba to pitch garage project in Washington, D.C.

When federal lawmakers consider whether to allocate funding to help Ely pay for its share of a joint public works garage, they may get a nudge or two from local officials.<BR><BR>Mayor Roger Skraba will head to Washington, D.C. next month to lobby for federal assistance. He’ll join another Elyite - St. Louis County Commissioner Mike Forsman - in the nation’s capital.<BR><BR>Skraba’s trip was authorized last week by his fellow council members. About $1,500 in city monies were set aside for the mayor’s travel-related expenses.<BR><BR>Ely is seeking a $1 million federal grant for the project - to help offset a $2.6 million city share should the council decide to join St. Louis County in the $6.3 million initiative - and funding is sought as part of a federal transportation bill.<BR><BR>Skraba said the trip with Forsman will be timed so that they’re in D.C.

Fri
06
May

Strike averted at Ely nursing home

Just hours before they were to go on strike, licensed practical nurses at Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital and Nursing Home reached an agreement on a new contract.<BR><BR>The 11 LPNs voted late Tuesday to accept what hospital officials termed “a final offer,” averting what would have been the first work stoppage in the history of the local hospital.<BR><BR>According to hospital administrator John Fossum, the deal calls for annual wage increases of 2.5, 2.5 and two percent over a three-year term that runs from 2005-2008, as well as a two percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2004.<BR><BR>That’s exactly what the hospital had offered days before, when union leaders, who were seeking wage hikes of five percent retroactive to 2003 and an option to renegotiate in 2006, filed a strike notice.<BR><BR>But rather than walk off the job, union members decided - after a day of talks with hospital representatives and a state mediator - to accept the

Mon
02
May

Buchner takes keys at Sir G’s

One of Ely’s most popular eating establishments is in new hands.<BR><BR>Jim Buchner took over as owner of Sir G’s Italian Restaurant earlier this month, purchasing the business from longtime proprietor Barb Weisinger.<BR><BR>Located on the 500 block of East Sheridan Street, Sir G’s has been a staple of Ely’s dining scene for four decades.<BR><BR>The business is perhaps known best for its variety of pizzas and Italian dishes, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.<BR><BR>“The core menu is going to stay the same,” said Buchner, who plans to be an active owner/operator. “The customers are going to find the same meals they had before. The pizzas are going to stay the same...

Mon
02
May

Coldwell Banker is starting Babbitt office soon

In May, 2004 Jan and Gary Erchul of Coldwell Banker 1st Ely Realty purchased the former Gossip Bench building and moved right in the center of Ely's business district. <BR><BR>This month they will be opening an office in Babbitt, at 23 Central Boulevard, to better serve the Babbitt-Embarrass area. The office there will be staffed full time by Jim Smith, Gary Erchul, Lori Schulze and Jennifer McLaughlin. The phone number will be 218-827-8300. <BR><BR>Jan Erchul began her real estate career 25 years ago with Duane Krause of D. Krause and Associates. In 1994 Jan and Gary purchased Ely Realty from Jack Garske. <BR><BR> In May 2004, Ely Realty became affiliated with Coldwell Banker. The benefit of going from an independent company and joining the Coldwell Banker franchise is now they have a connection with the 3,400 Coldwell Banker offices throughout the United States. Coldwell Banker is America's largest full service real estate company.

Mon
02
May

Nursing home workers could strike Wednesday

Licensed practical nurses at Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital and Nursing Home have filed an intent to strike and could walk off the job as soon as Wednesday.<BR><BR>The union representing 11 LPNs, who work exclusively in the nursing home, filed the strike notice last week and EBCH officials are making contingency plans for what would be the first work stoppage in the history of the local hospital.<BR><BR>“We hope it doesn’t happen,” EBCH Administrator John Fossum said Wednesday, during a meeting with some nursing home residents and family members. “But we intend to staff the facility. We intend to operate.

Fri
29
Apr

Sharon Geiger is official winner of Ely Echo’s Ice Out Contest after inadvertent mix-up

Here’s a clue: One shouldn’t try to pack and move a business during ice out.<BR><BR>Here’s why: First I forgot to write anything about the Shagawa Lake Ice Out Contest ending with the disappearance of ice. This took place on Sunday, April 17 at 1:46 p.m. as reported by the staff at Grand Ely Lodge’s Antlers Lounge, official judges.<BR><BR>However, it wasn’t until hours beyond the Echo’s Thursday night deadline, days later, that I remembered I had forgotten to announce it in the Echo. As it happened, Nick and Tom were still slaving away at the new 15 East Chapman Street offices and answered my call.<BR><BR>What happened next is an embarrassment. I had looked through the entries of week one and two and had found no entries for April 17.<BR><BR>In week three there was one entry for the date: April 17 at 2:30 p.m., Lorraine Korpi, Ely.<BR><BR>Week four’s entries were a different matter.

Mon
25
Apr

City search comes up empty

Back to the drawing board.<BR><BR>That was the consensus of the Ely City Council Tuesday, when they decided not to select either of the two remaining finalists for the vacant city clerk-treasurer position and opted instead to readvertise for applicants.<BR><BR>Three days earlier, finalists Walter Salo of Chisholm and Connie Kittlesen of Baxter interviewed for the job, but the council decided against offering either one of them the city’s top adminsitrative post.<BR><BR>“I didn’t feel very comfortable,” said council member Mark Zupec.

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