News

Sun
03
Oct

Tomahawk Trail one of 10 best in U.S. and Canada

Ely’s winter tourism reputation took a giant leap forward last week when the Tomahawk Trail was listed as one of “The 10 Best Incomparable Snowmobile Adventures.”<BR><BR>The surprise award came from Supertrax International, a 250,000 circulation snowmobile magazine.<BR><BR>“This will have a super impact on us,” said Ely Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Fryer. <BR><BR>“That type of publicity is what we need and want. You can’t buy advertising at any level and get the same results as an award like this one,” said Fryer. <BR><BR>Of the 10 areas listed, seven are in Canada with the other two U.S. sites being the Snowy Mountains in Wyoming and Wild Elko in Nevada.<BR><BR>“Wow. What a compliment to our area and the Ely Igloo snowmobile club,” said Igloo Club President Nick Wognum.

Mon
27
Sep

Rendezvous event set for this weekend

At the east end of Ely in the garden area of Spirit of the Wilderness, Lucus Lisson, Michelle Weed and Todd DeNio set up tents to promote this year’s second annual End of the Road Rendezvous and Living History event. It will take place Friday through Sunday, October 1-3 at the South Kawishiwi Campground, located 10 miles southeast of Ely on Hwy 1. <BR><BR>The Rendezvous will have demonstrations, exhibits, a black powder shoot, tomahawk throw, frying pan toss, and much more. The Rendezvous focuses on what happened in the area from 1700-1849 with voyaguers, free independent traders and trappers that lived with the Indians and did the work here. After this time the the majority of the fur trade started spreading west to the mountains. <BR><BR>Todd Denio will show his collection of pipes. One pipe, which Todd bought over the internet, is from 1785. Todd carved one pipe out of native pipestone.

Sun
26
Sep

After long legal battle, LEVI gets conditional use permit from Lake County

A long-discussed and significantly-altered plan to expand the Outdoor Learning Center in Fall Lake Township may finally move forward.<BR><BR>Last Monday, the Lake County Planning Commission granted a conditional use permit to Laurentian Educational Ventures Incorporated.<BR><BR>The permit allows LEVI, which owns and operates the former Fall Lake Resort, to make improvements and expansions, some of which are needed to facilitate a small water systems training program that will be offered at the center by Vermilion Community College.<BR><BR>VCC and LEVI representatives both welcomed the verdict.<BR><BR>"It finally looks like it's being resolved after a long and difficult road," said Bill Campbell, attorney for LEVI.

Sun
26
Sep

School levy shrinks

Even if school board members approve a bevy of health and safety projects, taxes in the Ely district will decline next year.<BR><BR>The board has approved a preliminary levy that calls for the district to collect the maximum allowed by state law - about $812,000.<BR><BR>That’s about three percent less than the district’s 2004 levy of $839,000, and the final levy - to be certified in December - could be reduced further if board members don’t approve one or more of the renovation projects slated for district facilities.<BR><BR>Included in the preliminary levy is more than $400,000 for various health and safety related improvements - the bulk of which stem from recommendations by the state fire marshal.<BR><BR>Major work to be completed this year include construction of a safe exit from the engine shop in the Industrial Arts Building, replacing doors in the basement of the JFK Building, and the installation of doors that swing in the exit

Sun
26
Sep

Council tables license suspensions

by Tom Coombe<BR><BR>Eight Ely liquor establishments gained at least a temporary reprieve last week, when city council members agreed to delay three-day license suspensions that were to take place over the weekend.<BR><BR>The council tabled the suspensions, which stem from failed compliance checks earlier this year, and directed the city’s liquor committee to hold a public hearing.<BR><BR>Ely’s liquor ordinance - as well as a plea agreement reached between the license holders and city prosecutor Rae Bentz - call for three-day license suspensions.<BR><BR>But a city-imposed shutdown slated to begin Sept. 24 could be harmful for business, some license holders complained.<BR><BR>“They do not want to be closed this weekend,” Ely bar owner Gary Zaverl said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Sun
26
Sep

Ely High celebrates Homecoming week

The evolution of Fall Homecoming continues this week at Ely Memorial High School.<BR><BR>This year’s celebration starts today, and a full week of events are in the works, culminating Friday with the Homecoming football game against Chisholm and the postgame dance at the JFK gymnasium.<BR><BR>And while some of the traditional activities remain, some of the staples of previous Ely Homecomings are gone.<BR><BR>The parade through downtown has been off the docket for nearly a decade and both class floats and the Friday afternoon public pep rally are more recent eliminations.<BR><BR>In their place are events that harken back to days gone by - such as Wednesday night’s bonfire at Semer’s Park - and items that are new to the celebration - namely a raffle that will allow the winner to watch Friday’s game from a couch at the back of the end zone.<BR><BR>The annual fall ritual, planned by the high school student council, includes dres

Sun
26
Sep

Body recovered from Birch Lake in BWCAW by using sonar technology

Authorities were still trying to determine the cause of a death of a man who died while canoeing on Birch Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. <BR><BR>According to Nick Milkovich of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, James Schofield, 46, of Hagerstown, MD was paddling in a canoe when he groaned and fell overboard.<BR><BR>His body was found a day later using an underwater sonar device.<BR><BR>“They just got to the lake,” said Milkovich. “They had been towed to the portage by Canoe Country Outfitters so they were only on the lake for less than half an hour.”<BR><BR>Schofield was travelling with four other friends in a total of three canoes. None of the men were wearing life jackets while paddling. <BR><BR>Milkovich said Schofield was on medication for seizures.<BR><BR>The incident happened around 1 p.m. on Monday. The sheriff’s department got the call around 2:30 p.m.

Mon
20
Sep

Incumbents out front in city council race

In a race for three city council seats, incumbents were the top three vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary election.<BR><BR>Mark Zupec (673 votes), Jerome Debeltz (662) and Paul Kess (524) all moved on to the Nov. 2 general election, where they will be joined by challengers Chuck Novak (483), Robin Mathews (434) and Patrick Osaben (368).<BR><BR>Louis Kotzian (279) and David Schmidt (182) lagged behind and were eliminated from contention.<BR><BR>That makes for a six-way battle in November and while the incumbents - particularly Zupec and Debeltz - appear to have a leg up on the field, Novak finished a strong fourth while both Mathews and Osaben appear to be in striking distance.<BR><BR>“It looks like a good field,” said Kess. “I’m glad for the opportunity to serve and I’ll try to distinguish myself as a good choice.

Mon
20
Sep

Enrollment tumbles again

The good news for Ely school officials is that student enrollment didn’t drop as much as expected.<BR><BR>That’s the silver lining in an otherwise stormy cloud that continues to hang over the local district.<BR><BR>First day enrollment totals, reviewed last week by Ely School Board members, show the district with 645 students in grades K-12.<BR><BR>That’s a 37-student drop from last fall (see chart), and a whopping 30 percent decline since 1995, when enrollment was 921.<BR><BR>And projections show that enrollment will sink even further - perhaps by as many as 100 students - over the next four years..<BR><BR>Continued declines are expected as high school classes ranging from 52-74 students are replaced by incoming kindergarten groups with as few as 33 students.<BR><BR>And with each student generating $5,000 or more in state aid, the declines are almost certain to cause further budget strain in the Ely district.&l

Mon
20
Sep

Winton to address blight and mobile homes

Big issues for the City of Winton appear to be blight and mobile home regulation.<BR><BR>The city’s comprehensive land use plan will attempt to address those and other issues identified in resident surveys, steering committee recommendations and at an open house held Wednesday.<BR><BR>The City of Winton has been working with the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission to put forth a comprehensive land use plan. The goal of this plan is to provide Winton guidelines and enforcement clout in guiding future development or redevelopment within the city limits.<BR><BR>A community survey was distributed in March, 2003 to 90 residents of which 39 responded.

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