News

Sun
07
Nov

Tessier re-elected in Winton

Winton Mayor Lee Tessier earned another two-year term in office after a win in Tuesday’s election.<BR><BR>Tessier ran unopposed and got 95 votes. The former Ely City Clerk also represents Winton on the Ely Area Joint Powers Board.<BR><BR>Elected to council positions in Winton were Dawn Roe (77 votes) and Kathy Brandau (64). Tim Anderson got 52 votes.<BR><BR>Winton residents also elected Marvel Prahl treasurer.<BR><BR>• In Fall Lake Township, voters backed county commissioner Clair Nelson by a better than two-to-one margin over Peter Walsh.<BR><BR>Nelson beat Walsh to earn another term in office.<BR><BR>• In Babbitt, Bernice Norregaard is the new mayor. She ran unopposed.<BR><BR>Babbitt council seats went to Ron Marinaro, Ray Denny and Lucy Lassi.

Sun
07
Nov

EADA, Vermilion may partner

The Ely Area Development Association would have a new home, and perhaps a job share agreement, under terms of a proposed partnership with Vermilion Community College.<BR><BR>EADA and VCC officials have held preliminary discussions about sharing office space and the services of the still-to-be-hired EADA executive director.<BR><BR>The venue would be the school’s TechNorth Prep Center, slated to open soon in the Queen City Federal building downtown.<BR><BR>Other details are sketchy, according to those involved in the talks, but supporters say a deal stands to benefit both the school as well as the EADA.<BR><BR>“It’s fair to say that all parties are very interested,” EADA board member Jeff Sundell said at the group’s executive board meeting last Monday. “It’s possible that things could come together, but so many things would have to work out just right.

Sun
07
Nov

Ely Hardee’s closes suddenly, unexpectedly

With little notice or explanation, the Hardee’s restaurant in Ely has closed, seemingly for good.<BR><BR>Representatives of North Central Food Systems, the Montana-based company that owns the Ely store as well as about 80 other Hardee’s franchises across the upper Midwest, arrived Halloween morning and shut down operations.<BR><BR>Economic factors prompted the closing, according to a Hardee’s employee familiar with the details.<BR><BR>Employees spoke to the Echo only on a condition of anonymity.

Sun
07
Nov

Zupec, Debeltz, Novak win council seats

Two incumbents and a politcal newcomer have won seats on the Ely City Council, while another longtime council member was voted out of office.<BR><BR>Council veterans Mark Zupec and Jerome Debeltz were the top vote-getters in Tuesday’s voting, but the third incumbent on the ballot - 10-year council veteran Paul Kess - finished fifth among six candidates.<BR><BR>Joining Zupec and Debeltz on the council is first-time candidate Chuck Novak, who made significant gains following a fourth-place primary showing and placed third last week.<BR><BR>Zupec and Debeltz split the lead in Ely’s four precincts (see box), and Novak hung on to third place in three of four, edging fellow challenger Pat Osaben by 81 votes.<BR><BR>Kess lagged behind, finishing 207 votes shy of Novak.

Sun
07
Nov

Diatom studies in Ely gauge water quality in area lakes

Dr. Euan Reavie and Amy Kireta are environmental scientists in a research laboratory at Vermilion Community College. <BR><BR>Their office is an off-campus research facility of the University of Minnesota Duluth, and is funded by the state, with logistic support from the community college. <BR><BR>In the 1990s it was determined that a research lab was needed in this area to support environmental concerns in the lake district and have contact with public organizations, as well as the university. The Ely office is a component of the Center for Water and Environment (CWE), which is part of the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), based in Duluth. The primary mandate of the CWE is environmental assessments and applications for the public and private sectors. <BR><BR>The Ely research lab was previously directed by Dr. John Kingston who passed away in June 2004 as a result of a brain tumor. Dr. Reavie was hired to join Dr.

Sun
07
Nov

Diatom studies in Ely gauge water quality in area lakes

Dr. Euan Reavie and Amy Kireta are environmental scientists in a research laboratory at Vermilion Community College. <BR><BR>Their office is an off-campus research facility of the University of Minnesota Duluth, and is funded by the state, with logistic support from the community college. <BR><BR>In the 1990s it was determined that a research lab was needed in this area to support environmental concerns in the lake district and have contact with public organizations, as well as the university. The Ely office is a component of the Center for Water and Environment (CWE), which is part of the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), based in Duluth. The primary mandate of the CWE is environmental assessments and applications for the public and private sectors. <BR><BR>The Ely research lab was previously directed by Dr. John Kingston who passed away in June 2004 as a result of a brain tumor. Dr. Reavie was hired to join Dr.

Wed
03
Nov

Skraba elected Ely Mayor; Zupec, Debeltz and Novak on council

For Roger Skraba, the third time was the charm.<BR><BR>After an unsuccessful bids for mayor in 2000 and the state legislature two years ago, Skraba has made a triumphant return to elected office.<BR><BR>Tuesday, Skraba won Ely’s mayoral race, topping incumbent Frank Salerno in convincing fashion. He carried all four city precincts and gathered 1,207 votes to Salerno’s 875, a 58-42 percent split.<BR><BR>Ely voters also returned two council incumbents and defeated another.<BR><BR>Incumbents Mark Zupec (1,223 votes) and Jerome Debeltz (1,197), along with political newcomer Chuck Novak (1,049) won four-year terms on the city council.<BR><BR>The other incumbent - Paul Kess - finished fifth among six candidates and will leave city government after a decade in office.<BR><BR>Patrick Osaben finished fourth with 968 votes, while Kess followed with 842.

Mon
01
Nov

Member questions Joint Powers’ focus

An original member of the Ely Area Joint Powers Board has called on the organization to do more to spur economic development.<BR><BR>Rudy Semeja, chairman of the Ely School Board and part of the joint powers group since its inception seven years ago, told members Wednesday that the group needs to focus on job growth.<BR><BR>“We don’t even talk about getting jobs in the area,” said Semeja. “We don’t know what’s going on, what’s being done. I don’t hear anything anywhere. We’ve got to keep moving on this. I see what’s happening in Hibbing, Grand Rapids, Aurora with the new (coal gasification) power plant. Nothing is happening. I’m disappointed.

Sun
31
Oct

Bear Center close to land deal

The North American Bear Center may soon have the land it needs to develop a full-scale bear museum outside of Ely.<BR><BR>This week, St. Louis County commissioners are expected to give final approval to a plan that would allow the non-profit organization to buy 33.5 acres of tax forfeited land just west of town on Highway 169, the proposed site for the new facility.<BR><BR>Construction would begin next summer in an effort to open by 2006.

Sun
31
Oct

A special day for Ely’s Polka Pal

In Ely, Don Micklich and Saturday mornings go hand-in-hand.<BR><BR>For four decades, area residents have woken up to the sounds of Frankie Yankovic, Ely’s own Barich Brothers and every other notable polka act on the morning-long polka show hosted by WELY Radio’s Polka Pal Don.<BR><BR>Micklich’s devotion hasn’t gone unnoticed.<BR><BR>Several years ago, Micklich gained polka music’s lifetime achievement award and his Saturday program on WELY is so popular that volunteers show up each week to take down the requests called in by loyal listeners.<BR><BR>And on Saturday, Oct.

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