News

Mon
29
Mar

169 project coming to life

by Tom Coombe<BR><BR>With nearly $3 million in improvements on the way and funding for more in the works, members of the Highway 169 Task Force will reconvene.<BR><BR>The group that recommended $43 million in improvements and reconstruction for the thoroughfare between Ely and Virginia will gather April 29 at the Tower Civic Center (6:30 p.m.).<BR><BR>Andy Hubley, who facilitated task force activities for the Arrowhead Regional Development Council, is scheduled to attend the public meeting and present an update on the 169 project as well as other area highway projects.<BR><BR>Task force members, including representatives from each entity along the highway, met several times in 2000 and 2001 and recommended a series of safety-related improvements to state highway officials and U.S. Rep.

Mon
29
Mar

Firefighters want another chief

Ely firefighters say their department needs a chief and that the city should fill the position vacated by the retirement of Gary Klun.<BR><BR>That was the message delivered to city council members last week by members of the volunteer fire department.<BR><BR>Most of Ely’s 27 firefighters attended Tuesday’s council study session, called to gather input on the future of the department’s only paid full-time position.<BR><BR>And while city officials have explored cost-cutting alternatives such as assigning Klun’s duties to current personnel or creating a public safety director position that would incorporate supervision of both the police and fire operations, firefighters urged the council to resist the temptation.<BR><BR>“We think it would be good to replace the fire chief,” said Ely firefighter Joe Gerzin, who addressed the council last week. “You don’t have to replace a chief at Gary Klun’s wage.

Mon
29
Mar

Reunion events are taking shape

With just about three months to go, the 2004 Ely Memorial High School All-Class Reunion is falling into place.<BR><BR>Registrations are coming in daily, anticipation is building and a full slate of reunion events are taking shape.<BR><BR>Ely’s first all-class event in nine years is set for June 30-July 5, and organizing committee member Pat Koski said last week that more than 100 graduates have already paid their $40 registration fee.<BR><BR>Registration packets were mailed to those who graduated from Ely High as recently as 10 years ago, and alumni dating back to classes in the late-1920s and 1930s.<BR><BR>They’re all invited to take part in what’s shaping up to be an almost full week of fun and festivities.<BR><BR>The schedule of events kicks off June 30 with registration at the JFK Cafeteria, and the reunion begins in earnest the following day, with an open house at the high school<BR><BR>Alumni can tour the

Wed
17
Mar

Echo Ice-Out Contest begins for 2004 entrants

Wed
17
Mar

Vermilion student killed in Iraq

A Vermilion Community College student who made his mark both on the college campus as well as the Ely community was killed last week while on military duty in Iraq.<BR><BR>Bert Hoyer, 23, died Wednesday when an improvised explosive device hit his convoy in Baqubah, north of Baghdad.<BR><BR>A specialist in a Wisconsin-based Army Reserve Unit, Hoyer left Vermilion last February to report for duty.<BR><BR>He was due back this fall at VCC, where he was one semester away from graduating with a degree from the school’s natural resources program.<BR><BR>News of Hoyer’s death reached Vermilion Thursday morning and jarred the campus.<BR><BR>“Our campus loved Bert Hoyer,” said Vermilion Provost Sue Collins. “We respected him for his maturity and commitment to doing what he felt was right. We were waiting for Bert to return for next semester when he would finish his studies.

Wed
17
Mar

Dewitt book to be featured at authors conference

Dawn Dewitt has been invited to take part in a book signing of her book ‘Search for Blue Bears’ at the “Festival of Authors 2004.” It will be held on Saturday, April 17 as part of the 16th Annual Spotlight On Books conference. <BR><BR>Spotlight On Books will be held at Ruttger’s Sugar Lake Lodge in Grand Rapids. Kate DiCamillo, Linda Glaser and Rick Chrustowski are the other featured authors who will give formal presentations on Saturday. <BR><BR>Dawn’s book was inspired by a true life event that happened when she and her two grandsons Jordan and Jacob, their mother Heather and son-in-law Louie Champa watched a bear munching an apple under a tree. At the time Jordan was four sitting on his daddy’s shoulders and Jacob was in the stroller. <BR><BR>The story goes on to where they ...

Wed
10
Mar

Public access hits yet another snag

A special city committee spent nearly five months to develop a plan for rejuvenating Ely's public access cable television channel, but members may be sent back to the drawing board.

Wed
10
Mar

Public bodies assessing needs for joint garage

Plans for a joint public works garage and maintenance facility are in the formative stages but moving forward.<BR><BR>Representatives from several public entities are talking about working together in an effort both to save money and put their public works operations under one roof.<BR><BR>Their last session, held Feb. 27 at the Morse Town Hall, ended with support for the project, at least in concept. <BR><BR>Next, each entity will come up with its expectations and desires for the facility.<BR><BR>"What we decided is that everybody will go back to their respective boards or councils and determine what they need for square footage," said St. Louis County Commissioner Mike Forsman. "Things like how many vehicles they'll have there, how much space they'll need, more specific things like that.

Wed
10
Mar

Joint Powers plans '05 spending

It's still 10 months away, but the Ely Area Joint Powers Board is already looking ahead to 2005.

Wed
10
Mar

Cable rates to jump $3

Cable television rates in both Ely and Babbitt will increase by just over $3 a month - effective with April billings - according to the cities' cable provider.<BR><BR>Charter Communications has notified officials in both communities that beginning next month, rates for the basic 100-channel-plus expanded basic service will increase to $41.99. <BR><BR>That's up from the current monthly rate of $38.95.<BR><BR>Company officials say the rate increase is attributed to, according to company government affairs and public relations representative Mike Hill, "a significant increase in our business costs."<BR><BR>Hill said that a substantial part of the increase is due to the rising costs associated with obtaining cable programming.<BR><BR>And though Charter has a franchise agreement with both Ely and Babbitt, the municipalities have no voice in the rate process.

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