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Rising above the fray: time to put Forsman flap to bed

It was the irony of ironies that on Tuesday night, at the tail end of a meeting that attracted an overflow crowd that spilled out into the hallways, television crews from Duluth and even three police officers to maintain order at City Hall, the Ely City Council awarded the bid for next year’s July 4 fireworks celebration.
Those proved to be the only real fireworks of the night, much to the surprise of many who filled the room or followed along on social media.
The climax of the firestorm that erupted when council member Dan Forsman posted a political meme - on an internet site made up of Hillary Clinton supporters - was rather anti-climactic.
Forsman apologized, those demanding he resign or be thrown off the council kept their pitchforks at home, and civility reigned.
It was the best possible outcome to a situation that had turned ugly, with social media providing the fuel.
With this chapter of 2016 now hopefully closed, here are a few takeaways:


Chamber, Vets on Lake feud erupts

by Tom Coombe -


Lynx update Wednesday night at VCC

The last Ely Field Naturalist public program of 2016 will present an update of Canada Lynx on the Superior National Forest.
Biologist Sarah Malick-Wahls from the Kawishiwi Ranger District in Ely will present an update on research and monitoring at the beginning of another winter field season.
Lynx activity during winter months engages national forest service personnel and volunteers in field observations, tracking, and data collection for identifying individuals and measuring the size of the lynx population present in northeastern Minnesota.
In addition, to Sarah’s presentation there will be cards, prints and calendars developed by Heidi Pinkerton available as an EFN fundraiser, and also, information about upcoming Christmas bird counts over the holiday season.
This meeting is free and open to the public at 7 p.m. in Classroom CL104 at Vermilion Community College.


Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum

An invitation to hunt with a friend is not something to be taken lightly. I was blessed enough to be asked by two friends this past weekend, the middle of the muzzleloader deer season.
I spent two hunts and an overnight at Rob Wilmunen’s shack. We each took up posts in elevated stands not far from the original Wilmunen homestead.
The weather was good, everything felt right but the deer just didn’t want to cooperate. Rob saw three does on a far hillside across from his Midpond Stand but no big buck followed.
I was in the Soldier Field stand and try as I might to make any shadow or irregularity look like a deer, no dice.
But sitting in silence in the woods may be the biggest stress reliever of them all. Even if the deer aren’t coming in for a visit.
Rob passed along a tip from Bill Scott who suggested putting a small blanket in each stand. Drape the blanket over your legs and the warmth will keep you out in the stand longer. Try it, it works.


November Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers

Council Minutes, November 15, 2016
Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers

Mayor Novak called the Regular City Council Meeting to order at 5:30pm.

PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Omerza, Polyner, D.Forsman and Mayor Novak

Debeltz/D.Forsman moved to approve the minutes from the Public Hearing on November 1, 2016 at 5:00pm with the change to the sentence Whitney stated that he posted the house inhabitable on October 12, 2016 to posted the house uninhabitable on October 12, 2016, the Public Hearing from November 1, 2016 at 5:15, and the November 1, 2016 Regular Council Meeting. Motion Carried Unanimously.


Six Pagami survivors deployed fire shelters and lived through hell on and in Lake Insula

by Nick Wognum -

Five years after six people were nearly burned alive, the full report on what really happened during the Pagami Creek fire of 2011 has finally come to light.

A report titled “Pagami Creek Fire Entrapments - Facilitated Learning Analysis” along with a video tells how critical mistakes nearly took the lives of six Forest Service fire qualified Wilderness Rangers.

The six were Todd Stefanic, Chris Kinney, Nancy Moundalexis, Andrea Lund, Nancy Hernesmaa and Naomi Weckman.

The 93,000 acre Pagami Creek fire started on August 18 as a lightning strike not far from the Fernberg Road. The Forest Service decided to let it burn and it grew to 100 acres.

Then the decision was made to create a bigger fire and the Forest Service poured 1,700 gallons of jellied gasoline on the fire. That decision would ignite a disaster that cost $23 million to clean up. It also almost killed six Forest Service employees....


Two vehicle accident on Hwy. 169 claims life of Ely woman

An Ely woman died following a two vehicle collision on Highway 169 near Wolf Lake Road Wednesday morning.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Nina Haaversen, 51, of Ely died from injuries sustained in the crash.

She was the driver of a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

The medical status of Aaron Nickolson, 37, the driver of a 2005 Dodge Ram, was not immediately known.

The accident occurred on icy roads at milepost 277 at 7:45 a.m.


Blizzard causes power outages on North Arm, Van Vac


For Immediate Release: For More Information, Contact:
November 19, 2016 Tami Zaun, Public Relations Coordinator
11:30 a.m. Update (218) 256-4603 tzaun@lakecountrypower.com

Reinforcements helping turn lights back on in rural areas

GRAND RAPIDS, MN – Access remains the biggest issue today as Lake Country Power line crews continue power restoration efforts across parts of eight counties in northern Minnesota. Most rural roads are now clear, but soft, wet soil under 12 to 18 inches of snow is making access for linemen, lift trucks and heavy equipment challenging.


Swimmers take 10th in section as times come down

by Tom Coombe -


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Here are a few of this week's headlines:

Thanksgiving shopping, parade kick off series of Ely festivities -

Issue put to sleep: Pillow Rock staying put
City council goes on record, clears the air after public hearing -

Attendance “skyrockets” at Wolf Center
New pups lead to significant spike -

Not quite Dewey vs. Truman, but Rantala wins school board seat after new vote totals are posted -

Native son:


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