Obama writes Ely a letter, puts town in spotlight

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Ely, Minn., is drawing national attention on the second Inauguration Day for President Barack Obama, after he sent the town a hand-written note, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Community members asked the president for a letter for a time capsule to be encased for the next 50 years in a brick wall at Vermilion Community College, the newspaper reported.

Now the population-3,460 town on the edge of the Boundary Waters in the north woods is expected to be featured in a Monday segment on NBC's "The Today Show."

Ely resident Gerry Snyder wrote to the president on a whim, and was surprised to find a response in his mailbox, reports the Ely Echo, which has a copy of Obama's letter.

"A select bunch of letters go to him and it's a tribute to him that he actually reads them," Snyder told the newspaper. "I think it's his mechanism to reach out beyond the normalcy of the presidency. He lives in a bubble."

Obama wrote in part, “Fifty years from now, I hope we have managed the balance between our energy needs and our need to preserve the planet so that the wilderness surrounding Ely remains as spectacular as you describe.”

See "The Today Show" video story below.

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