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News from the week of June 14, 2000 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Sewer or later . . .

Tracy motorists bound to hit construction zone

Long-discussed sewer improvements are becoming a reality in Tracy.

Crews for Scott Olson Digging began excavations along a three-block segment of Second Street last week. All told about 12 city blocks will be affected by the construction.

The $1.5 million project is designed to correct long-standing shortcomings in the city's sewers—both sanitary and storm. Old water mains are also being upgraded at locations where street excavations make replacement practical.

Olson Digging has until Oct. 31 to complete the project. However, Public Works Director Don Polzine said company representative feel they can complete the project within two months, with good weather.

Stellar senior goes out on top

Julie Gifford ends prep career with 2 state track titles

Balaton native Julie Gifford wrapped up a stellar prep running career Saturday, with a happy ending that even Walt Disney couldn't have scripted better.

The cheers of thousands of spectators roared from the grandstand at the National Sports Center in Blaine, as Gifford sprinted to the finish line with a rival at her shoulder. The Panther senior won a the foot race by a bare four-tenths of a second to end her high school running career with a state championship.

The 1600-meter victory was her second Class A state championship in two days. Friday, Gifford easily won the Class A 3200-meter title.

Gas prices hit $1.65 gallon, further increases expected

Editor's note: As this newspaper went to press Wednesday morning, the price for unleaded regular gasoline at all three Tracy stations had risen to $1.76 a gallon.

Blame the law of supply and demand the next time you fill up at the gas station, say workers at local gas stations.

“People always blame us for the high prices. This isn't our fault.” smiles Shane Holiway at Food-N-Fuel.

Prices for unleaded regular gasoline had risen to $1.65 a gallon by Monday, with predictions that prices could go higher.

Bob Anderson at Cenex-Harvest States agrees, “We can't help it,” said Bob Anderson, local manager for Cenex-Harvest States. “I don't think any of us have ever seen anything like this before. Anyway, we're not enjoying it at all.”

Tracy school finance outlook much improved from year ago

District 417 will end its 1999-2000 school year in better financial shape than anyone imagined a year ago.

A final revision of the 1999-2000 school budget, approved by Tracy school board members Monday, shows a year end deficit of $56,485. Originally, when the budget was set a year ago, a $227,475 deficit was forecast. The school's fiscal year ends June 30.

A major factor in the improved finances, Supt. Rick Clark explained, is higher than expected student enrollment. The 1999-2000 budget was based on an estimated enrollment of 899.31 student units (WADAMs). In November of 1999, when student attendance peaked for the year, District 417 had a student WADAM count of 955.5. The increased enrollment generated extra money for the district, since state education funding is based largely on enrollment. This coming year, the State of Minnesota's basic education formula is $3,964 per WADAM unit.

Looking ahead, Dr. Clark said that a large number of “what ifs?” make it difficult to finalize the budget for the 2000-01 school year. However, it is known that District 417's revenues will increase significantly due to action by the 2000 legislature.

Plates rosemaled in Tracy are headed to churches in Norway

When Elvera Bisbee talks about the three rosemaled wooden plates in the front entryway of her Tracy home, she does so with a gleam in her eye. It is with this same gleam she will present the plates to the three churches in Norway for which they are painted when she travels there this month.

Bisbee's passion for the art of rosemaling began to take shape in the late 1970s.

"I have always been interested in arts and crafts," Bisbee said, "but that interest was put on hold while I raised my family."

She was interested in rosemaling because of the significance it held in her family and in her Norwegian heritage. In Bisbee's home is a rosemaled Norwegian trunk that dates back for 1796. Bisbee is the fifth generation in her family to own the trunk.

All dolled up

Collectible dolls displayed at Tracy Public Library

Why does Chris Lang collect dolls?

The question momentarily stumps the Lakefield woman.

“You mean, why dolls, as opposed to elephants?” she laughs. “I don't really know.”

Some three dozen dolls from Lang's collection are on display at the Tracy Public Library. The doll display will remain at the library for at least a month.

All of Lang's dolls are porcelain.

“I buy what I like,” she explains. She prefers an “older” look, as opposed to a “baby doll.” She likes pretty, but relatively plain, dolls apparel, not “ruffles and frills.”

Lang started her collection in the mid-1990s after the last of her four children graduated from high school. Her first collectible doll was called “Peaches & Cream.”