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News from the week of March 14, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Budget-cut dilemmas cast shadow over school

Up to $300,000 in cuts targeted for next school year

Options to reduce school spending by up to $300,000 will be discussed by the Tracy Board of Education Monday night.

The budget-cutting options will be presented at a 6 p.m. school board meeting Monday night.

According to Supt. Rick Clark, administrative recommendations are to reduce spending by $300,000 for the 2001-2002 school year. Even with those cuts, Dr. Clark said that an additional $138,000 in cuts need to be considered for the 2002-03 school year.

The superintendent indicated that six to eight school positions— teaching and support staff— could be affected by the budget retrenchments.

Vickerman: Legislature agreed on desire to boost K-12 funding

Ventura's veto threat looms

Grave concerns about public K-12 school financing were expressed at a Saturday morning forum with District 22 Senator Jim Vickerman.

About 50 teachers, civic leaders and citizens from District 22 attended a public meeting at Tracy Area High School to discuss Governor Jesse Ventura's budget proposal for the 2001-03 biennium. Tracy Area School Superintendent Dr. Rick Clark provided opening remarks and introduced Senator Vickerman as a “strong proponent” of public education.

The rural Tracy lawmaker stated that legislators face an uphill battle in defeating Governor Ventura's proposal. The Senator said that the governor's attitude is “it is my way or no way,” referring to his comment that “I'd be happy to be put down as the greatest veto governor in the world.” Vickerman stressed that he does not support Ventura's budget.

Spring Expo

Many exhibits slated for Prairie Pavilion Saturday

At least 30 exhibitors are expected for the Tracy Chamber of Commerce's Spring Expo Saturday.

Hours for the free March 17 show are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tracy Prairie Pavilion.

Topics showcased by the exhibits include:

• Home improvement;

• Family health;

• Farm equipment and services;

• Financial services.

The Tracy Hospital Auxiliary serves lunch from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The menu features BBQs, hot turkey sandwiches, baked beans, cole slaw and homemade pie and ice cream.

Speech team is 2nd out of 26 teams at Montevideo

The Panther speech team split its squad to have the opportunity to compete in two tournaments this past weekend, a large-school tournament in St. Peter and a small-school tourney in Montevideo.

Most participants competed in Montevideo, where the Tracy Area High School team finished second, amassing 43 team points, in the 26-team tournament.

At St. Peter, the Panthers tied for 20th in the 38-team tourney.

Numerous Panthers took home individual honors from Saturday's tournaments.

The Panthers had success in the nearly 700 contestant St. Peter Speech Tournament on Saturday. Two Panthers earned their way into the final, placing in the top six. Senior Kim Bornitz finished in the fifth in Great Speeches. Senior Nicole Wilking also earned a spot in the finals in discussion, where she ended up in the sixth spot.

Three Panthers brought home Excellence Ribbons from St. Peter, just missing a spot in the final round. They were juniors Camille Miller in creative expression and Cassandra Carlson in discussion, and senior Ben Gervais in humorous.

The Panther Speech team is on the road in Redwood Falls Saturday for their final meet of the season.

The Panthers host the Sub-Section 11 tournament on Saturday, March 24, at Tracy Area High School.

Regular kid/Olympic aspirant

Kelsey Robinson aims for Olympic bow trials.

Kelsey Robinson has been balancing a very hectic schedule lately. On the one hand, she is like any 16-year-old who wants time with her friends, school activities and a moment to check her e-mail.

But she is also a crackerjack archer who hopes to qualify for the Olympic tryouts in 2003. Currently, the Walnut Grove student is seeking a spot on the United States Archery Team (USAT). USAT takes the top four archers from the four divisions in the country and tours the team internationally.

She is currently ranked 7th in the nation for Junior Ladies Recurve Division for the year 2000. Accomplishments that achieved that rank have been: 2nd place in JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) Indoor Championships, 14th at the NAA Junior World Trials, 10th place in the JOAD National Championship, 11th place in the National Target Championship.

The quest for an Olympic berth does not come without cost. The annual expense for coaching fees, travel, tournaments and equipment come to over $16,000. In order to help her with these expenses, the Walnut Grove Community Club will be sponsoring a fund raising spaghetti dinner on March 24, 2001 at the Walnut Grove Community Center from 5-8 p.m.

Other fund raising promotions are planned for the future. For questions, people can call Dave Hoyt 859-2552, Pat Hansen 859-2463, or Cindy Wahl 859-2161.

Integrity Bank Plus in Walnut Grove has established an account for Kelsey Robinson. Anyone wishing to donate to this account may contact the bank in person, or call 859-2151.

Trial acquits man in Third St. arson case

Ger Xiong, formerly of Tracy, was acquitted on March 1 on charges of arson in the first degree and obstructing the legal process.

The charges stemmed from a July 25, 1999 fire that damaged an apartment building owned by Xiong at 472 Third Street in Tracy.

No one lived in the house at the time of the fire. Xiong lived in Willmar at the time of the fire.

Xiong and his daughter were at the Third Street home on the afternoon of July 25. In an interview, Xiong told investigators that his daughter mowed the lawn for a while, then he took over while his daughter read in the family's van.