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News from the week of April 18, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Gervais has high hopes for Tracy

• 100% Chamber membership is one early goal

Robert Gervais says he couldn't be more excited about his new job.

“I'd like to help make Tracy an even better place to live,” the new Tracy Community Development Director says.

Two weeks after beginning the combined Chamber of Commerce and City of Tracy position, Gervais says that he is still learning the ropes.

“I've gone through a lot of files,” he explains. “There's still a lot of things to learn.” But he feels the existing EDA and Chamber programs provide a good foundation to build upon.

“I'm following some good people,” Gervais comments, referring to former EDA Director Con Rettmer and former Chamber executive Sara Kemp.

Farmers waiting for warm, dry weather

Wet, cold soil conditions have Southwest Minnesota farmers playing a waiting game.

"The planting season is delayed as compared to the last several years," observed Lyon County Extension Educator Bob Byrnes this week.

The later spring planting season is a sharp contrast to last year, when a mild, dry winter allowed some small grain to be planted in late March. This year, tufts of snow are still visible in sheltered areas, the fields are wet, and temperatures have been below average.

Should farmers be concerned?

"It's too early to be concerned about beans and corn," Byrnes said.

There's still plenty of time get corn and beans crops plant on a timely basis, he said. When farmers do get in the field, they will likely have to go around wet spots. Farmers will also need to reduce the number of trips they make through the field to prevent a poor seed bed and compaction.

Shetek State Park attendance up

Attendance at Lake Shetek State Park rose 1.9 percent in 2000, according to the park's annual report.

A total of 123,396 people visited the park in 2000, up from 121,014 in 1999.

There were 101,841 day visitors to the park, up 1.7 percent from the previous year. The interpretive program saw a jump in visitors from 2,083 in 1999 to 2,443 in 2000, an increase of 17.3 percent. The interpretive center had 1,987 visitors in 2000, up 8.5 percent. Attendance at the interpretive center is suspected to be higher than the actual count because not all visitors sign the guest register, and there is not always a person in the center to count visitors.

The number of overnight visitors was down slightly this year, from 17,430 in 1999 to 17,387 in 2000.

Projects at Lake Shetek State Park during the year included remodeling of the Koch Cabin. The removal of a wire retaining wall and door allow visitors to walk through the entire building. Furniture and other furnishings that belonged to the Murray County Historical Society were returned to them. They were replaced by new replicas that were bought by the Division of Parks and Recreation.

Open house planned soon for new Flooring Concepts

In the Tracy business community, a new era is beginning, and another is ending.

The Almlie family has owned Almlie Furniture in Tracy since 1971. John Almlie bought into the store, then known as Kelley's Furniture, in 1965, when the family moved to Tracy. In 1995, John's son, Steve, bought the store from his dad.

Now, the store is closing. For Almlie, it is difficult to close the store he grew up in, and say good-bye to a building he loves.

"It's sad to see the store close," he said. "It was a tough decision to make."

While the Almlie Furniture store is closing, a new business is beginning for Steve Almlie.

Almlie is excited about the recent opening of Flooring Concepts. Almlie owns half of the new business, with Jeremy Bjorklund owning the other half.

Student art work selected for exhibit

Work by five Tracy High School artists have been selected for inclusion in the second annual "Lyon County High School Art Stars" exhibit, now on display at the Arts Center in Marshall.

The exhibit includes paintings, drawings, photography and three dimensional work by high school artists from the Lakeview, Marshall, Minneota and Tracy public schools, the Yankton Country Charter School in Balaton and the Life Skills Center in Marshall.

Each high school art teacher in the county is invited to select up to 6 student art works to represent their school in the show.

Tracy students with work in the show are: Dan Judkins, Katie Hayes, Kham Moua, Nate Clark and Stacy DeMartelaere. Their art teacher is Randy McIntire.

Spanish students find trip memorable

Routines are returning to normal for ten Tracy Area High School students, who recently returned from a two-week study trip to Spain.

“It was a good experience for them,” said Spanish Teacher Pam Marsh, who accompanied the group.

Students on the trip were: Carin Gervais, Jenny Welvaert, Bill Knott, Katie Louwagie, Alesia Nybo, Brady Schmidt, Zach Jones, Ben Gervais, Lisa Soupir, Mike Kamrud.

The third-year Spanish students spent several days sight-seeing in the Barcelona area before spending a week with a Spanish family. The trip concluded with several days touring in Madrid, with side-trips in Segovia and Toledo.

The Tracy delegation traveled with another high school group from Clear Lake Iowa. Trip arrangements were made through the Language and Friendship organization.