banner.gif (15051 bytes)

News from the week of May 30, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

`Take the third star from the right and then straight on `til morning'

Peter Pan is coming to Tracy

Start with 65 high-spirited youngsters.

Give the school children exotic costumes. Teach them swashbuckling songs about strange characters and mysterious places.

Finally, ship the little rascals off into a magical fantasy world of pirate ships, crocodiles and flying fairies.

What do you have?

The Tracy Children's Community Choir production of Peter Pan, that's what.

The lavish musical begins a three-performance run Thursday night on the Tracy Area High School stage. Curtain time is 7 p.m. all three nights. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

“The children have been working hard and they're excited to show what they can do,” comments Ade Miller, who is directing the production with Jesse James. Jackie Haecherl is the student director.

The musical is based upon the classic children's story Peter Pan, written by Scottish playwright James Barrie in 1904. Walt Disney introduced the tale to a new generation of fans with its 1954 animated movie.

Swimming pool set to open on Saturday

Water heaters make earlier opening possible

If all goes as expected, local children can go swimming Saturday afternoon.

The Tracy Community Swimming Pool is scheduled to open Saturday, June 2, at 1 p.m.

The earlier than usual opening is possible because of water heaters recently installed at the pool. The pool has already been filled with water and the new heaters installed. The new equipment, which will be used in the new aqua center planned for next year, is designed to keep the water temperatures at about 80 degrees.

Without the new water-heating capability, Pool Administrator Shorty Engel says the early opening “wouldn't even be a consideration” because of cool spring weather.

Natural gas service was being hooked up for the new heater early this week. Staff training sessions for operating the equipment are planned also.

Pool hours from 1 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and weekdays, 4-7 p.m. until school gets out.

Former Balaton High School students get diplomas at TAHS

Eight former Balaton High School students were all smiles Sunday afternoon as they graduated from Tracy Area High School (TAHS).

The students—Allison Chandler, Jessica Lustfield, McKenzie Schelhaas, Jeremy Schreier, Kara Wichmann, Jill Wreath, Abby Miller, and Katie Scharfe—were the first Balaton students to receive TAHS diplomas under a new tuitioning agreement between the school districts.

The Balaton grads report that leaving Balaton and attending a larger high school was an adjustment. But generally, they feel the past year has been a good one.

"It was a big change,” said Scharfe. “At the beginning of the school year it was hard because few people knew who we were and to them we were outsiders. But later on, people opened up and talked with us more and soon we made some good friends."

When Balaton High School closed, students had to decide where they would like to enroll for the 2000-2001 school year.

The Balaton school board worked out a grades 9-12 tuition agreement with both the Marshall and Tracy school districts. It was left up to the students where to attend school. With open enrollment, students had other choices as well, including Russell-Tyler-Ruthton and Murray County Central.

Fire department hog-roast fund-raiser set next week

The Tracy Fire Department plans a Friday, June 8 hog roast to raise funds for a thermal imaging camera system.

The camera has an estimated $20,000 price tag.

Firemen have raised about half that amount, commented Fire Chief Keith Engesser.

The camera would have many uses. For example, firemen could use the device to search a smoke-filled building for people trapped by a fire. The camera could also be used for missing person searches in darkness or other limited visibility conditions. The images are generated by detecting a person's body heat.

“It could be a real life-saver for us,” said Engesser.

The planned benefit is set outdoors near the Central Park band shell, with serving beginning at 5 p.m. No tickets will be sold, but donations will be accepted. Proceeds will go toward the camera system.

“Most of the food is being donated,” Engesser said, including four hogs from the Ludeman, Campbell, Fultz and Verlinde families. Tracy Boy Scouts will assist with the serving.

In case of rain or other inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Tracy Fire Hall.

Landon Ziemke says home-schooling helped nurture positive attitude

Not every student gets his own graduation ceremony.

But that's what happened May 20 when 150 friends and family gathered to congratulate Landon Ziemke on his graduation from Prairie Home Academy.

The ceremony was held at the Rick and Carol Ziemke farm.

The graduate received his diploma from dad, Rick.

“It was cool to see all of the friends I've made and all the people who support me,” Landon reflected about his special day.

One of the most memorable moments was when Tracy Alliance youth pastor Roland Broader and Pastor Edsel Miller prayed for Ziemke and his future.

“It was a really encouraging event,” said Ziemke.

School greenhouse offers kids growing experience

Tracy horticulture students have had a hands-on look at how plants grow this spring.

A new greenhouse was put up this spring on the north side of Tracy High School.

Instructor Paul Skoglund said the greenhouse is not going to be used year-round, but will probably be used in the fall and spring. The greenhouse will not be used as a business, strictly as a learning tool.

In addition to learning about how plants grow in the classroom, students were able to propagate plants from seed. Skoglund said the greenhouse has been a good addition to the horticulture class, and students have enjoyed learning about and experiencing how plants grow.

The greenhouse was put up with money appropriated by the legislature to be distributed by the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning. The grant was competitive, and a proposal had to be written in order to receive it.