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News from the week of June 27, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Illegal dumpings threaten access to city compost site

$500 reward offered

City of Tracy authorities have a blunt message for abusers of the community's lawn and garden disposal site:

“Don't mess with Tracy, or risk being prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

The city is responding to the latest in a series of illegal dumpings at the city's compost site. Carpet remnants, a sink and a bathroom vanity were among the items recently found. The compost site, located on the northwest edge of the city, is meant for only biodegradable lawn and garden materials such as leaves, sticks, branches, and grass clippings.

This is the “seventh or eighth” incident this spring in which non-permissible items have been found at the site. In each case, City of Tracy workers have had to clean up the mess, putting non-permissible items into a dumpster that's hauled away to the county landfill. City taxpayers have been left with the bill. The illegal items have often included demolition building materials.

“This is flagrant. There is absolutely no excuse for this,” said Mayor Claire Hannasch at the Tracy City Council's Monday evening meeting.

`What if' school budget shows $233,000 deficit

A preliminary budget for the coming school year projects $233,000 worth of red ink for Tracy Public Schools.

Dr. Rick Clark presented the budget figures to District 417 school board members Monday. He stressed that the budget figures were very preliminary, since the governor and legislature had not agreed to a school finance bill as of Monday.

“This is not an honest budget in that we have no idea what our revenue streams will be,” he said. Dr. Clark said that without a school finance bill, the school district is guaranteed only 80 to 90% of the government aid the district received last year. “That would not cut it,” said the superintendent.

Dr. Clark said that the budget is based on figures taken from the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning (CFL) financial planner known as “What If” in calculating revenue. “What If” numbers are educated guesses as to what the school funding will ultimately be.

Using the state's best-guess estimates, Tracy Area Public Schools would have a deficit of $232,967 for the 2001-2002 school year. The deficit is in spite of $267,000 in spending cuts from the 2000-01 budget this spring.

New schedule okayed for school planning sessions

By Kris Tiegs

Common Planning Time (CPT) sessions for Tracy Public School staff will be longer, but less frequent during the coming year.

District 417 school board members approved a motion Monday night changing the CPT format for the 2001-02 school year. CPT days were scheduled 14 times during the past school year and were 1-1/2 hours in length. The sessions resulted in a 50-minute late start for students, usually on Mondays.

CPT days for the upcoming school year will result in a two-hour late start for students and will be scheduled on Fridays, about once a month during the school year.

On a 3-2 vote, the school board accepted a committee recommend-ation for the longer CPT sessions. The committee was appointed to review the staff planning sessions' effectiveness. The committee felt that more can be accomplished in the two-hour block, and also advised that parents would find it helpful if the days were held the same day of each month. High School principal John Rokke reported that students overwhelm-ingly preferred the Friday CPT day as opposed to Monday.

Board members discussed the issue at length. Board member Eric Nelson, who voted for the CPT proposal, expressed misgivings about the longer sessions.

Garvin Park turnout exceeds expections

By Valerie Scherbart Quist

An open house at Garvin Park Sunday afternoon was a big success, according to Park Manager Rick Anderson and Lyon County Park Board members Tony Doom and Brian Ludeman.

Ludeman, who expected that about 300 people would attend the open house, was pleasantly surprised at the turnout. Doom estimated that between 700 and 800 people were served at the event. Free root beer floats were served to visitors.

"It far exceeded our expectations,” Doom said. "It indicates that there is an interest in Garvin Park."

"It went over twice as well as I thought," added Ludeman.

Doom came up with the idea for an open house at Garvin Park after driving by a state park that has an annual open house.

"I thought, we can do that," he said.

He brought the idea to the park board and the Lyon County Commissioners, who immediately showed interest in the idea. Doom said the open house was truly a team effort, with great enthusiasm shown by the park board and commissioners.

Park Manager Rick Anderson said the park board, commissioners, and local 4-Hers all helped with the open house.

Doom said the open house gave the board and commissioners a good opportunity to get input from the public on what they would like to see at the park. Two recent improvements to the park--the addition of a horse staging area and a new shower facility--were both the result of public input, he said.

Many favorable remarks were heard from visitors at the open house, he said.

Teton staff hustles to meet printing deadlines

By Dave Brakke

The Tracy High School Teton staff continues to work on the yearbook as printing deadlines draw near.

This year's Teton staff includes students Jennifer Millican, Kim Bornitz, Cassie Ziemke, Megan Schons, Stephanie Carter, Shanna Lowe. Adult advisors are Karen Ziemke and Chris Schons.

"It's been a hard job but it's also been fun." said Schons. "We had to learn how to use a new program on our computer so that we could organize the Teton easier. A lot of our time went into figuring out how to run it."

The Teton staff's goal is to complete the yearbook by July 1.

"We are working on the sports section right now," said Ziemke. "We have half the pages organized and on the computer but we only have a few weeks until our due date."

The advisors say that student help on the yearbook has been in short supply this year.

Schons said that since there were few student volunteers, opportunities to take photos of school activities were limited. The staff has sent out a public announcement to all the school organizations in search of more activity pictures.

Lake Sarah Lutheran group fashions men's ties into quilt

By Valerie Scherbart Quist

Dozens of hand-crafted quilts will be sold Saturday at the Shetek Lutheran Ministries Quilt Show and Auction Saturday from 8:30a.m. to 10:30a.m.. The most unusual quilt may be one made by quilters from Lake Sarah Lutheran Church in Garvin. Their quilt is made out of men's ties.

The Lake Sarah Lutheran quilters began working on their tie quilt last July. Nearly 280 ties that were made into 128 blocks, were used to make the quilt. The ties had to be opened, washed and pressed. Each tie was stitched around.

The quilters figure that at least 250 hours of labor went into making the quilt.

"I think we gave up trying to keep track of how many hours we put in after a while," said quilter Lucille Larson. The result of those hours is a colorful conversation piece.