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News from the week of July 25, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

T-storms bring mixed blessings

Moisture recharges growth, corn fields bounce back after flattening

The full impact of the thunderstorms, heavy rains, and wind that rolled across the region last weekend likely won't be known for weeks and months.

Thunderstorms on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings brought badly needed moisture to the region. In Tracy, over three inches of precipitation was recorded over the four-day period. The rainfall snapped a two-week spell of no rain and hot weather that had begun stressing corn and soybean fields.

But the thunderstorms also had a downside. High winds and torrential downpours flattened cornfields over a wide area in Lincoln, Lyon, and Redwood counties. Some cornfields near Tracy were almost 100% flattened Saturday morning. But by Monday, damaged cornfields had shown remarkable resiliency, as corn plants straightened themselves.

Soybean fields appeared to have only benefited from the heavy rains, experiencing little or no wind damage.

“It's hard to say what the overall effect will be,” commented Bob Byrnes, Lyon County Extension Service agent. “It's obvious that we needed the rain. But the damage that it caused may result in lower yields. But it's really too early to tell yet.”

Leon Warner, manager at the Tracy John Deere dealership, thinks that the overall affect will be beneficial.

"Even though some corn went down I believe that it will recover all right and should be fine in a few days. The rain really helped both the corn and the beans recover from all that dry weather that we have been having."

“I think that it's too early to tell if there will be any damage,” said Dale Krog, of the Tracy Insurance Agency. “Most farmers are just waiting it out.”

Sunday is last hurrah for pool

The Tracy Municipal Swimming pools is closing for the last time Sunday.

The plug will be pulled on the 50-year-old swimming pool Sunday, July 29, at 5 p.m., After the closing, the Sebastian Park pool will be drained to make way for construction on a new aquatic center. Contractors are expected to begin work on Monday, July 30.

The City of Tracy last week awarded $1.3 million worth of pool construction contracts. Targeted opening is May of 2002.

Because the Tracy pool is closing early, bus transportation will be available three afternoons a week to take Tracy swimmers to the Slayton Aquatic Center. Cost will be $2 for the round-trip bus transportation, and $2 for admission to the pool.

The Tracy Community Education bus departs from the Tracy Prairie Pavilion at 2 p.m. and returns at 5 p.m. At least 50 swimmers must register. Sign-up sheets are available at Tracy City Hall.

The scheduled bus trips begin July 31 and continue until August 23.

ECCO building expansion set

City accepts $1 offer for needed land

The ECCO Developmental Achievement Center in Tracy is moving forward with plans for a 1,900 square foot addition.

Cathy Nelson, the center's executive director, reports that the project will move forward “as soon as possible.” Estimated project cost is $100,000.

ECCO is a supervised work center for people with disabilities. The center, located in the former People's Gas building at 144 Fourth Street in Downtown Tracy, serves about 15 clients and employs 3 1/2 people.

The expansion will allow ECCO to serve more clients and possibly hire more people.

“We're crowded. We need the room,” explains Ken Toft, Tyler, who serves on ECCO's Board of Directors.

Plans call for an approximately 25x65 foot building onto ECCO's south side, plus another 25x15-foot addition onto the center's east side. The added space will allow a wheelchair lift-equipped van to enter an enlarged garage and enable clients to directly enter the building from the garage during inclement weather. The addition also provides extra program-work space, and a reinforced room for a storm shelter. An overhanging roof on the building's southwest corner will be utilized as a patio.

50th reunion set for guardsmen

The 204th Clearing Company marches again Saturday.

Only this time, the former National Guard members will be marching to a banquet table, rather than a frigid troop train.

Just over a half-century ago, on Jan. 23, 1951, 93 members of the 204th boarded a train in Tracy that would take them to Camp Rucker, Alabama. The temperature was minus 23 degrees as young wives, girlfriends, mothers, dads, and friends waved goodbye. Most of the young men were from the immediate Tracy area, between the ages of 18 and 23. The National Guardsmen left jobs and family for months of uncertainty as the Korean War raged overseas.

Saturday, July 28th, the unit celebrates the 50th anniversary of their activation with a reunion at the Mediterranean. The event begins with a 2:30 p.m. registration, followed by a 5 p.m. banquet. Reunion activities conclude with a 1 p.m. picnic at Swift Lake Park Sunday.

The 204th, an element of the 46th Infantry Division, was a medical unit. After the men reached Camp Rucker, they were sent to schools for training. After training, many guardsmen were sent back to Camp Rucker. Some men were joined later by their wives, after housing was secured.

Two of Tracy's four doctors—Major Robert Remsberg, and Captain Lyle M. Benson—were among those activated.

Amiret Busy Bees still `making the best better' after 75 years

By Valerie Scherbart-Quist

The Amiret Busy Bees 4-H Club celebrates its 75th anniversary this week.

An ice cream social Thursday, July 26 from 5-8:30 p.m. at the Amiret Town Hall, highlights the festivities.

Scrapbooks, memorabilia, and shared memories from past members will be on display.

About 240 invitations were sent to past members, who were asked to share their 4-H memories. Responses date as far back as members from the late 1930s.

"We have gotten some interesting responses," said co-leader Cheryl Lenertz.

One past member shared that she was grateful she had the opportunity to be in 4-H and to pass her experiences on to her children and grandchildren.

Another past member, who also stated he was thankful for his time spent in 4-H, remembered sleeping above the sheep barns at the county fair.

A former youth leader had fond memories of a trip she took to Washington, D.C. through 4-H. She added that it was exciting for a farm girl to have that experience, and closed her letter with the words, "keep making the best better," the 4-H motto.

The Amiret Busy Bees organized in 1926. Over the years, the club has done many fun activities and community service projects.

No one hurt in failed take-off

A pilot and passenger were unharmed Sunday evening when their plane crashed near Swift Lake Park north of Tracy.

The accident happened at about 8:35 p.m.

Pilot Matt Cederstrom of Clarkfield and passenger Harvey Roepke of Granite Falls were the only people in the single-engine Piper Tomahawk. The plane was owned by Midwest Aviation of Marshall.

The plane was attempting a take-off from the airport's 1,900 foot grass runway. (The airport also has a 3,100-foot bituminous runway). The aircraft barely cleared a fence at the end of the northeast by southwest. The plane, headed toward the southwest, just cleared Swift Lake before coming to rest in a soybean field just south of Swift Lake Park.

Units from the Tracy Ambulance Service, Tracy Police, Tracy Fire Department, and Lyon County Sheriff's Department rushed to the scene. The plane's occupants were able to walk away from the crash.

Ray Johnson, owner of Midwest Aviation, said the plane was a basic trainer, a light aircraft with relatively low horsepower, suitable for training new pilots.

"It serves its purpose well," he said.