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News from the week of September 12, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Tracy joins nation in grieving for East Coast terrorism victims

“Oh, God, we lift to your care the families who have lost loved ones,” Pastor Alan Bolte said. “We lift up to you those survivors and the rescuers who are still in the midst of these us in our anguish over this great calamity.”

Less than three hours after two hijacked jet airliners had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City Tuesday morning, an assembly of Catholics and Protestants bowed their heads in the sanctuary of the United Methodist Church. Stunned at the news of terrorist attacks striking New York City and Washington D.C., the supplicants sought solace in the face of horrific tragedy and answers to unanswerable questions

How and why could anyone do such terrible deeds?

Elsewhere around Tracy, work stopped in offices, shops and homes. Everywhere, people were transfixed by television news reports about a domestic catastrophe unparalleled in American history.

Continuous news media coverage could not exaggerate the immensity of the disaster.

The two 110-story towers of the World Trade Center had collapsed. A third hijacked airliner had crashed into the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked plane had crashed into the countryside of West Central Pennsylvania.

Thousands—likely tens of thousands—of Americans were dead and injured at the hands of unknown terrorists.

Tracy area people joined with others across the nation in praying for those who had the misfortune of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time on Sept. 11, 2001.

Schools do their best to discuss terrorist attacks with students

In 31 years of teaching, John Coulter siad that he's never seen students as somber as they were Tuesday.

"Kids are not stupid. They know what this means," he said of Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Students and teachers alike gathered around televisions in the school, mesmerized by the horrific news from the East Coast.

Today's students, Coulter said will remember September 11, 2001 as vividly as older generations recall the day Kennedy was assassinated or the date Pear Harbor was bombed.

Teachers and other school staff at the high school, Tracy Elementary and St. Mary's School attempted to retain some sense of normalcy Tuesday, while talking to students about the attacks.

November school levy considered

The Tracy Board of Education will meet Friday, Sept. 14, to consider the possibility of asking voters to approve a new operating levy this fall.

Supt. of Schools Rick Clark recommended to school board members Monday, that the referendum be placed on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. The special property tax levy would succeed an existing operating levy that ends in 2003.

Four referendum options were presented to board members. The most conservative option would increase District 417's annual operating revenues by $105,000. The most ambitious levy would raise an additional $704,000 in annual revenues.

Some of the revenues would come from local property taxes, matched by significant amounts of state aid.

For example, if the second largest levy option were selected, $504,000 in annual revenue would be generated for District 417 operations. Of this amount, $226,475 would be raised by local property taxes. The remaining $277,914 would come from state education aid.

The school district's existing operating levy generates about $278,000. Of this total, $168,470 comes from District 417 property taxes. The remaining $109,485 would come from state aid. This levy expires after taxes payable in 2002.

Dr. Clark told board members that passage of the operating levy is vitally important to the future of the school district. If the new levy is not approved, the school district needs to reduce spending by $500,000 over the next two years. Declining enrollments, and subsequent losses in state aid, are the major reason for the district's tight finances, he indicated.

“I know that times are tough. A school employee's husband just came in this morning and told his wife he'd lost his job. Taxpayers will have to answer the question.”

JNB Originals is expanding

JNB Originals is expanding its operations to Downtown Tracy.

Owners Joe and Nancy Beech plan to remodel the former Minntronix building on Morgan Street, across from City Hall.

“This is an exciting move for us,” explains Nancy Beech. She said they hope to begin remodeling the building within two weeks.

The Morgan Street site will be a production facility for JNB, handling all of the company's shipping and handling, material cutting, and storage. Some assembly will also be done at the site. Because of the expansion company is hiring at least one full-time person initially, with more employees possible in the future. Research and development will continue to be done at their Highline Road shop.

JNB Originals produces specialty fishing tackle and boating merchandise. Since launching the company with their WaveTamer drift bag four years ago, the company has developed other innovative products such as the LeechTamer, a device for storing leeches; and the Bouncer Tamer and Planer Tamer, two devices for storing fishing tackle. The company markets its products in at least 27 states.

Several large national sporting goods chains are handling their products, including Gander Mountain, Scheels, Burger Brothers, and Fleet. Cabelas, the mail order Bible for sportsmen, is including many JNB Originals' products in its catalog.

“It's pretty exciting when they start asking how many items are shipped in a box and how many boxes will fit on a truck,” said Nancy.

Five Century Farms recognized

Five area farms in Lyon, Murray, and Redwood counties were recognized with century farm designation this summer.

In Lyon County, the Marvin and Darlene Sabinske farm and Nelson Farm were honored. Redwood County Century designees included the Eugene B. Hook and Mary Lou Larson farm and Nettiewyynnt Farm were recognized. In Murray County, a farm owned by Duane M. Peterson attained Century Farm status.

The recognition program is sponsored by the Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Farm Bureau. The program started in 1975 and now there are thousands of century farms across Minnesota.

The Marvin and Darlene Sabinske farm was first bought on a patent on July 15, 1901 by Albert Sabinske, who owned it until July 25,1904. At that time his father, Wilhelm Sabinske, had a warranty deed from July 25,1904 until Oct. 11, 1904. The property was then transferred back to Albert Sabinske, who owned the farm until Nov. 22, 1937 when his son, William, bought the farm. William Sabinske kept the farm until December 30,1976. Marvin Sabinske has owned the farm since then.

DM&E marks 15th year

The 1,100-mile Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad marked its 15th anniversary last week.

Since acquiring tracks of the former Chicago and Northwestern (now Union Pacific) on Sept. 5 of 1986, the DM&E has become a major grain carrier in Minnesota and South Dakota, moving 1.1 billion bushels of corn, wheat and soybeans. Freight volume has increased 46 percent to more than 63,000 carloads annually—half of which consists of grain and grain products. The railroad now has 350 employees, more than twice the 130 employees 15 years ago. Seventy employees from 1986, are still with the company.

In May 1996, DM&E purchased 201 miles of Union Pacific track between Colony, Wyo., Rapid City, S.D. and Crawford, Neb. By adding the Colony Line, DM&E preserved rail service between the Black Hills region and Nebraska and opened a new gateway at Crawford. The links gave the railroad export markets in Asia, via ports in the Pacific Northwest.

The DM&E has proposed a $1.4 billion improvement project to upgrade existing tracks and extend a rail line into the coal fields of the Powder River Basin in northeastern Wyoming. The rebuilt line would allow trains to run faster and handle heavier freight cars. A federal board is now reviewing the DM&E's expansion plans.