banner.gif (15051 bytes)

News from the week of January 31, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

It's sink or swim time for proposed aquatic center

• Tracy voters to decide fate of pool bond sale

City of Tracy residents go to the polls Tuesday, Feb. 6, to decide the fate of a $1.5 million swimming pool bond referendum.

Polls at the Tracy Municipal Building will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tracy residents who are age 18 and older, are United States citizens, and have lived within city limits for at least 20 days prior to the election are eligible to vote.

Passage of the referendum would give the Tracy City Council the authority to borrow $1.5 million to finance the construction of a new pool facility in Sebastian Park. The new “aquatic center” would replace a 50-year-old swimming pool that's in poor condition.

The $1.5 million bond would be repaid over a 20-year-period. Increased property taxes would be needed to repay the bonds.

Snow spectacular

Mother Nature puts on icy show

The region continues to dig out from the breathtakingly beautiful winter storm that struck Southwest Minnesota Monday and Tuesday.

Sleet and rain Monday preceded seven inches of heavy, slushy snow late Monday and Tuesday, coating the region with spectacular white vistas.

The precipitation made for especially treacherous traveling conditions Monday afternoon and much of Tuesday. The Minnesota Department of Transportation advised no unnecessary traveling because of icy roads.

Future of DM&E RR rides on proposed rebuild, expansion

More than just coal and expanded grain markets are at stake in the proposed $1.5 billion upgrade and expansion of the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E).

The future of railroad is also riding the project, DM&E President Kevin Schieffer intimated recently in Tracy.

“The railroad is wearing out faster than we can keep it up,” said Schieffer, of the DM&E, whose mainline runs from Wasta, South Dakota to the Mississippi River at Winona, MN.

Despite spending more than $100 million on railroad improvements since 1986, Schieffer said, the railroad tracks are in worst shape today than when the former Chicago & Northwestern rail line became the DM&E 15 years ago.

“We are spending $4 in repairs for every $1 of profit we've generated,” Schieffer said. “The shareholders have been willing to keep this thing going, but that can't go on forever.”

Tracy thespians will participate in first Schwan's Speech Spectacular

Tracy Area High School is one of 20 schools participating in the Schwan's Speech Spectacular Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3.

The two-day event will be hosted by the Marshall High School Speech Team, and will be the largest tournament in southwest Minnesota this year.

Between 600 and 700 students are expected to compete in 13 different public speaking and oral interpretation events. For most schools, this tournament will begin the spring season of competition.

This competition has drawn strong interest from the Twin Cities, including Eagan High School and Apple Valley High School, which both have nationally ranked speech programs.

Regional technology group begins assessments

TNT, the technology and telecommunication project for southwest Minnesota, is conducting 68 technology assessments during the first half of 2001.

Over 50 business assessments and 18 community technology assessments will be conducted from Jan. 9 through May 1.

Technology and telecom-munication profiles will be developed for the participating communities of Redwood Falls, Worthington, Willmar, Granite Falls, Luverne, Lakefield, Tracy, Marshall, Montevideo, Olivia, Appleton, Benson, Ortonville, Fairfax, Bird Island, Buffalo Lake, Sacred Heart, Danube, Hector and Spicer.

The TNT project began in 1999 as a result of a lack of affordable and dependable telecom-munications in southwest Minnesota. By the end of the first quarter of 2000, a TNT advisory group was formed and a technology and telecommunication plan developed. A telecommunication consultant was hired, Pettipiece Cesario Development Solutions, Inc. out of Mankato to assist with the implementation of seven specific projects intended to enhance usage and application of technology and telecommunications in southwest Minnesota.

`Fifth Quarter' plans to go extra mile for kids

It's not overtime yet, but enthusiasm is building for the “Fifth Quarter” at Tracy Area High School (TAHS).

“I'm excited about it and the kids are excited,” says Brian Michelson, a TAHS health and science teacher. “I think it's going to go over real well,”

Fifth Quarter is a new program Michelson is organizing for grades 7-12 students. The idea is to provide safe and fun activities for kids after a school athletic activity. The first Fifth Quarter is scheduled Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Prairie Pavilion, beginning at 9 p.m. Activities will include video, dart and billiard games, a concert by a student rock band, CD music, gym games, food and refreshments.

“We want to give kids something fun to look forward to, and a place where they can go after a game and burn off some of that energy,” said Michelson.