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News from the week of February 14, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Tracy firemen launch $20,000 campaign for thermal imaging camera

System would make searches easier

Imagine you are a member of the Tracy Fire Department.

You are riding the first truck arriving at a burning house. You see smoke coming from a window.

A family of six, including four small children, lives at the address. But there's no information at the scene whether everyone got out safely or if the family was home when the fire broke out.

You and another fireman put on air mask and tank.

You enter the house to begin a search. Smoke is so thick that you can barely see your own hand in front of your face.

How do you search for survivors?

“You usually have to do it by touch,” said Tracy Fire Chief Keith Engesser. “Its down on your knees feeling your way around.”

New technology may make future fire searches dramatically easier, if a new fund-raising campaign is successful. Tracy firemen want to raise $20,000 to purchase a new thermal imaging camera and monitor. The system makes it possible for firemen to see through smoke and quickly spot people trapped inside a smoke-filled building.

Former Tracy student has uplifting NASA experience

Fifteen years ago, Kellee (Molitor) Vivens was a seventh-grader at Tracy Area High School.

Today, the 28-year-old is a junior high math teacher in San Antonio, Texas.

Someday, it's possible that Vivens could become the first former TAHS student to blast off on a Space Shuttle flight.

While a space flight is a long shot, former Tracy residents Cy and Hazel Molitor are thrilled that their daughter was selected for a special NASA (National Aeronautics Space Administration) education program.

Pool planning weighs anchor

Detailed design drawings targeted for March 5

Planning efforts for a new Tracy Aquatic Center set sail with renewed purpose this week.

Buoyed by public approval of a $1.5 million bond referendum Feb. 6, consultants and civic leaders dived into pool planning efforts on several fronts.

• Architects and engineers for USAquatics were instructed to proceed with detailed design development drawings for the proposed aquatic center. The designs are to be presented to city staff by March 5.

• City staff consulted with bond consultants to determine the most advantageous time for the city to issue the bonds.

• Council members approved spending $3,400 for a topographic survey of the aquatic center's Sebastian Park site.

• A community swimming pool task force met to discuss a fund-raising campaign. The goal is to reduce the bonded indebtedness that will need to be repaid by city property taxpayers once the pool bond is sold. One $500 contribution was received this week.

Tracy scouts honored at Blue & Gold Banquet

Local scouts were presented various awards and pins at their annual Blue and Gold banquet. The event was held this past Sunday at Prairie Pavilion. Scouts, family members and leaders enjoyed a fun filled afternoon.

Kim Bornitz, Ben Gervais lead speech team

The Tracy Area High School speech team, led by the championship performance of Kim Bornitz and the runner-up finish of Ben Gervais, took home fifth-place honors at the 20-school speech tourney held at Southwest State University Saturday.

Over 350 students from grades 7-12 competed in the tournament. Team champion Worthington won the title with 67 points. Second place went to Fairmont, followed by Mt. Lake-Butterfield-Odin, Marshall, and Tracy.

Bornitz won her first tournament championship in the Great Speeches category. Senior Ben Gervais just missed the individual title in humorous category and settled for second place.

Other Panther trophy winners were fourth place finishers Cassandra Carlson in Discussion, and Laura Miller in Serious Poetry; fifth-place winners Shanna Lowe in Storytelling and Brady Averill in Extemporaneous Speaking; and sixth place finisher Tony Stephens in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Fantastic 'Fifth Quarter'

An estimated 300 students from Tracy area High School and surrounding schools enjoyed various games, special music and food and the 'Fifth Quarter.' this new program, held this part weekend at Prairie Pavilion and organized by Brian Michelson, promotes a fun and positive, alcohol/drug free environment. Admission for the event was an item to be donated to the Tracy Area Food Shelf. Close to 125 pounds was delivered to the Food Shelf. Businesses and individuals donated money and various items to be used at 'Fifth Quarter.' Michelson stated that another event is scheduled for March 23, which he promises will be even bigger and better.