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News from the week of February 28, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Bank merger looms

Tracy State Bank to become Minnwest Bank South

If all goes as expected, Tracy State Bank will have a different name this spring.

Announcement was made Tuesday of a planned merger of Tracy State Bank and Minnesota Bank South of Slayton. The combined bank will be named Minnwest Bank South and will operate offices in Tracy, Slayton, Lake Wilson and Waseca.

The merger, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed sometime in May.

Both banks already operate under the same ownership, being wholly-owned subsidiaries of Minnwest Corporation, a Minnesota bank holding company with assets in excess of $745 million.

The merged bank will have assets in excess of $180 million dollars, placing it among the 50 largest banks in Minnesota. Tracy State Bank has assets of about $85 million.

Ron Thompson, city water plant operator, dies unexpectedly

Ron Thompson, longtime City of Tracy water and wastewater manager, died suddenly early Monday afternoon of an apparent heart attack.

“We're all in shock,” said City Administrator Audrey Koopman on Tuesday morning. “He is going to be greatly missed.”

Thompson was a city employee for 36 years, joining the Tracy utility department on Sept. 1, 1965.

“In all the years that I've known him, I can recall him taking only four or five days of sick leave. When he was supposed to be at work, that's where he was,” the city administrator said.

Thompson worked at the Tracy water treatment plant as usual Monday morning. After going home for lunch, he told his wife, Shirley, that he didn't feel well. She drove him to the Tracy Area Hospital where he died.

TAMS gets $60,000 grant

Tracy Area Medical Services has been awarded a $60,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Health.

The grant, given through the Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Program, will be used to purchase new anesthesia and laboratory equipment.

Valerie Sobrack, TAMS community relations spokesman, said competition for the grant was extremely competitive. The Department of Health fielded over $9 million in grant requests, but had only $2.8 million to award.

“We feel extremely fortunate to have been awarded this grant.”

The purpose of the grant program is to assist small rural hospitals modernize their equipment and facilities.

Dave Mix is remembered

Community leader ran for Minnesota legislature in `92

David Mix didn't demand respect, said long-time friend Les Onken.

“He was the kind of person who commanded respect,” said Onken. “The kids in our family and Dave and Vivian's kids were all about the same age, so we did a lot of things together. But to my kids, he was always `Mr. Mix,' never `Dave.' He didn't ask them to call him that. That was just the kind of respect my kids felt for him.”

Onken and other friends gathered this week to say goodbye to Mix, a retired businessman and long-time community leader who died unexpectedly last week.

Mix, 71, was golfing in San Marcos, Texas last Tuesday when he was stricken by a heart attack. Although he was rushed on a golf cart to a nearby clubhouse, where he received immediate medical attention from trained medical personnel, efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

Happy trails?

Redwood-Murray-Pipestone multi-use trail is discussed

Is a multi-use recreational trail network on the horizon for Southwest Minnesota?

No one knows for sure. But a proposed trail linking Redwood, Murray and Pipestone counties was discussed at a Monday night meeting in Pipestone.

The gathering was the first of three meetings sponsored by the Southwest Minnesota Multi-Use Trail Development Advisory Board.

The goal, explained Advisory Board Chair Mick Myers, is to gather public opinion. User groups are invited to make suggestions about what they want in a multi-use trail.

He said the idea for a multi-use trail system evolved through conversations about how to bring visitors to the area.

Speech team prepares to showcase talents March 8

Tracy freshmen Erin McCoy and Kim Lenertz are engaged in a heated argument.

But they're not really mad at each other: they're practicing.

McCoy and Lenertz are two of 69 students in the extra-curricular speech program at Tracy Area High School this winter.

Over the past two years, the TAHS speech program has grown dramatically. Two years ago, 12 students participated in speech.

Last year, the program grew to 35 participants and won a Sub-Section championship. For the first time in memory, a Tracy student qualified for the state speech tournament.

This year, the program expanded to include 18 sixth graders.

Next week, the public has a chance to learn about the speech program first-hand. A “Parents' Night Showcase” planned for Thursday, March 8 at 7 p.m.

"There seems to be a lot of interest in the community," said Coach Steve Jones.

Tracy hosts junior high speech festival

The Tracy area High School speech team hosted the first-ever Panther Junior High Invitational Speech Tournament, February 20. Over 200 competitors from 16 schools in grades 6-9 traveled to Tracy for the afternoon competition.Luverne won the team championship with TMB and Springfield tied for second with 37 points each.