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News from the week of August 7, 2002

Milroy 100th is home run

With a hundred reasons to celebrate, Milroy became a town of a thousand smiles this weekend.

Or was it two thousand? Or three thousand? Who can say?

While no one can say for sure how many people turned out at the Milroy Centennial Friday through Sunday, the town's population of 271 multiplied many times during the celebration.

“We had a good turnout,” agreed Dale Trulock, one of the Milroy centennial committee's planning chairs.

Thousands of people lined Milroy's broad streets for a 90-minute parade Sunday afternoon. Many lingered afterward for events at the park. More than a thousand people took in a Friday night street dance. About 800 people were fed at a Friday night barbecue sponsored by the Lions. Ditto for a Sunday noon community dinner.

Tractor and truck pulls Saturday each attracted crowds in excess of 500 people. Hundreds of people milled about the Milroy School and city park. At times, Milroy's normally tranquil streets actually smacked of traffic congestion and parking woes.

About the only thing to rain on Milroy's festivities was, well, rain. Thunderstorms and heavy rain forced the cancellation of a Saturday night old-timers' baseball game and a fireworks display.

“It was too bad that we missed the game,” said Doris Zwach, another centennial committee member. “A lot of people were looking forward to that. But we had a lot of fun, no matter what. And besides, we needed the rain too.

Parade float entries invited for 75th Tracy Box Car Days

The Tracy Box Car Days Committee hopes to revive an old parade tradition this Labor Day weekend.

Area businesses and individuals are encouraged to enter homemade floats in this year's 75th anniversary Tracy Box Car Days. Elaborate, home-crafted floats were a Box Car Days tradition for many years, although numbers have been down in recent year.

The Tracy Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a contest to help generate extra interest in the floats. Prizes will be awarded, with all organizations, businesses, individuals or groups invited to enter.

For the purpose of the contest, Tracy has been divided into four quadrants. The northwest area is everything north and west of Rowland and Second streets. The northeast area is bounded by Second Street, the Airport Road, Rowland and State streets. The southwest and southeast quadrants are the neighborhoods south of Rowland and State Streets and divided by South Fourth Street.

It is hoped that rural people northwest, northeast, southeast, and southwest of Tracy will also each have a group float for the parade.

LeAnn Thooft accepts job at Southwest State

Rachel Klimes also resigns at high school

LeAnn Thooft, English instructor at Tracy Area High School, has resigned to accept a position at Southwest State University.

A Tracy faculty member for the past four years, Thooft has accepted a position as an SSU admissions counselor. She begins her new job on Monday. She submitted her letter of resignation last week.

“I wasn't looking to leave,” Thooft said Tuesday, after cleaning out her classroom. “It has been such an awesome experience teaching here.” She said she got tears in her eyes when she wrote her letter of resignation.

“It was not an easy decision to make. There is no reason that I don't want to come back. It is just that this (the SSU job) is an exciting new challenge for me and a new learning experience.”

The Board of Education is also expected to act on a letter of resignation from Rachel Klimes, high school music teacher. Klimes, an Augustana College graduate, taught vocal music in grades 7-12 last year. She has moved back to Sioux Falls, but could not be reached for comment.

Miss Tracy tea promises walk down memory lane

Are you a former Miss Tracy candidate?

If so, you are invited to a special Miss Tracy “Garden Tea” at this year's Tracy Box Car Days. The Miss Tracy Tea is scheduled Saturday, August 31, at 1:30 p.m., at Tracy Area High School.

Anyone who has been a Miss Tracy candidate during the 75-year history of Box Car Days is invited. More than 300 invitations were sent out. However, Elise Lanoue, the coordinator of this year's tea, said that addresses couldn't be found for some candidates.

“All Miss Tracy alumni are invited, even if we weren't able to send an invitation to everyone.” She stressed that all Miss Tracy participants — not just the winners —are invited.

The program includes a variety of entertainment, including dancers and musicians. A special display of Miss Tracy program memorabilia will be set up. The event will be held in either the high school cafeteria or courtyard.

For more information, people can contact the Tracy Area Chamber of Commerce at 629-4021.

Former Litchfield educator takes helm of Milroy School

New Milroy Principal Dan Deitte has a simple philosophy about education.

“Everything I do has to be what is best for children. If decisions are made that are not best for children, then you have to wonder why you are going forward with what you are doing.”

Deitte, 30, assumed duties as the Milroy School Principal on July 8. He succeeds Mike Coquyt, who accepted a principal position with the Kerkoven School District.

Deitte comes to Milroy from Litchfield, were he taught sixth grade.

He earned his undergraduate degree in education, from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, and his master's degree from St. Mary's University in Winona. He earned a six-year administrative licensure from St. Mary's University in Minneapolis.

The new principal decided to move from the classroom to administration, “because I can serve more people as a principal.” A principal is important, Deitte feels, because the principal “sets the tone for the entire school.”

His goal at Milroy is to “provide an exemplary” school program that is “up-to-date” and competitive with other surrounding schools.

He feels there are many positives in the K-8 Milroy School.

Small class sizes of between ten and 16 students, are a big advantage, he says. He also feels good about the Milroy teaching staff.

“From what I have heard, the staff is very strong f

Church of Christ welcomes new pastor Sunday

Chad Seamann is the new pastor at Church of Christ in Tracy.

Pastor Seamann and his family arrived in Tracy last week and are in the process of settling into the parsonage.

An open house to welcome the family to Tracy is set for Sunday, August 11 from 2-4 p.m. at the Church of Christ at the corner of First and Rowland streets.

The new pastor and his wife, Holly, have two children; a son, Brian, 4; and a daughter, Abbygayle, 18 months. The family comes to Tracy from North Platte, Neb. He is originally from Broken Bow, Neb.; she is from Staples, Minn.

Pastor Seamann is a May 2000 graduate of Nebraska Christian College in Norfolk, Neb. He has since served as a youth minister in North Platte. He also served three years in the Army and three years in the Navy.

“I knew in high school that I wanted to be a youth minister,” Pastor Seamann said. However, he said, it was time for a change and the call to Church of Christ was the right fit. He said Tracy felt more like home to the family than other towns they considered, and that they are happy to be closer to his wife's family.

The clergyman keeps busy between the ministry and family. He enjoys spending his spare time with his children, and is looking forward to devoting his attention full-time to the church, as opposed to his youth ministry job, which was part-time. “Now I will have the time to spend on work like I wanted to,” he said.

While the family moved to Tracy less than a week ago, Pastor Seamann said he has already had the opportunity to get to know some of the parishioners. He has been working closely with some of the church members for close to six months, and has made several trips to town.

The minister is enjoying living in Tracy so far. “So far I've really appreciated the hospitality of the town,” he said.

The minister said he's especially appreciated receiving that special, small-town attention at local businesses. “I'm looking forward to small-town life for a while.”