banner.gif (15051 bytes)

News from the week of November 27, 2002

Shetek-area clinic studied for Slayton, Westbrook, Tracy

Central facility is one of several ideas for area outreach services

Would a Tracy resident be willing to drive to a Slayton clinic to see a cardiologist?

Would someone from Slayton take a trip to Tracy to visit an orthopedic specialist?

Would Tracy and Slayton area people schedule an appointment with a neurologist located in Westbrook?

Or would people from all three communities be willing to drive to a central clinic—maybe in the Lake Shetek/Currie area—in order to visit medical specialists?

There were more hypothetical questions than answers last week, as Tracy Area Medical Services board members discussed what the future might hold for area outpatient health-care services. No consensus was reached, except that there is a need for more study and discussion.

Several different models for “regionalizing” outreach health-care services in the Tracy, Slayton, and Westbrook areas are being studied. Each community now has a hospital and clinic managed by Sioux Valley Health Systems, and already shares some staff and programs.

The construction of a centrally-located outreach clinic to serve all three communities is one idea under consideration. Under that proposal, each town would continue to operate their own hospital and emergency room, in addition to the centrally located outreach clinic.

Another model being studied would upgrade outreach facilities in each community, with each center developing its own specialties. Area patients could then travel to the center that provides their needed service. Money would have to be spent to upgrade existing outreach facilities in each town.

In either scenario, physicians would see patients at a single location, rather than travel from town to town. Uniform medical records and billing systems would be maintained within the system.

School cooling okayed

Heating & cooling projects for two schools will total $1.3 million

The Tracy Area Public Schools board of education has decided to move forward with all proposed options in a heating and cooling project at the high school and elementary school.

At the board's Oct. 7 meeting, the board accepted a base bid from Hander Plumbing and Heating for $496,250. This portion of the bid included boilers in both schools.

An ad hoc HVAC committee met on Oct. 31 to discuss the remaining options. Present at the meeting were board members Garry Hippe, and Mike Carlson, Dr. Clark, custodian Jo Pyle, and engineer Norm Dewit.

Alternate 1 includes a new chiller system and VAV controls. The total cost for Alternate 1 is $523,990. the other two alternatives include replacing remaining control valves, installation of motorized dampers, replacing four cabinet unit heaters, and duct system cleaning. These two alternatives will cost an additional $314,185.

Hippe told the board that it was the committee's recommendation to move forward with all of the options.

No school cuts on horizon

Supt. Rick Clark told Tracy school board members Monday that no cuts in staffing are recommended for the next school year. He told the board that no positions will have to be cut with the current fund balance.

“It's very good news,” he said.

He added that while current staff will be maintained, staffing patterns may still be shifted depending on need.

Clark resignation accepted

The board accepted the resignation of Dr. Clark effective June 30, 2003. The June date marks the end of his contract with the district.

Board chairman Dan Zimansky thanked Dr. Clark for the many accomplishments that have been accomplished during his tenure at the school, and said his service is much appreciated.

Dr. Clark had sent school board members his letter of resignation on Oct. 23. But the board had not met since then to officially act on the resignation.

School play

The board approved a junior-high play for grades 7-9. Tauer said he and Principal John Rokke believe it would be best to start at the 7-9 level and build up to an all-school play over the next few years.

A school play has not been produced in four years. One applicant has been received to take on the director's position.

Basketball numbers up

High numbers in the junior high boys' basketball program has necessitated splitting one team into two. A total of 40 boys are participating in the Panther junior high program.

Salvage rights

The board agreed to maintain rights to salvage items that could be sold following completion of the school districts heating, ventilation and air conditioning project. Dr. Clark said the school could receive as much as $70,000-$90,000 from the salvaged items.

Will N. Nelson is latest Wall-of-Fame' inductee

An eight-term state legislator is the most recent member of the Tracy High School “Wall-of-Fame.”

Will N. Nelson—a legislator in the Minnesota House from 1939 until 1953—was inducted posthumously into the honor circle Thursday night. The honor was announced at District 417's annual American Education banquet.

Phil Nelson, rural Tracy; and Delores Manke, Marshall; accepted the honor on the behalf of their father.

“In his lifetime of public service, our father probably had his share of honors,” Phil Nelson said. “However, I am quite sure this is the one he would have liked the best. From the bottom of our hearts, the Nelson family thanks you for inducting our father into the Tracy High School Wall of Fame.”

Will N. Nelson was Tracy High School's class valedictorian in 1916. He returned home to farm with his parents north of Tracy after earning a degree from the University of Minnesota. He took over the management of the Nelson farm operation in 1931.

“Bill” Nelson, as he was commonly known, developed a widespread reputation for progressive farming methods. In the 1920s, he became one of the first area farmers to grow hybrid corn and was actively involved in cross-pollination work. In 1924, the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association honored Nelson as a “Corn King” for his development of new varieties. In 1932, Nelson received a “premier seed grower” from the Northwest Crop Improvement Association and the University of Minnesota.

Ambulance service earns advanced certification

The Tracy Ambulance Service has fulfilled the requirements to receive an Advanced Life Support license from the State of Minnesota.

The license was officially granted on Nov. 4, said Tracy Ambulance Service President Charlie DeSchepper. “With this Advanced Life Support license, the Tracy Ambulance will be able to provide advanced emergency care to critical patients that will result in advanced life-saving efforts at the time of need,” he said.

The license means that a paramedic will be available to provide certain medications and IV fluids at the emergency scene. It will also allow the Tracy Ambulance Service to provide advanced care to surrounding ambulance services with ambulance intercepts for special situations requiring advanced care, DeSchepper explained.

He said the ALS license is a joint venture with Tracy Area Medical Services.

“It's a joint venture together to afford a paramedic for the community,” he said. “If it wasn't for that, we couldn't afford to do it on our own.” DeSchepper said hospital Administrator Dan Reiner and Dr. Javed Fazal were key players in getting the license.

Renee Rosenberg, who is a lab technician at the hospital, will serve as the paramedic for Tracy Ambulance Service. DeSchepper said Rosenberg will continue to work as a lab technician at the hospital and as a paramedic when there is an ALS call.

`T-Tommy's' revives historic Currie building

Grand opening held this week.

T-Tommy's Mill Street Grill in Currie celebrated its grand opening Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week. The business has been open for about a month.

“It's exceeding all the expectations of what I thought it would be like,” said owner Tom Buesing. Buesing said weekends have brought packed houses to the 1880s vintage building. “Business has been quite a bit busier than I anticipated,” Buesing said.

The restaurant's décor, done by Buesing's wife, Tammy, and local decorator Sue Tutt, fits the building's personality well, and has gotten many compliments, he said.

One major accent is an 1890s model Brunswick bar constructed in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, that was purchased in Minneapolis. Buesing and Joe Schreier, who did the construction work on the building, picked up the bar and brought it back to Currie in 10 pieces. “He (Schreier) brought it back to life in his shop,” Buesing said.

The T-Tommy's menu is working well, he said. “We're keeping prices reasonable,” said Buesing. Lower prices are possible, in part, he said, by only serving one side dish with each meal. Sides include: garlic mashed potatoes, baked beans, saucy apples, and campfire cabbage. Another favorite is the Neil Currie special—beef sirloin tips in gravy served over bow-tie pasta.

Meals are preceded with homemade chips and black bean salsa, a T-Tommy's specialty. Four different desserts are offered.

For the everyday appetite, the Mill Street Grill also offers burgers and other basic sandwiches. “We wanted to offer most of the normal foods that people in Southwestern Minnesota want, yet we wanted to have some different things, too.”