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News from the week of January 30, 2002 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Outdoor graduation planned at TAHS

For the first time in nearly six decades, an outdoor commencement ceremony is being planned for Tracy Area High School.

Monday night, Tracy school board members gave their blessings to the Class of 2002 to plan an outdoor graduation ceremony in May.

Megan Schons and Kim Lanoue, senior class co-presidents, told board members that their class wants to have its graduation ceremony at the high school's football stadium. The students will papy for the rental of sound equipment.

Attendees at the ceremony will sit in the stadium's bleachers, which are handicapped accessible.

In case of bad weather, the graduation ceremony could be moved into the school gymnasium, where commencement is traditionally held. Schons and Lanoue told the board that the class would decide by 9 a.m. the morning of commencement whether the ceremony will have to be held indoors.

It was the consensus of the board members that seniors should go ahead with their plans for the outdoor graduation.

Commencement is scheduled Sunday, May 26.

Friday is last day to apply for school board

Applications are still being accepted for the vacant school board position on the Tracy Area Public Schools board of education. Letters of interest must be received prior to Friday, Feb. 1.

Supt. Rick Clark reported to the board Monday that one application had been received, from Peggy Zwach.

The board plans to interview candidates at public meeting before making a decision. The appointment will be for a two-year period, filling out the unexpired term of Randy Lancaster. Lancaster resigned in late December, after accepting a job in the Twin Cities area.

The board is expected to make their appointment sometime in February.

• Dr. Clark and Activities Director Bill Tauer updated the board on the possibility of joining the Little Sioux Conference for football.

Clark told the board that the TMB Joint Powers Committee discussed the matter at length and had no objections. The only concern of the TMB Joint Powers Committee and administration was that the 212 Conference could give Tracy an ultimatum to stay in football, or take all sports out of the conference. Should this happen, it is the committee's recommendation that all Panther sports remain in the 212.

It was also asked what would happen to other Panther sports should the 212 Conference decide to dissolve.

The board agreed that, with the approval of the TMB Joint Powers Committee, TMB should continue in discussions with the Little Sioux and 212 conferences. Tauer will be meeting with the two conferences over the next two weeks.

Tootsie hopefuls preen for big event

Hang on to your lipstick. Practices are underway for a Tracy Miss Tootsie contest.

Contestants in the Saturday, Feb. 16 affair are (drum roll, please):

• Scott LaVoy;

• Jeremy Trulock;

• Joe Kemp;

• Ben Ludeman;

• George Mason;

• Keith Hoffbeck;

• Dr. Brandon Ulstad;

• George Hebig;

• Steve Jones;

• Keith Rayman.

The Fine Arts Council of Tracy (FACT) is sponsoring the event.

“They are all going to be just great,” says Marge Robinson, FACT president, of the Tootsie candidates.

The spoof about women's beauty pageants will also feature several other special acts, including the singing debut of “The Cowboy Patties.” The Tracy Children's Community Choir and the band “Second Wind” are also performing.

Tickets are on sale at John's Drug, Tracy Food Pride, Minnwest Bank South, Fond Memories in Walnut Grove, Currie State Bank, Balaton Food Center, and Milroy Co-op Elevator.

FACT hopes to donate some of the proceeds to a Panther Booster Club project to purchase a new sound system for the high school gym.

Jacobson sells funeral home

New owner has facilities in Tyler, Westbrook & Redwood

The Jacobson Funeral Home has a new owner. John Jacobson announced this week that he is selling his funeral homes in Tracy and Walnut Grove to Tim Kulow of Echo. “It's time (to retire),” says Jacobson. “I've been in this business for 50 years.”

Kulow operates funeral homes in Westbrook, Tyler, and Redwood Falls.

The ownership change becomes effective Friday, Feb. 1, when the facilities will be known as the Tracy Funeral Home and the Walnut Grove Funeral Home.

The new Tracy funeral home director said he has known Jacobson for about 20 years, as the two have often provided back-up coverage for one another. The Tracy and Walnut Grove funeral homes will continue to offer 24-hour, seven days a week emergency call coverage, he said.

Nathan Stephens, a licensed funeral director in Redwood Falls, and Carol Kopel, the office manager in Tyler, assist Kulow.

The Tracy funeral home, located at 372 Third Street, will undergo some immediate remodeling, Kulow said.

Kulow said he intends to stress service to people. “The sole reason I became a funeral director was to help people.”

Hansen brothers assume leadership at Currie State

Don Hansen is the new president of Currie State Bank. He succeeds Romane Dold, who recently retired. His brother, Doug, replaces Don as vice president.

For the Hansen brothers, Currie State Bank is in their blood. Their father, J.P. Hansen, started with the bank in 1949. Their mother, Mildred, still has major ownership in the bank.

Don and Doug Hansen followed similar paths. Both grew up in Currie, and graduated from Tracy High School—Don in 1973, and Doug in 1974. They attended the same college—Bemidji State University—as well. Don graduated in 1977 and Doug in 1979.

The brothers have definite future goals.

“We're going to try to grow the business over the next 10 years,” Don said. Plans include looking into the possibility of getting into more electronic banking, and diversification into real estate lending.

The brothers are also interested in generating new business opportunities, and promoting the area. “I envision the best of both worlds,” Doug said. “We hope to put together our experience to give the best to our hometown.”

Olympic Pools crew resumes work

A work crew from Olympic Pools was back on the Tracy Aquatic Center construction site Monday.

City of Tracy officials, and other contractors, had expressed concerns recently that Olympic Pools construction workers had not been on the pool site since the third week of December. Worries were expressed that the absence of Olympic crews could cause delays for other contractors, and ultimately delay the targeted completion of the pool.

Two weeks ago, Tracy council members voted not to grant any contract extensions for the pool's completion. Construction contracts call for substantial completion of the pool by May 5, with everything finished by May 19. Substantial completion is defined as water in the pool and owner occupation of the facility.

This week, Tracy City Council members were given copies of a Jan. 11 letter written by Robert Schaffer, construction manager for USAquatics, to Olympic Pools officials. Schafer stated that it is still possible that pool construction will be completed on time. But he expressed disappointment that Olympic work crews “had missed most of the month of December and almost two weeks of fantastic weather in January.”

Council members were updated on the pool construction progress Monday.