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News from the week of January 29, 2003

Holm gets vote confidence for Tracy cemetery work

Supervision and maintenance of the Tracy City Cemetery will remain a two-man job.

On a 6-1 vote, council members rejected a proposal to have Thad Lessman become both the cemetery superintendent and groundskeeper. Since 1998, Bernie Holm has been the superintendent and Lessman has been the caretaker.

Lessman offered to assume the duties of cemetery superintendent for $3,000 less than the $6,000 now being paid Holm. But, most council members felt Holm was doing an excellent job and should continue.

"I see no reason to switch," said Mike Fraser.

Russ Stobb, another councilman, said that the appearance of the cemetery was a frequent source of public complaint until Holm took over as superintendent in 1998. Now, Stobb said, people are complimentary about how the cemetery looks.

"He is doing a good job," Stobb said.

Byrne said that Holm does much extra work that isn't on his job description. The extra work, he said, and more than makes up for the $3,000 difference. If the city made a change, Byrne said, it was uncertain whether the extras would continue to get done at the cemetery.

Asbestos complicates school heating & cooling project

Asbestos abatement might put a kink in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning improvements planned for Tracy Public Schools.

Supt. Rick Clark told the District 417 school board Monday night that more asbestos is being encountered than was expected.

Other asbestos abatement needs to be completed in the school buildings as well.

Ideally, Dr. Clark explained, the cost for abatement will be kept under $25,000. That way, the work wouldn't have to be bid out and it wouldn't delay the Feb. 15 target date for substantial completion of the boiler installation.

Dr. Clark said he had spoken to the Department of Children, Families, and Learning, and was advised that the asbestos abatement for heating, air conditioning and ventilation improvements should be kept separate from other asbestos removal projects to keep the cost under $25,000.

Dr. Clark said that should asbestos abatement delay the project, the contractor, Hander Plumbing & Heating, would not be penalized because they would not be responsible for the delay.

Motel to become Wilder Inn

New owners plan major renovations at old Cozy Grove

New owners are planning major renovations at the former Cozy Grove Motel in Tracy.

A family partnership headed by Meredith Triviski of Lakeville bought the 26-unit motel on Jan. 16. Efforts have begun to work out the remodeling details.

"Every room will be gone over," said Roger Sax, a representative for the buyers.

The Hwy. 14 motel, which is being renamed the Wilder Inn, will remain open during construction. No completion date has been targeted, although Sax said he would like to have "as many rooms as possible" done in time for an April 11-12 sportsmen's show in Tracy.

"But the truth is, we don't know how long this is going to take. This is a new venture for us."

The former owners, JoAnne and Kelly Burridge, are staying on for a few weeks to help with the transition. The mother-daughter team has operated the Cozy Grove since 1991.

"I've enjoyed it," said JoAnne Burridge. "It's been interesting and I've met a lot of nice people." In her 12 years at the motel, she said she's encountered only two people she hasn't liked. In the motel business, she noted, getting along with people goes with the territory.

A way with words

Lorraine Mueller uses poetry in sharing rich perspective on life

By Val Scherbart Quist

One might say Loraine Schwanke Mueller was born to write.

“I've been writing all my life,” says the 82-year-old poet.

The list of writing accomplishments on Mueller's resumé is truly impressive. Since 1936, when, at the age of 15, she won an American Legion essay contest and was commissioned to write a centennial sonnet for her church, she has received countless accolades for her poetry and has had many of her poems published.

The Sanborn native's poems have appeared in several anthologies, including Prairie Poets III in 1966, Sweet Seventies Anthology in 1974, Awards Anthology in 1975, and Anthology on World Brotherhood and Peace in 1980.

The awards, both on the state and national level, that she has received are too numerous to list. She's also been listed in the “Who's Who” list of American writers, editors, and poets.

Don't forget to add composer to Mueller's lengthy list of achievements. She has composed nine Christmas carols, some hymn arrangements, and some children's songs, including “Music Box Lullaby,” which she wrote for her granddaughters. She also wrote a song with her sister Mae Dumke, which is on a record.

Mueller taught piano for seven years, has directed many choirs, and started an ecumenical choir in Sioux Falls in addition to her compositions.

Five FCCLA members qualify for state event

Tracy FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) members competed Friday at “STAR” (Students Taking Action with Recognition) events competition held in Minneota.

STAR events are competitive events in which members are recognized for achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills and occupational preparation. Event areas include applied technology, career investigation, chapter service project, chapter showcase, culinary arts, early childhood, entrepreneurship, focus on children, hospitality, illustrated talk, interpersonal communications, job interview, national programs in action, and parliamentary procedure.

Dani Thooft, Emily Baumann, JeRae Kathman, Julia Carter, Brittnee Michael, Krista Swanson, Karin Radke, Cayla Caron, Jackie Coulter, Annaleah Rollag, Kaila Jones, MaiLia Moua, and Linda Radke competed.

Caron and Coulter qualified for state competition in April with a project on baby-sitting skills.

Thooft and Baumann will advance to the state competition with their project on teenage pregnancy. The duo presented information about the consequences and ways to cope with teenage pregnancy.

Karin Radke also qualified for state competition. Her project was on chapter service, and included the "Whopper Feed" the FCCLA sponsored during parent teacher conferences. She discussed the planning process and the benefits to the group.

Gayle Myhr is the FCCLA advisor.

PE stretches in new directions

By Val Scherbart Quist

Physical education is much more than playing games these days. It's about developing skills, and forming habits for a lifetime of fitness.

Tracy Area Public Schools physical education and health teachers Bill Tauer, Brian Michelson, and Kristen Haugo-Jones have made it their priority to make sure those goals are met.

The three teachers recently gave a presentation about the K-12 health and physical education at TAPS to the District 417 school board.

They first shared the mission statement of the physical education department, which is, “It is the purpose of District 417 Area Schools to maximize each student's potential in wellness, knowledge, skills and attitudes. We believe that each student ought to assume personal responsibility for life-long fitness that promotes a healthy lifestyle.”

Six areas are addressed in the physical education curriculum. They include perceptual motor development skills; developmental movement skills; rhythm and dance; health related physical fitness; group activities, team sports, and recreational activities; and individual and dual sports and recreational activities.