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News from the week of September 7, 2005


Bobbi, Emily & Casie are best of Miss Tracy best

Bobbi Buyck topped a field of 13 Tracy Area High School seniors to claim the title of Miss Tracy Sunday.

The daughter of Lynn and Joe Buyck will receive a $1,300 scholarship to go with the Miss Tracy honor.

Emily Miller, daughter of Ade and Jim Miller, was named Miss Tracy first runner-up and will receive a $700 scholarship. Casie Miller, daughter of John and Clarice Miller, was Miss Tracy second runner-up. She will be given a $500 scholarship.

“The judges said that this was an exceptional group of candidates,” said Sandy Fultz, who was overall show director with Jesse James. “They said that they really had a difficult time deciding on the three winners.”

Stacy LaVoy, Ashlee Domine, Krista Swanson, Jackie Coulter, Amanda Olafson, Emily Minett, Cayla Caron, Brianna Schroeder, Jenna Fischer and Jillian Tholen were the other candidates.

Judging was based upon five categories: scholastic achievement/community activities, physical fitness, presence & composure, creative & performing arts, and personal interviews. Each category had equal weight in determining a winner.

Emily Miller won the presence and composure and performing arts categories, earning an additional $100 scholarship in each category.

Olafson won a $100 scholarship for topping the physical fitness routine category.

Fischer placed first in the academic/activities competition to earn a $100 scholarship.

Buyck topped the interview category to qualify for an additional $100 scholarship.

LaVoy was named the “most photogenic” contestant based upon a vote of spectators. Contestants voted Caron as the “Spirit Award” winner.

Each contestant received a $150 Alumni Scholarship.

• • •

Playing off of a “Top Secret” program scene, contestants each portrayed a secret agent in an opening number. One-by-one, candidates in trench coats, hats, and dark glasses appeared through the doors of an oversized magnifying glass to introduce themselves. Prior to their stage debut, a six-foot high Power Point portrait of each candidate was projected on the magnifying glass.

Each candidate presented a 90-second talent act before the physical fitness and presence and composure routines.

Dance routines by the 2005 Miss Tracy Royalty (Jenna Schaar, Rebecca Gervais, and Megan Meyer) and the Tracy High School Twisters, and introductions of past Miss Tracy candidates were other program highlights.

Jeremy Trulock was Master of Ceremony.

The Tracy High School gym was nearly filled to capacity with 795 tickets sold.

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Miss Tracy volunteer directors were:

JoAnn Biren, Chamber of Commerce; James and Fultz, overall program directors and talent; Vicki Nilius, opening number and fitness; James, presence & composure; Susan Werner, program & banner; James, Dona Daniels, set creation, stage & hallway decorations; Lori Bangasser, mock interviews; Darcy Carlson, judging coordinator; Colleen Schiller, royalty and Miss Tracy sponsor coordinator; Pam Peterson, scholastic achievement/activities coordinator; Elise Lanoue, alumni scholarship coordinator.


Tracy Bakery closes, new bakery efforts begin

The delectable aromas of fried nut rolls and freshly baked-bread no longer waft from the Tracy Bakery ovens at 187 Third St. this week. But efforts are underway to open a new bakery across the street.

Ray Hay, who has leased and operated the Tracy Bakery since 2000, fired up the bakery’s ovens for the last time Saturday. He plans to work for a new bakery being started by Tracy Growth and Development in the former P Plus Grocery building.

“We hope to have the new bakery open by Nov. 1,” said Deb Schenkoske, a Tracy Growth & Development board member.

The Tracy Bakery building and equipment is for sale. Owners of the property, Sue and Mike Fritz, operated a bakery at the site until 2000, when they accepted positions in the bakery department at the Hy-Vee Supermarket in Marshall. The Tracy Bakery has existed in the downtown building since the 1940s. The old bakery building and equipment, which is owned by the Fritzes, is for sale.

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Tracy Growth & Development plans to operate a full-service bakery at the new location. Sales of “made from scratch” baked goods will be offered in a front retail area. Indoor table seating is envisioned near the front retail area, where coffee and pastries will be served. In addition to in-house retail sales, the bakery hopes to develop an extensive wholesale business among area schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and convenience stores.

Efforts to remodel the P Plus building have already begun. The refurbished building will be outfitted with up-to-date bakery equipment and a walk-in cooler. Jobs have been offered to former Tracy Bakery employees, Schenkoske indicated.

Until the new bakery is open, Schenkoske said that fresh baked goods will be sold in The Etc. building beginning Monday, Sept. 12. Initially, Hay will produce bakery goods at a bakery in Sioux Center, Iowa, until the new Tracy site is ready. Eventually, the new bakery will have about eight full and part-time employees.

Tracy Growth & Development is a group of 14 local investors. Schenkoske said the group starting looking into a bakery business after hearing that Hay planned to close the bakery. She said the group feels that there is great potential for a local bakery operation if its market area can be expanded.

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Tracy Growth & Development is looking for more investors. Interested people are invited to a meeting Monday, Sept. 12, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Veterans’ Memorial Center, above the Tracy Chamber of Commerce office. Shares in Tracy Growth & Development are available for a minimum investment of $1,100.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for people to get involved in a business that is going to benefit our community.”

Shetek Sewer plan moves forward

Property owner survey shows divided opinion

The proposed Lake Shetek-area sewer project was kept alive Tuesday by a four-fifths majority vote of the Murray County Commissioners.

The commissioners passed a resolution ordering improvement of a centralized sewer for the Shetek Area Water and Sewer District. Voting in favor of the resolution were commissioners Bill Sauer, Lyle Onken, Kevin Vickerman, and Alfred Gertsema. Commissioner Robert Moline voted against the resolution.

A motion to pass the resolution was first made at the commissioners’ August 2 meeting. It was tabled at that time, so a survey could be sent to property owners affected by the proposed project.

The results of the survey showed that 262 property owners opposed the project, and 220 were in favor of the project.

“I think it’s a tough issue,” said Vickerman when Gertsema, the board chairman, put the motion back up for discussion.

Moline questioned whether there could be some flexibility on the amount assessed to property owners whose systems are already in compliance.

“I think it’s hard to nail down numbers when we don’t even have bids yet,” replied Onken.

At a July 30 public meeting, representatives from engineering firm Bolton & Menk estimated that the cost assessed to property owners would be $14,900 for the pressurized system they have designed. The engineers noted that those who are already in compliance may be able to have the option to pay a portion of that up-front and pay the rest once previous septic work has been paid for.

Gertsema said the vote Tuesday did not mean the project will definitely take place. Bids for the project would have to be approved for actual construction to begin.

“People seem to think that this is the final vote and it’s not,” he said. On the other hand, he said, “If we don’t move forward with this, it’s a dead issue.”

Vickerman said he felt many issues that were of concern to property owners had been addressed since he came onto the board.

“We came up with, I think, a pretty good plan that has the adaptability and flexibility to address those issues,” he said.

He said that while lake quality has actually improved at Lake Shetek in recent years, lake quality concerns because of septic systems could resurface in the future.

“Down the road, I think there could be a septic system problem,” he said.

Vickerman said he felt he has worked to listen to constituents on both sides of the issue, and that there seems to be a 50-50 split amongst property owners.

“What is really comes down to is a compliance issue. How many? We don’t know,” he said, adding that he wished inspections could have been done before moving forward with the project.

He said he hopes the assessments can be arranged so that those in compliance have the option of whether or not to hook up immediately, and wants to keep individual assessments at $15,000. He noted that that amount isn’t much more than property owners pay to have new septic systems installed, and that they have the added bonus of giving up the maintenance aspect to the county and sewer district.

“I think it was a good compromise,” he said.

Moline said he was still torn about whether to move forward with the project.

“What are we going to do if we vote this down?” he asked. “The responsibility will lay on you [the property owners]. The county won’t have much to do with it after that.”

He said he believes the pressurized system is a good one, and that while he would like to make everyone happy, he knows that will not happen.

Sauer said funding for projects like this will likely no longer be available in the future. Prices won’t be going down either, he added.

“We’ve got a system here that even I can live with, I think,” he said.


RESOLUTION NO. 2005-08-02-02

A Resolution Ordering Improvement of a Centralized Sewer For the Shetek Area Water and Sewer District

WHEREAS, A motion of the County Board passed the 5th day of July 2005 fixed a date for a County Board hearing on the proposed construction of a central sewer system in the Shetek Area Water and Sewer District, and

WHEREAS, Ten (10) days’ mailed notice and two (2) weeks’ published notice of the hearing was given, and the hearing was held thereon on the 30th day of July 2005 at which all persons desiring to be heard were given an opportunity to be heard thereon.


Such improvement is necessary, cost-effective, and feasible as detailed in the feasibility report and the improvement is hereby ordered.

Bolton & Menk are hereby designated as the engineers for this improvement.

Plans and specifications prepared by Bolton & Menk, engineers for such improvement, are hereby approved and shall be filed with the County Board.

The County declares its official intent to reimburse itself for the costs of the improvement from the proceeds of the tax-exempt bond.


Red Cross ramps up hurricane relief effort

The television and newspaper images don’t begin to describe the horror and devastation left in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, says Colleen Grothem, executive director of the Lyon and Lincoln Red Cross chapters.

“What is on the TV and what is in the newspapers is the mild version,” she said. “Horrendous is how the conditions are being described to us (the Red Cross).”

The Red Cross’s relief effort in the Gulf Coast region, especially in New Orleans, Grothem said, is the organization’s largest ever. Local people are joining in the national effort. As of Saturday, more than $3,000 had been given to the disaster relief effort in Lyon and Lincoln counties. Several trained volunteers had departed for the stricken Gulf Coast region, and more are expected to follow.

“This is not going to be over quickly,” Grothem said.

The hurricane, which caused catastrophic flooding in New Orleans, has dominated national news since the vast storm system struck the Gulf Coast between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle early last week. Damage estimates are in the tens of billions, and an unknown number of people have perished.

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What can Southwest Minnesotans do to help?

“Cash donations are the best thing,” Grothem said. Money can be used to provide needed emergency supplies and shelter near the disaster scene. The Red Cross also gives money to hurricane victims once they leave emergency shelters. Many storm victims, she said, have lost almost all their material possessions, and many don’t have insurance.

Some people, Grothem said, have asked why the Red Cross isn’t collecting material possessions (clothes, food, medical supplies, etc) for the hurricane victims.

“There are transportation and distribution issues involved with collecting goods, whereas monetary donations can be used for whatever is needed at any time,” Grothem explained.

The Red Cross is also seeking volunteers to help with relief efforts. But, Grothem stressed, on-the-scene relief work isn’t for everyone because of the extreme conditions relief workers face.

Volunteers must be in good health, and have no medical conditions. Relief workers must be willing to commit to three weeks of service in extreme conditions, work long hours, and be mentally prepared to face horrific conditions.

“There is a dark side to this,” Grothem said. “There are horrors down there people are going to have to deal with for a long time. This is not going be fun. It is going to be 24-7.”

All Red Cross volunteers receive training, she said. Priority will be given to volunteers with previous Red Cross disaster training and people with special skills. General volunteers, she said, would be sent last.

As of Saturday, the Red Cross was operating 149 shelters serving about 93,000 people. She noted that the Red Cross’s efforts are focused on feeding and sheltering disaster victims, not search and rescue missions.

Grothem noted that numerous fund-raising efforts for the Red Cross have been started this past week for hurricane relief.

Checks or money orders for Red Cross Hurricane Katrina relief efforts can be sent to the Lyon/Lincoln Red Cross chapter at 215 W College Drive, Marshall, MN. 56258. Checks should be made payable to the “American Red Cross” with the notation “Hurricane” on the bottom. Donations can be made in person at the same address.

Hurricane relief donations can also be made on line at<