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News from the week of September 6, 2006


Miss Tracy 2007

Elizabeth Rayman is Miss Tracy for 2007.

The daughter of Keith and Julie Rayman was selected at the Miss Tracy Scholarship pageant Sunday night. She will receive a $1,300 scholarship.

Emily Gilmore, daughter of Roger and Shirlee Gilmore, was named Miss Tracy First Runner-up. Allison Rasmussen, daughter of Vickie and the late Paul Rasmussen, is the Miss Tracy Second Runner-up. They will each receive scholarships of $700 and $500 respectively.

Gilmore won three competition categories: personal interview/community service, scholarship, and poise and appearance. She will receive a $100 scholarship for each category.

Rayman won the fitness competition, while Kaila Jones was named the creative arts presentation winner.

Contestants voted Jackie Bruss as the Spirit Award recipient. Spectators voted Rayman as “Miss Photogenic.”

Other contestants were Ann Byrne, Alicia Boyum-Lanoue, Jessica Mason, Annaleah Rollag and Rita Ryan. All contestants received a $175 Alumni Scholarship.

Also performing were 2006 Miss Tracy Bobbi Buyck, 2006 First Runner-up Emily Miller, and 2006 Second Runner-up Casie Miller, and the Panther Dance Club.

Lori Hebig and Jeremy Trulock were emcees. Jesse James, Vicki Nilius and Sandy Fultz were pageant directors.

About 700 people attended the event.


League of their own

Marben, Dolan will be honored at Twins game

By Seth Schmidt

Your attention please, ladies and gentlemen.

Now taking the field, representing the Springfield Tigers, Number 7, shortstop Art “Spider” Marben!

And representing the Milroy Yankees, Number 6, infielder Mark “Spike” Dolan!

The Minnesota Twins will honor both men at the Metrodome prior to the Twins’ game with the Detroit Tigers Sunday. Marben and Dolan are two of 20 Minnesota amateur baseball players from the 1940s and ‘50s who will be honored in pre-game ceremonies.

“Yes, it is exciting. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” says Dolan, 77, who played on six state tournament teams for the Milroy Yankees, from 1947-69.

Marben, a retired Tracy High School principal, played town baseball for both the Springfield Tigers and the Tracy Engineers. He downplays the Sunday ceremony, saying he isn’t one for publicity. “That’s ancient history.” But, the 83-year-old adds, “it will be nice to see some of my old friends. I met a lot of people years ago playing ball.”

The Twins are hosting a “Town Ball Celebration” prior to their Sept. 10 game with the Tigers. A player from each state champion amateur baseball team from 1945-60 will be invited onto the field for a 12:40 p.m. pre-game ceremony. A six-minute video tribute to the golden era of Minnesota town baseball will be shown over the Metrodome’s scoreboard screens. One of the baseball veterans will throw out the game’s first pitch.

The Twins’ pre-game ceremony coincides with a new book published by the University of Minnesota Press, The Glory Days of Minnesota Amateur Baseball. Marben and Dolan are both mentioned in the book, written by Armand Peterson and Tom Tomashek. The authors interviewed both men. Bill Bolin, Tracy historian and former Tracy Engineers player, also contributed information for the book.

“The Twins have long been interested in hosting an event celebrating the Minnesota town baseball era and its iconic players, and were pleased when we approached them,” says book publicist Heather Skinner. Town Ball, she says, “relives the rich heritage of Minnesota’s town team baseball golden era from1945 to 1960.” The book has stories about individual baseball players, hundreds of photos, and many statistics.

Groups from both Tracy and Milroy are attending the game.

'Spider' Marben wielded big bat, sticky glove

By Seth Schmidt

For years, Art Marben spoke firmly and carried a big stick as principal of Tracy High School.

Years earlier, Marben also wielded a big stick on the baseball diamond.

Marben, who stepped down as THS principal in 1985, enjoyed an illustrious amateur, semi-pro and professional baseball career prior to his 1953 arrival in Tracy.

How good was he?

Good enough to be a bona-fide major-league baseball prospect.

Good enough to play for the Minneapolis Millers, the New York Giants’ top farm team.

Good enough to be a crack player in a United States military baseball league stocked with many major league players.

Good enough to step into the batters box and face future Hall of Fame pitchers Whitey Ford and Johnny Antonnelli.

During stretches of the 1940’s and 1950’s, Marben was considered an elite player in the semi-pro Western Minny baseball league of Southwest Minnesota, a league considered stronger than some professional minor league teams of the time.

“He was the best ball player I have ever seen around here,” comments Laurie Thoma, a longtime Tracy baseball enthusiast.

Thoma remembers watching Marben play in the late 1940’s when Marben and the Springfield Tigers played Redwood Falls, Thoma’s hometown.

“You couldn’t throw a ball past Art. He was that good,” Thoma remembers.

“After attending a Springfield game, my friends and I would head for the vacant lot in our neighborhood to play ball. We would all argue over who was going to get to pretend they were Art Marben.”

“Oh, you don’t want to hear about that,” Marben smiles when asked about his baseball-playing days. “That’s ancient history now.”

A 1940 graduate of Lamberton High School, Marben attended Augsburg College. He began playing in the Western Minny League in the summer of 1941.

In contrast to today, when town baseball teams attract little fan following, baseball was immensely popular in the ‘40s and ‘50s. The Springfield Tigers once attracted 3,200 fans to a game. New Ulm regularly attracted 3,000 to 4,000 fans.

“It was a different era then,” Marben said. “There weren’t as many other leisure-time activities for people to do then. Going to the baseball game was a big thing.”

Rivalries among teams were intense. So was the competition for talent. Thoma remembers that it was not uncommon for teams to recruit players with salaries. The competition brought in many former and future major-league players into the circuit.

Marben played in the league during the summers of 1941 and 1942, and attended Augsburg until enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. Oct. 28, 1942. On July 1, 1943, Marben was called up to active duty. Eventually, he would lead a Marine rifle platoon in the Pacific theater of World War II. His baseball playing days were over until he was discharged from the Marines July 1, 1946.

Prior active duty in 1943, Marben played for three weeks with the Minneapolis Millers, then the Triple-A farm club for the New York Giants.

The Giants tried to sign him to a contract. But Marben balked at the idea of committing himself to professional baseball following the war.

“There were other things I wanted to do. After three years in the service, I didn’t want to tie myself up later to playing baseball.”

Even though he spurned the Minneapolis Millers in 1943, Marben had another chance at a baseball contract after his military discharge in 1946.

“Park Carroll, general manager for the Yankees Triple A team in Kansas City wanted me to try out for their team. But I probably would have been sent down to Class A ball on the West Coast. I had already been gone for three years and I didn’t feel like going away again. Of course, I was a little older then too, and I didn’t know if I wanted to battle my way back up.”

The Marine lieutenant finished up at Augsburg in the spring of 1947, then accepted a teaching job in his hometown of Lamberton, where he resumed playing for the Springfield Tigers in the Western Minny.

In those days, Marben remembers many professional players were lured to semi-pro leagues like the Western Minny because of higher salaries.

“There were players who jumped the Western League team in Sioux City to play in the Western Minny because they could make a lot more money,” Marben remembers. A friend of his in the minors, Lefty Johnson, was making only $175 a month in the minors at that time.

More than a few major leaguers in their prime found their way into the Western Minny, too. In the 1940’s, Marben explained, because of low pay in the major leagues, some players went to play in the Mexican League, where salaries were better. But if they did, the major leaguers had to sit out a year before being accepted back into the majors. Sometimes the major leaguers hitched on with a semi-pro team during their sitout year. Sometimes, they formed traveling teams and barnstormed across the team playing local town teams.

One of the best games he ever played in, Marben recalled, was with the Springfield Tigers against a major league traveling team led by Max Lanier. “We lost 4-3, but it was a heckuva game to watch.”

Sometimes, high salaries for outside talent were too much for local teams to bear, even with high fan attendance.

“Because of operating costs, teams would drop out of the league every year, but there were always new ones to take their place, eager to bring exciting semi-pro baseball to their community,” Thoma said. “Teams like Gibbon, Fairfax, Winthrop, St. James, Fairmont and others would drop out and be replaced by Redwood Falls and Marshall and in its final years, Litchfield, Willmar and Benson.

Thoma remembers that Springfield and New Ulm dominated the league by using mostly home-grown Minnesota talent.

Marben, regarded as the best defensive player in the league, was the Tigers’ shortstop, Thoma recalled. Other Tiger players included: Eddie Albertson, Al Gisvold, Warren Potter and Bassie Wagner.

Hank Nicklasson and Stan Wilfahrt were the mainstays of the New Ulm Brewers.

In 1950, Springfield had help from a former Chicago Cub, Hy Vandenberg, as the Tigers won the league title with a perfect 13-0 record.

Other major leaguers who played in the league included: Otey Clark, Boston Red Sox; Les Munns, former Brooklyn Dodger; Red Hellendrung, Chicago Cubs; Rudy York, homerun slugger for the Tigers; former Gopher baseball coach Dick Siebert, who played with Philadelphia; Howie Schultz, former Dodger first sacker; Paul Giel, Gopher athletic director and Giant player; Jerry Kindall, former Twin and Cub infielder.

“Players were being shuttled in and out of the league so fast for tryouts, you couldn’t keep up with the rosters,” Thoma said. “Everyone was trying to get the best players possible to compete with Springfield and New Ulm,” Thoma said.

Marben returned to graduate school in the Twin Cities in 1949. During that school year, he received a surprise in the mail from Uncle Sam.

“I came home and there on a penny post card were orders for me to report for active duty (in the Marines). Carmen looked at me and said someone must be trying to play a joke on me. I said this isn’t any joke, I’m being called up.”

Because of the Korean War, Marben was sent to a Marine training facility at Quantico, Virginia.

While at the facility, Marben played on the Quantico Marines baseball team. The team played a 70-game schedule against U.S. service teams all across the country. Competition among the military teams was keen. The military rosters were stocked with many major league baseball players drafted into the service.

Top military brass would transfer, demote and promote players among teams like a modern day big-league general manager, because of intense competition to win.

Servicemen tried hard to make the teams, Marben said, partially because they knew if they were on a unit’s baseball or football team, they wouldn’t be sent to the front in Korea.

That year, “Spider” Marben, as he was called by his teammates, was voted the outstanding player in the Virginia semi-pro baseball tournament, batting .412.

“We beat Whitey Ford, the New York Yankee great, 4-3,” Marben recalled. “But we lost the 1951 championship game to the 43rd Division, 4-1 to Detroit Tiger Pitcher Art Houtteman.”

For the season, Marben led the league in hitting with a .413 average

“I faced so many great pitchers, who later pitched in the majors,” Marten said. “But I think the best pitcher I batted against was a lefthander from Parris Island named Dick Tomanek. He nearly took my head off with a fast ball that was just a blurr.

“He fanned 18 of us, but his major league days were cut down. Injuries knocked him out of his chance.”

Marben recalled another occasion when he faced the future Hall of Famer Johnny Antonnelli in a game at Fort Meyers. The catcher was Sam Calderon of the New York Giants.

“He called every pitch for me,” Marben laughed about Calderon. “He’d sit back there and tell me, ‘Art, how would you like a fast ball? So I layed back for the fast ball, and I still missed.”

The third pitch was a change up, but it was so far outside Marben couldn’t reach it. With the count, 1-2, Calderon told Marben to get ready for a curve, but the Spider struck out anyway.

In 1952, Marben was the Quantico infield coach, in addition to being a player. A member of that team was Hal Naragon, first-string catcher for the Cleveland Indians, who also later played for the Minnesota Twins.

At the time of his discharge from the military on June 13, 1952, Marben was batting .375 and his team had won 16 straight games. Two days later, Marben rejoined the Springfield Tigers.

During his tenure in Springfield, the Tigers won seven pennants and four play-offs in 12 years. Marben won the Western Minny batting title two times, and was named the best defensive player several times. Other honors include being named to the Hall of Fame at Augsburg College and most valuable player for Quantico.

“There are so many memories, so many friends, so many different faces and places, it’s hard to keep track of everyone,” Marben said. “But in trips to Arizona in the winter, Carmen and I get to see a lot of former teammates and friends I played against.”

Looking back, Marben says he has no regrets about his decision to make education his career.

“Sure, you think about it sometimes, you wonder what would have happened (if he had tried to make it as a major league player). In life you have to make certain decisions and that is the way it is.

“After I got out of college I had a great job offer to go to work for Shell Oil. But I would have had to go to Venezuela. Well, I’d just been gone for three years in the service and I wanted to be close to home for awhile.

“I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done. I wanted to go into education and that’s what I did.”

Reprinted from the Tracy Headlight-Herald, 1988

Play Ball!

Dolans seldom missed chanceto swing bat

By Seth Schmidt

No matter how many chores there were on the Dolan farm, John Dolan always took time to play baseball with his kids.

“My dad was a great baseball man,” reflects Mark “Spike” Dolan. “It didn’t matter how much work we. Dad would take time to pitch batting practice almost every day. We had a backstop built in a pasture. Sometimes we had to get the cows out of the way.”

With 13 Dolan siblings, (7 boys and 6 girls), there were always enough people around for hitting or fielding practice.

“I was really fortunate to grow up with baseball,” Dolan recalls. “I was running after fly balls when I was only six or seven while my dad pitched to my older brothers.”

Six of the seven Dolan brothers played baseball. In the late 1940s, the Yankees sported an all-Dolan brothers infield. Spike was the shortstop, and Joe played third, Louis played second, and Jack was on first. A cousin, Dan Dolan, was a Yankee pitcher at that same time.

Spike Dolan’s Yankee playing career spanned three decades, beginning in 1944. During his tenure, he played in seven state amateur Class B baseball tournaments (1947, ‘48, ‘49, ‘50, ‘54, ‘55, ‘65, ‘69) and managed the team in three state tourney’s (1956, ‘65, and ‘69). He retired as a player at the age of 38.

The atmosphere at town baseball games was incredible in those days, he says. Hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people turned out to cheer for their teams.

“Baseball was really a great thing. We had big crowds and wonderful rivalries with the teams we played,” he recalls. “Everyone talked about the game coming up on Sunday afternoon, or about the game that had just been played.” Milroy initially played in the Redwood County League, which included Sanborn, Wabasso, Wanda, Milroy’s present-day baseball park, on the southern edge of town was built in the fall of with community donations and volunteer labor. The park remains a point of pride for Milroy, Dolan says.

The apex of Yankee baseball glory occurred in 1954, when Milroy won the state Class B title, and then beat Class A champion Benson for the mythical state Championship. The Yankees, piloted by Bob Zwach, rallied from a three-run deficit to win 4-3 at Madison with 4,000 people watching.

Dolan says he can still remember every inning of the game. The Yankee’s winning run scored on a suicide squeeze bunt. “That was really something.”

Now 77, he continues to follow Yankee baseball. After his retirement as a player and manager, he ran the concession stand at the park for many years. He still takes tickets at Yankee games. He rarely misses a game. His home is within foul-ball distance of the Milroy park.

He and his wife, Vickie, have two sons—Tom ad Dave—who both splayed for the Yankees. Three grandsons have played baseball. Eric Dolan, pitched in state tournaments for the Milroy Legion and the Tracy/Milroy/Balaton Panthers, played college ball at Southwest Minnesota State University. Eric continues to play for the Yankees. Tim and Derek Vanderwerf play baseball in Alexandria. “A slug of” Dolan nephews have also played for the Yankees.

• • •

How did “Spike” Dolan get his nickname?

“I’ve had that name since grade school. My brothers and sisters started calling me that. I’m not sure where it came from. One story is that I used to play with a pail full of nails. Ninety-five percent of people call me Spike.”


Townhouse plan stirs neighborhood objections

By Seth Schmidt

A proposed townhouse development near O’Brien Court faces an uncertain future because of neighborhood opposition.

The Tracy Economic Development Authority, on a divided vote Friday, agreed to sell three Union Street lots to North Star Buildings System for $24,000. North Star has drafted plans to build two, three-unit townhouse complexes on the property. North Star’s offer to buy the property, is contingent upon getting a special use permit from the City of Tracy.

However, opposition from neighborhood residents makes prospects for the special-use permit uncertain. Sunrise Drive homeowners Dave and Kathy Reese say restrictive covenants recorded for the Eastview Addition prohibit the construction of more multi-family, rental housing in the neighborhood. The Reeses told EDA members last week that they, and other Eastview homeowners, oppose the proposed townhouses on Union Street.

“The covenants are clear,” said David Reese. “The construction of multi-family housing is not permitted in this area. Eastview is zoned for single family housing. We are willing to go to court to prevent this.”

Kathy Reese said that a petition drive for the opposition of the townhouses had been launched by Eastview residents.

“We are going to fight this,” she said.

The Reeses contended that the multi-family housing units would result in lower real estate values for the Eastview Addition, and represented an attempt to put too many housing units into too small of a space. The addition of the two, three-plexes, the Reeses also said, would make existing parking traffic problems on Union worse.

To obtain a special use permit, North Star would have to make a request to the Tracy Planning Commission.

Dan Anderson, North Star president, said after the EDA’s Thursday meeting that he had not decided whether he would continue to pursue a Tracy townhouse project.

“All we are trying to do is provide some housing that is needed in the community,” he said.

The proposed townhouse site is south of O’Brien Court and the Tracy hospital. The EDA sought sealed bids on the 300x128-foot parcel of Union Street land after another potential developer, Drake Snell of rural Tracy, proposed building two, owner-occupied three-plexes on the property. Snell did not submit a bid for the Union St. lots. In a letter to the EDA, Snell indicated that he abandoned his townhouse plans at the Union St. site because of neighborhood opposition.

The EDA had gone on record supporting the construction of townhouses at the Union St. site. The body unanimously passed a resolution earlier this summer urging the city council and planning and zoning commission to support the project.

• • •

A conflicted EDA board discussed the Union St. townhouses and North Star’s offer at length last week. Sandi Rettmer proposed a motion that the EDA accept North Star $24,000 (which would have also assumed all existing assessments), but without the requested contingency that the special use permit be granted. Rettmer said that without the contingency, North Star would likely not go ahead with its offer.

“I just don’t see how we can possibly build these units (on Union Street) without amending these covenants.” Rettmer felt it would be unlikely that the planning commission and city council would grant a special use permit if there is neighborhood opposition, so she said there would be no point in accepting North Star’s conditional offer.

“All we would be doing is delaying this and passing the decision on to someone else.”

She suggested in her motion that the EDA and the city work with North Star in finding a suitable site for the townhouses elsewhere. Her motion failed on a 3-3 vote, with Rettmer, Dick Boerboom, and Bill Chukuske voting in favor, and Claire Hannasch, Chad Buysse, and Dennis Fultz voting against.

Buysse and Hannasch said that the special use permit issue is not the EDA’s responsibility. The EDA’s sole issue, they said, is whether they wish to sell the land to North Star for the offered terms. If necessary, it would be up to the planning commission and city council to make a decision on the special use permit, they said.

A motion to accept North Star’s offer as written passed on a 4-2 vote. Boerboom, Hannasch, Buysse, and Fultz voted “yes,” with Chukuske said that the EDA had “made some mistakes” in its efforts to encourage the land sales and the townhouse development. It would have been better, he said, if developers had been given the opportunity to directly present their ideas to Eastview residents early in the process.

The three Union Street lots, which are zoned R-1 for single family housing, have been for sale since the mid-1990s. Several years ago, hospital leaders took out a purchase option on the property in case the hospital campus ever expanded to the south. Nothing ever came of those ideas. Except for the townhouse ideas that surfaced from Snell and North Star this summer, no other interest has ever been expressed for the Union St. lots.


Round 2 for grants?

Sept. 19 meeting set for owners

By Seth Schmidt


Interested in getting a grant and/or a low-interest loan to help upgrade your Tracy home, commercial building or apartment house in Tracy?

You are invited to attend one of two informational meetings at Tracy City Hall, Tuesday Sept. 19.

Rental and commercial property owners are invited to a 6 p.m. meeting in city council chambers. A 7 p.m. gathering is planned for single-family homeowners.

The City of Tracy is applying for a new Small Cities grant from the Minnesota Department of Economic Development. If the effort is successful, state money would be available as early as next year to help improve Tracy homes, apartments and commercial buildings. The grant would be Tracy’s second. The City of Tracy was awarded a $934,750 Small Cities grant in 2003. Over a three-year period, money from the Small Cities program helped rehabilitate 25 owner-occupied houses, 12 commercial buildings and 15 apartment units.

Property owners are invited to the Sept. 19 meetings to get more information about the grant program.

The Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, headquartered in Slayton, is preparing the Tracy grant application. Janet Schaeffer of the housing partnership will lead the Sept. 19 meetings.

Beginning Sept. 20, Southwest Minnesota Housing will distribute a survey in Tracy to further gauge interest in a new grant program. Tracy civic groups will assist in distributing the survey. Property owners have until Sept. 27 to return the surveys.

According to Robert Gervais, Tracy community development director, people who return surveys by the Sept. 27 will have priority if the grant application is successful.


Special financing

The Small Cities program offers financing to improve housing, commercial buildings, and rental units. In some cases, portions of the money does not have to be repaid by the property owner.

The proposed program offers:

• Owner-occupied homes—0% deferred loans for housing improvements. No monthly payments are required for ten years, and the loan is forgiven if ownership doesn’t change. Applicants must fall within income guidelines. Eligible repairs include roofing, foundations, siding, windows, doors, heating, electrical and plumbing.

• Rental property—Sixty percent of improvements can be funded with a 0% deferred loan. The remaining 40% must be owner financed. No monthly payment is required for five years, and the loan can eventually be forgiven, if there is no change of ownership and the property stays in compliance. There are no income restrictions for the property owner, but apartments must be rented to people who fit low to moderate-income guidelines.

• Commercial property—50% of rehabilitation costs can be financed with a deferred loan and low-interest loan. The remaining 50% must be owner financed. Eligible repairs include exterior renovations, structural , mechanical, electrical, windows, doors, handicapped accessibility, awnings, and energy improvements.


Target area

To qualify for the new grant program, buildings must be located within a designated target area.

The residential target zone is everything west of Center Street, plus six additional blocks bounded by Elm Street on the north, Second Street East on the east, and Morgan St. East on the south.

The commercial target area zeros in on Downtown Tracy. The commercial target area is bounded roughly by Fourth, Rowland, Second, and South streets.

The Southwest Minnesota Housing, a Slayton based agency that is helping prepare Tracy’s grant application, and the Tracy Planning Commission developed the proposed target areas. The target area was set with the goal of maximizing the numbers of properties that could be included, while still giving the application a reasonable chance of getting approved.

According to Gervais, the commercial target area excludes Hwy. 14 because highway businesses don’t meet the program’s definition for being “blighted.” Residential neighborhoods in east Tracy were omitted from the target area, Gervais said, because those houses are generally newer and in good condition. Targeting certain areas of the city, he said, improves the chances that Tracy’s application will receive funding.

The target area for the 2003-05 Small Cities program was much smaller. The original 2003 boundaries were Fifth, Rowland, Center, and South streets. The target area for residential projects was later expanded.


Box Car Days is 'wonderful'

By Valerie Scherbart Quist

Mother Nature threatened to rain on Tracy’s Box Car Days festivities. But despite the possibilities of rain in the weather forecast, blue skies prevailed Sunday and Monday. Overcast skies and sprinkles threatened festivities early Saturday.

“We had a wonderful Box Car Days,” said Louise Noomen, interim Tracy Chamber of Commerce manager. As of Tuesday morning, Noomen said that she had not compiled all revenues and expenses. But she said “the revenues look good” and it was certain that Box Car Days would have a positive bottom line for the Chamber.

Noomen said that attendance on the Midway, at the Monday parade and in the Chamber beer tent were “at least as good as or better” than last year. She said she had heard many positive comments about the Box Car Days parade.

The Minnesota Extreme Bull Riding Tour competition was a big draw Saturday, with a crowd of 700 to 750. The bull riding event has already been booked to return to the 2007 Box Car Days.

“We were really happy with the turnout,” said Jeremy Trulock, who helped organize the bull riding.

Old-time farming demonstrations at the Wheels Across the Prairie Museum provided another new wrinkle for Box Car Days. Ray Randall, who coordinated the demonstrations, was pleased with the turnout. Attendance was especially heavy Monday afternoon following the parade, when the museum grounds were filled with people looking at restored antique tractors, museum displays, and the farming demonstrations. Oat threshing and planting corn were among the demonstrations.

A Star Spangled salute to American servicemen zoomed across the horizon at the Tracy Airport. World War II era planes piloted by Glen and David Smith flew over a Tracy American Legion color guard as the Tracy Community Band played first the “Star Spangled Banner” and then “God Bless America.”

The Miss Tracy scholarship pageant attracted 700 people Sunday night. Elizabeth Rayman was crowned Miss Tracy, with Emily Gilmore named first-runner up, and Allison Rasmussen was second runner-up The three winners qualified for scholarships of $1,300, $700, and $500 respectively.

Gilmore won three of the five competition categories: scholastic achievement/community service; presence and composure; and panel evaluation. Rayman was the fitness competition winner, and Kaila Jones was the talent category winner. All ten Miss Tracy constants rode in the Box Car Days parade Monday.

Crisp temperatures Sunday morning couldn’t cool the enthusiasm of 15 teams in a mud volleyball tournament. Thirteen teams participated in a two-day softball tourney.

The Tracy Spring Sportsmen’s Show committee topped a Chamber float contest in the Monday parade. An entry from the Pelican Pontoon Pussy Cats was second. The Tracy Alliance Church earned third-place.

Dennis Norstegaard was the winner of $95 in a Chamber-sponsored pigeon race. Eric Squires won $55, while Charlie Swenson received $40. The contest “auctioned off” the services of 13 homing pigeons from Watertown, S.D. The pigeons that returned to to their home roosts first earned prize money for their bidder.


'07 completion eyed for Shetek sewer

By Valerie Scherbart Quist

Construction is moving ahead smoothly on construction of the Lake Shetek-area centralized sewer project.

As of early this week, construction work on the collection ponds was 90 percent complete. It is hoped that testing will take place on those soon, said Murray County Water Resources Director Chris Hansen.

The main collection pipes are 70 percent complete and the lateral lines connecting the main lines to the houses are 30 percent complete.

Hansen said it is anticipated that the collection ponds, main lines, and most of the lateral lines will be completed this fall so that work can begin on the grinder stations in the spring. Once the grinder stations are completed, the system will be ready to go online.

Hansen said the project is right on track and progress has been going smoothly.

“Everyone has been really happy with the work the contractors have done so far,” he said.

There has been very little disruption to date for property owners, he added. However, there will be more disruption once work begins on the grinder stations in the spring.

It is anticipated that the project, which involves construction of a pressurized centralized sewer system around Lake Shetek, Lake Sarah, and Bloody Lake, will be completed in the summer of 2007. Bonestroo & Associates is the engineer for the project. Dunnick Bros. Construction of Prinsburg is the project contractor.