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News from the week of April 26, 2000 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880


Tracy prepares for the unthinkable

Authorities review new emergency response plan

"This plan isn't cast in stone," stressed Tracy Police Chief Bryan Hillger, referring to the stack of papers in his hand.

With that caveat explained, Hillger reviewed the City of Tracy's new emergency management plan. About 50 people attended the Tuesday night meeting. The Tracy Fire Department, Tracy Area Medical Services, Tracy Ambulance Service, Tracy Public Works Department, Lyon County Sheriff's Department, Lyon County Emergency Services, City of Tracy government, local schools, nursing homes and local utilities were among the agencies represented.

Work on the plan has been underway since last spring.

The emergency plan provides a framework for responding to a major disaster, such as a tornado or hazardous chemical spill. The emergency blueprint spells out responsibilities for local agencies, departments and public officials. Actions are prescribed for different scenarios.

Grants available for `long-distance learning'

Long-distance learning used to mean getting into a car and driving somewhere for a night class.

Not today.

Thanks to the Internet and the Wide World Web, a wealth of classes and educational options are just a computer click away. And now Tracy Public Schools has a grant program that might help pay the bill.

School district officials are accepting applications through May 12, for people who wish to enroll in long-distance learning opportunities. A $10,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Families and Human Services is available to help pay for course registration fees. School district students, teachers, school support staff, and District 417 residents are invited to apply.

“This is a wonderful opportunity,” explains Nan Ladehoff, Tracy Public School technology coordinator.

Airport repair estimates soar into the wild, blue yonder

Estimates to repair cracks at the Tracy Municipal Airport have taken a turn skyward.

Two weeks ago, Tracy City Council members were told that it would cost about $58,000 to repair cracks in the airport's bituminous surface with a new "microsurfacing" process. Monday night, a consulting engineer told council members that the estimated microsurfacing cost had risen to $135,000.

By comparison, the council was told that fixing the airport runway cracks using traditional materials would cost about $53,00.

Excavations begin for Tracy Lutheran addition

Tracy Lutheran Church became a construction zone Monday.

Excavation for a new addition began literally outside the church's front door. Until construction is finished, access to the church is no longer possible through the front door. Entry must be made through the church's southeast wing.

With outdoor construction underway, parishioners are preparing to move church offices to a temporary location. Beginning Monday, April 30, Tracy Lutheran's offices will be located in a duplex at 163 East Emory, just west of Sebastian Park.

Congregation members this week are packing items from church offices, the library, basement, Sunday school, and kitchen areas. Saturday is scheduled as the day to move items to the Emory Street office, and other temporary storage sites around town.

Critical Access process on track for Tracy Area Medical Services

State approval has been received for Tracy Area Medical Services to become a Critical Access Facility.

Dan Reiner, TAMS administrator, expects final approval from the Rural Health Care Administration by May 1.

TAMS will be the third hospital in Minnesota to receive a “Critical Access” designation. The change will allow TAMS to be paid more for services provided to Medicare patients. Under the new designation, Medicare services at TAMS will be billed under an “actual cost' basis. TAMS will benefit from this change, because the new Medicare reimbursements will be higher than what is now allowed by government formulas. The extra revenues for TAMS will be significant, since a high percentage of the hospital's patients are on Medicare.

Reiner feels that the Critical Access Designation will allow the hospital “to continue to offer all the services it now has and maybe something more.” Otherwise, patients will not be affected by the Critical Access designation.

Eagles plan 20th birthday party

Fraternal service club was organized in 1980

It's 20 candles this week for the Tracy Eagles Club.

Eagles Aerie 3918, organized on April 20, 1980, is celebrating its 20th anniversary Saturday.

Festivities include a 2 to 5 p.m. open house, and a 5 to 8 p.m. steak fry. The celebration culminates with karaoke beginning at 8 p.m. The public is invited.

“We'd like people to stop by and find out what the Eagles are all about,” explains Tom Anderson, a former club president, who has been the district Eagles secretary for 15 years.

The fraternal organization prides itself on its community service.

Over the past 20 years, Anderson estimates that the Eagles have given $75,000 to $80,000 to local charitable organizations. An additional $23,000—money raised through the Eagles Jimmy Durante Fund—has been given to special education programs at Tracy Public Schools. The Eagles also regularly give money to non-local charitable causes, Anderson said.