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News from the week of June 7, 2000 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880


Topsoil is damp, but where's summer heat?

Dreary skies and cooler than average temperatures this past week have put a damper on area crops say local agricultural officials. However, occasional rains have boosted soil moisture contents to levels within the comfort range--for now, at least.

With the cool temperatures experienced recently, soil temperatures have dropped well below average. Soil temperatures reached into the low 50s earlier this week, hindering growth of crops.

Soil scientist Neal Eash from the Southwest Experiment Station near Lamberton explains,

“These cool temperatures in the soil will not permanently damage the plant, but will put a damper on growth for now.”

Mike McCarvel, agronomist at the University of Minnesota Extension Service in Lyon County believes the cool temperatures are impeding the recovery of damaged crops.

New owners roll up their sleeves at Dairy Queen

The Tracy Dairy Queen not only has expanded business hours, it also has new owners.

Ken and Brenda Hagert from Wanda assumed ownership of the Dairy Queen restaurant on June 2 from Craig Nisson of Pipestone. The Hagerts are excited and optimistic about their new purchase.

“We're very excited about it and looking forward to making some changes we know will be for the better,” says Brenda Hagert, a former whole-sale food distributor.

A prominent change already noticed among many customers is the extended business hours.

“We're staying open until 10 p.m. every night. That way there will be a place to get ice cream or a snack after sporting events out at the school.”

New owners hope to fill Cedar Lane trailer park

The new owners of the Cedar Lane Mobile Home Park are optimistic the park can attract new families to Tracy.

“We feel the park has potential,” said Bob O'Reilly. Other area mobile home parks, he said, are filled to capacity.

O'Reilly and Brad Maitland, both of Milaca, finalized the purchase of mobile home park from Claire and Lota Hannasch Thursday. Their goal, they said, is to run a top-quality park.

“We want the park to be an asset to the community and fill a need for affordable housing,” O'Reilly said.

Museum welcomes visitors for 16th summer

The Wheels Across the Prairie Museum has opened its doors for its 16th summer. Museum volunteers have been busy with repairs and a lengthy clean-up process in anticipation of the visitor season.

Museum curator Mary Lou Ludeman says the museum and staff are ready to present visitors with a unique and enjoyable experience. “The museum is open and everybody here is excited for another summer.”

When the museum was opened this spring, volunteers were startled to find a fine coat of ash layering many artifacts both in and outside of the museum. The ash came from a fire that burned nearby the museum last year.

Many items that were superficially cleaned for the museum's opening need to now be cleaned more thoroughly. Ludeman credits assistant curator Dorthey Pamp for much of the cleaning. “Dorthey has taken charge of the cleaning effort. She is doing an excellent job.”

Another job at the museum is the restoration of the museum's 19th century log cabin, which was moved to the museum from Lowville Township in Murray County. The roof of the cabin was re-shingled this spring, but the restoration is far from done.

St. Mary's assigned to three-parish cluster

• New pastor is coming June 28

Changes loom for St. Mary's Catholic Church in Tracy. The church will be clustering with the parish of St. Joseph in Lamberton, as well as receiving a new priest.

Bishop Raymond A. Lucker, of the Diocese of New Ulm, announced last Thursday reassignments in both church clusters and priets throughout the diocese. The appointments unite the cluster of St. Mary's in Tracy and St. Paul's in Walnut Grove with the church of St. Joseph in Lamberton.

The appointments also call for a change of priets at St. Mary's. After serving for little more than a year in Tracy, Rev. Brian W. Oestreich will be succeeded by Rev. Brian L. Mandel.

Internet connection brings taste of Hawaii to Tracy

Tracy fifth graders gained extra insight about the “Aloha State,” thanks to the generosity of a Hawaiian businessman.

The Hawaiian connection developed after Russ Roots struck up a chance e-mail correspondence with Craig Walsh, president of The Poi Company of Honolulu, Oahu. Roots were trolling the Internet, hoping to find some inexpensive samples to use in teaching a unit on Hawaii.

Specifically, he wanted to round up some “poi,” a starchy root vegetable that is a traditional Hawaiian food.

Roots discovered the web site for The Poi Company and began exchanging e-mails with Walsh. Walsh responded by shipping the class not only a heaping sampling of poi, but three taro plants, and six Maui onions. Everything—shipping, plants and poi—was free of charge to the school.

“He's really been nice. I didn't expect all of this,” said Roots. The veteran teacher said he hadn't realized initially that he was dealing with the company president.