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News from the week of December 20, 2000 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Regional technology group aims to prime the pump' for SW Minnesota

Can technology transform the economy of Southwest Minnesota?

Yes, say supporters of a regional technology consortium.

“Technology can be a new economic engine for Southwest Minnesota,” said Frank D. Cesario, chief executive officer for Pettipiece Cesario Development Solutions of Mankato, last week in Tracy.

Cesario's firm is working with the Southwest Minnesota Foundation to promote state-of-the-art telecommunications technology in an 18-county area. The goal is both simple and complex.

Establishing Southwest Minnesota as a technology leader, Cesario said, will spark increased business growth in both new and existing companies, create a technology-savvy work force, and encourage skilled workers to move to the region.

“If we build it, will they come?” Cesario asked, referring to a high-speech telecommunications infrastructure that the region is now lacking. “There are no guarantees. But we do know that if we don't build it, they won't come.”

Black belts swell ranks at Tracy Karate School

• Mother-daughter duo are among most recent black belts

Don't expect to see Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan at the Tracy Tae Kwon Do School. But you could bump into as many as 11 black belt karate practitioners.

A mother daughter duo—Carrie and Megan Meyer—along with Dean Morin last month became the school's latest black belt recipients. They earned the belts at a Nov. 19 testing at Southwest State University in Marshall.

All three black belt qualifiers began their Tae Kwon Do about five years ago.

Megan, who is now an eighth grader, started Tae Kwon Do when she was in second grade. The daughter of instructor and third-degree black belt Jeff Meyer, said she started Tae Kwon Do partly because her dad was the teacher, but also because she thought it looked like fun.

New Panther Television Network tunes into growing technical savvy


They're everywhere in the classroom at the far end of the northwest corridor at Tracy Area High School where the fledgling cable television station PTN is located.

Students filter in and out, working on assignments for the live broadcast they produce each weekday — News at Noon. Cameras and computers are the tools of their trade. Cables are everywhere, linking the network together.

“This is the best weather I've ever done,” enthuses Jeremy Cook. As the day's weatherman, he's taped the segment outdoors amidst swirling snowflakes.

A team spirit is evident in the room as students assist one another.

As the time approaches for the student-produced broadcast, anchors for the day's show, Sarah Pamp, Kayla Hosier, and Eric Nelson, take their places. They've donned royal blue polo shirts bearing the Panther Television Network logo. Behind them a marbleized blue fabric, once a prom backdrop, is stretched across the room's bulletin board, transforming its appearance.

Sanborn farmer honored for prairie conservation efforts

Sanborn area farmer and bison rancher, David Geis, received the Environmental Education Award from the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts at its annual convention, Dec. 4, at the Radisson Hotel South in Bloomington.

The award honors an individual or organization, other than professional teachers, who have created innovative conservation education activities reaching students and variety of other audiences. Geis was nominated by Redwood Soil and Water Conservation District.

Geis has welcomed groups of school children and adults for educational tours to learn about his bison herd, wildlife and conservation practices. He has hosted groups form schools throughout Redwood County, the Twin Cities, New Ulm, Comfrey, Faribault and area charter schools for a day of exploring the farm and learning about conservation practices.

City poised to assume costs for ditch systems within city

The Tracy City Council recently passed a resolution for the city to assume the costs and repairs of Lyon County Ditch 36 and Judicial Ditches 10 and 23.

The intent of the resolution is to treat property owners served by the ditch systems more equitably in the assessment of drainage costs.

In the past, Tracy real estate drained by a county system has been assessed by Lyon County. City users of the county system were also required to help pay for underground storm sewer systems in the rest of Tracy, creating an inequity.

The City of Tracy's existing storm sewer assessment policy assesses benefiting property owners with 50% of new storm sewer costs. Remaining new storm sewer costs have been picked up by general city tax dollars. The result has been that ditch users have helped pay for both the county ditch and the underground storm sewer system.

Milroy Yule program

"Santa, the Mechanic Fanatic" was the title of the Christmas program staged by Milroy Public School students Tuesday. The musical told the story of how Santa, anxious to keep up with modern times, fires his elves and replaces them with robots. Alas! Santa's North Pole toy operation becomes unglued. St. Nick rectifies matters with his elves just in time for Christmas.