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News from the week of February 23, 2000Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880


Grant funding for lakes area sewer system is still unknown

Prospects for a proposed sanitary sewer system around the Lake Sarah and Lake Shetek areas should become clearer soon.

The sewer collection and treatment plan, with an estimated $11.8 million price tag, is on hold, pending the outcome of federal and state grant funding applications. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is expected to announce sewer grant recipients by the end of March. The Shetek Area Water and Sewer Commission (SAWSC) is applying for the funding.

"If enough local support persists, and sufficient grant funds can be secured to make the project affordable... the SAWSC is fully prepared to forge ahead and construct and operate a sewer collection and treatment system," said Tom Kresco, Murray County water resources director. "However, it may be possible that no funding is secured and no water or sewer project is constructed."

The Shetek-Sarah project has been ranked 72nd out of 300 applications. Kresco said if some projects rated ahead of Shetek-Sarah are not prepared to moved forward, unused funds could become available.

Fine arts theater discussed

Limitations of high school gym stage aired

About 40 people attended an informal meeting Monday to discuss the possibility of establishing a performing arts theater in Tracy.

The two-hour long discussion, held at Tracy Area Elementary School, was organized by Ade Miller and Jesse James.

Miller said the meeting was sparked by enthusiasm generated by last year's productions of Annie Junior, and The Music Man.

"The response has been wonderful," Miller said. She said she's been amazed at the outpouring of positive comments she's heard about the productions.

The best outcome of the productions, she said, has been the impact on the students. Prior to Annie, she noted, many children had never been able to perform on a stage.

"This is something that they will always remember...something that they'll always benefit from."

New garbage proposal offers three different service levels

Two sizes of wheeled containers will be offered to Tracy households through an automated garbage proposal submitted to the Tracy City Council last week.

The container sizes will be 60-gallon and 90-gallon. The Headlight-Herald reported incorrectly last week that there would also be a 15-gallon container.

Under the proposal submitted by local refuse hauler Steve Larson, 15-gallon volume pick-up service will continue to be offered. However, the 15-gallon capacity customer would use a 60-gallon automated container. A customer selecting the 15-gallon level of service could fill the 60-gallon container up to one-fourth capacity.

The new containers are designed to be automatically lifted and tipped into a sanitation truck.

Panther speech team 3rd at Minneota tournament

The Tracy Area High School speech team turned in its best performance of the young season by capturing third place on Saturday at the Minneota speech tournament.

A total of 246 students from 17 area schools participated in the tournament. Fulda won the championship with a total of 52 points, followed by RTR with 48 points. The Panthers earned 45 points. Pipestone-Jasper was in fourth place with 42 points.

A trio of Panthers in the discussion category paced TAHS with 16 points. Freshman Eric Nelson earned first place in the roundtable activity while junior Nicole Wilking took second. Freshman Anthony Stephens rounded out the discussion scoring for Tracy with a sixth place finish.

The Panthers will attend the Luverne tournament on Sat., Feb. 26. Over 20 teams and 350 students are expected to compete. The tournament is free and open to the public.

Hmong businessman speaks to students

St. Paul businessman Sidney Xiong Vang spoke to students at Tracy Area High School Friday during an afternoon presentation.

The program was organized by the school's peer counselors. Kong Her, a student at TAHS and a member of the Breakfast Club, was instrumental in bringing Vang to Tracy. Her is a great niece, and Vang is a nephew of General Vang Pao, the leader of U.S.-backed Hmong military forces during the Vietnam War.

The Hmong, who lived in the mountains of Laos, were recruited by the U.S. government in the early 1960s to fight the North Vietnamese.

Vang told the students that he is happy to live in a country that values freedom. A graduate of UCLA, he stressed the importance of an education.

"Keep your dream in your pocket," he said. "Education is the key."

He said it is important to keep one's culture and traditions. He told the students to "listen to your parents.

State pharmacy president comes to Tracy

Minnesota Pharmacists Association President James Armbruster from Mankato and EVP/CEO William E. Bond of Forest Lake, MN, traveled to the Mediterranean in Tracy, on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2000 to meet with members. Attending were SW District Director Vern Peterson, John Schleppenbach, Dave Koster, Mark Whittier, Don Saucke, Dean Lichty and Todd Schweer.

William bond stated that many rural legislators are becoming very concerned about the economic vitality of rural pharmacies. He said that MPhA is working with Rep. Richard Mulder of Ivanhoe and Sen. Becky Lourey of rural Aitkin and Carlson Counties in sponsoring a bill to help ensure continued access to rural pharmacies. Bond noted that over 140 communities in Minnesota have only one pharmacy and are at risk of losing their pharmacy. Participants noted several trends which are adversely impacting rural pharmacies.

Most participants viewed the opportunity to provide health care through the county based direct purchasing option as much more favorable for the patients and the pharmacists. Many felt it was unfortunate that many counties in Southwest Minnesota were not utilizing the county based purchasing option.