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News from the week of April 2, 2003

Tracy is 'perfect fit' for Marlette

A final signature is all that's needed to make the hiring of Tracy Area Public Schools' new superintendent final.

David Marlette, superintendent of schools and athletic director in the Deuel School District in Clear Lake, S.D. was offered the position last week following a second interview on Tuesday.

A contract has been agreed to and signed by Marlette, said consultant Darrold Williams of Midwest Management Services. The board is expected to sign the contract at their regular meeting next week.

Marlette said Tracy was a perfect fit for he and his wife, Corinne, a fourth grade teacher, for two reasons. "We wanted to move up to a bigger school," he said. Enrollment in Tracy Area Public Schools is about 250-300 students higher than in his current district.

Staying close to family was also a major consideration for the Marlettes, who have four children-Shauna, Nicki, Patty, and Brett. Most of their children live in the Sioux Falls area, and Marlette began looking for positions within a certain radius of the city.

Coffee on Third is still brewing

New businesses hope to open soon

Work is nearing completion at the former Ben Franklin/Korner Krafts building in downtown Tracy.

Owners Glenda Johnson and Marsha Goff are excited about the improvements to the building, which stands at the corner of Morgan and 3rd streets.

“It's coming along,” Johnson said. “It's really starting to come together.”

She said the majority of the construction work has been completed, and that the finishing touches, such as painting and installing equipment, are being worked on now. New glass is expected to arrive sometime this week for a whole new storefront.

While Johnson wasn't ready to name an opening date quite yet, she said it could open as soon as the middle to end of this month.

The building will house several businesses, including Johnson's business, Baskets of Yarn, which will be moving from its old location.

“We're offering a lot of things,” said Johnson.

Coffee on Third will be located in the front portion of the building, and will offer soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts, and hand-dipped ice cream. Johnson said the goal was to offer something different that couldn't be found elsewhere in the area. The back half of the store is reserved as retail space for Baskets of Yarn as well as Dirk's Furniture. Rosemaling by local artist Elvera Bisbee will also be available.

Johnson said she and Goff are still looking for other artists who would like to display their work there.

The balcony will be home to The Lighthouse Books and Treasures, a Christian bookstore. Another feature will be the Candy Nook, which will specialize in gourmet candies.

The basement of the building has been leased to Jim and Ade Miller, who will offer Uniquely Yours hand-painted items.

Assisted living home is opening

An open house is planned sunday at a new assisted living home in Tracy,

The home, called "Springside," is located in the Greenwood Addition at 600 Spring Street. The open house is from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 6. The first residents are expected to move in by mid-April.

"Three of the rooms are already spoken for," said Dolly Hewitt, a registered nurse from Tracy who will be the home's director. Hewitt said that the Minnesota Dept. of Health has licensed Springside to provide "housing with services" and "home healthcare services" for up to five residents.

The 2,300 square foot house-located on a dead-end street north of Tracy Area High School-has four main-floor bedrooms. Three residents will have single rooms, with the fourth bedroom serving as a double. Residents will share all common living areas in the house.

"We want this to be as home-like as possible," explained Hewitt. The goal, she indicated, is to provide needed services to the frail elderly and allow them to remain as independent as possible.

Lutheran Social Services closing Twin Circle office

Lutheran Social Services is terminating the assisted living services it has offered to Twin Circle residents for the past year. May 2 is the last day services will be provided.

Lutheran Social Services has provided 24-hour-a-day assisted living services at Twin Circle since March of last year. but the number of assisted living clients hasn't met expectations, according to Gail Sumerfelt, Lutheran Social Services assisted living supervisor.

"We are not getting the residents that we thought we would," she said. Assisted living services are now provided to five tenants at Twin Circle. It's unfortunate for the peole who need our services because they really need them," said Sumerfelt. Lutheran Social Services also offered assisted living services to residents at the Fifth Street Apartments, but no clients developed. State budget cuts are another factor in the decision to end assisted living services in Tracy, said Sumerfelt.

However, Lutheran Social Services plans to continue similar assisted living programs in Round Lake, Mt. Lake and Jackson, as well as an "eldershare" home in Marshall.

Vintage snowmobiles rev up Don Monsen's birthday

Just southwest of Amiret a birthday surprise was in the planning for Don Monsen.

His son Rich of Chaska, and his grandson Tom, age 9, had been working for days trying to get several antique snowmobiles up and running for this special day.

Don Monsen formerly owned and operated a snowmobile store in Tracy, and these sleds were actually some of the models that he had sold to people in the surrounding area. Snowmobiles were just coming into popularity in the late `60s and early `70s, and many of these brand names are still popular today. A snowmobile club called the Ridgerunners was also started in the 1970s.

The day of Don's birthday (March 4)) was one of the nicest days of the winter, and there was still plenty of snow even though it was beginning to melt. The surprise didn't go off exactly as planned, because Don wasn't home when they arrived, but when he did come home he was very excited by what he saw. His son and grandson were riding the snowmobiles in his farmyard.

They brought a '67 Bolens Diablo Rouge, called the Red Wolf, which was made in Canada. Rich had his first ride on this snowmobile, and so did his son, Tom. It comes in two pieces and riders rode on the back sled. It cost $600 in 1968 for a Diablo Rouge.

Wildfire danger is high


That's the caution being issued by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to those who are anxious to begin outdoor burning.

Tom Romaine, DNR Regional Staff Forester at New Ulm, said that although a burning ban has not been issued for southern Minnesota, conditions are nevertheless ripe for fires to get out of control. Lack of snowfall this winter has increased the danger, according to the DNR.

"We would really caution people to not start burning debris until the grass greens up and leaves are fully developed," Romaine said. "It is very easy for a wild fire to get started under current conditions. And it can be very difficult—and expensive—for local fire departments to have to try and put them out."

When conditions permit, Romaine offers the following tips for any outdoor burning:

The DNR has announced it intends to impose burning restrictions over much of central and northern Minnesota within the next two weeks. While there are no plans to restrict burning in southern Minnesota at this point, that could occur if dry conditions persist, Romaine noted.