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News from the week of June 18, 2003

Pool grand opening is planned Saturday

A grand opening celebration for the new Tracy Aquatic Center splashes down Saturday, June 21.

The 1 to 9 p.m. event will offer free swimming and a boatload of special activities.

The fun begins at 1 p.m. with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony involving Mayor Steve Ferrazzano and Pool Administrator Shorty Engel. A short 5 p.m. program is also planned to recognize pool committee members and others who helped make the new aquatic center a reality.

Swimmers can take part in organized water games that are scheduled on the hour from 2 to 7 p.m. Drawings for T-shirts and other door prizes will be held throughout the day. KMHL radio of Marshall will provide music throughout the day.

Coupons for free root beer floats—served from 5 to 7 p.m.—will be distributed throughout the day. A barbecue pork sandwich, chips and pop will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. for $1.50.

To alleviate parking congestion at the aquatic center, a shuttle service will be available to take people to and from the pool. (People can call Sheila Leonard at 828-1218 for more information).

Nearing century mark, Vi Turner no longer needs to hunt for eggs

When Vi Turner was born, a fellow named Roosevelt occupied the White House.

Not Franklin, mind you. Teddy Roosevelt.

But don't ask the 99-year-old who her favorite president was.

"I didn't have time for that kind of thing."

The lifelong Murray and Lyon county resident celebrated her 99th birthday Saturday. A regiment of family members turned out to help her celebrate. She and her late husband Merle "Mudge" Turner, had six children: Vernon, Darel, Lois, Jim, Muriel, and Donna. That average-sized pre-1950 family has since grown into a clan of 25 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

Today, Mrs. Turner lives in a room at the Tracy Nursing Home, where she says she is quite content.

Although time has slowed her physically, she can still carry on a brisk conversation. Some memories are as vivid as a new rainbow.

Horses safe, barns are toast

Water heater likely cause of Currie fire

Jim and Carol Peterson care for about 50 horses at their Murray Township farmstead south of Currie. But Monday morning, the couple had only two lead ropes and a single halter for the entire herd.

A Sunday afternoon fire that destroyed two large horse barns reduced virtually all of their horse tack to ashes. The conflagration, which could be seen from miles away, also consumed a large array of tools and equipment.

"It went, just like that," Peterson said, describing the inferno that swept through the barns.

The horses escaped unscathed. Most of the Petersons' horses were outside when the fire broke out. Two horses that were inside were led to safety. A group that was in an outdoor corral near the burning barns bolted free on their own.

"That's the one good thing," Peterson said. "We didn't lose any horses." Had the fire broke out at night, when significant numbers of horses were in the barns, losses could have been catastrophic, he indicated. As it was, a cat and her kittens were only animals lost in the fire.

Clark superintendent era ends

Dr. Rick Clark straddled his Harley Davidson and started the engine. With the freedom of the open road beckoning, the educator bid a final farewell, raised the kickstand and roared off in the direction of Lake Shetek.

That morning, Tuesday, June 3, had been Dr. Clark's last day on the job as Tracy's Superintendent of Schools. The days ahead promised a long, unfettered cycling trip with a friend.

"I'm not sure what direction we're going, or how long we are going to be gone," Dr. Clark said with a smile. Not knowing a trip's destination, he added, is half the fun of cycling for him.

After 5 1/2 years as District 417's superintendent, Dr. Clark said he was looking forward to some free time. The administrator, who announced his resignation as superintendent last fall, has his family's home on Bloody Lake up for sale. What comes next will be decided once the house is sold.

"There are a lot of different considerations, and a lot of different directions that we could go," he said. “When the house is sold we will pick our destination." But for now, the administrator said he's content to enjoy some leisure time at the lake. Staying in the area is one option. His wife, Lynette, "loves her job" as a music teacher for Marshall Public Schools, he said.