A look at news from around the region, as reported by weekly newspapers:
HOSPITAL FUNDRAISING MOVES AHEAD: A drive to add a new patient wing at St. Michael's Hospital Avera in Tyndall has surpassed $300,000, more than half of the fundraising goal for the $2 million project.
The new addition will have private patient rooms with bathrooms and will replace the current second floor of the hospital, which has shared bathrooms between some of the patient rooms and does not meet accessibility requirements.
The project's steering committee will try to raise $600,000 total, while another one-third of the cost will be covered with the hospital's reserves and the remainder of the price tag will be funded with loans. The committee is also approaching local community members about naming opportunities to fundraise some of the cost.
-- The Avon Clarion
ROSEBUD TRIBE OBJECTS TO PIPELINE IN TRIPP COUNTY: Representatives of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe went before Tripp County commissioners last week to indicate their continued concern about the Keystone XL pipeline potentially going through the county.
A letter addressed to President Barack Obama and signed by Cyril Scott, president of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, was read to the commission and reiterated the tribe's concerns about the pipeline threatening the land and water resources. While the pipeline's route would not travel over any tribal land, tribal council member Russell Eagle Bear said the pipeline could threaten adjacent land in the tribal trust. Eagle Bear also said that spiritual camps will be set up throughout the county to protect tribal land.
-- The Winner Advocate
DEAN NAMED FAMILY DOCTOR OF THE YEAR: Tom Dean was honored as the South Dakota Family Doctor of the Year for 2014 by the South Dakota Academy of Family Physicians during the group's annual seminar recently in Deadwood.
After a short stint in Kentucky, the Wessington Springs native has worked for Horizon Health Care for the last 36 years and has served on numerous local, state and national boards.
In particular, he's taken an interest in rural medicine and has volunteered with the National Rural Health Association and is a clinical professor of family medicine for the University of South Dakota's Sanford School of Medicine, mentoring medical students for four-week periods at his office.
The South Dakota Academy of Family Physicians honored Dean for, among other things, "his longstanding dedication and commitment to medicine, his community and the welfare of his patients."
-- The Wessington Springs True Dakotan
SCHOOL DISCUSSES OPT-OUT OPTIONS: With the expiration of the current opt-out at the Scotland School District set for the end of the year, school leaders are discussing options.
Business manager Kevin Kocer is recommending a $95,000 opt-out for five years to replace the previous $350,000 opt-out.
A public meeting will be at 7 p.m. March 10 to discuss the opt-out.
An opt-out occurs when a local government decides to increase property taxes by an amount greater than state-imposed limits allow. Opt-outs can be referred to public elections.
-- Scotland Journal