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Around the Region

News from around the Mitchell region, as reported by weekly newspapers:

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COUPLE GROW SUPER BERRY: Just outside Wagner, Jeff and Jolene Stewart are growing 11 acres of a powerful and little-known super fruit: Aronia. Better known as chokeberries, or aronia berries, USDA research shows the fruit has a higher antioxidant level than cranberries, and components in the berries reportedly have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. The Stewarts make smoothies, French toast, and even muffins with their berries. The plants, found the Stewarts, are relatively simple to grow and can last years before they need replacing.

Wagner Post


SEWER PLANT IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSED: Improvements proposed for the city of Freeman’s wastewater treatment plant a month ago, which were estimated at $287,000, are now part of a proposed and expanded $1.4 million project. The Freeman City Council voted Nov. 4 to submit an application for comprehensive improvements at the plant to the South Dakota State Water Plan. While the application doesn’t commit the city to any aspect of the project, it enables the city to apply for grant funding. The current plant was built in 1979 and the additional funds, if granted, will allow replacement of an aging generator as well as other updates.

The Freeman Courier


 PEANUT-FREE POLICY PASSED: At its Nov. 11 meeting, the Avon School Board, with input from physician Mel Wallinga, discussed the district’s new peanut-free policy. The new policy makes the Avon School peanut-free at the beginning of the second semester.

The Avon Clarion


 LOCAL CONNECTION TO DISASTER: Pastor Jeff Lathrop’s parents were victims of devastating typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippine Islands recently. Lathrop, pastor of the Plankinton United Methodist Church, said his parents lived one mile from the airport in Tacloban, the city that received the most storm destruction. They survived 200 mph winds but their home and belongings were destroyed. They were later evacuated by military plane to Manila. The Lathrop family is waiting to hear news about other relatives on other smaller islands. A relief fund has been established for the Lathrop family, which can be accessed through Jeff Lathrop’s blog at

The South Dakota Mail

Sanborn County

 MISS S.D. PROMOTES READING: Sanborn Central Elementary students were entertained Nov. 6 by guest reader Tessa Dee, Miss South Dakota 2013, as part of the school’s “Book It” reading celebration. Dee, from Mitchell, is a University of South Dakota graduate. She is also the creator of Project Bookworm, a children’s literacy organization she developed in 2011. Her goal is to read at more than 74 schools during her reign as Miss South Dakota.

Sanborn Weekly Journal

Lyman County

CLINIC OPENS: Raymond Moore, of Kennebec, was the first patient welcomed to the new Kennebec Avera Area Clinic by Certified Nurse Practitioner Sara Klein on the clinic’s Nov. 7 opening day.

Lyman County Herald