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Gov. picks Sanford lab manager to succeed member of minerals board

PIERRE — John Scheetz, of Spearfish, is the newest member of state government's Board of Minerals and Environment.

He is environmental manager at the Sanford Underground Research facility in the former Homestake underground gold mine at Lead.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard named Scheetz to succeed Linda Hilde, of Madison.

The announcement came Monday through an item on the board's agenda and was confirmed Monday afternoon in the weekly Legislative Research Council Bulletin.

Hilde, 76, has been unable to attend meetings on a regular basis because of health issues in recent months.

Board members chose Gregg Greenfield, of Sioux Falls, in July to succeed her as their secretary.

Scheetz is scheduled to attend the board's Sept. 21 meeting. His appointment runs through June 30, 2019, which would have been the end of Hilde's current term.

Hilde had served on the board since about 1987. Daugaard re-appointed her June 15, 2015. No one was available to answer a reporter's telephone call to her home Monday afternoon.

The governor "very much appreciates" that Scheetz is willing to serve on the board, according to Tony Venhuizen. He is Daugaard's chief of staff.

"John Scheetz has been an environmental manager for more than twenty years, first at Homestake gold mine and now at the Sanford Underground lab," Venhuizen said. "He manages the mine's water treatment plant, and also was a key player in getting the environmental assessment approved for the Long Base Neutrino Experiment."

He added: "Linda was a dedicated board member and the governor was sorry to see her leave the board."

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