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Around the Region

A look at news from around the region, as reported by weekly newspapers:


CITY NULLIFIES PETITION FOR COUNCIL SEAT: A pair of invalid signatures on Gary Kristensen's petition for a Plankinton City Council seat made him ineligible to run for the Ward I seat, which will go to Altman Studeny instead.

The city finance office turned down the petition after two signatures were found to be invalid and the incumbent Kristensen did not have enough qualifying signatures to make the April 8 ballot for the election. Studeny was the only other applicant for the spot and will take the seat unopposed.

The city will also have a new mayor, as councilor Joe Staller takes over the two-year term after current Mayor Lawron Bohr decided not to run again.

-- The South Dakota Mail


TRANSCANADA OUTLINES WORK CAMP PLANS: A large crowd visited the Winner City Council chambers Feb. 26 to hear about TransCanada's plans for a work camp south of Colome in Tripp County, if President Barack Obama approves permitting for the project.

Bud Anderson, a consultant for TransCanada, told those in attendance that the company would have three camps in South Dakota — one in Harding County, one in Meade County near Opal and a site south of Colome — that would be 80 acres and would have room for 646 employees, plus room for 300 RV units. The camp would be surrounded by a 6-foot chain link fence and would have a security unit and control gates at the entrance of the camp staffed at all times.

Anderson said work at the campsite would begin very soon after the president green-lights the project.

Rosebud Sioux Tribe member Aldo Seoane, of Mission, indicated the tribe's concern about domestic violence and human trafficking, based on what has occurred at other man camps around the country, and wanted to make sure there would be enough law enforcement in the area. Winner Mayor Jess Keesis said he has been working on getting a tribal officer stationed in Winner but has had little success with tribal officials. Anderson said TransCanada has arranged to pay for additional security in Harding County and could work to create a similar deal in Tripp County.

-- The Winner Advocate


PUSH TO INCREASE COMMISSION SIZE BEGINS: Carroll "Red" Allen, a former county commissioner in Charles Mix County, is leading the push to expand the county's commission from three seats to five at-large seats and have it be voted on in the November elections.

He cites the county's large size and says the county needs better representation. He says Charles Mix is one of four counties in the state that has just three commissioners serving on the board.

The issue needs 681 valid signatures to make the ballot in November and Carroll said he will try to gain 800 to meet the Aug. 1 deadline.

The county passed a measure in 2006 that would have expanded the commission to five members but the county was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Yankton Sioux Tribe for not redistricting the county in 2002. Carroll said the county agreed to have the ACLU oversee any plan to change the commission until 2014, which is why he's circulating petitions now.

-- The Platte Enterprise


TOWN BOARD DISCUSSES SEWER PLANT, FIRE TEAM: The Pukwana sewer plant is in need of some upgrades, as soon as next winter, according to city maintenance engineer Delbert Shields.

The main building at the plant is not heating correctly and Shields said it has some structural problems as well. The building is down from its normal three pumps to just two and the plant generator also could use upgrades. Town board members recommended looking for local grant money that could be used for the upgrades.

The board also heard from Fire Chief Jerry Wingert about the fire department's insurance. The unit will not get state funding this year because the funding is only allowed for departments with 16 members or more.

-- The Chamberlain/Oacoma Sun