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Around the Region

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


CITY APPROVES PLAN FOR A NEW FIRE HALL: The Scotland City Council has approved plans for a new fire hall for the community, expected to cost more than $700,000.

Councilors met regarding the plans for lighting, insulation and heating in the building and considered installing LED lighting but Jim Schramm, of Schramm Architects in Yankton, said the city would have a hard time recouping the savings from the lights because they wouldn't be used enough.

The building is expected to cost $732,200 and Scotland received a $309,000 Community Development Block Grant in May.

-- Scotland Journal


COUNTY DISCUSSES LAW ENFORCEMENT: Officers can't cover Douglas County and still take off time from the job with the current arrangement, said the county sheriff during a recent county commission meeting.

Sheriff Jon Coler said his deputies are getting backed up on using their time off and the part-time help is "not working" because they all have jobs that take precedent.

The county has two regular deputies, in addition to Coler and the stable of relief deputies. A third full-time deputy was previously on staff, until that deputy left and was not replaced and the sheriff's budget was cut by $2,000 in 2014.

Commissioner Ewald Fink said he believes the towns in the county that contract their law enforcement with the county should foot more of the bill than they are currently.

"I have no problem with getting another deputy but the towns are going to have to pay for it," said Commissioner Merlin Van Zee.

Cities with contracts for law enforcement are Delmont for 10 hours, Corsica for 26 hours and Armour for 30 hours.

-- The Armour Chronicle


GROUP STUDIES TOWN FINE ARTS CENTER IDEA: Can Freeman support a facility that would provide a home for the arts and emphasize the area's strengths? A local group is researching that idea.

Under the working name of the Freeman Arts/Earth Center, the facility would focus on the community's performing arts, Freeman town traditions and the area's agricultural assets, which could include a place to sell locally produced goods. Other ideas include an Amana Colonies-like model of using heritage and culture to drive economic growth, a place for education on rural sustainability and a place to focus on recruiting human capital to the area.

Project coordinator John Koch said he and others are determining if such a facility is even possible and whether or not it could be financially viable. They've created a nonprofit organization that is considered the steering committee for the project, known as Freeman Education and Research, or FEAR.

-- Freeman Courier