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Pat Oleson is elated. Two Boy Scout troops in Mitchell are producing at least nine Eagle Scouts this year, and seven others are working on Eagle Scout projects. "I've never seen this many at one time," said Oleson, leader of Boy Scout Troop 72. "I've been Scout leader since 1999 and have 41 Eagle Scouts, but this is the largest number I've seen at one time in one year." As the troops celebrate National Boy Scout Week this week, some of those boys have recently completed projects, passed their Eagle Scout board of review or gone through their Eagle Scout ceremony.
This week, Becky Pitz will make her second trip to Washington, D.C. to help reinforce the importance of renewable fuels. Pitz, the general manager of POET Biorefining in Mitchell, will be one of about 30 people flying to the nation's capital through Growth Energy, a nonprofit that includes members from ethanol and agribusiness industries, such as POET. The group will visit with lawmakers about renewable energy. Pitz said POET invited one general manager from each state the company has plants, to attend the event, which will take place today and Thursday.
Shopping carts full of merchandise sat in lines without shoppers Tuesday afternoon at Walmart in Mitchell. The computer system at the retail and grocery store were down, leaving the employees unable to check out customers, according to officials at the store. Some customers chose to leave their carts at the checkouts with their names taped to the handles. Others left the store either shrugging their shoulders or slightly disgruntled that their trip into town was wasted. Signs on the doors of Walmart greeted customers saying the store is temporarily closed.
PARKSTON -- A man allegedly stole a neighbor's vehicle Friday in Parkston by using his own vehicle's keys. Rodney Tapp, 39, of Parkston, entered a neighbor's home through a side door while the homeowners were watching TV, according to Greg Reichenberg, chief of police in Parkston. "They asked the gentleman what his name was and he said 'Rodney.' That's when they realized they had a neighbor a couple houses down named Rodney," Reichenberg said. The couple told Tapp to leave several times, Reichenberg said. Tapp eventually left, but allegedly took the couple's 1986 Ford F-150.
For 49 years, Sylvia Street was on her feet day in and day out. Street, who lives in Mitchell, was an educator who dealt with knee pain. She attributes the problem to wear and tear, and perhaps genetics. After retiring, Street decided to have knee replacement surgery in 2012 for both knees. The surgery was done at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls. She was, at the time, in the average age range for people who have knee replacement surgery at 65 and 66. "Until one has lived with joint pain, you're not aware of what excruciating pain that is," she said.
Good Samaritans still exist. Bob and Phyllis Niles, of Wessington Springs, were halfway to Sioux Falls for an appointment on Jan. 11 when a tire blew on their pickup. They thought for sure, being on Interstate 90 just outside Mitchell, their trip would be delayed by several hours -- waiting for help, getting towed into town, getting a new tire and finally getting back on the road. But one local man, out for a Sunday test drive in his wife's new vehicle, saw the incident and stopped to help. "We were on the James River bridge," Phyllis Niles said.
A Mitchell police officer on Thursday morning found two small children outside wearing nothing but diapers and shoes. The children, ages 1 and 3, were located in the vicinity of Green Drive, which is near Coborn's. Officer Dan Fechner was patrolling when he saw the two children. They had a coat and a small, light-quilted blanket between them. They were about a block and a half from their home, Fechner said.
CHAMBERLAIN -- The man arrested earlier this month after a standoff near Kimball pleaded not guilty to murder and assault charges Tuesday by reason of insanity. Donald London, 42, of Kimball, entered his plea during court at the Brule County Courthouse in Chamberlain. He was arrested Jan. 7 after he holed up in a house outside Kimball and threatened law enforcement. When officers attempted to make contact, shots were fired at law enforcement officers and included one officer getting hit by a round.
SCOTLAND -- Katie Winckler had her leg chopped off for fun last year, just to scare some enthusiastic haunted-house goers. "I like to keep a lot of humor in my life," she said with a smile. Winckler, a Scotland High School student, was born with a left leg deficiency. The leg was shorter than her right, but doctors are still unsure what caused the issue. One possible cause is a condition in which the femur bone does not develop properly, she said. As she began growing, her foot grew, but her leg did not.
Enthusiastic comments about Lake Mitchell’s fishing opportunity has attracted a large fishing competition to the city.