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Nearly 20 people have filed candidacies for state House and Senate seats in the six legislative districts that include parts of The Daily Republic's subscription area. So far, there's only one primary race -- between Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell, and Steve "Sibby" Sibson, R-Mitchell. Primaries arise when more than one candidate from the same party files for a district's one Senate seat, and when more than two candidates from the same party file for a district's two House seats. This year's primary election is June 5, and the winners will advance to the general election Nov. 6.
ALEXANDRIA -- The Concerned Citizens of Hanson County asked District Court Judge Sean O'Brien on Friday to throw out a state water permit granted last year for a proposed 7,000-head dairy in Hanson County. About 60 people attended the hearing at the Hanson County Courthouse. The developer of the proposed dairy, Michael Crinion, attended Friday's hearing, as did dairy opponents Robert Bender and Stace Nelson. R.
Davison County will take another step this year toward the eventual upgrade of all its road signs. The final round of ordering will soon be completed, county commissioners were told Tuesday. The Federal Highway Administration mandated a new level of retroreflectivity for signs in 2009 for all public roadways to make traffic signs more visible at night.
WESSINGTON SPRINGS -- Voters in Jerauld County will choose whether they want to pay for a $450,000 eight-year opt-out in an election today. If the measure passes, taxpayers could pay an additional $3.6 million over eight years, above normal tax rates. The Jerauld County commissioners voted in December to approve the opt-out, but five residents circulated petitions to put the matter to a vote. The opt-out money would be used to replace bridges and repair roads.
WOONSOCKET -- Sanborn County Sheriff's deputies apprehended three Woonsocket residents last week for burglarizing at least five buildings. Each has been charged with felony burglary. Sheriff Tom Fridley said his deputies arrested Tyler Gracek, 20, and held two juvenile boys while contacting their parents early Thursday morning. The boys will be petitioned in juvenile court today, Fridley said, and Gracek will make his initial appearance.
WESSINGTON SPRINGS -- A four-year strategic plan at Wessington Springs School District is coming to a positive close in June. "We've succeeded in the things we set out to accomplish," said Superintendent Lance Witte. "We're looking to launch into the next plan through renewal.
A new effort to encourage church attendance has garnered the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell a $90,000 grant. "We were ecstatic, we celebrated," said the Rev. Brandon Vetter, DWU campus pastor. "They saw something happening here that seemed to be something both God and the people were behind." The grant is for Fusion, a monthly contemporary church service offered by First United Methodist in conjunction with the campus ministry at Methodist-affiliated DWU. Vetter has helped lead the way since the program kicked off in September.
Mitchell dog owners can soon allow their four-legged friends to roam leash-free in a fenced-in dog park. Dusty Rodiek, Mitchell's parks and recreation director, said the concept is not a new one. "The dog park idea is something relatively common in other park and rec departments," he said. Not only will Mitchell residents and their dogs benefit from the park, outside visitors such as hunters or tourists will be able to give their dogs needed exercise while visiting the area. The park will be located on a city-owned lot south of the main parking area at Cadwell Sports Complex.
Steve Sibson acknowledges his will be an uphill battle for District 20's Senate seat, but he insists he will best represent the little guy. Sibson, 56, of Mitchell, said this week he has enough signatures to file a petition for the seat but is gathering more to help spread word of his campaign. Assuming he files enough valid signatures, he will set up an inner-party challenge against incumbent Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell. The primary election is June 5. "I want to bring back into vogue the conservative Republican platform," Sibson said.
The Mitchell Police Division arrested three local residents Monday, each for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Tangi Lynn Taylor, 19, Kenneth James Voss, 26, and Calvin Bias Bagola, 25, were arrested at Taylor's Mitchell residence. Mitchell Police Officer Nick Jongeling was on a routine property exchange escort with Bagola when he saw a light bulb used to smoke meth inside apartment No. 4 at 505 S. Main St. Bagola was there to retrieve property from Taylor's residence, said Lt.