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CHAMBERLAIN -- A Chamberlain doctor began her overseas missionary adventures in 2002 when a friend asked her to travel to India. "I'd never thought of doing missions," said Patti Giebink, an obstetrics and gynecological doctor. Giebink currently serves as a locum tenens, or a substitute, for doctors on vacation or leave. Otherwise, she owns The Meeting Place in Chamberlain, a building in which many meetings, gatherings and celebrations can be held. She returned from a three-week medical mission to Afghanistan in June.
BURKE -- An early morning fire Friday consumed two businesses on Main Street in this small Gregory County town. Six fire departments used nearly 175,000 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze. The Burke Rural Fire Association responded to a call at 3:39 a.m. that Vosker's Bar and Grill was on fire. The fire had spread next door to the Southern Dakota Insurance Company. The businesses are connected. The bar and grill was once two buildings, but converted into one wide open area. The insurance agency occupied the third building.
Two businesses on Burke's Main Street are total losses after a fire consumed them early Friday morning. The Burke Rural Fire Association responded to the fire at 3:39 a.m. Vosker's Bar and Grill and Southern Dakota Insurance Company were beyond help when firefighters arrived on the scene, said Burke Fire Chief Dennis Purvis. Firefighers from Winner, Bonesteel, Fairfax, Gregory and Dallas fire departments responded to the scene also. Burke firefighters will remain on the scene most of Friday to monitor the smoldering remains and ensure the fire does not spread to neighborhing buildings.
HOWARD -- Residents of Howard not only witnessed a 15-year dream come true Thursday, they also learned of a few new surprises for the Maroney Rural Learning Center. Thursday marked the grand opening of the Maroney Commons, which is a $6.5 million facility including a hotel, restaurant and conference rooms where training will be conducted on the subject of rural revitalization.
State and national ACT scores are in for 2011, and they indicate scores over the last five years have remained fairly steady. According to ACT's College and Career Readiness report for South Dakota, the state's senior high school students remain above the national average in four subjects by as much as 7 percent. The national college admission and placement exam is meant to prepare students for higher education. Nearly 7,000 of South Dakota's high school graduates in 2011, about 81 percent, took the ACT in preparation for college or career training, according to the study.
WESSINGTON SPRINGS -- The superintendent of the Wessington Springs School District has been placed on administrative leave following two drunken driving arrests in less than a year's time. The Wessington Springs Board of Education issued a statement regarding Lance Witte after an executive session at its Monday meeting. "On behalf of the Wessington Springs Board of Education, we would like to make the following statement. Mr.
CORSICA -- A local family made a difficult decision recently to auction more than 250 antique cars, trucks and tractors their father collected over several decades. Rolland VanderPol's five children have not inherited his passion for the vehicles, which have been neglected since Rolland entered a nursing home 3½ years ago, said Bob VanderPol. "He lived and breathed old cars and tractors," Bob said of his father, who is 93. "That was his thing." For years after his "retirement," Rolland tinkered with and restored old vehicles, Bob said.
PLANKINTON -- An increase of 30 students took the Plankinton School District by pleasant surprise this summer and resulted in the school board having to push back the start of the school year. The district ended its 2010-11 academic year with 220 students, and the school board figured its 2011-12 budget based on an increase of 10 students. Superintendent Jim Jones said the possibility of an even bigger increase came to light in mid-July.
DIMOCK -- As residents of 80 towns in South Dakota grapple with the idea that their post offices may close, some townspeople are working to keep their post office open. The people of the Dimock and Olivet areas have circulated nonbinding petitions in support of keeping the post offices open. More than 140 people signed the petition for Dimock, population 151, and about 50 have signed for Olivet, population 14. The U.S. Postal Service announced at the end of July it will study whether to close 80 post offices throughout the state.
WESSINGTON SPRINGS -- A recent break given to Superintendent Lance Witte could be revoked after he received a driving under the influence charge Friday. Jerauld County State's Attorney Casey Bridgman said he's waiting for information from Hanson County before he makes his decision on the matter. Witte was arrested for DUI in Hanson County near Alexandria. Only three days earlier, he pleaded guilty to driving with a revoked license in connection with a previous DUI conviction.