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GREGORY -- The organizers of an annual film and book festival in Gregory are hoping to spread the event's appeal beyond scholars. The festival, which begins Wednesday and continues through Saturday, is dedicated to the memory of Oscar Micheaux, an African-American who homesteaded in Gregory County. Micheaux was the first African-American to write a best-selling novel. He was also the first to write, direct and produce a feature-length film, "The Homesteader," which was based on his book of the same title. It debuted in 1918 and was based on his experiences in Gregory County.
Davison County Achievement Days is set to start today at the 4-H fairgrounds, just west of Mitchell on Old Highway 16. Although Achievement Days is mainly for 4-H participants, the public is welcome to enter their hobbies and talents in the Open Class section between 1 and 3 p.m. today. The indoor exhibit area is open to the public Thursday and Friday beginning at 9 a.m. 4-H interview judging on indoor display exhibits will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. this evening. 4-Hers will compete in the dog show Wednesday morning.
Medical professionals are being disciplined at an increasing rate by the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners. In 2010 alone, the board disciplined 39 medical professionals. Twenty-two were disciplined in 2009. From 2005 to 2008, the board disciplined no more than 15 medical professionals each year. The board became separate from the South Dakota State Medical Association in 2005 and became an arm of state government in the Department of Health.
ETHAN -- Robert "Bun" Colvin's 50-year career in horse racing came to a sudden stop in December when he died at 74 of an aortic aneurism in his living room. But his horses are still running. To honor Colvin's and his wife Marlene's lifelong passion for raising horses to race, Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., held the Bun Colvin Memorial Race on Saturday. The Colvins began racing horses at the park in 1985. Thirty-five relatives and friends attended the race, compliments of the park.
PARKSTON -- Parkston's 125th anniversary celebration was a resounding success based on small-town values and principles. "Oh my goodness, it was so well organized, everything just fell into place," said Teresa Mann, a celebration committee member. "We didn't have a problem with anything." The main committee and several subcommittees worked for approximately two years to organize the community's birthday event. For the last year, the committees worked extra hard, Mann said.
LOOMIS -- In a continuing effort to operate as green as possible, Poet Biorefining is the first ethanol plant in the state to apply to use storm water in the facility rather than discharging it. Through an internal program called total water recovery, the ethanol plant is already reusing waste water. "The only water we used to take was non-contact processed water," said Dean Frederickson, general manager of Poet Biorefining, located in Loomis, a small unincorporated community north of Mitchell. "That water we used to clean filters, we would flush off," Frederickson said.
CHAMBERLAIN/OACOMA -- While the Missouri River slowly recedes, the residents here remain in limbo. Eleven residents in Oacoma are keeping sandbag levees around their houses as a precautionary measure, even though the water never reached them. Sylvester and Lily Van Oort's home didn't get wet, nor did Gary Mahrt's home, which is right next door. "It's about a foot down," Mahrt said of the water. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website states Lake Francis Case has dropped from 1,374 feet mean sea level June 13 to 1,372.6 feet at midnight Friday. According to the U.S.
Ten Mitchell soldiers deployed with the 139th Brigade Support Battalion on Wednesday for a one-year tour in Iraq. The battalion is located in Brookings and left for Fort Hood, Texas, in early June to train for the mission. About 64 soldiers will join U.S. forces in Iraq to provide maintenance, supply and transportation support to special operations command units throughout the country, according to a South Dakota National Guard press release. Mitchell soldiers in the group include Sgt. Kelly Burmeister, Master Sgt. Melvin Eilts Jr., Spc. Rhett Eilts, Spc.
Counties in The Daily Republic's coverage area have all signed letters of intent for the next year to either partner or go it alone on the hiring of a 4-H adviser. The South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service announced in April that it would reorganize due to budget cuts. The reorganization includes the elimination of some positions and the consolidation of many positions, services and offices into eight regional centers.
CHAMBERLAIN/OACOMA -- The Mighty Missouri is finally going down, causing cautious relief for officials who have kept vigilant watch over city infrastructure and residents since the middle of May. Chamberlain City Engineer Greg Powell said the city is still pumping water and monitoring water levels. "We're excited to see it's gone down a foot since its peak," he said. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers measured Lake Francis Case at 1,373.4 feet mean sea level at midnight Monday -- a half a foot drop in five days.