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MOUNT VERNON -- The fourth school bus crash of the school year in the Mitchell area happened Tuesday, this time in the Mount Vernon School District. Shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday, Ronnie Long, of Mount Vernon, was driving an empty Mount Vernon School District bus south on 397th Avenue, also known as the "Mount Vernon oil." A white 2003 Chevy Express van driven by Jorge Morales Chavez, of Arlington, with eight passengers was behind behind the bus.
South Dakota was the nation's top hay producer in 2011, a newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture report says. With 8.6 million tons of hay produced in 2011, South Dakota beat out California, which took second place with 7.9 million tons, and Missouri, which took third place with 6.3 million tons. Hay produced in South Dakota accounted for nearly 7 percent of the 131.1 million tons produced in the U.S. last year. "It's not because we have more hay acres.
As crowds of cheerful people lined the sidewalks Saturday on Mitchell's Main Street for Dakota Wesleyan University's Blue and White Days parade, there was no indication of the horror about to unfold. As the clock struck 10:30 a.m., the parade began. A jolt of excitement surged through the crowd. And then it happened -- zombies. "It was pretty terrifying," said Karen Allen, co-adviser of Unfiltered REALity, a local student anti-smoking group.
SALEM -- The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled a judge was correct in denying a McCook County man's request to have his child support payments reduced. When Douglas Heumiller and his ex-wife, Nicole Heumiller, now Nicole Snyders, divorced in April 2010, it was agreed Heumiller would pay $1,238.36 per month to support the couple's three children, the ruling says.
PIERRE -- The case of a Mitchell man who claims he should have been given custody of his two children after a lengthy legal battle went before the South Dakota Supreme Court earlier this week. Oral arguments were presented Monday by the attorneys in the case. Appellant Jered Mandel's attorney Dava A. Wermers, of Mitchell, summarized the case for the court. Mandel and Angela Peterson lived together in Mitchell with their two young children until separating in January 2008.
A Mitchell man will spend three years in prison for beating another man with a baseball bat last spring. Colin Kelly Stands, 18, pleaded guilty July 17 to aggravated assault.
A Mitchell woman charged with multiple felonies for allegedly stealing and crashing two vehicles on Sept. 17 is denying the charges against her. Jade Dora Abdo, 23, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of grand theft, one count of first-offense drunken driving and one count of intentional property damage. The charges stem from an incident that, according to court documents, began at approximately 2:13 a.m. Sept. 17 when law enforcement received a 911 call from residents at a home on Betts Road in rural Davison County.
The investigation into the early Saturday morning fire that killed a 59-year-old Mitchell woman and destroyed a trailer home is finished with the cause of the fire still undetermined, Mitchell Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg said Monday. An autopsy of the woman killed in the fire, Cheryl Roop, was completed Monday and found no signs of foul play, Overweg said.
MENNO -- The sound of polka music and smell of German food has become as regular as the changing of the leaves when fall arrives in Menno. As has been the case for more than two decades, the Germans from the Russia Heritage Society will hold its Octoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Menno High School auditorium. The doors will open at 6 p.m. for a traditional German meal, followed by a 7 p.m. performance by Dain's Dutchmen, a Minnesota-based polka band. Space will be cleared in the auditorium for dancing during the show. "It's happy music," said event organizer Gary Jerke.
Mitchell students may have a harder time finding a seat in their lunchrooms this year. Preliminary counts show enrollment at the Mitchell School District for the 2012-2013 school year is up by about 50 students compared to last school year, according to Superintendent Joe Graves. "It's a little more than I thought," he said. The district had a "surge" in enrollment late in the summer, Graves explained, adding about 15 students shortly before the start of the school year. The district's total enrollment this year is between 2,580 and 2,600 students, Graves said.