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While veterans waited longer than ever in recent years for their wartime disability compensation, the Department of Veterans Affairs gave its workers millions of dollars in bonuses for "excellent" performances that effectively encouraged them to avoid claims that needed extra work to document veterans' injuries, a News21 investigation has found. In 2011, a year in which the claims backlog ballooned by 155 percent, more than two-thirds of claims processors shared $5.5 million in bonuses, according to salary data from the Office of Personnel Management.
SPRINGFIELD -- Dorothea Thompson Dunmire Peterson, formerly of Parkston, will celebrate her 95th birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 4. Her family requests a card shower. Greetings may be sent to P.O. Box 255, Springfield, S.D., 57062.
A rural Mitchell woman received minor injuries in a rollover accident Tuesday morning on Betts Road near Mitchell. Highway Patrol Trooper John Lord said Jessica Tilberg, 19, was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Blazer south on Betts Road west of Mitchell at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. Lord said Tilberg reported that she met another car driving from the south, toward the center of the road. When Tilberg moved toward the shoulder to make room, she told Lord, she caught the edge of the roadway and went into the west ditch.
A Mitchell man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to possession of a controlled substance. Jeffrey Heidinger, 50, entered his plea during court at the Davison County Public Safety Center. He is accused of possessing methamphetamine around May 30, according to court records. Judge Tim Bjorkman scheduled the case for jury trial in December.
Eileen (Ligtenberg) Van Zee, Platte, and Mike Ligtenberg, Mitchell, will celebrate their 80th birthdays on Sept. 1. Their birthdays are Sept. 2. A card shower is requested. Greetings may be sent to Eileen Van Zee, Box 25, Platte, S.D., 57368; and Mike Ligtenberg, 925 W. Seventh, Mitchell, S.D., 57301.
A boy, Reece David Heisinger, was born on Aug. 10, 2013, to Stephanie and Jeremy Heisinger, Sioux Falls, at Avera McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls. Reece joins a big brother, Myles. Grandparents are David and Julie Lachnit, and Terry and Gloria Heisinger, all of Mitchell.
PARKSTON -- Guertis Leischner, Parkston, will celebrate his 90th birthday on Sunday, Sept. 1. A card shower is requested. Greetings may be sent to P.O. Box 508, Parkston, S.D., 57366.
When I worked for newspapers, it was a tradition on election night for the employer to spring for a pre-returns meal for the staff members who were on duty for the evening. I don't recall any of any employers springing for a meal for any of the reporters who used to work late on legislative nights, but I suppose somewhere in the field manual of how to treat reporters, there's a chapter that explains the distinction between working late at the Legislature and working late for the general election. That would make for some interesting hair-splitting, I suppose.
A Mitchell man denied an allegation Tuesday that he violated his probation. Jesse White Bull, 27, allegedly violated his probation by not contacting his court services officer, drinking at a bar in Mitchell and not paying his court costs and fines. White Bull was convicted of disorderly conduct in November 2012 and was issued a citation for burglary/breaking and entering in July. Judge Tim Bjorkman granted a furlough in July to allow White Bull the opportunity to set up a payment plan, visit with his probation officer and be released on a personal recognizance bond.
A boy, Aiden Lee Stevicks, was born on Aug. 7, 2013, to Dave and Sara Stevicks, Mitchell, at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell. He joins a big sister, Aubree. Grandparents are Gary and Annet Kropuenske, Hurley; and Tom Stevicks, Dallas.