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In the quietest room full of people in Mitchell, one student ruled the day. As Sam Pardy, of Sioux Falls O'Gorman Junior High School, stepped to the microphone to spell his final word, it was so quiet in Dakota Wesleyan University's Sherman Center that you could hear a pin drop. And with all eyes on him, Pardy was able to snare the victory in the Corn Palace Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday. The winning word was "susceptible." Pardy overcame a strong slate of competitors, including second place Mason Davis and third place Noah Beck, both of Huron.
Backed by decades worth of knowledge of the city, longtime Mitchell Planning Commissioner Bernie Schmucker was always able to offer some insight to his fellow board members. Up until his last Planning Commission meeting this month, Schmucker was still providing input on several matters. He died Thursday at age 94. Councilman Dan Allen, who sat next to Schmucker at his last Planning Commission meeting, said he valued Schmucker's opinion, adding that he was "a very knowledgeable fellow." Allen also valued Schmucker for always being willing to say what's on his mind.
Long gone are the days the Minnesota Twins could win a playoff game. I would know, as the last playoff game the flailing franchise won was against my beloved New York Yankees in 2004. The Twins still lost that series 3-1, of course, while the Yankees went on to suffer the embarrassment of a lifetime in their American League Championship Series bout with the Boston Red Sox. But that's beside the point.
It's been a slow session, but area legislators say they don't mind. During a District 20 cracker barrel at Mitchell City Hall on Friday, the three state legislators representing Aurora, Davison and Jerauld counties agree that the 2018 South Dakota legislative session has moved along at a mellow pace. But state Rep. Tona Rozum, R-Mitchell, expects the session to heat up soon. One of the items that will certainly be a topic of conversation in the coming weeks is a resolution to the non-meandered waters issue.
Long has U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds railed against temporary government funding measures, and with the recent government shutdown just days in the rearview, his concerns remain as strong as ever. During a call with reporters on Thursday, the South Dakota Republican recounted tales of being on the Senate floor shortly before the shutdown went into effect last Friday night. But Rounds, who often expresses enthusiasm about moving toward a long-term government funding approach rather than relying on continuing resolutions, came out swinging against what he called a "broken budget system."
One water main break led to another in Mitchell this week, and it left Councilman Kevin McCardle empathizing with his constituents. Since a water main break on Saturday, the city has experienced at least four different breaks on the Wallace Street water main, affecting water service at six houses as of Wednesday afternoon, according to City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein. As of Wednesday afternoon, the most recent break had occured around 11 p.m. Tuesday.
A day after a state legislator unveiled his intentions to introduce a bill raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco in South Dakota to 21, the state was slammed for "failing" to control tobacco use. The American Lung Association in South Dakota gave the state an "F" rating in funding for tobacco prevention programs, level of state tobacco taxes, coverage and access to services to quit tobacco and for having a minimum age to purchase tobacco products lower than 21 years old. The state was given a "B" in the "Smokefree Air" category.
PIERRE — A bill to raise the minimum age of legal access to tobacco in South Dakota will soon face the Legislature. A bill sponsored by state Rep. Leslie Heinemann, R-Flandreau, is on the horizon, one which would raise the age to purchase tobacco products in South Dakota from 18 to 21. And Heinemann, a dentist for 36 years with practices in Flandreau and Dell Rapids, said he was happy to sign on as prime sponsor.
A few priorities for the Davison County Commission came to light Tuesday. Commission Chair Brenda Bode ran through some items she hopes the five-person board can consider in 2018. Bode and the other four members of the commission held their regular meeting Tuesday at the Davison County North Offices. Bode asked Commissioner John Claggett to join her in looking into the overall building use of the Davison County Fairgrounds. She then asked Commissioner Randy Reider if he could look into future planning for the needs of the Davison County Jail.
The year is young, and with 11 months to go, Mitchell's City Council members have plenty of priorities. From the usual suspects like Lake Mitchell restoration and the Sanborn Boulevard reconstruction to the revitalization of Main Street and improving infrastructure, City Council members are chock full of ideas to keep Mitchell moving. But for Councilman John Doescher, nailing down a city-wide naming rights policy is a major concern.