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TRIPP — So far, so good for an upgraded area intersection in Bon Homme County, where a pair of state highways meet. The intersection of South Dakota Highways 37 and 46 was the first intersection in the state to receive a Rural Intersection Conflict Warning System, which alerts drivers of vehicles on the intersecting road of oncoming traffic.
Signs in Mitchell could be seeing some new rules soon. City leaders are drafting updates to Mitchell's policies for signage, including on buildings and billboards. Mitchell City Planner Neil Putnam said the regulations are in need of updating because of new technology and a series of legal rulings, including a key U.S. Supreme Court case in 2015 that tightened governmental abilities to regulate signage based on content.
A plan for a barn event venue on the northern edge of Mitchell received preliminary approval Monday from the city's Planning Commission. Dan Fechner is applying for a conditional use permit to build an assembly hall, located west of the Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex, along North Ohlman Street. The facility received preliminary unanimous approval from the commission, which met at Mitchell City Hall.
John Ball didn't come to Dakotafest on Thursday with much good news. Ball, who works for South Dakota State University Extension as a forestry specialist, said the emerald ash borer's arrival in the state is bad news for landowners and farmers who own ash shelterbelts. "You're in big trouble and that's not what you wanted to hear," Ball said.
Without Republican and current U.S. Representative Kristi Noem participating, gubernatorial candidates Billie Sutton and Kurt Evans each made their case Wednesday at Dakotafest in Mitchell to be South Dakota's next governor. Sutton, the Democrat from Burke, and Evans, the Libertarian from Wessington Springs, spoke clearly in their support of agriculture in the state and affirming its place as the state's top industry. But both outlined different ways they'd be behind farmers and ranchers.
Wednesday's Congressional forum at Dakotafest had four participants and was structured to limit the back-and-forth typically found in a political debate. But the two major party candidates — Republican Dusty Johnson and Democrat Tim Bjorkman — found each other anyway, as the candidates faced off during the candidate forum in Mitchell.
The crops look good in South Dakota for both corn and soybeans. But it's everything else associated with the crops that is causing some concern, South Dakota State University Extension's Jack Davis said Tuesday at Dakotafest in Mitchell. Davis and his colleague Matthew Elliott spoke about the trends working in favor and against regional farmers. Davis, a crops business management field specialist for SDSU Extension based in Mitchell, said low prices and concerns about trade and tariffs are dampening what would normally be a strong year.
It's campaign season and Tim Bjorkman has no issues with introducing himself as a political newcomer. Bjorkman, the Democratic Party's nominee for South Dakota's lone U.S. House of Representatives seat, said he had to introduce himself to Democrats when he decided to under on their ticket to Congress.
The Mitchell City Council approved Monday a plan to spend more than $50,000 for a future water needs study, looking at other water supply options if the city could not use its main source. The project, which will cost an estimated $50,458, will evaluate whether rural water sources or groundwater sources, or a combination of others, are most realistic for the city to use as secondary sources for water. The work will be conducted by the Infrastructure Design Group, which has offices in Sioux Falls, Watertown and Mitchell.
The Mitchell City Council will consider an ordinance at its meeting tonight to clarify the city's sidewalk snow and ice removal law. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Mitchell City Hall Council Chambers at 612 N. Main St. In the item agenda request from City Attorney Justin Johnson, the ordinance will repeal and replace the existing ordinance, but will have a lot of carryover from the existing ordinances. The ordinance will receive a first reading at tonight's meeting.