Mitchell-area wheat farmers who began this year's harvest with diminished expectations because of the drought are getting some pleasant surprises. "Yields are better than expected and wheat prices are still historically fairly good," said Jim Morken, manager of the Farmer's Alliance elevator in Mitchell. Area growers are a little disappointed, he said, considering the potential shown by early-season wheat stands, but yields could have been much worse, given the lack of rain in May and June.
A trans-state bus tour designed to raise funds to support a ban of most abortions in South Dakota will kick off its campaign Wednesday in Mitchell. Leslee Unruh, 51, a Sioux Falls resident and longtime abortion foe, said the tour is a grassroots effort that will try to create a financial war chest through donors, but also through bake sales and barbecues. "I look for this to be a ground war," said Unruh, who has taken a leave of absence from her position as president of the Abstinence Clearing House in Sioux Falls to head up the project.
CHAMBERLAIN -- After two days of intense searching on the Missouri River, authorities recovered the body of 31-year-old Steve Riggen of Pukwana late Tuesday. The drowning was the result of horseplay between Riggen and one of the boat's other three passengers, said Joe Hutmacher of the Chamberlain Police Department.
PARKSTON -- Gale Walker, in his 28th year at Avera St. Benedict Health Center, will soon be the state's longest actively serving hospital CEO at a single institution. The 60-year-old president and CEO said he has no plans to retire any time soon. "I've got a great team and I'm pretty happy where I'm at," he said. "I still enjoy going to work every day." Bud Jones, spokesman for the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, the professional body that tracks such statistics, said that Walker and Jim Russell, CEO of St.
Football pads used by the Mitchell Middle School football teams have been thoroughly inspected and their use is not a danger to students, according to Superintendent Joe Graves. But a school district parent who has accused school officials of putting athletes at risk with what he considers decrepit equipment now says he is going to "lawyer up" and is calling for the resignation of Graves and Activities Director Scott VanDerMillen. Board of Education President Bob Everson on Monday refused to allow Guymon to once again air his grievances on the alleged issuance of substandard football equipme
Mitchell Technical Institute President and CEO Chris Paustian told Mitchell Board of Education members Monday that his school is fulfilling its workforce delivery and development mission. In a review of district goals for the past school year, Paustian said articulation agreements continue to be developed between MTI and four-year institutions, but he would like to see even more courses at MTI that could be transferred for credit. He also said MTI continues to collaborate with other state technical institutes to maximize funding from the state general fund.
CARTHAGE -- Sean Penn's production company, "Into the Wild, LLC," will be looking for a few good extras from 1 to 6 p.m. today at the Carthage Community Center. The town of 157 people is readying itself for a Hollywood-style invasion that will swell the population with high-profile actors, production staff, about 100 extras and, probably, legions of the curious. The independent movie begins shooting in July and will be in town about a week.
PLANKINTON -- Those who can't find enough to do in Plankinton this weekend may want to check for a pulse. The town's quasquicentennial -- or 125th anniversary -- celebration begins with a Friday golf tournament and ends with a Sunday afternoon poker run to benefit the Aurora County Cancer Fund. The celebration's agenda runs the gamut for variety, from a Saturday "Plankinton Pride" parade down Main Street to a demolition derby, alumni dinner and street dance on Saturday.
More than 20 area farmers and businessmen converged on the Tuesday commission meeting at the Davison County Courthouse to voice their disapproval of a proposal to lower both vehicle weight and speed limits on county roads. The tentative limits, discussed June 15 by officials from five area counties, would cap gross vehicle weight of trucks at 80,000 pounds on paved secondary roads and would limit speeds to 40 mph. The reason for the proposal is to have consistent weight and speed limits in area counties that would be affected by higher traffic due to a new ethanol plant, north of Mitchell.
PARKSTON -- It was the stories he heard from the late Kermit Mogck that fired Jim Weiss's imagination and started him thinking about a book on Parkston's history. That book -- the 114-page "Pictorial History of Parkston" -- is now a reality.