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CHAMBERLAIN -- Longtime Burke-area banker Thomas Lillibridge will be among 10 state leaders welcomed into the South Dakota Hall of Fame this weekend. The festivities begin today and continue through Saturday at locations in Chamberlain and Oacoma. Gov. Dennis Daugaard will attend the ceremonies, which will honor nominees as ambassadors who represent a culture of excellence for South Dakota in areas of professionalism, arts and entertainment, history, sports and general categories. Established in 1974, the Hall of Fame has honored more than 600 South Dakotans.
Local churches, schools and health organizations taking action this week to raise awareness.
Mitchell Technical Institute announced record enrollment numbers for the fall during Monday evening's Mitchell Board of Education meeting at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary. Greg Von Wald, president of MTI, presented a news release to the board that said the institute has a school-record 1,227 students enrolled this fall, up from 1,097 in fall 2012 and 1,108 in spring 2013. The news release also says the school set another record, with its largest-ever class of first-year students at 648.
The Mitchell Board of Education unanimously approved $200,000 as the district's opt-out amount for the 2014 calendar year during Monday night's meeting at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary.
TYNDALL -- Sometimes change happens fast. Gemar's Market in Tyndall closed at noon Saturday and reopened at 9 a.m. Sunday as Buche Foods. The transition is part of a two-store deal inked between Greg Gemar, of Scotland, and fourth-generation grocer R.F. Buche, of Wagner -- two men with a family history of food service to rural communities. Buche, president of the GF Buche Company, recalled the agreement as a five-day whirlwind transaction this past June that ended with the sale of the Gemar grocery store in not only Tyndall, but also Scotland.
KIMBALL -- Two Kimball men were among three indicted by a Brule County grand jury Friday on counterfeiting and drug charges. Indicted were Zane Goodbeau, 59. and John Lauback, 42, both of Kimball; and Chaz Stewart, 20, of Yorba Linda, Calif. The indictments are the result of an investigation that began into the passing of counterfeit bills to several Chamberlain and Kimball businesses.
Jeanie Morgan is convinced the spirit of Iszabella "Bella" Morgan presided over the Saturday dedication of Bella's Butterfly Garden, a new Mitchell park named in her daughter's memory. Bella died March 24, 2012, when drunken driver Michael Ray Sedlmeier ran a stop sign at the intersection of First Avenue and Duff Street in Mitchell and collided with an SUV in which Bella was a passenger. Several hundred well-wishers gathered at Northridge Park Saturday to dedicate the special garden to release butterflies, enjoy a luncheon and hear a message of love, determination and hope.
Acting on a recommendation from Davison County Sheriff Steve Brink, the county commissioners unanimously approved the expenditure of $56,208 as the county's share for ledSuite, which is comprehensive law enforcement software from Zuercher Technologies of Sioux Falls. The action happened Tuesday during the commission's regularly scheduled meeting at the courthouse in Mitchell. The cost of the $163,417 software package, Brink said, will be shared with the Mitchell Police Division and with 911 emergency surcharge funding, the latter of which will pay $51,417 of the cost.
HOWARD -- A dream of rural economic revitalization that began 15 years ago is apparently on its last wounded leg. The Rural Learning Center in Howard has closed its doors and moved out of its building at 109 N. Main St. after suffering foreclosure. Meanwhile, Miner County Commissioner Pat Maroney -- a local businessman and backer of the RLC and its affiliated Maroney Commons, which is across the street and is also closed -- said this week that the RLC as an organization will soon be history.
Still a week after the event, Dakotafest organizers said official attendance numbers are unavailable for the Mitchell-based popular farm show. Director Ray Bianchi said this year's Dakotafest attendance equalled 2012 attendance numbers, which Bianchi estimated at 30,000 over three days. But then, as now, actual attendance figures were not disclosed. "We had an issue with heat the first day," said Bianchi, noting that high temperatures and humidity took their toll on afternoon showgoers.