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The Gatlin Brothers may not top the country charts like they did in the 1980s, but Rudy Gatlin figures guys with gray hair still have plenty to say. The Gatlins -- lead singer Larry, 65, high tenor Rudy, 61, and baritone bass Steve, 62 -- will take center stage Friday at the South Dakota State Fair, featuring trademark tight harmonies that reflect their beginnings in worship music. Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives will begin the show at 7 p.m. at the State Fair grandstand, with the Gatlins playing at about 8:30.
U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., called the lengthy process of formulating a farm bill "a mess and a bit of a disaster" during a town hall meeting Tuesday during the second day of Dakotafest near Mitchell. The give-and take drew more than 100 constituents who braved a dark forum tent and hot, sticky weather. She called Congress' failure to pass a farm bill "a national security issue" and said a farm bill safety net is needed to make sure America can feed its people.
Local farmers and Davison County Planning and Zoning Administrator Jeff Bathke disagreed about changes made Tuesday in a proposed county drainage ordinance. The change to the ordinance would allow landowners with vested drainage rights permission to perform maintenance work on ditches without notifying neighboring landowners. According to state law, vested rights are drainage rights acquired prior to July 1985.
A new owner, better weather and an even bigger farm show. That's how show director Ray Bianchi summed up the 18th edition of Dakotafest, which runs today through Thursday at the Schlaffman Farm just southeast Mitchell. Bianchi said the show has signed 685 vendors this year -- up from 585 last year. "I'm excited. We're anticipating the largest Dakotafest we've ever had. We're sold out and our projections are at 109 percent of budget."
Commissioner Denny Kiner expects a proposed new Davison County drainage ordinance will draw interest from area farmers when the item comes before the commission for a first reading Tuesday at the courthouse. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the Commissioners' Room, with the drainage ordinance on the agenda at 9:30. Depending on public turnout, the commission meeting may have to be recessed and moved to a larger location, Auditor Susan Kiepke said last week.
Thousands of vehicles will roll into Dakotafest starting Tuesday -- accompanied by clouds of dust. Homeowners living along 411th Avenue and 256th Street, both of which are unpaved, say dust has gotten out of control on the roads that serve the popular farm and ranch trade show. This week, they presented Davison County Sheriff Steve Brink with a petition containing the names of about 50 property owners who want dust relief.
A shorthanded board of county commissioners considered a nuisance complaint and performed last-minute tweaks to the 2014 county budget during Tuesday's regularly scheduled meeting at the Davison county courthouse. With Commissioners Gerald Weiss and Randy Reider absent on personal, job-related business, respectively, the commission was left with a bare-bones quorum. Commissioners John Claggett, Denny Kiner and Kim Weitala voted unanimously on all issues before the panel.
Mitchell High School's computers are on their way. That was the good news Mitchell Superintendent of Schools Joe Graves gave the Mitchell school board during its regular meeting Monday at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy. The high school's 954 Hewlett Packard laptops were to have been distributed to students this week to have them ready for the opening day of school next Monday, but a delay in arranging financing also delayed the delivery of the machines. The three-year laptop lease, with financing costs included, will cost the district $1.1 million.
PLANKINTON -- The "Welcome Home, Nick," banner over the food line at the Commerce Street Grille & Bar in Plankinton said it all. "It's kind of cool to see how many people will come out to support you," said Nick Lawson, 17, who is still recovering after being accidentally shot in the chest June 22 by long-time friend Logan Evans, also of Plankinton. Lawson was center of attention Saturday as area residents crowded about and wished him well during a benefit meal and auction to raise money to defray medical expenses.
A severe thunderstorm tore through the area Saturday night, bringing welcome rain but also damaging hail and wind. The Parkston and Dimock areas were especially hard-hit. Are you a newspaper...