WESSINGTON SPRINGS—The historic 1905 Opera House survived two tornadoes, decades of deterioration and years of neglect. But now, it's time to stage its comeback. Thanks to some volunteers and fundraising, the Wessington Springs staple has been brought back to be able to host community events through a number of modern updates. A soft opening was held earlier this month with refreshments and live music, celebrating about the $15,000 that has been raised for the project.
Davison County has found its new treasurer for the next two years. Dave Beintema, 42, of Mitchell, has been hired as the interim deputy treasurer for Davison County and will start his new job on Oct. 31. In December, he will become the county's acting treasurer until the 2020 election for the position.
Mitchell High School is getting creative. This year, MHS expanded its fine arts curriculum and has 570 students enrolled in art electives for an average class size of 26 students, compared to 21 students five years ago. The school also brought back the Design 121 course, which offers a dual college credit. "We definitely try to help these kids develop their skill sets, so that they can become more divergent in their thinking and raise beyond the norm, becoming problem solvers and idea makers," art teacher Marica Shannon said.
Lonnie Burns calls herself a note reader. To the members of First Lutheran Church, and many others, she's so much more than that. Burns will play this weekend at First Lutheran in Mitchell before she officially retires Sunday from a career as an organist that spans nearly half a century. But the music of the endeared, self-taught organist will not completely go silent.
Eleven-year-old Evan Anderson is busy working on his second adventure mystery novel. Yeah. He's 11, and he's already written a book. After publishing "The Adventures of Waffles the cow detective — The kidnapping of Chris P. Bacon" in June, the L.B. Williams Elementary student has already started to work on the next volume of his mystery series. "After my first book was done, I felt like I had to make another sequel and have started writing again and am in about 22 pages on the next volume," Anderson said Thursday morning.
WOONSOCKET—Students and teachers at Woonsocket Elementary are moved in and enjoying a 5,000-square-foot addition to the school, which was completed last month. The Woonsocket School District was able to cover the $850,000 project from its capital outlay fund. Superintendent Rod Weber said the addition was needed to match the growing student enrollment at the elementary school.
The Davison County commissioners held two executive sessions Tuesday, creating a new position for a welfare intake officer and seeking recommendations on how to move forward on the opening treasurer position. The commissioners unanimously voted to re-assign the Davison County Welfare Office to the supervision of the Davison County Auditor Office in its first resolution. The Davison County Commission will remain in charge of the hiring process.
In hopes of optimizing the online visibility for the Davison County Fairgrounds and 4-H building in Mitchell and make it easier to find, Autumn Hofer is working on a new marketing strategy and research study. Hofer, administrative assistant at the complex, developed the marketing strategy based on her own research that aims to improve the online presence of the complex and help boost its usage by the community. She presented her findings to the Davison County Commission earlier this week.
Since August, sixth-grade Mitchell Middle School students have been busy building hydrogen-powered cars, solar-powered boats and playing Pac-Man with a joystick built from scratch using Play-Doh. All of it is possible due to the Smart Lab at the Mitchell Middle School, which is now fully implemented after receiving an additional $25,000 in grant money from America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by Monsanto.
Davison County has received the approval of presiding Circuit Court Judge Cheryle Gering to move forward with two juvenile diversion programs for the Mitchell School District. The three-tier mediation and diversion programs are designed to provide education and early intervention for children experimenting with alcohol or marijuana or who have issues with school attendance.