WHITE LAKE — It's shaping up to be another year of cost cutting for one local farmer, who expects late planting to hinder farm operations in an already weak economic climate. Steven Mohnen, 63, of White Lake, has a diversified operation. He runs a successful bull business and grows corn and soybeans on approximately 2,200 acres. But with the amount of snowfall his land's received this winter, he predicts a rough year for his crops. "It's going to be a late spring," Mohnen said. "I think it's going to be a tough start. I really do."
PLATTE — After a wet growing season and a late harvest, South Dakota farmers may be waiting longer than usual to both buy seed and put it in the ground. Todd DenBesten, owner of Dakota's Best Seed in Platte, said most farmers buy corn and soybean seed before Jan. 1, but he suspects more business could be coming in the near future. "This year, being with the wet fall we had and the late harvest, I would say there's probably quite a bit of business that's not committed yet out there," DenBesten said.
With record-setting rain totals in several areas, South Dakota farmers have started looking to a familiar solution to avoid flooding in the future. After a rainy summer and fall, interest in drain tile has risen, according to one of the leading tile installation companies in South Dakota. But the number of actual drainage projects hasn't yet increased for local farmers despite coming off the busiest flood season in nearly a decade.
ARMOUR — A local student is taking a popular reading competition into her own hands as she prepares to become the first student to lead the event. Maddison Sparks, 17, a junior at Armour High School, will take over as leader of Prairie Readers, a reading competition for area students that's been running for 15 years. "I am the first high school student to take on the program. I'm hoping with lots of help, I can lead Prairie Readers just as well as it was before," Sparks said.
A suspect in a Mitchell kidnapping admitted to using LSD during the incident but failed to provide enough information for the court to accept a guilty plea. Marco Sherman, 22, of Mitchell, attempted to plead guilty Tuesday to first-degree kidnapping, stemming from a Sept. 22 incident in which he and three other people were charged with forcibly taking a 66-year-old man from a Mitchell apartment, robbing him and leaving him in a field with no clothes, but Judge Tim Bjorkman refused to accept the plea. Sherman will face a jury trial in May.
OLIVET — A high-speed chase that involved stolen vehicles, reached speeds of 115 mph and spanned two counties ended late Wednesday night after officers used spike strips. Creighton Ross, 19, of Sioux Falls, and a 17-year-old juvenile male who police are not naming, stole a red Grand Prix belonging to Jason Streyle in Olivet, a town in Hutchinson County, at around 11:30 p.m.
Authorities at the center, which houses 48 individuals, said proceeds collected from this event will be put toward purchasing an EZ Stand that will help staff comfortably transfer residents, which costs about $6,000. In past years, the center has raised about $3,000 from the event. The pie and silent auction items were donated from the community. The event was also a celebration for Dorothy Foos, who celebrated 45 years at Prairie View Care Center in September, and the public was invited to come celebrate with her and sign a quilt as a gift.
A Mitchell Firefighter EMS crew leaves the scene where 10-year-old Tyson Prickett collided with a vehicle around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday while riding an electric scooter at the intersection of Isadore Street and Sixth Avenue. The vehicle, a 2008 Impala, was driven by Melanie Spinar, of Mitchell, who was traveling west on Sixth Avenue. Authorities said Prickett suffered minor injuries, but was taken to the hospital by family members. He was wearing a helmet. No citations have been given and the incident is still under investigation.
Red Cross volunteers continue to work with families impacted by an apartment fire on Saturday night in Mitchell. The Mitchell Fire Division responded to a call around 9:10 p.m. on Saturday at 124 W. Seventh Ave.