Another round of heavy, wet snow contributed to sloppy conditions and several school closures Wednesday. In The Daily Republic's coverage area, 21 schools closed their doors, with a few more declaring late starts. Douglas County schools were closed notably because several areas reported having 8 to 10 inches of new snow, with snow still falling late into the morning. Douglas County Emergency Manager Pat Harrington said the state highways were decently cleared with some slushy areas, but "township roads are absolutely terrible."
Owen Fink lives a self-proclaimed double life. On one side, he's an athlete and enjoys hanging out with his friends. On the flip side, he's a geography whiz kid. Fink, a seventh-grader at Bridgewater-Emery Middle School, won his third straight state geography bee last week. "I feel like everybody is pretty tired of this kid winning three years in a row, but I'm also excited because I get to go to D.C. again," he said.
In fifth grade, at the last second, Karly Blaalid changed her No. 1 instrument pick from flute to trumpet. And she has never regretted the decision. Blaalid, a senior at Mitchell High School, was recently chosen to attend South Dakota All-State Band on March 24 after years of practice and dedication. "It was the best band experience I've ever had," Blaalid said with a huge smile on her face. "Rehearsals were run extremely well by Dr. Jason Caslor and I learned what it felt like to be a part of that next level of a band."
Earlier this year, a former Mitchell resident whose family's history is deeply rooted in the community donated three priceless paintings to the Carnegie Resource Center. Dick Weller called Lyle Swenson to ask whether the organization would like three original Oscar Howe paintings. Swenson, who is president of the Mitchell Area Historical Society, didn't hesitate for an instant in accepting. "Dick said, 'I like what you're doing,' " Swenson said. "And we're honored to get them. It adds authenticity to what we're doing here."
FORESTBURG — Two Sanborn Central High School students are working to improve a cold-weather problem for cattle ranchers, including their own families. Alex Wormstadt and Austin Schmit recently won a statewide competition in Pierre with their prototype of a mobile calf-warming box. The duo received $1,500 through the South Dakota Bankers Foundation 2018 Business Plan Competition after presenting their plan and project in February. "As the presentation went along, we could tell the judges were intrigued," Wormstadt said. "So, it turned into a conversation with them."
MENNO — Kathy Guthmiller loves to see the impact farm culture has on her grandchildren. "They love coming to the farm and doing their chores," Guthmiller said. "And they're learning that work ethic that you don't see a lot of these days in a lot of young kids." Her grandchildren are 4-H members, so Guthmiller and her husband, Doyle, keep several animals on the farm including beef and dairy steers, goats, llamas and miniature donkeys.
Mitchell police officers are dealing with a new threat — and it's a wet one. Mitchell Chief of Public Safety Lyndon Overweg said the number of assaults on officers within the city has remained steady over the past several years, citing 11 assaults in 2016 and 10 in 2017. But assaults on officers in Mitchell are less physical than in the past.
Crafting is not Jean Patrick's strong suit. But, it's a big part of Mitchell Public Library's storytime each Thursday morning. "It's open-ended," Patrick said, chuckling. "It really gives a lot of opportunity for exploration." Patrick began her position as children's services director, or simply children's librarian, in July when Lori Wagner retired after 26 years in the position.
Bud Delancey entered the U.S. Air Force as an 18 year old in 1942. He served in the Eighth Air Force, an attachment to Patton's Third Army, and the 702nd Heavy Bombardment that helped bomb Germany. "We helped chase (Erwin) Rommel out of Africa and into Italy," Delancey said, describing his part in the North African Campaign, which drove the German Afrika Korps out of the country.
First Circuit Court Judge Chris Giles introduced "three outstanding individuals" Thursday afternoon during James Valley Drug & DUI Court's sixth graduation ceremony. A group of officials, family, friends and supporters filled the third-floor courtroom at the Davison County Courthouse to recognize Kyler Way, William Lurken and Phillip Hull for completing the program. Each has been sober for more than a year.