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PRESHO — The sun rose on a somber central South Dakota scene on Monday. As news spread about the Presho fire chief's death, it became the talk of the town — from Main Street businesses to gas stations. And everyone seemed to have similar reactions. Stunned, sad, disbelief. Presho Fire Chief Donald F "Donny" Manger, 54, died on Saturday while helping his department battle a blaze at an abandoned structure in rural Lyman County, prompting fire departments, organizations and people across the state to show an outpouring of support on social media.
PARKSTON — As Tara Bainbridge and her husband, Neal, walked into Boogs & Co. on Saturday afternoon, they stopped to take it all in. Wearing a surgical mask, Tara made a brief appearance at a benefit in Parkston in her honor, and what the Bainbridges saw — people wall to wall showing their support — was overwhelming.
South Dakota is gearing up for another long flu season. With the 2017-18 season's first lab-confirmed case reported in Lawrence County, the South Dakota Department of Health officials say residents should be prepared for anything. Along with the one lab-confirmed case, five rapid tests have come back positive for the flu — two of which were in Gregory County. Confirmed cases are characterized by a "full-blown" set of tests, whereas the rapid test cases involve a less extensive round of tests that can be done in the doctor's office.
Two districts were mistakenly grouped among nearly 40 South Dakota schools that face penalties for violating state-mandated "accountabilities" regarding teacher pay, state officials said Thursday.
PLATTE — When he's not in City Hall, Platte Mayor Steve Christensen can likely be found with his head in the clouds. The 64-year-old has been the coordinator for chapter 289 of Young Eagles for six years. And in that time, he's taken hundreds of children and teenagers on free airplane rides in an attempt to "provide a service" to the community.
In situations where minutes can mean the difference between life and death, Mitchell-area residents can rest assured that first responders make each second count. Although there is always room for improvement, Mitchell Assistant Fire Chief Paul Morris said he is happy with Mitchell fire and emergency medical services response times, with crews arriving on scene in fewer than seven minutes, on average.
ARMOUR — A donation from an Armour couple will pave the way for potential expansion to the Douglas County Memorial Hospital. Rex and Ruth Winter owned the house adjacent to Prairie Villa, an assisted living facility, as well as a larger rental house next door and recently decided to gift their property to the hospital, according to Administrator Heath Brouwer. The Douglas County Memorial Hospital is "landlocked" between properties, Brouwer said, and although there are no current plans for an expansion or project, the donation makes both possible in the future.
WESSINGTON SPRINGS — Despite public speculation about his resignation as superintendent of the Wessington Springs School District, Lance Witte said the move is for personal reasons, not because of an alcohol addiction. Witte recently submitted his letter of resignation the the district's school board to take effect at the end of June. He said he was recently remarried and his wife lives in Chamberlain and he has remained in Wessington Springs to see his children through school.
The Mitchell Fire Department is lauding employees at Mitchell Iron Supply for identifying a carbon monoxide issue Tuesday morning, potentially avoiding deaths. At approximately noon, employees at the business called the fire department feeling sick and suspecting elevated carbon monoxide levels. That call could have saved lives, according to Mitchell Fire Cpt. Steve Nedved.
CORSICA — As South Dakota works to meet its goal of increasing its lowest-in-the-nation average teacher salary, some school districts aren't helping the cause. Thirty-eight school districts violated either one or both of two "accountabilities" established by the state Legislature to ensure schools are using the appropriate amount of funds generated by a half-percent sales tax increase to bolster teacher salaries.