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GREGORY COUNTY — State officials urge patience for three region ambulance services in danger of shutting down. Following state legislation that went into effect in late 2016 that reduced the number of emergency medical technicians (EMT) required to respond to ambulance calls, Deputy Secretary for the South Dakota Department of Health Tom Martinec said it will likely take more time for people to realize the benefits.
Three years and 200 pounds ago, John Arleth couldn't ride a bicycle down the street. But after a year-long battle with cancer and two years of training, Arleth rode his bike 35 miles in Mitchell's 23rd annual Tour de Corn. "It's a wonderful thing," Arleth said. "Sometimes you take things like riding a bike for granted, but it's really great to do something like this."
PLATTE — It's time for change in Platte. At Friday's first staff meeting and training day, Core Educational Cooperative staff gathered to review policies and discuss what the co-op's first year providing services will entail, with the cooperative's main goal being to incite change and get back to what's important in education — the students. "My goal really for the first year is just to re-establish what's important, that we're here for the schools, students, communities and teachers," Core Director Valerie Johnson said.
ARTESIAN — Two years after her father's death, Selena Thomas is beginning to see change at the intersection where he died. Less than a month after her father's death, Thomas began discussions in December 2015 with the South Dakota Department of Transportation to install a light source at the intersection of state highways 34 and 37, north of Mitchell. That's the site where her father, Mike McCreight, died on Nov. 27, 2015. And this week, Thomas began to see work at the junction.
TYNDALL — A Bon Homme County highway project that was once met with opposition has resurfaced. The proposed $12 million project, which would span 18 miles starting near Tabor and running west through Tyndall, would reduce areas of the divided four-lane Highway 50 to three lanes, consisting of two driving lanes with a center turning lane. Also included would be resurfacing on the stretch of roadway.
WAGNER — A pile cow of feces symbolized almost $3,500 on Thursday night in Wagner. The Wagner Police Department sponsored a fundraiser in which people bought squares on a large board, and on Thursday night the owner of the square the cow defecated on won $1,700, half of the total raised. The winner, Ken Cotton, forfeited his winnings, so the total amount raised, $3,480, will go to a local resident who stepped in to help a Wagner officer who was being assaulted in June.
DELMONT — The lure of a free building has not been enough to jump-start a Delmont business. In September 2015, four months after a May tornado tore through town, Leo Holzbauer purchased the Delmont Steakhouse and Lounge. And after hoping to have it reopened this summer, the Main Street building still remains empty. Holzbauer, who had only lived in Delmont for two months prior to the tornado, is offering up the Steakhouse and Lounge to anybody who can run the business with a clean environment, pleasant atmosphere and good food for five years.
STICKNEY — A small hill of markers, crayons, glue sticks, pencils and other school supplies will likely make many Stickney students' first day of school brighter. On Tuesday night, the Stickney chapter of Modern Woodmen of America hosted a school supply drive at 281 Diner to gather supplies for students who would otherwise go to school empty handed.
For Kimball first-year Superintendent Tim Mayclin, south central South Dakota's trend of starting classes before Labor Day is fascinating. Formerly an administrator in Remer, Minnesota, Mayclin oversaw a district that began the school year after the holiday weekend, and it took him awhile to adjust starting in mid-August. But Mayclin looks forward to observing what benefits an earlier school year provides, because starting late never seemed to have any advantages, he said.
GREGORY COUNTY — There's an emergency situation in Gregory County that officials can't get a handle on. If there's not an increase in volunteers soon, the county's three ambulance services in Burke, Gregory and Bonesteel/Fairfax will be forced to close within the next two years, local leaders said. And if the county is left without an ambulance, it could take more than 30 minutes for officials from neighboring Tripp or Charles Mix counties to respond, leaving lives at risk, Bonesteel/Fairfax Ambulance Director Jeff Pistulka said.