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ETHAN — The rain this weekend was not going to stop Jared Storm from preparing for harvest season. "There is always something to get done," Storm said on Saturday morning outside his farm in Ethan. Wearing a baseball cap, blue jeans and a grey sweater, Storm stepped into his John Deere tractor. He spent the weekend preparing his equipment with the proper maintenance, feeding his cattle and taking a bit of break. He said by next weekend he will be out combining his soybeans.
WAGNER — The chairs remained empty with attendance sparse, as local and state officials gathered in Wagner to speak about ways community members can assist with cracking down on drug crimes. On Thursday evening at the Wagner Community School Theater, Bryan Gortmaker, president of the Division of Criminal Investigation, spoke to crowd of approximately 20 individuals about a new statewide anonymous texting program, Project Stand Up. At least half of the people in attendance were officials involved with the project.
When Brad Ciavarella looks at a building, he sees a blank canvas that can be transformed into something beautiful. "I was an artist before I was an architect," Ciavarella said. "Creativity is something that is my blood." Ciavarella started his own architecture firm in Mitchell, Ciavarella Design Architects, more than 20 years ago and has since been designing several in town and state projects.
WAGNER — Following claims of excessive force, the South Dakota Highway Patrol on Wednesday said a trooper’s actions were within policy involving an arrest over the weekend in Wagner. According to an affidavit signed by a South Dakota Highway patrolman, 64-year-old Raymond Cournoyer was arrested and charged with eluding law enforcement early Sunday morning when he allegedly failed to stop his vehicle and refused law enforcement commands.
With colleges and universities back in session for the fall semester, state and local officials are reminding students to be prepared and educated on fire safety. Last week, Gov. Dennis Daugaard declared September as "Campus Fire Safety Month" in South Dakota. "We have been fortunate here in South Dakota to have no campus fires reported to the office during the past year," said State Fire Marshall Paul Merriman in an email to The Daily Republic on Monday. "But we can't get complacent — students, university administrators and fire agencies need to remain vigilant."
As summer comes to an end, traffic stops are on the rise in Mitchell. The Mitchell Police Division reported 270 traffic stops in July 2017 compared to July 2016 with only 148 traffic stops performed. The number of warning tickets also increased with 206 warnings in July 2017 compared to July 2016 with only 75. The department also reported a similar increase in August. There were 312 reported traffic stops and 202 warning tickets in August 2017 compared to August 2016 with only 220 traffic stops and 202 warning tickets issued.
BURKE — For one local attorney, having access to affordable fresh produce in her community is a passion project that she is hopeful will become a reality. Kelsea Kenzy Sutton, of Burke, was selected to be part of the first cohort for the Change Networks program, funded by the Bush Foundation. Participants of the program are given a $5,000 grant to develop a plan to implement a change in their organization and or community. With the support of the program, participants attend conferences and workshops over the course of one year to assist them with their plans.
After more than 20 years of contracting with a Mitchell law firm, the Davison County Commission has decided to switch to a rotating attorney system for public defense work. According to Brenda Bode, Davison County commissioner, the county decided using a rotating attorney system for public defense work was the most feasible option for the taxpayers and to provide counsel to the public. "A lot is changing in the judicial system in the county. There are new judges and new programs, such as HOPE probation," Bode said. "This was an appropriate time to try something else."
It took more than 34 years for Tim Bingham to have a desire to stay sober. "Every day I test my recovery," said Bingham, 56, of Mitchell. Bingham was first introduced to methamphetamine when he was 22 years old. "I liked the feeling of the needle going in and out my arm. That is when I knew it was going to be a problem," Bingham told The Daily Republic this week while recounting his recovery story. He worked multiple jobs in Sioux Falls to help pay for the methamphetamine, eventually resorting to committing crimes to pay for his drug habits.
LAKE ANDES — A day like Monday makes coming to work worth it for Jerry Barnett, a court services officer in Lake Andes. Barnett and Judge Bruce Anderson congratulated 38-year-old George Cournoyer and 54-year-old Melvin (Leo) Hopkins for completing HOPE probation, a six-month drug abstinence program. And for Hopkins, the program made an enormous impact on his future. "This program saved my life," Hopkins said. "It got me to a controlled atmosphere. It was either go to prison or straighten up and live right."