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Thursday, October 23, 2014

News preview for Oct. 23rd issue…


Lawsuit filed to get old football field property by eminent domain revealed at City meeting

For the first time, the public heard at the October 14th council meeting that the City of Lennox has begun action to take the old football field property by eminent domain. Eminent domain is the power of federal, state or local governments to take private property for public use, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property. The information was revealed during a public hearing held for Ordinance No. 551, an ordinance rezoning the old football field from NRC Floodplain/Conservation District to General Business District and amending the official zoning map of the City. 
Three residents spoke against the rezoning, citing the proximity of the property to the park and residential areas and drainage issues.
Gene Kuper, of Arlington TX and owner of the property, stated that he would like to request the council table the hearing “because if you don’t, it gives the appearance of epic conflict of interest.” 
Kuper went on to say that the council filed a lawsuit that past week to condemn his property, the first step in the process of eminent domain. Council members confirmed the filing of the lawsuit.

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Gannon resigns from Worthing Commission

Monday night’s Worthing Commission meeting was the last one for Public Utilities Commissioner Todd Gannon, who resigned effective Nov. 1.  Gannon is leaving his position because he and his family will be moving out of Worthing to a home near Canton.
The Commission regretfully accepted his resignation.
“I’ve served with Todd since day one and we’ve seen a lot of things happen in five years,” said Mayor Eric Saugstad. “I, for one, am sincerely going to miss him.”
Saugstad talked about the countless hours Gannon put in for the city—for the parks, park and rec board, safe routes to school, and streets.
“I just want to thank you for all that you have done for the community,” said Saugstad.
Commissioner Troy Larson thanked Gannon for the leadership role he had taken.
Gannon found it difficult to say good-bye. “This is really, really hard,” he said.
Gannon thanked his wife first of all, for putting up with all the late nights and the nights he missed putting their son to bed.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

News preview for Oct. 16th issue…


Ryan Weisenbach among returning soldiers

Among those returning  with South Dakota Army National Guard’s 1742nd Transportation Company was Ryan Weisenbach of Lennox. He was welcomed home by his wife Misty, and his little girl Layla.
“Layla ran right up to her dad,” said Amy Fischer, Layla’s grandmother. “Skype is wonderful, so she knew him right away. She had to dress in a princess dress because she was so happy, she was gonna marry her daddy when he came home!”
“She was so happy to see him so they could play,” continued Amy. “They danced to the music while waiting for the ceremony to begin. They even played Ring Around the Rosie. I looked over and they were both laying on the ground laughing.”

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FFA team from Lennox wins 2014-2015 South Dakota Envirothon

The FFA team from Lennox won the 2014-2015 South Dakota Envirothon. The five students competed at NeSoDak near Waubay Oct. 2, 2014. The students are (left to right) Molly Kroeger (Junior), Alyssa Becker (Senior), Brady Jandl (Junior), Brady Klock (Junior), Levi Buckneberg (Senior). Alternates were Matt Bruns and Isaac Burma. Their advisor is Jim Wilson.
 The team competed in knowledge and skills pertaining to aquatic ecology, soils, wildlife and forestry. They also competed in this year’s current issue Community Forestry by taking a test and giving a short presentation.
 The presentation addressed the hypothetical restoration of their community forest after an ice storm damaged 30%-40% of their community forest. The teams were given the full scenario about 10 days before the presentation so they could do background research.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

News preview for Oct. 9th issue…


Lady O’s capture Sportsmanship award at State

Opening the state tournament at Sherman Park on Saturday, Oct. 4, Lennox’s Lady O’s faced Harrisburg in game one.  Taking to the mound, Mahli Strasser struck out four and allowed just one walk to the Lady Tiger batters. Harrisburg opened the game with two runs in the first inning, but was shut down for the remainder of seven innings.  
Offensively, Strasser opened the game for Lennox with a shot to left field that was mishandled followed by an errant throw also committed by Harrisburg’s left fielder. Strasser was able to score as a result. Walked in the third inning, Strasser was also able to score run number two by a sacrifice bunt laid down from Abbie Strasser and RBI single stroked by Grace Kidd. Two more runs were on the board for Lennox in the fourth inning with a single from CarLee Mechels, advancing on a single by Katie Daugherty. Alison Ziegler dropped an RBI double in play while Hannah Dosch also round an RBI double at the dish. Kidd was able to reach on a first baseman error in the fifth and later scored on a pass ball to put the fifth and final run in the book for the home team.  

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Band takes second in Festival of Bands parade competition

Lennox High School band students participated in the 27th annual Festival of Bands USA competition in Sioux Falls last Saturday, tying with Tea Area for second place in the Class AA parade category, both with scores of 81.6. West Central was awarded first place with 85.5 points, Luverne took third with 79.4 and Pipestone, Sibley-Ocheyedan and Dell Rapids placed fourth, fifth and sixth with scores of 78, 77.3 and 69.3, respectively.
Lennox also took fourth place in the Class AA field prelim with a score of 68.90 points. Rochester Lourdes took first place in the category with a score of 78.10 points; Sibley-Ocheyedan came in second with 72 points; West Central took third with a score of 70.50. Placing behind Lennox were the Madison, Luverne and Pipestone Area bands, with scores of 66.50, 65.20 and 64.70, respectively. 

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

News preview for Oct. 2nd issue…


Worthing housing study shows young, growing community

Worthing city officials got their first look at the recently completed housing study at their Sept. 22 meeting.
The study, which was conducted by Steve Griesert with Community Partners Research Inc. of Faribault, Minn., started this spring with surveys with 85 property owners and interviews with city staff. The $5,000 study did not cost the city anything. Former city administrator Jeff Tanner secured grants from South Dakota Housing Development Authority and MidAmerican Energy to pay for the study.
Worthing Mayor Eric Saugstad said the city wanted to do a housing study to get a good picture of where they are and where they should be heading.
“It tells us a lot of information about our demographics, what the makeup of our town is. We had a good idea already. We’re a young family-oriented community,” Saugstad said. “This study absolutely proved that. We had the highest number of families of any community he’s seen. That’s a really good sign for us. It tells us we have a young, vibrant community that is growing.”
The study showed a population of 877 in the 2010 U.S. Census. In 2013, that number was 930. The 2010 numbers show 282 residents were children, 320 were adults 25-44 years old and 175 were 45-64. The U.S. Census showed 11 residents in the 75 and older category.

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Valentien named Driver of the Year

Gene Valentien, of Lennox, was selected as the “South Dakota Driver of the Year” at the Dakota Transit Association annual fall conference held in Sioux Falls September 21-24, 2014. 
“Gene has worked for Community Transit, Inc. in the Lennox area since 2009 and has proven to be an employee that continually goes beyond the call of duty,” said Carol Seurer, Director of Community Transit, Inc. in nominating Valentien for the award.
Community Transit is a multi-county transit project with the main office being located in Sisseton, which is over 180 miles from Lennox. Valentien is the director of the local program and besides driving, oversees the bus and van schedules.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

News preview for Sept. 25th issue…


Jordan Wittrock, Nathan DeWitt to reign over 2014 Homecoming

Jordan Wittrock and Nathan DeWitt were crowned the Lennox High School’s Homecoming Queen and Marshal at Monday night’s coronation. Jordan is the daughter of D.J. and Carey Wittrock and Nathan is the son of Mark and Vicki DeWitt.
Other royalty candidates included: Harlie Breck, daughter of Chad and Laura Breck; Kaylee Cartner, daughter of Jason and Tanya Lancaster; Tabbitha Conner, daughter of Bobby and Candace Conner; Olivia Grave, daughter of Kevin and Sonja Grave; Brady Fischer, son of Mark and Cindy Fischer; Lane Smit, son of Duane and Stephanie Smit; Nathan Timmerman, son of Scott and Dawn Timmerman; and Austin Weischedel, son of Randy and Christine Weischedel.
The coronation program reflected the Homecoming carnival theme—Fun For All; All For Fun! The program was emceed by Traesha West and Travis Klinkhammer and included skits from the sports team and music from the  LHS band and vocal chorus. Watch next week’s paper for more Homecoming pictures.

Worthing hires city administrator

On Monday night, Worthing Commissioners approved the hiring of a new City Administrator—Amanda Mack.
Mack, originally from Iowa, has lived in Sioux Falls for the past five years. She attended school at South Dakota State University and earned a degree in history and political science. Mack has been in politics since 2006, serving as the State Director for Organizing for America.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of working in politics is the personal interaction that you get. I really loved the relationships I was able to build and cultivate with activists and voters,” said Mack.  “I think the ability to build relationships across the political spectrum and the ability to build consensus on a lot of different issues is a great asset that I bring to this position.”

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

News preview for Sept. 18th issue…


Cancer survivor looks to the future

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2008.  I found a lump in my right breast.  I made an appointment for a mammogram.  On May 16, 2008 I went in for my mammogram.  It had been two years since I had one.  After I was done, the nurse came to the waiting area and said the radiologist would like to see me.   He told me I had two spots and that he was 85% sure that one of them was cancerous and the other one might just be a calcium deposit.  I was stunned – probably because I was not expecting the radiologist to tell me – I was thinking usually you have to wait to see a doctor to get that kind of news.  I drove home by myself and do not remember the drive at all.  
On May 19, 2008, I had the biopsy and on May 20th, my doctor called me and told me I definitely had breast cancer.  I met with Dr. Reiland regarding surgery.  She told me I definitely had to have the right breast removed as the tumors were both cancerous and they were too far apart to do a lumpectomy.  I had already decided I wanted a double mastectomy.  I then had more tests done and also had to decide if I wanted reconstruction.  I met with Dr. Karu on this and decided I would have reconstruction.
On June 11, 2008 (the day after my 51st birthday) I had the double mastectomy.  I was in the hospital and went home three days later.  A week later Dr. Reiland called to let me know there was cancer in one of the lymph nodes that she removed and I would need to see an oncologist.  Now, I was scared.  I had my appointment with Dr. Dib and I was in tears as I asked him if I would be alive to see my 3rd grandchild who was to be born in December.  He told me he hoped I would be alive for many more grandchildren (I now have five grandsons and one granddaughter).   

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Lions honor Harold Timmerman

At the most recent Lennox Lions Club meeting, held on Thursday evening, Sept. 11, it was announced that Harold Timmerman, longtime resident of this community, was named the local 2014 recipient of the LCIF (Lions Club International Foundation) award for his public service. A contribution to the LCIF by the Local Lions Club has been given in honor of Mr. Timmerman and his name will be recorded for public viewing at the Lions International headquarters.
Lion Verlyn Hofer, who presented the award to the honoree, explained that funds contributed to the LCIF by Lion clubs and individual members from all over the world are used to carry on the many public service programs carried on by the Lions in many countries. The Lions are best known for their work on behalf of the blind and visually impaired. Their fight against diabetes and their support of the eye bank program has been recognized worldwide.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

News preview for Sept. 11th issue…

City council holds first reading of 2015 appropriation ordinance 

Lennox City Council met on Monday night for the first regular meeting of September. Under visitors to be heard: Glenn Nelson and Rich Schriever again spoke to the council about the Northern Cabinet property located on south Main. The men believe that city ordinances were not followed in the construction of that property and Nelson had an issue with the grant money given to Joe Kidd to cement his driveway. Chad Wulf, member of the Park and Rec Advisory Board, updated the council on their work. One of the projects they have been working on is to create a website with a calendar of activities and one that will allow people to pay online. “It’ll really enhance things,” said Wulf. He explained that the cost would be about $350 per year. Wulf also said they are working on remedies for soccer in Lennox. Lanny Poppens spoke to the council about the street that runs to the south of his property near the railroad tracks. He questioned if it was actually where it was supposed to be. He also commented that the railroad lots were not being maintained as they should be. “Until something else happens, we will do a better job of maintaining it,” assured Mayor Orville Wiebers. 

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District enrollment at 1044 

The Lennox School District 41-4 Board of Education met on Monday, September 8th. Superintendent Kirk Easton said he had received some questions as to what “Challenge Day” was; he explained to the Board that it was a one day program for students in grades 7-12 that is designed to create trust and build connections. The program is available by a grant process through the Sioux Empire United Way. Challenge Day addresses some common issues seen at most schools including: cliques, gossip, rumors, negative judgments, teasing, isolation, stereotypes, racism, sexism, bullying, violence, hopelessness, apathy, and hidden pressures to live up to the expectations of others. Also in the superintendent’s report, Easton addressed the additional bus route needed for the north Chancellor Route, citing the length of ride time for some children was an hour to an hour and a half. Easton said there will be a new driver and the route will be divided up. Easton also said enrollment numbers are at 1044. He added, “We’re steadily going up—not going down, so that’s nice.” Easton told the Board that the SD Policy and Budget Institute is hosting a non-partisan budget conversation on k-12 education funding and teacher salaries on Sept. 18th from 6-8 p.m. at the Sioux Falls Main Library, 200 N. Dakota Ave., Meeting Room A. The public is welcome to attend. Easton said work on the District’s website redesign is ongoing. “We’ve met with two different folks. I can’t promise when it’s going to be done, we want to make sure we have everything we want on there.”


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