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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

News preview for Oct. 30th issue…


Election 2014

After a vigorous, sometimes contentious campaign, voters will have the final word on Tuesday, Nov. 4 as they step into the polling booths. General Election polls will open up at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. as voters select the next Governor of South Dakota and decide who will represent them in state and local offices.
A sample ballot of the election in Lincoln County is printed on page 16 of this newspaper. Voters are reminded to bring a photo ID with them when they cast their ballot.
Voters in Lennox will vote at the Lennox Legion Community Building at 123 S. Main St., Lennox. Perry Township voters will also cast their ballot here. 
Voters in Worthing and Lynn Township will vote at the Worthing Civic Center  at 
121 S. Main, Worthing. 
Voters in Chancellor and Germantown Township will vote in Chancellor City Hall.
City of Tea voters will vote at the Tea City Hall, 600 E. 1st St., Tea. 
Delaware Township and Lincoln Township will vote at Delaware Reformed Church, 46587 US Hwy 18, Lennox,
Grant Township will vote at West Prairie Lutheran Church, 46788 282nd St., Lennox.
Locally, voters in District 6 will select a Senator and two Representatives. District 6 includes the communities of Lennox, Tea, Harrisburg and southern Sioux Falls.  Answers to questionnaires sent to the candidates are published on the front page of this week's Independent. Ernie Otten Jr. (R) will face Mel Zelmer (D) on the ballot for the position of Senator. Mel Zelmer did not respond to the questionnaire. The District 6 Representative positions will be filled by two of the following three candidates: Richard Schriever (D), Isaac Latterell (R),  and Herman Otten (R).
Worthing will be casting their votes for a District 16  Senator. Dan Lederman (R)  and  Ann Tornberg (D) are vying for the position. Answers to their questionnaires are published in this week's Independent.  Jim Bolin (R), and David Anderson (R) are running unopposed for District 16 representative.
Statewide, besides selecting the next Governor, voters will also be selecting a United States Representative from South Dakota.  Corinna Robinson (D) has taken on incumbent Kristi Noem (R) for the position. 
Voters will also be selecting a United States Senator. Four men are seeking the position: Rick Weiland (D), Mike Rounds (R), Gordon Howie (I) and Larry Pressler (I).
Voters will also be asked to weigh in on a Constitutional Amendment, and two Initiated Measures. For more information on these, see the sample ballot on page 16 of this week's paper. More election information is also published throughout this week’s newspaper. 

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Senate candidates say Washington leadership is the real problem

By Dana Hess
for SD Newspaper Association
VERMILLION, S.D. - Four men trying to get elected to the U.S. Senate spent an hour-long debate Thursday night running against the federal government. While they differed wildly on some issues, they all seemed to agree that the government in Washington, D.C., is dysfunctional. 
The Senate candidates, Republican Mike Rounds, Democrat Rick Weiland and independents Gordon Howie and Larry Pressler, met for a debate telecast on South Dakota Public Broadcasting. The debate was sponsored by South Dakota Newspaper Association, AARP South Dakota and SDPB. They are seeking the seat held by retiring Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat. 
Asked how he would respond if Congress moves toward another government shutdown, Pressler, a former Republican three-term senator said, “The problem is that the Senate doesn’t really vote on anything anymore.”

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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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