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Thursday, April 10, 2014

News preview for Apr. 10th issue…

Radical brain surgery gives local boy new lease on life

by Erica Gaspar
A life dictated by seizures
Kade Klinghagen was three years old when the seizures started. At first, it was only bad a few days out of the year, mostly in the winter time. Doctors traced the source of the trouble to a birth defect—a previously undetected malformation was causing seizure activity within the right hemisphere of Kade’s brain.
As he got older, the seizures worsened. Kade’s parents, Brian and Kenna, of Lennox, shuffled him from doctor to doctor in search of answers. Testing at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN showed that Kade was experiencing about 300 seizures a day at the peak of his illness. Doctors tried a litany of medications to control the disorder, even resorting to ones with black box warnings, which can be fatal. 
Brian and Kenna tried to maintain as normal of a life as possible for their family while praying for a miracle for Kade. They monitored their son’s movements carefully throughout each day and became keenly aware of subtle signs he showed just before a seizure would strike. 

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Phillip Fett to become new Lennox councilman

Phillip Fett will be the new Lennox Ward 1 councilman. He ran unopposed for the position previously held by Glenn Nelson.
When asked why he decided to run for council, Fett replied, “I’ve been here all my life, and it just seems like the last few years we’ve kind of gotten bogged down on issues that maybe weren’t as important as some of things we’ve been bypassing or putting off to the side.”
 Fett believes that all the time spent on rezoning of properties, bike trails, tree trimming, and similar issues, would be better spent on major issues affecting the City.
“I feel we need to get back to a City Administrator that has control of the day to day stuff, so the council can just give him some direction and not be so personally involved in the day to day stuff, whether it’s dealing with employees or residents,” said Fett.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

New preview for Apr. 3rd issue…

Four candidates vie for three school board seats

On Apr. 8, Lennox School District residents will go to the polls to elect three people to serve on the Lennox School Board for the next three years. Four candidates will be on the ballot—challenger Laura Marquardt and incumbents Mary Peters, Sandra Poppenga and Dawn Wolf. Meet the candidates in this week's Lennox Independent. 

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Lennox ISO rating improves; new rates could lower insurance premiums

In a letter recently received from The Insurance Services Office (ISO), Mayor Wiebers was informed the city’s fire classification rating improved by two points to a 4 classification.
ISO thanked Roger Almond, city water superintendent; Todd Baldwin, 911 director; Earl Fischer and Scott Timmerman, from The Lennox Fire Department, for their excellent cooperation during The Public Protection Classification (PPC) Survey.
The City of Lennox has been aggressive in past years by erecting two new water towers, and improving water flow through upgrades to their water delivery system.  The city portion of the survey comprises 40% of the total score.  The 911 Center accounts for 10% of the score.  They are evaluated on their capability to answer 911 calls, gather initial information, notify first responders, and give support throughout an incident.  The fire department is evaluated on fire-fighting capabilities such as pumping capacity of engines, amount of hose available for water delivery, and accurate training records. The 100 foot platform was a great addition to the department.  The fire department evaluation comprises 50% of the rating.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

News preview for March 27th issue…

Two candidates to face off for Mayor

On Apr. 8, Lennox residents will go to the polls to elect a Mayor to serve the community for the next two years. Two candidates are vying for the position—incumbent Orville Wiebers and challenger Richard Schriever. Questionnaires were sent to both candidates; their responses are printed in this week's paper. 

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Timmerman to speak on history of Lennox Fire Dept., April 1

Lennox Area Historical Society will be featuring the history of the Lennox Volunteer Fire Department at their next meeting, to be held in the Community Library community room on Tuesday, Apr. 1. This date was incorrectly reported in last week’s paper. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. and the special program will begin at 7:45 p.m. Harold Timmerman, who was the Lennox Fire Chief for many years, will speak on the history of the local department. The community is invited to attend. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

News update for March 20th issue…

Council begins preparing for 2014 construction projects

While the bulk of last week’s City Council meeting was the discussion of Lenkota Acres Addition (as reported in last week’s issue), the board also dealt with other business items.
• Bids were opened for a used truck for the Street Department. One bid was received: a 2004 International 7400 for $49,386, with snow plow and hitch, $64,096.  The Street Committee will review the bid before it is accepted by council. Action on the bid was tabled.
•  Nick Foscheim, director of the Lincoln County Economic Development Association, spoke to the council regarding the association’s partnership with the City.
• A SDDOT Funding Agreement for the Shared Use Path along Highway 44 was approved. The City received a Transportation Enhancement Grant of $490,000 in April of 2013. This funding agreement will allow the SDDOT to move forward with a design contract for the project.

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Special education staff strives to meet increasing student needs

by Erica Gaspar
As increasingly sophisticated screening tools help identify students in need of educational supplements outside traditional classroom work, educators strive to develop individual solutions, often in the form of special education classes, to help kids remain on track to grow beyond their current skill level.
In Lennox, a jump in enrollment in special education classes led Director of Student Services Kristi Wallin to request an additional special education teacher at the elementary school, where the majority of the district’s increase has occurred. The school board approved the request at their March 10 meeting.
Each year, the department’s budget is determined by the previous year’s student tally as of Dec. 1.
As the district’s enrollment continues to climb, the special education program is also experiencing an influx of students. But no matter the number of students, Wallin said, the focus continues to be on providing a quality education that will prepare as many students as possible for life after high school.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

News preview for March 13th issue…

Council divided on allowing rural subdivision

By Debbie Schmidt
Debate continued on the pros and cons of allowing a rural subdivision near Lennox at Monday night’s City Council meeting. In the end, a divided council voted 4-3 to stand by their recommendation to Lincoln County Commissioners to support rezoning property owned by Rowan Doorn to rural residential, the first step toward a rural housing development.
Doorn, whose property is located to the west of Lenkota Country Club, had previously presented the city with a preliminary plan for Lenkota Acres Addition. 
While City officials were in agreement that the development did not meet the City’s engineering standards, it was argued that being outside of the city limits, it shouldn’t be subject to the same standards. The council asked the engineers to revisit the sub-division ordinances.

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District’s reading program boosts students’ skills

By Erica Gaspar
The Lennox School District began implementing the Response to Intervention (RtI) program to boost student achievement in reading in 2007.
As a pilot district, Lennox staff received extensive professional development on screening, teaching and intervention methods, said Kari Oyen, a school psychologist who works with the district.
The RtI model has been used to measure student achievement and provide additional instruction when necessary to ensure students are attaining grade level appropriate goals in reading. Students are screened for reading progress and placed in the tier that most closely matches their current abilities and needs at least three times each year.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

News preview for Mar. 6th issue…

Elections to be held for City, School

Both Lennox School District and the City of Lennox will be holding elections on April 8. 
The City of Lennox will be selecting a Mayor. Two people have filed a nominating petition—incumbent Orville Wiebers and challenger Richard Schriever.  
In Lennox Ward I, Phillip Fett will take over the seat being vacated by Glenn Nelson. Nelson chose not to run for re-election. Greg Poppenga and Mike Gregg will retain their seats in Ward II and Ward III, respectively.
Lennox School District patrons will be selecting three members for the Board of Education. Four people are vying for the position— Mary M. Peters, Sandra Poppenga, Dawn Wolf and Laura Marquardt. Peters, Poppenga, Wolf are current board members.

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Seeing Double: LHS boasts 10 sets of twins

by Erica Gaspar

At some point, nearly everyone hears that they look like someone else. With a world population of over seven billion, it’s not surprising that a few people would look alike and that some—approximately 19 million people on any given day—share a birthday. 
But a certain part of the population is unique for another combination of these characteristics: they spent every day from conception to birth together, were born together and may look exactly alike. This special segment of the population is, of course, twins.
About two percent of the U.S. population, which equates to 4.5 million people, have a twin. At Lennox High School, the ratio of twins to singletons—anyone that was not part of a multiple birth—is about five percent higher than the national average. The most recent enrollment numbers show that LHS has 285 students enrolled. Twenty of those students are twins. 
Eight of the 10 pairs of twins at LHS are fraternal. Three sets of twins—Austin and Rachel Odland, Jacob and Alison Ziegler, Abby and Baylee Abraham, Eric and Haley Reinholt, Toni and Timber “Timi” Serr and Logan and Whitley Barr—are currently in the ninth grade and two sets—Catlynn and Taber Lee and McKenzie and Taylor Weeldreyer—are in tenth. Connor and Cameron Abbas are juniors and Carly and Cody VanDenBosch are seniors.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

News update for Feb. 27 issue…

Worthing approves municipal garbage service

During the past year, the Worthing City Commission has been discussing the option of contracting residential garbage collection with a single hauler for the community.  
On Monday night, the Commissioners approved an ordinance that will allow the City to contract out the collection of garbage for its residents.
Mayor Eric Saugstad explained that there are several reasons why the city decided  on this option.
“One of the biggest benefits contracting with one service provider for the entire community is price,” said Saugstad. “By using an existing contract a hauler has with another, larger community, the city is able to take advantage of lower prices.   This results in better rates for our residents.”

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Weischedel claims Region Championship title; LHS qualifies seven for State Tournament

Lennox will be sending seven wrestlers to the State A Tournament this Friday and Saturday with a strong performance at the Region Meet held in Lennox on Thursday, Feb. 20 and Friday, Feb. 21.
As a team, Lennox earned fourth place with 106 points among the nine teams in Region 2A. Washington won the Tournament (201 points), followed by Brandon Valley in second (159.50), Vermillion third (145), Sioux Falls Lincoln and Yankton tied for fifth (80), Harrisburg seventh (71), Dakota Valley eighth (54), and Tea Area ninth (28).
“Our goal all year was to make the state tournament and place high in the region,” said Oriole head coach Randy Weischedel, “we accomplished this goal as a team.”
Lennox had one Region champion, Wesley Weischedel at 113 pounds; two runners-up: Cole Halouska at 106 and Matt Mazourek at 132 pounds; two third place finishers: Chris Stokke at 195 pounds and Tyler Zebell at 120 pounds; and two fourth place finishers: Sam Metivier at 220 pounds and Nate DeWitt at 285 pounds. All seven of those wrestlers have qualified for the State Meet and will represent Lennox High School in Rapid City.

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