• Local News

    1. Codington County Voters Say Yes To Ordinance 65 Keeping The Zoning Laws Intact

      codington county courthouseOrdinance 65 will stay on the books in Codington County. The county ordinance is a combination of more than 30 plus zoning laws and was the target of a special election Monday. In all there were 1,670 yes votes and 739 no. That translates to a 14.4 percent voter turnout.  Only Leola Township, South Shore and Waverly voted in the no column.  Overwhelming approval of ordinance 65 was noted in the community of Watertown.

       

       

       

      Here are the vote totals for the Codington County Special election Tuesday

       

      YES      NO

       

      Ward A             298       84

      Ward B             267       76

      Ward C              107      39

      Ward D             156    59

      Ward E              256       66

       

      Dexter, Fuller, Florence    135 Yes and 18 no

      Eden, Phipps, and Wallace  49 yes and 4 no

      Elmira, Germantown, Kampeska, Rauville, and Richland   112 yes and 91 no

      Graceland, Henry Township and Henry Community  29 yes and 22 no

      Kranzburg Township and Kranzburg community 60 yes and 48 no

      Lake, Pelican and Sheridan Townships 172 yes and 140 no

      Leola Township and South Shore  16 yes and 23 no

      Waverly    13 yes and 69 no

       

      The Codington county Commissioners will canvass the votes today.


    2. City of San Francisco places South Dakota off limits for official travel

      Dennis Daugaard 2016The City of San Francisco has placed South Dakota off limits for official travel because of a bill passed in this year’s legislature. The law protects faith based adoption agencies that refuse to place children with gay couples, or other arrangements at odds with their religious beliefs. Governor Dennis Daugaard, who signed the bill, says that stance is a concern.

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      Daugaard says there is some misunderstanding of the law.

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      Daugaard says anyone seeking to adopt, will be served.

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      It appears likely that the State of California may also forbid official travel to South Dakota because of the law.


    3. Pierre Mayor Heading For DC For Small Community Air Service Working Group

      Laurie GillPierre Mayor Laurie Gill is traveling to Washington DC today (Tuesday) for the 4th and final meeting of the Small Community Air Service Working Group that originated in the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act. Gill is the only Mayor in the nation on the task force. Gill was appointed in December to the working group. The group is coordinating with local, state, and federal officials to help develop potential solutions to challenges faced by rural airports and the communities they serve, including reliability of air service and pilot training.  Gill says this meeting will focus on the Essential Air Service program, which serves Pierre. President Donald Trump recently called to eliminate the service to rural communities. Gill says that the Essential Air Service program isn’t a place to cut.

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      However, she adds that the Essential Air Service program needs reforms…

       

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      Gill adds Trump’s proposal is just the beginning of negotiations on the Essential Air Service topic…

       

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      The group will come up with a final report after the meeting today.

       


    4. Separate Arrests: Watertown Man Arrested And Charged On Stolen Firearm Offense — Another Man Arrested For Stolen Vehicle Offense

      watertown police car 2016On March 27, 2017 at approximately 9:15 p.m. Watertown Police investigated a report of a firearm stolen from a vehicle in downtown Watertown.

      A witness reported observing Michael Ray Barnes with stolen property in his possession. The witness provided a description of the vehicle Michael was driving.

      Watertown Police Officers intercepted Michael leaving the scene and conducted a traffic stop. A search of Michael’s vehicle revealed multiple items of stolen property to include a 12 gauge shotgun. All of the property is believed to have been stolen from unlocked vehicles in the downtown area.

      Subsequent investigation determined Michael was also under the influence of alcohol.

      Michael was arrested for the following offenses: Grand Theft of Firearm, Possession of Firearm by Former Violent Offender, DUI 4th Offense, Criminal Entry of a Motor Vehicle, Petty Theft from a Motor Vehicle.

      More charges are possible pending identification of other possible stolen items.

      The WPD was assisted by the South Dakota Highway Patrol

      ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

      Narrative Stolen Vehicle Story

      On March 24, 2017 at approximately 2147 hours Watertown Police investigated a report of a stolen vehicle. The stolen vehicle was a “party bus” belonging to a local bar.

      The suspect was identified as Collin Franzky. Officers located Collin operating the party bus on SD Highway 20. A traffic stop was conducted on the bus in the 300 block of 10th Street NW. Collin was taken into custody without further incident.

      The Watertown Police Department was assisted on scene by the Codington County Sheriff’s Office and the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

      Collin is currently being held at the Codington County Detention Center on a $3000 cash bond.


    5. Codington County Ordinance 65 Special Election Today!

      codington county courthouseWatertown, SD —  Codington County voters are going to the polls today in Watertown and throughout the county to decide the fate of Ordinance 65.  The measure has been a hot-button topic since a group began circulating a petition to repeal the measure.  Most voters today will vote at the Codington County Ag building but many others will vote in the surrounding Codington County Communities.  Here is the list of polling places today.  A reminder that KXLG will have the results live this evening when the polls close.

      CODINGTON COUNTY

      NOTICE OF SPECIAL ELECTION

      A Special Election will be held on Monday, March 27, 2017, for all voting precincts in Codington County.  If the polls cannot be opened because of bad weather, the election may be postponed one week.  At the election, the following question will be voted on:  Shall Codington County Ordinance #65 be approved or rejected.  The election polls will be open from seven o’clock a.m. until seven o’clock p.m. local time on the day of the election.  The polling place in each precinct in this county shall be as follows:

      Ward A, Precincts 1- 4; County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp******

      Ward B, Precinct 1 – 4; County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Ward C, Precincts 1 – 4; County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Ward D, Precincts 1 – 4; County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Ward E, Precincts 1 – 5; County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Dexter Twp., Fuller Twp., and Town of Florence – Florence Community Center

      Eden Twp., Phipps Twp., and Town of Wallace – Wallace Community Center

      Elmira, Germantown, Kampeska, Richland, and Rauville Twps. – County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Graceland Twp., Henry Twp., and Town of Henry – Henry Town Hall

      Kranzburg Twp. and Town of Kranzburg – Holy Rosary Auditorium

      Lake Twp., Pelican Twp., and Sheridan Twp. – County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Leola Twp. and Town of South Shore – South Shore Community Center

      Waverly Twp. – Waverly Community Center

      *****SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS*****

      For voting at the County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp, voters should enter the building using the south parking lot and enter through entrance “H”.  Voters who normally vote at Lincoln School and the Days Inn will vote at the County Ag. Building for this election.

      Voters with disabilities may contact the County Auditor for information and special assistance in absentee voting or polling place accessibility.

      Cindy Brugman

      Codington County Auditor

      Codington County does not discriminate on the basis of color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability in employment or the provision of service.


    6. Work Visas For Immigrant Labor May Be Big Problem For South Dakota

      Mike Rounds seanate 2015A quota on a certain type of work visa may present problems to South Dakota businesses.

      Senator Mike Rounds says they got the word about a cap last week.

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      Rounds says South Dakota gets hit harder than other states.

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      Rounds says it may take some time to make any changes.

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      The national cap of sixty-six thousand visas is renewed each October first.

       


    7. Sears’ Future Won’t Impact Watertown’s Sears Hometown Store

       Sears Hometown Stores Operate Under Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Not Sears Holdings Corporation; Watertown Store is Locally Owned and Operated and Will Continue Operations 

      sears hometown store 2 -- use this oneWatertown, SD. – With the recent news surrounding Sears Holdings Corporation, the Sears Hometown Store in Watertown, South Dakota is assurikng local residents they are going strong and will continue providing the community access to several of the Sears’ brands they love and need.  Below is a press release received by KXLG news talking about it.

      Sears Hometown locations operate under Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOS), which separated from Sears Holdings Corporation in October 2012 and is a completely separate, publicly-traded company. With this, news from Sears Holdings Corporation about its performance or store closings are in no way a reflection of the health of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores or the Watertown Sears Hometown Store. Plus, unlike most retail concepts, Sears Hometown Stores combine the value, selection and services associated with larger retail stores but are owned and operated by a member of the local community.

      “We want to make sure our customers know that we are here to stay and will continue to provide the wonderful Watertown community with the same top-notch products, pristine customer service and incomparable store experience they have come to expect from us,” said Danny & Connie Heaton, owner of Sears Hometown Store in Watertown.

      The local retailer, which provides customers with access to a full suite of merchandise and services, is the only place in town where customers can find an incredible selection of the top 10 appliance brands, such as Kenmore®, Maytag®, KitchenAid®, Whirlpool®, Bosch®, Frigidaire® and GE®, plus a large assortment of lawn and garden equipment, Craftsman® tools, fitness equipment, electronics, mattresses and more.

      “Our store is thriving, and looking forward to being a valued community partner in Watertown for many years to come,” Heaton added.

      The Watertown Sears Hometown team provides customers with professional advice, exceptional service and real time price checks to make sure customers get the guaranteed lowest prices around. Customers also have the option to order products online from our new website and pick them up in the store without a shipping charge. The Watertown store also offers Sears Nationwide Service, Parts and Installation.

      The Sears Hometown Store in Watertown is located at 1101 Jenson Ave SE. Visit http://www.searshometownstores.com/home/sd/watertown/3160 or call (605) 886-6916 for more information.

      About Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc.

      Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOS) is a national retailer primarily focused on selling home appliances, lawn and garden equipment, tools and hardware. As of October 29, 2016, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. and its dealers and franchisees operated 1,115 stores across all 50 states as well as in Puerto Rico and Bermuda. In addition to merchandise, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. provide consumers with access to a full suite of services, including home delivery, installation, Leasing programs and extended service contracts.

      Operating through two segments—the Sears Hometown and Hardware segment and the Sears Outlet segment—Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. and its subsidiaries offer franchise and dealership opportunities focused on selling, as applicable, top brand home appliances, hardware, tools, lawn and garden equipment and outlet merchandise. For more information about Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores, Inc., visit www.shos.com. To learn about the opportunity to own and operate a store format, visit www.ownasearsstore.com.


    8. Codington County Zoning Board Approves CAFO Request In Sheridan Township With No Opposition

      KXLG LOGOThe Codington County Zoning board recently approved a permit for Nathan Reichling, A Codington County animal producer, who wants to expand his feeder cattle operations on his father’s land from 800 to 2,500 head. The property is located in Sheridan Township south of Watertown.  After an hour of testimony at the planning commission meeting, and no opposition and questions, the board approved the permit based upon zoning rules from 2001, which the county would revert to in a “no” vote on Ordinance 65 next Monday March 27th.  The permit was granted subject to 17 conditions.  It will still have to receive final approval by the South Dakota Department Of Environment And Natural Resources.  The Reichling operation is considered a class 1 CAFO located less than 2,640 feet from 9 residences.   The family currently operates an unpermitted class three beef feedlot which has been in operation by the family since prior to 1997. Reichling has worked with the NRCS to complete manure and nutrient management plans for his proposed expansion up to 2,500 animal units. As part of his permit request he submitted letters with his application from the affected residences stating their support for his application.


    9. It’s Not Over Until It’s Over Says State Health Secretary!

      KIm Malsom-RysdonPIERRE, SD — The Obamacare Replacement drive in the Republican-controlled Congress isn’t over till it’s over. So even healthcare experts such as South Dakota State Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon have trouble predicting the final product and its specific impact.

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      No matter what form the replacement package eventually takes, it will mean big changes for South Dakota, says Malsam-Rysdon.

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      “Medicaid, if the bill that is being considered does pass, would see some pretty big changes in how the funding for that happens for states and so that is something, of course, that is very important to our state government. Medicaid is a pretty big part of our budget.”

      She says there is also a big change in how people qualify for health insurance plans.

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      Malsam-Rysdon speaks largely in generalities about the complicated replacement plan because it is so fluid and all the details have yet to be nailed down.

      What’s more, she points out that once the replacement becomes law, then the federal government will have to craft regulations to implement all the healthcare changes.   

       


    10. Adam Lalim Running In Ward B For Watertown City Council

      KXLG LOGOA candidate has emerged to run in the Ward B Council Race for the seat currently held by Bill Rieffenberger.  Adam Lalim, says this his second try at the Ward B office after narrowly losing in the last election by two votes.

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      Lalim talked about his background.

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    11. Three Adults Arrested In Watertown Death Investigation

      watertown police car 2016

      **********UPDATE************

      On March 23nd, 2017 arrest warrants were served on 3 adults in connection with the death investigation of a 19 year old female at Watertown. Arrested were the following:

      Kayla Darlene Juhnke DOB: 05/22/1995 (21 years old) is charged with:

      35-9-2.3. Purchase of beverage by adult for person under twenty-one as misdemeanor. She is being held at the Codington County Detention Center on a $1,000 cash or surety bond.

      *35-9-2.3. Purchase of beverage by adult for person under twenty-one as misdemeanor is a class one misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail and up to a $2,000 in fines.

      Brady Alan Johnke DOB: 02/04/1998 (19 years old) is charged with:

      35-9-1.1. Furnishing alcoholic beverage to person eighteen years or older but less than twenty-one years prohibited. He is being held at the Codington County Detention Center on a $500 cash or surety bond.

      * 35-9-1.1. Furnishing alcoholic beverage to person eighteen years or older but less than twenty-one years prohibited is a class two misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines.

      Logan James Schilling DOB: 08/23/1997 (19 years old) is charged with:

      35-9-10. Social host prohibited from permitting consumption of alcoholic beverages by person age eighteen, nineteen, or twenty. He is being held at the Codington County Detention Center on a $500 cash or surety bond.

      *35-9-10. Social host prohibited from permitting consumption of alcoholic beverages by person age

       

      Three adults have been arrested at Watertown following the death of a 19 year female at a Southwest Watertown residence early Tuesday Morning.  Sgt. Chad Stahl is with the Watertown Police Department.

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       Sgt Stahl says the investigation is continuing into the death of the woman who appears to have died from alcohol poisoning.

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       He says the name of the deceased woman will not be released by the Watertown Police Department.

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      The 19 year girl was a student at the Lake Area Technical Institute, however her hometown wasn’t identified.

       

       

       


    12. Minnesotans Struggle to Find Healthy Food

      minnesota food storyST. PAUL, Minn. – About 340,000 Minnesotans don’t have access to healthy food on a regular basis because of either distance or income barriers, and about a quarter of a million live more than 10 miles from a large grocery store or supermarket.

      A recent poll commissioned by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota found state residents place a high value on being able to access healthy, affordable food for their families.

      Janelle Waldock, vice president for Community Health and Health Equity at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, says more than seven in ten say they would choose healthier food if more options were available in their communities.

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      “We’re one of the biggest agricultural states of anywhere in the nation, but yet we have many communities in the urban areas, in the suburban areas and in rural Minnesota that are food deserts and where people really struggle and have challenges accessing healthy food,” she points out.

      The poll found access to healthy food is a key influencer when it comes to where people choose to live.

      The Minnesota Legislature currently is considering a bill to provide funding for the Good Food Access Program, which was created last year to help business owners wanting to sell healthy, affordable food.

      Leah Gardner, Good Food Access Campaign manager for Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition, says food access is a problem all across the state.

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      “There are more and more communities that are finding themselves without a grocery store and having to travel 10 miles, even 30, 40 miles in order to find a full-service grocery store, which is where you’re going to find a full range of options that you need at an affordable price,” she states.

      Lawmakers currently are determining if the program will be funded in the future.


    13. Indivisible 605 Built to Challenge Republican Rule

      Indivisable 605Their motivation is to resist what is currently afoot in Washington. A grass roots group is continuing to shake up South Dakota politics. It’s called “Indivisible 605”.  Education is the first step, says organizer Katy Hayes.  She says they want to build the proper foundation with people who are political fledglings.

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      Philosophically, Hayes and her group wants to resist President Trump’s agenda. However, Hayes says all sides of the political spectrum need to pay attention to their process.

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      Looking ahead, Hayes and Indivisible 605 will be planning events at times when Congress is in recess.  Their plans are to meet with the delegation face to face when possible. South Dakota’s chapter of Indivisible is one of many groups that make up a nationwide movement.


    14. Prairie Lakes Adds Nurse Practitioner to Staff

      Megan 2017photo of Megan Merkel, CNP

       

       

      WATERTOWN, S.D. – March 22, 2017 – Prairie Lakes Healthcare System announces staff nurse Megan Merkel has advanced to a Certified Nurse Practitioner. Merkel will work with hospitalists and care for inpatients at the hospital. Hospitalists are medical doctors with advanced expertise in fields such as internal medicine. They work closely with Merkel and other staff to treat inpatients.

      Merkel graduated with her MSN-nurse practitioner degree from South University. She has twelve years experience being a nurse, ten years was spent caring for patients in the CCU. A Clark native, Merkel currently resides there with her husband and four children.

      “I am excited continue the career I love,” said Merkel. “I have learned so much during my time at Prairie Lakes. Now that I will be able to work collaboratively with the physicians and other advanced practitioners I hope to bring not only my nurse practitioner education, but also my years of nursing experience to this position. I will strive to provide exceptional patient care that focuses not only on the disease process, but more importantly on the patient.”


    15. Watertown Mayor Responds To Sarah Caron’s Announcement To Run For Mayor

      steve thorson 2015 photo to useMayor Thorson said he was very much surprised by Sarah Caron’s remarks that his administration hasn’t been open with the public. He says they have been very transparent with his office.  He also takes exception to her remarks that the city has taken some shortcuts on projects.  He said that did happen in the past and that’s why the city now has a new city Engineer, Shane Waterman.

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      He also disagrees with her assertion that staff isn’t getting the training it needs.  The Mayor said when he came into office that was the case, but isn’t now.

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      The Mayor said he doesn’t understand where she’s coming from when she makes reference to some getting preferential treatment.

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      The mayor also disagreed with remarks made by Caron that the city hasn’t been responsible in the way it’s addressing growth.

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      He also denied comments that he downplayed news from FEMA that the agency would be lowering Watertown’s flood insurance rates saying it was Sarah’s “baby” and she’s no longer with the city of Watertown.  He says those things would come through the city engineer Shane Waterman and then to his office.

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      He said he wasn’t surprised by her announcement today


    16. Listen Below To Hear All Of The Watertown Chamber Forum Discussing The Special Election To Repeal Ordinance 65

      forum pic 2forum pic 1Click on the audio tab below to hear the full one hour forum discussing the Codington County Special Election Ordinance 65 repeal issue.

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      Here are the polling places for the election

      CODINGTON COUNTY

      NOTICE OF SPECIAL ELECTION

      A Special Election will be held on Monday, March 27, 2017, for all voting precincts in Codington County.  If the polls cannot be opened because of bad weather, the election may be postponed one week.  At the election, the following question will be voted on:  Shall Codington County Ordinance #65 be approved or rejected.  The election polls will be open from seven o’clock a.m. until seven o’clock p.m. local time on the day of the election.  The polling place in each precinct in this county shall be as follows:

      Ward A, Precincts 1- 4; County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp******

      Ward B, Precinct 1 – 4; County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Ward C, Precincts 1 – 4; County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Ward D, Precincts 1 – 4; County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Ward E, Precincts 1 – 5; County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Dexter Twp., Fuller Twp., and Town of Florence – Florence Community Center

      Eden Twp., Phipps Twp., and Town of Wallace – Wallace Community Center

      Elmira, Germantown, Kampeska, Richland, and Rauville Twps. – County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Graceland Twp., Henry Twp., and Town of Henry – Henry Town Hall

      Kranzburg Twp. and Town of Kranzburg – Holy Rosary Auditorium

      Lake Twp., Pelican Twp., and Sheridan Twp. – County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp

      Leola Twp. and Town of South Shore – South Shore Community Center

      Waverly Twp. – Waverly Community Center

      *****SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS*****

      For voting at the County Ag. Building, 1910 W Kemp, voters should enter the building using the south parking lot and enter through entrance “H”.  Voters who normally vote at Lincoln School and the Days Inn will vote at the County Ag. Building for this election.


    17. Registered Professional Engineer Sarah Caron will run for mayor of Watertown

       

       sarah caron for mayor

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      Caron pledges to restore integrity and end favoritism in city government

      WATERTOWN, S.D.—March 22, 2017—Registered Professional Engineer Sarah Caron has announced her intention to run for election as mayor of the City of Watertown.

      “I will restore integrity by ending shortcuts, favoritism and special treatment in city government,” Caron said in announcing her candidacy. “I will pull back the curtain on critical decisions being made behind closed doors. Every citizen should be treated the same. Our city government should follow our city ordinances.”

      With more than 20 years of experience in municipal government, Caron worked as an engineer for the City of Bellingham, Wash. before joining the City of Watertown’s engineering department in 2006. Caron, 55, and her husband, Duane Caron, have three grown children. They moved to Watertown in 1995.

      Caron describes herself as a tireless advocate for citizens. Her dedication and extensive knowledge of public works and city government combine to make her uniquely well-qualified to serve as mayor.

      Her platform includes responsible growth, transparency in government, and drainage and flood protection.

      In addition to working as an engineer, Caron is a director of the Lake Kampeska Water Project District and the Watertown Concert Association. She is an active member of numerous community organizations including First United Methodist Church, the women’s PEO sorority, the Watertown Municipal Band, the T-Bones Rare trombone ensemble and others.

      For more information, email Caron at caronformayor@gmail.com.


    18. Local Sorority Raises 2,000 Dollars For Watertown Transit

       

      watertown transit photo of sororityHats off to the Watertown Beta Delta Sorority who presented a check last night to the Watertown Transit for $2000. 

      And here is a reminder from Watertown Transit
      Don’t forget to schedule
      your ride one day in
      advance, before 3pm.
      Call to Schedule Your Ride:
      (605) 882-5287

      Our vehicles are wheelchair accessible.

      Saturday Service Coming Soon

      Local Watertown Area Only
      – Starting April 1, 2017
      – 6:00 am to 4:00 pm
      – Rides must be scheduled by 3:00 pm the day before.
      – Rides for Mondays cannot be scheduled on Saturdays.
      – Saturday rides must be scheduled by Friday before 3:00 pm.
      – You may call in cancellations and will calls.
      – Last call for “will call” trips is 3:45 pm. If you do not call to cancel a “will call” trip that is not needed, you will be charged for that trip.
      – If you need a ride every Saturday, we can put that in a standing reservation, and you would only need to call if you need to cancel it.


    19. The Pros And Cons Of Codington County Ordinance 65

      forum pic 3 forum pic 2 forum pic 1With the special election to refer Codington County’s Zoning Ordinance 65 to a vote March 27th nearing both sides came together last night to make their pitch both pro and con.  A vote yes would keep Ordinance 65 in effect and a vote no would be to repeal the zoning ordinance.  Speaking as a proponent of keeping the Ordinance was Codington County States Attorney Patrick McCann who said they are not using scare tactics when they say the repeal could have serious repercussions for anyone living outside the boundary of Watertown.  He said there will be consequences for anyone with flood insurance that would be withdrawn by FEMA and mortgages at risk with banks as well as building permit issues to name two.

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      Speaking in favor of repeal was Elmer Krueger who said the county could act fast to enact zoning laws if the need arises.

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      Codington County Planning Commission head Bob Fox said his board has been frustrated that more people don’t attend the meetings when they discuss these issues.  He said if CAFO’s are so bad why aren’t more people showing up at the meetings.  He assured those attending his board will be going back and review all of the zoning ordinances.

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      McCann said that “No existing ordinances would be repealed by a No vote. He said, ” We would revert back to this state of limbo where the status of the validity of our zoning ordinances is in question. They would be on the books but whether or not they are valid and enforceable would remain a question for the courts.”  But Krueger again argued the county has the authority to make fast decisions if the need arises.

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      The fear is that serious consequences could happen, especially for those who live in a flood zone in the unincorporated areas of Codington County like Lake Pelican and Kampeska Village, and who pay for flood insurance.  Those consequences include the loss of FEMA flood insurance and possibly their bank home mortgage.  The Codington County Zoning office received a letter in December from the Federal Emergency Management Agency indicating that if the flood plain ordinance were repealed those areas in Codington County would be included and that residents within those certain jurisdictions of the county would be prevented from purchasing flood insurance, renewing flood insurance or granted any Federal loans.  That ruling would apply to any parcels of land designated as flood hazard areas. In addition, no disaster assistance would be provided to insurable buildings that are located in these flood hazard areas either.  It also stated that no Federal Mortgage Insurance or loan guarantees could be provided in those same flood hazard areas by any lending institution. States Attorney Patrick McCann said he wanted to clear the air about the actual decisions that have been made by the court dealing with the county zoning laws as it pertains to the Waverly Dairy and Ordinance 30.  His says comments coming back to him that the county lost in court over challenges made regarding the Waverly Dairy and comments the county didn’t do what it was suppose to do are incorrect.  McCann says neither statement is true and that the circuit court actually found in favor of the county two different times.  McCann says the lower court ruled that the County board did everything proper in granting a conditional use permit for the Waverly Dairy when they approved Ordinance 30 last year. That ordinance, however, was appealed to the Supreme Court which ruled the lower court should take another look at how Ordinance 30 was adoptedMcCann says any idea that the county is creating language into Ordinance 65 to win a lawsuit isn’t true.  He says the county has already prevailed two different times in court.  McCann says,” some are creating a lot of confusion for people because they don’t know what the status of the case is.  Codington County voters go to the polls at the extension building Monday, March 27th to decide the Ordinance 65 repeal issue.  A vote yes retains the ordinance and a vote no repeals Ordinance 65.  You can also vote early now at the Codington County Courthouse.


    20. Butterfly House And Aquarium Planning Move To Downtown Sioux Falls

      butterfly houseSIOUX FALLS, SD — The Butterfly House and Aquarium in Sioux Falls plans to move downtown and greatly expand.
      “Right now we are in a beautiful park, in Sertoma Park, but we are easily forgotten by locals and easily missed by people who are visiting Sioux Falls,” says CEO Audrey Willard.

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      Willard says they are actively seeking a location downtown, possibly in the railyard development area, to build a new complex which will maintain the popular butterfly house, but include dramatically more space for aquariums.

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      “About four times the size we are now. Right now, we are 12,000 square feet. We want to go up to 40,000,”
      And not only will you still be able to walk among the butterflies, you will be able to swim among sharks and sea turtles in a large interactive pool, says Willard.

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      But Willard hastens to explain that the sharks will be friendly ones. No Great Whites.
      What really sparked the vision into reality was the state’s desire to purchase the current building at Sertoma Park for use by the Outdoor Campus. So it’s a win-win situation, says Willard.  She says the project will be done in phases, funded by the sale of the old building and through fundraising. The first of multiple phases is estimated at $8 million


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