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Neighbors spoke against three hog feeding operations that were later approved by the Davison County Commission Tuesday. Five opponents raised concerns over smell, water consumption, harm to property values and even harm to tourism. "How many do we have to get up here before homes start losing valuation?" said Jerry Smith. "There has to be some tipping point. It's going to come sooner rather than later."
The math didn't work Monday for the Mitchell City Council to decide the fate of a business improvement district proposed for eight blocks of historic Main Street. A final decision was put on hold for at least two weeks, but officials suggested it could take far longer. The proposed district would tax 72 properties $5 per every $1,000 of their assessed valuation to raise roughly $44,000 each year for improvements to building facades and to add other amenities, like park benches.
A summer holiday exception to the city fireworks ban for property around Lake Mitchell moved ahead informally at Monday's meeting of the Mitchell City Council. A formal vote will await a fresh writing of the plan, which underwent several changes from the original offering. Under the bones of the new plan, fireworks would be allowed on most Lake Mitchell properties bounded by State Highway 37 on July 3 and July 4. Fireworks could be shot legally on the lake side of the highway but not outside the highway perimeter. The Mitchell Park Board also could exclude other lake areas.
A parting bit of erudition was in store for 193 Dakota Wesleyan University students who graduated Sunday at the Corn Palace. Find your calling in life, advised the Rev. Robert Franklin Jr., a frequent commenter on CNN and National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why," Franklin said, quoting Mark Twain.
Tom Stritecky suspected someone had erred when Mitchell Technical Institute first asked him to give Friday's commencement address. If not, "Was the selection committee sober?" he wondered aloud before more than 400 MTI graduates and their families filling the Corn Palace. Somewhere among the black-robed listeners sat MTI's 18,000th graduate since the school's beginning 50 years ago in 1968. This year's graduating class represented 133 South Dakota communities and 14 other states.
An exception to the city's fireworks ban will be considered when the Mitchell City Council meets at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall. The proposal would allow fireworks on the nearby shores of Lake Mitchell between noon and midnight on July 3 and 4. Fireworks would be allowed within 100 feet of the Lake Mitchell shoreline, excluding roads, public right-of-way and parking areas. The proposed amendment also states that all fireworks waste must be doused and cleaned up. People under the influence of intoxicants would be prohibited from shooting fireworks.
Mitchell prizes welding skills. Not only do several local manufacturers require advanced welding capabilities, but area farmers often weld broken equipment to keep it moving. Students entering welding programs at the Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy next fall will train on upgraded equipment, giving them a competitive edge for gainful employment.
In a large work shed on his farm north of Mitchell, Scott Suelflow and his son, Jared, are close to completing a spiral staircase nearly 125 years in the making. At the center is an exposed ash stump that dates back to the Dakota Territory. In 1895, it was a seedling on James River property north of Letcher now owned by Robert Steckel. Tightly spaced tree rings from the Dirty Thirties establish the clock.
Those responsible for replacing Bryan Hisel, retiring chief executive of the Mitchell Area Development Corporation and Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce, have entered Phase II of their search. "It's time to pass the baton for some new managerial leadership here," Hisel said Wednesday of his plans to step down Sept. 30 after 33 years in the role. The position is responsible for the economic, business and community development of the Mitchell area, according to the job listing that closed April 30.
HURON — They represent diverse industries — meatpacking, banking and manufacturing — but share the same problem: a dire shortage of workers. Panelists representing a cross-section of South Dakota employers on Thursday shared their job recruitment strategies and struggles with members of the state Workforce Development Council. The council, created by a mandate of the federal Workforce Investment Opportunity Act, meets quarterly to address workforce-related issues in South Dakota. One common prescription offered by panelists: Stay nimble.