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10 Broadcaster Press January 28, 2020 www.broadcasteronline.com Year In Review JANUARY Committee Exploring Courthouse, Public Safety Needs A committee jointly sponsored by Clay County and the City of Vermillion to explore what to do with the aging Clay County Courthouse, the county jail and the Public Safety Center that is shared by the county and city was scheduled to hold its first meeting Thursday night. This committee is scheduled to begin meetings on Jan. 3 and consider the study presented by Klein McCarthy Architects, tour the facilities, and work to form a plan to meet the future facility needs of the County government agencies. Members were appointed to the committee Nov. 13, 2018 by the county commission. The group is formally known as the Courthouse, Jail, and Law Enforcement Facility Planning Committee. Its members include: Bob Fuller, Marty Gilbertson, Greg Huckabee, Meghan McCauley, Steven Waller, Nate Welch and John Walker with Art Rusch serving as an alternate. “It comes as no great surprise to the commissioners or those who work in the courthouse and public safety center that the facility is overcrowded and in need of expansion, upgrades and ongoing maintenance,” Sheriff Andy Howe stated in a release prepared for the Plain Talk. “Considerable study and planning was conducted by city and county officials during 2018 to help determine the problems and potential solutions the county is facing.” During a Clay County Commission meeting held on March 27, 2018, the commissioners heard from Scott Fettig of Klein McCarthy Architects, as he presented a completed facility assessment. Klein McCarthy Architects and its consultants were hired to review the existing conditions architecturally, mechanically and electrically and also review the jail and its operations to determine what the county currently has, its physical condition, determine what the county needs in the future, and to provide recommendations of the next steps to achieve a full masterplan or roadmap of where the county should proceed in the near future and the next 20 years. Ball: Ash Trees, Without Treatment, Will Succumb To Emerald Ash Borer John Ball’s session in Vermillion Thursday about the emerald ash borer and the invasive pest’s likely effect on ash trees in southeastern South Dakota went a bit longer than expected. Despite his expertise and the thoroughness of his talk, people peppered him with questions even after his talk had concluded. Inquiries ranged from how long it may take before the ash borer is in the Vermillion area, to the best way to treat ash trees to help them survive. “The emerald ash borer – we’ve been waiting for it to arrive here and it’s not a surprise that it finally did,” said Ball, who is an Extension forestry specialist at South Dakota State University in Brookings. “It’s probably in more places than we know where it is.” His session entitled “Emerald Ash Borer: What You Need To Know About This Threat To Our Ash Trees,” was held Thursday afternoon in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center in conjunction with the 2019 Dakota Farm Show He shared a photo he took of an emerald ash borer in its larval stage, discovered last May in a tree in Sioux Falls by workers who were trimming it. “I knew that was emerald ash borer just by looking at it,” he said. Testing confirmed that his hunch was correct. “I think it’s been there (in an area of northern Sioux Falls) for about three years,” Ball said. “I gave this talk last year and if you had asked me then, ‘John, do we have any ash borer in the state?’ I would have said then we may, but we don’t have any confirmed cases. Some people ask, ‘Do we have any in Yankton?’ Well, I don’t know. I haven’t cut down every tree in Yankton to look, which is what I’d have to do, but the likelihood is we don’t. “If we do, it will probably be like it is up in Sioux Falls – a very small infestation,” he said. “We do want people to be out looking for it.” He believes the ash borer will be found in Vermillion and the surrounding area in about four years. South Dakota has joined several states that have confirmed infestations of the insect in their ash trees. “In Nebraska now, it’s all the way out to Lincoln,” Ball said. “Last fall I was up in Manitoba where they do have it up in Winnipeg.” FEBRUARY Annual Relay For Life Held Sunday In DakotaDome In a gesture that couldn’t be more fitting, survivors of cancer took the first victory lap in Sunday’s Relay for Life, which began midafternoon that day in the DakotaDome. The theme of this year’s event, designed to raise both funds to battle cancer and awareness to better inform the public about steps being taken to treat and someday find a cure for the disease, was “‘Put a Chill On Cancer Winter Wonderland.” Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in thousands of communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give of their time and effort to take action against cancer. Helping to plan the annual event was the University of South Dakota’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer. Co-chairs from that organization are Madison Pejsa and Rebecca Eberts. As those attending Sunday’s relay would eventually discover, cancer has hit close to home for Madison twice. Both her brother and her mother are cancer survivors. Both walked in Sunday’s relay. Madison’s mother, Cindy Pejsa addressed the relay crowd during the event’s opening ceremony. Her dad, Joe, stood at Cindy’s side. “I am both a cancer survivor and a caregiver,” Cindy said. “My daughter Madison is involved in Colleges Against Cancer and when she was talking about her preparations for the walk this year, she mentioned needing a caregiver to speak and also a survivor.” Cindy admits that she hesitated at first. She, admittedly, is not a public speaker. “But then I said, ‘I am both – a caregiver and a breast cancer survivor, and if you would like me to share my story, I would be happy to do that,” she said. Cindy and her husband, Joe, reside in Brookings and their time as a cancer caregiver began when their son, Matt, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 21 back in 2014. Local Legislators Discuss Funding For Nursing Homes, Care Providers A wide variety of issues were discussed Saturday at the first of two legislative Cracker Barrel meetings featuring District 17 lawmakers Sen. Art Rusch, a Republican from Vermillion and Reps. Ray Ring, a Vermillion Democrat and Nancy Rasmussen, a Republican from Hurley. Early in the meeting, the discussion involved an issue that has grown serious in the last year across the South Dakota – the financial difficulties being felt by nursing homes across the state and the funding challenges that organizations like SESDAC, Inc. in Vermillion must face. “I know that Gov. Noem, in her budget address, talked about a 2.5 percent increase for Medicaid providers and also pointed to some one-time funds and other opportunities there,” said Nick Oyen, executive director at SESDAC, Inc. “In this Medicaid realm, knowing that we have nursing homes and community support providers that are struggling, and I think a lot of us are struggling with staffing and funding to make that appropriate, where does this panel sit and what guidance do you have?” “The difficulties that the Medicaid providers are having have been a constant source of conversation among the legislators,” Rusch said. “I know that the Legislature wants to do something. What they will end up doing, I don’t know. 2019 I’m not on the Appropriations Committee so I don’t know what they’re thinking about.” Rusch noted that the Legislature is working on two budgets during each year’s session in Pierre – the fiscal year 2019 budget, which was approved by lawmakers last year and the fiscal year 2020 state budget. “Fiscal year 2019 is now half over and so we’re trying to adjust the fiscal year 2019 budget to the realities of what actually occurred. Then we’re working on the fiscal year 2020 budget as well,” he said. “On the fiscal year 2019, the revenue was almost exactly what we had projected a year ago, but the expenses were lower. There is that extra money that was appropriated a year ago but didn’t get spent that is now available for what they call one-time grants.” Rusch said he believes Gov. Noem intends to use some of that one-time money to help. “As I recall, there was some one-time money for Medicaid providers in the ideas that she had. In looking at fiscal year 2020, the projections at this point are a revenue growth of $54 million and how much of that is due to the Wayfair decision, we don’t really know,” he said. “The governor’s budget proposed $11 million of that to go to additional aid to education, $11 million for Medicaid providers and then $11 million or $12 million for state employees. Unfortunately, that takes up the bulk of that $54 million increase.” MARCH Visser’s Advice: ‘Do What You Love’ “If you don’t love it, don’t do it. Do what you love.” 139 YEARS IN BUSINESS 124 402 East Main St Vermillion, SD 624-4466 YEARS IN BUSINESS www.koberfuneralhome.com 110 605-624-2655 113 W Main • Vermillion YEARS IN BUSINESS 99 As a third-generation family owned business for 99 years, we couldn’t be more THANKFUL for all the support the community has given us over the past year. Yankton: 605-665-4348 Vermillion: 605-624-5618 kalinsindoor.com YEARS IN BUSINESS 84 YEARS SERVING ITS MEMBERS School Board Learns Of Pilot Internship Program The Vermillion School Board learned at its meeting Monday that an internship program that helps students learn skills they can use after they graduate from high school is proving to be popular and, ideally, should be expanded in the future. “This last year, Vermillion High School has been piloting an internship program that has put students, first of all, in a classroom for nine weeks to learn various ‘soft’ skills that they will need as they go into any career,” Sarah Armbrust, family and consumer science teacher, told the board. “Those soft skills include punctuality, they include how to present, they include courtesy, leadership.” She added that she hopes to partner in the future with a course developed by the Department of Labor called “Bring Your ‘A’ Game.” that the Labor Department would help administer. As part of the internship program “we looked at resume building and cover letter writing. We looked at interviewing and the students all got to interview,” Armbrust said. “They learned how to dress for an interview which was a wonderful experience for them. Award-Winning News Coverage Since 1884! 201 W. Cherry • Vermillion Phone: 605-624-2695 www.plaintalk.net YEARS IN BUSINESS YEARS IN BUSINESS U.S. Open. Besides stamina and passion, a third element is crucial to have a successful journalism career, she told students Monday. “You must have knowledge,” Visser said. “Knowledge is unassailable and that takes work … I talk at a lot of colleges and some people who I talk with – they don’t seem to understand that work is a verb.” 5 W. Cherry St. • Vermillion • 605.624.4444 135 85 That was the advice veteran broadcast sports journalist Lesley Visser gave to a young student journalist Monday night about pursuing a career in the field during a program held at the Al Neuharth Media Center on the University of South Dakota campus in Vermillion. “The answer to doing what you love, if it is journalism – you must have stamina,” she added. “Anyone can have a two-year career, but this is my 45th year covering sports and always at the major league level. “I have had to do an awful lot of work; an awful lot of crummy days … there’s a lot of fatigue in it,” Visser said. Stamina and passion are just two of the reasons Visser was selected to receive the 2018 Al Neuharth Award For Excellence in Media at the University of South Dakota campus in Vermillion. The award is presented annually by USD and the Freedom Forum Institute, a nonpartisan foundation that champions the First Amendment. It is named after Allen H. Neuharth, a 1950 graduate of USD and founder of USA Today, the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. Visser is the 32nd recipient and second sports broadcaster to receive the Neuharth award. Visser got her start covering sports for the Boston Globe in 1974. In 1976, she would become the first-ever female beat writer, covering the New England Patriots. In 1992 she became the only female to have handled the Super Bowl trophy presentation. She is also the only sportscaster in history to work on network broadcasts of the Final Four, World Series, NBA Finals, Super Bowl, Olympics, Triple Crown, World Figure Skating Championship and bp Broadcaster Press 201 W. Cherry • Vermillion • Phone: 605-624-4429 Since 1934 Broadcaster Press www.broadcasteronline.com 605-624-2673 1410 E. Cherry St., Vermillion www.clayunionelectric.coop
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