July 25 2006

Governor declares a statewide emergency

Posted by Nicole
By Susan Smith, South Dakota Newspaper Association

A persistent lack of rain and expectations that it will continue to be scarce led South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds to declare a statewide emergency July 20. Rounds made the declaration during a meeting of the state’s Drought Task Force. A drought monitor lists much of the north central part of South Dakota as D3 or D4. D4 is the highest drought rating.

The Standing Rock Complex Fire has burned 25,000 acres in the north central part of the state and blazes will continue to ignite, experts say, if current conditions continue. Rounds declared the emergency, he said, so he can use all available resources to combat effects of current climactic conditions.

By all accounts the state will stay dry. State Climatologist Dennis Todey said the drought spread statewide in the last 30 to 90 days because areas that were doing all right are experiencing short-term dryness. Some regions have less than half their average precipitation. Small amounts of rain are predicted for some areas but large amounts aren’t expected until fall in many areas, Todey said.
 
The federal government has released Conservation Reserve Program acres in 31 South Dakota counties and Aurora, Butte, Codington, Meade and the southern half of Mellette could be released by Monday, said Dennis Campbell of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. Producers can graze animals on the released CRP acres if they have the permission of a landowner participating in the program in their own county or one 150 miles from the county line. The state is allowing haying of ditches and lifted restrictions on overweight trucks for hay haulers, Rounds said.

Hits to the state’s feed finder Web site have increased, said Larry Gabriel, South Dakota secretary of Agriculture. The site connects people needing hay with livestock owners that want to sell it. Last year brought a banner hay harvest with 20 percent of the crop in the country located in South Dakota, Rounds said.


To help livestock producers deal with a shortage of water, Rounds said the Drought Task Force is working on using water from the Oahe Reservoir to fight fires leaving local supplies alone as much as possible. South Dakota also is working with other states to pressure Congress to provide more disaster relief.

Long-term, Rounds said the task force wants to maintain the viability of pastures where some feed is available so that farmers and ranchers aren’t forced to sell their breeding stock.

"The more water available for domestic purposes not used to fight fires the better off these farmers and ranchers will be," Rounds said.

The governor said he wants to make sure that local volunteer firefighters aren’t fatigued from battling the persistent blazes. He’s authorized the Department of Agriculture and the Wildland Fire Suppression office to contract for the use of a Service Air Tanker and wildland fire strike forces that include equipment like brush buggies. And if necessary he’ll call in other fire fighting agencies to help. In large grass fires the air tankers and trucks are needed to knock fires down quickly before they get out of control, Gabriel said.

"At the present time we simply have to be able to fight fires as quickly as possible and get fires stopped as soon as possible," Rounds said.
 
Declaring the emergency gives access to emergency management funds that can help pay for drawing firefighters and equipment in from other states, he said.

For local fire fighters battling the recurring grass fires the days blur together, Gabriel said. "I know, I’ve been there," he said.

Firefighters in Perkins and Corson County have probably been fighting several fires for five or six days, he said. He’s heard that "folks in Bowdle were pretty strapped.""If these guys played out we have to get some people in to help them out," he said. "It’s the neighborhood thing."

Rounds asked people across the state to do what they can to help. In areas where water is scarce he asked residents to conserve and he plans to declare a statewide day of prayer for rain.

"I know some people roll their eyes, but the good Lord looks out for us," he said. "Prayer most certainly will help."

For more information on the feed finder Web site go to the state’s Web site at http://www.state.sd.us and click on the Drought Task Force link or call your county extension agent or the state ag department at 800-228-5254.

July 25 2006

Lyman County Achievement Days planned for August 1 & 2

Posted by Nicole

By Lucy Halverson

Lyman County Achievement Days will be held Tuesday, August 1 and Wednesday, August 2 at Kennebec.

All indoor 4-H and open class exhibits will be entered from 4 –6 p.m. at the Kennebec gym. Interview judging will be held at that time. A rocket launch is scheduled for 3 p.m. near the 4-H arena.

The animal and livestock shows will be Wednesday starting with the dog show at 9:30 a.m. followed by the poultry, cat, and rabbit show. The gym opens at 10 a.m. for public viewing. Beef cattle and sheep weigh in is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. followed first by the sheep show at 1:30 p.m. and then the beef show and showmanship competition.
The Lyman County 4-H Shooting Sports Club will offer a BB gun shooting at novelty targets for youth 8 and older, with parental permission.

A barbecue sponsored by BankWest and BankWest Insurance and Prime Cowbelles, prepared and served by the American Legion and Auxiliary will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the lunchroom. Farm Credit Services of Pierre will sponsor a watermelon feed.

The garden, baked goods, livestock and premium sale will start at 7 p.m. at the arena. Indoor exhibits may be removed from the gym at 8 p.m.

July 25 2006

Obituaries

Posted by Nicole
Frank Ennis
Frank Ennis of Rock Falls, Illinois died Thursday, July 13, 2006. Burial was at Oak Memorial Park, Sterling, Illinois with full military honors.

Marilyn W. Pittman
Marilyn W. Pitman passed away on Wednesday, July 5, 2006 after a lengthy illness at the Warsaw Health Care Center. Marilyn was born in Houston, SD., the daughter of Adolph and Pearl Severyn on August 8, 1922.
A memorial service was held at the American Legion Hall on July 15, 2006 at 1 pm.

July 18 2006

Posted by Nicole


military.jpg

Leonard Potter, part-time employee of the Lyman County Highway office, spreads hot mix on County Rd. 22 north of Presho Monday, July 17.
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