NewsSeptember 02 2015

Woking over the edge

Posted by Lucy

Crewmen from Koppers Railroad Structures hook cables to a bridge plank along the walkway on the outside of the bridge to remove and replace it with new plank. Koppers will replace all the exposed wood and ties on the bridge that spans the Missouri River to prepare for the installation of heavy rail next year. The company has approximately 20 employees working on bridges from Reliance east to the big bridge over the river. Regional manager David Ostby stated the goal is to complete all the bridge work between Reliance and Chamberlain by the end of 2015. "We’ll be working as fast and safely as we can to reach that goal," said Ostby.

NewsSeptember 02 2015

Pheasant numbers continue to improve in 2015

Posted by Lucy

"Pheasant numbers in Lyman County are awesome," said Spencer Downey, GFP’s Wildlife Conservation Officer for western Lyman County, after spending time driving country roads around the area during the month of August.

The release of the SD GFP’s annual pheasant brood survey last week confirmed Downey’s statement.

"The numbers are higher than they have been in past few years," said Downey.

The South Dakota GFP’s the annual pheasant brood survey, released August 27th, indicate pheasant numbers are up by more than 40 percent this year, compared to a year ago.

The Lyman County routes had some of the highest numbers in the state. The south Lyman route recorded 15.80 pheasants-per-mile (PPM) just slightly less than the highest route reported which was 15.96 PPM.

The 2015 statewide PPM index of 3.80 is up from 2.68 last year and 1.52 in 2013. The statewide PPM index is similar to 2011 when hunters harvested 1.56 million roosters.

Kelly Hepler, GFP Secretary stated in a press release issued last week, favorable winter and spring weather conditions for the second consecutive year contributed strongly to the increase in pheasants-per-mile

"This year’s population index is more than double the 2013 level when hunters harvested just under one million pheasants," stated Hepler.

Although the index continues to lag behind the 10-year average due to the extremely high counts from 2005 through 2010, a second straight year of substantial gains in the index is great news for South Dakota.

From late July through mid-August, GFP surveyed 109, thirty-mile routes across the state to estimate pheasant production and calculate the PPM index. The survey is not a population estimate, but rather compares the number of pheasants observed on the routes and establishes trend information. Survey routes are grouped into 13 areas, based on a local city, and the index value of each local city area is then compared to index values of the previous year and the 10-year average.

Survey results indicate that pheasant numbers will again be highest along the Missouri River corridor in the broad regions around Winner, Chamberlain, Pierre and Mobridge. Great pheasant abundance also exists in the James River Valley in the regions near Mitchell, Huron and Aberdeen. Fewer pheasants will be available farther east in the I-29 corridor, but ample opportunity for quality hunts still exist. Great populations of pheasants occur in western South Dakota where favorable habitat exists.

South Dakota’s Pheasant Forever director Dave Nomsen stated, "Pheasants Forever is thrilled to see rebounding pheasant numbers, but we need to keep in mind the obstacles in subsequent years related to the pheasant habitat loss.

Nomsen added that in the next five years, South Dakota is set to expire nearly 390,000 acres of CRP. Pheasants Forever is in favor of developing more strategic conservation programs to help safeguard pheasant hunting in South Dakota.

Habitat is a crucial factor in pheasant numbers according to GFP.

The survey indicated that bird numbers are higher in parts of the state where quality habitat conditions still exist, primarily on grasslands including those enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program as well as fields of cereal crops such as winter wheat.

GFP’s secretary Hepler stated they would continue to work in cooperation with the Governor’s Habitat Work Group, landowners, partner organizations and agencies to provide an improved future for wildlife habitat in our state.

Public hunting opportunities are abundant in South Dakota. Over 1 million acres of publicly owned and private land leased through GFP’s Walk-In Area Program and the James River Watershed Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is available in the primary pheasant range of South Dakota. The 2015 public hunting atlas and a web-based interactive map of public lands and private lands leased for public hunting can be found online at area.

South Dakota’s traditional statewide pheasant hunting season opens on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, and runs through Jan. 3, 2016.

NewsAugust 26 2015

Back to school

Posted by Lucy

The 2015-16 school year officially started for Lyman School District Monday, August 24 as students from around the area headed back to the classroom. Jonas Zirpel (Josh & Mellissa) rode his bike to Presho Elementary Monday to start third grade.

NewsAugust 26 2015

New staff members join Lyman District

Posted by Lucy

Welcoming Lyman students back to school Monday were two new principals, Jon Boer at the Presho site, and Rene Lillebo at Kennebec.

Teachers and most support staff returned to work August 19 and 20 for two days of in-service prior to the start of the 2015-2016 school year Monday.

Michaela Farnick of Creighton, Neb. joined the teaching staff at Presho Elementary taking over the first grade classroom. Ms. Farnik completed her student teaching at Hinton Elementary and graduated from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa before accepting a job at Lyman.

"Lyman is a great school district, and has great employees to work with," said Farnick. "I’m looking forward to helping my students’ minds grow throughout the year.

Michelle Boer moved to Presho from Redfield where she worked as an occupational therapy assistant, and rehab director with Aegis Therapies. Michelle will fill the paraprofessional position in Kennebec and assist in the fifth grade room with Mrs. Heidi Samco.

"I look forward to watching the students learn and excel," said Mrs. Boer.

Michelle lives in Presho with her husband Jon and two children who will attend Presho Elementary.

Britany Willis lives south of Presho with her husband Kyle and two young girls. She will be the Special Ed teacher at the Kennebec site. Previously, she taught Special Education at Jones County. A graduate of USD, Britany holds degrees in Special Ed, elementary education and early childhood development.

"I’m happy to be a part of a wonderful school district like Lyman," said Britany. "I look forward to getting to know the students and staff."

Michael Uthe, a native of Presho, returns to the community following his education at Black Hills State University, where he earned an elementary education degree and middle school science and social science degree. Michael will teach middle school science and be the assistant high school football coach.

"I wanted to be back in a small community," said Michael. "I look forward to growing as an educator and a learner."

Michael graduated from Lyman in 2009. He participated in football, wrestling and baseball while growing up in Presho. A former Lyman teener baseball coach, Michael also spent the last three years coaching middle school football and high school wrestling in the Spearfish School District.

Last year, Kennebec resident and businessman Tony Callahan taught geometry part-time at Lyman last year, and this year became certified to also teach social sciences along with geometry.

Originally from Jacksonville, IL, Callahan holds degrees in both Mathematics and Computer Science from Regis University in Denver, Colorado and is currently working on a Masters of Education. He is enrolled in the South Dakota Department of Education’s Alternative Teacher Certification program.

"Through my work as a substitute, I was very impressed with the care and concern for education I saw at Lyman," said Callahan. "I have always tried in my career to associate myself with excellence and Lyman demonstrated a commitment to excellence that impressed me."

Maxine Urban was employed by Lyman as a custodian and moved up to head cook job at the Presho site. She will also be the junior class concessions manager.

According to Superintendent Vlasman several assistant coaching positions remain open as the school year gets underway, including boys’ and girls’ basketball.

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