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March 26th

Veteran assistance changes form; loans replaced with grave marker assistance

by Joe Sneve, CNS

The South Dakota legislature and Gov. M. Michael Rounds have decided to repeal the emergency veterans' loan program to free up money from the veterans affairs special revenue fund for other veteran programs.

Rounds signed House Bill 1270 on March 10 to end the loan program which provides veterans and their families with small loans to assist in economic emergencies.

On March 3, sponsor of the bill, Sen.

Increase in food stamp benefits

Governor Mike Rounds has announced that most low income South Dakota households will receive additional food assistance as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Beginning April 1, the maximum monthly benefit will increase based on household size.

"An unprecedented number of South Dakotans have applied for food stamp benefits in recent months," Gov. Rounds said.

NRCS cover crop initiative application deadline April 3rd

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering a special initiative through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The Cover Crop Initiative is designed to help increase soil quality and provide an additional source for grazing among other benefits.

The deadline for submitting an application for Fiscal Year 2009 funding consideration is Friday, April 3, 2009.

Smith part of S.D. Ag and Rural Leadership in Washington, D.C.

Ray Smith showed items and explained where food actually comes from to this classroom of inner city students.

They say you can take the farmer out of the country, but not the country out of the farmer, as 29 ag "students" of Class V South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership (SDARL) proved during a week-long seminar in Washington, D.C.

They may have been a long ways from their farms, ranches and agriculture dependent small towns, but farming and agriculture were never far from their minds as SDARL class members spent the last week of February learning how Washington works.

Midland Drama Club to perform Finders Creepers, a mystery/comedy/romance

Two friends visit one's aunt and uncle for the weekend. Then they discover he is a mortician, a dead body is waiting burial, and somebody poisoned it. Well, that is what the dead body tells them.

The Milesville Drama Club will put on the three act mystery/comedy Finders Creepers on April 3 through 5. The Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday is at 2:00 p.m.

Directed by Linda Schofield, the play has been adapted for regional appeal, complete with a Dr. Klopper character played by Justin Freeman.

Colton Nickelson lives a videographer's dream thru PBS

Philip’s Colton Nickelson helped PBS televise the State B Girls’ Basketball Tournament. Photo by John Davis, Aberdeen American News

"Basically, the entire time I was there, I didn't sit down to watch a game from the stands. I was running a Public Broadcasting Service camera," said Colton Nickelson, a junior at Philip High School.

Earlier this school year, Nickelson started running cameras for the high school's television station, formally channel 15, now channel 19. He said that none of this would be possible without the help and encouragement of Mike Seager. "Actually, Duke Westerberg is the guy who got me started and interested. He asked me to help record the Philip vs. Irene-Wakonda football game.

March 19th

Lady Scotties back from State B Basketball

Lady Scotties ... The welcome home celebration on Sunday, March 15, had fans, photos, speeches, jokes, stories, awards and smiles. Back row, from left: Danielle Piroutek, Josie Guptill, Abby Ditsgerald, Carissa Doolittle, Kelsey Hostutler, Rhiannon Schultz and Emily Schofield. Middle row: Jennifer Stangle, Mariah Evans, Kenzy Pinney and Molly Coyle. Sitting: Tara Ravellette, Sierra Hook, Marissa Mann, Taylor Holman and Kayla O’Connell. Photo by Deb Smith

On Sunday, March 15, the Philip Lady Scotties were honored as heroes in their return from their first ever State B Girls' Basketball Tournament.

Philip, with a before-state season record of 21-4, had earned 43.00 seeding points to rank it sixth at state.

Haakon county commissioners decide how to use $136,825 federal stimulus dollars

The Haakon County Commissioners were informed Tuesday, March 17, of the amount of federal stimulus dollars they would receive.

Haakon County Highway Superintendent Kenny Neville told the board at a special commissioner's meeting that he had received word from the state that the county would receive $136,825.10 in federal stimulus dollars. He said the money would be distributed through the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

A letter from SDDOT outlined the stimulus dollars that the county would receive. The county has two options for receiving the funds.

Board of Education prepares for election, emergencies and end of the school year

Before the Haakon District 27-1 Board of Education meeting began on Monday, March 16, a public drawing was held to determine the order of names on the upcoming election ballot.

Also, eight election officials will be hired for election day. The five in Philip and three in Milesville will set up before 7:00 a.m. and close up after 7:00 p.m.

Philip city council denies two property assessment appeals

by Del Bartels

The Philip City Council met on March 16, first as a board of equalization, then as the city council.

The meeting was held in the Commissioner's Room on the second floor of the courthouse because of construction work being done in the community room.

Rita Merrill, Director of Equalization for Haakon County, said in her annual report, "We try to make sure property values are at 100 percent of sale values, then taxable value is set at 85 percent of that. We had a light year of growth for 2008.