S.D. legislators finish 92nd Session

Posted March 17, 2017 at 7:10 pm

By S.D. Rep. Kevin Jensen, District 16

The 92nd Session of the Legislature is now behind us. I want to thank everyone in District 16 for your input and for your support. With the declining sales tax revenues there were many tough decisions that had to be made. I will leave most of those discussions to our Appropriations Chair, Representative David Anderson.

There were a number of last minute issues regarding school funding and there were some initial reports that were not accurate. There was concern generated by the repeal of the section of the funding bill that addressed the ½ cent sales tax increase that was meant to increase education funding and add some property tax relief. If that language had been left in the bill, education funding

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    Sheriff conducts ‘ALICE’ training

    By Steve Peterson

    Recently the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office conducted ALICE training sessions with employees of Northwestern College, Northwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative, Unity Christian High School and the Orange City Area Health System.

    ALICE is the acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. This is common sense based training for violent intruder situations.

    So far in 2017, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office has conducted ALICE training at several Sioux County schools

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    SCCB presents owl program

    by Steve Peterson

    Sioux County Conservation Board Assistant Director and Environmental Education Coordinator Sunday Ford presented a program about owls Feb. 17 at Oak Grove State Park. A Bard owl was shown.

    About 90 people attended.

    Topics were owl types, adaptations and calls. The two groups of audience members headed outside and each group heard owls, did star gazing and constellation stories.


    Mardi Gras fun held – Lent begins

    Rev. Douglas Klein is in the Mardi Gras look.

    by Steve Peterson

    St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Hawarden hosted its annual Mardi Gras celebration of a roast beef meal Feb. 26 ahead of Lent, which started March 1 with Ash Wednesday.

    Winner of the quilt raffle was Dolly Hutchins of Alcester.

    Principals give reports on tests, illness

    By Steve Peterson

    West Sioux principals gave reports at the Feb. 13 school board meeting.

    “We are administering our English Language Learners (ELL) Proficiency Examination in March,” said Grades TK-5 Principal Carrie Thonstad.

    “I want to thank the National Honor Society, Student Council, cheerleaders, who all volunteered to provide day-care during the Equity Visit,” said West Sioux Grades 6-12 Principal Heidi Vasquez. “We had more of our baby-sitters show up then the number

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    WS discusses EpiPens®

    By Steve Peterson

    West Sioux School Board members discussed the merits of EpiPens® (Epinephrine) at the Feb.13 meeting as School Nurse Pam Harvey made a presentation.

    No action was taken as further study will be done.

    “All of our aides are trained, and all the office staff,” said Harvey. “If the students have their own EpiPen®, just call and they will be there.”

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    WS approves hike in substitute teachers’ pay

    By Steve Peterson

    West Sioux School Board members approved a plan aimed at increasing the number of substitute teachers available to the district.

    As recommended by Superintendent Ryan Kramer at the Feb. 13 meeting, pay for substitutes will increase from $100 to $120 per day after 20 days; the district would share the cost of certification with district residents interested in substitute teaching; and each will be reviewed at the end of this school year. The vote was 4-1 with

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    Hawarden continues budget talks

    By Steve Peterson

    Hawarden councilors continued their budget discussions for Fiscal Year 2018 at their Feb. 8 meeting and established a public hearing date.

    The public hearing on the FY 2018 Budget will be at 5:30 p.m., March 8, at Hawarden City Offices.

    A draft budget was approved for publication but Hawarden City Administrator Gary Tucker said it can still be changed.

    The budget must be

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    WS’ tax rate

    By Steve Peterson

    At the Feb. 13 school board meeting, West Sioux Superintendent Ryan Kramer discussed the district’s tax impact in comparison to some surrounding districts.

    “I want to inform the board members and the community as we progress and build the FY 2018 budget,” said Kramer. “One of the important features in that process deals with our levy.”

    “Many of us have knowledge of this through our property taxes and I gave

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    Community Garden sign-up is Saturday, March 18

    Registration for a spot at the Hawarden Community Garden will take place 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, March 18 at the West Sioux Middle School Commons – west entrance.

    Register for the same or new garden plots. Costs are $20 for 20’ x 20’ spot and a 4’ x 8’ raised bed is $10.

    For more information, call Tom Chapman at West Sioux High School, 551-1181.