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September 17 Edition

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De Smet's aging water tower

Aging water tower

Replacing the city’s aging water tower was one of the possible future projects discussed Sept. 3 at the city’s budget planning meeting. (News photo by David Tritle)

Pheasants aren't
only game in town

David Tritle

With all the recent fuss about the pheasant population, South Dakota ducks have not been receiving the kind of exposure they deserve.

Local duck hunter and five-year past area chairman of the Kingsbury County Ducks Unlimited (DU) chapter James Girard said, “The duck population is doing quite well right now, but there is some concern with the decrease in the Conservation Reserve Program that habitat will go away.”

Like the governor’s select task force for pheasants, DU has as its primary goal the conservation and preservation of duck habitats. This benefits hunters, of course, but the local DU organization’s primary focus is not hunting, but fundraising for duck habitat restoration in the prairie pothole region.

“One of the misconceptions about DU is that we send all our locally raised money to national and then never see it again,” said Girard. “The truth is, national leverages those funds twelve-fold and then sends them back to South Dakota.”

Enterovirus
suspected

Donna Palmlund

Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68, is causing cases of severe respiratory illness across the country, sometimes resulting in hospitalization, especially among children with asthma, according to the New York State Department of Health.

Last week, De Smet students brought home a letter from the school’s medical provider, Jill Hoek, PA-C of Avera Medical Group-De Smet. The letter stated that two young children in De Smet were being treated for enterovirus after one child tested positive for basic enterovirus and the other child exhibited similar symptoms. The letter states that pediatric specialists in Sioux Falls presume it is the D68 strain, but that identifying this strain takes a special test that can only be done at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a few other laboratories. Hospitals and state health labs test for enterorivuses but most do not perform the specialized testing necessary to distinguish individual strains such as EV-D68.

The CDC is experiencing a backlog in sample testing, the agency said on its website this week.

Board recognizes
Dobson’s service

David Tritle

The full De Smet city council met Sept. 3 with city employees Mike Warne (buildings and parks), Randy Asleson (water and wastewater) and Ryan Petersen (streets, airport and restricted-use site) to work the kinks out of next year’s planned spending.

Although most of the discussion centered on the near-term practical realities of running the city, the council also considered which projects would be most beneficial for the future in De Smet.

At the top of this wish list is a new ball diamond to supplement the practice field constructed by the Young Guns this summer.

The city has expressed a strong desire to begin constructing the primary field next year, if funding permits, in the north part of the lot containing the community center and athletic complex. The city has allocated $50,000 toward the project in the budget, but recognizes that a significant fundraising effort will be required to fully fund the new diamond.