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September 24 Edition

Check out our eEdition for full-length stories

Stylist Arielle Miller cuts Chelsea Wipf's hair

Leigh Marie expands

Stylist Arielle Miller cuts Chelsea Wipf’s hair Tuesday at the Leah Marie Salon in De Smet. The salon and the Get Fit fitness center are both expanding their space and services. (News photo by Donna Palmlund)

OSHA cites
Prairie Ag Partners

Mikala Jensen

Prairie Ag Partners of Lake Preston was recently notified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of proposed penalties of $120,120 and was placed on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP).

The penalties were issued during an inspection March 18, following a March 15 incident at Prairie Ag Partners when 51-year-old Tony DeKnikker of Lake Preston died while attempting to remove a jam from a chute while the auger was operating.

James Power from Woods, Fuller, Shultz and Smith P.C., the firm who is representing Prairie Ag Partners, issued a statement following the release of the penalties:

“Prairie Ag expresses its deepest condolences to the family of our fallen colleague and friend. We are saddened by the tragic accident that occurred this spring at one of our facilities.

“Prairie Ag maintains a strong commitment to the safety and security of all of our employees. Indeed, safety has always been and will continue to be a top priority for the co-op.”

Looks like another
bumper crop year

David Tritle

The warm-up across South Dakota this week may bring some optimism to farmers as preparations begin for fall harvest. The latest United States Department of Agriculture projections show record yields for both corn and soybeans this year.

The potential for frost last week brought worries to a few farmers, but fortunately, only about one percent of the total corn acres in the U.S. were impacted by frost, and the weather is warmer this week heading into the first astronomical day of fall on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it affected us any. That was more up in the Bryant area. We’re pretty well right on schedule,” said H&I Grain manager Lonnie Geiman. “We’ve been gettin’ a lot of beans in the last four days. It looks like we’re about a week away from a bumper harvest.”

South Dakota State University Extension climate field specialist Laura Edwards took a more reserved approach. “Climate forecasts are leaning wetter and that could impact grain moisture and the ability to do field work at harvest,” she said.

County discusses
social media

Donna Palmlund

Kingsbury County Commissioner Audrey Lembke at Tuesdayrsquo;s meeting said she recently attended a seminar about the use of the social media website Facebook in the workplace.

Lembke said that the computer software used by the county offers a program that would block access of the site to computers in the courthouse.

There have not been any allegations of county employees using Facebook or any other social media for personal reasons during work hours, but commissioners discussed the possibility of it happening.

“To me, when you are not doing your job when you are being paid to do it, that’s corporate theft,” she said. Lembke said she wondered what might happen, for instance, if an employee would make a comment on social media during work hours on a county-owned computer that could get them in trouble.

Lembke said another concern is that residents might wonder about where their tax dollars are going if they notice county employees posting things to Facebook during normal work hours.