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The 2020 Legislative Session started on Jan. 14.  This is my sixth year in the South Dakota Senate and I will be again serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee as vice-chairman and on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.  In addition to those legislative committees during the ses…

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The 2020 legislative session started Tuesday, January 14. I was sworn in by Chief Justice David Gilbertson as the new District 19 senator. It has been an honor to serve as a District 19 representative.  

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The Yankton Community Holiday Feast Committee would like to say “thank you” to all of the wonderful people who volunteered and contributed to the feast. We had another successful year in 2019; without the support from our community, we would not see all of the friends and neighbors come to s…

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First, let me start with a big “thank you” to all those involved with the YSD magazine-style publication that I received in the mail recently. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the programs and important information contained within the well-designed booklet. It highlighted programs that I …

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In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we offer you the text of King’s legendary “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963:

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The City of Yankton should be a place that provides exemplary experiences, services and spaces that create opportunities for everyone to learn, engage and thrive.

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Let’s raise a glass in toast of a milestone, for today (Friday) is the 100th anniversary of the 18th Amendment going into effect, which gave America the great socioeconomic experiment known as Prohibition — the outlawing of the sale and consumption of most non-medicinal alcoholic beverages a…

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“I know more than the generals,” bragged presidential candidate and Vietnam-era draft dodger Donald Trump. Now years into his presidency, Trump has used up and thrown away several top generals. Who needs facts or expertise when you’re the smartest guy around?

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On Feb. 11, we will have the opportunity to support several programs in the Yankton School District by voting yes. The additional money will be used to continue programs such as the free preschool program and the in-town busing program. Both programs are worth the cost and see benefits in bo…

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There is an old proverb that states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” How true this foundation holds as we look at any sustaining mechanisms within our community. It is the investment in our children that holds our culture and emulates an atmosphere of success for all of our residents,…

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Building permit fees in Bon Homme County are posted on the door of the zoning office in the court house: $1 per $1,000 of valuation.

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A mountain lion turned up on a motion camera in residential Yankton last month — one of a number of sightings in the last several months — and, since seeing is believing, there has been heightened concerns that the number of mountain lions in the Yankton area is increasing.

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As the good people of Yankton County strive to understand the difficult issues related to zoning, I would encourage everyone to please stick to the facts.

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We’d like to express our full support for the opt-out currently proposed by the Yankton School Board. Initially we questioned the need for the opt-out, but after further examination, we are in full agreement in support for the proposed action:

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I am concerned about Democratic pundits soft-peddling Trump’s murder of Qasem Soleimani and others. His claim that the general was vamping up plans to attack Americans is, like everything else out of his mouth, almost certainly a lie.

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In an apparent shifting of gears on the eve of the start of the 2020 legislative session, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem surprisingly laid out a road map last week for industrial hemp to become a legal crop in the state.

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The start of the New Year means the start of a 2020 legislative session. I am back in Pierre as your state representative. I am looking forward to it. Over the past couple of months, I have been meeting and listening with people in Yankton to learn what issues are important to you. I even pu…

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When we moved to Yankton almost 10 years ago, I met a local resident that commented, “I hope you don’t bring your big city ways with you.” I found the comment interesting but didn’t find it offensive because I grew up in big cities and knew that I moved to a rural state and county with diffe…

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I own many guns and am an avid hunter. I am also an honorably discharged Vietnam veteran (drafted) and very active in South Dakota’s National Alliance for Mental Illness or NAMI. With this said, I must say I am very, very disappointed in our current Legislature. I have approached a number of…

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Over the last year, we’ve had a long conversation about industrial hemp. I’ve been grateful to talk with folks about the topic and hear different perspectives at town halls, coffee shops, basketball games, and everywhere in between.

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The Yankton School District administration and school board have spent years listening and responding to the community and have been transparent and accessible in planning for the continued necessary funding to keep the Yankton School District one of the top performing schools in South Dakota.

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As of right now, impeachment shouldn’t go to the Senate. In cases of impeachment, our senators must swear oaths to be impartial jurors. Despite that, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has already announced that he’s coordinating with/following the White House’s position on impeachment. …

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I’ve been there before, and I was there again Tuesday night.

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Tammy LaFramboise was murdered on March 1, 2019. After murdering Tammy, the suspect dismembered her and drove her body to his brother’s property in Michigan, where he disposed of her body. The suspect has been charged with second-degree murder in the case. His trial is set to begin on Jan. 1…

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A loophole in our state’s insurance laws allow public schools and municipalities to participate in self-insurance pools. These pools collect millions in tax dollars yet maintain immunity from regulation and oversight by the South Dakota Division of Insurance.

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I am blessed with the glorious opportunity to participate in educating the children in my public school system but I worry about the world we are creating for them. Like my generation, they will live under the threat of nuclear war but also very likely within a hostile environment produced b…

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We want to thank the dear people who put twinkling white lights on two light poles and different colored lights on a Christmas tree on the median on Douglas Avenue in front of the GAR Hall. We enjoy looking at it.

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At the very least, a public meeting held in Irene Saturday on the possibility of several townships seceding from Yankton County was perhaps the clearest display yet of the frustration that some people here have toward county government and operations.

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My first year as a county commissioner proved much more challenging than I expected. Openings in the zoning office with our administrator on medical leave led right into spring flooding, horrible road conditions and financial uncertainties for the county. All of these obstacles required extr…

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Soon, the people of Yankton will be heading to the polls to vote on the opt-out. After attending one of the meetings regarding the opt-out and experiencing the day-to-day functions of the district as a student, I think it is vitally important that this opt-out does pass.

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To be honest, it’s awfully easy for many people to pay little notice to local governing entities when they engage in long-range planning and visioning. Because it is such a long-term, seemingly open-ended exercise whose successes are not immediately seen — and whose original goals are often …

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The 2020 Legislative Session will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 14, for the majority of the legislators. However, for the Joint Appropriations Committee their 2020 work began in December after the Governor’s Budget Address.

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I’m a retired police officer from the City of Yankton. I retired in late 2018. I’m concerned about what I left behind.

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Sometimes it seems that breaking New Year’s resolutions are as much of a tradition as making them. We commit ourselves to getting in shape or quitting bad habits, but by Jan. 15, many have already strayed. It’s easy to blame this on self-discipline or holiday leftovers, but research suggests…

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Kudos to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others for doing a great job on renewable energy. (Press & Dakotan, Dec. 24) If the rest of the state would get in line, everybody would be better off.

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While concentrating the past few weeks on the busy end of another year, I have to confess that I never gave much thought to it also being the end of the decade. (Mathematically, it really isn’t, but it’s hard to win that argument with anyone.) As I think about it, it’s probably because Y2K (…

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Year three of the man-child administration was much like his first two, only more so. But before you compel yourself, for the sake of your sanity, to forget so much of what you saw and heard, perhaps you can be tempted to test your smarts on this year’s most memorable rhetorical sewage. Give…

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After the recent snowfall, a disabled friend fell out of their wheelchair in a local parking lot, a number of people passed by, managing to ignore or not notice my friend’s plight. From personal experience I know how difficult it is to ask for help in such a situation, personally I would go …

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As we close out what’s been by many measures a difficult year, there is a bit of consolation in knowing that some hardships also served as valuable learning experiences.

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Families across South Dakota have started taking down Christmas trees and kids are getting ready to start a new semester at school. With another holiday season nearly behind us, I want to take a moment to reflect on the many things we’ve accomplished this year.

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In regard to AR233’s, there’s a question of what can treat effluent for pennies. (Press & Dakotan, Dec. 10)

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As 2019 comes to a close, I’ve had time to reflect on the past year. As a state, we celebrated the commissioning of the USS South Dakota, a Virginia-class nuclear submarine designed to fulfill 21st century mission requirements. We also worked to secure Ellsworth Air Force Base as the locatio…

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Recently, on a warm fall day, I stopped at my 77-year-old father-in-law’s farmhouse because he was meeting with a salesman for the fourth time regarding a transmission line easement. I walked into his sunporch to find four men with the sole purpose of persuading him to sign. Weeks later, he …

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“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.” — Roy Batty, a replicant (artificial human) in the 1982 movie “Blade Runner,” which took place in the bleak dystopian future of 2019.