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Fighting for farmers across the nation

Posted: Friday, Feb 12th, 2016
VanderWal first South Dakotan to serve American Farm Bureau Federation at executive level

BROOKINGS, When Scott VanderWal assumed the vice presidency of the American Farm Bureau Federation on Jan. 12, he brought some hefty credentials with him. The first South Dakotan to be elected to an AFBF executive post, the third-generation Volga farmer has served on the board
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Council to look at rec center layouts

Posted: Friday, Feb 12th, 2016
Study session to start at 5 p.m., includes a dozen layout options

BROOKINGS, Aside from a few first readings, reports and topics for future discussion, the Brookings City Council's study session on Tuesday will focus mostly on the proposed indoor recreation center.
Councilors will look at nine layout options for the proposed facility at the city-owned Wiese Addition
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SDSU team posts top score in U.S.

Posted: Friday, Feb 12th, 2016
BROOKINGS, South Dakota State University's undergraduate range management team won the national title in the Undergraduate Range Management Exam, held during the 2016 Society for Range Management Annual Meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas.
More than 180 students from 24 university teams took the exam. SDSU placed second in the international competition.
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A picture of success

Posted: Friday, Feb 12th, 2016
Brookings artist earns national honor

BROOKINGS, Local painter Karen Kinder has always had a knack for painting and has been prolific in her craft. After years of hard work and even some regional recognition for her talents, she's one of 10 winners in a national contest put on by an art magazine.
Representing her first foray into national
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Corbett seeking 3rd term

Posted: Friday, Feb 12th, 2016
BROOKINGS, A second candidate has joined the race for three open seats on the Brookings City Council in the April 12 election.
Councilor Keith Corbett has filed petitions for another three-year term on the council.
Corbett is dean of University College at South Dakota State University and is finishing his sixth year on the council. He also serves as Brookings'
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Senate panel approves transgender bathroom bill

Posted: Friday, Feb 12th, 2016
PIERRE (AP), A bill limiting transgender students' use of bathrooms and locker rooms is headed to the full Senate against the urging of transgender people who testified, some clergy members and advocacy groups.
The Senate Education Committee approved a measure Thursday that would require students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their biological sex at birth. The
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Look for assessments in the mail

Posted: Friday, Feb 12th, 2016
2016 Brookings County property value, tax notices headed to owners

BROOKINGS, The Brookings County Equalization Office will soon mail 2016 assessment notices to all Brookings County property owners. According to South Dakota law, they must be mailed by March 1.
With local notices headed to the Post Office today, county residents should look for theirs in the mail
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Congress gives final OK to banning local Internet taxes

Posted: Friday, Feb 12th, 2016
WASHINGTON (AP), Congress voted Thursday to permanently bar state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet, as lawmakers leapt at an election-year chance to demonstrate their opposition to imposing levies on online service.
On a vote of 75-20, the Senate gave final congressional approval to the wide-ranging bill, which would also revamp trade laws. The White House said
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Becoming a leader

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
Engineering student unites Indian students at S.D. State

Editor's note: This is part of a series of stories this semester featuring international students and faculty at South Dakota State University.

BROOKINGS, India native Devansh Singh will remember his years of graduate study in Brookings as a time of independence.
"This time in Brookings is when I'm learning
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Council creates 6th St. design group

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
BROOKINGS,The Brookings City Council approved a charter on Tuesday that would create a temporary Sixth Street Main to Medary Design Ad Hoc Committee, but there was some jockeying over who will serve on it.
The committee would advise the city of Brookings and the South Dakota State Department of Transportation (DOT) on the design of Sixth Street from Main to
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Yseth not seeking 2nd term on commission

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
BROOKINGS, Despite announcing plans in 2012 to run for office twice, Brookings County Commissioner Tom Yseth says he'll complete only one four-year term in his current position.
Yseth said Tuesday that health issues made him decide to not seek re-election in November.
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House delays vote on sales tax hike for raising teacher pay

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
PIERRE (AP), Education advocates plan to use an extra handful of days pressing lawmakers to support Gov. Dennis Daugaard's proposed half-cent sales tax hike for increasing teacher pay after House legislators postponed a vote Wednesday on the bill.
The chamber briefly took up the sales tax measure before a group of legislators used a procedural move to delay further consideration
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Congress likely to give final OK to local Internet tax ban

Posted: Thursday, Feb 11th, 2016
WASHINGTON (AP), State and local governments would be permanently barred from taxing access to the Internet under a bipartisan compromise that Congress is a step away from sending to President Barack Obama.
The Senate was expected to vote Thursday to approve the language, part of a wide-ranging measure that would also revamp trade laws.
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Teaching money matters

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2016
With Junior Achievement, 2nd-graders learn how money moves in local economy

BROOKINGS, For about 45 minutes Thursday afternoon, Julie Lefebvre, second-grade teacher at Dakota Prairie Elementary School, turned over her class of 20-plus students to Laura Gerjets for a real-world lesson on how money flows through the Brookings community.
Gerjets, executive assistant to the superintendent of the Brookings
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Public weighs in on rec center

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2016
BROOKINGS, The Brookings City Council decided Tuesday it would call a special meeting by March 18 to approve either the Wiese property or Fishback Soccer Park as the location for the proposed indoor recreational center after hearing from members of the public about where the facility should be built.
Most people who spoke were in favor of the rec center,
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Clay target club new option for Brookings students

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2016
BROOKINGS, Brookings students will have another extra-curricular activity opened to them following school board approval to recognize a shooting sports group as a non-school sport.
Leaders of the Brookings High School Clay Target Club, a youth sports organization, and the school athletic director Randy Soma appeared before the board Tuesday night.
By being recognized, the club can use the school's
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Referral to delay start of chicken program

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2016
BROOKINGS, Applications to be part of the pilot chicken program will not be released Feb. 18 as originally planned, said Shari Thornes, Brookings City Clerk on Monday. She's holding the applications due to a referral petition that's being circulated.
The referral petition could put the issue of whether chickens should be raised in Brookings city limits, even as a test
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Committee to take up bill on death penalty

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2016
PIERRE (AP), A state Senate committee is set to consider a measure that would repeal the death penalty in South Dakota.
The Senate State Affairs committee is scheduled to take up the bill on Wednesday.
Republican Sen. Arthur Rusch of Vermillion is the measure's main Senate sponsor. Rusch, a former judge, says he has personally prosecuted a death penalty case.
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BPD offers look behind the badge

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
Brookings department to host seventh Citizens Police Academy

BROOKINGS, Want to learn more about police work? Then fill out an application for the seventh annual Citizens Police Academy, which will start March 7 and run for 10 weeks, announced Lt. Justina Diamond of the Brookings Police Department.
"This is for people who are interested in their local police
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Filing cutoff nears

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
First city candidate turns in petitions

BROOKINGS, So far, only one candidate has filed for the three open seats on the Brookings City Council in the April 12 election, confirmed Shari Thornes, Brookings City Clerk, late Monday morning.
The lone declared candidate so far is Edward J. Ballou, who filed for the council seat that is up for
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Meet 1st school board candidate

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
BROOKINGS, The Brookings School District has its first candidate for its two open seats this year: Mellissa Heermann.
With only just more than a week since the petition's been publicly available, Heermann submitted her completed form with the Brookings School District on Monday, well ahead of the Feb. 26 filing deadline.
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Sales tax hike for teacher pay passes committee

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
PIERRE (AP), The half-cent sales tax increase that would help fund Gov. Dennis Daugaard's teacher pay plan passed its first legislative test Monday, but it now faces a competing push from the House Republican leader to increase salaries without raising taxes.
The House Committee on Appropriations voted unanimously to advance the sales tax plan. It could be debated on the
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SD House approves religious protection bill, on to Senate

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016
PIERRE (AP), The state House has approved a bill that would bar the government from taking actions such as revoking the tax exempt status of an organization because of religious beliefs about marriage, sex outside of marriage or transgender rights.
The Argus Leader reports that the House voted 46-10 on Monday to approve the measure. It now heads to the
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Low pay forces SD teachers to hold second, third jobs

Posted: Monday, Feb 8th, 2016
SIOUX FALLS (AP), Jessica Ries settles in behind the counter of Tip Top Tux and phones a couple to remind them of an upcoming fitting before their wedding. In the back room, beyond the dapper mannequins and vest swatches of pink, yellow and blue, a tote filled with review packets for 24 of her Hayward Elementary School students awaits her
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Frost Fest bringing winter fun to Brookings

Posted: Monday, Feb 8th, 2016
Weekend of family-friendly activities planned for Feb. 19-20

BROOKINGS, Get ready to embrace the big chill! Frost Fest 2 is set for Feb. 19-20 with lots of activities in different locations for young and old to enjoy.
"It's that time in February we're all getting a little stir-crazy," said Jennifer Johnson, executive director of the Brookings Convention
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Committee to take up retirement system changes

Posted: Monday, Feb 8th, 2016
PIERRE (AP), A legislative committee is set to take up a measure to create a new retirement plan for future public employees that includes a two-year increase in the normal retirement age to 67 for many new workers.
The state House Retirement Laws committee is scheduled to consider the bill on Monday.
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