Yankton cleaning up after weekend wind storm
YANKTON, S.D. (AP) - Residents of the southeastern South Dakota city of Yankton are cleaning up after a weekend storm.
The storm on Saturday brought heavy rain, hail and strong winds, and caused widespread tree damage. City crews on Monday were picking up branches put on curbs by residents.
National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Temeyer tells the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan that the damage in the city likely was caused by straight-line winds. He says there's nothing to indicate it was a tornado.
At least one house was damaged in the storm, but no injuries were reported.
FEDERAL LAND PAYMENTS
US agency pays $5.6 million to SD local government
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Tim Johnson says the U.S. Department of Interior has designated more than $5.6 million that will go to 31 South Dakota counties as payment in lieu of property taxes.
Johnson says the Black Hills National Forest, national grasslands and national parks are tremendous assets to South Dakota, but they pay no local property taxes. He says payments in lieu of taxes give communities additional money to support schools, county roads and other services.
Payments in lieu of taxes go to counties that contain non-taxable federal land.
State-issued irrigation permits soaring in SD
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The number of irrigation permits is soaring in South Dakota, due to last year's drought and to lucrative market prices for corn, wheat and soybeans.
The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources approved 173 irrigation permits last year. So far this year it has issued 279, and 121 applications are pending. In the previous three years, the number was 65 or fewer.
Officials tell the Argus Leader newspaper that the rise in permit requests isn't a threat to the state's water resources. Ron Duvall with the Environment and Natural Resources department says state law stipulates that the use of groundwater can't exceed the amount of recharge. That means water users can't take more out of an aquifer over the course of a year than nature puts in.
Bids for Mitchell library expansion come in high
MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - Bids to expand and renovate the public library in Mitchell have come in slightly higher than expected.
The Daily Republic reports that that lowest bid for the project is about $2.3 million, about $123,000 over the estimate. Architect Larry Jirsa says the budget for new furniture can be adjusted to keep the project within the estimate.
The expansion project will include a new meeting room, a children's reading area, a reference area, more storage space and a new circulation desk. The project is to be completed by September 2014.
More peregrine falcons released in western SD
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Four young peregrine falcons have been released in Rapid City as part of an effort to re-establish a population of the birds in western South Dakota's Black Hills.
The Birds of Prey Northwest organization and the state Game, Fish and Parks Department have released 44 peregrines since the $10,000 project began in 2010.
Raptor biologist Janie Fink tells the Rapid City Journal that the birds will migrate to Central America or South America for two to three years and then hopefully make their way back to the Rapid City area to find mates and build nests.
Peregrines and other raptors were devastated by pesticides years ago, but their numbers have been increasing in the Midwest since efforts to restore them began in the early 1980s.
TRANSPORTATION HALL OF FAME
SD Transportation Hall of Fame to induct 2
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Department of Transportation has announced two people it plans to induct into the Hall of Fame later this year.
Dennis Landguth of Rapid City and Bob Meister of Kalispell, Montana will be inducted at banquets to be held later this year.
Landguth served in the South Dakota Department of Transportation for 34 years. He started as a seasonal employee and finished his career as department Secretary.
Meister spent more than 40 years working as a county superintendent and with the Department of Transportation.
The South Dakota Transportation Hall of Honor dates back to 1972 and now includes 82 inductees. Its goal is to recognize people who made a lasting impact to South Dakota's air, highway or rail system.
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