Sidewalks, Golf Carts, Budget and More Scheduled for Sheldon City Council Wednesday

A budget hearing will be the first item of business when the Sheldon City Council meets Wednesday, February 15th.

Even though the city is preparing for several large projects during the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the tax levy for property owners will be slightly reduced. The current levy is 12.99 per thousand dollars of assessed value, but for the coming year it will be lowered to 12.86.

Major items in the budget include continuation of the Highway 18 three lane project east as far as the new industrial park.  The construction of a road into the industrial park is also in the budget as well as water improvements, park improvements, an upgraded motor grader and $125,000 for street repairs.  The City also plans up to $850,000 in bonding for downtown infrastructure improvements.  This would be a part of the proposed street-scape project, but would not include enhancements.

Another public hearing will be held on the 2012 Sidewalk Improvement Resolution of necessity.  This will be the final step in the city’s action to make sidewalk improvements where the work has not been done by the property owner and bill the costs to the owner.

In other business, the council will consider the second reading of the proposed golf cart ordinance and consider a resolution authorizing acceptance of bids for the housing rehabilitation project.  It is expected that there will be ten or eleven houses included in this program.

Wednesday’s Council meeting begins at 4:30 in the upper level of the Sheldon Community Services Center.

School Board Hears Presentation From Students and Teachers

When the Sheldon Community School Board met Monday night, they heard a presentation from students and teachers in the reading program at the middle school on a variety of e-readers, from audio books on CD to i-Pod and i-Pod Touch to Nook devices, and more.

The students, in grades 5 through 8, use the audiobooks in conjunction with the printed books to not only help them improve their reading, but also their vocabulary.

Teachers told the Board that the audiobooks improve student comprehension and oral fluency, strengthen vocabulary and listening skills, aid in decoding written words as they read along with the audio book, stimulate imagination and motivation to read, and make reading fun, in addition to other advantages of the method.

The Board also approved a pair of Open Enrollment applications; the first for a Special Education student to enroll out of the district into the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn District, while the second was for a student to open enroll into the Sheldon District.   The Board accepted the resignations of Tyann Thong Vanh, and Shantel Mozer.  Thong Vanhs resignation was effective February 7th, and Mozers will be effective the end of this school year.

They also approved a pair of coaching contracts.  The first is for Taylor Morris, a senior at Northwestern College as Assistant Baseball Coach.  Morris was an Assistant Coach at Emmetsburg last year.  The second was for Mike Niece who will serve as the Head Softball Coach.

The Board also voted to purchase a pair of SUVs for the District.  They include a 2011 Ford Expedition EL from Ron Drenkow Motors, and a 2011 Chevrolet Suburban from Hamill Motor Company.  The District will pay $32,290 for the Expedition, and $31,975 for the Suburban.  The cost of the Suburban takes into account the trade-in of a van by the School District.

There will be more school news on future newscasts.

Sheldon School Board To Enter Special Education Services Contract

The Sheldon Community Schools will be entering into a Special Education Services contract with KeBecca Education Services and Hope Haven, following action taken at Monday nights monthly School Board meeting.

Currently, the school district sends some Special Education students to Sioux Falls each day for services that are beyond the Districts capacity to provide. Following more than a year of research, Superintendent Robin Spears recommended to the Board that they contract the joint services of KeBecca to provide instructors, assistant instructors and curriculum for these students.

In addition, the District will contract with Hope Haven for their services in conjunction with those provided by KeBecca. The classes will be held at Hope Haven’s facility in Rock Valley. Spears told the Board that, among other advantages, the students would receive about 2 additional hours per day of educational opportunity, due to the closer proximity of Rock Valley over Sioux Falls.

The contract with KeBecca will cover 4 grade levels, K-3, and will call for a maximum of 7 students. Spears said hes been in contact with other area school superintendents, and there is what he called a high interest regarding participation by other school districts, if the Sheldon District doesnt need to utilize all 7 spots.

The Board also approved a Participation Agreement with PaySchools at their Monday meeting. PaySchools will allow the Sheldon District to conduct online financial transactions for school-related fees. Spears said that, initially, PaySchools would give parents the option of purchasing their child’s school lunches online, with more items being added as time goes by.

Spears also reported to the Board on a recent meeting held between representatives of the school district and the City of Sheldon in conjunction with the proposed joint development of a new baseball/softball/soccer/football complex north of the high school football field.

He said they discussed numerous topics, including; storm sewer along Highway 18, the proposed new concessions/storage building, bleacher design and seating capacity, dugout design and seating capacity, and a playground area, along with other items. He said that it was decided to visit similar sites in other communities to get more ideas on the final design of the facility.

A representative from the State Auditor’s Office had been scheduled to be present at Monday’s meeting, to provide the Board with a verbal presentation of the independent audit of the School District that was conducted last fall. However, the weather prevented the representative from attending, so the presentation will be rescheduled.

The Board also dealt with numerous normal housekeeping items before adjourning into closed session to discuss bargaining strategy in the contract negotiations with the union representing Sheldon’s teachers.

By Tom Traughber Reporter

Sanford Gets New Helicopters

Perhaps you’re familiar with this sound.

For a number of years, especially those of us who live in a community served by a Sanford Hospital — have come to know that sound as the sound of Trauma One — Sanford Health System’s Bell 222 helicopter. It usually means that someone at the local hospital needs to be transferred “stat” — as they say in the medical world — to Sanford Hospital and USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls.

Well, that sound won’t be going away entirely, but starting this month, we will also be hearing this:

That’s the sound of one of Sanford’s new Eurocopter EC-145 helicopters. In October, Sanford Health announced the purchase of three Eurocopters. One will be used in the Sioux Falls region and two in the Fargo region. The new Eurocopters are larger, making it easier to transport patients and equipment across the region.

Sanford officials say the new helicopters will improve occupant safety. They are also more convenient, as the patient can be loaded from the rear rather than from the side of the helicopter. Plus, the stretcher rolls out instead of having to transfer patients to another cot. Additionally, the helicopters have autopilot, reducing the workload for the pilot.

The helicopters can also fly in IFR conditions, and even in clouds. That means they can fly more often, in weather they wouldn’t have been able to fly in before.

Plus, the old helicopter will stay on at Sanford, and will be able to serve in a backup role, when the Eurocopter is being serviced. Sanford officials say that means they’ll be in service nearly 100% of the time.

Incidentally, many tri-state area hospitals have switched to Eurocopters, including Avera McKennan’s Careflight out of Sioux Falls and Mercy Hospital’s Mercy Air Care out of Sioux City, as well as Sanford’s Trauma One.

By Scott Van Aartsen News Director

Photo Caption: Top picture is new Eurocopter Sanford Helicopter, bottom is the old Bell helicopter. Photo courtesy Sanford Health

Two More Teens Arrested, Charged With Remsen Burglary

Two more teens, implicated in a burglary and assault in rural Remsen last week have turned themselves in.

Nineteen-year-old Dylan Michael Corbin of Sioux City turned himself in last week.  The next day, 18-year-old Christian Alexander of Sioux City turned himself in.  They each had had Plymouth County Warrants for Burglary 1st degree, a Class B Felony, and are both being held on $25,000 bond.

Nineteen-year-old Gregory Steven Hueser of Sioux City and 17-year-old Beau Joseph Mogensen of Moville were arrested after the crime. They were charged with Burglary in the 1st Degree, a Class B Felony, and both were held on $25,000 bond.

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 1:15 AM on Wednesday (2/8), their deputies responded to a call at a rural residence east of Remsen for an assault complaint.  The owner of the residence reported that four males forcefully entered the residence and committed an assault on one of the residents.

By Scott Van Aartsen News Director

Orange City Woman Dies In Skiing Accident In Western South Dakota

An Orange City woman has died in a skiing accident in western South Dakota.

Authorities say 24-year-old Tina Heilman of Orange City hit a ski lift tower Saturday as she was skiing down a beginner’s slope at the Terry Peak Resort in the Black Hills.

Terry Peak president Tom Marsing said Heilman was a novice skier and she wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Heilman worked as a nurse in Sioux Falls and was a graduate of Dordt College in Sioux Center.

Story from RadioIowa