Volunteers Needed for Mentor Program

LSS_LogoLutheran Social Services of South Dakota works in partnership with the Dell Rapids School District to bring volunteer mentors to the elementary, middle and high school. Mentors visit with students for one lunch period each week and together read, play board games or just talk. Mentoring can lead to higher self-esteem, improved academics and fewer absences. Above all, it is a fun and rewarding opportunity for adults to make a difference in the life of a child!

The beginning of the school year will be here soon and there are 15 students in Dell Rapids waiting for a mentor. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and willing and able to spend one hour per week volunteering during the school day. To get started, potential volunteers need to complete an application and pass all background screens. All new volunteers are required to attend training before starting.

For more information or to apply, contact LSS at 605-444-7803 or visit Mentoring.LssSD.org.

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Dell Rapids Sioux River Red Rock Trail Receives Grant

Big Sioux River at the Scenic Overlook in Dell Rapids.

Big Sioux River at the Scenic Overlook in Dell Rapids.

The Sioux River Red Rock Trail fund was recently awarded a grant from the Recreational Trails Program.  South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard made the announcement on Wednesday, July 11th.  The program, which is run through the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department, awarded over $1.1 million to several cities, trail groups, and state parks for 2019.

The Sioux River Red Rock Trail was awarded $100,000 for expansion to the dam site.  Plans for this grant will to connect to the trail at the intersection of 1st Ave and Hwy 115 then head west to where the bridge will cross Rocky Run just behind the lift station and run through the prairie grasses until it reaches Mill Ave.  With the grant announcement, the engineering and design process will hopefully start soon with the expectation of construction bidding happening next year.

The other applicants that were awarded grants for trail construction and upgrades were Aberdeen (Moccasin Creek Recreational Trail, $95,800), Deadwood (Whitewood Creek Trail & Boardwalk Rehabilitation, $60,000), and Elk Point (Recreational Trail, $24,903).

“The sponsors of these projects have thoroughly demonstrated their commitment to improving our communities, parks and recreation areas.  These funds will aid them in their efforts to benefit South Dakotans and future generations,” said Gov. Daugaard in the press release.

There are also two other Sioux River Red Rock Trail projects that are scheduled to be completed before the end of 2018.  With the help of another South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Recreational Trails Program grant, the trail at the corner of Hwy 115 and Centennial Pl will be extended south to the picnic shelter and scenic overlook above the Dells.  Also in conjunction with the Hwy 115 reconstruction project, a trail will be added across the new bridge will continue north to the four-way stop, then turn west past Veteran’s Park all the way to Golf View Dr.

Donations to the Sioux River Red Rock Trail are always welcome.  Donations can be sent to:
Dell Rapids Trailway Fund
Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation
200 N. Cherapa Place
Sioux Falls, SD 57103

Funds are managed by the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.

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LeBrun Officially Joins Dell Rapids School Board

NewDRLogoNewly elected school board member Jacque LeBrun officially began her three-year term at the school board’s regular meeting on Monday, July 9th..  The regular meeting also marked the end of service for Steve Stofferahn.

LeBrun and Troy Randall were elected to three-year terms on April 10th.  Three total candidates were vying for two open spots on the board due to the end of terms fro Stofferahn and Randall.

Also during the school board meeting, the board elected a president and vice president and assigned members to committees.  Matt Weiland was elected as the board president for another year.  Randall was re-elected as the board’s vice president.

Jody Schumaker and LeBrun will serve on the Technology Planning and Wellness/Insurance committees.  Jeff Traill and Schumaker will be on the Facilities and Policy committees.  Weiland and Randall will serve on the Transportation and Negotiations/Personnel committees.  Randall and Traill will head the Budget/Finance committee.  LeBrun and Weiland will serve on the Teacher Leadership committee.

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South Dakota State Rep. Dan Ahlers Selected for the CSG 2018 Toll Fellows Class

DanAhlersStateRepLEXINGTON, Ky.South Dakota state Rep. Dan Ahlers is among the 48 state leaders from across the country selected to participate in The Council of State Governments’ 2018 Henry Toll Fellowship, the nation’s premier leadership development program for state government officials.

The members of the Class of 2018 hail from 32 states and Guam and represent all three branches of state government. A committee of program alumni reviewed applications and selected the class.

“My hope is to improve my leadership and communication skills,” Ahlers said. “Improving these skills will help build new partnerships. These partnerships can help solve the challenges we face as a state.”

The Toll Fellowship, named for CSG founder Henry Wolcott Toll, has convened a group of the nation’s top officials for this intensive six-day, five-night intellectual boot camp for more than 30 years in Lexington, Kentucky. The 2018 program will be held Aug. 24-28.

The program’s agenda includes a lineup of dynamic sessions designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth, while providing networking and relationship-building opportunities. Each year’s program is unique, but previous programs have included sessions on leadership personality assessment, media training, crisis management, appreciative inquiry and adaptive leadership.

“The CSG Toll Fellows are a remarkable group of state leaders,” CSG Executive Director/CEO David Adkins said. “We have designed the fellowship to expand their leadership capacity with a strong focus on collaboration, communication and teamwork skills. Politics today are often characterized by polarization and gridlock. Toll Fellows learn how to overcome differences to serve the common good. These dedicated public servants leave the program energized and ready to return to their states and continue to make a difference.”

Adkins was a 1993 Toll Fellow when he served as a Kansas state representative.

Toll Fellows alumni include Cheri Beasley, associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court; Oregon Gov. Kate Brown; Delaware Gov. John Carney; Idaho U.S. Attorney Bart Davis; Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey; Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap; Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett; former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell; Anne McKeig, associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court; Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin; Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill; Tennessee U.S. Attorney Doug Overbey; Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate; U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, a former Indiana secretary of state; former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis; and Rhonda Wood, associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

“We need to continually challenge ourselves to be better leaders,” Ahlers said. “We can never rely on just one session to really change our bad habits. We need ongoing reinforcement, follow up and feedback to ensure good leadership habits are maintained.”

About The Council of State Governments

The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships. For more information about CSG, visit www.csg.org.

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Dells Veterinary Services Adds New Doctor

DellsVetNewHireThe Dells Veterinary Services family is growing!  The duo of doctors is now a trio.  Dr. Ashley Vegter joined the Dells Vet team this June.  Dr. Vegter grew up on a small crop farm in Illinois.  She spent her childhood there taking care of cats and dogs, which grew into a passion of caring for animals.  While working on a dairy farm, Dr. Vegter found she enjoyed working with production animals just as much as companion animals.  She developed her veterinary skills at the University of Illinois so she could help animals both large and small.  Dells Veterinary Services is thrilled to have her at the clinic to be able to help more of the community!


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Dell Rapids Citizens Asked to Remove Sump Pumps from Sewer Lines

SumpPumpThe Dell Rapids City Council is asking the residents of Dell Rapids to remove sump pumps from pumping into the sewer lines.  The issue was raised during the council’s regular meeting on Monday, July 2nd.

City Administrator Justin Weiland told the council that the city has seen a dramatic increase in the pumping rates to the new Waste Water Treatment Facility over the last few weeks after the heavy rains.  Normal daily pumping from the main lift station is usually around 220,000 gallons daily in the summer months.  That number spiked to nearly 700,000 gallons following the five-inch rain towards the end of June.

“The reason that we are getting those high flows is because of infiltration.  We know we have infiltration into the system.  When you got a big rain like that, you know everything’s coming in at once.  That’s coming in because you have cracked sewer lines.  You still have some man holes that have holes in the top of them.  It’s just typical ways for I and I (intake and infiltration).  Now when that rain goes away and that initial influx comes in, but you keep getting infiltration, that you can always identify as being sump pumps,” said Weiland.

The city was able to get away with sump pumps being pumped into the sewer because of the lagoons, and the city had the capacity to deal with that.  However the city is now paying for energy costs associated with treating all of the infiltration from sump pumps at the treatment facility.

The city put a note on the latest water bills that were just sent to the residents asking for sump pumps to stop pumping directly into the sewer system.  Administration will also be working on ways of finding and correcting sump pump violations

“When we’re now paying to treat all that, we got to try to eliminate as much of that as possible at this point,” Weiland noted.

According to city ordinance, depositing sump pumps into the sewer system is illegal.

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Dell Rapids Grad Helps Design New Corn Palace Murals

2019CornPalace_1A Dell Rapids graduate had a significant role in the new Corn Palace mural designs.  Chloe Solberg, a sophomore at Dakota Wesleyan University, was part of a team from DWU’s Digital Media and Design department that helped design nine different murals for the Corn Palace in Mitchell.  The new murals will be made out of corn and grain and will be installed this summer and fall.  The designs were announced about a month ago.

Solberg, a Graphic Design major, just completed her freshman year at Dakota Wesleyan this past spring.  During her freshman year, she did work study for Digital Media and Design Professor Kyle Herges.  During her work study, she created sports posters, homecoming t-shirt designs, and club organization posters.

“I really loved being a part of the work study because he (Herges) put me right into Graphic Design projects that really exposed me to experiences I needed as a freshman to set myself apart from my peers,” said Solberg.

The other big project that Professor Herges assigned to Solberg was working on the Corn Palace murals.  Solberg helped create three of the designs on the computer, Mt Rushmore, Iwo Jima, and Saluting Half-staff with the Sunset.  Along with digitally working on those designs, Solberg also helped to other students, Isabelle Barraza and Liam LaFrance, by applying the big 10-foot by 30-foot designs on the mural paper.

“I helped grid out the designs and draw out some of the designs.  IT was quite a big project, and it took a few months, but in the end when we were all done, we were so satisfied with our outcome.  I hope our designs can hit home with our veterans, because we were very honored to take on this project to represent our country and veterans.  I cannot wait to see them up outside the Corn Palace, and I hope the Dell Rapids community can take a drive to Mitchell to see my designs!” Solberg said.

Solberg was also involved in other campus activities.  She’s involved as a Student Ambassador and campus ministries such as Monday Night Freshmen Ministry, Thursday Campus Chapel, and Worship Under the Stars.2019CornPalace_1

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Central Payments Expands Headquarters in Dell Rapids

CentralPaymentsLogoCentral Payments is renewing its commitment to the community of Dell Rapids with an expansion that more than doubles the size of its headquarters in the Rocky Run development.

Central Payments, a division of Central Bank of Kansas City, is a leading national issuer of prepaid debit cards and delivers innovative financial products in collaboration with partner businesses. The bank, owned by the same family since opening in 1951, entered the payments space modestly in 2002 when it offered one of the industry’s first stored-value cards in its Kansas City branches. Central Payments was formed in 2014 with the hiring of a new President, South Dakotan Trent Sorbe, who was charged with leading the new division’s aggressive nationwide issuing goals.

Why Dell Rapids?

“It was important for us to be close to Sioux Falls, a hub for payment card issuing in the U.S., in order for us to recruit experienced payment card professionals,” said Trent Sorbe, President of Central Payments. “It was equally important for us to find a home in a welcoming community that shares our values and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Dell Rapids fit the criteria and Central Payments opened its doors in January 2015. “Most of our staff grew up in Midwestern communities like Dell Rapids and we think those small-town values have had a lot to do with our early success,” said Sorbe. “From the beginning, we felt welcomed by the local Chamber of Commerce, the Dell Rapids Economic Development Corporation, the office site developer, and the City of Dell Rapids.”

Fastest Growing Issuer in the U.S.

Central Payments is quickly setting itself apart in the marketplace.

“We are not a mass issuer catering to hundreds of partners,” said Sorbe. “We choose to work with a select number of highly reputable companies capable of significant growth verses the prevailing many-to-one issuing model embraced by our competitors.” Central Payments clients include market leaders like Bausch & Lomb and General Motors.

It’s an approach that is paying off. The Nilson Report, a national source for payments news and statistics, identified the company as the fastest growing prepaid issuer in the United States in 2016 with more than $106 million in purchase volume. Central Payments issued nearly 500,000 cards in 2017 and projects annual growth rates of more than 100 percent.

Expansion in Dell Rapids

That growth is fueling new job creation. The company expects to add 15 new professional-level positions in the next two years, bringing the total workforce to more than 40.

“It’s rare for a community the size of Dell Rapids to be home to a growing, nationwide financial services company,” said Doug Hainje, President of Dell Rapids Economic Development Corporation. “Central Payments’ workforce is predominantly made up of college-educated, salaried professionals who spur our local economy by shopping and living here.”

Central Payments’ growth has also required more space. Earlier this month the company extended its lease with Quartzite Investors another four years and is doubling its square footage by expanding into the west half of its current location. The project is expected to be complete in June and a grand opening will be held in early Summer.

“Our home here and the support of everyone in Dell Rapids is a big part of our success,” said Sorbe. “Choosing to expand locally was an easy decision.”

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Library Summer Reading Program Sees Big Growth

LibraryDedication-2The Dell Rapids Carnegie Public Library has seen great growth in their summer reading program over the last couple of years as reported by Library Director Brittany Moeller.  Moeller gave the report to the Dell Rapids City Council during their regular meeting on Monday, June 18th.

“Our summer reading is going fantastic so far.  We’re only three weeks in, and I’m super excited because we have almost broken 600 people signed up from birth to adults.  That’s amazing considering in 2015 we had just barely over 200, so that’s a huge growth,” Moeller said.

There is still time to register and participate in the summer reading program.

Moeller also mentioned that the library has added two programs for this summer for a total of six, which is an increase from four in 2016.  A new adult program and another children’s program were added this year.  In 2016 the library saw 820 people total participate in the summer programs.  In just the first three weeks of 2018, 545 people have already participated in the programs.  Those programs will conclude at the end of July.

During the update to the council, Moeller stated that she also recently graduated from the four-year program Library Institute put on by the South Dakota State Library.

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Dell Rapids Chamber’s Quarry Days Celebration Had Fun for All

QuarryDays2018_3With the threat of rain and severe weather staying away for most of the weekend, the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce held their 31st annual Quarry Days celebration Friday, June 22nd through Sunday, June 24th.  The seven member chamber board filled the weekend with great events and kept them running smoothly all weekend long.

QuarryDays2018_1The Quarry Days golf tournament kicked off this year’s events on Friday.  Despite the heavy rains earlier in the week, the Rocky Run Golf Course was ready for play, and twenty-two teams competed in this year’s tournament.  The festivities continued Friday evening with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” amateur baseball game between Dell Rapids PBR and Dell Rapids Mudcats.  Prior to the game, PBR manager Jay Bentz was honored for his 40 years of contributions to Dell Rapids baseball and Dell Rapids PBR.  Dell Rapids Mayor Tom Earley declared the day “Jay Bentz Appreciation Day” during the ceremony.  The 1993 Dell Rapids PBR championship team was also QuarryDays2018_5recognized during the game.  The Mudcats defeated PBR 11-1 in the game this year.

Saturday was full of activities for every age.  The day started with the annual ESA 5k run.  Hundreds of people lined the streets of Dell Rapids for the Quarry Days parade.  City Park was filled with vendors all day long.  There was also the Rapid Fitness 3-on-3 basketball tournament, sand volleyball, kayak races, the Zoo Man animal show, a home QuarryDays2018_6run derby for kids, jumpy castles, and more throughout the park.  The day concluded with nearly 1,000 people gathering downtown Dell Rapids for the street dance with Judd Hoos and opening act Ashley Wineland.

The Chamber of Commerce filled Sunday with more activities throughout the day.  The 30th annual “Blast from the Past” car show was held in the park with the vendors.  LG Everist gave free train rides.  The annual QuarryDays2018_7Sportsman’s Club fishing derby was held, the Dell Rapids firefighters had an obstacle course and smokehouse, the Little Miss quarry Days pageant was held, there was a magic show performance, the Dualing Duo performance was held, and fireworks closed out the celebration on Sunday night.


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