Number 10Volume 107March 8, 2012
By Elizabeth “Sam” GroszCommunity News Serv-ice
Heading into the final week of the 2012 South Dakota Legisla-ture, leaders of both parties stillare at odds over the bill that seeksto reward the state’s best teachersand attract more in certain areasof study.The plan, which started as Gov.Dennis Daugaard’s plan, but hassuffered at last count 23 amend-ments to make it more palatable toeducators and the public, is em-bodied in HB1234.Republican House and Senateleaders said Friday at their weeklynews conference that the educa-tion plan has gained the mostmedia attention of any of the bills.But now, said Sen. Russ Olson, R-Madison, “I think we have the peo-ple’s plan.”With the current version, Olsonsaid, “we are allowing local schooldistricts to have continuing con-tracts,” and have expanded thelocal control option for schoolboards that want to give moremoney for such things as a teacherFirst Interstate Bank is honoredto be one of only 10 banks recog-nized by the American Bankers Association (ABA) with a 2012Community Bank Award. First In-terstate was specifically honoredfor its outstanding leadership per-taining to encouraging volun-teerism within its company andits communities.First Interstate BancSystem,Inc. Vice Chairman Jim Scott ac-cepted the award on behalf of theBank at the ABA’s National Con-ference for Community Bankers inPalm Desert, California, on Febru-ary 21. First Interstate was chosenby an ABA selection committeefrom a field of nearly 200 nomina-tions. Winners were based on theinnovation, creativity, and effec-tiveness of the bank's approach tomaking a difference in its commu-nity.“First Interstate Bank takes amethodical, thorough, and uniqueapproach to encouraging volun-teerism and helping local nonprof-its continue to serve the commu-nity,” said Laura Fisher, ExecutiveDirector of the ABA EducationFoundation. “Their programmatches charities in need with vol-unteers based on their professionalskills, experience, and leadershipcapabilities to address specificneeds of the community. This ap-proach helps nonprofits build andsustain their capacity to bring realsolutions to the most pressing so-cial problems.”First Interstate employees con-tributed more than 11,000 hours of volunteer service in their commu-nities last year. “Our founder,Homer Scott, Sr., always said, ‘If you’re part of a place, take care of it,’” noted Lyle R. Knight, Presi-
First Interstate Bank receivesNational Community Bank award
First Interstate Bank ...
Pictured from left to right: KenBurgess, Jr., Vice Chairman of the ABA Community BankersCouncil, presenting the award to Jim Scott, First Interstate Banc-System, Inc. Vice Chairman.
SPC Mark McMillan (left) & SGT Jeremy Hertel (right) took a few minutes out of their busy day atCamp Leatherneck, Aghanistan to take this picture. From Aghanistan to Wall Drug its only 7,142miles. Thank you to Jeremy and Mark for protecting us back here in the U.S., and God’s speed inbringing you both home.
dent and CEO of First InterstateBank. “That’s why we consider thisaward such a great honor. It’s atestament to the dedication of ourentire organization and the wayswe come together to take care of our communities.”First Interstate Bank is a com-munity banking organization, op-erating 71 offices throughout Mon-tana, Wyoming, and SouthDakota. A family business whoseculture is driven by strong corpo-rate values, First Interstate iscommitted to exemplary customerservice, exceeding customer expec-tations through its products andservices, and supporting the com-munities it serves.The ABA Community Bank Awards program was establishedin 2005 to commend communitybanks' exceptional charitableachievements. The ABA repre-sents banks of all sizes and char-ters and is the voice for the na-tion's $13 trillion banking industryand its two million employees.
Legislative leaders predictablystill at odds over education bill
who acts as a mentor. Olson saidas long as it is advancing studentachievement, “we want to rewardteachers.”The bill was approved in theSenate Education committee lastweek and was adopted by the fullSenate late Monday afternoon ona vote of 22-12, reflecting more op-position than just the five Democ-rats in that body.However, Democratic Senateleader Jason Frerichs, D-Wilmot,said what happened in the Educa-tion Committee was “something towitness first hand,” which he did.He said the bureaucrats were tes-tifying for the bill, continuing topush that top-down approach,while the foot soldiers, administra-tors, school board members, teach-ers and parents were saying “holdon, let’s do it right.”Frerichs said it looks like the Gov-ernor means well, but he is really“pushing this forward at any cost.”House Democratic Leader BernieHunhoff, Yankton, said the plan’s$15 million cost has inaccuratelybeen called the “biggest invest-ment in history for education.”However, he said, that amount is just one-fifth of what was cut lastyear from school funding.Numerous Republican legisla-tors also have voiced their dis-pleasure with the bill, even withits amendments and are askingthat money be put back into thestate’s school funding formula tobenefit local school districts andthe taxpayers who support them. As legislators head into theirfinal full week of action, the bill isexpected to wind up in a confer-ence committee where both theHouse and Senate can hammer outa compromise bill that would bepresented to each of the two cham-bers for their consideration. At week’s end it is also expectedthat the general appropriationsbill will be finalized for fiscal year2013.Legislators then give Gov. Den-nis Daugaard two weeks to con-sider bills for his signature or dis-approval, and come back for itsfinal legislative day on Monday,March 19. The Legislature also candeal with any vetoes the Governormay have issued. A new National Park Service(NPS) report shows that 42,348 vis-itors in 2010 spent $2.8 million inyour national park and in commu-nities near the park. That spendingsupported 46 jobs in the local area.“The people and the businessowners in communities near na-tional parks have always knowntheir economic value,” park super-intendent Ruben Andrade said.“Minuteman Missile NationalHistoric Site is clean, green fuel forthe engine that drives our localeconomy.”Most of the spending/jobs are re-lated to lodging, food, and beverageservice (52 percent) followed byother retail (29 percent), entertain-ment/amusements (10 percent), gas
Minuteman Missile NHP = visitors,money and jobs for local economy
and local transportation (7percent)and groceries (2 percent).The figures are based on $12 bil-lion of direct spending by 281 mil-lion visitors in 394 national parksand nearby communities and areincluded in an annual, peer-re-viewed, visitor spending analysisconducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for theNational Park Service. Across the U.S, local visitorspending added a total of $31 bil-lion to the national economy andsupported more than 258,000 jobs,an increase of $689 million and11,500 jobs over 2009.To download the report visithttp://www.nature.nps.gov/so-cialscience/products.cfm#MGMand click on Economic Benefits toLocal Communities from NationalPark Visitation and Payroll, 2010.The report includes informationfor visitor spending at individualparks and by state.For more on how the NPS isworking within South Dakota, goto www.nps.gov/southdakota. About the National Park Serv-ice. More than 20,000 NationalPark Service employees care for America’s 395 national parks andwork with communities across thenation to help preserve local his-tory and create close-to-homerecreational opportunities. Learnmore at www.nps.gov.
By Elizabeth “Sam” GroszCommunity News Service
The House and Senate of theSouth Dakota Legislature joinedtogether recently in asking the fed-eral government to consider keep-ing the Veterans Administrationfacility in Hot Springs open.The resolution finalized Feb. 28was in response to the proposal bythe United States Department of Veterans Affairs to close the VA Hospital, and revamp the VA BlackHills Health Care System.“The proposed changes would re-
Legislature encourages fedsto keep Hot Springs VA open
sult in the closure of the HotSprings VA Domiciliary and inpa-tient hospital and nursing homeservices,” said the resolution, “withservices to be moved to Rapid Cityand Fort Meade in Sturgis orserved on a contractual basis byother private facilities in the area,leaving Hot Springs with only a VA outpatient clinic.”The closure is expected to havean adverse impact on the commu-nity of Hot Springs and the sur-rounding area.It is estimated, according to theresolution, that the current 1,062employees will be reduced to 325over the next eight years, nega-tively impacting the city’s employ-ment and housing market, as wellas its overall economy.Sen. Jim Bradford, D-PineRidge, noted during the Senateconsideration Feb. 28 that themedical care from the VA at HotSprings is especially important toNative American veterans, as wellas to the economy of Hot Springs.
Hertel and McMillan over 7,000 miles from Wall Drug
The American Advertising Fed-eration (AAF) of the Black Hillsawarded Jason Alley, Principal/Creative Director at Messagewith a Gold ADDY®Award for bestof Local TV Campaign. The com-mercial was created for GoldenWest Telecommunications.Produced in 2012, the GoldenWest commercial features fourlovely ladies from Armour;Dorothy Hoxeng, ArdelleClements, Betty Knodel and Lu-verne Van Der Werff and one shychild, Josie Brouwer. The spot alsoshows Greg McCanna, a pilot fromSpringfield; Tashina Banks, at theRed Cloud Indian School near PineRidge; Marie Riechardt, at theBadland National Park entrance;and Jim Bolt, mowing hay nearCorsica.The ADDY®Awards are pre-sented for advertising creative ex-cellence. Entries were judgedbased on creativity, originality,and creative strategy. Jason Alley/Message also captured theJudge’s Choice award, the Tommy Award/Best of Show for Cine-
Golden West commercial wins ADDY®Award
matography and seven other ADDY®Awards.The ADDY®Awards competitionis a three-tiered national competi-tion conducted annually by the American Advertising Federationand includes some of the world’slargest and arguably toughest ad-vertising competition with over50,000 entries annually. The ADDY®Awards recognize allforms of advertising from media of all types, creative by all sizes, andentrants of all levels from any-where in the world.To view the award winningGolden West commercial go tohttp://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=547696635769 or visitthe Golden West Facebook page,click on videos and view the mid-dle one, in the top row.
Badlands National Park
A new National Park Service (NPS)report shows the 977,778 visitorswho visited and enjoyed BadlandsNational Park in 2010 spent $23million in the park and surround-ing communities. This spendingsupported more than 375 area jobs.“The people and the businessowners in communities near na-tional parks have always knowntheir economic value,” said park su-perintendent Eric Brunnemann.“Badlands National Park is clean,green fuel for the engine thatdrives our local economy.”Special events such as the park’syearly Heritage Celebration in Julyand its first annual Night Sky Fes-tival in August are anticipated tostrengthen these numbers for2012.Most of the spending/jobs are re-lated to lodging, food, and bever-age service (52 percent) followedby other retail (29 percent), enter-tainment/amusements (10 per-cent), gas and local transportation(7 percent) and groceries (2 per-cent).The figures are based on $12 bil-lion of direct spending by 281 mil-lion visitors in 394 national parksand nearby communities and areincluded in an annual, peer-re-viewed, visitor spending analysisconducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for theNational Park Service. Across the U.S, local visitorspending added a total of $31 bil-lion to the national economy andsupported more than 258,000 jobs,an increase of $689 million and11,500 jobs over 2009.To download the report visithttp://www.nature.nps.gov/so-cialscience/products.cfm#MGMand click on Economic Benefits
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