NewsFebruary 01 2017

Outlook Shows Potential Drought Improvement for State

Posted by Lucy

  Outlook Shows Potential Drought Improvement for State
 
      BROOKINGS, S.D. - As South Dakota faces yet another winter storm, the climate outlooks for early spring have been released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which allows us to look to the end of the 2017 winter season.
     “Precipitation outlooks for the next three months show higher likelihood of wetter than average conditions through April for the western and northern regions of the state,” said Laura Edwards, Acting State Climatologist & SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist.
      Edwards said this projection of wetter than average conditions could be good news to those who suffered through the drought of 2016.
      “Although there have been some improvements in the severity of drought in western South Dakota, there are still some lingering concerns of having sufficient water to meet the demand, especially for agricultural production in 2017,” she said.
      Snow reports from the Black Hills have been close to average, if not slightly above average, so far this season.
      With at least another month of winter left to go, Edwards said there is still time for more precipitation to fall and improve drought conditions before the growing season begins.
      With the southeast now showing equal chances of wetter, drier or near average precipitation through April 2017, Edwards said there is no concern over whether or not there will be enough moisture to begin the growing season.  
     “With the wet fall and early winter, there is enough moisture in the soils to begin in the spring, with just a little more than average for this time of year,” she said.
      For the southeast region, Edwards said drought is not much of a concern for the early spring season. 
 
Temperatures predicted to be colder than average 
 
     The temperature outlook for February through April indicate that colder than average temperatures are more likely to prevail in the northern and northwestern counties of South Dakota.
     “This is consistent with La Nia as it will wane in the late winter,” Edwards said.
     Historically, Edwards explained, climate patterns like this have been cooler than average in the month of February.
     “Colder than average temperature is currently the most challenging aspect of the outlook for the spring, as this can hold back planting and spring fieldwork in the northern counties,” she said. “Looking ahead at the climate outlook for late winter and early spring, the forecasters for this outlook are less confident than in recent months.”
      Edwards explained that spring can often bring large swings in both temperature and precipitation.
     “Climate patterns like La Niña are less reliable in the spring season, so forecasters tend to focus on two to three weeks at a time,” she said.
      Precipitation outlook for February through April 2017.
      Most of South Dakota is favored to be wetter than average in the late winter/early spring, with the exception of the southeast.
      Temperature outlook for February through April 2017. Colder than average temperatures are more likely across northern counties of South Dakota.

NewsJanuary 25 2017

Juniors work the concession stand

Posted by Lucy

Juniors work the concession stand

Juniors Allison, left and Katie sell concessions to Rory  at the home boys basketball game on Thursday night. The proceeds from the sales of the concessions go to the Junior class to help with class expenses such as Prom. Concessions advisor is Amber Weber.

NewsJanuary 25 2017

Sewer project moves forward

Posted by Lucy

Sewer project moves forward
Lucy Halverson/LCH 
 
 After several months of discussions between the Kennebec Board of Trustees, residents, and SPN and Associates, the engineering firm hired for the town’s wastewater improvement and expansion project, an invitation to bid the third and final phase of the project was released this week. The Town Board will open sealed bids for the Pressurized Sewer Extension project at the Feb. 6, 2017 meeting. Project engineer Camdem Hofer stated the project would start in the spring and have a completion date of December 1, 2017. The expansion will provide sanitary sewer to approximately 30 new hook-ups currently not on the system; the KOA Campground, and businesses along Highway 248 including Halvorson Oil, Gerry’s Motel, King’s Motel and Hot Rod’s Steakhouse and several private residences. The pressurized sewer system will utilize 15 grinder lift stations and thousands of feet of PVC pipe to pump sewage from the new hook ups to the recently upgraded treatment ponds built on the east side of town. The $1.16 million wastewater project was approved by the Kennebec Town Board following a town meeting in July of 2014. Phase one of the project, to flush and televise over 18,000 feet of 8-inch clay sewer lines throughout town to determine if other problem areas exist in the city’s sewer system, was completed last summer. The estimated cost was $55,000, but it was completed under budget. The second phase, the construction of two new larger wastewater ponds, was finished in November. The bid at $261,000 also came in under budget. The Town received two loan packages to fund the entire project which will be repaid with project revenues and an additional surcharge assessed to all current and future hook ups. The third phase of the project, the expansion of the sewer system, was originally estimated at $723,000, which is what the town has available for funding. Hofer stated if the bids come in higher than expected due to project changes, additional engineering fees and delays the Town Board will need to decide how to proceed. We won’t know until the bids come in, “ said Board Vice-President Todd Longville. “Over all we’re within budget so far on the first two projects, even with change orders.”

NewsJanuary 18 2017

Annual fishing tournament a success

Posted by Lucy

Winners of Kennebec's Annual Fishing Tournament include l-r: Emmitt Houchin and Keith Hespe, biggest panfish, 1.5 lbs; Dave Halgrimson and Kenny Nye, biggest northern 11.04 lbs; Zack Wolf and Gary Wolf, biggest walleye 8.5 lbs; Barrot Lillebo and daughter Jada, largest weight of walleyes 18.88 lbs; and Gordie Lillebo, biggest bass 5.11 lbs.
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