Letters

Letters Congratulations, Special Olympians!

To the editor:

Vermillion can well be proud of the Vermillion Special Olympics basketball team. I recently drove them to Mitchell (for a two-day stay) in a school bus provided for the event by CEPT, the local school bus company.

The care and concern the team members had for each other on the bus and in the motel was exemplary and they followed the rules given them by the chaperones and coaches willingly. The joy obvious in the participants' competitive play was refreshing to see.

Congratulations to the members of this truly special team and their coordinator Terri Hanson, their coach Dawn Abbott, and assistants Pam McGuire, Jay Merrigan and Scott Abbott. They are doing wonderful things.

Sincerely,

Jack Smart

bus driver, Route 11

Vermillion

Only one more year

To the editor:

The Vermillion School Board has announced plans to put a bond issue on the ballot in the April 13 election to fund an expansion at the Vermillion High School. There are many features to the project but the centerpiece is a new auditorium and adjacent commons. On Sunday, March 7, there was a high school event called "Evening of the VHS Music Stars." This is a fund raiser for the Music Boosters that features music contest winners in a dinner theatre atmosphere.

It is a great night with good food and wonderful entertainment, but is just one more example of the need for this new expansion. The St. Agnes School has, for nine years, been kind enough to allow "Stars" to be held in its school gym where there is both a kitchen and a stage. Our music staff does a great job, but ended up showcasing over 100 students in a space that was too small with poor acoustics, uneven lighting and an uncertain sound system.

This is no reflection on St. Agnes, their space is the best available, but it is still an elementary all-purpose room sized for basketball! This is just one event, but there are dozens of other music performances, plays, debate and assemblies that can only be held in the high school gym or off campus.

Our kids deserve better. The design and construction of the expansion will take more than a year, but it would be wonderful if we could tell our students, "Only one more year!" Please vote yes on April 13.

Sandra Lea Dickenson

Vermillion

Fight continues for price reporting

To the editor:

Last week, as I traveled throughout South Dakota, I heard from financially-strapped farm families and small business owners who told me that the current farm crisis is devastating the economic well being of communities across rural America.

Congress is now considering several responses to the crisis. One significant measure is my legislation to require large meat packing companies to report the prices they pay to buy livestock. This bill passed the Senate last year, but it was killed by the House at the last minute by heavy lobbying from the meat packing industry.

I re-introduced the mandatory price reporting bill in the first legislative day of the new Congress, and I will continue to fight to get it enacted into law. The bill, cosponsored by Tim Johnson and 13 other senators, would help ensure that the increasingly-concentrated meat packing industry doesn't engage in unfair and anti-competitive practices that can worsen the farm crisis and quickly drive small and medium-sized producers out of business.

This legislation will help our producers better compete, and I am pleased that momentum is building to get it passed this year.

I want to keep you updated on our progress, and I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions about this or any other issues.

Sincerely,

Tom Daschle

United State Senate

Firemen's Ball is March 20

To the editor:

Fire protection and rescue services are provided to Vermillion and the surrounding area through the efforts of the Vermillion Volunteer Fire Department, the city of Vermillion, Clay County and contributions made by individuals. The latter three furnished most of the equipment and the Vermillion Fire Department furnishes the manpower to operate it. The city of Vermillion furnishes the housing for the trucks and equipment. Eight fully equipped trucks are currently available for fighting fires in the community, all of which are housed in the fire station in Vermillion.

A total of 43 officers and fire fighters make up the Vermillion Volunteer Fire Department. These people do the work as volunteers and do not receive any compensation of any kind for fighting fires in the community. Their time and energy are donated in the spirit of community service. Most of these people are employed in the city of Vermillion and their employers permit them to leave their jobs and attend fires. This means a substantial financial contribution in the spirit of community service. Without their cooperation, it would be very difficult to operate a volunteer fire department.

The finances needed to maintain a fire department such as ours come from many sources. The city of Vermillion buys much of the equipment and Clay County levies a .30 mil in the rural areas of the county to raise money for trucks and equipment. The city of Vermillion pays the salary for a full-time fire chief. However, it takes more than this to carry on our work. To secure finances, the department makes an annual appeal to the people of this community. Our annual fund-raising project is the Firemen's Ball. It will be held on March 20 in the Eagle's Lodge, 114 W. Main Street. We ask a donation of $5 per couple. Each ticket will admit one couple to the dance. Anyone who attends the dance must be 21 or accompanied by parent, or accompanied by a spouse who is 21 or older.

We would like to remind you that the emergency number is 911 in Vermillion. This number is good for police, ambulance, fire and rescue calls in Vermillion and the surrounding area. Remember, if you need help, call 911 and we will be on our way.

Vermillion Volunteer

Fire Department

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