Farm safety matters

To the editor:

Farming is a major industry, especially in our area. With harvest under way, it's important to remember how critical extra lights, slow-moving vehicle signs (SMVs) and caution are now and all year long.

Last Friday evening, a car was ahead of me heading north to the big ditch. I saw two lights up high, in the distance, and started slowing down. Having been from a farm, and working in agriculture my whole life, I started slowing down, as you never know what is on the road. The driver ahead of me swerved hard right as it came up to the lights, suddenly realizing it was an eight-row combine heading into town, with no flashing lights on the head, just two lights up on the cab.

Saturday, I saw a tractor sneaking on the backroads to Akron, pulling four full wagons behind a tractor, and Saturday evening a straight truck heading to the elevator with no lights on the back left side. This happens all over our area.

A classmate of mine was killed when I was in middle school, as she tripped while unloading corn ,and fell in the auger. There were no lights near the auger, and the nearest light was on the bin 75 feet away. This could have been prevented, had proper lighting been installed at the unloading area.

Safety is inexpensive compared to an accident, especially when drivers indicate there were no tail lights, SMV, or flashing lights. There are many teenage drivers who are just getting used to driving, are not aware of the dangers, and may try to pass a tractor and four wagons going 15 miles per hour, because they have no idea how long the train is.

Please spend $150 for a set of flashers that mount with magnets, and use them on the combine heads, or wagons every time out, as well as installing extra lights and SMV signs. Attorney's fees run $150 to $200 or more per hour, and one accident can jeopardize your life, a load of passengers, and your farm's future.

Thanks for all your efforts, and please keep safety first.


John P. Gille

Elk Point

A special thank you

To the editor:

The Vermillion Athletic Boosters wish to thank the medical staff at the Sanford Clinic Vermillion for donating the proceeds from the physicals they recently provided to area athletes.

A special thank you is owed to Dr. Roy Mortinsen, Dr. Mary Jo Olson, Dr. Vicki Walker, Dr. Fernando Escobar, Travis Slaba, Melissa Shefl and Judy Nelson for their contribution to the Vermillion athletic programs.

Their financial and other assistance benefits local athletes by keeping them healthy and competitive on the field and court. The Athletics Boosters remain committed to supporting Vermillion's student athletes, and greatly appreciate the community's involvement in its fundraising and other activities.

VHS Athletics Booster Club

Oppose Hyperion

To the editor:

Despite recent claims by Hyperion Energy executives that citizens are wildly enthusiastic about an oil refinery being built in Union County, near Vermillion, I have seen a groundswell of opposition to the project. Many people have chosen to live in southeastern South Dakota because we have a relatively clean and unpopulated environment.

In August, at the Tri-State Governor's Conference, Gov. Rounds said that he supports the Hyperion project as an opportunity for our state and for Union County. This "opportunity" could bring us dire consequences. Hyperion has no right to use our state's precious land and water resources for their own gain. Respect for the people of Union and Clay counties entails a respect for the purity of our air, water and soil. I am convinced that the polluting process of refining Tar Sands Crude would endanger our health.

The argument that of we don't want the refinery to be located next door, we shouldn't dive a car does not hold water. It has taken the ever-increasing cost of gasoline to convince many of us that we should limit our driving. We must decrease our use of fossil fuels, and auto manufacturers have a moral obligation to develop vehicles that will run on electricity and other energy sources.

In this time of environmental crisis, how can we even think of allowing an oil refinery to be built in our area? The Hyperion refinery would increase global warming by adding the huge amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that the refining process inevitably produces. Here in South Dakota, we have abundant wind and sunshine to produce clean, nonpolluting energy, not only for our state, but for the rest of the nation.

Our governor, mayor and other elected officials should work to attract investment in the production of wind power and solar power, the ever-renewable wave of the future. The citizens of South Dakota need and could profit from the renewable sources.

Citizens, please join me in voicing your opposition to Hyperion.

Norma C. Wilson


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