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Sinkhole sewer pipe leak in Pierre's Griffin Park finally fixed but another found

City crews have repaired the broken sewer main line that caused a sinkhole to form about 25 days ago in Griffin Park just off the Missouri River.

But the remains of the sinkhole that formed on a walking trail from the leak and high groundwater collapsing the sod and dirt won’t be filled in just yet.

Utilities Director Brad Palmer told the City Commission more leakage farther up the same sewer line has been detected and needs to be repaired to avoid another possible sinkhole forming.

The main problem was a faulty decades-old 24-inch sewer pipe more than 10 feet underground that city workers had noticed in early July by some ground changes, but that became obvious about July 12 when a sinkhole gaped open on the well-used trail.

It took days just to get enough water pumped out of the gaping and enlarged hole to get at the pipe, as unusually high river and groundwater levels made what would have been a routine job difficult.

Once the crew workers got down to the problem pipe, a 50-foot section of 17-inch PVC pipe was inserted into the sewer mainline and sealed off at each end of the break with a collar and other sealing techniques.

In the meantime, a leaking problem in the same old clay pipe sewer mainline was discovered about 600 feet upstream to the north at the corner of Ree Street and Missouri Avenue, Palmer said.

That needs to be fixed now, or it could end up creating a sinkhole at that manhole, he said.

So, the hole in the walking path in Griffin Park will remain open so that cameras can be run into the sewer pipe to help monitor the repairs, he said.

“Hopefully, we will finish that up next week,” he told the Capital Journal.

To help get ‘er done, the city sought out a contractor, he said.

The unexpected big workload caused by the leak and sinkhole has cost the city not only legal tender — about $100,000, Palmer estimates — but time, also, that would have been spent on other projects already planned.

He said early last month in the sinkhole deal that a long term repair of the old clay sewer pipe line that runs at the bottom of the city’s sewer system roughly paralleling the river to the wastewater treatment plant will be needed in the next year or less.

The 24-inch old clay pipe in Griffin Park handles about two-thirds of the city’s sewage, he says.

The bypass made up of hoses and pumps around the general area of the sewer pipe repair will remain in place until the Ree Street intersection problem is fixed, Palmer said.

That means the city’s request continues for residents to reduce water use inside homes and businesses to keep the volume going into the sewer system down. Some of the reduction can mean simply avoiding the heavy use normally at early go-to-work times in the morning and readjusting some schedules of water use, he said.

That’s been a huge help, Palmer said, again thanking residents for that voluntary water restriction.

Use of water outside, which will drain into the ground or into the storm sewer system, is not a problem, he said.


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Touching Hearts’ Ace of Hearts raffle up to $2, 290

The final season game of the Pierre Trappers baseball team was August 5. They won their game, and will continue with post-season play.

“They set a record for attendance, as they sold out for the first time, and they won,” said Nancy Schlichenmayer, early childhood specialist at The Right Turn in Pierre.

The Right Turn has been holding 50/50 raffles at most Trappers home games. The winning ticket holder receives $50 and draws a card. If it is the Ace of Hearts, the person wins 50 percent of the total proceeds from the program’s beginning. The other 50 percent goes to The Right Turn. Drawn cards are not put back into the deck.

Currently the take home pot if someone draws the Ace of Hearts in the Touching Hearts raffle is up to $2,290.

The raffle continues. Tickets are available at Don’s Sinclair, Dakotamart, the Fieldhouse and possibly other businesses. Each week, the tickets will be collected and Right Turn staff will draw a winning ticket on Facebook Live. The winner will have a few days to come into Right Turn to draw a card from the shrinking deck. The weekly drawings will continue until the Ace of Hearts is drawn. Tickets are $5 each or 5 tickets for $20.

The Right Turn, a United Way participating agency, is a non-profit organization which supports education across the lifespan. Directed by Mary Gates, its mission is “strengthening our communities by nurturing personal growth and promoting economic success through education and job training.”


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Fort Pierre could see RV opportunity

Shane Kramme, vice president of the Fort Pierre Chamber of Commerce, told the Fort Pierre city council that a “revenue potential for Fort Pierre and local businesses that could be quite large,” at the council’s August 5 meeting.

Kramme explained: He had talked with Gary Milner, the national vice president of the Family Motor Coach Association. Milner was calling from his motor home, one too big to fit in a utilities hook-up spot to stay overnight in Fort Pierre. In his Midwest travels, Milner is scouting for communities “that could accommodate 250 large RVs that would be accompanied by approximately 500 individuals.”

The RVs would need to be in the same location, with water, sewer, and electric hook-ups. “Smaller groups, ranging from 300 to 100 people, would utilize the same facilities in succession on an annual basis,” related Kramme.

“These travelers would remain in the area for about one week each. Mr. Milner stated that these groups would engage in local commerce, which supports area businesses and generates local tax revenues,” said Kramme. Entertainment and catered meals could be requested as well. Kramme said that the groups would probably be mostly senior citizens, thus the law enforcement concerns would probably be low.

In the same vane, senior citizens are not known for splurging. “Mr. Milner reiterated that costs incurred by his group for services rendered would be tallied at the conclusion of the event and he would produce one check for payment,” said Kramme.

“It would be an opportunity, and it would be a large undertaking, no doubt,” said Kramme.

Kramme and the city council will look into the validity and potential of such a venture.

In other business, the council:

Discussed the Fort Pierre farmers’ market, which after last evening’s session has just two more sessions remaining this summer. Concerned if it would hold its own as just a farmers’ market, the event was started as somewhat of a festival like celebration. Under that venue, it has been a success. Last evening’s event carried the theme ‘Music and Maize.”

T’s Tavern was granted a temporary malt beverage license in Lilly Park for August 11 — this is in addition to its already approved license for August 10.

The American Legion Stanley County Post No. 20 was granted a temporary malt beverage license at the farmers’ market for August 13. The American Legion also has a temporary malt beverage license for in Lilly Park for August 16-17.

The Fireman’s Ball, set for October 5, was granted a right-of-way closure permit, from Deadwood Avenue North to the end of the Fire Hall.

Kathy Aplan, Pierre/Fort Pierre Historic Preservation, said the organization is working on updating its website. Using more than $16,000 of grant money awarded to it, as well as other donations, it is replacing the railroad bridge sign, Lewis and Clark signs (including the Circle Sign), the driving tour booklets, and the historic homes booklet. Last year the organization benefited from over 570 volunteer hours recorded, with many more not recorded.


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1st Sturgis Rally traffic death of 2019 was biker south of Lead

The first traffic death connected with the 2019 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally involved a man riding a motorcycle 12 miles south of Lead, about 30 miles southwest of Sturgis, on Monday, according to Tony Mangan, Highway Patrol spokesman.

Highway Patrol reports on traffic incidents during the 10-day rally — it began Friday, August 2 — including the Rapid City district as well as the city and campgrounds of Sturgis.

At 3:03 p.m. Monday at the intersection of North Rochford Road and Old Salt Road, about 12 miles south of Lead, a 29-year-old man riding a motorcycle southbound on North Rochford failed to negotiate a right curve, Mangan said in a news release Tuesday.

The bike crossed the centerline, slid into the ditch and the driver was thrown from the bike. He was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene.

His name was not released Tuesday pending notification of relatives.

In the first four days of the Rally last year, two traffic fatalities in the district had been reported, compared with one this year.

There have been 18 crashes causing injuries, compared with 21 for the same period a year ago, Mangan reported.

DUI and serious drug arrests continue at a pace well above 2018, with 72 DUI arrests from 6 a.m., Saturday through 6 a.m., Tuesday; up from 56 a year ago.

Felony drug arrests have totaled 54, up from 32 in 2018 for the first four days.

Total citations handed out were 555, compared with 429 in 2018.

Mangan releases a report on traffic incidents and arrests each day.

Sturgis Rally and city officials expect a bigger crowd this year, of more than 500,000 people, slightly more than in 2018, Rally spokeswoman Christina Steele has told the Capital Journal.


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American Legion Centennial Ride crossed South Dakota

The American Legion Centennial Ride through the heart of the nation passed along the American Legion Memorial Highway, U.S. Highway 281, Aug. 2 and included stops at 13 local American Legion posts in South Dakota.

Motorcycling veterans carried one half of a banner as part of “Team Legacy” from Canada toward Great Bend, Kan., where it has by now been joined with “Team Vision,” which is making a similar ride with its half of the banner from the Texas-Mexico border.

Along the way, Legion Riders visited local posts, collected proclamations, resolutions and messages of congratulations for the 100th birthday of the nation’s largest U.S. veterans organization.

The assembled banner, signed by post commanders along the route, will be presented to American Legion National Commander Brett P. Reistad onstage at the 101st American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis, August 24-29.

“The rain was a pain, but overall the ride went really well,” said Travis Flisrand, S.D. American Legion. “Had some great visits. Lots of support. Stickney seemed like they had about half the town out for us. We were thankful for several South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers who escorted us parts of the way, keeping things safe.”

Scheduled stops Aug. 2 in South Dakota included:

Lynn G. Peterson Post 273 in Frederick

Sidney L. Smith Post 24 in Aberdeen

Rieck-Morgan Post 137 in Warner

Clay Kiser Post 92 in Redfield

Martin and Earl Hofemann Post 292, Tulare

Hershman-Gordon Post 59, Wolsey

Schmidt-Barnes Post 268, Virgil

John Willman Post 14, Wessington Springs

Goeres-Woods Post 5, Plankinton

Dittrick-Barrows-Noldner Post 26, Stickney

Everson-Beukelman Post 274, Corsica

McGrath-Ferguson Post 52, Armour

Fort Randall-Castle Post 282, Pickstown

Late August 2, the South Dakota Centennial Riders met their counterparts from the American Legion’s Department of Nebraska to hand off the banner and make the exchange.