Thursday , 17 August 2017

Author Archives: Wendy Royston

A federal service, local customers and distant landlords: Ownership arrangements for post offices can be challenging

by Wendy Royston, Dakotafire Media staff writer with reports by Doug Card, Sarah Gackle and Bill Krikac Editor’s note: This is the first story in a two-part series. See the second story here. A small-town post office serves as a recognizable face of the local community. “It is an identity. Your ZIP code and your post office is your town,” ... Read More »

New S.D. Soil Health Coalition digging deeper into soil biology, sustainability

What’s the state of the soil throughout the Dakotafire region? “There’s no way to know,” according to officials, but “there’s always room for improvement.” South Dakota State University Extension and the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition have joined forces in a proactive attempt at ensuring the state’s soil is conducive to growing for the long haul, according to Sandy Smart, ... Read More »

As cell phone use grows, some connections harder to make

As cell phone use grows, some connections harder to make by Wendy Royston, Dakotafire Media Additional reporting by Bill Krikac In today’s fast-paced, digital era, people are “connected” more than ever. But tasks that used to be simple—such as finding a phone number—are becoming more difficult. “Because there is not a published directory of wireless phone numbers, people are tougher ... Read More »

Social networking bridges gaps between people, communities

by Wendy Royston, with additional reporting by Doug Card The Dakotas may be geographically secluded, but technology has made rural life less isolated. “(Facebook) is a way for me to stay connected to the world, because I don’t leave the house to go to a place where there are other people,” said Barb Stangeland, who works as a care manager ... Read More »

Has your chimney been cleaned this year?

Annual maintenance is key to preventing fires, officials say By Wendy Royston, Dakotafire Media Additional reporting by Ken Schmierer Some rural Dakotans have recently taken to burning corn, pellets and wood to avoid burning as much cash for home heating expenses, but doing so must be done responsibly, according to fire officials. “The main thing is to make sure that ... Read More »

Programs provide heating help to thousands

Programs provide heating help to thousands

By Wendy Royston, Dakotafire Media Additional reporting by Elizabeth “Sam” Grosz Anyone who has weathered a Dakota winter knows how important a warm house can be in the dead of January. The people who are likely most acutely aware of this fact are the families struggling to pay their heating bills. “It gets cold here, and any time the program ... Read More »

Finding people to serve requires innovative thinking

Want to turn over your position on a board or committee to someone else? Good luck. Finding people willing to serve in leadership positions in the rural Dakotas may be more difficult than it’s ever been. We tend to blame this on a declining population, but there’s also another factor at play: At the same time populations are declining, the number of nonprofits is increasing. Read More »

Ebola fears? Just wash your hands and move on

By Wendy Royston, Dakotafire Media Should Dakotans be worried about Ebola spreading here? Probably not. Even though the 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest ever and marks the first time the virus has been diagnosed in the United States, officials say the risk to the vast majority of Americans is tiny. Stay calm, they advise—just practice proper hygiene and use ... Read More »

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