City Council hears follow-up report on school crossings, burglaries and monetary fraud; discusses wheel loader, Oktoberfest and soil judging contest
By Shiloh Appel
On September 18, 2017, the Redfield City Council heard Sheriff Kevin Schurch's follow-up report on the school crossing by the UCC church, which has concerned Schurch for some time. At the August 21 meeting, Schurch informed the council that the DOT would be counting the number of pedestrians that used the crossing within an hour in order to determine whether or not an overhead light would be provided.
"The DOT was here last week and, as I feared, the count did not meet the minimum requirement to get that overhead flashing light," said Schurch."We talked about some other options that they had. My intention with the new school would be that they move that crossing one block to the west."
Schurch also gave a follow-up report on the fake 100 dollar bills found at two locations in town.
"When I picked it up, you could tell there was something wrong with it. But the actual image on the 100 dollar bill was really, really good," said Schurch."Come to find out, those type of bills can be purchased on the internet. You can get a stack of them three inches thick for four dollars. They call them the 'Chinese training bills.' Now, this came from the internet, not sure whether it is true or not, but this is their explanation of it. Foreign banks, particularly in China, use those bills for training purposes so that their clerks can learn how to count American money. The Chinese writing says it is for 'training purposes only.' Just like some of the fake motion-picture hundred dollar and 50 dollar bills. Some of the same bills were found in Mobridge and Gettysburg, but we don't know if it was the same people or not."
Schurch reported that Kyle Schaffer, the one identified in video surveillance to be passing the bills, has now made restitution to both places.
Schurch also gave more details on the case of the burglaries of the Lutheran and Wesleyan churches in Redfield. Schurch said that Ozzie Birdsong, the man responsible for stealing $900 worth of gift cards from the Lutheran Church and about $10 to $12 of change from the Wesleyan Church, was charged with burglary, resisting arrest and assault during court proceedings on September 18th.
"At the Wesleyan Church two of the locks were destroyed. There was a little portable safe that just keeps the honest people out. He had taken that out and took a shovel by the door and pried the safe open…The Lutheran Church was not locked," said Schurch. "[Birdsong] was actually released on bond today. He has a backpack and is riding around town on a bike, looking for somebody to put him up."
Other items Schurch brought forth in his report included receiving complaints about a popular teen meeting place at a Redfield gas station parking lot where teenagers have been tossing trash out of their vehicles, domestic abuse calls, employee theft at convenience and department stores in town caught on video surveillance, scams and dog complaints.
"We were finally able to find one of the kids at 2:30 in the morning just tossing stuff out of their pickup," said Schurch, of the trash complaints. "So we got the license plate number and we are not quite sure how we are going to do that. We might just have them pick up trash out there for a month."
During the September 18th meeting, the City Council also opened a bid authorization for the city's 2012 wheel loader. RDO agreed to purchase the City of Redfield's Case wheel loader for $74,500. No other bids were sent in. The city accepted the bid and discussed the purchase of a new John Deere wheel loader from RDO for $168,646. The council went forward with the decision.
Akin also informed the council that the annual Oktoberfest date was changed from Saturday, September 23 to Saturday, September 30th.
"This is the third year we will close down Main Street starting at noon until 11 that night," said Akin. As in past years, the Oktoberfest will have music, games, fall activities, treats and extended shopping hours on Main Street.
Akin also informed the council about the North Central Regional Collegiate Soils Judging Contest which is being held in Redfield from September 24th through September 29th.
"We are going to have possibly 90 to 100 college students in town," said Akin. "Justin Haider is going to dig 12 pits and then these 90-100 college students are going to go out there and judge the soil. Some are from SDSU, the rest are from out -of-state. It sounds as if a lot of our local businesses have already volunteered to support this. Redfield Chamber is going to do pizza. Redfield Energy is going to help out with the awards. Starters is opening up the 25th so they can do free bowling there on Monday."
Some other business covered during the meeting included a request by Sheila Roeber for improvements to be made on the alley near her property, the usual report on code enforcement activities by Yost, a seven percent raise given to CMH hospital CEO, Michael O'Keefe, the hiring of Pitchford Boyd Kinsey for part-time help at the Depot, and the approval of the annual cemetery notice.
The meeting came to a close at 8:06 p.m.