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Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
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“Officer Joe”, Harmony native, named South Dakota School Resource Officer of the Year


By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Jun 13th, 2014
Posted in Harmony Features

Officer Joe Fishbaugher, known simply as “Officer Joe” in the halls of the Brookings Public Schools, was this year’s School Resource Officer of the Year. He received the award on May 6 at a special ceremony. Photo submitted

“It has been a pleasure to work with Officer Joe in Brookings,” says Mickelson Middle School Principal Melinda Jensen, one of the administrators responsible for a nomination for the School Resource Officer of the Year award. “Officer Joe adds to the calm, orderly sense of decorum at our schools. He maintains a professional distance when necessary--but is engaging and personable so the students feel his honest care for them.”

“Officer Joe”, the individual to which Jensen refers to, is Harmony native Joe Fishbaugher who graduated from Harmony in 1994. Joe is the son of Tom and Barb Fishbaugher.

Officer Joe is the most recent recipient of a very prestigious award, School Resource Officer of the Year. A lot has went into making Joe this year’s award recipient.

Like most college students, it took Joe a few attempts to narrow down his interests. He originally set out for South Dakota State University - Brookings after being recruited for football. At that time he was seeking a degree in Veterinary Medicine, but then made a change to Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice and then transitioned to Business Economics before finally settling on Criminal Justice.

Those academic changes have now led to a rewarding and successful career for Officer Joe. Since graduating from SDSU, he has been a supervisor at the Juvenile Detention Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. He has also been a youth counselor in a rehabilitation facility in Sioux Falls, helping chemically addicted youth. From there, he progressed to holding the position of Juvenile Agent for South Dakota, a job that provided him to have jurisdiction over the entire state of South Dakota, dealing with juveniles that had committed serious crimes in the state.

In his years in law enforcement, Officer Joe has worn many hats. He went from being Chief of Police of a small town south of Sioux Falls, a position that led him to where he is today... working for the Brookings Police Department. He has been in Brookings for the last 13 years and is a school resource officer, D.A.R.E. instructor and is part of the Criminal Investigative Division that specializes in juvenile crimes, abuse, sexual assaults, drug addiction and family offenses.

To prove he is dedicated to his community and its safety, outside of work Joe gets very involved as a member of several boards such as the Child Protection Team, Brookings County Youth Men .....
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Preston Dairy and Farm Association breaks ground on expansion

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Jun 13th, 2014
Posted in Preston Features

Groundbreaking on the Preston Dairy and Farm expansion outside of Preston took place Wednesday, June 11, 2014 with Preston Area Chamber of Commerce members, Preston Mayor Curt Reicks, Preston Chamber of Commerce President Sarah Wangen and EDA Direct ..... 
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Four Daughters breaks ground on expansion

Fri, Jun 6th, 2014
Posted in Spring Valley Features

When Vicky Vogt first dreamed of starting a vineyard and opening a winery, she, like all new business owners, hoped it would do well. After opening the doors of Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery on December 15, 2011 the business has so exceeded expe ..... 
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Mock crash brings real emotion

Mon, May 26th, 2014
Posted in Harmony Features

A routine fire drill sent hundreds of Fillmore-Central students to the Harmony Community Center in Harmony, Minn. on Friday, May 16, 2014 and what the students found there was anything but routine. As the student body and staff made their way to t ..... 
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South Dakota man survives plane crash in thick woods of Newburg Township

Mon, May 26th, 2014
Posted in Mabel Features

As farmers were working up the rich soil of Southeast Fillmore County on the afternoon of Saturday, May 17, an orange and white Preceptor Ultra Pup home-built single-passenger plane overhead seemed to be flying lower than usual. And, it was. Experienced military pilot, Carl Koch, age 65, had just refueled at an airport in Caledonia. According to Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen, the pilot had just purchased the plane in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and was planning on flying it back to his home in Mitchell, South Dakota. His plane fell short of the 453 mile journey, only making it approximately 145 miles to where he crash landed. Koch’s original plan was to refuel in Caledonia, Albert Lea, and Worthington along the way until he arrived at his destination in Mitchell, South Dakota. But, due to mechanical difficulties still under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), pilot Koch had lost power and had to navigate where to crash-land his newly purchased plane. With a dense volume of woods throughout Newburg Township, Koch and his plane crashed just on the fringe of some tillable farmland on a property owned by Weisel Creek, LLP. Following his crash landing with blunt head trauma, Koch found his way across a field and down a gravel road to the entrance of the property at 42489 County Road 18. From the site of the crash to County Road 18 is a little over one mile on foot. Once he arrived at the entrance of the property, he dialed 911, at approximately 2:43 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, to inform the Sheriff’s Department. Then he contacted his wife, who was traveling by vehicle following his flight path. Koch ended up with minor injuries and was transported from the scene to the hospital by a private party. The Mabel Ambulance also responded to the call. In the days that followed the plane crash, an FAA inspector investigated the damaged aircraft, upside down and mangled among the trees. According to Sheriff Jensen, FAA inspectors do not speak to the media. In the weeks to come, more information will be made available relating to the investigation of the crash. Sheriff Jensen said that the FAA inspector shared with him that investigating a crash in which the pilot survives is very helpful. With these types of crashes, the pilot often doesn’t survive to talk about what went wrong. Victor Spaulding, one of the owners of the property where the crash occurred, also arrived on the scene, asking Sheriff Jensen, “Is the pilot OK? How’s he doing?” Victor Spaulding, his son Alan Spaulding, and another partner named Mike Cashill are owners of the property under the entity known as Weisel Creek, LLP. All three owners live in the Twin Cities area. According to correspondence with reporter Mark Roper with television station KSFY in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, an ABC affiliate pilot Carl Koch is in good spirits back at his home in Mitchell, South Dakota. Koch, who is the city attorney for the City of Mitchell, credits his experience for surviving the plane crash. “I don’t believe that I would have a fear of flying again. The truth of the matter is, that when I was flying in the military, I experienced things, and when things did go wrong it scared me more than this and obviously I continued to fly,” Koch said, in an interview with KSFY news anchor Mark Roper. But, he did go on to say, “I’m not going to put my wife, whom I expect to be married to until I die, and family, through concern and worry. I’m not going to put them through that kind of concern and worry again.”

KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports ..... 
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Visitors move quickly to attend Stand Still Parade

Fri, May 23rd, 2014
Posted in Whalan Features

A horse with a mustache, a barbershop quartet, warm lefse, and classic cars were only a few of the attractions at this year’s Stand Still Parade in Whalan, Minn. on Saturday, May 17, 2014. The 19th annual Stand Still parade is one of the most uniq ..... 
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Chatfield couple finds a way to give back

Fri, May 23rd, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Features

When Tom and Michelle Root started planning a motorcycle run to benefit the Eagles Cancer Telethon back in February, they had no idea the amount of work they were getting themselves into. Thankfully, we all get by with a little help from our friends ..... 
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Correction

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in Whalan Features

In the May 5, edition of the Fillmore County Journal there was an error in the Whalan Stand Still Parade will stand in place for 19th year press release. It was printed that pre-parade entertainment will be provided by Walter Bradley and Tom Arnold. ..... 
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Area businesses work together to bring local options at Fillmore County Wedding Show

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in Ostrander Features

Small business owner, Trisha Christoperson, is full of vision. She started her business, Sweetie Cakes, out of her home with the idea of bringing a local option of baked delights to southeast Minnesota communities. Featuring only made from scratch t ..... 
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