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Supporters of medical marijuana plan event Friday in Huron

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 27th, 2014

HURON — With thousands of people in town for the South Dakota State Fair, a group working toward the legalization of medical marijuana and industrial grade hemp in the state will stage a protest of its prohibition along city streets and in a park on Friday.

A compromise on a request for a parade permit that was worked out between the board and applicant Cody Gardner of Huron did not win the vote of Commissioner Mark Robish, however, due to his concerns about pedestrian safety.

The group will congregate on the state fairgrounds and attend the 10 a.m. gubernatorial debate at the Freedom Stage.

Gardner expects at least 150 people then to walk out of the grounds at noon to Third Street, on the way to Dakota Avenue, where they will remain on the sidewalks to stage the protest until 2:30 p.m. They will then walk on the sidewalks to an event at Campbell Park. They have a state Department of Transportation permit to walk on the sidewalks on Dakota Avenue South.

Police Chief Gary Will Jr. said law enforcement officials don’t have any issues with Gardner’s requests for a noise permit or to close off California Avenue Southwest near the band shell.

But he did see a problem with the parade down Third Street because of the short notice in informing the public and a shortage of traffic cones and barricades because they are now in use for the fair.

Gardner said it is not necessary to block off the side streets intersecting with Third Street, but suggested the parade be treated like a funeral procession, with police cars in front and in back of the group.

Will said it could be done if Gardner’s group could help out by providing some people to wear reflective vests and stand at the intersections until they pass by. The parade will only use the two eastbound lanes.

But Robish said the city is taking a huge risk with pedestrians walking on such a busy street.

“That’s not acceptable to me at all,” he said.

As for vehicles in the westbound lanes, the law requires them to pull over and stop when encountering police vehicles with flashing lights, just as they would do for funeral processions.

The motion to approve the parade permit passed with Robish’s dissenting vote.

Commissioners also:

• Announced that the board will not meet next Monday due to the Labor Day holiday.

• Announced that the solid waste department will be closed Saturday and Monday. The Monday routes will be collected on Wednesday, Sept. 3. All other routes that week will remain the same.

• Approved progress payments of $140,125 to KHC Construction of Marshall, Minn., for a lift station replacement project at Second Street and Pennington Avenue Southwest and $139,130 to FlatLand Construction of Huron for concrete replacement work.

• Approved a special event on-sale alcoholic beverage license for a chamber mixer Sept. 9 at Welter Funeral Home.

• Renewed an agreement with the Huron Public School District for a school resource officer, at a cost to the district of $20,000. It is a five-year agreement with a 3 percent annual increase.

• Approved a Land & Water Conservation Fund grant application for playground equipment at Crown Park. The estimated $30,000 project will be split between the grant, the parks and recreation department budget and a $10,000 donation from the Crown family that is in trust. The project is being seen as the kick off to the James River Recreation master plan.

• Approved a recommendation for five volunteers for the new police officer reserve program. They are Joshua Bowlin, Jesse Briggs, Jeremy James, Jacob Heuston and Zach Nelson.

The program will start next week. The volunteers will not be paid or have benefits.

• Proclaimed Sept. 8-14 as Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week. A group of staff and individuals from the Center for Independence attended the meeting.

• Presented the 2014 Innovation Award to solid waste department staff that was awarded at last week’s South Dakota Waste Management Association convention in Huron.

• Approved alcoholic beverage consumption requests for Pro Realty by Pat Kisely for Sept. 5 at Pro Realty for an office grand re-opening, Kara Gutormson for Sept. 12 at Memorial Park for a picnic for a wedding rehearsal dinner, Protective Coating Specialists for Sept. 20 at Ravine Lake east shelter for a company picnic and Trussbilt LLC for Sept. 20 at Younger Hall on the state fairgrounds for a company picnic.

• Approved raffle requests from the Beadle County Ducks Unlimited for Oct. 2 at the Beadle County Sportsmans Club and American Legion Auxiliary for June 28, 2015 at the Crossroads.

For the complete article see the 08-26-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-26-2014 paper.

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