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Group gets funding to restore historic opera house

MADDOCK, N.D. (AP) – Those working to restore a historic opera house in Maddock say it could be returned to its former glory by next fall.

Members of the Maddock Opera House Association obtained a 30-year rural development loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to restore the upper floor of the theater. The Minot Daily News reports the organization can get up to $226,900.

Board member Lee Hagen says the organization has also received about $125,000 in grant funding.

The loans and grants will fund restoration of the upper floor of the historic opera house, including work on its mechanical and electrical systems.

The main floor of the building has already been renovated and houses a bar and restaurant, coffeehouse and the city library.

Burn permits open within the Black Hills Fire Protection District

RAPID CITY — Burn permits are now being issued for the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District for the winter burning season.

Permits are valid from the day the permit is obtained until March 31, 2015, and are free of charge. Once issued, burn permits are only valid during conditions of continuous snow cover, which is defined as a minimum two inches of snow and when winds are less than 15 mph.

Residents in the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District may apply for a burn permit online at They will need to know what county they will burn in and the name of the local fire department.

Individuals can still receive a permit by calling 800.275.4955 during regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT Monday – Friday. However, with Internet access, residents can get a permit anytime during the winter burning season, even during holidays, weekends and after hours.

For more information and frequently asked questions, please visit the South Dakota Wildland Fire website at

Turkey production down, wholesale prices up

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — U.S. farmers produced the lowest number of turkeys in nearly three decades this year and wholesale prices are at an all-time high, but Thanksgiving cooks aren’t likely to see a difference in what they pay for their frozen birds.

The federal National Agricultural Statistics Service says this year’s anticipated turkey stock is 235 million birds, the fewest since farmers raised 207 million birds in 1986.

Farmers say high corn prices after the 2012 drought forced them to scale back their turkey numbers to remain afloat, and that the impact of this year’s record corn harvest likely won’t be seen until next year.

The good news for consumers is that grocery stores typically take a loss on turkeys to woo shoppers, who will purchase other items for their holiday feasts there.