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Man gets 5 years in prison for stealing grain from family

MOUNT VERNON, S.D. — A Mount Vernon man accused of stealing $400,000 worth of grain from a Davison County farm family has been sentenced to serve five years in prison and pay restitution.

Authorities alleged that 48-year-old Merle Northrup over a span of five years sold loads of corn and soybeans under his own name while working for the farm family, keeping the proceeds. He pleaded no contest in March to a grand theft charge.

The Daily Republic reports Northrup was sentenced on April 17. Judge Chris Giles said he was concerned that Northrup showed no remorse and took no responsibility.

Giles sentenced him to 15 years in prison but suspended 10 years on the condition he repay what he stole and also pay court fees and costs.

— Associated Press

Authorities say man fatally injured at

northwest Iowa farm

ROCK VALLEY, Iowa — Authorities say a man was fatally injured when he was run over by a piece of equipment at a farm in northwest Iowa.

The accident occurred on April 16 at the farm 4 miles west of Rock Valley. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says the man was run over while walking behind a payloader as it was backing up. He was taken to a local hospital and then flown to a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Sheriff’s Office identified him as 52-year-old Bradley Peetsch, who lived in Baxter, Minnesota. The payloader driver was identified as 17-year-old Joey Van Ginkel, of Rock Valley.

A payloader is a heavy vehicle with a large blade or broad scoop mounted on its front.

— Associated Press

Brookings fish food company expanding with $60M Volga plant

BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) — A Brookings company that makes an ingredient used in fish food is expanding with a $60 million production facility in nearby Volga.

Prairie AquaTech’s new plant will be built along U.S. Highway 14 on land near the South Dakota Soybean Processors plant. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled May 1, with completion expected in about a year.

The 30,000-square-foot facility will add about 35 employees to Prairie AquaTech’s current staff of 30. The company’s main office will remain in Brookings.

The company says the $60 million raised for the project includes $45 million for construction, $10 million for operating capital and $5 million to develop new products.

Prairie AquaTech’s products have come out of research at South Dakota State University. The products are for fish raised commercially for human consumption.