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AROUND THE DAKOTAS: Church may quit ELCA ... Water, slush threaten fish houses ... Day care needs funds ...

Church votes to split from ELCA HARVEY, N.D. -- The congregation of the First Lutheran Church of Harvey has cast the first of two votes to split from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Two-thirds of the congregation voted in favor of the...

Church votes to split from ELCA

HARVEY, N.D. -- The congregation of the First Lutheran Church of Harvey has cast the first of two votes to split from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Two-thirds of the congregation voted in favor of the split last month. The congregation must wait 90 days before the second and final vote.

The proposed split comes after a national church policy that allows gay and lesbian people to serve as pastors or in other church leadership positions.

Rev. Fred Westerhold said that no matter what the congregation decides, there are no winners.

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If the split is approved, Westerhold said the congregation could join another Lutheran denomination or partner with other churches to create its own.

Water, slush threat to fish houses

WAHPETON, N.D. -- Wahpeton-area ice fisherman are dealing with excess water around their fish houses.

Heavy snow and the weight of vehicles and equipment on the ice has caused water and slush to come up around the houses.

Tim Phalen of the state Game and Fish Department said people should check their fish houses regularly.

Phalen said if the fish house freezes to the ice, it will be very difficult to remove in the spring. He said fishermen will be cited for littering if the floors of the houses are stuck in rivers in the spring.

Child care centers need $170,000

FARGO -- Fargo's Nokomis Child Care Centers are two-thirds of the way to their goal of raising $170,000 to close a major gap in the agency's budget.

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Gary Wolsky, president of The Village Family Service Center, which runs Nokomis, said the child care agency has received slightly more than $100,000 in donations and pledges.

Wolsky said as much as 70 percent of the children attending Nokomis are from families receiving government assistance.

And, he said, about 70 percent of the 161 children at the agency's two Fargo centers have special needs that make them difficult to place in other child care centers.

<Four cougars shot in S.D. Black Hills

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- Black Hills hunters have taken four mountain lions in the first days of the new hunting season.

The first three were shot Friday and the fourth Saturday. All were females.

The mountain lions were checked at the Game, Fish and Parks office in Rapid City, as required by state law.

Under new rules for 2010, the hunting season for mountain lions runs Jan. 1 through March 31, but it will end earlier if either 40 total lions or 25 females are shot.

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On the Net:

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks: www.sdgfp.info/

Related Topics: POLICYWAHPETON
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