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shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com November 6, 2018 • Page 11 Delivering Results By Sen. Mike Rounds When you sent me to the Senate, I promised to do all I could to get Washington working again. For too long, the red tape and excessive bureaucracy of the federal government hindered the ability of South Dakotans to succeed. Overregulation made it difficult for farmers, ranchers, small business owners and local financial institutions to do their jobs. Families were paying so much money in taxes that they weren’t able to reinvest back into the economy. We still have work to do, particularly when it comes to improving our ag economy, but the Republican-led Senate has been able to deliver significant results to the American people. We reformed the tax code for the first time in 31 years. Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law by President Trump, more than 1.8 million jobs have been created, unemployment is at the lowest level since 1969, incomes are rising and our economy is soaring. The economy grew at 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018, the fastest pace in nearly four years. We’ve also rolled back a record number of excessive, Obama-era regulations. Over the past 19 months, Republicans have saved Americans at least $50 billion and 16 million hours of regulatory paperwork. This means Americans have more time and money to spend however they want. As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, we passed major legislation to roll back the Dodd-Frank Act. It included a number of provisions that I offered to limit the burdensome regulations on community banks and credit unions in South Dakota, so they can do what they do best: serve their customers and support businesses in their communities. This has helped our economy flourish. The Senate has confirmed a record number of judges who will interpret the law as written, not based on their personal political leanings. So far, we have confirmed 29 circuit court judges, 53 district court judges and two Supreme Court justices. The Senate Judiciary Committee is hard at work to send even more judges to the full Senate floor before the end of the year. These men and women have the opportunity to shape the direction of our country for a generation or more. We also passed and the president signed into law the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included investments to strengthen our military long-term. It gave our troops the largest pay increase in nearly 10 years. Protecting our nation through a strong military is a fundamental role of the federal government. My priority as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee is to make sure our military remains the best in the world. To do this, our military must be properly funded, trained and equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Additionally, I continue working to make sure Ellsworth Air Force Base plays a vital role in our national defense now and in the future. It was recently announced that Ellsworth will be one of three bases that will be home to the new B-21 Raider bomber. South Dakota is home to more than 72,000 veterans, many of whom have had problems dealing with the VA. My office works directly with South Dakota veterans to help cut through red tape so they can get the care and benefits they were promised. We confirmed a new secretary at the VA who has publicly committed to cleaning up the agency’s scandals and mismanagement. I sit on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and will continue monitoring the VA to make sure it supports our veterans and follows through on our country’s promises to them. Senate Republicans have made good on our promise to get Washington working again, but we aren’t done yet. With farm income down 50 percent in the past five years, we continue working to improve the ag economy. This includes assuring year-round sales of E-15 during next summer’s driving season and finalizing trade deals so we can export our commodities like soybeans, corn, wheat, beef, pork and more. We also need to finalize the farm bill so farmers and ranchers have some stability as they work to feed and fuel the world. These are a number of the issues that I look forward to taking up in the coming months when the Senate is back in session. Yankton College To Sponsor Day-Long Orchestra Festival Nearly 100 orchestra students will assemble at Yankton High School Nov. 6 for the 17th annual Orchestra Festival sponsored by Yankton College, according to Emily Antonen, Yankton’s district-wide orchestra director. Leading the student orchestra during the daylong practicum will be guest conductor Dr. Luis Viquez from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. Antonen organizes the event for regional high school students from Yankton and other schools in South Dakota and Nebraska. “This is an incredible opportunity for local string players to come together and create different types of music. Orchestras are a team, and it is a great learning experience for them to learn to blend with the other musicians on a larger scale,” Antonen said. Costa Rican native Luis Víquez enjoys a versatile career both as a clarinetist and as an orchestral, opera and wind band conductor. Dr. Víquez joined the music faculty at USD in 2016 as the Director of Orchestral Activities and Assistant Professor of Clarinet, where he also oversees the graduate program in Orchestral Conducting and conducts the annual opera production. He also served as the Director of the University of South Dakota Concert Band, and has taught courses in orchestration, instrumental music literature, music theory and aural skills. He also serves as the Vice President of the College Orchestra Directors Association, North-Central Division. As a performer, he regularly appears with the South Dakota Chamber Winds and with the VíquezWadley Duo. Dr. Víquez has conducted and performed extensively throughout the United States, Costa Rica, England, Panama, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Taiwan. As a guest conductor, Víquez has led the orchestras of the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri, the Cartago Symphony Orchestra in Costa Rica, the Midwest Chamber Ensemble of Kansas City, the Cartago National Symphonic Band, the Heredia Concert Band, the Truman Symphony Orchestra, the Truman State University Wind Symphony and Concert Band, the Puntarenas National Concert Band, and the National Symphonic Band of San Jose, Costa Rica. For more information on Viquez, visit www. luisviquez.com The musical compositions that are rehearsed during the day will be performed later that evening at 7 p. m. in the main theater at YHS during a free performance that is open to the public. The annual orchestra workshop is financially supported by Yankton College, a non-profit charitable organization as part of its mission to sponsor educational programming and liberal arts events. For more information on Yankton College, phone the business office at 605-665-3661 or visit www. yanktoncollege.org. Larry Pressler: An India Feeling Trapped And Insecure By Larry Pressler This week I write from Chennai, India, where I am visiting leper-related colonies as a volunteer with the Rising Star Outreach Foundation. I have also given a speech to an Indian legal professional group. Our American-based group is under the leadership of Becky Douglas, the president and cofounder of the Rising Star Outreach Foundation, which helps lepers throughout India. Our group of about 20 visited several leper-related colonies near Singaperumalkoil, India, just south of Chennai. Chennai has a population center of about 15 million people — and that’s not anywhere near India’s biggest city. Leprosy has been a subject of controversy since Jesus Christ’s several mentions of it in his parables. I thought leprosy had been eradicated due to a new drug in the 1980s. There are pockets of poverty in southern India and in the northern poor state of Bihar along the Nepalese border. What happens is that one person in a village contracts leprosy. Then the disease spreads to one or two others. Once this happens, the leper’s whole village is isolated and quarantined. No one will marry or hire someone from such a leprosy-related village. Leprosy-related children are kept out of schools. Once a person is diagnosed with leprosy, their whole family is isolated just as they were in Christ’s time. And just as they were in the 19th century in Molokai, Hawaii, under Father Damien. What did we see in these leprosy-related villages? Rising Star volunteers were bathing some lepers, helping others to cut down their leprosy sores and giving some compassion. The foundation has a school to get young people training so they can get out of the villages into mainstream vocational schools and even into colleges. Mostly, as Christ said, we must pay attention to lepers and try to help them and to bring them to the front of our banquet table. Once leprosy really gets started in a person and that person has leper sores, it becomes very serious and is irreversible. Lepers make up the lowest caste in India, even under the traditional “untouchables.” They are even more likely in northern India, in the state of Bihar, which is one of the poorest areas in the world. But leprosy-related people are being politicized and are demanding attention from the Indian government and from society. Being over here in India is about as far away from the wonderful USA as one can get. It makes me appreciate my home country even more and to be grateful that I am an American. How lucky we are to live in such a wonderful country as the USA. We should thank God every day just for that. America is well-regarded in India today. They so much want to be our friend. Of course, nearly everyone in India would like to emigrate from India to the United States, even though that is virtually impossible. They feel the Mexicans have an unfair advantage to just cross the border to become an American. But even though they cannot come, they want to be our friends. I have read several newspapers and seen the local Indian news on television. There is no news of our current Supreme Court scuffle. The news has featured Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to India and a mega-arms deal with Russia. This almost duplicates the mega-arms deal that President Barack Obama signed during his visit with India a few years ago. India is an impoverished nation that seems to have spent so much money on modernizing its armed forces while not addressing such poverty subjects as leprosy — for which there is a cure if treated early enough. Also while here, I had the opportunity to address about 100 lawyers in the Cobra legal company. I enjoy being a professor so much that I love talking to UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS, SAFELY! these bright young Indian citizens. the north, India feels trapped and They were interested in President insecure. Somehow a loving God Trump’s trade relations with varihas created human beings who ous countries. President Trump would rather fight each other than is very well-regarded here, which take care of our fellow humans. may come as a surprise to some We have all sorts of problems in of our critical newspapers. These Washington, D.C., and throughout wonderful young lawyers pepour nation. However, visiting these pered me with questions about leper-related colonies has shocked what is going on in America. They me into a deep gratitude that I are more interested in public afgrew up and live in America. fairs than some of our own citizens Editor’s note: Former South are. Dakota Sen. 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