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shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com October 22, 2019 • Page 7 Veterans, Beware Roripaugh Will Serve On The South Dakota Arts Council Of Scammers By Greg Whitlock, Secretary South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs We’ve all seen or read news stories about individuals and companies taking advantage of veterans and their dependents. Many veterans and/or their dependents receive benefits through the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs, their states or other entities, and as such are seen as a valuable resource to scam. As veterans’ advocates, it is important we are able to identify these scammers and make our important customers aware that these individuals exist. Below is a list of common scamming tactics that are taken against active duty service members, veterans and their dependents: •Access to government programs but must first pay a fee or provide personal information. •High interest loans for veterans in crisis in exchange for future disability or pension payments. •Charging veterans for access to their military records or government documents/forms. •Selling plans to veterans to increase their pension payments by qualifying for Special Monthly Pension (Housebound/Aid and Attendance). •Phishers impersonating VA Officials soliciting veterans’ personal information in the guise of updating their records. •Scammers position as veteran’s charity organizations pressuring veterans to donate or give them personal information. These are just examples of how individuals and entities may attempt to take advantage of veterans. As you are all well aware, the means in which scammers try to gain access to benefits or information are PIERRE, S.D. — Gov. lowship Awards from the Baker, executive director Council is a state agency Kristi Noem has appointSouth Dakota Arts Council of the state arts agency. providing grants and ed Lee Ann Roripaugh to – in 2011 and 2018. Her experience as a proservices to artists, arts orserve on the South Dakota Her fifth and most refessional, award-winning ganizations, schools, and essentially endless. Arts Council. cent collection of poetry, poet, college writing other nonprofit organizaSadly, often those closRoripaugh is a poet, “tsunami vs. the fukuprofessor, and writer-intions in South Dakota with est to veterans are the ones currently serving as the shima 50,” was released in residence contributes funds from the National who attempt to or do take 2019. Her first collection, important perspectives Endowment for the Arts advantage of them by gain- Editor-in-Chief of South Dakota Review and ap“Beyond Heart Mountain,” for advancing the arts in and the State of South ing access to their benefits. pointed as the South Dawas selected as a National our state.” Dakota. The agency is What should veterans kota Poet Laureate from Poetry Series winner. Roripaugh studied organized under the Dedo? 2015-2019. She also diHer second, “Year of the music, earning a Bachelor partment of Tourism and •Hang up if unsolicited calls from the VA are rects the creative writing Snake,” was named winof Music in piano perforadvised by an 11-memreceived. program at the University ner of the Association of mance and a Master of ber Governor-appointed •Check the credentials of South Dakota in Vermil- Asian American Studies Music in music history council. of financial advisors or lion. She has received a Book Award. before earning her MFA in The South Dakota veterans related charities Bush Foundation Artist “Lee Ann’s long list of creative writing from Indi- Department of Tourism prior to investing/donating. Fellowship, the Frederick accomplishments, honors ana University. In addition is comprised of Tourism •Use a VA-accredited Manfred Award from the and accolades shows that to her poetry collections, and the South Dakota Arts representative that is Western Literature Assoshe is the absolutely the Roripaugh has had hunCouncil. The Department available at no cost to the ciation, the Randall Jarrell right person to represent dreds of published works is led by Secretary James veteran, or their dependInternational Poetry Prize, poets and writers in South of poetry, essays, stories, D. Hagen. ents for all veterans related an Academy of American Dakota on our state arts interviews, and research. questions/issues/claims/ Poets prize, and two Felcouncil,” said Patrick The South Dakota Arts etc. •Ask questions, if it The Bookworm ... For Young Readers doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. Veterans should not: •Give sensitive information, such as personal or financial information, over the phone/email/in-person unless you know who “Kid Activists” by Robin Stevenson, with her social justice efforts. Six-yearyou’re dealing with and you illustrations by Allison Steinfeld; © 2019, old Ruby Bridges was instrumental in Quirk Books. 224 pages trust they have your best integrating schools in Louisiana. And ——— interests at heart. Autumn Peltier still works to ensure that BY TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER •Wire or give money to the world’s water is safe to drink and someone you don’t know. use. Someday, this world will be yours. •Pay for copies of your On the national stage, protests are You and other kids like you will be military records. nothing new. Your child has likely grown in charge of ensuring that the water’s •Allow anyone access up with them on the nightly news, and clean, the air’s breathable, the land is to your military or VA has perhaps participated in a march or healthy, and people are safe. Yeah, you information who does not rally herself. In “Kid Activists,” author might think you’re just a kid now but as have an authorized power Robin Stevenson shows children that you’ll see in “Kid Activists” by Robin Steof attorney. small starts like theirs can make big venson, illustrated by Allison Steinfeld, •Pay up-front for access every good change-maker had to start change. to benefits or benefits asIn addition to the relevance of the somewhere. sistance. Certain attorneys tales here — 16 tales that show kids how What do you do when you see someactivists were once just like them — this are authorized to represent thing that you think is wrong or unfair? school and she started paying attention book offers a wide range of diversity, veterans before the VA, to the world outside of school. These, A lot of kids whine and do nothing else both economically and racially, in the but there is process for fee but if you’re the kind of person who and other injustices, spurred her to profiles presented and in the names that agreements. become an activist as an adult. takes the issue to an adult and tries to will be familiar and new to the age group No doubt, you’ve heard about Rosa Authorized agents and change things, you’re in good company: for which this book is intended. The stoParks and her refusal to move to a powers of attorney can be for much of history, everyday people ries also illustrate a wide variety of early different seat on a bus back in 1955. Of found at: va.gov/ogc/apps/ have stood up for what they think is influences and backgrounds, proving course, Mrs. Parks was a child once, accreditation. right. growing up right in the middle of racism to kids that where they come from isn’t If you have any quesBefore that happened, though, every important when fixing something that is. and discrimination and she naturally tions or suspect a veteran, one of those people was a kid. Add artwork by Allison Steinfeld and you assist is being taken Take Dolores Fernandez, for instance. didn’t understand it. But that was the you’ve got a magnet that will attract way things were, until she got involved advantage of please contact Little Dolores was born in a tiny our team at the South Dako- town in New Mexico, the granddaughter with the National Association for the Ad- young leaders and make them want to read. Give your 8- to 12-year-old “Kid vancement of Colored People (NAACP) of immigrants. When she was a kid, ta Department of Veterans and she learned that with just one small, Activists” today, and it could make a her parents split but she kept in close Affairs (605.773.3269). world of difference. quiet action, change would come. touch with her father, who was a labor Helen Keller learned to communicate organizer and a politician. 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