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Guest Column: Cooperation Builds Safer Lesterville Rail Crossing

If Republicans’ Thanksgiving wishes warrant free publicity, so do Democrats’. My friend and fellow Democratic pot-stirring Frank Kloucek throws this goody into his holiday stew: gratitude for the completion of a safer railroad crossing on 300th Street a mile west of Lesterville!

What We Can Be Thankful for in 2016

As we gather with our family’s and friends for Thanksgiving this year we have a lot to be thankful for in our great state and country. We can be thankful that we still live in a democracy that believes in individual rights and freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. We can be thankful that we live in a wonderful state such as South Dakota where we try to work for the common good.

One such example is the much needed completion of The BNSF Rail crossing west of Lesterville. We now have a safe cement rail crossing 1 mile west of Lesterville thanks in no small part to people like Filmore and Darlene Mutchelknaus, the Bauder, Bierle, Fischer, Fillaus, Kubal, Kulish, Pavel, Walloch, and many other families, Scotland School Supt Damon Alvey, BJ School Buses, the current and past council members and mayors of Lesterville and so many others who circulated petitions, wrote letters, made phone calls and sent emails to BNSF, our Congressional Delegation, State Legislators and Yankton County officials. You made a difference!

Eric Richardson Roadmaster for BNSF Railroad (2401 18th street North Highway 75 Sioux City Iowa 51107 phone 712 279 7200) deserves special thanks for going over and above in getting this project done. Thanks also to the Yankton County Highway Department for paving the crossing in a timely manner. Thanks to John Thune for listening to his noble opponent Jay Williams and the grassroots. Jay kept the pressure on to get this and other South Dakota infrastructure projects completed in a more timely fashion.

The completion of this rail crossing is just one example of the many reasons we have to be thankful this Thanksgiving. Lets count our blessings as we hope and continue to work and pray for many good things to happen in the years ahead [Frank Kloucek, Thanksgiving message, 2016.11.23].

Hooray for one small victory for public safety and democratic participation. Drive safely, and don’t race the train!


  1. Rorschach 2016-11-23 11:29

    Frank Kloucek has long been the strongest proponent for rail safety. He has long advocated for reflective markers on rail cars – you know, the kind you now see on every semi trailer. But the rail lobby has fought this off. It might cost a few dollars per train car for those reflective stickers. So when you approach a rural rail crossing on a dark night, you may not see those dark boxcars blocking the road.

  2. mike from iowa 2016-11-23 13:47

    I knew a guy from Lesterville way back when. If a train ran over him I’d cheer.

  3. Bill Dithmer 2016-11-24 10:48

    It used to have a stripper bar.

    The Blindman

  4. mike from iowa 2016-11-27 09:12

    Nowadays you find stripper bars in feeder houses of combines. As the name implies, they strip corn kernels off the cobs.

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