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Date: SEPTEMBER 15, 2003
Contact Person: Pamela A. Bonrud, Executive Director
Phone Contact: 605-773-3201


The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is holding a series of public meetings to allow public comment on the proposed sale of all stock of the Union Telephone Company of Hartford (Union), Armour Independent Telephone Co.(Armour), Bridgewater-Canistota Independent Telephone Co.(Bridgewater-Canistota), and Kadoka Telephone Co.(Kadoka) to Golden West Telephone Properties, Inc.(Golden West Properties), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc.(Golden West Coop.). The stock sale, if approved, will result in the transfer of control of the local telephone exchanges in South Dakota owned by Union, Armour, Bridgewater-Canistota and Kadoka from MJD Services Corp. (MJD) to Golden West Properties.

The public is invited to attend and provide comment at public meetings concerning the proposed stock sale to be held in the following locations:

September 18, 2003 7:00 PM Hartford Pizza Ranch Upstairs Hartford, SD

September 22, 2003 5:30 PM Armour 4H Building Armour, SD

September 23, 2003 5:30 PM City Auditorium Kadoka, SD

Listed below are the local exchanges that are proposed to be transferred to Golden West Properties if the stock sale is approved.

Union: Hartford Exchange and Wall Lake Exchange, with approximately 1,889 lines (Union)

Armour: Armour Exchange, with approximately 684 access lines (Armour)

Bridgewater-Canistota: Bridgewater Exchange and Canistota Exchange, with approximately 993 access lines (Bridgewater-Canistota)

Kadoka: Kadoka Exchange, with approximately 577 lines (Kadoka)

The PUC is responsible for determining if the proposed sale of the above stock is in the public interest. During its evaluation of the proposed stock sale, the PUC will consider the following: the protection of the public interest; the adequacy of local telephone service; the reasonableness of local service rates; the provision of 911 service, Enhanced 911 and other public safety services; payment of taxes; and the ability of the local exchange company to provide modern, state-of-the-art telecommunications services that help to promote economic development, tele-medicine and distance learning in rural South Dakota.

After the completion of the public meetings, a formal hearing will be held by the PUC on September 24, 2003 at 10:00 AM in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building in Pierre, SD. The public is also invited to attend and provide comment at the formal hearing before the PUC renders its final decision. At a formal hearing before the PUC, all persons testifying may be cross-examined by the parties involved. Following the formal hearing process, the PUC can either reject or approve the proposed sale of any or all of the Union, Armour, Bridgewater-Canistota, and Kadoka exchanges.

The public can obtain copies of the application, non-confidential filings in the case and the formal Order for and Notice of Hearing by contacting the PUC via its Toll-Free number at 1-800-332-1782 or the internet at