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ANOTHER EAGLE KILLED IN CENTRAL S.D.

Federal and state wildlife officials are looking for help in finding who shot and killed a two-year-old golden eagle in southwestern Sully County north of Pierre.

The eagle was fitted with a radio caller that registered a dead signal to biologists who were tracking the bird from Alaska. The eagle had traveled through the Canadian Rockies, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado since it was originally tagged in Denali National Park, Alaska, in 2017. It is the fourth eagle in five weeks to be found dead in central South Dakota from being shot.

A $2,500 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those associated with the shooting. Anonymous information can be given to the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks turn-in-poachers hotline or to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s office of law enforcement at 605/244-9045. (News courtesy of “Today’s KCCR News.”)

PIERRE GOVERNORS SPORTS ROUNDUP

This week’s schedules:
Gymnastics: Friday-Saturday, at state meet, Brookings.
Wrestling: Thursday, at Harrisburg.
Girls basketball: Tuesday, home vs. Mitchell.
Boys basketball: Friday, home vs. Sioux Falls Roosevelt.

Wrestling: A busy week for the defending state champs began with two dual wins Friday in Yankton. The Govs beat Brandon Valley, 43-24, getting pins from Hayden Shaffer, Cade HInkle, Garrett Leesman, James Lees and Preston Taylor; a major decision from Gage Gehring and a decision win from Jace Bench-Bresher as well as a forfeit win. Pierre then topped Yankton, 57-12, as Shaffer, Tyson Johnson, Jack Van Camp, Hinkle, Lee Snyder and Lees scored pins and Bench-Bresher a decision plus three forfeit wins. At the Yankton invitational on Saturday the Govs were edged for the team title by Rapid City Stevens, 218.5 to 215.5. For the second straight week the Governors got several men into championship matches—this time five of them—but couldn’t get an individual title, any one of which would have meant the team championship. Pierre placers were: Hindman, fifth at 113; Shaffer, sixth at 120; Bench-Bresher, sixth at 126; Johnson, second at 132; Van Camp, second at 138; Hinkle, fifth at 145; Snyder, sixth at 152; Maguire Raske, second at 170; Leesman, second at 182; Gehring, third at 195; Lees, fifth at 220; Taylor, second at 285. On Tuesday in the battle between the two unbeaten teams in ESD conference duals, it was no contest as Pierre whipped Watertown, 51-18. Besides two forfeit wins, Pierre got pins from Blake Judson, Bench-Bresher, Snyder, Gehring and Lees (in 20 seconds!) and decisions from Van Camp, Hinkle, and Raske.

Gymnastics: At the ESD conference meet in Brookings, Pierre was fifth in the team standings. Mitchell won the team title. Mikah Moser placed fourth in the all-around standings at 34.950 with Meg Erwin 12th, Ava Flottmeyer 13th and Jasi Kroll 15th. Moser placed second in the vault, 13th on the beam and eighth in floor exercise and tied for 11th on the bars. Flottmeyer was seventh on the beam and Elise Carda 10th in that event.

Girls basketball: The Lady Govs are 2-12 after three losses this week. They lost to Sioux Falls Washington, 48-29, as Emily Mikkelsen scored 22. A Brandon Valley team that is 11-3 so far this season beat Pierre, 57-47. On Tuesday the Lady Govs led most of the way until the final minutes in a 42-40 loss to Huron. Mikkelsen scored 11 and Kylie Kessler 10.

Class “AA” girls basketball seed-points standings: As of today, the Lady Govs stand 17th among the 18 “AA” teams and along with #18 Spearfish would not qualify for the postseason SoDak 16, whose eight games determine state tournament berths.

Boys basketball: The Governors are now 4-10 after three losses this week. Pierre was down to Sioux Falls Washington, 10-0, at the start of the game, down 10 at the half and down 25 after three quarters in a 71-41 loss. Grey Zabel was high man with 14. Pierre then lost to the 11-2 Brandon Valley Lynx, 54-31, as Zabel scored eight and Garrett Stout seven. Pierre was held to four points in the second period and seven in the third. Oh Tuesday Huron took down the Govs, 71-55, as Zabel scored 15, Stout 12, and Alec Miller 12.

Class “AA” boys basketball seed-points standings: As of today, the Governors rank 14th among the 18 “AA” teams and would play #3 Brandon Valley in the SoDak 16, whose eight games determine state tournament berths. The two teams not qualifying for postseason play would be Spearfish and Douglas.

NEOLOGISMS

Balderdash (n.) — A rapidly receding hairline.

STANLEY COUNTY BUFFALOES SPORTS ROUNDUP

This week’s schedules:
Wrestling: Saturday, at Howard invitational.
Boys basketball: Thursday, home vs. White River; Saturday, at Wall; Monday, home vs. Todd County; Tuesday, home vs. Mobridge-Pollock.
Girls basketball: Saturday, at Wall.

Wrestling: At the Big Dakota Conference invitational the Buffaloes placed seventh of 23 teams with 75.5 points. Winner won the team title with Chamberlain second.

Girls basketball: The Lady Buffs lost to Gregory, 76-40; lost to Todd County, 77-33, and lost to Miller, 75-18.

SULLY BUTTES CHARGERS SPORTS ROUNDUP

This week’s schedules:
Wrestling: Saturday, at Badlands Brawler, Philip.
Girls basketball: Friday, home vs. Ipswich; Monday, at Philip; Tuesday, at Sunshine Bible.
Boys basketball: Friday, home vs. Ipswich; Tuesday, at Sunshine Bible.

Girls basketball: The Chargers dominated Potter County, 64-19, as Kendra Kleven scored 17 and Lauren Wittler 14. Lauren surpassed her 1,000-points-in-her-career point in that game. SBHS then defeated Jones County, 53-30, as Wittler scored 24. On Tuesday the girls lost to Herreid-Selby Area, 37-33, as Kleven scored 21. SBHS now stands at 10-6.

Boys basketball: The Chargers are now 12-3 after a 2-1 week as postponed games started to back up and create games almost every night. SBHS won a thriller in overtime over Potter County, 76-71, led by Nick Wittlers’ 37 points and Jett Lamb’s 18. Wittler sank 15 of 16 free throws in the game. On Monday the Chargers lost to Jones County, 57-49, as Wittler scored 31. They got back on the winning track Tuesday in a 69-57 win over Herreid-Selby Area.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”

— Mark Twain

WEDDING DAYS

June 8: Joseph Rezac/Brittanie Blaseg.
June 8: Frank Turner/Jasmin Fosheim.
Aug. 31: Devin Maki/Karlie Warne.

HOCKEY ROUNDUP

Oahe Lady Capitals: The girls varsity didn’t have a league game last week. They resume play at home vs. Mitchell at 3 p.m. Sunday.

SDAHA girls varsity standings (wins-losses-ties-OT losses=points): Aberdeen 13-0-0-0 26, Sioux Falls 11-2-0-0 22, Brookings 10-5-0-1 21, Mitchell 9-4-0-0 18, Sioux Center 6-6-0-0 12, Watertown 5-6-0-1 11, Huron 2-11-1-0 5, Oahe 2-10-0-0 4, Rushmore 0-12-1-0 1.

Oahe Capitals: The boys varsity and Sioux Falls staged an intense battle for first place at the Expo Center Saturday night. The game ended in a 4-4 tie. Sioux Falls had a tie the next day and the Caps a win, so Sioux Falls still has a one-point advantage in the standings. The Capitals have another huge game Friday night at Rushmore with the Thunder only three points behind in third place (see standings below). In the game here Andrew Gordon’s goal tied the game at 1-1 in the first period. Talon Griese scored in the third period to bring the Caps to within 3-2. Down 4-2, Oahe got a Spender Wedin goal to get back to within 4-3 and a Raef Briggs goal to tie it at 4-4. The game went into overtime, and neither team scored. Tate Mueller made 36 saves. Sunday’s game with Mitchell started as a blowout and became a nail-biter. A hat trick by Wedin and goals by Kian Paul, Elliot Leif and Griese gave the Capitals a 6-2 lead in the third period, but the Marlins came back to within 6-5, but Oahe held on for the victory. Mueller had 23 saves.

SDAHA boys varsity standings (wins-losses-ties-OT losses=points): Sioux Falls 10-0-2-0 22, Oahe 10-1-1-0 21, Rushmore 9-4-0-0 18, Huron 7-6-1-0 15, Sioux Center 6-6-1-0 13, Brookings 6-6-0-0 12, Watertown 4-5-1-1 9, Aberdeen 3-7-0-1 7, Mitchell 3-8-0-0 6, Yankton 0-13-0-0 0. (Note: Mitchell is banned from the state tournament, so only nine teams will advance to the state tourney at the Expo Center next month.)

Rapid City Rush: On the second week of their long two-week road trip due to the stock show in their home arena, the Rush lost at first-place Cincinnati, 6-3, but won after a shootout at Fort Wayne, 2-1. Rapid City is home Friday and Saturday vs. Wichita.

Sioux Falls Stampede: The Herd’s home winning streak reached six with a 6-4 win over Central Illinois and a 5-2 win over Lincoln. Sioux Falls is now 24-10-3-1 for 52 points, two points out of second place and eight out of first place. The Stampede is home Friday vs. Chicago, then goes to Waterloo Saturday.

Gillette Wild (Coleman Varty): Gillette lost both weekend games to Helena, 2-1 and 5-2. Coleman had no goals or assists this weekend. The Wild is home for two vs. Missoula this weekend.

Minnesota Wild: It was a losing week for the Wild, falling to Dallas, 3-1; to Chicago, 4-3 in overtime, and to Buffalo, 5-4 in a shootout. Minnesota is home for Edmonton tonight, goes to New Jersey Saturday and to the New York Islanders Sunday and comes back home for Philadelphia Tuesday.

WORDS OF WISDOM

“When words leave off, music begins.”

— Heinrich Heine

BASKETBALL ROUNDUP

Midco Sports Network live games this week:
Thursday, 7 p.m., women’s basketball, UND-NDSU.
Thursday, 7 p.m., men’s basketball, USD-Omaha (MSN2).
Friday, 5:30 p.m., women’s basketball, Northern-USF.
Friday, 7:30 p.m., men’s basketball, Northern-USF.
Saturday, 1 p.m., women’s basketball, NDSU-Denver (MSN2).
Saturday, 2 p.m., women’s basketball, SDSU-UND.
Saturday, 4 p.m., men’s basketball, NDSU-Denver (MSN2).
Saturday, 4:15 p.m., men’s basketball, SDSU-UND.
Sunday, 1 p.m., men’s basketball, USD-Oral Roberts.
Wednesday, 7 p.m., women’s basketball, NDSU-Oral Roberts.
Wednesday, 7 p.m., women’s basketball, SDSU-Omaha (MSN2).

Sioux Falls Skyforce: The Force lost to Salt Lake City, 116-114; beat Texas, 136-133, and lost to Oklahoma City, 130-117. Sioux Falls is home Friday vs. Agua Caliente and Saturday vs. Stockton.

Minnesota Timberwolves: The games were all close this week as the Wolves beat Memphis, 99-97; lost to Denver, 107-106, and lost to Memphis, 108-106. Minnesota goes on a cross-country road trip to Orlando tonight, New Orleans Friday, the Los Angeles Clippers Monday and Houston next Wednesday.

GOLF ROUNDUP

PGA Champions Tour (Tom Byrum): After three weeks off the Champions Tour gets back on a course at Boca Raton, Fla., in the Oasis Championship Friday through Sunday.

PONDER THIS

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

— Victor Hugo

FOOTBALL CONTEST

In our last contest of the year, Contest #24, Holly (Knox) Perli, who hadn’t entered all season, said the Patriots would win the Super Bowl 14-10. She is the only one of 16 contestants who came anywhere close to getting a bonus point for coming within six of a team’s final point total. Everyone else predicted a high-scoring affair with both teams in the 20s and 30s. Along with Holly, those earning eight points for picking the game-winning team were Jon Boer, Randy Pool, Eric James, Jared Martin, Lane Kozel, Laurie Johnson, Mikal Kern, Jeff Adel, Beth Rinehart, Seb Axtman and Nathan Vetter.

As for our season winner, I will get around to that as soon as possible. It takes time to go back to total up each contestant’s score over 23 weekly contests and determine the champion. So stay tuned!

FOOTBALL ROUNDUP

AAF football: Three of the opening-weekend games in the new Alliance of American Football (AAF) will be on national TV:
— Saturday, 7 p.m., San Diego at San Antonio, CBS.
— Sunday, 3 p.m., Memphis at Birmingham, CBS Sports Network.
— Sunday, 7 p.m., Salt Lake at Arizona, NFL Network.

The new league has some rules that differ from those of the NFL:
— No TV timeouts, so games should be 2 1/2 hours instead of 3 hours or more.
— The play clock is for 35 seconds instead of 40.
— There will be no kickoffs. Teams will start possessions from their own 25.
— There will be no one-point extra-point kicks. All extra points will be of the 2-point variety.
— There will be one overtime period. Each team will get a possession from the 10-yard line. If the score remains tied after the O.T., the game results in a tie.
— The only replays will be initiated by coaches’ challenges.

BASEBALL ROUNDUP

Pierre Trappers: New to the Trappers roster will be sophomore outfielder Tyler Ranel of East Tennessee State. His hometown is Atlanta.

COUNTDOWN

1 day: State gymnastics meet, Brookings (Feb. 8-9).
3 days: Grammy awards, CBS-TV (Feb. 10).
5 days: Governor’s Awards in the Arts (Feb. 12).
12 days: Georgia Morse Middle School musical (Feb. 19, 21).
13 days: Riggs High musicians at small-group contest, Chamberlain (Feb. 20).
13 days: Summit League swimming championships, Sioux Falls (Feb. 20-23).
15 days: Pierre Players’ “Bill W. and Dr. Bob” (Feb. 22-24, 28-March 2).
15 days: State wrestling tournaments, Rapid City (Feb. 22-23).
15 days: Summit League indoor track/field championships, Brookings (Feb. 22-23).
16 days: Minnesota Twins spring exhibition season opener (Feb. 23).
17 days: The Oscars, ABC-TV (Feb. 24).
21 days: Riggs High talent show (Feb. 28).
22 days: Zesto opens (March 1).
23 days: Minnesota Loons MLS season opener (March 2).

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

“I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell. You see, I have friends in both places.”

— Mark Twain

COLLEGE SPORTS ROUNDUP

Black Hills State track/field (Kelsey Van Den Hemel, Allan McDonnell): At NDSU’s Bison Open, Allan placed second in the high jump at 6’9 1/2″, tying him for 12th-best height in all of NCAA Division II so far. The Yellowjackets go to the SDSU Open Friday and Saturday.

South Dakota State track/field (Riley Sears, Rachel Propst, Addison Eisenbeisz): At USD’s meet Riley placed fifth in the high jump at 1.93 meters. In her high jump event Addy was second at 1.60 meters. Rachel was sixth in the mile run at 5:16.15. The Jacks host their indoor classic Friday and Saturday.

South Dakota Mines track/field (Theron Singleton, Erick Colman): At Minnesota State-Mankato’s meet, Erick placed 21st in the shot put with a toss of 43’11 1/4″ and 33rd in the weight throw at 44’3 1/2″. The Hardrockers go to the SDSU indoor classic Friday and Saturday.

South Dakota track/field (Madason Tessier, Maddy McClure): At their only home meet of the indoor season, Coyote high jumpers set new school records—Zack Anderson at 7’3 3/4″ and Jack Durst at 7’2 1/2″. Chris Nilsen won the pole vault, of course, tying his season-best height at 18’8 1/4″. Madason placed fifth in the 60-meter hurdles in :09.03, and her 4x400 relay team placed eighth in 4:15.49. USD sends athletes to SDSU’s meet in Brookings and the Tyson Invitational at Arkansas Friday and Saturday.

North Dakota men’s hockey: The Fighting Hawks lost both weekend games at No. 7 Denver, both by 2-1 scores. The Saturday game went into a second overtime. UND is off this weekend, awaiting a Feb. 15-16 weekend at Western Michigan.

Augustana wrestling (Jebben Keyes): The Vikings lost a conference dual to Minnesota State-Mankato, 20-10. Jebben did not wrestle that night. The big match of the night for Augie was at 174 where Lukas Poloncic decisioned Zach Johnston, No. 4 in the nation, 7-4. Now 4-2 overall in duals and 3-2 in the NSIC, Augie goes to Mary Saturday and to Minot State Sunday.

Northern wrestling: The Wolves were down by only two points going into the final match but lost a conference dual to Minot State, 25-20. Northern, now 6-4 overall and 3-4 in NSIC duals, wrestles Sunday at Upper Iowa.

South Dakota State wrestling (Aric Williams): The Jackrabbits defeated Utah Valley, 26-16, as SDSU had 17 takedowns and 10 near-falls in an aggressive dual. Aric won his 149-pound match by major decision, 14-5, to start the dual. SDSU then was shut out by Iowa State, 47-0. Aric lost a major decision, 17-6, at 141 pounds. Now 2-7 overall and 1-4 in the Big 12, the Jacks wrestle Sunday at Wyoming.

South Dakota State swimming (Wyatt Rumrill, Ashley Theobald): At USD’s Coyote Invitational swum in Sioux Falls, Ashley placed 13th in the 200 freestyle in 2:03.55, 25th in the 100 butterfly in 1:02.56 and 14th in the 50 freestyle in :25.47. She also swam on a 200 medley relay team which placed sixth in 1:52.56. Wyatt placed fifth in the 100-meter breast stroke event in :59.48, 12th in the 100 individual medley in :55.59 and 21st in the 50 freestyle in :22.75. He swam on the 400-meter medley relay team which placed seventh in 3:46.30, and he swam on the 200 medley relay team which placed eighth in 1:45.20. The swimming season ends with the Summit League championships in Sioux Falls Feb. 20-23.

South Dakota women’s basketball (Chloe Lamb, Ciara Duffy): The Coyote women won easily at Purdue-Fort Wayne, 71-49. Allison Arens was high scorer with 19, and Ciara went 8-of-14, including 1-of-4 in threes, and 2-of-2 at the line for 19 points with one rebound and two assists. Chloe was 1-of-3 for two points with two boards, two assists and a block. USD is now 20-3 overall and 8-1 in the Summit. After a game against Omaha last night, USD is home Saturday vs. Oral Roberts.

South Dakota men’s basketball: The Coyotes lost to Purdue-Fort Wayne, 102-71. While they made 22 of 25 free throws, the Yotes were only 3-of-19 in threes. Purdue-Fort Wayne, on the other hand, made 13 three-pointers in 27 shots. Now 9-13 overall and 3-6 in the Summit, USD plays Omaha tonight and Oral Roberts Sunday.

South Dakota State women’s basketball (Sydney Palmer): The Jackrabbit women defeated Denver, 83-67, as Myah Selland scored 21. Sydney was 1-of-3 for three points with four rebounds and one assist. After getting a big lead early, Oral Roberts was held to three points in the second period, and SDSU rolled to a 74-65 win, led by Macy Miller with 16 points. Sydney was 1-of-2 for two points with two assists and three rebounds. Now 17-6 overall and 9-1 in the Summit, SDSU hosts UND Saturday, then goes to Omaha next Wednesday.

Summit League women’s basketball standings: SDSU 9-1, USD 8-1, Western Illinois 6-4, Denver 5-4, Oral Roberts 5-5, UND 4-6, NDSU 3-6, Purdue-Fort Wayne 2-8, Omaha 1-8. (NOTE: Last night’s USD-Omaha, Denver-ORU and WIU-PFW games not included.)

South Dakota State men’s basketball: The Jackrabbits stayed atop the Summit at 9-1 (19-6 overall) with an 86-80 win over Oral Roberts and a 92-82 win over Denver. Mike Daum had 23 points against ORU, one of five Jacks in double figures. Against DU Daum scored 28 and Skyler Flatten 36. SDSU is home vs. UND Friday night.

Summit League men’s basketball standings: SDSU 9-1, Omaha 7-2, Purdue-Fort Wayne 7-3, NDSU 5-4, Oral Roberts 4-6, USD 3-6, UND 3-7, Western Illinois 3-7, Denver 2-7. (NOTE: Last night’s UND-NDSU game not included.)

Tennessee women’s basketball (Caleb Currier): The Lady Vols have come out of their losing streak with a pair of wins this past week—67-50 over Florida and 82-65 over Vanderbilt. In the latter game UT made 17 of 20 free throws in the fourth quarter. Now 15-7 overall but still only 4-5 in the SEC, Tennessee goes to Mississippi State Sunday.

Mount Marty men’s basketball: The Lancers lost to Briar Cliff, 86-71, led by Colby Johnson’s 22 points. MMC lost to Morningside, 68-56, as Jailen Billings scored 13. Now 6-20 overall and 2-15 in the GPAC, the Lancers played DWU last night and go to Doane Saturday.

Mount Marty women’s basketball: It was a winning week for the Lancer women, starting with a 69-60 win over Briar Cliff. Ali Kuca led MMC with 25 points. On Saturday the Lancers upset No. 8 Morningside, 62-57, led by Jamie Tebben’s 20. Now 13-12 overall and 7-12 in the GPAC, Mount Marty played DWU last night and goes to Doane Saturday.

Incarnate Word women’s basketball (Liz Holter): The Cardinals lost to Houston Baptist, 60-59, and lost to New Orleans, 58-55. Liz did not play in either game. Now 2-18 overall and 2-7 in their conference, the UIW women play at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Saturday.

Augustana men’s basketball: The Vikings lost both road-trip games up north. In a 66-64 loss at Minot State, Michael Schaefer scored 21 and Dylan LeBrun 20. In a 101-87 beatdown at Mary, A. J. Plitzuweit scored 23 and Matt Cartwright 20. Now 13-9 overall and 9-7 in the NSIC, Augie hosts Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud State this weekend.

Augustana women’s basketball (Katie Bourk): The Viking women won at Minot State, 61-58, led by Abby Hora with 13. Augie lost at Mary, 68-62, as Vishe Rabb scored 18. The Vikings are now 19-6 overall and 11-5 in the NSIC. They host Minnesota-Duluth Friday and St. Cloud State Saturday.

Northern men’s basketball (Lincoln Jordre): The Wolves defeated Concordia-St. Paul, 90-79, led by Justin Decker’s 25. They also won at Minnesota State, 88-80, as Mason Stark scored 26. Now 17-5 overall and 13-3 in the NSIC, Northern hosts USF and Southwest Minnesota State this weekend.

Northern women’s basketball (Rachel Guthmiller): The NSU women lost both games of their eastern trip. In a 71-49 loss at Concordia-St. Paul, Brianna Kusler led NSU with 12. Rachel got into the game for four minutes. In a 54-40 loss at Minnesota State-Mankato, no one was in double figures. Now 8-14 overall and 5-11 in the league, Northern hosts USF Friday and Southwest Minnesota State Saturday.

South Dakota Mines men’s basketball: The Hardrockers won both RMAC games over the weekend. In a 70-67 win over Metro State, Mitchell Sueker scored 22. Mines beat Chadron State, 80-59, as Sueker scored 32. Now 10-13 overall and 7-8 in the RMAC, Mines goes to New Mexico Highlands Friday and to CSU-Pueblo Saturday.

South Dakota Mines women’s basketball: The Hardrocker women lost to Metro State, 70-38, and no one reached double figures. They rebounded to beat Chadron State, 60-45, led by Taylor Molstad’s 15. Now 7-12 overall and 4-11 in the RMAC, Mines goes to New Mexico Highlands and CSU-Pueblo this weekend.

Black Hills State men’s basketball: The Yellowjackets whipped Chadron State, 82-62, led by Dez Stoudamire’s 26. He had 17 Saturday as BHSU edged Metro State, 64-62. Now 11-8 overall and 10-5 in the RMAC, BHSU goes to CSU-Pueblo Friday and to New Mexico Highlands Saturday.

Black Hills State women’s basketball (Remi Wientjes, Racquel Wientjes): In a 72-56 win over Chadron State, Racquel went 3-for-8 (1-of-4 in threes) and 4-of-4 for 11 points with four rebounds and an assist. BHSU lost to Metro State, 69-54. Racquel was again 3-of-8 (1-of-3 in threes) and 4-of-4 for 11 points with four rebounds and two assists. Now 12-7 overall and 8-7 in the RMAC, the Yellowjacket women go south to CSU-Pueblo and New Mexico Highlands this weekend.

Dakota State men’s basketball: The Trojans lost to Mayville State, 90-47, and lost to Valley City State, 74-71. Justin Folkers scored 22 in the loss and Carson Rentz 20 in the win. Now 9-18 overall and 4-7 in the NSAA, DSU plays at Presentation Friday and at Dickinson State Saturday.

Dakota State women’s basketball: The Lady Ts lost both league games last weekend, 82-55 to Mayville State and 72-61 to Valley City State. Taylor Volesky scored 13 against Mayville and Alexis Robson 16 against Valley City. Now 3-21 overall and 2-9 in the NSAA, DSU plays at Presentation and Dickinson State this weekend.

University of Sioux Falls men’s basketball: The Cougars lost to Bemidji State, 76-73, as Drew Guebert scored 22 and Trevon Evans 19. USF defeated Minnesota-Crookston, 82-74, led by Guebert’s 27. Now 15-7 overall and 10-6 in the NSIC, USF plays at Northern Friday and at MSU-Moorhead Saturday.

University of Sioux Falls women’s basketball: The USF women were winners twice, 95-47 over Bemidji State and 80-47 over Minnesota-Crookston. Kaely Hummel led USF with 22 in the Bemidji game and 17 in the Crookston game. Now 15-7 overall and 10-6 in the NSIC, USF goes to Northern and MSU-Moorhead this weekend.

Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball: The Tigers were drubbed by Jamestown, 102-63, led by Collin Kramer with 13 points. DWU took a 17-8 record (10-7 in the GPAC) into a game with Mount Marty last night. The Tigers go to Concordia (Neb.) Saturday.

Dakota Wesleyan women’s basketball: In a non-league game the Tiger women outpaced St. Mary (Neb.), 102-51, as Kynedi Cheeseman scored 24. On Monday the Tigers got 38 points and 17 rebounds from Sarah Carr in a four-overtime 98-92 win at Jamestown. Now 23-3 overall and 16-3 in the GPAC, DWU played Mount Marty last night and goes to Concordia (Neb.) Saturday.

BIRTHDAYS/ANNIVERSARIES

Thursday, Feb. 7:
Kennedy Williams, Marilee Johnson-Geary, DaVida (Anderson) Jaqua, Dave Hofer, Franklin Nebelsick, Sandy Zinter, Alexandra Voeltz, Liz (Kirk) Van Camp, Tony Blake.
— 15th anniversary, Tyson/Lindsey Heiss.
We fondly remember Hyrma Zakahi on the second anniversary of her death.

Friday, Feb. 8:
Chad Binger, Habie Swenson, Jean Deffenbaugh, Colby Wagner, Amanda (Weaver) Sprenkle, Steph (Hull) Joens, Alex Plumage, Stephanie Arne, Lindsey (Quinn) Nichols, Kelli Nuttbrock, Karen Authier, Alana (Tennant) Lacina, Karon Schaack.
— 55th anniversary, Ron/Priscilla Schmidt.

Saturday, Feb. 9:
Karen Day, Bauer Hunt, Jennifer McKillip, Jamie Lomheim, Steve Smith, Mandy Braun, Dawn Hurney, William Weingart, Carolyn Severyn, Elsie Ann Shoup, Dessa Bryant.

Sunday, Feb. 10:
Ericka Deneke, Carie (Olson) Butter, Luke Ross, Jeanita (Adams) McNulty, Jessie Williams, Kelly (Kindle) Hipple, Elliot Harmon, Hart Hoover, Chris Dvorak.
— 2nd anniversary, Adam/Andrea Baker.

Monday, Feb. 11:
Beth Sachtjen, Chris Dockter, Colleen (Doyle) Lamb, Cheryl (Beckwith) Ulmen, Kelbie Frederick, Megan Tousley, Kerry (Johnson) Bowers, Jonathan Urbach, Aaron Engberg, Carly Feiler, Jackson Sleger, Josh Baker, Jerilyn (Cass) Roberts, Beth (Miner) O’Toole.

Tuesday, Feb. 12:
Julie Linn, Shannon (Taft) Hallock, Cody Nelson, Dick Tobin, Nicholas Deal, Lucas Hoover, Leonard Haggin, Dave Osterkamp, Jay Davis, Grayson Shindle.

Wednesday, Feb. 13:
Cooper Gloe, Stacie Mosiman, Suttyn Stahl, Karla Miles, Nathan Shay, Michell Boe, Darin Smith, Gerda Jorgenson, Dorinda Daniel.

Thursday, Feb. 14:
Brady Beck, Nic Lohman, Ryan Blake, Mia Tousley, Leonore Friez, Joe Minder, Karisa Magee, Josh Hook, Kirby Welch, Elaine Yackley, Kathy Kraft, Kelli (Stephens) Ford, Veronica Urquhart, Tammy (Groseclose) Serbousek, Grady Yost, Sydney Redden.
— 10th anniversary, Roger/Shelley (Marone) Locken.
— 15th anniversary, Matt/Rebekah (Lawver) Boyer.
— Anniversary, Greg/Joan Baker.
— Anniversary, Mike/Dana (Garry) Reiprich.

PARKER’S PERSONAL NOTES

— If you read my poem from 1979 about that year’s Pierre Governors state boys basketball champions that appeared in the Update two weeks ago, you perhaps noticed that the cheerleaders for that team were mentioned by their first names. Those girls were Nancy Conway, Jackie Ivers, Debbie Nellermoe, Anne Burchill and Judy Smith.

— Four Riggs High students who have been best friends since first grade have started to put together YouTube videos called “Real South Dakota Men.” Caleb Huizenga, Nathan Shoup, Nick Loe and Dmitri Mutchelknaus are the brains behind the series, and the videos are worth your taking a break to watch. Last week Caleb and Nathan focused on some of the weird kitchen utensils they discovered in Caleb’s mom’s kitchen. You can watch them at work at www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTbHnZm7enI&feature=share. (In case you type that web address, note that the letter following “7en” is a capital “I,” not a small “L.”)

— Perhaps you saw it, too, but the funniest post I saw on Facebook last week during the polar vortex assault on the Midwest was this one: “Today’s performance of ‘Hamilton’ was canceled in Chicago due to the polar blast. Once again Brrrr kills Hamilton.”

— Talk about the ultimate sports event! I could personally handle the middle portion of this activity but probably not the first and last parts. The 15th annual Krispy Kreme Challenge took place in Raleigh where runners start at the Memorial Bell Tower on the N.C. State campus and run two miles to a Krispy Kreme store. There they eat 1,000 doughnuts. Then they run back to the bell tower. It’s a marathon to raise money for the UNC Children’s Hospital.

— Here are this week’s movies on Turner Classic Movies network’s annual “31 Days of Oscar” on TCM. The times are Central Standard Time:

Thursday, Feb. 7:
7 p.m.—“All About Eve” (1950).
9:30 p.m.— “A Letter to Three Wives” (1949).
11:30 p.m.—“The Mark of Zorro ” (1940).
1:15 a.m.—“The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938).
Friday, Feb. 8:
7 p.m.—“Now, Voyager” (1942).
9:15 p.m.—“The Prince of Tides” (1991).
11:45 p.m.—“Bonnie and Cliyde” (1967).
1:45 a.m.—“Dog Day Afternoon” (1975).
Saturday, Feb. 9:
7 p.m.—“In the Heat of the Night” (1967).
9 p.m.—“The Defiant Ones” (1958).
11 p.m.—“Nine to Five” (1980).
1 a.m.—“Honeysuckle Rose” (1980).
Sunday, Feb. 10:
7 p.m.—“Lassie, Come Home” (1943).
8:45 p.m.—“The Thin Man” (1934).
10:30 p.m.—“Mrs. Miniver” (1942).
1 a.m.—“The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946).
Monday, Feb. 11:
7 p.m.—“Naughty Marietta” (1935).
9 p.m.—“San Francisco” (1936).
11:15 p.m.—“On the Town” (1949).
1:15 a.m.—“Singin’ in the Rain” (1952).
Tuesday, Feb. 12:
7 p.m.—“The Remains of the Day” (1933).
9:30 p.m.—“Merrily We Live” (1938).
11:15 p.m.—“On the Waterfront” (1954).
1:15 a.m.—“East of Eden” (1955).
Wednesday, Feb. 13:
7 p.m.—“Lawrence of Arabia” (1962).
11 p.m.—“The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957).
2 a.m.—“Under Western Stars” (1938).
3:15 a.m.—“The Cowboy and the Lady” (1938).

— The end result of the Rams’ 12 offensive drives by “the NFL’s most potent offense” in Super Bowl LIII: punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, field goal, punt, interception, missed field goal. If the final result had been reversed, I doubt there would be all this whining about how “boring” the game was.

— Now that the Patriots are Super Bowl champions again, we know that next fall’s NFL season opener on Thursday night, Sept. 5, wlll be in Foxboro. So we have eight choices as to who the Patriots’ opening-night opponent will be? How about Buffalo, Miami, Cleveland the Giants or the Jets? Not a chance. But their other three home opponents? Any one of the three will be just fine for Opening Night. Dallas? Pittsburgh? Kansas City? Can’t you hear the national media already calling it “a revenge game” if the Chiefs are the Patriots’ opponent that night?

— One of my favorite Broadway shows—because of the music!—has been “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” As sons Ryan and Jason were singing the song about the coat itself at my birthday bash Sunday, I marveled again how any actor—and Ryan is obviously one of them—who can remember all those colors and the order in which they come in the song! I would wager that John Williams and McKayla Marso also know those words even now, many years after they sang them when “Joseph” was performed in the big gym up at Community Bible Church.

“I look handsome; I look smart;
I am a walking work of art.
Such a dazzling coat of many colors.
How I love my coat of many colors.
It is red and yellow and green and brown
And scarlet and black and ochre and peach
And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
And cream and crimson and silver and rose
And azure and lemon and russet and gray
And purple and white and pink and orange
And red and yellow and green and brown and blue!”

DID YOU KNOW?

A person’s height is determined by the father, and weight is determined by the mother.

NEWS OF PEOPLE AND EVENTS

Alison Kennedy, daughter of Dr. Scott and Dawn Kennedy of Spearfish, has been selected for the South Dakota Middle School All-State Orchestra. Its grand concert will take place in the afternoon of Feb. 23 at the Mitchell Performing Arts Center. Alison is a sixth-grade student. She and her team of fellow sixth graders from Spearfish won the best robot performance award in the state competition in Sioux Falls last weekend.

Cade Hinkle of the wrestling team and Jasi Kroll of the gymnastics team were honored as Athlete of the Week by the Pierre Athletic Coaches Association last week.

Fresh from a season of wearing the white hat as the referee in Big 12 and Mountain West college football games, Brandon Cruse of Rapid City has another gig—officiating in the brand-new Association of American Football (AAF), the new professional league which kicks off its debut season this weekend. Brandon will work the game in Birmingham, Ala., Sunday afternoon. (Note the schedule of TV games for this weekend in the Football Update section above.)

John Stengle died at the age of 71 in Sioux Falls on Feb. 1. His memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Friday at Lutheran Memorial Church. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at the church. John grew in Sioux Falls and graduated from Washington High School in 1966. He earned his degree at USD. John spent his professional career advocating for people with disabilities, first in Watertown and later with The Arc of South Dakota in Pierre. From 2001 to retirement he was executive director of the Housing and Redevelopment Commission in Pierre. While he was in Watertown, John married his wife, Karen, in 1976. He was known as a singer and guitarist and shared his talents especially with Capital City Children’s Chorus and Lutheran Memorial Church. Besides his wife, he is survived by their daughter, Nicole Stengle of Minneapolis, who graduated from Riggs High School in 1997; a brother, Dan Stengle, and sisters Mary Balster, Sandy LeBrun and Susan Lowman.

Ellen Hart, daughter of Tom and Jill (Novotny) Hart, is state champion of the girls 8-9 division of the Elks State Hoop Shoot, converting 16 of 25 free-throw attempts at the state contest in Pierre last weekend. She advances to a regional level in Rapid City on March 9 where she will compete with Montana and North Dakota champions to see who goes on to the national Hoop Shoot in Chicago in April. (News courtesy of “Today’s KCCR News.”)

Long-time Pierre resident Gladys Larsen, 86, Sioux Falls, died Feb. 1. Services are being held today (Thursday) at 1 p.m. at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. Gladys, her husband Wally and their family came to Pierre in 1966, and she lived here for 48 years. She worked for the state for 26 years starting in 1967. After retirement she became a volunteer at the Cultural Heritage Center and for 10 years was a fill-in state employee, going to work wherever there was a spot to be filled. She was an avid bowler and active member of Lutheran Memorial Church. She is survived by two daughters, Cynthia Anderson and her husband Ervin of Dardenne Prairie, Mo., and Janet Larsen of Sioux Falls; two grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

The Pierre-Fort Pierre Kiwanis Club’s 43rd annual pancake feed will be served from 4:30 to 7 p.m. next Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Trinity Center of First United Methodist Church at the corner of Central and West Capitol. Prices will be $6 for adults and $3 for kids between the ages of 5 and 12. All the proceeds go to local youth activities which the Kiwanians help fund each year.

Bonnie Baade, 83, Fort Pierre, died Feb. 2. Her funeral service is being held this afternoon (Thursday) at 1 p.m. at Madison Avenue Church of Christ. The former Bonnie Frost attended school in Pierre. She married Fred Baade in 1952. They raised their family on a farm at Canning, then moved into Pierre in 1975. Bonnie operated a daycare center for 24 years. For 21 years the Baades were snowbirds in Mission, Texas. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Fred Baade; seven daughters, Nancy Ponton, Nila Hacker, Norine Riis, Renee Baade, Twila Lafferty, Connie Fehrman and Judy Clarambeau; 21 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.

Blunt residents, present and past: The dates for the 13th annual BluntFest will be Aug. 23-25.

Matt Blake has been selected as one of the 2019 “Forty Under 40” by the Des Moines Business Record publication. The 40 persons who have demonstrated impressive career achievements and unparalleled community involvement were chosen by past award winners. Each of the 40 will be profiled in the March 15 edition of the Business Record and recognized at an event on March 28 at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel. Blake is director of governmental relations and member services for LeadingAge Iowa, a statewide membership organization of nonprofit providers and aging services and supports. He and his wife, Alaine, live in Urbandale, Iowa.

Marilyn Hagemann, 79, Pierre, died Feb. 1 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. Her funeral service is today (Thursday) at 2 p.m. at the Isburg Funeral Chapel. The former Marilyn Mattheis graduated from Pierre High School in 1958. She married Bob Hagemann in December 1957. She worked for the Department of Game, Fish and Parks; Pierre Junior High School and the Division of Veterans Affairs. The Hagemanns raised cattle and quarter horses. She is survived by her daughter, Jackie Husted and her husband Shanard of Fort Pierre; three granddaughters; eight great-grandchildren, and four sisters, Phyllis Fratzke, Carolyn Trautman, Darlene Ulvestad and Sherry Theobald.

Pierre’s school superintendent, Dr. Kelly Glodt, was named one of the eight Outstanding Administrators in the state by the School Administrators of South Dakota (SASD). The selections were based on recommendations from the administrators’ schools’ parents groups.

Robin (Andersen) VanderPlaats, 61, Pierre, died Jan. 29. Services were held Feb. 2 at the Isburg Funeral Chapel. Robin grew up in Yankton and Sioux Falls, graduating from Washington High School in 1975. She married Brian VanderPlaats in 1980. They and their two children moved to Pierre in 1986. They owned a pawn shop and a cleaning business, and Robin also worked as a housekeeper, cook and cleaner. She is survived by her daughter, Stephanie Jensen and her husband Mark of Sioux Falls; her son, Steven VanderPlaats and his wife Amanda of Pierre; four grandchildren, and her siblings, Ronald Andersen of Sioux Falls, Roger Andersen of Pierre, Cindy Meier of Sioux Falls and Scott Andersen of Elk Grove, Calif.

Will Mortenson is a newly-elected member of the board of Capital Area Counseling Service.

Carol Jenner-Hinkley, 68, Pierre, died Jan. 27 at Avera Maryhouse. Services were held Feb. 2 at Feigum Funeral Home. A native of Miller, “Jenner” attended National College of Business in Rapid City. On her way home in 1970, she stopped in Pierre to apply for a job with the Department of Social Services. She got the job and stayed for 41 years. She was a noted bowler and fast-pitch softball player. She began a relationship with Dave Hinkley in 1987, and they were married in 2008. She is survived by her husband; her brother, Terry Jenner, and his wife Beverly of Colman; four stepchildren, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Kai and Kayla Hanson of Minneapolis revealed on Facebook last week that they are expecting their first child in June.

Merrill Gregg, 79, Pierre, died Jan. 26 after a four-year battle with ALS. Services were held Feb. 2 at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church. He grew up in The Pocket in southeastern Hughes County and graduated from high school at Harrold. He attended Arizona State University for a year and spent 1964-66 with the U.S. Army. He married Patricia Schmitz in 1964, and they lived in Pierre. Merrill and his brother-in-law, Jerald Thorn, started Oahe Moving and Construction. After Jerald’s death, Merrill ran the business himself from 1993 to 2009. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; two sons, Scott Gregg and his wife Laurie of Pierre and Eric Gregg and his wife Lori of Pierre; a daughter-in-law, Suzy Gregg of Gardner, Kan.; four grandchildren, and his siblings, Richard Gregg of Springfield, Va., Kenneth Gregg of Rapid City, Corinne Aasby of Highmore and Betty Wortman of Highmore.

Riggs High alumnus Ray Smart is director of operations for Drama Kids International programs in Mankato, New Ulm and St. Peter, Minn. He appeared on Mankato’s KEYC-TV one morning last week to talk about Drama Kids programs in the Mankato schools’ after-school programs, which emphasize fun drama activities that allow all students to fully participate and develop acting and speaking skills, regardless of age or prior experience level. Ray’s wife, the former Tara Denke, who graduated from Bennett County High School in Martin, is an OB/GYN physician at the Mankato Clinic. Both Ray and Tara earned their degrees at USD.

(Note: More News of People and Events below after the following column.)

PARKER’S COLUMN

Thoughts on turning 80

In rummaging through old columns saved from my newspaper years, I ran across the “Pierre-ing Around” column from the Capital Journal of February 5, 1979, in which I rambled on and on about the weekend I turned 40 and the following Monday when I returned to work.

From the tone of the column I apparently was not pleased at leaving my 30s and becoming 40 years old. Here is part of it:

“This was the weekend I turned 40. I intended to broadcast the subject to no one, and I was succeeding in my down-play of the momentous event until the girls in the office (I called them the Blue-Haze Girls because of the cigarette smoke they produced) began to do some figuring.

“‘Let’s see, you’ve got to be at least 40 because you were 30 when you were teaching me,'” (Thanks a lot, Sharon Metzinger.)

“Somebody chimed in with a comment that I don’t look that old. But my boss had to join the conversation: ‘Yes, but if he’s only 33, that means he started teaching school when he was 14.’ (Thanks a lot, John Hipple.)

“The girl up front felt like telling us when her birthday is because the cake last Friday was for both her and me. ‘I was born on Feb. 29, 1956,’ Nancy Peck offered. That meant that when she was born, I was three months away from high school graduation. (Thanks a lot, Nancy.)

“The last straw came when the ladies who publish The Onida Watchman, who I thought were my friends, listed an item in their 40 Years Ago column about my birth as if it were the biggest deal in Sully County in February 1939. To add insult to injury, they wrote in the 30 Years Ago column that my parents had a party for me on my tenth birthday. (Thanks a lot, Bonnie Zebroski, Alice Olson and Lillian Campbell.)

“My wife at least was a bit sympathetic. She put only six candles on the birthday cake, prompting one of our boys to ask, ‘Are you only six, Daddy?’ (Right on, Ryan!)

“Kathryn Owens, the nice lady who sits in the corner and offers me candy and crackers almost every day, had to add a bite when Monday morning arrived. ‘Let’s see, you don’t look another year older.’ (Thanks a lot, Kathryn.)”

And on it went back then in the old Journal office on South Pierre Street, next to what had been the old State Theater.

Fast-forward to this past weekend when, 40 years after the above column was written, I happily turned 80. “I never would have thought you are 80!” astounded people said, time and again over the past week. Keep comments like that coming, folks! Not turning 80 would have meant I was no longer around these parts, and I’m not ready to depart quite yet, so a birthday per year is welcome for as long as they keep coming.

Anyone’s 80th birthday would be special, but mine in particular was made memorable by the conniving on the part of my kids and friends whose help they enlisted. It began more than a month ago when daughter Holly asked in a message if I were “available” on my birthday, Feb. 3, Super Bowl Sunday. I said something akin to “I am available, of course, but I’ll probably be watching the game in the evening.”

A few days after that Holly asked me to list my favorite songs and favorite Broadway shows and favorite hymns. So I spent a quiet afternoon making lists. They would call it “cutting and pasting” these days as I added songs and shows and hymns, deleted some and added more. And the lists went to her.

Then as the big day approached last week, several people—some from my church choir, some from my extended family—so innocently asked what my plans were for my birthday. They already knew what was afoot. I didn’t know exactly what was coming, but I played along. “Oh, I’m not sure,” I said in my usual answer. “Something will probably go on, but I’m not sure what just yet.”

I knew for some time that Ryan was flying home from Arizona for my birthday weekend though I didn’t let on that I knew. On Friday night I accidentally saw his face on my grandson Parker’s I-pad as he Facetimed with his dad, so I knew for sure he was in town.

Holly was apparently the organizer, but since she was at the one-act play festival in Aberdeen from Wednesday till Sunday noon, the rest of the kids and their helpers had to carry out the plans. For weeks, I now know, the family, the choir, our theater friends and others were all part of a Facebook “group” to which I was not invited.

On Sunday morning the choir sang “Happy Birthday” to me before we entered the sanctuary, apparently a cover-up so I wouldn’t think they had forgotten the day. Then I went home just after the second service ended, and no one was there. Jason, Allison and Parker were gone, and they are usually always at home on Sundays. So I spent three hours typing on this Update, playing with the dogs and whiling away my time. Finally a text message came from Holly, still on the Central bus returning from the play festival. Could I meet her at the Performing Arts Center to record some music for “The Full Monty,” which she is choreographing. Her excuse was that she hadn’t had time to work on the dancing, so she needed the recorded music that day. I agreed to meet her there at 3:30. Just prior to that came another message that, because the BHCT matinee was taking place on third floor, I shouldn’t enter through that door but rather through the loading dock on the ground floor. I smirked to myself but answered that I surely would enter through that door if that’s what they wanted.

I sat in the parking lot for about 10 minutes, giving whoever was inside time to get everybody in place. Then I sent a text message indoors: “I’m in the parking lot. On my way in.”

Granddaughter Audrey met me at the loading dock door with a smile on her face and said, “Come in here,” as she headed toward the main stage of the Historic Theatre. All was pitch black in there until I reached the stage from behind the main curtain. Somebody yelled, “Hit it!” The lights came on, and a crowd of people yelled, “Surprise!” And they sang “Happy Birthday” as I stood there, embarrassed. (Did you ever notice how long that song is when people are singing it to you?)

After that came a delightful and moving program put together by my kids and their theater colleagues and friends, emceed by Heather and her oldest son Dylan. Jason and Ryan made comments at the microphone. So did our friend Zach Curtis, artistic director of BHCT, and grandkids Dylan and Olivia, sister-in-law Linda, niece Jayne, mother-in-law Fran, church choir member Jody Ketel, and probably somebody else who I am omitting.

And then there was the music—all of it from that list of my favorite shows and songs! Kory Yamada contributed “What I Did For Love” from “A Chorus Line.” Stephen DeWitt and Austin Fisher sang a part of “Seize the Day” from “Newsies” in which they had starring roles a month ago. My granddaughters joined voices on “Somewhere Out There” from “An American Tail.” My four kids chimed in with a medley of show tunes—“Tradition” from “Fiddler on the Roof,” Jason and Ryan on the song from “Joseph” about all the colors of his coat, Holly on “Think of Me” from “Phantom of the Opera,” and Jason on his solo song, “O What a Beautiful Morning,” from “Oklahoma!” (Riggs High ’91). On the piano for all of this was Central High’s Andrew Belsaas.

Jamie DeWitt raised the roof with “You Raise Me Up,” and Michelle Martinson brought down the house as she belted out Etta James’ classic “At Last.” Paul Robinson, the music maestro from First Presbyterian Church, played a medley of my favorite hymns and had the crowd join in on “Amazing Grace” and “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.”

It was magnificent, the best free concert anyone could imagine and the best birthday present ever.

Later we watched the Super Bowl game in its entirety. Through the magic of recorded video we started it at kickoff, even though it had happened a couple hours earlier. And the Patriots won!

So thank you to my kids, grandkids, family members, choir and theater colleagues and friends for showing up on a busy Super Bowl Sunday. Thank you as well to the many from all over who sent birthday cards—friends from high school days, Sully County and Pierre friends from way back, people in my church family, friends from college years who had seen a birthday notice in the newspaper. There were so many Facebook birthday posts that I still haven’t had a chance to scroll down through all of them, but I will.

I would think no subsequent birthday I may have could possibly top #80, but we’ll see.

I’ve seen posted on Facebook several times a message to the effect that we can know we did something right when our kids grow up to be good people. Though their mother deserves more of the credit for that than I do, that is certainly the case with my four. And their own kids are growing up that way, too. Life is good, and I have been blessed.

MORE NEWS OF PEOPLE AND EVENTS

The complete text of “The Thanksgiving Play,” Larissa FastHorse’s hilarious play about white theatermakers’ hapless attempt to honor indigenous peoples, was published in the latest issue of American Theatre magazine. Larissa has received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for playwriting and will go to New York in a few weeks to accept it. The award is given to a playwright “working at the highest level of achievement in mid-career.”

Larry’s Plumbing, owned by Larry and Sandy Cronin, was named 2018 Business of the Year by the Fort Pierre Development Corporation.

If you have relatives or friends within reach of the Tampa area, tell them the 67th annual South Dakota Picnic in Florida will be held at 1 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 23, at Grace Lutheran Church in Lakeland. For more information and to RSVP, contact June Clark at june.jj01@gmail.com or 863/646-1131. Those attending are asked to take a large casserole/hot dish or salad or dessert as well as their own plates and silverware. Coffee, iced tea and sodas will be provided.

At the state one-act play festival in Aberdeen the following schools’ plays earned overall superior ratings for their plays: Class AA—Harrisburg, Yankton, Mitchell, Aberdeen Central, Huron, Douglas, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Brandon Valley, Sioux Falls O’Gorman, Rapid City Central, Sioux Falls Washington, Watertown, Spearfish; Class A—Chamberlain, Madison, Custer, Aberdeen Roncalli, Vermillion; Class B—Menno, Bridgewater-Emery, Sioux Falls Lutheran, Great Plains Lutheran, Castlewood, Chester Area, Rosholt, New Underwood, Philip, James Valley Christian, Sunshine Bible Academy.

Seven of the actors who appeared in Riggs High School’s entry at the state one-act play festival, “Nothing But the Truth,” earned superior individual awards. They are Levi McKinley, Melinda Clements, Sarah Hancock, Thomas Vetsch, Delaney Engbrecht, Jack Ferris and Eli Houdyshell. Jen (Gors) Hodges is the drama director at Riggs High.

Bonnie (Pitlick) Rus, who lives in Pierre with her husband Troy, sent an update on the whereabouts of her family. Bonnie herself retired from Avera Medical Group in December 2017 and now works part-time in the hospice thrift shop. Dustin and Cidna Pitlick both work at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital, he as a bio-med tech and she in sterile processing. Troy is assistant manager at Rittel’s at the Northgate Plaza mall, and his wife Teela is in the business office at Avera Medical Group. Her kids are Ridge and Camrie. Chad and Kayla Pitlick are in Gettysburg, and both also work for Avera, he in maintenance for the hospital and Oahe Manor and she as a nurse at the hospital. Their daughter Autumn, a Gettysburg High junior, is going to Australia with Down Under Sports for volleyball this summer. (Fund-raising is ongoing, so contact Chad or Kayla on Facebook if you want to help!) Ethan is a sophomore who is missing basketball due to a hip injury but is looking forward to the track season. Kaylyn is a second grader.

Thanks to Black Hills Playhouse, we have an updated address for Eric Johnson, legendary director/actor/singer. Over the weekend it was posted that he is under hospice care. A more recent post says he is feeling a bit better with all the mail that has come his way. The new address: Eric Johnson, Calvary Hospital, 1740 Eastchester Road, Bronx NY 10461.

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds announced Tuesday that a new littoral combat ship to be built in Mobile, Ala., by Austal USA will be named the USS Pierre. LCS 38 will be 419 feet long and capable of operating speeds of more than 40 knots. An LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to focus on mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The ship’s construction is due to begin in 2021 with completion in 2024 or 2025. Just last weekend in Groton, Conn., the USS South Dakota, a new Navy submarine, was christened. (News courtesy of “Today’s KCCR News.”)

Baby boy Joey Livermont, son of Mark and Alysia Livermont of Sioux Falls, is “trending in the right direction,” according to Alysia’s post yesterday. Joey was two weeks old Wednesday and now weighs 2.3 pounds. He was one child among quadruplets, the other three of whom did not survive. According to the post, he likely will be in the NICU till the end of April. It’s painful that his parents haven’t been able to hold Joey yet, nor have his siblings been able to see him, but it is encouraging news that he is gaining strength and receiving great care.

Shirley (Von Wald) McClure, 81, Agar, died at home Jan. 31. A family service was held Monday in Gettysburg. She was the daughter of the late Merle and Lucille Von Wald. Shirley is survived by three daughters, Vicky Barr and her husband Kirk of Oakland, Neb., Michelle Buol of Mitchell and Shana Huls and her husband Jim of Lennox; her son Seth McClure and his wife DeAnn of Yankton; a daughter-in-law, Jeanine McClure of Gettysburg; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and a sister, Sharon Heffernan of St. Louis. Among those who preceded Shirley in death were a son, Steven McClure.