Vol. 20, No. 34; Thursday, April 30, 2020

Apr 30, 2020 | Parker's Midweek Update | 0 comments

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Pierre Athletic Coaches Association: The PACA named Garrett Stout as its Male Athlete of the Year and Mikah Moser as its Female Athlete of the Year. The PACA honored Steve Steele of football as Head Coach of the Year, Travis Heasley of wrestling as Assistant Coach of the Year and Ryan Munson of football as Middle School Coach of the Year. The PACA gave its Friend of PACA Award to the late Dennis Zabel and to Bruce Kessler of Gator’s Pizza.


Last week the Pierre Educational Foundation, unable to hold its banquet honoring Riggs High’s top-ranking academic scholars this year, began posting photos and information on each of them on the foundation’s website and its Facebook page. Last week’s Update listed the first group of those honored seniors. As of yesterday afternoon, here are those who have been posted since last week:

Kaitlyn Swenson—biology at NDSU.
Klarissa Gorham—radiology technician at Mitchell Tech.
Kamden Carter—Lake Area Tech.
Kylee Thorpe—biology at SDSU.
Kodi Severyn—dental hygienist training at a school to be determined.
Kyla Keyes—elementary education at SDSU.
Halli Drewes—nursing.
Kenzie Kuxhaus—Presentation College.
Jasmine Rounds—pre-med/biology at SDSU.
Mackenzie Sarratt—medicine at USD.
Maria Noyes—environmental science at Black Hills State.
Meg Erwin—pre-med/athletic training at UND.
Melinda Clements—interior design at NDSU.
Matthew Heilman—civil engineering at School of Mines.
Mikah Moser—math education at Black Hills State.
Cobey Carr—psychology at Dakota Wesleyan.
Morgan Jones—exercise science at Dixie State (Utah).

Each of the honored scholars chooses one teacher from his or her educational career who most influenced him or her. Here are those who have been recognized in the past week (the school listed is where he or she was teaching when the senior was a student there):
Darlene Braun, St. Joseph Elementary.
Elizabeth Vogt, Riggs High.
Greg Starr, Riggs High.
Guy Hunter, Riggs High.
Jen Allen, Buchanan Elementary.
John Kalda, Riggs High.
Joseph Lehman, Georgia Morse Middle School.
Jordan Meland, Riggs High.
Kelly Brandt, Riggs High.
Kim Bierle, Riggs High.
Kim Livermont, Washington Elementary.
Althea Dillon, Pepper Ridge Elementary.
Kim Rogers, Georgia Morse Middle School.
Kimberley Davis, Washington Elementary.
Megan Deal, Washington Elementary.
Mackenzie McKeithan-Jensen, Riggs High.
Jenny Hodges, Riggs High.
Missy Slaathaug, Riggs High.
Jay Schwartz, Riggs High.
Craig Ullmann, Georgia Morse Middle School.


“The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keep out the joy.”

— Jim Rohn


Mount Marty men’s basketball: Lincoln Jordre, Sully Buttes graduate who just completed his sophomore year at Northern, is transferring to Mount Marty College in Yankton to be part of the Lancers’ basketball program.


This week’s puzzle was composed by Brad Cruse. If you would like to make a 4×4 crossword puzzle, do so and submit it to parkerhome16@hotmail.com.

Directions: Make a 16-square 4×4 box. Number the top row of boxes 1, 2, 3 and 4 from left to right. Number the left-hand row of boxes 1, 5, 6 and 7 from top to bottom.

(1) What soccer players shoot for.
(5) ____-bodied.
(6) Boxer Spinks.
(7) “For Your ____ Only.”

(1) Strong wind.
(2) To comply with commands.
(3) Topical herbal medicine.
(4) Concave or complex.

Answer at the bottom of this Midweek Update.


Thursday: lemon.


18 days: Voter registration deadline for June 2 primary/city/school elections (May 18).
25 days: Memorial Day (May 25).
26 days: Pierre Trappers season opener (May 26).
33 days: Primary/city/school elections (June 2).
42 days: PGA Tour resumes, Fort Worth (June 11-14).
88 days: PGA Champions Tour resumes, Grand Blanc, Mich. (July 27-Aug. 2)
99 days: Pierre Players’ “Native Gardens” (Aug. 7-9, 13-15).
99 days: Sturgis motorcycle rally (Aug. 7-16).
106 days: State 4-H Finals Rodeo, Fort Pierre (Aug. 14-16).
109 days: Democratic National Convention, Milwaukee (Aug. 17-20).
112 days: First day of school in Pierre (Aug. 20).
113 days: BluntFest (Aug. 21-23).
116 days: Republican National Convention, Charlotte (Aug. 24-27).


“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference, that you have lived and lived well.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson


— Can anybody out there let me know if these events are still on for this summer? (1) The 1970-79 all-’70s class reunion June 18-20. (2) the state high school rodeo in Fort Pierre. (3) the Riggs Class of 2000 20-year reunion June 20.


Bismarck Larks: Pierre native Spencer Sarringar, red-shirt sophomore catcher from Northern State University, has been signed to be on the roster of the Larks in the 22-team Northwoods League, a summertime league for college-age players with teams stretching from Bismarck in the west all the way through Minnesota, Iowa, Ontario, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana into Michigan.

American Legion baseball: South Dakota Legion baseball officials expect to make a decision by about May 15 whether this summer’s season will begin. The national regional tournament and Legion World Series have already been canceled for this year. In Rapid City, Post 22 has canceled all of the May games on its schedule.

MLB Hall of Fame: This summer’s induction into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y., which was to have honored Larry Walker, Derek Jeter, Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller has been canceled. These men will be inducted along with the Class of 2021 inductees in July 2021 instead.


PGA Champions Tour (Tom Byrum): The Champions Tour will resume July 27-Aug. 2 at the Ally Challenge in Grand Blanc, Mich., after being idle since March and continuing to be idle for the next three months. According to the tour’s website, the Sanford International, the Sioux Falls stop on the Champions Tour, is still on the schedule for Sept. 11-13.


“Some day I’m going to die. This I grudgingly accept. . . . . . But this much I guarantee. I will not die of having wagered my life that TV carnival barkers, political halfwits and MAGA-hat-wearing geniuses know more than experts with RNs, MDs and PhDs after their names. In other words, I will not die of stupid.”

— Leonard Pitts, Jr., Miami Herald columnist


Thursday, April 30:
Paula (Darger) Gunderson, Frank Whitebird, Dave Knudson, Jason Rumpca, Virgil Mikkelsen (#92), Eileen Dean, Adan Calkins, Juleana Enright, Tyler Merriam, Jake Mortenson, Diana Heymans.
— 4th anniversary, Troy/Kelsey (Hanson) Roth.
— Anniversary, Rob/Amanda (Chick) Deelstra.

Friday, May 1:
Connor McKee, Mark Senftner, Ryan Swartz, Connor McKittrick, Dianne Wegner, Scott Swenson, Emilie Oltman, Michelle (Young) McCullough, Parker Reid Knox, Elsie Fuchs.
— 10th anniversary, Jeremy/Christine (Gors) Ellwein.

Saturday, May 2:
Chris Henrichsen, Josh Joel, Debra Bollinger, Jared Vermuondson, Stacy (Zeigler) Cwach, Ross Vander Vorste.
— 11th anniversary, Mat/Bre Ripperger.
— 11th anniversary, Mike/Terri Mehlhaf.

Sunday, May 3:
Jason Dodson, Sarah Neuhauser, Brooke (Severson) Lusk, Addilene Sanderson, Cari (Jorgenson) Leidholt.
— 12th anniversary, Devin/Beth Weingart.
— 6th anniversary, Derek/Stephanie (Wells) Todd.

Monday, May 4:
Noah Odden, Jessica Larson, Brett Anderson, Shelby Guthrie, Deb Rumrill, June (Cary) Classen, Suzanna (Somsen) Moe, Jared Tabbert.
— 1st anniversary, Erik/Lauren Gilbertson.

Tuesday, May 5:
Carissa Ott, Tevan Bryant, Track Lindekugel, Shelly (Schochenmaier) Buseman, Maxwell Johnson, Max Hanson, Kit (Hartley) Schmidt, Weston Kusser, Jared Martin, Bev Sprenkle, Wren (Bishop) Hollingsworth, Jason Garrett, RhyAnne Schoenhard, Karen Kern, Blake Anderson.
— 9th anniversary, Mike/Kate Clegg.
— 8th anniversary, John/Courtney (Zander) Fisk.
— 8th anniversary, Jason/Lexi Zeigler.
— 8th anniversary, John/Ashlee Rounds.

Wednesday, May 6:
Rashelle Tassler, Molly (Hanson) Prieksat, Nicole Ormesher, Jean Person, Brecklyn Mitchell, Beth Eckman, Colton Schutz, Tammy (Helgeson) Cruse, Isaac Maxwell, Josh Rose.
— 14th anniversary, Dan/Jessica Rasmussen.
— 14th anniversary, Moe/Rochelle Reede.
— 3rd anniversary, Justin/Mackenzie (McKeithan) Jensen.

Thursday, May 7:
Sharon Erlenbusch, Jessica (Hoyme) Oltman, Tenley LIndekugel, Devin Rounds, Beckee (Snyder) Biasi, McKenzie Dulas, Vicky (Eldridge) Reagle, Brayden Frick, Amanda (Nystrom) Van Balen, Kris Dozark, Sophie Intorn.
— 4th anniversary, Tyson/Janelle (Flottmeyer) Keller.
— 4th anniversary, Garrett/Tess Weber.
— 15th anniversary, Shane/Brandi (Kebach) Jackson.
— 15th anniversary, Pete/Nichole (Hunsley) Metzinger.


Mike Meyer retired after 44 years of service with the Hughes County Highway Department last week, retiring as its superintendent.

James “Jamie” Meyer, who attended school in Pierre into his third-grade year, died April 21 in Sioux Falls. A family service was held Monday at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. Memorials may be directed to the Helpline Center’s Suicide and Crisis Support Fund at helplinecenter.org. Born in Texas, Jamie lived in Pierre from the age of six weeks until he was a third-grader. He attended the Faith Lutheran Church preschool and Jefferson Elementary while he was in Pierre. The family moved to Sioux Falls in 2013, a move with which, according to his obituary, he was not happy. He attended the West Central schools until this past December, then started at New Tech High School in January. He is survived by his parents, Ryan and Maranda Meyer; his brother, Zane; his grandparents, Ken and Karen Meyer, Mary Mayer and Linus Mayer; his great-grandfather, Cap Fergen, and his adopted grandpa, Glenn Broski.

Oahe Days, Pierre’s annual summertime arts and music festival, and its accompanying events have officially been canceled for this year. So have Capital Area Soccer Association’s spring recreational season and Highmore’s Old Settlers Days celebration and all-class reunion.

Pierre Players has announced new dates for the performances of “Native Gardens,” which was to have been staged this week. The new dates are Aug. 7-8-9 and 13-14-15. All of those are evening shows except for Aug. 9’s matinee.

BankWest chief auditor Keith Skrondahl retired this week after 40 years with the bank.

The Associated School Boards of South Dakota can’t have its banquet honoring the state’s top 1% graduating seniors this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The governor traditionally addresses the luncheon in Pierre. Nevertheless the ASBSD listed the students who would have been recognized there, including Sarah Hancock and Morgan Oedekoven from Riggs High, Reid Wieczorek from Stanley County High and Shalie Weinheimer from Sully Buttes High.

Officials in Sturgis have determined June 15 to be the deadline for deciding whether this summer’s motorcycle rally will or will not be held.

Harlan Everson died at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital April 19 after a short illness. Graveside services were held Monday at Riverside Cemetery. A 1975 graduate of Riggs High School, Harlan began work during high school at his father’s Central Sand and Rock, going full-time there after graduating. He worked for a number of construction companies, including Bak Construction and Fisher Sand & Gravel. He is survived by three brothers, Roger Everson and his wife JoAnn of Florence, Ariz., Quentin Everson and his wife Teri of Sioux Falls, and Dale Everson of Pierre; six nephews and nieces, two uncles and two aunts as well as other relatives.

The 1880 Train, which usually runs round-trips between Hill City and Keystone, has delayed its opening for the summer season until June 1. Between June 1 and June 15 they will have only one trip per day, leaving the Hill City depot at 10 a.m.

Rob Kittay had a heart issue develop last week. After being taken to the emergency room in Pierre on Friday, he was flown to the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls where two stents were inserted Saturday and two more on Monday. He was released to come home Tuesday.

Verne Dean Brakke, 96, died April 24. There will be no public funeral service. However, at 1 p.m. Saturday a livestream link for the family service at that hour will be posted. Mr. Brakke graduated from Presho High School in 1940 and attended South Dakota State College. He returned home to farm with his parents on the Brakke homestead. He married Marion Lillebo in 1947, and they raised their four children there. While farming, Mr. Brakke also worked for 28 years as a DeKalb seed salesman. In the fall of 2016 the Brakkes left the farm to move into Edgewood Senior Living in Pierre. Last December he moved to the skilled care wing of Avera Maryhouse. He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Marion Brakke; three children, Curtis Brakke and his wife Barbara of Green Valley, Ariz., Verne Brakke and his wife Debbie of Pierre, and Karen Tuschen and her husband Wayne of Lake Madison; 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Kristen Job has decided to take a leave of absence from her teaching position at Westside Middle School in the Omaha suburbs to go to Nebraska-Lincoln to work on her Ph.D. in gifted education with an emphasis on Twice Exceptional Learners (those who fall in both gifted and special education worlds) with a focus on rural communities.

Curt Goehring, long-time Pierre city employee, died April 24 at Avera Maryhouse. No public service will be held. Growing up in Flandreau, he graduated from high school at Slayton, Minn., in 1957. He served in the U.S. Army and then the Army Reserve until 1963. Curt came to Pierre and began working for the city electric department. He spent 37 years in that department, retiring as its superintendent. He and the former Mary Lou Walsh were married in 1974. Curt is survived by his wife; his daughter, Kate Ashbaugh and her husband Shaun; two grandchildren; a brother, Edward Goehring of Milford, Iowa; a sister, Claris Nord of Slayton, Minn., and six sisters-in-law.

Kerry Bader, who grew up in Pierre and attended Buchanan Elementary School and Riggs High School, died April 26 at the age of 38. He worked for Overhead Door Company in Sioux Falls and for CHS Midwest Cooperative and Overhead Door Company in Pierre. In 2014 he became a partner in All-Pro Garage Door Company. Since this past December he had been working for Hanson Lawn Care Services. He is survived by his mother, Lori Jewett and her husband Waldon; his father, Boyce Bader and his wife Jenny; his brothers, Kevin and Thayne; his sister, Kaylee Jo, and his grandmothers, Alice Jewett and Myrna Fiddler.

Alma Buechler, who lives at Avera Maryhouse, will observe her 108th birthday on May 20. Unfortunately right now her family members and friends can’t get in to visit her in person. Alma has two living children in Pierre–Daph Richards and Jderry Buechler. She also has 12 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and 16 great-great-grandchildren. (News courtesy of Pierre Capital Journal)

South Dakota Community Foundation’s “Let It Shine, South Dakota” event will take place Friday night from 9:30 to 10 p.m. CDT and 8:30 to 9 p.m. MDT as a thank-you to health-care workers and first responders. In 12 cities including Pierre, videos will be taken from airplanes to show how the state lights up. The event is a fund-raiser for SDCF’s Coronavirus Response Fund. Details can be found at the Facebook page entitled Storybuilt Media. To contribute during the light-up event go to https://sdcommunityfoundation.org/covid-19.

Allison Mickelson, one of the stars of “Fun Home,” which is being performed right now in Juneau, Alaska, and Gary Busby, the show’s music director, will perform a live concert this Saturday evening at the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau as a fund-raiser for the theater.

Davin and Natalie (Hove) Yost became parents on April 28. Their son, Gabriel Gene Yost, weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and measured 20 inches. The Yosts live in Sioux Falls where Davin works for the South Dakota Army National Guard and works construction with his father and brother. Natalie will be a stay-at-home mother but also continues her photography business.

Riggs High alumnus Jim McLain, who has been teaching this year at Georgia Morse Middle School in Pierre, will be teaching starting this fall in Quito, Ecuador, at a bilingual international school where he will teach high school geography and English.

Freda Lawhon, 91, died April 24 at Avera Maryhouse. No public service will be held at this time, but a celebration of her life will take place at a later date. Freda grew up in Missouri and married Walter (Ray) Lawhon in 1947. In 1954 they vacationed in South Dakota, an experience which prompted them to immediately move here. They raised their family at home along the Bad River. From 1954 to 1979 Freda worked for Northwestern Bell as an operator, a PBX instructor and a central office clerk. From 1979 to 1997 she was switchboard operator at St. Mary’s Hospital. She is survived by her sons, James Lawhon and Terry Lawhon and his wife Rhonda; six grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

With Mothers Day only 10 days away, remember that those mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers who are in nursing homes and assisted living facilities likely will not be able to have visitors or get out to go to family dinners. So get your cards mailed and flowers ordered early!


“The idea that the people who are distancing to protect their families, their communities and their country are somehow cowards is obnoxious. . . . People who are answering the call to distance are not doing it because they live in fear. Good, decent people who know they have a responsibility to themselves, their families and their communities to make decisions that involve discomfort and sacrifice and, yes, stay home aren’t doing it because they are fearful. They are responsible, rational adults.”

— Bonnie Petrie, Texas Public Radio


No sooner had the Midweek Update dated today been sent out than the two race tracks down by Jefferson decided at someone’s urging to not let spectators into their Saturday events. It will be interesting to see how each car’s crew puts into practice those infamous social distancing guidelines, but you know they will!

This was to have been a big weekend for the theater department at Central High here in Rapid City. This was the year of doing a musical, and “Guys and Dolls” was to have opened tonight. But, of course, since school hasn’t been in session in the buildings since mid-March, all activities were cancelled. We hear Central will do a musical next school year (if we have one), but that doesn’t do much for this year’s seniors who have missed so much. Our community theater out here lost its spring musical, too, although it’s on the tentative schedule for this fall if we have a season then.

One thing the coronavirus and the politicians can’t do anything about is the weather, and this Saturday was a gorgeous spring day. I picked up donuts curbside from Jerry’s Cakes & Donuts and delivered them to my two daughters’ respective homes on the west side of town, staying outside at one place and running inside for a couple minutes at the other only to get a photocopy made of my driver’s license. The drive across town showed me a couple not-so-surprising things—the city parks, which are supposedly closed by the city council’s ordinance—were anything but closed. Packs of people all over the place! I didn’t drive by the big-box stores, but Facebook posts indicated that whole families were in Menard’s where a sign says no one under 16 can be admitted, and only a few people were wearing masks in one of the supermarkets. Live and let die, they say! My live-in grandson and I spent a couple hours in the backyard sunshine, painting rocks with acrylic paint with which to decorate the flower garden his mom has in front of the house. We squeezed in a couple walks—one short one on our Route 7 and one long one on our Route 4. I also spent a good hour or more transferring, one at a time, the names and numbers from my contact list of my venerable flip-top cell phone to the new phone. I have submitted to what most of you call “progress” with a phone where I can read my e-mail, get baseball scores and check weather radar. How have I ever survived without such a device!

This would have been a chaotic but satisfying day if things had been “normal,” but of course they haven’t been and won’t be any time soon despite what the politicians say as they devise their “back to normal” guidelines. At the Canyon Lake Senior Center we have a fall concert and a spring concert to raise operating funds for the center. Performing are the Joyful Gals & Guys chorus, which I happen to direct and accompany, and the New Horizons Band, a phenomenal 50-piece group of musicians who did not throw away their instruments when they left school 30, 40, 50 and 60 years ago. But with the senior center locked up since mid-March, our two groups have not been practicing or performing, and thus the spring concert, which would have been today, never had a chance of taking place. Our chorus had been rehearsing since the first of the new year on segments of 30 songs in 30 minutes, a musical tour of the United States. “From Sea to Shining Sea” was to have been our theme, and we were to sing such songs as Perry Como’s “Seattle,” “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Blue Hawaii,” “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” “Basin Street Blues,” “Carolina in the Morning,” “Abilene,” “Tennessee Waltz,” “New York, New York,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Back Home Again in Indiana,” “Sioux City Sue” and “Black Hills of Dakota,” among many others. But it never happened. Now we shakily look ahead to fall. This chorus sings each Thursday at a nursing home, an assisted living center or some other senior citizens facility, but that hasn’t been happening either since mid-March because all of those places have been on lock-down. We hope to resume in September, but can we expect that nursing homes will be allowing visitors by then? For that matter, a couple of our singers have already expressed concern about whether they would even consider entering such a place to sing. This virus and the restrictions that it has placed on people of our age may have brought an end to our chorus’ very existence.

The Dove soap people have a TV commercial that begins by asking when the last time was that I washed my hands. Then it immediately shows a clock counting down 20 seconds, one second at a time. “Go ahead; we’ll wait,” the message says, and it has me feeling guilty every time I see it—guilty enough so that I do indeed run into the bathroom to wash my hands. In some cases advertising does indeed work!

Among the recurring messages I keep hearing on TV is “We will all get through this together.” Well, as a matter of fact, all of us won’t. A dozen South Dakotans have died of the virus, and nationwide the toll is in the tens of thousands. But the rush to get people back to work, the businesses that have been closed reopened and the economy flowing again overlook the fact that the number of deaths from coronavirus will continue to increase. It won’t stop. The politicians admit as much. I can’t even bear to watch the local city council meetings on the virus ordinances any more, but last night one of the most prominent local rabble-rousers said, “There are worse things than dying,” as the council voted to lessen the restrictions that most of the city has been ignoring anyway and put in place new restrictions which also won’t be enforced. I suppose nobody challenged her to name one thing that is worse than dying. One of these days the only things that people won’t be able to do are the things I want to be doing—going to church, going to a play, going to a graduation, going to a concert, going to the library, going to a baseball game, going to the courthouse. I admit that being unable to do any one of those things is not worse than dying. They are merely inconveniences and perhaps disappointments. Maybe by fall those activities will be available. Maybe the kids will even go to school and we’ll have football, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” That phrase I keep hearing is getting quite tiresome. But it’s obviously a sprint, not a marathon, to get businesses open. When I have to go out for something—and that is not often—I will patronize those businesses that have taken and continue to take the utmost precautions. I can get along till at least fall without going out to eat in a dine-in place, and I can get along without patronizing a bar or a casino or a nail place or a hair salon or even church. Since I have in my family a daughter, a son-in-law and a son who work at the hospital or its adjoining facilities every day, I assure you in our family at least there is no sprinting to full normalcy. I wish the rest of the population out there would at least be smart and considerate of the health-care workers who will take care of them if the situation arises. I know some of you are, so thank you. Be smart and stay safe.




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