Vol. 20, No. 35; Thursday, May 7, 2020

May 7, 2020 | Parker's Midweek Update | 1 comment

Fort Pierre Tourism and Promotion Council

Fort Pierre Tourism
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Hewitt Land Company

Hewitt Land Company
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Brittney Schiefelbein American Family Insurance

Brittney Schiefelbein
American Family Insurance
(605) 224-6627


Voting by mail continues all this month. All registered voters should have received an absentee ballot application from the secretary of state’s office and should be returning that application soon, accompanied by a photocopy of their driver’s license. When the ballot itself arrives, be sure it is mailed in time to arrive at your county auditor’s office no later than Monday, June 1, the day before the primary, municipal and school elections.

There are no primary contests for Democrats.

Republicans in Hughes County will vote on the following races:
— U.S. Senator: Mike Rounds, Scyuller Borglum. (Winner advances to general election.)
— U.S. Representative: Liz Marty May, Dusty Johnson. (Winner advances to general election.)
— Dist. 24 House of Representatives (vote for 2): Bob Lowery, Jeff Monroe, Mike Weisgram, Noel Chicoine, Will Mortenson. (Top two vote-getters advance to general election.)
— Hughes County Commission at-large seat (vote for 2): Randy Brown, Tom Rounds, Troy Bowers. (Top two vote-getters advance to general election.)
— Hughes County Precinct 28 Republican Committeman: Jamie Huizenga, Justin Rollins.

Republicans in Stanley and Sully counties will have the chance to vote on the same races listed above for U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative and Dist. 24 House of Representatives.

In addition, voters only in Fort Pierre’s Ward II will select a city council member from among Dave LaRoche, Scott Deal and Carl Rathbun.

VOTERS: Follow the directions on the absentee ballot application and on the ballot itself as well as on the envelopes. There are signatures required in several places.


Football: The SDHSAA’s football advisory committee met Wednesday but delayed a vote on any plan to reclassify South Dakota high school football, deciding instead to expand the committee. Any change that comes about would not take effect until the 2021 football season.


Thursday: coffee.
Friday-Sunday: black cherry.
Monday-Tuesday: blue mood.
Wednesday-Thursday: laffy taffy.


“You’re complaining about your greying roots and your cabin fever and your bored kids while 70,000 Americans have died, three-fourths of a million are sick, and thousands are currently battlng to win a fight for their lives, flanked by the very selfless caregivers whose work you are actively undoing because you’re overdue a haircut. That’s super ‘pro-life.'”

— John Pavlovitz


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

(1) First-ever Vikings quarterback, George —-.
(5) Northern —-.
(6) Car rental firm.
(7) Broadway musical.
(1) To practice boxing.
(2) Bees’ home.
(3) Alike.
(4) Original Batman, Adam —-.


3 days: Mothers Day (May 10).
10 days: NASCAR season resumes, Darlington, S.C. (May 17).
11 days: Voter registration deadline for June 2 primary/city/school elections (May 18).
18 days: Memorial Day (May 25).
26 days: Primary/city/school elections (June 2).
35 days: PGA Tour resumes, Fort Worth, Texas (June 11-14).
45 days: Fathers Day (June 21).


Little League baseball: There is no definitive word yet on the status of Little League baseball in South Dakota this summer, but the national regionals and the Little League World Series itself in Williamsport, Pa., have been canceled.

Expedition League: The Pierre Trappers and the rest of the league will not open on schedule May 26, according to league officials. In another development related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the home games of the Brandon, Manitoba, team will be played this season somewhere in North Dakota because of the shelter-in-place order that remains in effect in their province.

Minnesota Twins: Fox Sports North is showing a classic Twins game almost every night this month at 7 p.m. CDT. For a schedule of the games check www.foxsportsnorth.com.

Bismarck Larks: The Northwoods college league of which Bismarck is a part has delayed the start of its season indefinitely. It is handicapped because some of its teams are in Wisconsin, a state where a “safer at home” policy is in effect through the end of May. Pierre’s Spencer Sarringar from Northern State is scheduled to play for Bismarck this summer if there is a season.


“Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom. It’s adolescence.”


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

Friday, May 8:
Michael Kendall, Kaitlyn Magee, Daniel Fry, Bob Graff, Christi Kuiper, Tanner Norman, Amber (Ness) Stout, LeRoy Foster, Kathy Lingle, Shelley (Stewart) Wickersham.
— 10th anniversary, Jason/Jodi (Cowan) Harder.

Saturday, May 9:
Tiffany Jastorff-Gillies, Justin Sarvis, Angie (Konechne) Eide, April Lees, Adele Hall, Katelyn Kreycik.
— 17th anniversary, Michael/Tara (Adamski) Kogelmann.

Sunday, May 10:
Nicole (Bourk) Prince, Kylie (Mundt) Erickson, Judy Weisgram, Chad Jungwirth, Shaun Downs, Andrea (Barber) Goebel, Marv Waitman, Virginia Hanson, Brian Rounds, Troy Wanner, Jorgen Martin, Todd Koenecke, Matt Hall, Doralynne (Micklos) Jarvis, Paul Hess, Jason Mangan, Evelyn Gibson.
— 17th anniversary, Todd/Michelle Erickson.
— 18th anniversary, Trevor/Amber Wiebe.
— 6th anniversary, Grant/Monica (Geary) Burgeson.
— 5th anniversary, Monte/Jackie (Christenson) Jessup.
— 17th anniversary, Daniel/Stacy (Hull) Cottrell.

Monday, May 11:
Angel Corcoran, Anna Tinker, Christina (Lawver) Hanson, Cooper Walton, Lita Magedanz, Tynell Kocer, Keanan Fischer, Earl Berg, David Erickson, Tom Sogaard, Brock Axthelm, Evan Roth.
— 1st anniversary, Jerrid/Bridget Conway.
— 7th anniversary, David/Jessica (Smith) Little.

Tuesday, May 12:
Jarret Ripperger, Ashley Heikes, Chris Fry, Clay Pearson, Kay (Calkins) Venjohn, Carly Bass, Valerie Melmer, Kelley Fouts.
— 13th anniversary, Greg/Wanda Goodman.
— 8th anniversary, Luke/Danielle (Magorien) Kaiser.
— 8th anniversary, Charlie/Kamila Magedanz.
— 13th anniversary, Josh/Jody (Maberry) Sting.

Wednesday, May 13:
John Beranek, Keira Ryan, Terri Iverson, Terry Buchholz, Jameson Linn, Sarena (Nuttall) Beastrom, Kristen (Berg) Grohs, Kate Vogel, Ty Norman, Emersyn Tilberg, Shane Bartels, Garry Schrank, Pat Libby, Joanne (Berg) Hight.
— 20th anniversary, Rob/Michelle Dvorak.
— 14th anniversary, Josh/Amanda Ellis.
— 9th anniversary, Jeremy/Laura (Hansen) Mikkelsen.

Thursday, May 14:
Dustin Byrum, Lora (Den Ouden) Moore, Paulette Petersen, Kati Harm, Mindy (Stearns) Sivage, Bodhi Hindman, Paula (Roddewig) Ruedebusch, Tayson Mitchell, Bryant Naylor, Jenna Paxton, Tyler Stoeser, Tom Kallemeyn.
— 15th anniversary, Guy/Ellen Erlenbusch.
— 15th anniversary, Patrick/Holly (Lunn) Miles.
— 15th anniversary, Steve/Brittany Novotny.
— 4th anniversary, Matthew/Stacy (Zeigler) Cwach.


The Pierre Educational Foundation this week continue to post Facebook photos and biographies of the academic scholars in Riggs High School’s 2020 senior class. The annual Evening of Excellence banquet had to be canceled for this year.

The seniors honored in the past week and their college plans include:
— Natalie Mohr, Augustana or University of Minnesota.
— Ruth Howard, medicine at SDSU.
— Morgan Oedekoven, biochemistry/psychology at Dakota Wesleyan.
— Isabel Myren, college to be determined.
— Sarah Hancock, college to be determined.
— Selah Rilling, education at SDSU.
— Nathan Shoup, mechanical engineering at SDSU.
— Kaitlyn Pitlick, medicine at University of Minnesota.
— Taryn Senger, human biology at SDSU.
— Weston Gravatt, pilot training at SDSU.
— Thomas Kropp, health at SDSU.
— Tyler Gere, USD.
— William Kessler, political science/music/accounting at SDSU.


The Scholars of Excellence students name one or more teachers who have been major influences on their educational careers over the years. The following teachers have been listed in the past week (the school listed is where the teacher was working when the student had him or her as a teacher, not necessarily where the teacher works now):

Maria Swartoz, Jefferson Elementary.
Paula Weeldreyer, Jefferson Elementary.
Rob Coverdale, Washington Elementary.
Jay MIckelson, Riggs High.
Roger Edwards, Georgia Morse Middle School.
Cheri Shafer, Buchanan Elementary.
Shawn Lewis, Riggs High.
Sandy Block-Hansen, Washington Elementary.
Sadie Goodman, Riggs High.
Sheryl Nielsen, Georgia Morse Middle School.
Steve Steele, Riggs High.
Taylor Hamblin, Georgia Morse Middle School.
Teresa Johnson, Riggs High.
Tiffany Behma, Riggs High.
Tessa Krueger, Buchanan Elementary.
Kathy Norwick, Georgia Morse Middle School.
Karla Blemaster, Washington Elementary.
Vashti Gibson, Riggs High.
Lezlie Blazius, Kimball, S.D.
Penny Anderson, Jefferson Elementary.


Mark your calendars or set your recording devices, especially if you are or have a high school senior, for 7 p.m. CDT next Friday, May 16. All of the major networks—ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox—as well as 20 other streaming and broadcast partners will televise a national graduation ceremony. The commencement address will be delivered by former President Barack Obama. Among the entertainers and other personalities to appear on the program:
— basketball star LeBron James.
— Broadway star Ben Platt of “Dear Evan Hansen.”
— Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for female education.
— musical entertainers The Jonas Brothers.
— American singer H.E.R.
— Yara Shahidi, actress/activist.
— Bad Bunny, Puerto Rican singer.
— screenwriter Lena Waithe.
— rapper Pharrell Williams.
— soccer star Megan Rapinoe.


“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”

— John Burroughs


Vera Schiefelbein, 89, died April 27 at Avera Maryhouse. A memorial graveside service will be held at a later date at a cemetery in Milbank. Vera graduated from high school at Sisseton and married Perry Schiefelbein in 1950. They lived in Silver Bay, Minn.; Torrance, Calif.; Browns Valley, Minn., Sisseton, Pierre and Chamberlain. Vera worked as a nurse. She is survived by her sons, Brad Schiefelbein and his wife Deb of Pierre and David Schiefelbein and his partner, Sandy Loomis, of Cedaredge, Colo.; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

The South Dakota Hall of Fame will induct the 10 members of its Class of 2020 at events in Chamberlain and Oacoma on Sept. 11-12. One of the inductees will be Pierre philanthropist Walter Panzirer. The grandson of hotel magnate Leona Helmsley, he was named by her as one of five trustees charged with improving lives with programs funded by her fortune. He created the Rural Healthcare Program for the Helmsley Charitable Trust in South Dakota and six other states. The other inductees are:

  • Senator Larry Pressler of Washington, D.C., in the political category. He served South Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1974 to 1976 and in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 1997. He was the principal author of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which broadened Internet capabilities in South Dakota.
  • The late Mamie Pyle of Huron in the political category. She led the effort for women’s suffrage through three statewide constitutional amendment votes until it passed. South Dakota became the 15th state to allow women to vote in 1918 and the 21st state to ratify the 19th Amendment.
  • Mike Cartney of Watertown in the education category. He has been a champion of the technical education system in South Dakota and served as president of Lake Area Technical Institute.
  • Gienna Fouberg of Aberdeen in the education category. She was the state’s Teacher of the Year in 1994 and served on the state board of education for 19 years. She evolved Aberdeen’s Alternative Learning Center and extended it to middle school, the juvenile detention center and the New Beginnings Center.
  • Delta David Gier of Sioux Falls in the arts/entertainment category. Since 2004 he has been music director of the South Dakota Symphony, which has won awards for its programming. He also developed the Lakota Music Project to help bridge the cultural gap between South Dakota white and Native citizens.
  • Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton in the arts/entertainment category. He founded the South Dakota Magazine in 1978 after a career in local newspaper journalism.
  • Kitty Kinsman of Rapid City in the political category. She served as secretary of health in the Mickelson and Janklow administrations and led the 2009 Smoke Free South Dakota legislation.
  • Bruce Long Fox of Rapid City in the education category. As executive director of Rural America Initiatives, he has developed education programs that have impacted the lives of 9,000 at-risk Native American children.
  • Jack Marsh of Sioux Falls in the business category. A former editor of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and a protege of South Dakota journalism legend Al Neuharth, Marsh mentored numerous individuals in the world of journalism

As we mentioned last week, Alma Buechler will celebrate her 108th birthday on Wednesday, May 20. At 2:45 p.m. that day friends and local residents are encouraged to meet in the parking lot in Griffin Park next to the tennis courts to prepare for a 3 p.m. drive-by party. Alma will be out front of Maryhouse to watch the parade in her honor. Cards can be sent to: Alma Buecher, c/o Avera Maryhouse, 717 E. Dakota Ave., Pierre SD 57501.

Hailee Like, Riggs High senior, has announced she will attend Mount Marty College in Yankton to compete in competitive cheer there.

Among the latest summer events to be canceled are Wild Bill Days in Deadwood in June and the air and space show at Ellsworth Air Force Base in late July. In Pierre after two postponements the Post 8 benefit featuring the Dueling Duo piano men has been canceled for this summer.

Penn Williams completed his dialysis treatments in Sioux Falls late last week and was scheduled to have his port removed Monday before coming home to Pierre.

Pierre native Steve Stofferahn was among the Indiana State University faculty members promoted to full professor status. Steve teaches history at ISU in Terre Haute.

Joey Stahl of Onida sank the second hole-in-one of his golfing life last Friday in the wind at Hillsview Golf Course. He aced the 150-yard No. 14 hole with a 7 iron.

Don Mehrer, 75, who worked at the Capital Journal for many years as a pressman and photographer, died April 20 at the Oliver House assisted living facility in Wendell, N.C. He came to Pierre with his family from Highmore in 1949. He left high school early to pursue a career in auto mechanics. In 1964 he married Sharon Taggart, and they had one son. In 1968 he married Betty Skog, and they had a daughter. In 1970 he married Carla Myers, and they had five children. Don began his career at the newspaper at a young age and learned how to run the presses. He discovered a passion for photography and became a polific photographer. He was also a weightlifer, outdoorsman, CB radio enthusiast, snorkeler and metal detecting fan. He is survived by his son, Bryan Mehrer of Brighton, Colo.; five daughters, Rhonda Eiesland of Raleigh, N.C., Brenda Showalter of Rapid City, Tina Mehrer of Raleigh, Christina Mehrer of Colorado Springs and Donelle Nelson of Lead; 18 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren, and two sisters, Rebecca Thoreson of Roseburg, Ore., and Cynthia Suiter of Lead. A celebration of Don’s life will be held at a later date.

Frank and Jasmin (Fosheim) Turner of Hettinger, N.D., posted a unique gender reveal video last week. They are expecting their first child late this summer. Frank was the “star” of the video as those who know him might expect. He cut open a watermelon, declaring, “If it’s blue inside, it’s a boy. If it’s pink, it’s a girl.” It will be a girl.

Our sympathy to the Severyn families on the death of their matriarch, Lillian Severyn, who passed away at the age of 93 on May 2 at ParkWood Apartments. A family service will be held at a later date. Lillian was a life-long member of the Vivian Lutheran Church where she was baptized. She graduated from high school at Vivian in 1944 and attended Dakota Wesleyan to earn a teaching certificate. She taught rural grades 1-8 for five years. She and Burke Severyn were married in 1947. They farmed and ranched in the Vivian area and were active in many community organizations. Lillian wrote the Vivian news column in the Presho newspaper for 20 years. In 2006 the Severyns moved to ParkWood Apartments in Pierre. Lillian was a reading buddy with students at McKinley, Washington and Jefferson elementary schools and Pierre Indian Learning Center. Her husband passed away in 2009. Lillian is survived by her five sons, Dan Severyn of Vivian, Curt Severyn and his wife Teri of Pierre, Joe Severyn and his wife Wanda of Pierre, Mark Severyn and his wife Denise of San Antonio and Vance Severyn of Sioux Falls; 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Maddie Sutton, daughter of former Pierre residents Bob and Lori Sutton of Sioux Falls, was named Senior of the Year at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Shawn Hostler, native of Blunt and graduate of Sully Buttes High School, is a candidate for the Brookings County Commission. Shawn served as a deputy sheriff in Brookings County from 2001 to 2015.

Pat McClemans, former Riggs High teacher and head girls basketball coach, has been named the next head coach of the girls varsity at Watertown High School. This will be his second tenure as head coach of the Arrow girls. His teams there won state championships in 2007 and 2009.

Katherine Vopat, 96, Faulkton, died April 28 at Faulkton Senior Living. A burial service was held at the Faulkton cemetery. She worked at Red Owl and other stores in Faulkton, then at the Faulkton hospital for several years until retiring in 1988. She is survived by three daughters, Barb Lindbloom and Ellen Selting of Pierre and Sandra McGrath of Faulkton, and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

The Fort Pierre city council appointed Dave LaRoche to continue as a council member until after the June 2 municipal election. He is seeking re-election and is being challenged by Scott Deal and Carl Rathbun. The new Ward II councilman would have been determined by this time, but the election scheduled for April 14 was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Pierre resident Kelsey Collier-Wise, who has represented Vermillion’s Central Ward on the city council for the past eight years, Monday night was appointed mayor by the council, replacing Jack Powell, who died last week.

Our belated sympathy to Pierre native Harlow Hyde, who not only lost his mother, Enid Hyde, at the age of 107 last month, but whose wife, Robin Mary Hyde, passed away on March 13 at the age of 70. A memorial service for Robin is tentatively planned for 10:30 a.m. June 16 at the River City Church in DeBary, Fla. She graduated from high school at Mayfield, Minn., in 1968 and from Mankato State in 1972. She and Harlow were married in 1975. They lived in Lincoln, Neb., for 32 years until moving to DeLand, Fla., in 2007. She was a teacher in the Lincoln public schools and Lincoln Christian School. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughter, Kimberly Jones and her husband Jason of Vero Beach, Fla.; her son, Andrew Hyde of Lincoln; her mother, Gladys Smith of Billings, Mont.; two sisters, a brother and a granddaughter.

Joe Pitlick passed away May 3 at the age of 79. A private family service will be held Friday at St. John’s Catholic Church in Fort Pierre. Joe grew up on the family farm north of Pierre. He worked for the Department of Transportation for more than 40 years and also farmed. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Velda Pitlick of Pierre, and six siblings, Kenneth Pitlick of Newcastle, Wyo.; Janet Lehmkuhl, Paul Pitlick and Michael Pitlick, all of Pierre; David Pitlick of Onida, and Tom Pitlick of Casper, Wyo.

One of Pierre’s best-known car salesmen, Fran Keller, died May 4 at the age of 69. A private family service was held May 8 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Fort Pierre. He graduated from Timber Lake High School and attended Northern State College. He came to Pierre to work for the Department of Education but found his calling as a car salesman, first for Wegner Auto, then for Beck Motors from where he retired. He married Jaci Buschbom Casanova in 1989. Besides his wife, Fran is survived by his son, Tyson Keller and his wife Janelle and their son Preston; Jaci’s children, Troy Buschbom and his wife Lena and their two daughters, and Mandy Van Engen and her husband Cory and their three children; his mother, Delila Keller of Timber Lake; his brother, Jerry, and his sisters, Cheryl and Sharon, and their spouses and six nephews and nieces.


My voting responsibility for the June 2 election is done. The absentee ballot application received from the county auditor was returned; a ballot arrived in the mail about a week later, and I mailed in the ballot today. (Remember the envelope in which you return your ballot takes two postage stamps, not one.) Since Democrats in this state usually have little for which to vote, especially in a primary election, I register as a Republican so that I can vote in their primary. It’s about the only way in South Dakota to have a say in who gets into office because we all know that in general elections the Republican wins, no matter what, no matter whom. (At least it was close and down to the wire in the governor’s race last time.) Besides the two statewide primary races the Repubs have, here in the legislative district where I reside, there is an interesting race. The woman running was appointed to the seat by the governor about five months ago, so she never has been elected in the true sense, but she has “re-elect” on her campaign ads and posters. I guess it’s just an issue of semantics since she is the incumbent and, if she wins, she will be returned to office—sort of re-elected. She has a pretty good chance of winning, too, for two reasons: (1) she has guns and babies all over her campaign literature, and those two issues just about clinch any election for a candidate in this state, and (2) her opponent, just five days after getting out of a four-year sentence for aggravated assault, among other things, filed his candidacy petitions. They say anybody can run for office, and here that is the case.

Back in the old days before reality set in this year, birthday parties for little boys were noisy but fun affairs, such as a bouncy-castle business or a Nerd gun shooting gallery. But my grandson Parker, who turned 9 today, had to settle for less this time. Before 7 a.m. a lady from a sign company pulled up out front and began setting up a display of big letters that read, “Happy 9th Birthday, Parker!” I suspect her firm will have a lot of business this month for high school graduates. Parker had a couple major presents to open, and his best friend from school was allowed to come play for a couple hours. An Oreo cookie birthday cake prepared by his grandmother was another highlight. Maybe in the heart of summer we can have a real birthday party.

The National Football League announces it will release its schedule for the coming season Thursday night (May 7), a schedule of games that may never happen at all or, if it does, without spectators. But a football season is worth the risk of a few hundred lives, so we will play along. Can you imagine the uproar, the wringing of hands, the gnashing of teeth, the swear words out of the mouths of sports radio talk people, the nationwide anguish if the Super Bowl opponents next Feb. 7 turn out to be the Patriots (AGAIN!) and the Buccaneers (Brady and Gronk AGAIN!). Oh, that would be sweet. And the Super Bowl will be played on Tampa Bay’s home field.

If we needed any more evidence that spring is here, it’s the fact that storm season is also here. Twice today storms began building up over in Wyoming west of the Black Hills shortly after noon, and by late afternoon, right on schedule, here they came. Out here storms, no matter the season, seem to hit the northern Hills first—Lead, Deadwood, Spearfish, they know the drill—then come barreling down I-90 to Rapid City and Box Elder. That happened twice today, and the hail was impressive if not damaging. We have no choice but to get used to it, looking to the west every mid-afternoon to see what’s on its way.

A survey of the 50 states that came scrolling across my news feed today stated that South Dakota is No. 1 in the nation! Whee! That’s never a good thing because usually being No. 1 means we’re dead last, no matter the category. Today we’re No. 1 in the fewest restrictions laid upon us poor burdened citizens by our leaders due to the coronavirus pandemic. Yet the howling, the bitterness, the protesting, the whining—one would think we have actually had it bad when all we have had to do is just stay home. Even that was just too much for us to handle around here. Can you imagine a South Dakotan being in Canada where a shelter-in-place remains in effect until September. If that were the case here, I might have to get out my assault rifles, grow a beard, put on some leather, paint a couple signs showing confederate and Nazi flags, probably using misspelled words, and march right up to the Capitol in Pierre and parade around looking tough and manly like a true patriot.

An essential trip to the nearest grocery store this morning gave me a little encouragement that not everyone feels the virus pandemic is over and, if it isn’t, it surely isn’t going to affect us here. At the store I patronized, every employee was wearing a mask, and almost all of the customers in the place also had them on. So did I. Perhaps one reason was that it was still only mid-morning so the customer numbers were low and middle-aged or beyond. But it was good to feel that, if I had to be out and about at all, others felt uncomfortable doing so as much as I did. Late this evening, however, my mood changed when I saw photos and read details of Trump’s visit to a Honeywell factory in Phoenix that produces face masks. He didn’t wear one, of course. That was to be expected. But the fact that the music blaring over the loudspeakers at that place was “Live and Let Die.” Really? Does that surprise anyone? Only 70,000 deaths so far on the way to 100,000 by midsummer. And now, while the unemployment lines stretch around city blocks and millions are hungry, he wants millions of dollars spent on black paint for his trophy—the border wall—so that graffiti can’t be painted on it. “Live and Let Die” is appropriate for his theme song. Play it at your convention, Republicans!

In the absence of live sports to cover and broadcast, Midco Sports Network and the other sports outlets have been searching for content to fill their programming hours until actual games return. Midco has been staging a Mascot Madness, taking the best school mascots from South Dakota into one bracket and the best mascots from North Dakota schools on the other side. Viewers have been voting at each match-up at each level, starting with the original 64, then the 32, then the Sweet 16, then the Elite Eight. As of this morning, we are down to the “final four.” On the South Dakota side the last two survivors are the Quarriers of Dell Rapids and the Gorillas of Gregory. The North Dakota side of the bracket shows the last two to be the Firebirds of Devils Lake and the Sabers of Bismarck Legacy. Voting is under way this morning as I write this to get us to the final two.


To the Class of 2020: I know it didn’t go as you thought or wanted. I’m so sorry about that. I really am. But I want you to know that there is no other class like you. You are now unique in our world’s story as is what awaits you. Our world is waiting to be shaped by your compassion, creativity, care, ingenuity and character. Right now we need you more than ever. You will change us all for the better, and we are ready to be changed by you.

— Maria Shriver



1 Comment

  1. Juanita McKeever

    Thank you Parker.


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