Vol. 20, No. 46; Thursday, July 23, 2020

Jul 23, 2020 | Parker's Midweek Update | 2 comments

Fort Pierre Tourism and Promotion Council

Fort Pierre Tourism
and Promotion Council
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Hewitt Land Company

Hewitt Land Company
(605) 791-2300

Brittney Schiefelbein American Family Insurance

Brittney Schiefelbein
American Family Insurance
(605) 224-6627


“If you’re not hopeful and optimistic, then you just give up. You have to take the long, hard look and just believe that, if you’re consistent, you will succeed.”

— Rep. John Lewis, 1940-2020


Pierre Post 8 schedule:
— Tuesday-Wednesday: first-round playoff series.
— Aug. 3-4: second-round playoff series (if they qualify).
— Aug. 7-9: state tournament (if they qualify).

Post 8 vs. Rapid City Post 320 Shooters: In the first game of the Rapid City Veterans Classic, Post 8 scored in all six at-bats and shut down the Shooters, 8-0. With a six-games-in-four-days schedule facing them, the Eights needed somebody to pitch a great game, and A.J. Goeden responded, walking only one, striking out three and allowing five hits in his shutout. An Andy Gordon RBI single made it 1-0 in the first inning. In the second Jack Van Camp made it 2-0 on a triple, and Garrett Stout had an RBI single (3-0). A Maguire Raske grounder drove in a third-inning run as did a Matt Lusk single (5-0). The score became 6-0 in the fourth when a run came home on a passed ball. In the fifth Van Camp’s single drove in the seventh run. Collin Bruggeman’s RBI single in the sixth completed the scoring. Lusk, Gordon and Van Camp had two hits each among Pierre’s 10.

Post 8 vs. Sioux Falls West: A crucial game against a Class “A” South Dakota opponent, Sioux Falls West, saw Pierre respond with a six-run first inning, starting with another leadoff home run by Stout. After a second run scored on a grounder, A.J. Goeden’s three-run double on a two-strike count with two outs opened up the game. Stout had an RBI single when he batted for the second time in that first inning. In the second Lusk’s fielder’s choice, helped with an error on a throw from third to home, plated a run, and another scored on the West catcher’s errant throw to second base. Leading 8-0, Pierre scored five times in the third on RBI hits by River Iverson, Andrew Coverdale, Raske and Lusk and a sacrifice fly by Gordon. Coverdale’s fourth hit of the game in four at-bats drove home a single run in the fourth. The game ended after five due to the 10-run rule. Another heroic pitching performance, allowing no use from the bullpen, was thrown by Lincoln Kienholz, who allowed three hits and one walk while fanning six. Raske, Stout and Iverson had two hits each among Pierre’s 13 in addition to Coverdale’s four base knocks. So for the first day of the Rapid City tournament, Pierre scored in 10 consecutive innings and failed to score in only one and accumulated 22 runs and 23 hits while making not a single error in the field.

Post 8 vs. Laurel, Mont., 406 Flyers: Leading by only 6-5 into the fifth inning, Post 8 poured on the offense in the final two innings—five runs on six hits and three errors in the top of the fifth, followed by nine runs on eight hits and an error in the sixth—and beat the Flyers, 20-6, in a game ending after six innings. Lincoln Kienholz went 4-for-4 at the plate as Pierre pounded out 19 hits and again had an errorless game in the field. Kienholz and Jack Van Camp, who had three hits, each drove in two runs. Elliot Leif in relief threw four innings, giving up only one run and two hits and striking out four. Bennett Dean started the game and was replaced in the third after giving up seven hits and five runs.

Post 8 vs. Rapid City Post 22: Pierre took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an Andy Gordon double, but Post 22 scored four runs from the third through the fifth innings to take a 4-1 lead. Post 8 got a run back in the sixth on an infield grounder off Kienholz’s bat, but the Eights left the bases loaded when they had their best chance. Pierre had five hits, and Cade Hinkle, River Iverson, Maguire Raske, Matt Lusk and Gordon each had one of them. Van Camp pitched five innings, giving up six hits and four runs while fanning four, but the Hardhats prevailed, 5-2, giving Pierre a 3-1 record in the tournament. More importantly, it was a game that counted in the state postseason seed-point standings.

Post 8 vs. Gillette: The Rough Riders from Wyoming powered through the Fitzgerald Stadium pool of the Veterans Classic with an unbeaten 5-0 record, taking it to Pierre in the final game of pool play, 11-1, in six innings. The only run for Post 8 was a solo home run to left field by Jack Van Camp in the third inning, a blast which at the time put Pierre ahead by 1-0. But a five-run bottom of the third that featured four walks, an infield error, a three-run homer and a solo homer put Gillette on top to stay.

Post 8 vs. Mitchell: Set up with Mitchell in the game matching the third-place team in each pool of the Veterans Classic, Post 8 found itself in another game that counts in the postseason seed-points standings, and Pierre made the most of the chance to solidify its fourth-place slot. To begin with, Garrett Stout kept Mitchell in check, pitching all five innings and allowing only two hits in his shutout in a 10-0 win. Pierre scored five runs in the second as Van Camp, Goeden, Stout and Coverdale had RBI hits. A fielder’s choice scored a run in the third, Gordon’s double plated a run in the fourth, and then came the dramatic bottom of the fifth. Pierre’s eighth run scored on an infield error, then Stout drove a ball out of the park for a two-run homer to end the game via the 10-run rule. Stout, Lusk and Goeden had two hits each among Pierre’s 10. So the Eights went 4-2 over the four-day Veterans Classic and won two of the three games vs. South Dakota opponents which mattered the most. Gillette went unbeaten in six games to win the tournament championship, beating Alliance in the championship game. Pierre outscored its six opponents 58-22 as three of the four wins were shutouts. Stout had two homers and seven runs batted in for the weekend, Goeden six RBIs and Van Camp five RBIs.

Post 8 vs. Mandan: In a marathon opener of a doubleheader last night in North Dakota, Mandan beat Pierre, 16-15, in eight innings. Post 8 seemed to be out of the game right at the start when Mandan scored eight times on only two hits, but with three runs in the second and five in the third, Pierre tied it up 8-8. However, Mandan answered right away with five for a 13-8 lead. In the sixth Pierre crawled to within 13-10, but Mandan answered with two to restore a five-run lead. In their last at-bat in the seventh, Pierre scored five times to tie the game at 15-15 as Garrett Stout, River Iverson and Andrew Coverdale provided RBI hits. Mandan put across the winning run in extra innings. Pierre pitching gave up 13 walks and hit three batters while the team added two errors, so Mandan was given plenty of free baserunners. Post 8 had 16 hits but received no walks from Mandan pitching. Coverdale had a 4-for-5 night as a hitter. In the nightcap Pierre took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on two RBIs by Bennett Dean, and an RBI double by Will Van Camp made it 3-0 in the fourth. With Mandan within 3-2, Pierre plated four in the fifth with Dean driving in two of them, Will Van Camp one and Maguire Raske one. Mandan was within 7-4 after six innings. Matt Lusk came in to pitch in the bottom of the seventh and earned his fourth save of the season, striking out the side although an error, an infield hit and a hit batter loaded the bases for Mandan and brought their potential winning run to the plate. Justin Houlette picked up the pitching win, going six innings and allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out four. At the plate A.J. Goeden was 3-for-4 as Post 8 pounded out 14 hits. Pierre’s season record is 25-16.

Legion baseball seed-point standings: With only a smattering of games remaining for some of the teams, the matchups for the first round of the playoffs next week are almost determined. Pierre Post 8 stayed in fourth place this week, and that would mean home-field advantage in both the first- and second-round playoff series. The two teams right behind Pierre—Renner and Harrisburg—did Pierre a favor by splitting rather than sweeping a doubleheader Tuesday, so neither gained ground on Post 8. Harrisburg, now sixth, is done against South Dakota opponents with a 13-10 record. However, Renner (14-7) defeated Mitchell in one game last night and plays Sioux Falls East twice Friday. Renner unofficially moved ahead of Pierre into fourth place with its win. Watertown (21-5), in third just above Pierre, finished with two wins over Sioux Falls West last night. Pierre must do its part in trying to get back into fourth place with a sweep over winless Spearfish (16th) at home Friday. In the first-round best of-3 series the higher seed hosts the lower seed; thus, #1 hosts #16, #2 hosts #15, #3 hosts #14, #4 hosts #13, and so on. When the eight series winners are determined, the highest remaining seed will host the lowest remaining seed, and so on. The four surviving teams play in the state tourney hosted by the highest remaining seed.

— Seed-point standings as of Wednesday morning and records vs. South Dakota opponents counting last night’s games:
(1) Rapid City Post 22 19-3
(2) Brandon Valley 17-5
(3) Watertown 21-5
(4) Pierre 17-8
(5) Renner 14-7
(6) Harrisburg 13-10
(7) Sioux Falls East 10-11
(8) Mitchell 14-14
(9) Brookings 13-12
(10) Rapid City Post 320 6-8
(11) Sturgis 7-9
(12) Sioux Falls West 8-19
(13) Yankton 4-14
(14) Aberdeen 6-22
(15) Huron 0-12
(16) Spearfish 0-10

Pierre Trappers: In the past week the Trappers went 3-3, splitting a pair with Souris Valley and splitting four with Fremont. There were some big scores in the Fremont series as Pierre lost 13-6, won 20-9, won 7-6 and lost 13-0. Last night at home the Trappers lost to Western Nebraska, 6-5.

Pierre Trappers schedule:
— Thursday: home vs. Western Nebraska.
— Friday-Saturday-Sunday: at Badlands.
— Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday: at Fremont.

Four Corners: This is district tournament week for amateur baseball teams. The District 3B tourney is being played at Chamberlain. Four Corners will play Colome in the first round, then that winner tackles top-seed Kimball/White Lake on Sunday. Seven teams in the district are vying for four slots in the state tournament.

Sioux Falls Canaries: The Canaries outscored Chicago, 17-14; lost two of three to Winnipeg, losing 3-2, winning 13-7 and losing 5-3, and defeated St. Paul, 10-9. Sioux Falls will be home vs. St. Paul Thursday through Sunday and at home vs. Milwaukee Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Minnesota Twins:
Friday—at Chicago White Sox, 7:10, FSN.
Saturday—at Chicago White Sox, 1:10, FSN.
Sunday—at Chicago White Sox, 1:10, FSN.
Tuesday—St. Louis, 7:10, FSN.
Wednesday—St. Louis, 7:10, FSN.
Thursday—Cleveland, 6:07, Fox.

Colorado Rockies:
Friday—at Texas, 6:05 MDT.
Saturday—at Texas, 2:05.
Sunday—at Texas, 12:35.
Tuesday—at Oakland, 7:40.
Wednesday—at Oakland, 1:40.

Baseball on TV:
You have the opportunity to watch these 16 games on television this weekend as the 60-game season begins:
Thursday, 6:08, New York Yankees-Washington, ESPN.
Thursday, 9:08, San Francisco-Los Angeles Dodgers, ESPN.
Friday, 5:10, Detroit-Cincinnati, MLBN.
Friday, 6:10, MIlwaukee-Chicago Cubs, ESPN.
Friday, 7:10, Minnesota-Chicago White Sox, FSN.
Saturday, 12:05, Milwaukee-Chicago Cubs, Fox.
Saturday, 1:10, Minnesota-Chicago White Sox, FSN.
Saturday, 1:15, Pittsburgh-St. Louis, MLBN.
Saturday, 3:10, San Francisco-Los Angeles Dodgers, Fox.
Saturday, 6:15, New York Yankees-Washington, Fox.
Saturday, 8:10, Arizona-San Diego, FS1.
Sunday, 12:05, New York Yankees-Washington, TBS.
Sunday, 12:10, Minnesota-Chicago White Sox, FSN.
Sunday, 3:10, Los Angeles Angels-Oakland, MLBN.
Sunday, 6:08, Atlanta-New York Mets, ESPN.
Sunday, 9:08, San Francisco-Los Angeles Dodgers, ESPN.


Thursday: cinnamon.
Friday-Sunday: raspberry.
Monday-Tuesday: Christmas peppermint.
Wednesday-Thursday: almond.


“We don’t want CDC guidance to be a reason why people didn’t reopen their schools.”

— Vice President Pence


Pierre Governors football schedule:
— Aug. 28: at Sturgis, 6 p.m. MDT.
— Sept. 4: West Central, 7 p.m. CDT.
— Sept. 11: at Yankton, 7 p.m.
— Sept. 18: at Tea Area, 7 p.m.
— Sept. 25: Spearfish, 7 p.m.
— Oct. 2: Huron, 7 p.m.
— Oct. 9: at Brookings, 7 p.m.
— Oct. 16: Mitchell, 7 p.m.
— Oct. 22 (Thursday): Douglas, 6 p.m. CDT.

Pierre Governors volleyball schedule:
— Aug. 28: at Rapid City Central.
— Aug. 29: at Rapid City Stevens.
— Sept. 3: at Mitchell.
— Sept. 12: Aberdeen Central.
— Sept. 18: Yankton.
— Sept. 19: Douglas.
— Sept. 24: at Aberdeen Central.
— Sept. 26: at Harrisburg.
— Oct. 1: at Brandon Valley.
— Oct. 6: at Watertown.
— Oct. 8: Huron.
— Oct. 10: Sioux Falls O’Gorman.
— Oct. 15: at Sioux Falls Washington.
— Oct. 17: Spearfish.
— Oct. 20: Sturgis.
— Oct. 23: at Sioux Falls Lincoln.
— Oct. 24: Sioux Falls Roosevelt.
— Oct. 27: Brookings.
— Nov. 3: Mitchell.
— Nov. 5: at Huron.

Pierre Governors soccer schedule (boys and girls):
— Aug. 14: Brandon Valley.
— Aug. 18: at Spearfish.
— Aug. 22: at Aberdeen Central.
— Aug. 29: at Harrisburg.
— Sept. 4: Rapid City Stevens.
— Sept. 5: Rapid City Central.
— Sept. 10: at Huron.
— Sept. 15: Mitchell.
— Sept. 17: at Sioux Falls Roosevelt.
— Sept. 24: at Brookings.
— Sept. 29: Yankton.
— Oct. 1: Watertown.

Fall sports: The SDHSAA board of control voted unanimously yesterday to approve the recommendations of a task force for a safe return of fall activities. Fan attendance regulations will be left up to local schools. Soccer, girls tennis and competitive cheer/dance can begin Aug. 3; boys golf and 9-man and 11B football can start Aug. 10, and cross country, volleyball, and 11AAA, 11AA and 11A football can begin Aug. 13.


Minnesota United FC: In their second match of the group stage of the “MLS is Back” tournament, the Loons and Real Salt Lake played to a 0-0 deadlock. Last night in the third and final Group D match, Minnesota, with a chance to win the group with a victory, instead fell to a 2-2 tie with Colorado. Thus the Loons drop to second place in the group and as a result have to play Columbus on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN, and the Columbus team in three group matches did not allow a single goal.


Minnesota Lynx: The WNBA’s 22-game season with all games played inside the “bubble” at Bradenton, Fla., starts this week. The Lynx open against Connecticut at 11 a.m. Sunday on ESPN, then play Seattle at 9 p.m. Tuesday on CBSSN.


Minnesota Wild: The Wild will play Colorado in a single exhibition game at 1:30 p.m. next Wednesday afternoon on Fox Sports North. The Wild’s best-of-five qualifying series against Vancouver with the winner going into the Stanley Cup playoffs starts Aug. 2, followed by Game 2 on Aug. 4, Game 3 on Aug. 6, and if necessary, subsequent games on Aug. 7 and 9. All games will be televised on FSN.


“I see nothing more American than standing up for what you believe in. I see nothing more patriotic than peaceful protests when things are frustrating and upsetting.”

— Gabe Kapler, manager of the San Francisco Giants after President Trump reacted to him and some of his players kneeling during the national anthem at a preseason game.


Great Plains Athletic Conference: The GPAC, which includes DWU and Mount Marty in South Dakota, has reaffirmed that fall sports will go ahead on schedule although officials will reconsider that decision in early August. The earliest football games can be Sept. 12, and the season has been reduced to nine games, all within the conference.

Minnesota Vikings: Remember when we listed for you the Vikings’ four preseason games? And then when we said there would be two instead of four preseason games? Now there are no preseason games. Is the regular season the next to go?


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

(1) Sophistication in dress.
(5) —- Downs, legendary TV host.
(6) Cactus-like plant.
(7) Cat sound.
(1) Sore skin roughening.
(2) TV streaming service.
(3) Composer Stravinsky.
(4) Sonny and —-.

Answer to the puzzle at the bottom of this Midweek Update.


5 days: Legion baseball playoffs begin (July 28).
7 days: NBA season resumes (July 30).
8 days: Sioux Empire Fair, Sioux Falls (July 31-Aug. 8).
9 days: NHL season resumes (Aug. 1).
13 days: State amateur baseball tournament, Mitchell (Aug. 5-16).
15 days: Sully County Fair, Onida (Aug. 7-9).
15 days: Sturgis motorcycle rally (Aug. 7-16).
15 days: Pierre Players’ “Native Gardens” (Aug. 7-9, 13-15).
15 days: State Legion baseball tournament (Aug. 7-9).
21 days: Major league baseball “Field of Dreams” game, Dyersville, Iowa (Aug. 13).
22 days: State 4-H Finals rodeo, Fort Pierre (Aug. 14-16).
25 days: NBA playoffs begin (Aug. 17).
25 days: Democratic National Convention, Milwaukee (Aug. 17-20).
29 days: Central States Fair, Rapid City (Aug. 21-30).
31 days: Indianapolis 500 (Aug. 23).
32 days: Republican National Convention, Jacksonville (Aug. 24-27).


“I say to people today, ‘You must be prepared if you believe in something. If you believe in something, you have to go for it. As individuals we may not live to see the end.”

— Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020)


  • The University of St. Thomas, a rich school in St. Paul with a wealth of athletic successes over the years, has been granted a waiver by the NCAA to move from Division III to Division I. The Tommies become a member of the Summit League in 2021-22 for several sports, including men’s and women’s basketball. Schools such as SDSU, USD, UND and NDSU with many alumni in the Twin Cities area welcome the news as it gives each of them an imprint in the rich Twin Cities recruiting area. St. Thomas was about to be kicked out of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) by its fellow schools because Tommie teams won conference titles too often. For football only St. Thomas will join the coast-to-coast Pioneer League, which includes such schools as San Diego, Butler, Valparaiso, Dayton, Stetson, Davidson, Marist, Jacksonville State and Morehead State (Ky.).
  • Big-time college men’s basketball is returning to the Sanford Pentagon. New Mexico State and Northern Iowa have set their game for that arena on Dec. 13, and Iowa and Oregon State will play there on Dec. 22. Tickets will go on sale if fans are allowed to attend at all.
  • A salute to the leadership on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservation. Not only did they do their best to keep their people on the reservation safe from the coronavirus by maintaining traffic checkpoints at entrances to the reservation, despite harassment from the state, but now the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte school people have decided to delay the start of the in-person school year, choosing instead to start totally online, and their young people will not participate in any fall sports.
  • Watching the Twins-Cubs preseason game on TV last night, I learned it’s going to take some time to get used to these telecasts. Of course there are the empty seats, which become very visible every time a foul ball goes into the stands. (I wonder who tracks down all those foul balls that normally fans would take home with them.) It’s also preseason for the guy who runs the crowd noise contraption. He has to learn not to suddenly shut it off as if 40,000 fans were cheering wildly and suddenly all went quiet. But it’s great to have baseball on TV, and the games count starting tonight. In a 60-game season every game really does count. As for the organ music, I don’t know if the guy is really playing there at the ballpark or if that music is also recorded.


Thursday, July 23:
Janet Penticoff, Becca (Fossen) Mehlhaff, Eve Heard, Nick Kruse, Zack Word, Kyle Weiger, Carson Carlisle, Caleb Currier, Adam Spellman, Kristi (Schultz) Brakke, Kylie Nystrom, Mike Mehlhaff, Ashley Richter, Jalen Lamb, Ryan Geraets, Jason Sass,
— 26th anniversary, Steven/Maggie Stofferahn.
— 15th anniversary, Jason/Erin Bisbee.
— 4th anniversary, Travis/Elizabeth (Lamb) Salmonson.
— 4th anniversary, Michael/Kimmie Bumann.
— 9th anniversary, Justin/Karli (Larsen) Williams.

Friday, July 24:
Alexander Flynn, Grant Hoover, Jon Kotilnek, Chris Bell, Patrick Conway, Carol Pickering, Jon Pier, Erin (Ryan) Bush, Tate Stoeser, Brecken Fuller, Barry Jennings.
— 38th anniversary, Shane/Nancy Mundt.
— 11th anniversary, Joel/Liz (Edman) Stauss.
— 10th anniversary, John/Brittanh (Kroll) Bergeson.
— 21st anniversary, Jason/Wendy (Kaiser) Wulf.
— 16th anniversary, Chris/Kristina Bauck.

Saturday, July 25:
Julie (Kusler) Samuelson, Jon Rapp, Kenzie Clark, Brad Lowery, Chuck Hanson, Heidi (Larson) Shives, Cole Prunty, Zachary Bruzelius, Angie Johnson, Elizabeth Knutson, Tanna Zabel, Lincoln Wilson, Benjamin Jacobsen, Michaela Bear, Ranae Hoffman, Cheyenne Tyree-Ragsdale, Clara Watson, Cienna Tipton, Kim Stoeser, Diane (Curtis) Nuttall, Kim Brakke.
— 5th anniversary, Rhener/Nicole (Loosbrock) Gordon.
— 5th anniversary, Chip/Kendell King.
— 5th anniversary, Tye/Sabrina Johnson.
— Anniversary, Travis/Sarah Hendrix.
— 31st anniversary, Mark/Lynn Senftner.
— 10th anniversary, Anthony/Tiana Johnson.

Sunday, July 26:
Elliana Jorgenson Brynle Hlavacek, Danielle McGee-Campbell, Bob Sutton, Tony Mangan, Brayden Maskovich, Lindsey Riter-Rapp, Laycie Williams, Annie Lueders, Rio Reeves, Meghan (Drewes) Hall, Kathy Riedy, Conrad Adam, Morgan (McLain) Willard.
— 17th anniversary, James/Crystal Dvorak.
— 10th anniversary, Colin/Kaycee (Miller) Larson.
— 7th anniversary, Tyler/Tevan (Wenbourne) Newman.
— 17th anniversary, Nathan/Holly (Knox) Perli.
— 6th anniversary, Jared/Alex Voeltz) Little.
— 6th anniversary, Evan/Angie Protexter.

Monday, July 27:
Mickey Thomsen (#97), Kalen Miller, Brandon Coyle, Austin Darrington, Casey Placek, Marsha Kucker, Ross Jones, Krista Weyrich, Russell Jennewein, Austin Blair, Jay Miller, Trey Montana, Kristi (Kunsman) Lloyd, Kate Stahl, Amanda Hodgin, Jered Stars, Lucas Zimmerman.
— 17th anniversary, Chad/Pam Kringel.
— 18th anniversary, Mike/Melissa (Hitchcock) Maxwell.
— 7th anniversary, Tanner/Jamie (Dykstra) Fitzke.

Tuesday, July 28:
Melissa (Luers) Hansen, Joni Boub, Stuart Jones, Kessler Decker, Taylor Becker, Dave Dulas, Mary DeVany, Kendra Kuiper, Karsten Withers, Feleica Pullman, Allison Zuercher, Alex Allison, Nick Neuhauser, Tiffany (Winkler) Carr.
— 13th anniversary, Jesse/Rachel (Hermanson) Knutson.

Wednesday, July 29:
Joshua Dykstra, Alyssa Bump, Megan Farris, Mariah Fuchs, August Mortenson, Miranda Panzer, Jace Anderson, Aaron Hoelscher, Sheila Clark, Carson Knudson, Jeff Garrett, Twila (Larson) Reding, Cole Kayser, Libby Thorne.

Thursday, July 30:
Karla (Richards) Blemaster, Pat (Caldwell) Miller, Joan Podhradsky, Meara Hauck, Kent Skrondahl, David Koenig, Linda (Kern) Anderson, Mark Zabel, Dan Barringer, Barbara (Thomas) Kinder, Lainey Nuttall, Keith Garrigan.
— 4th anniversary, Mitch/Theresa (Gabriel) Kleinsasser.
— 4th anniversary, Shane/Jessica (Parsons) Big Eagle.
— 15th anniversary, Tim/Kristi (Kunsman) Lloyd.
— 15th anniversary, Matt/Daisha (Seyfer) Finke.
— 9th anniversary, Matt/Amanda (Kusser) Mitchell.
— 10th anniversary, JD/Megan (Rapp) Deal.
We fondly remember firefighter Dave Ruhl, who lost his life while fighting a forest fire 5 years ago today.


“Thanks to John Lewis, we now all have our marching orders—to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.”

— President Barack Obama


Helen (Devine) Kennedy, a graduate of Pierre High School in the late ’40s, died at the age of 90 July 14 at Avera Prince of Peace in Sioux Falls. Services were held July 21 at Miller Funeral Home there. Her parents were Tom and Irene Devine. After high school Helen attended Mankato Commercial College. She married Jack Kennedy in 1951. They first lived in Huron, then moved to Sioux Falls in 1962. Among her survivors are sons Craig and Scott; a sister, Pat Diedrich; a brother, John Devine; seven grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Janelle (Kvislen) Carda will make one final appearance on “Keloland Living” at 2 p.m. next Tuesday, July 28, on KELO-TV.

Former Pierre resident Craig Miller of Sioux Falls died at the age of 66 July 18 at Ava’s Hospice House in Sioux Falls. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 25, at George Boom Funeral Home. A memorial visitation with the family present will occur from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Craig graduated from Wessington Springs High School in 1971 and from USD in 1976. He married Dyann Vogt in 1976. They moved to Pierre where Craig worked for the state for 34 years until retiring in 2010. The Millers moved to Sioux Falls after his retirement. He is survived by his wife, Dyann; their daughters, Jenny Goehring and her husband Tyson of Bennington, Neb., and Andrea Baker and her husband Adam of Sioux Falls; three grandchildren; a brother, Vern Miller and his wife Jacqui of Pierre, and three sisters, Kaye Swanson and her husband Leonard of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Rita Richardson of Green Bay, Wis., and Karen Bullion and her husband Henry of Summerfield, Iowa.

Life-long Blunt resident Rich Ping celebrated his 90th birthday on July 19. Friends can still send him greetings to 400 ParkWood Dr. #308, Pierre SD 57501.

Last week we told you Jeremy Ripperger was in his basement in Wisconsin, quarantined from his own family upstairs due to the coronavirus. Since then he has received the go-ahead to rejoin his family. Rip said the first thing he did was to kiss his wife, Penny, so now watch for her COVID update!

Friends and students of Jim McLain should know he will be leaving for his teaching assignment in Ecuador on Aug. 3. There’s still time to tell him goodbye and wish him well!

Cheryl (Plank) Benham, 61, who graduated from high school in Pierre in 1977, died July 19. Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Canyon Lake Park’s Shelter #2 in Rapid City. Cheryl attended Arizona State University, then earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting at USD in 1982. She and Bradley Benham were married in 1981. They lived at Yankton until moving to Rapid City in 1984. Cheryl had many accounting clients. Her final position was as insurance executive at Dave Schmidt Insurance Agency from 1987 to 2020. She is survived by her husband, Brad Benham; her children, Josh Benham and Kaitlin (Adam) Dahlke of Rapid City; her sisters, Marge Plank of Sioux Falls and Linda (Clayton) Baysinger of Rapid City; her brother, Jim Plank of Sioux Falls, and three grandchildren.

Casey Hight, deputy sheriff in the Sully County Sheriff’s Department, was one of 43 officers from across the state who graduated from the 173rd basic training academy at the South Dakota Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pierre on July 1. All graduates of the basic course must complete the 13-week program. Proud parents are Ron and Mary Wire of Pierre and John Hight of Dupree.

Claire (Garry) Peschong announced her retirement from the U.S. Navy after 19 years and 45 days. She said on Facebook cancer helped her decide she had to retire before she reached her goal of 20 years. Claire and her husband, Jonathan, met aboard the USS Carl Vinson in the North Arabian Sea and were married in December 2001. They have three children—Sophia, Connor and baby Sara.

Our sympathy to the Calkins family who lost their father, grandfather and great-grandfather this week. Marvin Holstein, 90, Early, Iowa, died July 10 at the Methodist Manor retirement community in Storm Lake, Iowa. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Mr. Holstein raised livestock and crops in Iowa for more than 40 years before retiring in Early. He is survived by his wife Marjorie of Early; his son, Paul Holstein of Marion, Iowa; his daughter, Lee Andrea Calkins and her husband Ron of Fort Pierre; four grandchildren, Dr. Molly (Ben Rose) Cameron of Cedar Rapids; Martin (Marlin) Calkins of Carbondale, Colo.; Andrea (Dave) Mitsdarffer of Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Adam (fiancee Shelby Smith) Calkins of Denver; three great-grandchildren, and a sister, Phyllis Bruns of Alta, Iowa.

The third annual Run with the Govs road race has been rescheduled from earlier this summer to Sept. 12. Registration can be done in person the day of the event or now online at runsignup.com. The fee is $25. The race starts and ends at the Capitol complex. Last year the Run with the Govs raised $5,000 for the Trail of Governors Foundation, which sponsors the statues of South Dakota governors throughout Pierre.

The Washoe County School District at Reno, Nev., where Pierre native Valori Kunsman is an elementary teacher, is trying to determine how and when schools should open. The original starting date was Aug. 10, but that has been pushed back to Aug. 17 for now. The unions representing 3,000 teachers, principals and support staff said they oppose the plan to reopen and are asking the school board for a nine-week delayed start for the physical return to schools.

Last year’s Democratic candidate for governor, state Sen. Billie Sutton, and his wife, Kelsea, lost their week-old baby daughter, Lenore (“Lenny”) on July 15. Memorials in her name can be sent to the Burke Community Foundation, Box 376, Burke SD 57523.

Jennifer Stalley of Pierre tied for second place with two other golfers in the South Dakota Golf Association’s women’s senior championship at Elmwood Golf Course in Sioux Falls. Their score of 165 was two shots behind the winner, Jackie Witlock of Aberdeen, who carded a 163.

Louise (Ratzlaff) Buhler, 91, died July 18. A graveside service is taking place this (Thursday) morning at 10 a.m. at the Onida cemetery. Born in Saskatchewan, Louise married Henry Buhler in 1946. They lived near Dalmeny, Saskatchewan, for 1 1/2 years, then did custom combining together from Texas to North Dakota while spending winters in Alma, Okla., and California. In 1954 they moved to a Blunt area farm, then in 1959 to a farm northeast of Onida where the Buhler family continues to farm the land. Louise had been a resident of ParkWood Apartments since 2012. She is survived by her son, Clayton Buhler and his wife Marvel of Onida; her daughter, Virginia Brown and her husband Ric of St. Louis; six grandchildren, including Ian Brown of Gage, Ariz., Sara Schwamb of St. Louis, Serena Swenson of Pierre, Crystal Vincent of Onida, Matt Buhler of Onida and Josh Buhler of Onida; 16 great-grandchildren and three siblings.


  1. In Georgia Governor Kemp explicitly banned cities and counties in his state from ordering people to wear masks in public places. The mayor of Atlanta ruled that in her city mask-wearing remains in effect. The governor then sued the mayor.
  2. The West Central school district at Hartford-Humboldt will open Aug. 20 under “normal” conditions. Masks will be optional for teachers and students. Parents are told to test temperatures at home daily. The board/administration claimed that 96% of parents want full-time school.
  3. The high school activities association in North Dakota has approved the start of fall activities on time. The same is true in Idaho where the activities association is “pressing forward” with fall sports.
  4. Students at Western Dakota Tech, Mitchell Tech, Southeast Tech and Lake Area Tech will have to wear masks or shields when classes begin next month.
  5. In the Chicago school district, the nation’s third largest, there is a plan to have students attend in classrooms two days per week and learn remotely three days per week. The district is asking for public input.
  6. In Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, following President Trump’s demands, signed an executive order overriding individual school districts and ordering them all to be in in-person session at least half of the time. Her education department is not requiring masks to be worn by students and teachers.
  7. A Sioux Falls teacher has started a petition calling for totally remote learning in the Sioux Falls schools until there are two full weeks without any new positive coronavirus tests before any in-person school begins. As of last Friday night, more than 1,800 signatures had been secured.
  8. The Brandon Valley schools plan to give their students two options when they open: attend in-person classes like normal or select the online distance-learning format.


  1. In New Mexico the high school activities association decided their wrestling season will be delayed and run from April through June next spring instead of this coming winter.
  2. Governor Kelly of Kansas delayed all school openings in her state until at least after Labor Day and said masks, hygiene protocols and temperature checks will be mandatory in every school.
  3. The Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif., next New Year’s Day morning has been canceled.
  4. Target (effective Aug. 1) and Kohl’s have declared masks are required in all of their stores nationwide. The same is true of Loew’s, Christopher & Banks, and Dollar General. However, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar say masks are no longer required.
  5. The Mid-East Athletic Conference canceled football and all other fall sports. That conference includes Norfolk State, Howard, Morgan St. (Ky.), Florida A&M, North Carolina Central and Bethune-Cookman.
  6. Of more interest to South Dakota fans is the news that the Colonial Athletic Association, which includes such FCS powerhouses as James Madison, Richmond and Towson, has canceled its football season. Schools are allowed to now make up their own schedules if they wish to, and James Madison, which reached the national championship game vs. NDSU last January, is doing just that.
  7. The SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference), which includes such schools as Grambling, Texas Southern, Prairie View A&M, Alabama A&M and others in the South, has moved its football season to next spring.
  8. The Willie Nelson concert scheduled for Brookings on Aug. 10 has been postponed to a later date.
  9. The news staff of The Washington Post will work from outside their newsroom offices for the rest of the year.
  10. Two of the Northwest’s largest and most prominent rodeos, the Lewiston Roundup in Idaho and the Pendleton Roundup in Oregon, have both been canceled for this year.
  11. The Bahamas, an island nation in the middle of the Atlantic whose economy depends on tourist dollars, has banned tourists from the United States due to coronavirus concerns, unlike some states in the U.S. which encourage tourists to come with their dollars and virus.
  12. The Minneapolis-St. Paul airport has begun requiring masks of all persons passing through there.
  13. The Grand Falls casino and resort, which sit on the Iowa side of the state line just east of Sioux Falls, requires masks of all visitors starting Monday.
  14. California is delaying all high school sports until at least December with the plan to play football in winter and spring and baseball and basketball overlapping and ending in late June. Football season has also been delayed in Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, New Mexico, Virginia and West Virginia.
  15. The Cheyenne-Eagle Butte school will delay the start of in-person school and will not participate in any fall sports.
  16. Gov. Tim Walz in Minnesota yesterday was said to be preparing to announce a statewide facemask mandate to slow the spread of the virus.
  17. The mayor of Washington, D.C., has made face masks outside one’s home mandatory with a few exceptions.
  18. A statewide mask-wearing mandate goes into effect across the state of Ohio this evening.
  19. The South Dakota State Medical Association is urging school boards to require face masks for this school year. Dr. Benjamin Aaker, its president, said, “It is important for EVERYONE who will be in school buildings to wear face coverings this fall.”
  20. Mayor Steve Allender of Rapid City said he is ending his weekly coronavirus press conferences because of the lack of information he gets from the state Department of Health. “If the state can’t or won’t communicate with us, then we can’t communicate accurately with you,” he said. Allender said Rapid City had 100 new COVID cases in the past week, including a mass testing at one facility, an event which the state failed to tell him about.
  21. The National Football League announced yesterday that masks will be required of all fans attending games in person this season. Immediately fans began tweeting that they will not be watching NFL games this season (want to bet on that?).
  22. The South Dakota Board of Regents will require masks to be worn in all indoor spaces on the campuses of all six Regents schools—USD, SDSU, NSU, DSU, BHSU and Mines—for at least the first 30 days of the semester. The policy will be reviewed after 30 days.
  23. Reuters Fact Check disputes the social media boasts that South Dakota has had the lowest coronavirus infection per 100,000 people of any state in the country and that South Dakota suffered the lowest number of job losses due to the virus. Both “facts” are false, according to Reuters Fact Check. Nine states have lower total cases than South Dakota, and 10 states have lower numbers of job losses.

Two Riggs High graduates, Morgan Oedekoven and Abby Ferris, will attend Dakota Wesleyan University and participate in track and field there. Morgan specialized in the mile and 5,000-meter run while Abby was a jumper—high jump, triple jump, long jump.

If there is anyone who has done more for her community than Pat Duffy in Fort Pierre, you may have to look for awhile to find him or her. Pat will celebrate her 90th birthday next Thursday, July 30. Greetings can be sent to her at P.O. Box 100, Fort Pierre SD 57532.

The funeral service for Austin Scott, 31, who died in Fort Pierre July 14, was held Monday at the Stanley County fairgrounds. The son of Todd Scott and Shavonne Mitchell attended Stanley County schools, graduating with the Class of 2007, and he was homecoming king at SCHS his senior year. He participated in football, wrestling and track in school as well as rodeo. He worked for a time at Don’s Sinclair in Pierre. He is survived by his parents, Todd and Becci Scott and Pat and Shavonne Mitchell; his sisters, Brittani Hussey, Ali Scott, Tatum Scott and Cedar Scott; his brothers, Stran Scott, Michael Scott, Nickolas Scott, Matthew Mitchell and Mark Mitchell; a special friend, Jen de Hueck, and his grandparents, Duane and Sharon Hannum and Gay Rhoades.

An Indian taco fund-raiser will be served at the Governor’s Inn motel from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. Proceeds will go to the family of the late Deputy Sheriff Lee Weber.

Riggs High alumnus Eric Lakner has his white coat and is officially a member of the Class of 2024 of the USD Sanford School of Medicine. His family members around the country were able to watch the white-coat ceremony online earlier this week. Eric is the son of Greg Lakner and the late Cassandra Rupe. He was a paramedic for Avera McKennan Hospital’s flight crew for the last few years. He and his wife, Lindsey, are expecting a baby in December.

Another Riggs High graduate, Layne Hohn, who graduated from Augustana University this spring, is also a member of the Class of 2024 of the USD Sanford School of Medicine and received his white coat in the ceremony yesterday. He is the son of Russ and Connie (Walton) Hohn. It has been a good summer for Layne. He became engaged to another Augustana graduate, Molly Herrmann of Sturgis, who is a registered nurse at Avera McKennan Hospital.

Kai Hanson and his wife, Kayla, staged a gender reveal for family members and friends on Facebook, slicing open a cake, which proved to be pink inside, so the child they are expecting will be a girl. The Hansons, who live in Minneapolis, have a daughter who was a year old in June.

The funeral service for Deidi (Strickland) Bergestuen will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 24, at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, Texas. The service will be live-streamed. Deidi died July 14 after battling cancer for 8 1/2 years. Born in Texas, she moved with her family to Sully County. She was valedictorian of her Sully Buttes graduating class in 1986 and was drum major for the marching band there. She graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University and from medical school at UT-Southwestern in Dallas. She finished her residency at SUNY-Syracuse. Moving to Oslo, Norway, in 2001, Deidi became a research fellow at Oslo University Hospital while earning her Ph.D. in gastroenterology. She married Trond Bergestuen of Oslo in 1996. They lived in New Jersey and in Oslo. In 2011 she was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-smoker’s lung cancer, so the family moved back to the United States to be nearer family and medical facilities. She was hired as director of the clinical skills program at the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine in Fort Worth. Deidi is survived by her husband; their daughters, Silje and Hannah; her mother, Judy Strickland; her father, DeJuan Strickland; her brother, Dr. Michael Strickland, and her sister, Karen Jones.

Karissa Guthrie has finished her first year of dental school at Midwestern University in Chicago. She has three years of study there remaining.

Cody and Timaree (Ice) Axlund of Pierre are the parents of a son. Brecken William Axlund was born July 17, weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces, and measuring 20 inches. He joins sisters Alexi, 5, and Alena, 3, in the family.

Mickey Thomsen, who with her late husband Tommy ran Pierre Flower Shop and Greenhouse for many years, will turn 97 next Monday, July 27. Friends can send her greetings at ParkWood Apartments, 400 ParkWood Dr., Pierre SD 57501.

Porter Nuttall, 83, long-time Sully County farmer/rancher, died July 21. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, July 27, at the Sully County fairgrounds in Onida, followed by his funeral service there at 11. Porter, the second of six sons of Nolan and Lucile Nuttall, was born and grew up at Amherst, Texas. The family moved to Sully County in December 1954, and Porter graduated from Agar High School the following spring. He attended USD briefly, then Northern State College. He and Sharon Moore of Centerville were married, and they raised two children, Jamy and Will. Porter worked the ranch and farmed with his parents and brothers. He was active in the South Dakota Quarter Horse Racing Association and became an expert go-to person for horse owners, trainers and jockeys. He is survived by his wife, Sharon Nuttall in Sully County; his daughter, Jamy Jones and her husband Michael of Pierre; his son, Will Nuttall and his wife Kelsie; Jamy’s daughters, Jessica Bruscher, Michala Shryock and Cassandra Jones; Will’s children, Porter Lane, Fallon Chalmers and Wyatt Nuttall; three great-grandchildren; his mother, Lucile Nuttall; two brothers, Dale Nuttall and his wife Diane and Jack Nuttall and his wife Carla, and two sisters-in-law, Sue Nuttall and Juanita Nuttall. Among those who preceded him in death were his father; brothers A.L., Delvin and Byron Nuttall; a sister-in-law, Lynda, and an infant sister.

Pierre Players resumes local productions two weeks from now, and tickets for “Native Gardens” go on sale next Monday, July 27. Seating will be limited, so playgoers are urged to secure their tickets early. Performance dates are 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7-8 and 13-14-15 and 2 p.m. Aug. 9. Alisa DeMers Bousa is directing with Michele Beeler as her assistant. Cast members are Shelby Bergeson, Andrew Yaeger, Keri Muntefering, Bill Bossman, Chad Muntefering, Angel Nunez and LaTrisha Schindler. Masks will be required of all audience members and volunteers. Meanwhile, auditions for the season’s second show, “Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van,” will be held Aug. 10. Show dates will be Oct. 2-4 and 8-10.

Rob Kittay, who coached the Oahe Capitals boys varsity team for its first 25 years of existence, this week was named by USA Hockey and the South Dakota Amateur Hockey Association as state coach-in-chief. As such Kittay will participate in the USA Hockey coaches education program that all coaches must attend. He will also continue as South Dakota boys development director. Rob is still coaching hockey locally as he handled the Oahe PeeWees this past winter.

The Summit League has announced its Academic Honor Roll. Among the outstanding student-athletes earning the recognition are Joana Zanin, USD soccer, and Landon Badger, SDSU baseball.


“The more we are divided, the more the virus can conquer.”

— Dr. Tom Freiden, former CDC director


Ollie, our white German shepherd, is a sweetheart on a typical day. This morning she seemed to realize that I had hardly slept at all during the night. I made the mistake of skimming through the news on my phone after being away for several hours at baseball games. That is always a mistake, especially just before bedtime. It’s sort of like eating a couple slices of spicy pizza, then going straight to bed. But as I sat at my desk checking e-mails and wondering what else has happened in this country overnight, Ollie glides over to me and rests her beautiful head on my right leg. She is better therapy than even my first cup of coffee though that helps, too. For a few minutes at least I set aside the quote from Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which we now know as the CDC: “I do think the fall and winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we experience in American public health.” I know several hundred thousand South Dakotans, not to mention millions of Americans, who would consider that just fear-mongering. They think this thing is just going to end and that we will be back to normal. What they aren’t smart enough to realize—or perhaps what they don’t want to realize—is that their normal, whether they like it or not, is gone forever.

In the United States of Trump the news is that Putin’s Russia has tried to hijack vaccine research from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, and there is no response from the President. In the United States of Trump the message that schools must open like “normal” is trumpeted from administration officials and the President himself because the appearance of normalcy is crucial to his re-election campaign. In the United States of Trump the President goes out of his way to praise a St. Louis couple who stood in front of their house with guns pointed at a protest group walking by in their gated sanctuary community. In the United States of Trump there is no one-voice national guidance toward the country’s fighting the divisive pandemic as cases continue to mount and the national death toll nears 140,000. In the United States of Trump hospitals and health departments are ordered to send their statistics not to the CDC but to the federal government, which may or may not report such figures accurately, depending on the level of their political importance. In the United States of Trump the atmosphere is such that a school board member in Casper, Wyo., says aloud that “those old people” who died because of the coronavirus would have died anyway; “they just died sooner.” In the United States of Trump the federal secretary of education, when asked what happens when a coronavirus outbreak occurs after the schools open this fall, said we can’t plan “around an event that hasn’t occurred.” In the United States of Trump one of his adoring governors makes yet another national television appearance from her TV studio, saying her state is “doing good” in the coronavirus pandemic, even as new cases are reported every day and school districts, parents and students are stressed and scared as the school year approaches. She said she gave the people the facts and let them decide what is best for their families rather than “laying down mandates,” but never mind what is good for other people’s families in the same community. In the United States of Trump states like Arizona and Texas are bringing in refrigerated trucks to store the bodies of hundreds of coronavirus victims. Can anyone imagine the horror of coming to grips with the realization that the body of your grandmother who died alone in a locked-down nursing home or the body of your teen-age son who went to a summer swimming party because he was tired of being isolated from his friends is stacked along with 179 other bodies in a cool truck? In the United States of Trump in one major city (Portland) federal law enforcement stormtroopers in camouflage clothing and unmarked vehicles roam the streets, picking up people who are legally protesting in front of a federal building and hauling them away without their knowing why. Trump calls them his PACT (Protecting American Communities Taskforce), and he threatens to send these troops to other cities if their mayors are Democrats. Chicago and Albuquerque, it looks as if you’re next! In the United States of Trump the President’s less-than-stellar press secretary calls the elected mayors of major cities such things as “renegade.” In the United States of Trump cruelty is a pattern—if there is any way to hurt people who are “lesser” than white Americans, let’s do it. For example, breaking up families and putting children in cages or trying our best to take away insurance from millions who wouldn’t have it otherwise, and then the plan to deport international students whose courses move fully online. Fortunately when MIT and Harvard sued the feds, the feds gave in and settled out of court. We certainly wouldn’t want some of the most brilliant people to ever come into this country to study here and then stay! In the United States of Trump he calls a news conference, turns it into a campaign rally, says farmers all over the country are crying like they haven’t cried since they were babies because of what he’s done for them and says he has “brought back” incandescent light bulbs. Who knew they were gone! In the United States of Trump the guy in charge put one of his money buddies in charge of the U.S. Postal Service with the determination that the mail service needs to be slowed down, a point which he then will use in his battle against voting-by-mail. In the United States of Trump his White House is blocking health officials from the CDC from testifying before Congress on the reopening of schools. After all, who would have more expert opinions amidst a pandemic—the nation’s top health authorities or politicians? And finally in the United States of Trump he threatens not to sign a COVID-19 relief package unless he gets his way in cutting payroll taxes, which sounds like a tax cut but which really is an attack on Social Security. And all of this was in just one week! And you want four more years of this? And in the meantime the United States of Trump has lost the battle to the coronavirus, and all we can do is wait it out.

The local rabble-rouser in Rapid City, who historically has been against everything and for nothing, sent a letter to the editor of the Rapid City Journal this week, suggesting—no, demanding—that the schools open on schedule with everybody in each building. She said the teachers should just go back to work and, if their immune systems are in such bad shape that they might get sick with the virus, they should just quit and find other jobs. Gee, sweetheart, thanks for your support of the local schools! The other day I read somebody’s post on Facebook which copied a piece written by a father of two girls in a school district in the northern Virginia suburbs across the Potomac from Washington. He responded to each and every comment he had heard from this parent and that parent about why schools should open. He had an intelligent response to each parent’s statement. But listen to these shaky reasons the parents gave: “Classrooms are safe.” . . . “Children die only .0016 percent of the time.” . . . “Hardly any kids get COVID.” . . . “My kids want to go back to school.” . . . “The flu kills more people every year.” . . . “Almost everyone recovers.” . . . “If people get sick, they get sick.” . . . “I’m not going to live my life in fear.” . . . “I talked it over with my kids.” . . . “The teachers need to do their jobs.” . . . “If the grocery store workers can be onsite, what are the teachers afraid of?” . . . “Teachers are choosing remote because they don’t want to work.” . . . And perhaps the most valid parent’s reason of them all—“I wasn’t prepared to be a parent 24/7. I just need a break.” So there it goes, teachers. When one of these little darlings goes home at night to his non-mask-wearing parents (they who refuse to live in fear!) who have been to happy hour at the bar with God-knows-whom or who have been at work at a place where masks are not worn and then little Johnny comes back in the morning and shares with you and his classmates whatever he caught at home, just remember this: Children die only .0016 percent of the time. There is no such statistic regarding teachers. But what are you afraid of?

The Post 22 baseball program has made quite a deal of the fact that today’s games in the Veterans Classic would be the last played in Fitzgerald Stadium as we know it. A $5 million renovation program is slated to begin right away Monday in order for the ballpark to be ready for the start of the Legion season next May. Technically the games will be played on the same site, but it will be a brand new facility including on the field where there will be artificial turf. The earliest game I can remember attending there was in the late 1950s—I’m not sure just which year—when the Pierre Cowboys played the Rapid City Chiefs in a game to decide the college-age Basin League championship. The game went into extra innings, and the Chiefs prevailed. The place was called Sioux Park Stadium back in those days. In more recent years some of my best moments there were attending all the games of the Legion World Series in 2005, sitting amidst the Enid, Okla., fans as their boys won the national title, and announcing all the games in the state Legion tournament there in 2013. Another highlight was all the years we were able to watch my niece Jayne Kraemer’s son Justin play at third base for Post 22. The Kraemers took home the third-base bag as a souvenir after the last game today. Some players took jars full of dirt from the field. Some adults took seats. The Hardhats still have games to play in this season’s playoffs, but they’ll play them somewhere other than on their own field. The latest rumor is that they will use Pete Lien Memorial Field, home of Post 320, which is fine except for the fact that the large crowds that Post 22 sometimes draws won’t have room there. Or they might play on the other side of the parking lot at McKeague Field. I guess we all can take our lawn chairs. Oh well. We have more serious problems than that these days.

Isn’t it interesting and likewise pathetic that President Trump now believes—well, at least he says he believes—that wearing a mask is “patriotic” and helpful as we battle the pandemic. But just now it has become the thing to do. This is like shutting the barn door after the horse is gone. The time to be a leader and try to stem the tide of the oncoming pandemic was in February and March, if not before, but that would have taken some difficult, unpopular, gutsy decisions. It takes a rare politician to do that in an election year, and we have so few of those.

Holy turkey dressing! What will Thanksgiving Day be like if people can’t spend it in a Walmart store or a Sam’s Club store! Those businesses will be closed nationwide on that holiday. Say it isn’t so! . . . . . A good reason to look forward to the holidays, even though there won’t be any Rose Parade is this: There will be a new flavor of M&M’s—sugar-cookie M&M’s. . . . . . My nightly walk around the neighborhood was a bit unsettling last night. As I passed the house two doors east of us, the guy who lives there, out in the front yard with his wife or girlfriend, had draped around his neck a huge snake, which was at least eight feet long. I immediately made plans in my mind to never leave my bedroom window or the garage door open, especially at night. . . . . . A sign on the front door of a Rapid City business: “NO MASK — NO ENTRY.” . . . . .There was a time when Presidents were normal people and gave us reason to be respected as such. The President traditionally throws out the ceremonial first pitch at a Washington opening-day baseball game, first back in the days of the Senators and now with the Nationals. But who will be doing that honor Thursday night when the Nats host the Yankees? Dr. Anthony Fauci, that’s who. That choice makes a point, doesn’t it! . . . . . The chance of our having big-time college football on the FBS level took another hit today when the University of California (Berkeley) announced it will at least start the fall semester with no students on campus but instead will deliver all classes online. Considering the money that is at stake, even that may not be enough to call off football, but it certainly is hard to argue that Cal should play football when there are no students on campus.

Quite a few years ago a family with whom I had been good friends during my Pierre years said they wouldn’t be reading The Midweek Update any longer because it had become “too political.” And that was before the Obama and Trump years! I suppose I could reduce this newsletter to nothing but births, deaths and the Governors’ sports scores, but I hope you readers have come to expect more than that. By yesterday afternoon I had almost decided to erase all of this “Day by Day” section, figuring it probably is a bit strong for these times when almost everyone’s nerves are on edge. But then I skimmed through my Facebook newsfeed this morning and saw a piece that changed my mind. So read it and weep, or throw something at your computer, or send me a nasty note. No one is forced to read The Midweek Update or even click on it. Just scroll right by and go about your business. It seems to me that staying silent these days is joining—and apparently agreeing with—the others who are silent and who support the status quo. If you disagree or even abhor my opinions on the issues of the day, ignore them, assume I’ve lost my common sense and go about your day. I know there are enough people out there who share my opinions and values, such as they are, as well as my deep concerns over what is going on and my worries about what this country has become. Or, even if they disagree, at least those people don’t mind reading those opinions! Those folks are enough to keep me going and enough to let me know I’m not out here alone on a gangplank all by myself. This most likely will be my last presidential campaign and election. It’s reality. It’s a matter of time wasting away. So we need to speak up and speak out. And, if you wish, keep reading.


Gov. Mark Gordon of Wyoming, in an emotional news conference last week, tried to explain the depth of his feelings in this age where the common good takes a back seat to politics and personal privilege. “Our Constitution was designed to make sure that we ensure the common good, and that’s been tested time and time again. Rights do not mean that I don’t have any responsibilities. Rights imply responsibilities, and people need to take responsibility. . . . There is no constitutional right to go infect somebody else. There is no constitutional right that says you can put others in harm’s way. Let’s be mindful of our neighbors. That’s the country I grew up in.”




  1. Donald Summerside

    Your “Day by Day” makes my day better each Thursday. Keep it up!

  2. Bruce Venner

    Don’t Chang e a thing. Your midweek update is a highlight of my week.


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