Vol. 21, No. 12; Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021

Jan 7, 2021 | Parker's Midweek Update | 0 comments


“One of the features of a new year is that there is a sense of rebirth. This will soon be matched by days of increasing sunlight, warmer temperatures and eventually spring. We hold on to the notion that life goes in circles, even if we passengers on Earth head but in one direction with each passing year.

“There is nothing like aging during a pandemic to putting an even finer focus on the fragility of life. The months of isolation wear on the souls of a species that has generally sought community. But we must hang tightly to the threads of optimism, a new government, a vaccine, a committed populace, cracks in the facade of cruelty that has defined so much of our recent history.”

— Dan Rather


This week’s schedules:
Gymnastics: at Aberdeen Central triangular.
Wrestling: home vs. Watertown.
Girls basketball: home vs. Rapid City Stevens, 7 p.m.
Boys basketball: at Rapid City Stevens, 7 p.m.
Wrestling: at West Central tournament, Hartford, 10 a.m.
Gymnastics: at Brookings meet, noon.
Boys basketball: at Rapid City Central, 1:30 p.m.
Girls basketball: home vs. Rapid City Central, 4 p.m.
Boys basketball: home vs. Sturgis, 7 p.m.

Gymnastics: The Governors won the Rapid City triangular with a 131.4 team score, besting Central at 97.65 and Stevens at 81.3. Aubre Westover won the beam event, and Natalie Flottmeyer won the vault. In the all-around standings Pierre’s best was second-place Lexy Petersen at 33.3.

Boys basketball: Pierre lost a New Year’s Eve home game to Sioux Falls Lincoln, 61-52. The Govs’ record is 1-3.

Girls basketball: The Governor girls defeated Watertown, 56-47, for a third straight victory. Remi Price had 13 points and Caytee Williams 11 as the Govs made 13 of 18 free throws. On Tuesday Price led the team with 11 points, but Pierre lost to Sioux Falls O’Gorman, 58-21. Pierre’s record is 3-3.


This week’s schedules:
Girls basketball: at Redfield invitational.
Girls basketball: at Potter County.
Wrestling: home vs. Winner.
(Boys basketball: next Jan. 14-16 at Jones County invitational; first opponent will be Bennett County)

Girls basketball: The Buffalo girls lost twice more this week, 48-21 to Herreid-Selby Area and 36-31 to Highmore-Harrold.

Boys basketball: The Buffalo boys stand at 3-3. They defeated Herreid-Selby Area, 59-45, then on Tuesday lost to Highmore-Harrold, 59-56. In the latter game Nathan Cook had 17 points, 14 rebounds and five assists while Lathan Prince scored 13.


This week’s schedules:
Boys basketball: at Highmore-Harrold.
Girls basketball: home vs. Highmore-Harrold.
Girls basketball: at James Valley Christian.
Boys basketball: at James Valley Christian.
Boys basketball: at Ipswich
(Wrestling: next Jan. 24 at Mobridge triangular with Faulkton Area)

Boys basketball: The Chargers began the 2021 portion of their schedule with a narrow 50-47 loss at Mobridge-Pollock. The Sully Buttes record is 1-4.

Girls basketball: Sully Buttes stands at 4-3. The girls lost at Mobridge-Pollock, 45-40, led by Stevie Wittler’s 15 points and Ally Wittler’s eight. On Tuesday the girls won at Philip, 42-33, led by Stevie Wittler’s 15, Calleigh Chicoine’s 10 and Ally Wittler’s nine points.


Thursday, Jan. 7:
Lucy Bradley, J.D. Pohlman, Bryan Beck, Kim de Hueck, Peter Mickelson, Alisa (DeMers) Bousa, Amber (Russell) Lockwood, Ellen (Gormley) Hopper, Hannah (Waack) Carda, Eileen Briggs, Jordan LaBrie.

Friday, Jan. 8:
Sigrid Wald, Schelle Fuchs, Hudson Jarecke, Erik Osterkamp, William Coolidge, Drew Garry, Keaton Schneider, Perry Job, Bruce Pearson, Grayson Hunsley.

Saturday, Jan. 9:
Aaron Chittum, Phil Howard, Mabel Kusler, Dan Rounds, Dan Rasmussen, Amy (Tate) Mancuso, Jamie (Jaeger) Spaid, Earl Lindell, Gavin Picchietti, Melissa Foss, Katie Douglas, Cheri (McComsey) Wittler, Susan Pietrus, Deb (Marshall) Harkless, Carol Uecker, Chiles Heien.
— 11th anniversary, Merlin/Nicole (Mikkelsen) Schwinder.
— 5th anniversary, Max/Kylie (Mundt) Erickson.
We fondly remember Barry LeBeau on his birthday.

Sunday, Jan. 10:
Kelli Koll, Ryan Fowler, Tara (Dieken) Mangan, Rich Zabel, David Johnson, McLean (Thompson) Kerver, Evelyn Rounds, Landon Russell, Jason Irion, Ben Gloe, Mallory (Petersen) Dekker.

Monday, Jan. 11:
Lowell Gordon, Kyle Kurth, Chris Mangan, Terri Disburg, Ben Kramer, Michelle Rose, Laura Truax, Mitch Foth, Susie Rilling, Kristie (Hallock) Moore, Nolan Bisbee, Naomi Lors, Beverly Mickelson.
— 1st anniversary, Cody/Laurie (Johnson) Tibbs.

Tuesday, Jan. 12:
Ripley Joy, Randy Sprenkle, Lyndsey Ring, Nicole Mosiman, Terry Woster, Meaghan (Anderson) Neuberger, Trey Owens, Sheila (Beougher) Lee, Lane Kozel.
— 3rd anniversary, Stuart/Heather Stofferahn.

Wednesday, Jan. 13:
Chris Hull, Alex Thorson, Carrie (Schlaak) Barnes, Tyler Boe, Jill (Borth) Sweetman, Brenda (Crandell) Carroll.

Thursday, Jan. 14:
Breckan Shondle, Guy Erlenbusch, Anne (Burchill) Williams, Mike Ludwig, Rachelle (Reeves) Daniels, Jim Keyes, Christina Lusk.
— 4th anniversary, Shawn/Sara Ludemann.
We fondly remember Colt Gunderson, who passed away 15 years ago today.


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

(1) He traded his birthright to Jacob.
(5) Plantation in “Gone With the Wind.”
(6) Horse’s slow pace.
(7) Poor substitute for “is not.”
(1) —- James, singer whose legacy song was “At Last.”
(2) Garment worn by southern Asia women.
(3) Riggs High alumnus Nevin.
(4) Three brothers in the NFL.


From the front page of The Boston Globe on Dec. 31: “From natural disasters to tragedies of our doing, the year 2020 held misery to spare. What comes next is largely up to us.”


South Dakota State track/field (Addison Eisenbeisz): The Jackrabbits’ indoor athletes resume their schedule Jan. 16 at USD’s invitational in Vermillion.

South Dakota women’s basketball (Chloe Lamb): The Coyote women won their final non-conference game over Midland (Neb.), 89-39, as Chloe was 4-of-5 (0-for-1 in threes) and 1-of-2 for nine points with two assists and three steals. Over the weekend USD began the Summit League season with a home sweep of Denver, 87-47 and 89-74. In the Saturday game Chloe went 8-of-11 (2-of-4 in three-pointers) for 18 points with three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Her terrific season continued in the Sunday game when she was 7-of-12 (4-of-6 in threes) and 5-of-6 for 24 points with six boards, five assists and a steal. USD, now 6-3 overall and 2-0 in the Summit, plays at 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Kansas City.

Summit League women’s basketball standings: USD 2-0, Kansas City 1-0, SDSU 0-0, Oral Roberts 0-0, Omaha 0-0, NDSU 1-1, Western Illinois 1-1, UND 0-1, Denver 0-2.

Morningside bowling (Alex Badger): The Mustangs’ long holiday break will resume Jan. 16-17 in a tournament at Addison, Ill.

Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball (Bradley Dean, Nick Wittler): The Tigers defeated Doane, 80-73, as Bradley got in for seven minutes but did not score. DWU, 12-1 overall and 8-0 in the GPAC, hosted Concordia last night and goes to Midland Saturday.

South Dakota men’s basketball (Max Burchill): The Coyote men swept Denver on the opening weekend of Summit League play. In a 93-54 Saturday win Max was 1-of-2 in three-point shots for three points. A. J. Plitzuweit had a career game with 31 points as the team hit 14 three-pointers. In Sunday’s 79-57 victory Max was 0-for-1, not scoring, but had two rebounds. Now 4-6 overall and 2-0 in the Summit, USD plays at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Kansas City.

Summit League men’s basketball standings: USD 2-0, Oral Roberts 2-0, NDSU 2-0, SDSU 0-0, Kansas City 1-1, UND 1-1, Western Illinois 0-2, Omaha 0-2, Denver 0-2.

Augustana wrestling (Jebben Keyes): The Vikings open their season this Saturday against Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha. Augie then wrestles at Minnesota State-Mankato next Thursday.

Augustana track-field (Elizabeth Schaefer): The Vikings’ indoor season resumes at SDSU’s meet Jan. 24.

Mary wrestling (Lincoln Turman): The Marauders open NSIC wrestling at home tonight (Thursday) against St. Cloud State.

Augustana women’s basketball (Aislinn Duffy, Katie Bourk): The Viking women split a weekend pair against MSU-Moorhead to open NSIC play. In an 83-65 win Aislinn was team high scorer with 20 points with two rebounds and two assists, going 5-of-7 from the floor (4-of-5 in threes) and 1-of-6. In Sunday’s 71-66 loss Aislinn was 5-of-14 (1-of-3 in threes) for 11 points with six rebounds, four assists, one block and three steals. Now 1-1, Augustana hosts Minnesota State-Mankato Friday and Saturday.

Mount Marty men’s basketball (Lincoln Jordre): The Lancers lost to Briar Cliff, 94-75, and Lincoln got into the game for eight minutes, going 2-for-2 in field goals for four points with three rebounds. In an exhibition game at SDSU Monday, Mount Marty lost by 93-50, but the younger players got to play more. Lincoln was 3-of-7 for seven points with four rebounds and three blocks. Now 7-8 overall and 4-6 in the GPAC, Mount Marty after playing Northwestern last night goes to Dordt Saturday.

Black Hills State women’s basketball (Racquel Wientjes): The Yellowjacket women defeated Regis, 70-61, as Racquel had another huge game. She was 10-of-21 from the field, including 4-of-10 in three-pointers, and 8-of-12 in free throws for 32 points with two boards, two steals, two blocks and two assists. BHSU edged Colorado Mines, 73-71, and Racquel was 3-of-14 (0-for-7) and 7-of-7 for 13 points with four rebounds, four steals and an assist. Now 6-1 overall and in the RMAC, BHSU plays at Colorado-Mesa Saturday. For her performance against Regis, Racquel was again named RMAC Offensive Player of the Week.

Colorado Mines women’s basketball (Liz Holter): This is her senior season as a point guard at Colorado Mines for Liz, whose mother is Julie Morris-Holter and grandparents are Milt and Dawn Morris. She played her high school ball at Seton Catholic Prep in Gilbert, Ariz. Due to the pandemic, seniors have been given another year of eligibility. The Orediggers are now 5-2 overall 4-2 in the RMAC. In a 77-61 win at Chadron State, LIz had 22 points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal. In Monday’s 73-71 loss at Black Hills State, Liz was 2-of-7 for five points with six boards, four assists and a steal. Mines plays at New Mexico Highlands Saturday, then goes across Denver to Regis next Tuesday.


— This was so like South Dakota. The sponsors of Buck 2020 couldn’t hold their event in Billings or Gillette because of COVID-19 concerns, so promoters sought some place where there are no COVID-19 concerns, which of course is South Dakota. The first sentence of a Rapid City Journal story on New Year’s Day says all you need to know: “Almost 2,000 people crowded into the James Kjerstad Event Center for Buck 2020.” Just two days ago we reached Day 300 of the pandemic since that March Thursday when almost everything ground to a halt. If anybody can keep the pandemic as a crisis through 2021, it’s South Dakota.

— This, too, is so like South Dakota. When the Legislature begins its session next week, masks will be required in the Senate chamber, but the House of Representatives will not.

— The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported on the most common baby names from 2020 at the two big Sioux Falls hospitals, and there are some surprising names. At Avera, in order, the most popular girls’ names were Amelia, Eloise, Claire, Charlotte and Lily. At Sanford they were Amelia, Charlotte, Ava, Harper and Emma. As for boys’ names at Avera the most common names, in order, were Henry, Maverick, Sawyer, Liam and Miles. At Sanford they were Liam, Oliver, Henry, Jack and Maverick (tied for fourth) and Asher.

— As I was rummaging through a box of my old newspaper columns the other day, I ran across an item I had lifted from Bonnie (Pitlick) Rus’ newslettter back when she was office secretary at First Baptist Church in Pierre: “The famous conductor of a great symphony orchestra was once asked which instrument he considered the most difficult to play. He thought for a moment and then said, ‘The second fiddle.’ Explaining his choice, he added, ‘I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who can play second fiddle with enthusiasm—that’s a problem. And if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.’ In man’s struggle to achieve success, he must have humility to be able to play second fiddle. He must be able to play it expertly while waiting for assignment to the select section of the first violin.”

— The present Corn Palace building was constructed in 1921, so the city of Mitchell is planning several events during this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the place. There were earlier structures called the Corn Palace, but they were demolished because they were either fire traps or in disrepair.

— Baseball (hopefully!) is just over the horizon. Spring training starts next month! Let us hope we have a full season. The MLB website offered the first of its weekly power rankings for 2021: (1) Dodgers (2) Padres (3) Yankees (4) Braves (5) Twins (6) White Sox (7) A’s (8) Mets (9) Blue Jays (10) Rays. There are some surprises in that top 10 group. Who is the very bottom team on the list? The Pirates. The Twns-White Sox race for the AL Central should be interesting this year.

— Hopefully fans will be allowed to attend NFL games next fall. In case you go to VIkings home games, we now know what teams will play there—Chicago, Green Bay, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Dallas. On the road the Vikings will play at Chicago, Green Bay, Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, San Francisco, Arizona and Carolina. There is a chance the NFL will increase to a 17-game schedule, in which case there would be one more opponent.

— If Denver is where you go to NFL games, the Broncos’ home opponents will be Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Washington and New York Jets. Denver will go on the road to Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, New York Giants and Jacksonville. There could be one more opponent if the NFL goes to a 17-game schedule.

— It was mind-boggling that 27 Republican South Dakota legislators signed on to a letter addressed to the Congressional delegation—Thune/Rounds/Johnson—demanding that Congress discard electoral college results from six states that Joe Biden won (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin). All 27 of them got into the Legislature by winning elections, not stealing them and not by overriding the will of the majority. But this Trump/Noem crowd and common sense don’t mix.

— And now we see what happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. Trump fans, stand up and pat yourselves on your back. What a performance! And that includes you who protested outside the Capitol in Pierre. If you had a chance before yesterday of changing the outcome of the election (which you didn’t have and shouldn’t have), today you don’t have a ghost of a chance.


June 18: Chris Rumrill/Katya Vakshteyn.
July 31: Jack Carpenter/Leesa Johnson.


Minnesota Wild: The NHL season for the Wild opens at Los Angeles Jan. 14.

Rapid City Rush: Utah swept a three-game home series over the Rush by scores of 6-3, 4-3 and 3-2. Now 1-5, Rapid City was home vs. Allen last night, then stays home to face the Americans Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

Sioux Falls Stampede: The Herd lost twice to Fargo, 5-3 at home and 4-1 on the road. Now 6-8-1, Sioux Falls is home vs. Waterloo Friday and Saturday.

Aberdeen Wings: The Wings beat Bismarck twice, 4-1 and 3-1, to improve to 17-1-0 for the season. Aberdeen goes Friday and Saturday to Cloquet to play Minnesota WIlderness.

Oahe Capitals boys varsity: Idle last week, the Caps are home twice this weekend—6 p.m. Friday vs. Huron and 4 p.m. Saturday vs. Sioux Falls #1.

Oahe Capitals girls varsity: The girls now stand at 0-3-0-1 after a 15-0 loss to Aberdeen and a 6-1 loss to Mitchell. The girls are home Friday at 2 p.m. vs. Huron and Sunday at noon vs. Sioux Falls. In the Aberdeen loss Abigail Stewart-Fromm in goal faced 62 shots, making 52 saves, and Sophia Peschong had three saves out of four shots against her. In the Mitchell game the Capitals goal was scored by Brylee Kafka. Fromm faced 55 shots, stopping 49 of them.


PGA Champions Tour (Tom Byrum): The Champions Tour after a holiday break resumes Jan. 21-23 at the Mitsubishi tournament in Hawaii.


Minnesota Timberwolves: Three more losses this week—130-109 to Washington and 124-109 and 123-116 to Denver—put the Wolves with a 3-7 record. Minnesota is at Portland tonight, home vs. San Antonio Saturday and Sunday and home vs. Memphis next Wednesday.


Pierre Trappers: Pierre’s team in the Expedition League for its third season has begun announcing roster names. The first four are Braden Sorge from Savannah, Ga., outfielder at North Georgia; Richard Williams from Georgetown, Mass., outfielder from University of Maine; Adrian Lopez from Soledad, Calif., right-handed pitcher at Menlo College, and Joseph Bramanti from Andover, Maine, infielder from University of Maine.


Everyone is welcome. Send your winners of these games to parkerhome16@hotmail.com by Saturday morning:
(1) AFC: Indianapolis at Buffalo.
(2) NFC: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle.
(3) NFC: Tampa Bay at Washington.
(4) AFC: Baltimore at Tennessee.
(5) NFC: Chicago at New Orleans.
(6) AFC: Cleveland at Pittsburgh.
(7) National championship game: Ohio State vs. Alabama.


Minnesota Vikings: Minnesota won the season’s last game, 37-35 at Detroit, finishing the year 7-9 and third in the NFC North.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos lost the season finale, 32-31, when the Raiders scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 24 seconds left. Denver’s final record was 5-11.

NFL playoff games on local TV this weekend:
Indianapolis at Buffalo, 12:05 p.m., CBS.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle, 3:40 p.m., Fox.
Tampa Bay at Washington, 7:15 p.m., NBC.
Baltimore at Tennessee, 12:05 p.m., ABC and ESPN.
Chicago at New Orleans, 3:40 p.m., CBS.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 7:15 p.m., NBC.

Aug. 28: Illinois (in Dublin, Ireland).
Sept. 11: Buffalo.
Sept. 18: at Oklahoma.
Sept. 25: at Michigan State.
Oct. 2: Ohio State.
Oct. 9: Northwestern.
Oct. 16: at Purdue.
Oct. 30: Michigan.
Nov. 6: Iowa.
Nov. 13: Southeastern Louisiana.
Nov. 20: Wisconsin.
Nov. 26: at Minnesota.

Sept. 2: Ohio State.
Sept. 11: Miami (Ohio).
Sept. 18: at Colorado.
Sept. 25: Bowling Green.
Oct. 2: at Purdue.
Oct. 9: Wisconsin.
Oct. 23: at Northwestern.
Oct. 30: Maryland.
Nov. 6: Illinois.
Nov. 13: at Iowa.
Nov. 20: at Indiana.
Nov. 26: Nebraska.


“Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom, decency and justice.”

— Robert F. Kennedy


2 days: NFL playoffs begin (Jan. 9-10).
4 days: College football national championship game (Jan. 11).
5 days: First day of Legislature (Jan. 12).
6 days: NHL season begins (Jan. 13).
9 days: Burning Beetle festival, Custer (Jan. 16).
13 days: Presidential inauguration, Washington (Jan. 20).
22 days: Black Hills Stock Show/Rodeo, Rapid City (Jan. 29-Feb. 6).
24 days: Grammy awards, CBS-TV (Jan. 31). Postponed to March 14
29 days: State one-act play festivals, Brandon/Rapid City Central/SDSU (Feb. 5-6).
31 days: Super Bowl LV, Tampa (Feb. 7).
36 days: State gymnastics meet, Watertown (Feb. 12-13).
41 days: Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17).
47 days: Georgia Morse Middle School musical (Feb. 23, 25).
49 days: State wrestling tournaments, Rapid City (Feb. 25-27).
50 days: Pierre Players’ “A Little Piece of Heaven” (Feb. 26-28, March 4-6).
51 days: Twins spring training opener (Feb. 27).
52 days: Golden Globe awards (Feb. 28).


Tyler and Kirstyn (Larsen) Mattheis are expecting their first child later this year. Tyler runs his own Mattheis Plumbing business, and Kirstyn is an occupational therapist with the Pierre school district.

Ollie Redden, 92, died Dec. 30 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. John’s Catholic Church in Fort Pierre Tuesday. He graduated from Pierre High School in 1947 and was in military service in France during the Korean War years. He married Angie Vogt in 1955. They raised their three children in Pierre. Ollie managed rental properties for many years and also helped run the original Oahe Speedway. For more than 30 years he drove veterans to medical appointments at the Fort Meade VA facility. He is survived by his son, Bob Redden and his wife Brenda of Pierre; two daughters, Lori Redden of Pierre and Karen Pogany and her husband Wade of Pierre; three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Brianne (Barnett) and Jeff Roby’s son, Jack, in the Twin Cities sustained a severe injury in a sledding accident. He had to spend several nights in the PICU at Children’s Minnesota, the hospital where his mom is a pediatric surgeon. Jack was able to return home to continue his recovery there. In her Facebook post Brianne reminded all to wear helmets even in winter activities like skating and sledding.

George Hipple, 92, died New Year’s Day at Avera Maryhouse. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at the Isburg Funeral Chapel. The funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church. There will be an informal gathering time at Bob’s Lounge from 3 to 5 p.m. George and his twin brother, John, were born to Robert and Lois Hipple in 1928. George attended Pierre High School, then joined the Air Force, and he and John were stationed together in Greenland. They went to Yale University in Connecticut together. After college they returned to Pierre where both began work at their father’s Capital Journal. George’s expertise was put to use in the business and production aspects of the newspaper. George married Janet Nellermoe in 1953. He was a life-long outdoorsman and was a member of many outdoor organizations and civic groups. He is survived by his brother, John Hipple; his three sons, Kevin Hipple and his wife, JoAnne, of Pierre, Terry Hipple and his wife Cindy of Rapid City, and Chris Hipple of Black Hawk; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The fall semester Dean’s List at Dakota Wesleyan University includes these local students: Elizabeth Duffy, Davis Anderson, Cobey Carr, Kathryn Hardwick, Morgan Oedekoven, Elena Svingen.

Tanner and Jamie (Dykstra) Fitzke are expecting their third child in June.

Barbara Roetzel, 79, formerly of Mitchell, died Dec. 21 at the Avera Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls. A private Mass of Christian Burial will take place Saturday at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Sioux Falls. A private liturgical wake service and holy rosary will be celebrated Friday at George Boom Funeral Home in Sioux Falls. Mrs. Roetzel is survived by four children, including former Pierre residents Lori Sutton and her husband Bob, now of Sioux Falls; 10 grandchildren, including Maddie and Matthew Sutton; a great-grandchild and six siblings.

Riggs High alumni Nick Jung and Natalie Nagle became engaged this week.

Kathy (Beemer) Cruse started work Monday for the United Way of the Black Hills in Rapid City. She and her husband, Mike, are temporarily living outside Custer until they find a more permanent home.

Lila Schaefer, formerly of Avon, died Jan. 3 in Pierre. She and her husband, Junior, moved to Parkwood Apartments in 2010, and he passed away in 2011. Since being in Pierre, Lila has been a member of Faith Lutheran Church. She is survived by three children, June Ulrich and her husband Ken of Pierre, Carl Schaefer and his wife, Marsha, of Camp Verde, Ariz., and Amy Bochman and her husband Otto of Rapid City; four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. A celebration of her life will take place in Avon at a later date.

The Rev. David Zellmer, former Lutheran Memorial Church pastor and former ELCA bishop of the Synod of South Dakota, is serving temporarily as pastor at First Lutheran Church in Brookings while that congregation begins a search for a new senior pastor.

The USD Alumni Association revealed its “30 Under 30” Class of 2020, peers recognizing outstanding young alumni for distinguishing themselves in their professional personal lives. Among the honorees are Ryan and Cassie Blake of Arlington, Va. Ryan graduated with a political science degree with an emphasis on criminal justice in 2004. He is legislative director for the Consumer Bankers Association. His wife, Cassie, graduated in 2004 with a political science degree with an emphasis on contemporary media and journalism. She is senior associate director for communications with the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU).

John Wohlwend, 81, Pierre, died at home Jan. 1. A memorial service will be held at a later date. The fourth of 15 children, he and his family moved to a farm west of Harrold in 1955, and John graduated from Harrold High School in 1957. He served in the U.S. Navy in San Diego, Hawaii and Bremerton, Wash. After military service he worked on the family farm and as an electrician in Colorado mines. He took over the farm after his parents died. John moved to Pierre in 2014. He is survived by five brothers, seven sisters and numerous nephews and nieces.

The South Dakota COVID-19 scoreboard:
* Final 2020 death toll—1,488.
* As of Dec. 31, the number vaccinated was 21,144, and the number of active cases was 5,672.
* 2021 death toll—31; accumulative toll 1,519.
* As of yesterday afternoon the number of active cases was 6,387. A total of 101,684 South Dakotans have been victims of COVID-19, nearly one in every eight people in the state.

Kayla Nagle, who lives in Cody, Wyo., has become engaged to Quentin Johler, who works at T-O Engineer in Cody. Kayla is a neurosurgery physician’s assistant.

Onida native Jordan Lamb has been named general manager of Oahe Electric Cooperative, Inc., headquartered in Blunt and serving Hughes and Sully counties. Jordan comes from East River Electric Cooperative where he was a planning engineer. He and outgoing general manager Rodney Haag will work together this month to ensure a smooth transition.

Jackson and Katie (Plooster) Schumacher are expecting their first child in May.

Jim Mehlhaff announced at the Pierre City Commission meeting Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in this June’s city election. He is in his 12th year on the city commission. At the same time commissioner Jamie Huizenga said he will run for re-election. (News courtesy of “Today’s KCCR News.”)

Chad Downs, who graduated from Stanley County High School in 1996, is the subject of a new fund-raising page on Facebook. Friends are raising funds to help and his wife survive mounting medical and transportation expenses for him and his wife, Sonia, who live in Spearfish. Chad was admitted to Anschutz University of Colorado Hospital in Denver Dec. 14 due to complications with his esophageal cancer. The cancer symptoms were managed during his hospitalization, and he had his first chemotherapy treatment. The plan was for him to have treatments every two weeks for two months, followed by a new evaluation. Though Chad was discharged from the hospital Dec. 31, he tested positive for COVID-19, delaying his second chemotherapy treatment. Chad and Sonia are now quarantining in South Dakota, and he hopefully will be able to undergo his next chemotherapy treatment scheduled for Jan. 18 in Colorado. The fund-raising page organized by Dusti Deal can be accessed on Facebook at “Chad Downs Chad’s Cheer Squad.”

Scott Myren was sworn into office as a justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The fall semester Dean’s List at Augustana University includes Chloe Folts, Caitlyn Hemmelman, Arden Koenecke, Caryn Brakke, Natalie Mohr, Nolan Ortbahn, Riggs Sanchez, Elizabeth Schaefer and Hunter Widvey.

The football officiating career of Pierre native Brandon Cruse of Rapid City reaches its zenith next Monday. He has worked the Peach Bowl and the Rose Bowl as well as games in the pro XFL, but now he will be referee (the guy in the white hat announcing the penalties) of the national championship game between Ohio State and Alabama in Miami. With Big 10 and SEC teams involved in the game, Cruse and his Big 12 officiating crew were selected to work the big game. Brandon has worked in the Big 12 Conference since 2016. (News courtesy of “Today’s KCCR News.”)

Jerome Mashek, a former sports and news reporter at the Capital Journal, died Dec. 31 at Bethesda House in Beresford. He died of natural causes following a debilitating stroke four years ago. Jerome earned a journalism degree from SDSU, then came to Pierre in the mid-1960s to work at the Capital Journal. In 1968 he moved to the Rapid City Journal. As a reporter there he earned Associated Press awards for his dramatic first-hand reporting on the night of the 1972 Rapid CIty flood. Among his survivors are four children, Robin Tracy of Rapid City, Nick Mashek of Sioux Falls, Barb Dippert of Rapid City and Christie Clark of Palmer, Alaska, and nine grandchildren.




A week of this and that

— It’s hard for me to turn away from surveys on Facebook, so this week when something called Stacker.com, using data from Niche, an American ranking and review website, listed what they say are the 100 best places in the Midwest to live. For their purposes “Midwest” includes the states from the Dakotas and Nebraska on the west, Kansas and Missouri on the south, all the way east through Ohio. From those 12 states the 100 “best places” on their list include not a single city in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, which immediately puts the validity of their choices in question, at least in my mind. However, their top five places are (1) Carmel, Ind. (2) Okemos, Mich. (3) Clarendon Hills, Ill. (4) Richmond Heights, Mo. (5) Clayton, Mo. So what’s so great about Carmel, I immediately wondered, so why not ask someone who lives there! Michelle (Young) McCullough grew up in Onida, and her mom and stepdad, Judi and Steve West, are still there. Michelle and her husband and four boys live in Carmel, which is the big suburb on the north side of Indianapolis. “There are not many stop signs or stoplights any more,” she told me this week. “We are the round-about capital of the U.S.” Among Carmel’s qualities according to Michelle: amazing music venues; professional sports teams nearby; beautiful down with shops and restaurants galore; lower taxes than surrounding suburbs; excellent school system; low crime rates. “You will find families walking and biking along the Monon Trail,” she said. That’s a former railroad bed that extends all the way south into downtown Indianapolis. The McCulloughs chose not to send their kids to Carmel High School, but instead their oldest went to a nearby parochial school, and their second son is now a student there. “This small-town girl could not imagine a high school of over 5,000 kids,” Michelle said.

— My dear friend, Mary Gales Askren, with whom I worked at the Capital Journal for several years back in my late newspaper days, has been battling cancer throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so her Christmas letter delved into the problems the nation has faced as well as her own. In commenting on the nation’s handling of the pandemic and the attack of our democracy from the inside, Mary had these comments: “Regardless of where you stand on either of these issues, you must agree that we can only go forward from here. We can only put one foot in front of the other as individuals and as a nation and seek to heal what has been torn asunder. If you are able, I would encourage you to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Seek information from credible news sources, even if they challenge your preconceptions, so you can help rebuild our nation with honesty and truth. Follow CDC guidelines to keep your families and communities safe, even if you have a governor who doesn’t care one iota about you or the people you love.” Amen to that! And a final word from Mary: “As the new year approaches, remember God is with us and will lead us through this desert. He will help us find the way of justice, the truth which has been covered over with lies and misinformation, and the abundant life which comes when we remember we are called to be a people of love.”

— Mary Potter lived with her husband, the late Dennis Potter, and their boys, Doug and Dave, in Pierre, and we got through Cub Scouts with our older son, Jason, thanks to Mary! Her Christmas letter wondered aloud how she could write anything interesting, considering how uneventful 2020 was on a personal level. She says she has had her various medical checkups and “am good for another year or 4,000 miles, whichever comes first.” What made Mary’s letter especially interesting reading was her recalling her first Christmas, “at least the first one I was old enough to remember.” She has granted permission to me to re-tell her story here in her words: “I was probably about three years old, and we lived in Scenic, S.D., a very small town in the western Badlands of South Dakota. My parents were teaching there. We lived in a small house and did have running water—there was a pump at the kitchen sink and a bucket underneath the sink to catch any overflow. Probably chamber pots and definitely an outhouse. Kitchen, living room, and my parents’ bedroom downstairs, my room upstairs. There was a potbelly stove in the living room. Dad had gone out to Red Shirt Table and brought home a small cedar tree for our Christmas tree. And that was the year I received the iconic little red wagon that all kids get at some time in their early life. I remember pulling Dad in that wagon from one end of the living room to the other, feeling so proud that I could do that. There was probably a Christmas service, but it would have been a generic Protestant service, held once a month as that was when the traveling circuit rider could be there. I had a blue cape and a muff for my hands to wear for important occasions. Remember muffs with a cord around your neck so you wouldn’t lose it? Or mittens on a string, threaded through your sleeves, again so you wouldn’t lose them?” Mary also tells what happened on the family’s way to Scenic: “On the way out to Scenic from Moline, Ill., all our possessions were in a small trailer hitched to the car. And the trailer blew a tire. Dad unhitched the trailer, and he and I drove to find a service station to get a new tire, and Mom was left sitting on the tire hub of the trailer by the side of the road, out there on the prairie. I knelt on the front seat of the car, looking out the back window, and wondered if we’d ever see her again.”


“The other day, because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton picked her youngest son to be a United States senator. Tonight we proved with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.”

— Senator-elect Raphael Warnock in Georgia, speaking of his mother after he won his run-off election


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