Vol. 21, No. 13; Thursday, January 14, 2021

Jan 14, 2021 | Parker's Midweek Update | 0 comments


“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense that, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
— James Baldwin


This week’s schedules:
Girls basketball: at Mitchell, 7 p.m.
Boys basketball: home vs. Douglas, 7 p.m.
Wrestling: at Huron, 7 p.m.
Gymnastics: home for Pierre invitational, 10 a.m.
Wrestling: at Mitchell invitational, 10 a.m.
Girls basketball: at Douglas, 7 p.m.

Athletes of the Week: The Pierre Athletic Coaches Association named Aubre Westover of the gymnastics team and Jett Zabel and Matthew Coverdale out of the weight room as Athletes of the Week for last week.

Girls basketball: The Pierre girls split their weekend games against the Rapid City schools, In a 59-40 loss to Stevens, Remi Price had 13 points and Caytee Williams 12. Pierre edged Central, 46-45, as Price scored 16 and Williams 11. The record is now 4-4.

Wrestling: The Governors lost a 33-32 dual to Watertown, winning six of 14 matches, four of them by pin (Nate Williams, Blake Judson, Hayden Shaffer, Preston Taylor), but the Arrows won at 152, 160, 170, 182 and 195 pounds to edge out the dual win. At West Central’s invitational in Hartford Saturday, the Governors had seven champions—Noah Williams at 113 pounds, Blake Judson at 126, Kahlor Hindman at 132, Tyson Johnson at 145, Jacob Larson at 195, Regan Bollweg at 220 and Preston Taylor at 285. In some weight classes Pierre had more than one wrestler competing. The other Governor placers: Lincoln Schoenhard, fourth at 106; Nate Williams, fourth at 120; Hayden Shaffer, second, and Chase Carda, third at 138; Trey Lewis, second at 145; Deegan Houska, third at 152; Jayden Wiebe, fourth at 160; Gavin Stotts, second at 182; Jace Charron, third at 285. In girls divisions at West Central these were the Pierre placers: Sydney Uhrig, second at 114 pounds; Mary Chessmore, second at 128; Gianna Stangeland, first, Taylor Warriner, third, and Hattie Baldwin, second, all at 140; Marlee Shorter, first, Mary Mehlhaff, third, Emalee Larson, fourth, and Mylie Taylor, fifth, all at 182, and Ciara McFarling, first at 285.

Boys basketball: The Governors lost at Rapid City Stevens, 53-40, sinking only one of 16 three-point shots and shooting 34% overall. Lincoln Kienholz was high man with 15 points. The next afternoon the Govs also lost at Rapid City Central, 66-59, as Kienholz scored 21, Houston Lunde 13 and Jackson Edman 12. On Tuesday the Governors won their second game of the year in blasting Sturgis, 79-31. Edman scored 20, Kienholz 18, Matthew Hanson 6, Bennett Dean 6, James Mikkonen 6 and Jacob Mayer 6. Pierre is now 2-5.

Postseason statuses (not counting Tuesday night games):
— “AA” boys basketball: Pierre 17th of 18 (top 16 qualify for SoDak 16).
— “AA” girls basketball: Pierre sixth of 18 (top 16 qualify for SoDak 16).
— Wrestling: Pierre fifth of 17 (top 8 qualify for state duals tournament).

Football: Perhaps some of those embarrassingly one-sided first-round playoff games can be eliminated under the new SDHSAA football alignments for only the 2021 season announced this week. Pierre’s Class 11AA has in recent years had only eight teams, meaning they all qualified for the playoffs. Now there will be 11 teams, so three won’t qualify for the playoffs, which is a good thing. Joining the former eight schools will be Aberdeen Central and Watertown, moving down from Class 11AAA where they never had a ghost of a chance of competing, and Tea Area, a potent fast-growing school moving up from 11A. So the 11AA lineup will be eight of the nine schools from the old ESD Conference (Aberdeen, Watertown, Brookings, Huron, Yankton, Mitchell and Pierre), the three Black Hills schools (Douglas, Spearfish and Sturgis) and Tea Area. Since the largest class (11AAA) has only nine schools, each of them in that class will get one opponent from 11AA as fodder to pad their records. 11AAA will include the five Sioux Falls schools—Lincoln, Roosevelt, Washington, Jefferson and O’Gorman—as well as Brandon Valley, Harrisburg and the two Rapid City schools—Central and Stevens. There will be 14 schools in 11A, including Belle Fourche and Custer way out west, Chamberlain in the middle of the state and 11 eastern schools—West Central, Lennox, Vermillion, Sioux Falls Christian, Dakota Valley, Madison, Milbank, Canton, Tri-Valley, Sisseton and Dell Rapids. Then 11B will include 29 teams but not Stanley County. The Buffaloes along with Garretson are moving down to the nine-man’s 9AA.


This week’s schedules:
Boys basketball: vs. Bennett County at Jones County Invitational, 2 p.m.
Boys basketball: at Jones County Invitational
Boys basketball: at Jones County Invitational
Wrestling: at Potter County invitational
Wrestling: at Mobridge-Pollock
(Girls basketball next game Jan. 21 at home vs. Sully Buttes)

Boys basketball: All games of the Jones County Invitational in Murdo will be livestreamed at www.nfhsnetwork.com. With COVID-19 restrictions in place and each team limited to only 100 passes per game, most fans may want to watch from home. Thursday’s quarterfinal schedule: 11:30, Lyman vs. Colome; 2:00, Stanley County vs. Bennett County; 5:30, White River vs. Philip; 8:00, Kadoka Area vs. Jones County.

Girls basketball: The Buffaloes lost to Northwestern, 43-38, at the Redfield Classic. Tuesday’s Potter County game was postponed.

Postseason statuses (not counting Tuesday night games):
— “A” boys basketball, Region 6: SCHS third of 7.
— “A” girls basketball, Region 6: SCHS fourth of 4.


This week’s schedules:
Girls basketball: at Miller
Boys basketball: at Miller
Boys basketball: at Redfield Classic
Girls basketball: home vs. Timber Lake
Boys basketball: home vs. Timber Lake
(Wrestling next match Jan. 21 at Mobridge-Pollock with Faulkton Area)

Girls basketball: The Chargers lost to Highmore-Harrold, 47-37. Stevie Wittler was high scorer with 10 points, Calleigh Chicoine had eight and Tailynne Bradford eight. The girls lost to James Valley Christian, 51-47, as Ally Wittler scored 16. The girls stand at 4-5.

Boys basketball: The Charger boys defeated Highmore-Harrold, 75-63, led by Landon Hepker’s 17 points, Marshall Wittler’s 16 and Garrett Petersen’s 16. On Saturday SBHS won at James Valley Christian, 62-36, jumping out to a 15-3 first-quarter advantage. On Tuesday the boys lost at Ipswich, 56-53, as Rafe Wientjes scored 17 and Marshall Wittler 13.

Postseason statuses:
— “B” boys basketball, Region 2: SBHS sixth of 9.
— “B” girls basketball, Region 2: SBHS fourth of 9.


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) Olympic champion skier Miller.
(5) Love.
(6) Trumper’s cap logo.
(7) Former “Survivor” winner.
(1) Tide team.
(2) Actor Sharif.
(3) Yoga as exercise with pet dogs.
(4) Periods of time.


2 days: Burning Beetle Festival, Custer (Jan. 16).
6 days: Presidential inauguration, Washington (Jan. 20).
15 days: Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo, Rapid City (Jan. 29-Feb. 6).
19 days: Groundhog Day (Feb. 2).
22 days: State one-act play festival, Brandon/Rapid City/Brookings (Feb. 5-6).
24 days: Super Bowl LV, Tampa (Feb. 7).
29 days: State gymnastics meet, Watertown (Feb. 12-13).
34 days: Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17).
40 days: Georgia Morse Middle School musical (Feb. 23, 25).
42 days: State wrestling tournaments, Rapid City (Feb. 25-27).
43 days: Pierre Players’ “A Little Piece of Heaven” (Feb. 26-28, March 4-6).
44 days: Twins spring training opener (Feb. 27).
45 days: Golden Globe awards (Feb. 28).
48 days: NAIA indoor track/field national meet, Yankton (March 3-6).
50 days: State JV boys hockey tournament, Expo Center (March 5-7).
50 days: State girls varsity hockey tournament, Watertown (March 5-7).


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


Mary wrestling (Lincoln Turman): The Marauders opened the NSIC season with a 31-3 loss to St. Cloud State. Lincoln did not wrestle in the dual. Mary goes to Southwest Minnesota State tonight (Thursday).

Augustana wrestling (Jebben Keyes): The Vikings won a dual at Wisconsin-Parkside, 21-17. Jebben did not wrestle there. Now 1-0, Augie goes to Minnesota State-Mankato tonight.

South Dakota men’s basketball (Max Burchill): The Coyotes won twice at Kansas City, 66-64 and 68-62, to stay perfect at 4-0 in Summit League play and 6-6 overall. Max did not play in either game. USD goes to Western Illinois Friday and Saturday of next week after enjoying its bye week this weekend.

Summit League men’s basketball standings: USD 4-0, NDSU 4-0, SDSU 2-0, Oral Roberts 3-1, UND 2-2, Kansas City 1-3, Denver 0-2, Western Illinois 0-4, Omaha 0-4.

South Dakota women’s basketball (Chloe Lamb): The USD women swept Kansas City, 92-34 and 80-53, to go to 4-0 in the Summit and 8-3 overall. In the first game Chloe was 6-of-11 (3-of-5 in threes) and 2-of-2 for 17 points with two rebounds and two assists. In the other game Chloe had 22 points on 8-of-14 from the field (2-of-7 in threes) and 2-of-2 at the stripe. She added three boards, two assists and two steals. USD has its bye weekend this week, then goes to Western Illinois Jan. 22-23.

Summit League women’s basketball standings: USD 4-0, Oral Roberts 2-0, SDSU 2-0, NDSU 3-1, Kansas City 1-2, Western Illinois 1-3, Denver 0-2, Omaha 0-2, UND 0-3.

South Dakota State track-field (Addison Eisenbeisz): The Jacks resume the indoor season at the USD invitational Saturday.

Augustana women’s basketball (Aislinn Duffy, Katie Bourk): The Viking women split with Minnesota State, winning 80-72 but losing 87-82. In the first game Aislinn was 6-of-7 (1-of-1 in threes) and 3-of-4 for 16 points with 12 rebounds, a steal and an assist. In the second game she was 5-of-9 (0-for-1) and 2-of-2 for 12 points with three rebounds and two assists. Now 2-2 in the NSIC, Augustana goes to Concordia-St. Paul Friday and Saturday.

Morningside bowling (Alex Badger): The Mustangs after a long holiday break return to the alleys this weekend at the Midwest Collegiate Classic at Addison, Ill.

Augustana track-field (Elizabeth Schaefer): The Vikings’ next meet will be at SDSU’s meet for Division II schools Jan. 24.

Colorado Mines women’s basketball (Liz Holter): Both of the Orediggers’ games this week—Saturday vs. New Mexico Highlands and Tuesday vs. Regis—were postponed. Standing at 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the RMAC, her team plays at South Dakota Mines Saturday, then hosts UC-Colorado Springs Monday.

Mount Marty men’s basketball (Lincoln Jordre): The Lancers lost to Northwestern, 69-56, and Lincoln in 13 minutes of play was 1-of-3 (0-for-1) and 4-of-5 for six points with three rebounds, a block, a steal and an assist. MMC also lost to Dordt, 94-83. Now 7-10 overall and 4-8 in the GPAC, the Lancer played Concordia last night, go to DWU Sunday and host Hastings next Wednesday.

Tennessee women’s basketball (Caleb Currier): The Lady Vols lost to Alabama, 71-63; beat Arkansas, 79-74, and edged LSU, 64-63. Now 8-1 overall, Tennessee hosts Georgia tonight and goes to Alabama Sunday.

Black Hills State women’s basketball (Racquel Wientjes): The Yellowjackets lost to Colorado-Mesa, 65-58. Racquel was 6-of-16 (1-of-4 in threes) and 1-of-1 for 14 points with seven rebounds, one assist and a steal. Now 6-2 in the RMAC, BHSU is home vs. Western Colorado Saturday and goes to Chadron State Tuesday.

Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball (Bradley Dean, Nick Wittler): DWU defeated Concordia, 70-64, but lost a conference game for the first time when Midland beat them, 84-75. Bradley did not score in either contest. Now 13-2 overall and 8-1 in the GPAC, DWU after playing at Northwestern last night hosts Mount Marty Sunday and goes up to Jamestown next Wednesday.


  • In lieu of their in-person season of shows, Black Hills Community Theatre offers you an alternative of online plays. The first will be available online Jan. 22-24. “The Lifespan of a Fact” is directed by Jason Knox and features a four-person cast. Subsequent shows will be “Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play” on Feb. 18-21 and “These Shining Lives” March 10-14. For information on how to access the plays on those particular dates, look at the theater’s website, which is bhct.org.
  • Once he had his middle-of-the-night national television speech time when he objected to the Pennsylvania electoral college vote in Congress late last Wednesday night, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri had his week turn suddenly not-so-great. The Kansas City Star, which had endorsed him in his election campaign, wrote a blistering editorial lambasting him for his part in not only the electoral college counting objections but to his raised-fist photo urging on the Trump crowd as it approached the Capitol. That photo may haunt young Mr. Hawley for all of his political life, if he has one. The next day the publishing company cancelled his expensive book deal, too. Besides all of this, he used the word “irregardless” in his speech. That is enough in itself to eliminate him from future political activity.
  • The new arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, which will be known as The Monument, will be called the Summit Arena.
  • U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson announced yesterday he would not vote in favor of impeaching President Trump. That is no surprise because any South Dakota Congressman who votes against Trump faces almost certain defeat in his next election at the hands of the thousands of Trumpers in this state if they have good memories and hold grudges. Johnson as a member of the House has to seek re-election every two years, so his next election comes up already next year in 2022. One can expect that neither Senator Thune or Senator Rounds will vote for impeachment when the process reaches a Senate trial and for the same reason as Johnson. Thune runs for re-election next year in 2022 and Rounds in 2026. Facing a Trump opponent, such as Governor Noem, in a primary means almost certain defeat in this Trump state. And so it goes.
  • The next Midweek Update a week from today will come on Jan. 21, the day after the scheduled inauguration of President Biden. Hopefully there are no new tragedies and riots upon which to dwell, but we know what that crowd of “patriots” is capable of and willing to do. Six scary days lie just ahead of us. At least six. To his credit President Trump issued a statement written by somebody saying violence and rioting are not what he is all about and encouraging his supporters to not partake in any of those activities.
  • One of the countless events postponed because of the pandemic was the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, usually held in December. Here is good news! The delayed Kennedy Center Honors will now be seen on CBS-TV on June 6. This year’s honorees will be singer/composer Joan Baez, choreographer/actress Debbie Allen, country star Garth Brooks, violinist Midori, and TV actor/comedian Dick Van Dyke.


  • Oahe Capitals boys varsity: Oahe is 6-0-0-0 in SDAHA league play so far after two more wins this past weekend. The Capitals broke away from a 1-1 tie after the first period to beat Huron, 3-1. Keenan Howard, Elliot Leif and Dre Berndt scored goals, the last one into an empty net. Carter Schulz made 24 saves. On Sunday the Capitals nipped Sioux Falls #1 by a 5-4 count. Raef Briggs scored to make it 1-0, Howard scored twice to make the score 3-2, Leif made it 4-2, and Ashton Griese scored at 4:51 of the third period for the win. Kieran Duffy made 21 saves in goal. This coming weekend the Capitals go to Mitchell for an 8:30 p.m. Saturday faceoff, then go up to Aberdeen for a 4:30 Sunday match.
  • SDAHA boys varsity standings: Sioux Falls #2 11-0-0-0, Rushmore 9-2-0-0, Oahe 6-0-0-0, Brookings 5-0-0-0, Sioux Center 4-4-0-0, Yankton 3-6-0-1, Watertown 2-3-0-0, Sioux Falls #1 2-5-0-0, Aberdeen 1-5-0-0, Huron 0-8-0-2, Mitchell 0-7-0-0.
  • Oahe Capitals girls varsity: The Capital girls shut out Huron, 3-0, behind 34 saves from Abigail Stewart Fromm, two goals from Sara Bierne and a goal by Olivia Swenson. On Sunday the girls lost a 5-2 game against Sioux Falls as Alyssa Stahl and Brylee Kafka each had a goal and Stewart Fromm made 39 saves. The girls go to Mitchell at 3:30 Saturday and to Aberdeen at 10:45 Sunday.
  • SDAHA girls varsity standings: Aberdeen 9-0-0-0, Sioux Falls 8-1-0-0, Brookings 6-2-0-0, Sioux Center 4-4-0-0, Huron 3-5-0-0, Mitchell 2-7-0-1, Watertown 2-6-0-0, Oahe 1-4-0-1, Yankton 0-4-0-0.
  • Minnesota Wild: The NHL season begins tonight for the Wild with a four-game western trip. Minnesota plays at Los Angeles tonight and Saturday and at Anaheim Monday and Wednesday.
  • Sioux Falls Stampede: The Herd split with Waterloo, winning 5-1 and losing 6-4. Now 7-9-1 and in fifth place among eight teams in their division, the Stampede plays Sioux City at home tonight and Friday and on the road Saturday.
  • Rapid City Rush: The Rush beat Allen, 3-2, then lost to the Americans, 4-2 and 4-2. Rapid City is home vs. Tulsa for three games—7:05 Friday and Saturday and 4:05 Sunday.
  • Aberdeen Wings: Idle last weekend, the Wings are home vs. St. Cloud Friday and Saturday.


PGA Champions Tour (Tom Byrum): The Champions Tour resumes in Hawaii Jan. 21-23.


— Sioux Falls Skyforce: There will be no Skyforce season in Sioux Falls this year since the NBA’s G League has decided to reduce to 17 teams and have them play all their games at a bubble site near Orlando.

— Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves lost to Portland, 135-117, and to San Antonio in overtime, 125-122, then beat the Spurs, 96-88, to end a seven-game losing skid. Now 3-7, Minnesota played Memphis last night and faces the Grizzlies again Friday. Then the Wolves play at Atlanta at 1:30 Monday and home vs. Orlando next Wednesday.


— Pierre Trappers: There have been more additions to the 2021 Trappers roster in the past week, including these players:
* Brock Rinehart of Woodbury, Minn., infielder from South Dakota State.
* Gannon Ruckman of Freeport, Ill., left-handed pitcher from Central Methodist.
* Cole Yancey of Monroe, Ga., outfielder from University of North Georgia.
* Brennen Van Breusegen of Columbia, Ill., outfielder from Central Missouri.


— NFL games on TV this weekend:
Saturday: Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay, 3:35 p.m., Fox.
Saturday: Baltimore at Buffalo, 7:15 p.m., NBC.
Sunday: Cleveland at Kansas City, 2:05 p.m., CBS.
Sunday: Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 5:40 p.m., Fox.


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

Friday, Jan. 15:
Nic Hogan, Madison Sutton, Easton Dozark, Eli Stoeser, Barb Hillestad, Anajoy Schmitgenb, Turok McNulty, Harrison Jennings.

Saturday, Jan. 16:
Anne Denton, John Hamilton, Cheryl (Wire) Stierna, Alvin Kelley, Andrew Tople, Helen Dutt, Wendy Carroll, Tristan Bryant, Kate (Wylie) Berreth, Tennile (Asmussen) Lindskov, Brad Wedeking, Jacki (Parlin) Wicker, Kelli (Snow) Rohrer, Samuel Lechtenberg.
— 5th anniversary, Derrick/Jennh (Hallenbeck) Orr.

Sunday, Jan. 17:
Nolan Merrill, Anthony Zebroski, Jerry Hofer, Shanna Payne, Karen Lindbloom, Scott Hofer, Sara (Kindopp) Gloe, Stacy Mercer, Valerie (Fanger) Marso, Sherri Sundem Wald, Kyle McKeever, Lauretta Dimmick, Jamie (Gannaway) Heymans.

Monday, Jan. 18:
Kaden Kampfe, Cody Henricksen, Robbin Paxton, Cody Cruse, Kaden Parsons, Twila Dockter, Rick LaFurge, Tyson Lindekugel, Jonathan Moe, Leann Weischedel.

Tuesday, Jan. 19:
Becky (Barringer) Hoffman, Martha Nystrom, Clint Fouts, Jake Vogel, Lane Hawkins, Allen Hiller, Fletcher Delvo, Noah Wright, Karla Baus, Darin Hausmann, Destiny Garber, Caren (Howard) Huxford, Chandra Schoenhard, Barbara Crandell-Miller.

Wednesday, Jan. 20:
Emersyn Jeanotte, Eleni Wright, DeNeil (Hosman) Tahylor, Amber Kelley, Andrea (Miller) Baker, Greg Chapin, Steve West, Kirsten Wilcox, Katie Bartel, Jason Richards, Dorinda Timmons, Sue (Brink) Joachimn, Kathy (Walker) Blackburn, Lucas Stoeser, Kaitlin Thomas, Austyn Norman.
— 3rd anniversary, Allen/Sarah (Zellmer) Johnson.

Thursday, Jan. 21:
Pam Steece, Nathanial Sprenkle, Doug Paxton, Justin Artz, Monte Pullman, Becky Thompson, Parker Parsons, Mary (Jordre) Jensen, Daniall Deis, Isaac Heymans.
— 18th anniversary, Jesse/Whitney (Palmer) Flottmeyer.


The South Dakota COVID-19 scoreboard:
* Death toll through last Wednesday—1,519.
* Death toll through yesterday, Jan. 13—1,604.
* Active cases in South Dakota as of yesterday—4,762.
* The United States had a record day last Thursday, 4,110 deaths in one day, the highest one-day total since the pandemic began last spring. But that record was broken Tuesday when 4, 327 more Americans died and the overall death toll since the pandemic began went past 380,000.

Our sympathy to Karen and Patrick Callahan and their family. Karen’s mother, Audrey Thompson, 84, formerly of Garrison, N.D., died Jan. 18 after a brief cancer battle. A funeral will be held on a later date in Garrison. As a military wife Mrs. Thompson and her husband, Truman, lived in many places in this country and abroad. After his retirement from the military, they lived in Miles City, Mont., and Sturgis until his death in 1985. In the early 1990s she began a relationship with Ronald Hummel. They lived in Garrison until she moved to Pierre to be closer to her family. He came soon after, and they lived here until his death in December Mrs. Thompson is survived by two sons, David Thompson and his wife Barb of Minot, N.D., and Dwight Thompson and his wife Titirat of Berthold, N.D.; her daughter, Karen Callahan and her husband Patrick of Pierre; her brother, Reuben Landsiedel of Hood River, Ore.; several brothers- and sisters-in-law; eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild, and Ronald Hummel’s five children and their families.

The fall semester Dean’s List at Northern State University included Tori Thorpe, Alison Woodmansey, Dustann Norris, Jocelyn Gray, Reid Wieczorek, Allison Schaefbauer, Hailey Switzer, Rachel Guthmiller, Jacob Howard, Cordell Ring, Judah McKinley, Spencer Sarringar, Carly Handcock, Lexi Henning, Paige Brandt, Grace Campbell, Will Ellwanger and Ashley Even.

Joan Simons marked 48 years with Dakota Radio Group last week, but she’s not retiring—still working there!

James Thielen, 63, died Jan. 5 at Good Samaritan Society’s nursing home in Sioux Falls. Visitation will be from 1 to 2:45 p.m. today (Thursday) at Feigum Funeral Home, followed by a graveside service at 3 p.m. at Riverside Cemetery. He graduated in 1975 from Riggs High School where he was a member of the state champion tennis team. He was married to Mandi Warnick for 12 years. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service. Survivors include his son, Dr. Damon Thielen, his wife Jessica and their daughter, Vada, of Sioux Falls; his brothers, Robert Thielen of Pierre, William Thielen of Carbondale, Ill., Jerry Thielen of Irene, Mark Thielen of Springfield, Ill., and David Thielen of Atlanta, Ga.; and several nephews and nieces.

Helen Rittel, 95, died Jan. 10. Her funeral took place Tuesday at Feigum Funeral Home. Helen went to school in Mobridge, Pierre and Belvidere. She married Neil Rittel in 1944. While her husband was in military service, Helen worked at the Fischer Brothers store in Fort Pierre. She worked as a nurse’s aide and a ward clerk in hospitals in Pierre as well as Roosevelt, Utah, and Douglas, Wyo. After the Rittels moved back to Pierre, they managed Chateau Apartments. She later worked at Walmart for 18 years. She is survived by her son, Brad Rittel and his wife Dawn; her daughters, Donna Crandell and her husband Keith, Karen Hughart and her husband Alan, Laura Rittel, Tana Culpepper and her husband Ronnie, and Liz Ames and her husband Jim; 12 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

The late Lee Weber, a Hughes County deputy sheriff who dived into the Missouri River last summer to save the life of his son but lost his own life in the process, was honored by Governor Noem during her State of the State address Tuesday as she presented his family with the Governor’s Award for Heroism.

Carol (Carter) Peterson, 68, Pierre, died Jan. 7 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. Her funeral is being held this (Thursday) morning at 11 a.m. at Lutheran Memorial Church. The daughter of Cliff and Darlene Carter grew up in Sully County and graduated from Onida High School in 1970. She married Errol Peterson in Pierre later that year. Carol worked for the Department of Transportation in the same office, then retired in June 2017 after 46 years there. She is survived by her husband, Errol Peterson; her daughter, Angela Nelson and her husband Terry; her son, Eric Peterson and his wife Tarrah; three grandchildren; her mother, Darlene Carter; her brother, Jim Carter, and her sisters, Wanda Hauser, Mary Hauser and Kim Christ.

Pierre school board members Dennis James and Randy Hartmann, whose terms expire this spring, have indicated they will seek re-election at the June 8 city/school election. (News courtesy of “Today’s KCCR News.”)

Roger Parsons, 72, died at home in Pierre Jan. 9. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at New Life Assembly of God. A native of Haakon County, he graduated from Philip High School in 1967. In the 1970s he bought the A&W Drive-In in Pierre. Later he worked as a deputy sheriff at Sturgis. Upon returning to Pierre, he was a correctional officer at the state women’s prison until his retirement. He is survived by his wife, Terri; his children, Wendy Parsons of Plymouth, Minn., Amy Gray of New Hope, Minn., Cory White of Dickinson, N.D., RoxAnn Miller of Kiowa, Colo., Rick White of Pierre and Lori Schumacher of Pierre; 12 grandchildren; his brother, Doug Parsons of Rapid City, and his sister, Brigitte Brucklacher of Philip.

Dr. Wendy Birhanzel (Riggs ’92) is superintendent of the Harrison School District 2, which covers the southern and southeastern part of the city of Colorado Springs. Her district covers 14 elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools and four charter schools. This Saturday one of the biggest local events focused on educating children of color takes place there. The 14th annual Educating Children of Color Summit has gone virtual this year. It brings together students, parents and educators for a day of classes and sessions on higher education, leadership and self-improvement. The summit will also award $20,000 in scholarships to students and teachers. “We are partners with the Educating Children of Color Summit,” Dr. Birhanzel said. “We usually have the largest contingent of students. We value the program so much that we bus our students there.” She said the event is such a good opportunity for students and staff to come together and really learn some new strategies and skills on how to work together. Last year Harrison District 2 sent 135 teachers, administrators, central office staff, instructional coaches and athletic directors to the summit. “It allows our staff to see things from different perspectives. It really helps create those strong relationships with our students from many different backgrounds than our staff. I really think it allows staff to uncover their own biases they might have or see things from a different perspective that’s not been brought to their foresight before.” Not only do students of color face discrimination in school settings, but they are also more likely to face legal consequences. Dr. Birhanzel notes that the summit has had a positive impact on Harrison District 2’s restorative justice program.

The South Dakota Retailers Association this week presented its Community Service Award to Lonnie Heier, owner of the Dairy Queen restaurants in Pierre, Eagle Butte, Martin, Winner and Vermillion. The SDRA’s Restaurant of the Year award was presented to the Colonial House in Rapid City. Named Retailer of the Year was Dana Keffeler of the Keffeler Kreations store in Faith.

Long-time Onida music teacher Arlene Donahue, who taught with her late husband Jack at Pickstown, Onida and Murdo for many years, died at the age of 95 Jan. 6 at the Peaceful Pines senior living community in Rapid City. A private family service for Arlene and Jack is being held today (Thursday) at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis. Arlene, who was a sister of the late Bonnie Robinson, a long-time Pierre resident and nurse, grew up at Wessington Springs. She attended Yankton College where she met Jack, and they married in 1945. Using her degree in education and vocal music, Arlene taught vocal music at all three communities where the Donahues lived. They later built their retirement home at Silver City in the Black Hills and lived there until moving into Rapid City in 2012. Arlene is survived by her son, Bill Donahue and his wife Victoria of Silver City; her daughters, Pat Brunskill and her husband John of Murdo and Julie Wagner of Boise, Idaho; seven grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

The new chairman of the Pierre Area Economic Development Corporation is Andy Hubbart, assistant vice president of ag and commercial lending at BankWest in Pierre. A native of Brandon, he earned an economics degree from SDSU and his MBA from USD. He will chair PAEDC for a two-year term.




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