Vol. 21, No. 8; Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020

Dec 3, 2020 | Parker's Midweek Update | 1 comment

Fort Pierre Tourism and Promotion Council

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Winter sports protocols: For basketball and wrestling events at Riggs High School, adults are “encouraged” to wear masks. Only four tickets per rostered athlete will be granted. All high school students can attend. Middle school and elementary students will need tickets and have to sit with their parents.

Football: Six members of the state champion Governors were named to the Class 11AA All-State Team selected by the South Dakota High School Coaches Association. In addition, Maguire Raske earned the lone All-American recognition in Class 11AA. Houston Lunde was named to the honorable mention list. The Pierre All-State players:
* Quarterback: Lincoln Kienholz.
* Tight end/fullback/halfback: Regan Bollweg.
* Running back: Maguire Raske.
* Offensive lineman: Gunnar Gehring.
* Defensive lineman: Preston Taylor.
* Defensive back: Cord Ellis.

Football: The Sioux Falls Argus Leader’s annual Elite 45, the players they consider the best 45 in the state regardless of classification, included Governor players Regan Bollweg as a tight end/linebacker and Maguire Raske as a running back/linebacker. The ESD Conference’s all-conference team announced this week includes these Governors: offense, sophomore quarterback Lincoln Kienholz, senior running backs Maguire Raske and Regan Bollweg, senior offensive lineman Gunnar Gehring; defense, senior linebacker Collin Brueggeman, senior defensive back Cord Ellis, senior defensive linemen Preston Taylor and Jayce Beastrom.

Athletes of the Week: The Pierre Athletic Coaches Association selected MaKenna Schlekeway of the volleyball team and the entire football team as Athletes of the Week two weeks ago.

This week’s schedules:
— Thursday:
Gymnastics—at Huron.
— Saturday:
Gymnastics—at Sioux Falls Washington invitational.
— Tuesday:
Wrestling—at Harrisburg.

Basketball openers: Pierre begins the basketball season against Harrisburg Dec. 11, the girls at home and the boys on the road.


Class AA: Sioux Falls O’Gorman over Huron, 3-1.
Class A: Sioux Falls Christian over Dakota Valley, 3-0.
Class B: Northwestern over Warner, 3-1.


Football: Nathan Cook was named an All-State player in Class 11B on the South Dakota High School Coaches Association’s All-State team as a linebacker. He also earned honorable mention in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader’s Elite 45.

This week’s schedules:
— Saturday:
Wrestling—home for Stanley County invitational.
— Tuesday:
Girls basketball—at Chamberlain.

Other openers: The boys basketball team opens at Lyman Dec. 11. The gymnasts open Dec. 12 at the Wagner tournament


Football: Jesse Schall, a junior at Sully Buttes, earned All-State recognition as a defensive lineman on the South Dakota High School Coaches Association’s All-State team for Class 9A. Jesse also earned honorable mention in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader’s Elite 45.

This week’s schedules:
— Tuesday:
Girls basketball—home vs. Ipswich.
Wrestling—at Lyman triangular (with Miller/Highmore-Harrold).

Boys basketball: The season opens at Lyman Dec. 15.


Directions: Draw a square of 16 boxes 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) Home of Homestake.
(5) To look at flirtatiously.
(6) Opening in a fence.
(7) Smell.
(1) A business identity.
(2) Same as geewillikers.
(3) Lower than a mezzo.
(4) Bambi, for instance.

Answer to the puzzle at the bottom of this Update.


1 day: Pierre Players’ “Same Time Next Year” (Dec. 4-6, 10-12).
7 days: Riggs High choir concert (Dec. 10).
8 days: Pierre girls basketball opener vs. Harrisburg (Dec. 11).
8 days: Pierre boys basketball opener at Harrisburg (Dec. 11).
8 days: Rapid City Rush season opener (Dec. 11).
11 days: Riggs High band concert (Dec. 14).
11 days: Each state’s electors meet to vote for President (Dec. 14).
18 days: Georgia Morse Middle School band/choir concert (Dec. 21).
19 days: NBA season openers (Dec. 22).
22 days: Christmas Day (Dec. 25).
23 days: Last day of “Christmas at the Capitol” (Dec. 26).
29 days: College football national semifinal games (Jan. 1).
34 days: Joint session of Congress to count electoral votes for President (Jan. 6).
37 days: NFL playoffs begin (Jan. 9).
39 days: College football national championship game (Jan. 11).
40 days: First day of legislative session (Jan. 12).
48 days: Inauguration Day (Jan. 20).


“It would be fantastic if we didn’t have to mandate it (mask wearing), but in the interest of public health, it looks as though that’s going to be the most effective way to accomplish that, and so as a result, I’m in full support.”

— Bill Gassen, new CEO of Sanford Health


  1. Legislative leaders say they expect senators and representatives will wear masks when the session begins in January. Already mask opponents are making themselves heard.
  2. Both Sioux Falls and Rapid City canceled their holiday Parade of Lights events. Pierre’s went on as scheduled on the Monday night of Thanksgiving week.
  3. Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre announced it was doubling up on rooms and reopening an area that had been idle for years. The limiting factor in care is staffing, rather than the number of available beds constantly emphasized by the governor. Dr. MIkel Holland urged residents to wear masks and use good hygiene. (News courtesy of Dakota Radio Group’s “My Daily News.”)
  4. Six of the original eight teams headed to Sioux Falls for the Crossover Classic men’s basketball tournament bowed out rather than come to South Dakota during its coronavirus epidemic. Creighton, Texas A&M, Utah, Dayton, Ohio State and Wichita State nixed coming to South Dakota to play. So did Oklahoma for the Pentagon’s women’s tournament.
  5. Commenting on how the United States carries on ignoring the mounting COVID-19 death toll, University of Oregon psychology professor uttered the Quote of the Month: “The more who die, the less we care.” The nationwide death toll passed 250,000 the week of Nov. 20, 10 times the car crash toll for a full year.
  6. Even the public appearance of Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous groundhog, will be done virtually this coming Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, rather than having a crowd for the public event.
  7. The Aberdeen city council did not pass a mask mandate but agreed that more use of facial coverings is crucial in preventing COVID-19 spread.
  8. The Mitchell city council approved a mask mandate despite pushback from business owners and residents.
  9. The Fort Pierre city council passed a resolution 5-1 asking all residents and patrons to wear masks and follow other guidelines.
  10. In Deadwood where tourists and gamblers are the lifeblood of the city, the city commission nevertheless unanimously passed an emergency resolution mandating masks.
  11. The Yankton city commission voted down a mask mandate.
  12. Kelby Krabbenhoft, the CEO of Sanford Health, the region’s largest health system, said, since he had COVID-19 earlier, he would not be seen wearing a mask simply as a “symbolic gesture.” He said, “There’s not a crisis.” Instantly the chief medical person in the Sanford Health system took exception to Krabbenhoft’s position, insisting on wearing masks as a crucial method of slowing the virus spread. Four days later Krabbenhoft became the former CEO of Sanford Health, leaving that job two years earlier than planned.
  13. The Rapid City common council gave first reading to a mask mandate on a 6-5 vote with Mayor Steve Allender casting the tie-breaking vote. The proposal includes stiff fines from $1 to $500 for violators. During the meeting protesters outside City Hall marched with signs such as “Give us liberty or give us death!” However, this week the council relented, tossing that ordinance aside while another crowd of protesters waited outside the building. Instead the council gave first reading by a 9-1 vote to an amended, watered-down ordinance from which churches and businesses can opt out. That one gets a second reading next week, and in the meantime the status quo exists. The new ordinance, if it is passed, will give the maskless places to gather without restriction and likely do nothing to control the virus spread. At this week’s meeting the majority of the people present did not wear masks, disrespecting the mask mandate for city buildings that has been in effect for some time. The police chief and three police officers who were there did wear their masks.
  14. The Mayo Clinic health system reported that 900 staff members had contracted COVID-19 in the two weeks leading up to Nov. 18.
  15. The Sioux Falls city council, after the previous week defeating a mask mandate on a tie vote broken by Mayor Paul TenHaken, approved a revised mask mandate, 6-2. The penalty aspect of the mandate defeated earlier had been removed. The mandate applies to inside businesses and city facilities. Yet a week later TenHaken reminded his citizens, “We have several more months of mitigation that we really have to practice.”
  16. Mask opponents in South Dakota would really have their panties in a knot if they were in South Australia where even outdoor exercise and dog walking were banned. For six days only one person from each household was allowed to leave home each day and then only for essential reasons. Schools, universities and cafes were closed, weddings and funerals were banned, and masks were mandatory.
  17. The Nevada governor at the same time pleaded with residents to stay home and for out-of-staters to go to Las Vegas to spend money.
  18. Governor Newsom of California announced a limited stay-at-home order that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in 94% of the state.
  19. Columbia University in New York City banned 70 students who violated coronavirus travel rules by going to Turks and Cairos in the Caribbean.
  20. The Christmas at the Cathedral event, which annually fills St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls for live performances by actors, singers and the South Dakota Symphony, will not host in-person performances this year. Instead there will be one video performance on KELO-TV on Christmas Night.
  21. The Hegg Brothers troupe will not make its trek across South Dakota performing Christmas concerts this December because of the ongoing pandemic.
  22. The Kennedy Center in Washington canceled 364 ticketed events from now through April, creating a loss of $24.1 million in ticket sales.
  23. Dr. Anthony Fauci in an interview said the four places he would stay away from to avoid contracting the virus are bars, restaurants, air travel and public transportation, but of course, what does he know!
  24. USD announced that basketball attendance at home games this month will be limited to season ticketholders and USD students.
  25. While the Capitol in Pierre continues to welcome visitors to see the decorated Christmas trees every day, at least there won’t be the annual Pie Day this year.
  26. Isn’t it interesting that in Brookings where a city-mandated mask requirement has been in effect, there have been no canceled classes at either the public schools or SDSU, the local economy is humming along. there has been no lockdown, and of the 10 most populous counties Brookings has had the lowest total and average numbers of cases since it was implemented. My friend Clay Hoffman pointed this out in a Facebook post this week. He notes that SDSU president Dunn is a proponent of the mandate and that he along with Mayor Corbett and the brave city council members epitomize the leadership that has been so obviously lacking at the state level and on many local levels.
  27. The Sun Bowl football game in El Paso, which has been played every year since 1935, has been canceled for this year. That city has been a COVID-19 disaster zone for months, and the last thing they need is a super-spreader crowd event.
  28. The South Dakota Conference of the United Church of Christ issued a public plea to Governor Noem to put a statewide mask mandate in place.
  29. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) heard from its vaccine advisers, and that panel by a vote of 13-1 decided the first vaccines should go to long-term care facilities’ residents and employees and to health care professionals.
  30. The state Department of Health said it expects to receive 7,800 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 15.
  31. The Rapid City school board was to meet last night to consider a proposal that activities be allowed to continue on a 5-days-per-week basis as if everything were normal, even if classes revert back to total online education at some point. The school board will also hear a proposal from a group of parents who want five-day in-person school to resume after the holiday break.
  32. A conservative columnist in the East wrote a piece blasting the big, bad mainstream media for hitting hard on the poor defenseless state of South Dakota, and many residents of this area immediately jumped to “like” the column.
  33. The head of the CDC warned that the death toll nationwide could reach 450,000 by February and warned people over 65 and those with existing conditions to not enter any building where everyone is not masked.


The probability of there being 1,000 COVID-19 deaths in South Dakota by Christmas time was at one time thought to be only a possibility, but that target will have been reached by the time you read this, so perhaps our new goal might as well be 1,500 by Christmas and 2,000 by Valentine’s Day. Does it blow your mind that, in a state whose total population is only 885,000, 2,000 could be lost to this virus in a year’s time?

As mask proponents and opponents continue to quibble across the state and as some people, unwilling to inconvenience themselves or sacrifice anything for the common good, think the pandemic is going to magically end in a split second when vaccinations start to take place, we muddle onward as if “normal” were going to happen some time soon. Shoppers took the governor’s advice to get out in droves amid the good weather over the weekend. Travel numbers were high, especially at airports. Many families went ahead with Thanksgiving plans because “we’re tired of the virus.” Many schools are open for total in-person learning, and wrestling and basketball are starting. “Normal” is just around the corner, they think! Once the new year is here, some of us will still mask up and social distance to help ourselves and our neighbors stay well. For those who haven’t done anything at all to help slow the spread for the past nine months, life will still be “normal.” The rest of us will continue to plunge ahead, still unable to understand the thinking of half of the people of this state.

Here is how this state raised its soaring death toll over the past two weeks:
— Nov. 19: Thirty-one newly-reported deaths, bringing the total toll to 705.
— Nov. 20: Thirty-six deaths; total at 741. Today’s new-case total 1,328.
— Nov. 21: The new deaths number today was 36, bringing the total toll to 777. New cases today, 1,134.
— Nov. 22: Forty-two new deaths today for a total of 819 along with 851 new cases.
— Nov. 23: No new deaths today but 783 new cases statewide.
— Nov. 24: Two new deaths brought the state toll to 821, 406 of them in November alone. 1,011 new cases today.
— Nov. 25: Twenty-eight more deaths; total toll 849. New cases today numbered 1,283.
— Nov. 27: A two-day report over the holiday revealed 39 more deaths and a whopping 2,138 new positive cases.
— Nov. 28: Fifty-four more deaths brought the state’s toll to 942. It was the most deaths reported in one day since the pandemic began. There were also 819 new cases.
— Nov. 29: Only one death was reported today for a total of 943, but 801 new cases were not good news.
— Nov. 30: Three deaths brought the toll to 946, and in November there were 531 deaths in just that one month. The new-cases total today was 564.
— Dec. 1: Two new deaths were reported for a total of 948, and today’s report revealed 448 new positive cases. The latter number is at least the lowest one-day total of new cases since the surge began in mid-October. The number of active cases—14,088—is the lowest level since Nov. 5.
— Dec. 2: Forty-seven deaths raise the total to 995, five short of a full thousand. There are 1,291 new cases today, and the number of active cases is at 14,857.


Morningside bowling (Alex Badger): The Mustangs have been idle for a month and have another month to go before resuming rolling. They compete in Addison, Ill., Jan. 16-17.

Black Hills State women’s basketball (Racquel Wientjes): The Yellowjackets open their season on the road this weekend at Western Colorado Friday and Fort Lewis Saturday.

Northwestern (Iowa) football (Morris Hofer): The Red Raiders finished their regular season with an 8-1 record, winning the finale over Jamestown, 49-0. Morris played in all nine games and had nine solo tackles and 11 assisted tackles for a total of 20. The NAIA’s postseason has been postponed to next spring, so the Raiders have a long time to get ready for their playoff opener April 17.

Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball (Bradley Dean, Nick Wittler): The Tigers are 5-1 after three more wins in the past two weeks. In a double-overtime 80-78 win over Dordt, Bradley was 1-of-3 in three-pointers and 1-of-3 in free throws for four points with three rebounds and one steal. DWU edged Hastings, 74-70, as Bradley shot 3-of-7 (0-of-3 in threes) and 0-for-1 for six points with two rebounds, one assist and one steal. DWU won at Dickinson State, 87-72, and Bradley was 3-of-5 (2-of-3 in threes) for eight points with a steal and a rebound. DWU after playing Dakota State last night is home Sunday vs. Doane and next Wednesday vs. Northwestern.

Dakota Wesleyan football (Cobey Carr, Isaac Cliff): The Tigers finished the season at 4-5 with a 28-17 win over Concordia (Neb.) in GPAC play.

South Dakota women’s basketball (Chloe Lamb): The Coyotes were tied with #1 South Carolina at halftime, 37-37, but eventually lost to the Gamecocks, 81-71. Chloe was 8-of-24 in field goals (2-of-7 in threes) for a team-high 18 points with four rebounds and two assists. On Monday, also at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls, USD led #18 Gonzaga by 18 points at one time but lost by 54-50. Chloe was 2-of-15 (0-for-5 in threes) for four points with two boards, four assists, and two steals. Now 0-2, USD is home at 1 p.m. Sunday vs. Lipscomb (Tenn.) on Midco Sports Network #2 channel.

Tennessee women’s basketball (Caleb Currier): The Lady Vols have opened at 2-0 with an 87-47 win over Western Kentucky and a 67-50 victory over East Tennessee State. Tennessee plays at West Virginia this Sunday.

South Dakota men’s basketball (Max Burchill): The Coyotes are 0-3 in the early going this season, losing to Colorado, 84-61, and to Drake, 69-53, in games played at Manhattan, Kan., and losing in Lincoln to Nebraska Tuesday night, 76-69. Freshman Max has not gotten into game action yet. USD goes south yet again Saturday to play at UMKC.

Mount Marty men’s basketball (Lincoln Jordre): The Lancers have a three-game winning streak going and were 3-1 in the past two weeks. In a 68-58 loss to Morningside, Lincoln got in for nine minutes and was 1-of-1 for two points with two rebounds and a steal. As MMC beat Midland, 63-49, he was 0-for-1 and had an assist in three minutes of play. In a 75-68 win over Doane, Lincoln saw a minute of action and did not score. On Tuesday he saw his most playing time so far, getting in for 14 minutes as MMC beat Presentation, 79-50. He was 1-of-4 and 1-of-2 for three points with two rebounds, a steal and an assist. Mount Marty hosts Jamestown Saturday and goes down to Concordia (Neb.) next Wednesday.


  • Why am I thinking that I may never again trust any statistics coming out of the state Department of Health after Governor Noem appoints as the DOH’s new communications director a former Trump campaign press secretary named Daniel Bucheli.
  • As I was rummaging through a box of old newspaper and Midweek Update columns, I ran across the story of how a group of hunters bonded with the Pierre cross country teams a bit over 20 years ago. It began when the fall of 1996 when the Governor cross country runners were having their postseason formal dinner at Spring Creek Resort. The kids were dressed to the hilt, including that year’s senior runners Tony Blake, Julia Guhin, Brian Lowery, Ellery Grey and Laurie Koehn. Enjoying dinner at Spring Creek at the same time was a group of hunters from the state of Washington, who were impressed with the young people acting so mature and proper. The men took up a collection among themselves and bestowed the money on the team to do with as they and Coach Bruce Venner saw fit. The next year, which was the fall when the Governor boys team, including seniors Luke Steece, Isaac Vogel, Eric Hillestad, John Keyes and Nick Jung, won the ESD Conference championship, the runners’ van ran out of gas while on the drive out to Oahe Dam. That’s where the runners frequently drove and then ran all the way back to town. The same group of hunters, as luck would have it, happened by and came to the rescue of the gas-less cross country team. Later that same week the team went out for their formal dinner at Spring Creek, and, wouldn’t you know, the hunters were there again. The friendship between the Washington hunters and the Pierre runners resumed, and before the evening was over, another collection of money was left with Venner and his kids before the hunters left. The practice continued in 1998. Finally in the fall of 2000 at the airport before they left for Washington, the hunters presented $2,130 to the team. One of the men told me, “We came up with this idea of paying back the community in very small way for the hospitality we enjoy here.” Those guys raised their money each year by fining themselves outrageously, up to as much as $50 for a “violation” of their rules, such as wearing their caps indoors or for doing anything resembling carelessness when out in the field.
  • One of my daughters was among those who testified (again!) in front of the Rapid City common council Monday night on behalf of her fellow front-line health workers. She remarked about the “angry mob” that waited downstairs with their finger-pointing, name-calling and threats as she and others left. The best Facebook post that described Monday’s meeting was the one that described it as “a whirlwind of depressing, hateful insanity.” But a positive thought: Mayor Allender stated at the meeting that 55% of the comments posted online on the city’s website by the public favored a mask mandate. So we need to remind ourselves that it’s the vocal minority who carry signs, yell threats, think only of themselves and make comments at public meetings that cause me to shake my head in disbelief that all of those people live here and vote here.
  • When I saw the sign in their window, I couldn’t resist honking my horn as I rounded the corner past The Trump Store at Baken Park the other day. The sign said, “50% OFF.”
  • I must admit that I am frankly amazed—but actually not surprised—that so many schools are still allowing their music groups to come to Pierre to sing among the Christmas trees this month. A check of the entertainment schedule will show you they’re coming from all around the state.
  • One of the newsletters I receive via e-mail each morning is that of Axios AM. This week in a report on crime along the U.S.-Mexico border, which Trump has always said is a lawless region because of those who have crossed the border from Mexico, this was the sentence that leaped off the screen at me: “From Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego, an analysis of crime data from 11 border cities found that all had a lower violent crime rate than Sioux Falls, S.D.”
  • Well, shucks. My entries and nearly a thousand others were rejected by the committee which now has selected the four finalists in the contest to name the new arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, which will soon be known as The Monument. The voting for the name of the new arena as part of that c complex continues until 5 p.m. Dec. 11, and the new name will be revealed Dec. 17. The four finalists: * Hero Arena at The Monument; * Summit Arena at The Monument; * B21 Arena at The Monument; * Paha Sapa Arena at The Monument.
  • On most Christmas Days the only sport to watch on TV is NBA basketball. This year that won’t be the only thing on the tube since the Vikings play at New Orleans that afternoon. However, there will still be five NBA games, and the teams involved are the ones you would expect the league to select: New Orleans vs. Miami, Golden State vs. Milwaukee, Boston vs. Brooklyn, Lakers vs. Dallas, Clippers vs. Denver.


Aberdeen Wings: Aberdeen is still undefeated this season. The Wings’ most recent victories have been 7-0 and 5-2 over Minot and 3-1 and 3-2 over Austin. Aberdeen plays at Bismarck this Friday and Saturday.

Rapid City Rush: The ECHL season openers for the Rush will be at home vs. Utah at 7:05 p.m. next weekend, Dec. 11-12.

Sioux Falls Stampede: The Herd defeated Omaha, 4-2, but lost to Omaha, 6-3; to Fargo, 4-3, and to Lincoln, 5-4. Sioux Falls plays at Waterloo Friday and at Des Moines next Tuesday.

Oahe Capitals girls varsity: The girls open the SDAHA season at Brookings at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Oahe Capitals boys varsity: The Capitals will take a 7-3 preseason record into their SDAHA openers this weekend—at Watertown at 8 p.m. Saturday and at Huron at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Last weekend at the Huron tournament the Caps lost to Sioux Center, 6-5; defeated Aberdeen, 6-2, and lost to Huron, 2-1. In the Sioux Center game Raef Briggs scored four times with Elliot Leif adding a goal, and Kieran Duffy made 33 saves. Andy Gordon contributed a hat trick against Aberdeen, and Leif and Ashton Griese also scored. Leif had the lone goal in the Huron game.


Minnesota United FC: The Loons shut down Colorado, 3-0, in the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs, advancing to the conference semifinals on the road at Sporting Kansas City tonight (Thursday) at 7:30 p.m. on Fox. Tonight’s winner goes to the Western Conference final against defending champion Seattle on Monday night.


NFL games on local TV this weekend (subject to change by networks):
— Sunday: Jacksonville at Minnesota, noon, CBS.
— Sunday: Detroit at Chicago, noon, Fox.
— Sunday: Philadelphia at Green Bay, 3:25 p.m., CBS.
— Sunday: Denver at Kansas City, 7:20 p.m., NBC.
— Monday: Buffalo at San Francisco, 7:15 p.m., ESPN.
— Tuesday: Dallas at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m., Fox and NFL Network.

Denver Broncos: With their top four quarterbacks forbidden to play by the NFL because of their unmasked workouts, the Broncos lost to New Orleans, 31-3, after beating Miami the previous week, 20-13. Now 4-7, Denver has to go to Kansas City this Sunday night.

Minnesota Vikings: After a 31-28 loss to Dallas, the Vikings won a 28-27 thriller over Carolina. Now 5-6, Minnesota hosts Jacksonville Sunday.


Thursday, Dec. 3:
Landon Lizotte, Jake Imsland, Nolan Ortbahn, Brad Heckenlaible, Porter Hunsley, Trey Redetzke, Amy Stotts, Heath Olson, Kyler Gabriel, Hannah Harmon, Hallie Holden, Shawn Ludemann, James Lee, Louise Snodgrass, Brandon Cruse.
— 4th anniversary, Rip/Heather (Schreiner) Ray.

Friday, Dec. 4:
Carmen Zeigler, Mandy Bartels, Deb (Raue) Evans, Kayson Boyer, Andrea Calkins, Kristen (Colestock) Pittman, Jesse Boyer, Wanda Boyle, Chad Harris, Calvin Bumann, Glenda Woodburn, Scott Senftner, Zack Weinheimer, Matthew Dial.
— 21st anniversary, Mike/Ann Shoup.

Saturday, Dec. 5:
Jill (Rounds) Sleger, Lacie Boyle-Herman, Elizabeth Stofferahn.
— We fondly remember Colleen Burchill on her birthday.

Sunday, Dec. 6:
Dan Johnson, Jon Beastrom, Steve Zarecky, Ruby Renemans, Jason Knox, Darlene Stampe, Brianna (Emerson) Bolger, Isaac Williams, Danielle (Ryan) Schroeder, Bob Hoisington.

Monday, Dec. 7:
Jacob Severson, Homer Harding, Sam Shaw, Sarah Parker, Alex Helbig, Owen Picchietti, Desirae Ludwig, Jim Kuchta, Bonnie Lahren-Gallagher.

Tuesday, Dec. 8:
Rhener Gordon, Tammy (Pool) Cole, Rochelle Scott, Carolyn Deal, Chris Markleyu, Kathryn Schuetzle, Erin McKillip, Tim Smith.
— Anniversary, Edd Hogan/Larissa FastHorse.

Wednesday, Dec. 9:
Les Traut, Tyler Coverdale, Jerry Sperry, Gary Drewes, Jackie Cook.

Thursday, Dec. 10:
Amber Robinson, Weston Bruscher, Camilla Karschnik, Michael Tveidt, Patti Fuchs, Penny (Cruthoff) Malevich, Kelsie Brandlee, Annabeth Haarstad, Kaitlyn Richey, Sarah Moreno, Alexi Axlund, Franklin de Hueck, Becky Lindekugel.


Gracelyn Bowman of the band was named Fine Arts Performer of the Week at Riggs High School two weeks ago. This week that distinction went to Riandi Ras of the choir.

Matt Blake, who is a member of the city council in suburban Urbandale, Iowa, will be deploying to the Middle East with his Iowa National Guard unit in January. The city council will temporarily fill his seat, then he will take it back when he returns from deployment late in 2021.

Ben Jones, secretary of the Department of Education, is taking a new job as state historian and director of the South Dakota State Historical Society, effective Dec. 9. Jones replaces the retiring Jay Vogt, who has headed the historical society since 2003. The new secretary of the Department of Education will be Tiffany Sanderson, who most recently has been a senior policy adviser on Governor Noem’s staff. Prior to that she led South Dakota’s technical education system within the Department of Education. Sanderson is a native of Lemmon and earned degrees from SDSU and USD.

Larry Wilcox, 83, Onida, died Nov. 10 at Avantara Pierre, just one week after the death of his wife, Karen. A private graveside service was held Nov. 17 at the Onida cemetery. Larry, son of Clayton and Gladys (Ripley) Wilcox, grew up in western Sully County. He married Karen in 1985, and they lived on the family farm for many years before moving into Onida when he retired. He is survived by his daughter, Carrie Comer Mitzel and her husband Brad; his son, Aaron Comer and his wife DeAnna; seven grandchildren; two sisters, Beverly Peters and her husband Dwight of Pierre and Judy Schuette and her husband Jim, and five nephews and nieces.

Amanda Culberson, daughter of Jason and Kelly Culberson of Rapid City, who is in her second year as a registered nurse, was nominated by two different patients for Monument Health’s Daisy Award for extraordinary nursing.

Dennis Brady, 79, the son of the late Tom and Jo Brady, died Nov. 16. His funeral was held Nov. 24 at the Isburg Funeral Chapel. Dennis was born with cerebral palsy, and life was a daily struggle for him. He graduated from Riggs High School in 1964. He worked at Sooper Dooper, then for 30 years with the General Services Administration in the Federal Building, retiring in 2003. Then he worked part-time at the Runnings store. Survivors include his sisters, ,Ann Briscoe and her husband Richard of Mission, Texas, and Jennie Weingart and her husband Ki of Pierre; his sister-in-law, Edna Brady of Huron, and six nephews and nieces.

The former Rev. Genie Butler, who was an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Pierre, and her husband, Gary Kistler, spent from Easter to the end of November at their home in Hartford. They are leaving for their winter home in Arkansas and plan to stay until spring because that state is safer in the COVID-19 pandemic than South Dakota is. Friends can send holiday greetings to the Kistlers at 32 Palacio Circle, Hot Springs Village AR 71909. In an early Christmas greeting, Genie wrote that her Bible study topic this fall has been the book of Lamentations. “We are reminded,” she wrote in her Christmas letter, “that it is an important spiritual exercise to lament the things that are not right. So for all who will be missing family gatherings, holiday traditions and festivities, it is better to ‘lament’ those losses than to take chances with the lives of our loved ones. We encourage all to please, please, please be careful, wear your masks, get your flu shots and stay safe this season.”

Robert “Bucky” Smith, 85, died Nov. 18 at a nursing home in White Lake. A member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, he moved with his family to Kennebec at the age of 8. During his adult life he worked as a mechanic and a welder. He is survived by his wife, LaVonne Smith of Pierre; his children, Yancey Smith of Rapid City, Penny Kelley and her husband Dave of Pierre, and Al Matthews and his wife Kolette of Kadoka; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and his sister, Diane Alexander of Topeka, Kan.

Derrick Haskins, spokesperson for the Department of Health, has left that position. He had been doing numerous press releases and holding press conferences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maurice Trautman, 82, died Monday. His funeral is being held this (Thursday) morning at 11 a.m. at Feigum Funeral Home. He attended high school at Fairfax and served with the U.S. Marine Corps. He farmed for many years with his father-in-law and son. Survivors include his wife, Carolyn Trautman; his daughters, Kris Trautman of Rapid City and Deb Peery and her husband Lance of Blunt; his son, Rich Trautman and his wife Donna of Pierre; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren, and his siblings, Connie Benedict, Dorothy Boes, DeEtta Dee Vecchio, Terry Trautman, David Trautman, Robert Trautman and Darlene Johnson.

Annis Hunsley died Nov. 22. A private family service will be held at a later date through Feigum Funeral Home.

Neil and Andrea (Hinckley) Spaid of rural Blunt observed their golden wedding anniversary on Nov. 27. Friends can send greetings to 402 E. Alice Ave., Blunt SD 57522.

Fort Pierre’s Christmas tree lighting and bridge lighting events scheduled for Nov. 27 were postponed to this Friday, Dec. 4.

Shirley English, 95, Pierre, died Nov. 17 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. A celebration of her life will take place later. She was buried in Salida, Colo. Shirley grew up in Sioux Falls and worked for Northwestern Bell in Sioux Falls, Pacific Bell in San Diego and Los Angeles and Mountain Bell in Denver. She married Marvin Conklin in 1945 and George English in 1971. They lived in Salida after his retirement. After George’s death Shirley returned to Rapid City, then to Pierre. She is survived by her daughters, Cheryl Peery of Middleburg, Fla., and Char Russell and her husband Jim of Pierre; her son, Greg Dircks of Middleburg; six grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

Pierre native Stuart Martin of Rapid City, who had sustained numerous injuries in a four-wheeler accident earlier in November, was able to leave the hospital Nov. 23 to continue recovery at home.

Ronald Rivenes, 80, Onida, died Nov. 23 at the Denver airport due to a fatal heart attack. He grew up in the Harrold area and served with the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Midway until his discharge in 1962. Ron married Janet Morford later that year. He lived where he ran gas stations and worked on vehicles. In 1975 he took over his father’s farming operation in Sully County, and the family lived in Onida. He is survived by his daughter, Vicki Rivenes, and his grandson, Kenden; his brother, Larry Rivenes of Hayward, Wis., and his sister, Susan Heger of Deadwood. Among those who preceded him in death were his wife; his sons, Kennyu and Dennis Rivenes, and five siblings.

Riggs High senior Jessica Lutmer signed with the University of Sioux Falls to attend school there beginning next fall and participate in the cross country and track programs.

In the notice of the death of Beverly Wire of Mitchell in the last Midweek Update, the names of two of her grandchildren, Kristen Bouman and Justin Bouman, were inadvertently omitted.

Lois (Hauge) Fackelman, 92, died Dec. 1 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. Her funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church. Lois grew up in this area and in Illinois and graduated from Stanley County High School. She married Marvin Fackelman in 1948. Lois worked as a telephone operator, a bookkeeper and a secretary in the attorney general’s office. She is survived by her daughter, Carla Madden and her husband David of Pierre; three grandchildren; three step-grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

Katie Bollinger, whose husband Steven is a doctor in residence at the University of Missouri, completed her master of science degree in physician assistant studies there.

Dick Schlaak, Sr., 91, Pierre, died Nov. 28 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. A graveside service is planned for 11 a.m. this Friday at Riverside Cemetery. The family will greet friends at Feigum Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday). Mr. Schlaak came with his family to Pierre in 1950, and he and his father both worked on the early construction of Oahe Dam. He served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany during the Korean War. Dick married Arvilla Bauer in 1953. He worked at Pierre Flower Shop and Greenhouse, at Magee Plumbing and at Oahe Plumbing, retiring in 1987. The last three years of his life were spent at Edgewood. Survivors include his sons, Richard Jr. and his wife Karen of Pierre and Terry and his wife Terri of Denver; his daughter, Kathy Luna and her husband Justin of Ontario, Calif.; seven grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Legislators have been known to overturn votes of the people in this state in the recent past, and they may be at it again. A lawsuit challenging the recreational marijuana Amendment A to the state constitution, which was passed by voters with 54% approval, has been filed. Part of the funding for the lawsuit is coming from state taxpayers’ funds. The superintendent of the Highway Patrol, Rick Miller, and the sheriff of Pennington County, Kevin Thom, are behind the lawsuit.

Dylan Stader, son of Heather (Knox) and George Sazama of Rapid City, was named to the ESD Conference all-conference football team as a punter. Dylan is a sophomore at Stevens High School.

Dates for your viewing calendar: Augustana University’s Christmas Vespers will be broadcast on South Dakota Public Broadcasting television at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, and again at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Linda (Schwalm) Bowman, 72, died at home in Pierre Nov. 18. A private graveside service took place Monday at Riverside Cemetery. Linda grew up in Haakon County and graduated from Riggs High School and from a cosmetology school in Rapid City. She ran her own beauty shop and worked as a secretary, a custodian at the school district business office and at Walmart. She married Philip Bowman in 1977, and they became parents of five children. She is survived by her husband; her children, Grasha Bowman, Tim Stoltenburg, Michael Bowman, Daniel Bowman and Melissa Gravatt; seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and her sister, Mary Scott.

The National Lutheran Choir, based in the Twin Cities, again includes Pierre native Tim Schmidt (’92) as one of its members. The choir will present its annual Christmas festival free of charge online this year at 8 p.m. CST next Friday, Dec. 11, at nlca.com.

Jason and Micki Noyes and one-year-old son Langston of Sioux Falls came to Pierre for Thanksgiving. Jason found it strange to come “home” when “home” for his parents is no longer the house on Spruce Street where they lived for more than 40 years. His parents now live in Fort pierre. Jason still does some DJing work in Sioux Falls but is stepping back from that for a couple of months as the pandemic worsens.

Effie (Melvin) Hunsley celebrated her 101st birthday on Nov. 25. She is a resident at Edgewood in Pierre.

Eldora Dougherty, 90, Fort Pierre, died Nov. 24 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. A graveside service was held Monday at Scotty Philip Cemetery. She married Dennis Dougherty in 1946, and they settled in Fort Pierre in 1977. Eldora worked in various restaurants and at the Vivian school. She is survived by six children, Michael Dougherty and his wife Shari of Thomas, Okla., Pat Dougherty and his wife Peggy of Fort Pierre, Rosemary Mullins and her partner, Jim Leaferman, of Arlington, Jim Dougherty and his wife Peggy of Fort Pierre, Lori Dougherty of Pierre, and Linda Russell of Fort Pierre; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and a sister, Leota Fuerst of Sioux Falls.

Dallas Cronin retired from the U.S. Air Force in August. He and his family moved to Gilbert, Ariz., and Dallas works in Chandler at Earnhardt Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram.

Mark Lauseng, who is retiring as executive director of the South Dakota Housing Development Authority, will be replaced effective Jan. 8 by Lorraine Polak, who has been with the SDHDA since 1998. She is a native of O’Neill, Neb.

Nate Vogel, whose wife is the former Tracie Seyfer, is beginning his second season as head coach of the women’s basketball team at Texas A&M-International in Laredo. His DustDevils won their season opener over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 89-76. Nate and Tracie have two children, daughter Cora and son Camden. Then they stayed on the road and won at Division I Weber State in Utah, 60-46. Nate was then named Division II Coach of the Week in women’s basketball for Week 1.

Scott Klemann, 67, Fort Pierre, died Nov. 27 at USD Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls. He grew up in Fort Pierre and graduated from Stanley County High School in 1972. He worked with the city of Pierre’s street department for 31 years. Scott married Candace Magee in 1979. He is survived by his wife; his children, Kevin Klemann of Hettinger, N.D., Krista Faller and her husband Mark of Hettinger, Kayla Klemann and her partner, Brock Young, of Fort Pierre, and Tarra Klemann and her partner, Garick Ploog, of Spearfish;k four grandchildren, and three brothers, Jim Klemann of Fort Pierre, Larry Klemann and his wife June of Clear Lake, and Gary Klemann and his wife Rhonda of Choctaw, Okla.

Former Pierre resident Lorena Reichert, whose hometown is Rapid City, has moved to Lincoln where she now works as a business recruiter for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

Onida’s 27th annual ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas celebration is set for this Friday night. There will be crafters and exhibitors at the Phoenix Center from 3 to 8 p.m., kiddie train rides from 5:30 to 7 p.m., fireworks at 7 p.m. in front of the courthouse, the Parade of Lights at 7 p.m., and Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving on firetrucks. Local businesses will have specials for shoppers.

Arlice “A.J.” Williams passed away Nov. 12 in his home at the State Veterans Home in Hot Springs at the age of 97. Committal services took place Nov. 18 at the cemetery at the Michael J. Fitzmaurice State Veterans Home. The family will plan a memorial service in Blunt to be held later. A native of west Texas, he and his wife, Reba, after working industrial jobs in New Mexico and Texas, followed her father to South Dakota where they lived for the rest of their lives. After ranching and living the cowboy’s life in Sully County for more than 50 years, A.J., Reba and their dog, Coley, moved to Hot Springs. Reba died in 2007. Eventually A.J. married Margie LaPlante. He is survived by his wife; his sons, Waymon Williams and his wife Ollie and Tim Williams and his wife Michelle; his daughter, Carolyn Fouts; grandchildren Colby Williams, Tawna Millington, Renessa Jackson, Helen Jane Paxton, Jessica West, Ajayue Williams, Jordan Walton, Clinton Fouts, Charis Blanchette, Kara Lyn Brewer and Mich Fouts; numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, and many other relatives and friends, including fellow west Texan Clyde Colson of Blunt, with whom A.J. had a friendship for more than 70 years.

James Hammond, 96, died Nov. 30 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. At his request no public service will be held. Mr. Hammond grew up in Brookings. In 1943 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during World War II in military police and a combat engineer battalion. After his discharge he married Katherine Harding in 1947 while attending SDSU. The Hammonds both completed their degrees in 1950 and moved to Clark where he taught at the high school. From 1953 to 1956 he was a state trooper based in Hot Springs. In 1956 he joined the federal government with the Interstate Commerce Commission and was stationed in Pierre. He retired in 1983. From 1983 to 1989 he was in business as a practitioner representing motor truck interstate carriers before the ICC. From 1989 to 1984 he worked as a substitute teacher in the Pierre schools. Survivors include his wife Kay of Pierre; his sons, Mark Hammond and his wife Kathy of Pierre and Steve Hammond and his wife Lynn of Rapid City, and a granddaughter.

Marshall Miller, Sr., 93, a third-generation professional photographer and a long-time downtown Pierre businessman, died Nov. 26 at Monument Health Hospice House in Rapid City. He and Merrie, who were married for 67 years, moved from Pierre to Peaceful Pines independent living community in Rapid City in 2018. He died after being injured in a fall at home. The son of Richard and Inez Miller, Marshall lost his mother when he was a year old. His dad married Grace Bunch, who raised Marshall and his sister. Marshall graduated from Pierre High School in 1945, then served in the U.S. Army until 1947. He and Merrie Swanson of Highmore were married in 1953. Marshall, after attending USD for two years, graduated from the Progressive School of Photography in New Haven, Conn., then joined his father in the photography business in Pierre. After his father retired, Marshall took over the business until retiring in 1995. He was a fixture in the choir at First Congregational United Church of Christ for six decades, and he was a pillar of the Pierre-Fort Pierre Rotary Club. He is survived by his wife, Merrie Miller of Rapid City; his sister, Marilyn Hale of Omaha; his brother, Richard Miller and his wife Arlene of Pierre; his son, Marshall Miller and his wife Audrey of Piedmont; his daughter, Merrilee Miller and her partner, Shelly Blank, of Rapid City; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Among those who preceded him in death were his parents and his sisters, Dixie Cannon and Sandra Miller. The funeral service will be at 1 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 4, at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Pierre.




From The Midweek Update of Dec. 13, 2000:

This isn’t just any be-sure-to-buckle-your-seat-belt tale. This one hits pretty close to home because it involves three—no, now make that four—now it’s five—of our own hometown college kids.

In the past month four college students that I know of—and maybe more that I don’t know about—have suddenly come upon ice on a highway and realized it too late to do anything about it. Another was involved in another kind of incident.

You know how easily that ice thing happens. And once your vehicle starts to slide, all you can do is brace yourself and wait for the impact.

The result in any one of the five cases could have been serious injury or worse. However, in every case, thanks to the grace of God or the fat that in each situation the person was wearing a seat belt or both, the worst that happened was a totally demolished piece of steel and a bump and a bruise here and there on a human body. And five very nice young people are still around to celebrate Christmas again.

On his way back to SDSU after the Veterans Day weekend, Jess Ellingson went rolling with his family’s Explorer after coming upon ice there between Huron and Brookings. Jess wasn’t hurt, but the vehicle surely was. He had his seat belt buckled.

A seat belt couldn’t help USD student Sara Dvorak when she missed a step while running upstairs with a laundry basket in hand. But a belt surely saved her on the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving. On I-90 east of Chamberlain her car hit ice, went into a spin and ended up with the vehicle wrapped with a guardrail on three sides. Thanksgiving indeed!

Two weekends ago Andrew Murphy wasn’t driving, but he was a passenger with a fellow Dakota State student on their way back toward Madison when they topped a hill out east near Mac’s Corner, hit ice they weren’t expecting and rolling. They were brought back to St. Mary’s by ambulance, but both boys are OK. Both of them, too, had their seat belts on.

Now comes the latest bit of news. Returning to SDSU from seeing “The Nutcracker” at UND last weekend, Daisha Seyfer hit black ice south of Fargo on I-29 and rolled her car 1 1/2 times, ending upside down in the ditch. “Amazingly I had three cars of guardian angels who happened to be sitting alongside the road where I went off,” she told me yesterday. Would you believe the first car contained a doctor and his family, so she had medical care almost instantaneously. The second vehicle was a tow truck! The third car was occupied by a fellow SDSU student who offered a ride back to Brookings. The doctor and his family kept Daisha and the other student overnight because of the condition of the roads and the lack of visibility. Yes, friends, Daisha was wearing her seat belt.

Our remaining vignette has nothing to do with icy roads, but it points out the advisability of wearing a seat belt, even in town. Jessica Duba, who goes to South Dakota Tech, was stopped for a red light at the busy St. Patrick-St. Joseph intersection in Rapid City when her car was hit from behind by a half-ton pickup whose brakes had failed. The impact sent Jessica’s caar into the car ahead of her. She sustained a mild whiplash, a bruised knee, and a bump on her forehead, but considering the fat that she was mashed in the middle of the two bigger vehicles, she did pretty well. Not only was she wearing a seat belt, but so were the drivers of the other two vehicles involved.

How many more examples do you need! We’re talking about Jess and Sara and Murf and Daisha and Jessica on this page, instead of the obituary page, because they were lucky and because they were smart enough to buckle up first. Any parent who shudders every time his child leaves with the car may want to clip this column and hold up a copy of it in front of his face every time he grabs for the keys.

Having the college kids back in town is one of the special joys of Christmastime. It’s going to be especially good to see these five.


For this last month of an awful year, let us make time for the things that make our souls sparkle.

1 Comment

  1. Bruce Venner

    Governor Noem’s senior policy analyst, Maggie Seidel, stated in a Dec. 2nd RCJ article, “I am still waiting for someone to point me to where in the world mask mandates are working”. PLEASE point her to Brookings, SD.


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