Vol. 23, No. 27; Thursday, March 23, 2023

Mar 23, 2023 | Parker's Midweek Update | 0 comments


The promise of spring is that it’s still early enough in the year to make my dreams come true. Or I can change my mind, push the reset button and start anew.


This week’s schedules:
Boys tennis: at Rapid City invitational.
Boys tennis: at Rapid City invitational.
Softball: home vs. Rapid City Central, 1 p.m.
Track-field: at SDSU indoor invitational, noon.

Boys basketball: One of the most exciting seasons ever concluded with the Governors capturing the consolation championship at the state “AA” tournament in Rapid City. In the quarterfinal Pierre lost to Mitchell, the eventual state runner-up, 60-51. The score was tied at 39 and 41, then was still tied at 46-46 when Brecken Krueger canned a three-point shot with 2:47 left. Down 51-46, Pierre crawled back to within 51-48 when Jackson Edman sank a pair of free throws with 1:02 left. But a three-pointer by the Kernels at 0:37 salted the game away for them, and they made free throws in the final seconds as Pierre was forced to foul. Mitchell had led at halftime, 28-22, and after three quarters, 37-33. Pierre made only three of 18 three-point attempts while Mitchell shot 46.7% in field goals. Lincoln Kienholz was high scorer with 19 points, and Edman had 14 with nine rebounds. Ben Heisler added seven points, Krueger six and Jacob Mayer three.

Boys basketball: In the consolation semifinal Friday afternoon, the Governors and Sioux Falls Roosevelt duked it out for more than a half, but the Govs prevailed in the end, 56-46. Pierre had a big 37-25 lead in the third period, but it dwindled to 37-34 until Heisler and Kienholz scored to put Pierre up by 41-35 after three quarters. In the final stanza after the Rough Riders crept back to within 45-42, an Edman rebound led to Heisler’s three-pointer, one of Pierre’s only two treys in the entire game. Heisler added two free throws and then scored from underneath to lead 52-44 and scored again to raise the lead to 54-44. Edman added a final basket to insure the win Heisler finished with 23 points, Kienholz 17 with seven boards, Edman eight points along with 13 rebounds and seven assists, Luke Olson six points and Krueger two. Pierre had 16 assists on 26 made field goals and shot 61.9% from the field.

Boys basketball: The seniors on this Governors team had a memorable victory as their careers came to a close. Pierre won the fifth-place consolation championship in double overtime over Harrisburg, 68-67. The Govs crashed the boards for a 48-38 rebounding advantage and shot 43.5% in field goals while making only two of 13 three-point tries. Edman had 18 points and 16 rebounds; Heisler 17 points; Kienholz 12 points and 10 boards; Olson six points; Christian Busch five, Cade Kaiser four and Krueger three points with six rebounds. Harrisburg twice hit a long three-pointer to stay alive, once at the end of regulation time to force overtime and again at the end of the first O.T. to force another one, but each time the Govs dug down deep to recover from the momentary disappointments to go out with a bang. Seniors on this squad were Edman, Heisler, Kienholz, Krueger, Mayer, Busch, Carson Ahartz and Joshua Switzer. Edman and Kienholz were named to the all-tournament team.


Girls basketball: The Yellowstone Trail Conference announced its all-conference team. Lydia Hill and Stevie Wittler were first-team selections, and Allison Wittler earned honorable mention.


Thursday: coconut.
Friday-Sunday: cherry.
Monday-Tuesday: grape.
Wednesday-Thursday: root beer.


2 days: All-State Band concerts, Sioux Falls O’Gorman (March 25).
4 days: Legislature’s veto day (March 27).
7 days: Minnesota Twins season opener (March 30).
8 days: NCAA Div. I women’s basketball Final Four, Dallas (March 31, April 2).
9 days: NCAA Div. II women’s basketball national championship game, Dallas (April 1).
9 days: NCAA Div. I men’s basketball Final Four, Houston (April 1, 3).
10 days: Palm Sunday (April 2).
12 days: Bob Judson Invitational track meet (April 4).
14 days: NCAA Div. I men’s hockey Frozen Four, Tampa (April 6, 8).
15 days: Good Friday (April 7).
17 days: Easter (April 9).
23 days: Riggs High jazz night (April 15).
28 days: Riggs High spring play (April 20, 22).
29 days: Pierre Legion Relays (April 21).
36 days: Pierre Players’ “Jake’s Women” (April 28-30, May 4-6).


University of Sioux Falls men’s golf (John Young): Idle last week, the Cougars play next on Monday and Tuesday at the NSIC conference spring preview meet at Blue Springs, Mo.

Northern track-field (Addison Cumbow): At the Texas State Relays in Houston Addison qualified for the 100-meter hurdles finals with a seventh-place finish in the preliminaries in :17.83, then placed seventh in the finals in :18.11. She also ran on Northern’s 4×200 relay team, which won their race in 1:55.09. NSU’s next meet is April 1 at the Dordt Invitational in Sioux Center, Iowa.

South Dakota State baseball (Brady Hawkins): The Jackrabbits were swept over the weekend at Iowa, losing by 5-4, 12-1 and 5-3. In the latter game Brady was starting pitcher and faced 13 batters, walking none, striking out one, hitting one batter and allowing five hits and three earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. Of the eight outs he recorded, four were on fly balls and two on grounders. Now 4-12, SDSU plays Friday, Saturday and Sunday vs. Northern Colorado in Greeley.

Black Hills State track-field (Frank Becker): The Hardrockers were off last week. They were to return to action at their own Stinger Open this weekend, but that meet has already been canceled due to weather. BHSU’s next meet will be at CSU-Pueblo on Friday and Saturday next week.

University of Sioux Falls softball (Madie Brink): Idle last week, the Cougars open NSIC play at home with a pair against Southwest Minnesota State next Tuesday.

Texas State baseball (Peyton Zabel): The Bobcats won two of three over Southern Mississippi, losing 4-2 but winning 3-2 and 8-5. On Tuesday Texas State beat Texas A&M/Corpus Christi, 7-5. Last night the Bobcats defeated Houston Christian, 13-7. Peyton was starting pitcher and went four full innings, facing 13 batters, allowing two hits, no runs and no walks and striking out three. Now 15-6, Texas State plays three this weekend against Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C.

Northern State softball (Tevan Bryant): Northern went 0-5 in five games this past week. In an 11-0 five-inning loss to Northeastern State (Okla.), Tevan went 0-for-2. In a 9-1 five-inning loss to that same team she was 1-for-2 and drove in a run with a fifth-inning single. Northern lost a 6-2 game to Northeastern State and a 10-2 game to Central Oklahoma. NSU was scheduled to host Black Hills State yesterday, but that doubleheader was canceled due to weather as was this Friday’s scheduled pair at Augustana. NSU’s next games will be a twinbill at MSU-Moorhead next Tuesday. The team is now 6-14 for the season.

Dakota State track-field (Houston Lunde): Minnesota State track-field (Mack Rath); USF track-field (Jessica Lutmer); Dakota Wesleyan track-field (Cobey Carr, Abby Ferris): All four of these teams begin the outdoor season Friday and Saturday at Wayne State’s Wildcat Classic in Nebraska.

South Dakota Mines track-field (Erick Colman): The Hardrockers go Friday and Saturday to a meet at CSU-Pueblo.

Rollins College baseball (Spencer Sarringar): Rollins took two of three over the weekend from Florida Tech, winning 9-3, losing 5-2 and winning 5-4 in 12 innings. Spence in the first game was 2-for-4, walking once and scoring two runs. In the middle game he was 0-for-3 and walked once. In the third contest he was 0-for-4, walked once and scored once. Now 17-7, Rollins is home Friday, Saturday and Sunday vs. Barry University, then hosts Florida Southern on Tuesday.


The Jackrabbits won their NCAA Tournament opener over Southern Cal in Blacksburg, Va., 62-57, in overtime. SDSU led by nine points with 55 seconds left, but by only three with 23 seconds left. Despite being forced in overtime, they prevailed to advance to the second round. In the women’s tournament, however, first and second rounds are played on home courts of top-seeded teams, so SDSU next had to face one of the four national #1 seeds, Virginia Tech, on its home court. A bad first half left SDSU in a 46-23 halftime hole. They had a strong second half but the deficit was too much to overcome, and SDSU’s season ended with a 72-60 loss and a 29-6 record.

The Trojans, having made it all the way to the NAIA national tournament semifinals in Sioux City, lost that game to Clarke College (Iowa), 79-69.

The Yellow Jackets are in the NCAA Division II final four for the second straight year. BHSU swamped Minnesota-Duluth in the quarterfinals Tuesday, 86-68, to improve to 29-5 for the season so far. BHSU will play in the national semifinals against #2 seed West Liberty (W.Va.) today (Thursday) at 1 p.m. CDT. You can hear the game on KSDJ, Deadwood. To access their link, go to www.bhsuathletics.com, click on men’s basketball, find today’s game at the bottom of their schedule, then click on “Listen.” The national championship game will be televised Saturday afternoon on CBS-TV.


Let me be clear. No one is above the law. Not a politician, not a priest, not a criminal, not a police officer. We all are accountable for our actions.
— Antonio Villaraigosa


Sioux Falls Skyforce: The Force won twice out west, beating Ignite in Henderson, Nev., 132-114, and winning at Stockton, 144-119. Sioux Falls hosts Memphis Friday and Saturday.

Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves lost to Chicago in double overtime, 139-131; lost to Toronto, 122-107; beat New York, 140-134, and last night with Karl Anthony Towns back on the court, beat Atlanta, 125-124. Minnesota goes west to Golden State Sunday and to Sacramento Monday, then on to Phoenix Wednesday.


Rapid City Rush: The Rush scored a three-game weekend sweep at home over Tulsa, winning by 6-4, 3-1 and 4-3 scores. Rapid City goes to Fort Wayne for games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Sioux Falls Stampede: The Stampede’s only game last week was a 3-2 loss to Omaha. Sioux Falls is home Friday vs. Des Moines and Saturday vs. Omaha.

Aberdeen Wings: The Wings lost twice to North Iowa, 4-2 and 4-0. Aberdeen goes to Bismarck for Friday and Saturday games.

Minnesota Wild: The Wild lost to Boston, 5-2, but rebounded to beat Washington, 5-3, and the New York Islanders in overtime, 3-2. Minnesota is at Philadelphia tonight, home vs. Seattle Monday, and at Colorado next Wednesday.

NCAA Division I men’s hockey: Division I hockey comes to South Dakota next fall when Augustana plays its first season. In the meantime this year’s tournament has reached the regional stage, and the Minnesota Gophers are the #1 national seed. They will play in the Fargo Regional against Canisius at 8 p.m. tonight (Thursday) on ESPN2. The other game there has St. Cloud State vs. Minnesota State at 4 p.m. today. That regional winner will play the champion of the Manchester, N.H., Region when the Frozen Four is played two weeks from now in Tampa. The teams at Manchester are Denver vs. Cornell and Boston University vs. Western Michigan. Playing at the Bridgeport, Conn., Region are Quinnipiac vs. Merrimack and Harvard vs. Ohio State. In the Allentown, Pa., Region are Michigan vs. Colgate and Penn State vs. Michigan Tech.


March 23, 2022: Nichole Bowman, geometry and Algebra II teacher at Riggs High, was named Teacher of the Year in the Pierre school district. Later she was presented the Milliken Family Foundation award for South Dakota, one of only 60 such awards in the nation.


Minnesota United FC: The Loons remained without a loss in the MLS season after three games, winning Saturday at Colorado, 2-1. Minnesota is home vs. Vancouver at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.


PGA Champions Tour (Tom Byrum): Tom did not play at the Hoag Classic in Newport Beach, Calif., last weekend. This weekend’s stop on the tour is the Galleri Classic at Rancho Mirage, Calif.


Sioux Falls Storm: The Storm’s opener in the IFL is at Quad City on April 1.

Rapid City Marshals: Idle last week, the Marshals play Saturday at Billings.


Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
— Seneca


Minnesota Twins schedule:
— Thursday: Toronto, 12:05 p.m. (Bally Sports North).
— Friday: New York Yankees, 12:05 p.m.
— Saturday: Atlanta, 12:05 p.m. (BSN).
— Sunday: Boston, 12:05 p.m.
— Monday: Pittsburgh, 12:05 p.m. (BSN).
— Tuesday: Pittsburgh, 12:05 p.m.
— Thursday, March 30: Regular-season opener at Kansas City, 3:10 p.m.

Minnesota Twins spring-training scores: In the past week the Twins lost to Tampa Bay, 2-0; lost to Baltimore, 5-3; lost to Pittsburgh, 7-4; lost to Atlanta, 5-0; beat Tampa Bay, 5-2, and beat Boston, 11-0.

World Baseball Classic: The United States team, having placed second in their pool, won in the quarterfinals over Venezuela, 9-7; then dominated Cuba in the semifinal, 14-2, before losing in the championship game to Japan, 3-2.


  • The Rapid City schools are dropping gymnastics as a sport at the end of this school year. Word is now that the Sioux Falls public schools are considering the same action. I see some Pierre gymnastics supporters are urging that letters be written to Sioux Falls school board members, expressing the benefits of their sport to their students.
  • Once a Governor, always a Governor. It’s been 19 years this week since I left the Capital Journal and Pierre and moved to Rapid City, but my kids and I have continued to follow Pierre activities, including Governors sports. I did get to sit in the Pierre section at the 2006 state ‘AA’ boys tournament in Rapid City, but other than that, my following the Govs has been online. Finally last Saturday my girls and I got to see the Governors play their fifth-place game at the boys tournament. What a treat to be part of that big green crowd again! The support the Pierre teams get from their families, fellow students and fans—always at a long distance from home because, let’s face it, in this state Pierre is in the middle of nowhere—is amazing. I’m sure tournament hosts are always pleased when Pierre teams qualify. The current crop of senior athletes, both girls and boys, have done fantastic things for Pierre athletics. We’ll miss them. But rest assured there will continue to be good teams in Pierre because the programs there work and there are people involved who care so deeply. So now we turn to softball and baseball as well as the other spring sports. Go get ’em, Governors!
  • The worst misuse of the English language came over the weekend. I forget the source, but it was one of the analysts at one of the NCAA tournament sites. He was talking about one of the female athletes and what a thrill this event has been “for she and her family.” It’s been a thrill for she? Really? Doesn’t that just sound wrong? It not only sounds wrong, but it is painfully incorrect. Shame on these journalists who must have failed English grammar classes.
  • Maybe some day—but probably not—the NCAA women’s tournament will select their first- and second-round sites far in advance instead of allowing the top-seeded teams to play their first two games on their home courts, just to get crowds. That situation will probably always exist for SDSU, USD or any other Summit League champion who qualifies for the so-called “big dance.” But it was sweet that two of the four #1 national seeds lost in the second round on their home courts. Take that!
  • If you have plans to follow the Jackrabbits to Target Field in Minneapolis for their football game against Drake on Sept. 16, there is a date you need to watch. Tickets go on sale April 18 at twins.com/football. Kickoff time will be 2:30 p.m. that Saturday.
  • And then there is the case of “The Phantom Free Throw.” I wish I had never heard about this earlier this week because it has bothered me ever since. Follow along and let’s see if we can figure out what happened. The halftime score of the third-place game at the state “B” boys tournament in Aberdeen last Saturday night was White River 31, Aberdeen Christian 25. Just 23 seconds into the third quarter at 7:37 on the clock, Aberdeen Christian’s Ethan Russell was fouled and awarded two free throws. This is where things get interesting. A clip of the SDPB television broadcast at this point shows that Russell’s first free throw was MISSED badly. The ball bounced off the rim and fell off to the side, an obvious missed free throw. Just then, between Russell’s free throws, Christian made a substitution that took several seconds. But while the new player was coming on to the court, the scoreboard on the TV screen (which is synchronized with the scoreboard in the arena) changed to 26 for Aberdeen Christian. It should not have because the first of his two free throws was obviously not made. Then, when Russell shot his second free throw and made it, the score changed to 27 for Christian. It should still have been 26 because the kid made only one of two free throws. The game went on, and at the end of the fourth quarter, the score was tied according to the arena scoreboard and the official scorebook at the scoring table. So the game continued into one overtime and then a second, and Christian won third place over White River. But the point is the game should never have gone into overtime at all because Christian had been given a point it never earned, and thus the score at the end of regulation time should have been in White River’s favor by one point. According to a Facebook post by a White River fan, their own scorekeeper sitting with the team noticed the error immediately and tried to get to the official scorer’s table to challenge the issue but was refused admittance to that area by a security person until after the third quarter ended. (Any scoring question is supposed to be handled at the next dead ball. It certainly wasn’t in this case.) By that time, of course, the official scorer and the people over there in charge would hear nothing about correcting any possible error. Aberdeen Christian has the third-place trophy in hand, and White River has the fourth-place trophy. Aberdeen Christian should make an exchange. That would be “the Christian thing to do.”
  • So, continuing the previous story. What MIGHT have happened? I do not know, but I have a possible idea. After the kid’s first free throw was shot and missed, a substitute ran to the scoring table. That may have distracted both the scoreboard operator and the official scorer, who suddenly were trying to get the new kid into the game before Russell’s second free throw was attempted. They got that done. But suppose that, at that point, somebody at that table asked, “Did he make that first free throw?” And possibly somebody else answered, “Yes.” So it was counted good, both on the arena scoreboard (and thus on the TV screen) and in the official scorebook. It was also marked as being good on the written play-by-play that SDPB has on its website. Somebody over there at the scoring table does that, too. And the game proceeded with Aberdeen Christian getting a point it didn’t deserve. I don’t know that this happened, but I can imagine it happening. Surely somebody in that arena that night must have noticed the scoreboard error. The TV broadcasters on the clip I saw were of no help. They weren’t paying any attention to the game at that point but were chuckling over something else entirely. But weren’t there SDHSAA people watching? Or radio announcers? Or Aberdeen Christian’s own scorekeeper on the bench? Anybody?
  • UPDATE on Wednesday night: Now I see that the SDHSAA has admitted the scoring error. I also see that there were two more errors favoring Aberdeen Christian later in the game. The association says it will give more “training” to official scorers and other scoring table workers and that they will try to put the official scorer and the teams’ scorers closer together in the future so the communication can be better. Well, isn’t that special.
  • The whole episode reminded me of something that happened to me way, way back during the district tournament in Fort Pierre at the end of the 1969-70 boys season. It was the last year before Sully Buttes came into existence. Onida was playing Agar, and as I had been for many years, I was the official scorer at the tournament. At the scoring table at Parkview Gym with me were somebody working Onida’s scorebook (but I forget who that was) and long-time Agar scorekeeper Sherman Seward, the most honest scorebook person there ever was. A foul was called on one of Onida’s big boys, Tom Fox. I marked it down and noticed that it was, according to my official book, his fourth foul. But Sherman pointed out to me immediately that, in his Agar book, it was only Fox’s third foul, and the Onida book agreed. I immediately remembered that, on a play a few moments earlier, two Onida big guys had tried to block an Agar shot, and one of them committed a foul. We didn’t know who, but I thought the referee signalled with his fingers that it was on Fox. So I marked down his fourth foul in my official book. It should have been marked against the other guy, whoever that was. Before play continued, I immediately called veteran referee Barney Clemens over to the table to try to explain my mistake and ask him if I can change my official book back to three fouls on Fox, not four. But he wanted no part of a controversy, so he said, “Whatever the official book says,” and ran back onto the court. So we were stuck. Onida needed Tom Fox on the court, of course, and for the rest of the game I prayed that no further foul would be called on him because it would get him fouled out of the game. Fortunately he did not commit another foul and stayed in the game till the end. But I know how easy mistakes can happen in the heat of a tournament game.


Thursday, March 23:
Livia Neuberger, Keaton Durkin, Darcy Weber, Jason Person, Amy Wire, Ashlynn Lizotte, Hadley Shoup, Soraya Karim, Senna Karim, Toby Bryant, Brian Hylle, Brittani Show, McKayla Marso-McDonough, Kelsey McKay.

Friday, March 24:
Tyler Sarringar, Adam Korkow, Smith Schneider, Jeff Sampson, Brandon Sieck, Theresa Hanson, Jeff Post, Bretta (Schumacher) Olson, Jon Horning, Allison Knox, Tyrel Hall, Dan Zebroski, Ashley (Dunwoody) Dugstad.
— Anniversary, Andy/Jamie (Gannaway) Heymans.
— 11th anniversary, Neil/Molly Eichstadt.

Saturday, March 25:
Allison Mickelson, Jude Steece, Kinley Rumpca, Evelyn Bowers, Jamie Dvorak, Adriana Uecker, Angie Gross, Janelle Toman.

Sunday, March 26:
Tyler Nold, Elissa Rislov, Mollie Holden, Audra (Meyer) Cardwell, Roger Easland, Bonnie Korkow, Connie Colwill, Nadia Rasmussen, Chad Eschmeyer, Craig Rilling, Dalton Decker, Jason Monroe, Pat Adams, Corey Ramsey, Terah Bollinger, Chas Olson.
— 61st anniversary, Ray/Clarice Blumer.

Monday, March 27:
Casey Ortbahn, Wyatt Gran, Penny Unruh, Quinn Eschmeyer, Mark Mickelson, Marcia Murphey.

Tuesday, March 28:
Christopher Roberts, Carol McKee, Allen Uecker, David Forney, Eileen Herrin, Sarah (Winter) Sonnenschein, Susan Flottmeyer, Angela (Di Benedetto) Smth, Kathy (Adam) Bykowski, Janelle (Kvislen) Carda, Brynn Bumann, Larry Lundeen.

Wednesday, March 29:
Jace Jerome, Nancee Johnson, Derek Gustafson, Peggy (Marshall) Engstrom, Michael Bumann, Aaron Bumann, Graden Barnes, Sydney Hackett, Connor Barnes, Joseph Kean.

Thursday, March 30:
Grey Zabel, Jack Magee, Nathan Mikkelsen, Emily (Goeden) Decker, Mary Hove, Patrick Snyder, Eric Harris, Nicole (Mikkelsen) Schwinler, Liz Sgtewart, Abel Haas, Doug Smith, Patty Williams, Lindsey (Brown) Osterkamp.
— Anniversary, Craig/Charlene Keller.


Max Foth has resigned as head basketball coach at Stanley County High School after eight seasons at the helm of the Buffaloes. He will remain as SCHS head football coach.

A live dramatization of the classic painting, “The Last Supper,” will be presented at Faith Lutheran Church in Pierre on Palm Sunday, April 2, starting at 6:30 p.m. This live re-enactment of the Leonardo da Vinci painting portrays the night on which Jesus ate a final meal with His closest companions and revealed that one of them would betray Him. Portrayed by men from the Faith Lutheran congregation, each disciple will tell the story from his perspective. Faith Lutheran’s music ministry will offer several inspirational anthems. Light refreshments will be served following the presentation. The public is welcome, and there is no admission charge. Faith Lutheran is located on North Euclid Avenue in Pierre.

Former Pierre residents Dick and Sandy Murphy, owners of Mrs. Murphy’s Irish Gifts in downtown Sioux Falls, plan to retire after 26 years of running their business on Phillips Avenue. They are talking with an interested buyer and plan to leave their store once the transition is done.

Riggs High senior Lincoln Kienholz was this year’s recipient of the Spirit of Su Award given at the boys state ‘AA’ basketball tournament to one of its participating players.

Team South Dakota, a group of selected wrestlers from across the state in boys high school, girls high school and middle school divisions, will compete at the Heartland National Duals in Council Bluffs, Iowa, this weekend. The wrestlers will compete in folkstyle Saturday and freestyle Sunday. No Pierre wrestlers are on the boys team, but Dani Ringstmeyer at 129 pounds and Abigail Lewis at 141 pounds are on Team South Dakota’s girls roster. In the middle school division Pierre wrestlers on Team South Dakota are Daniel Mason at 80 pounds, Aidan Van Balen at 140 pounds and Devin Binger at 220 pounds.

As part of the South Dakota 10th Biennial Art Exhibit there will be Zoom chats with the selected artists. Pierre artist James Pollock will be on a chat broadcast at 10:30 a.m. CDT next Thursday, March 30. More information about the Biennial Exhibit and how to sign up for Zoom chats can be found at this link: https://www.sdstate.edu/events/2023/03/10th-biennial-artists-chat-series. Just above “event audience” is a link to the Biennial Exhibit catalogue, which has pictures and prices for art that is in the exhibit. James Pollock’s piece titled “The Gathering” can be found on page 53.

Sioux Falls residents, take note: Tim Schmidt (Riggs High ’92) has been singing in the National Lutheran Choir, based in the Twin Cities, for 23 years. He and his fellow chorus members will be in concert in Sioux Falls at First Lutheran Church at 3 p.m. this Sunday, March 26. Tim says he will be there “holding down the back row” and would love to see some familiar faces. For tickets and information go to NLCA.com/tour.

Kay Hanten, who teaches second grade at Kennedy Elementary, has been named Teacher of the Year in the Pierre school district from among five finalists.

Gordon Koch, 73, died March 17 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital due to complications from throat cancer. Visitation will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, at the Isburg Funeral Chapel, followed by a celebration of his life there at 7 p.m. Interment will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the cemetery in Murdo. Mr. Koch graduated from Stanley County High School in 1967, then earned a business management degree at the University of Maryland. He served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1995, stationed in Alaska, Colorado and Germany and at the White House in Washington. He spent 14 years on the White House staff under the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Upon his retirement from the Army in 1995 he received the U.S. Army Legion of Merit award. Later in life he worked for Electronic Data Systems, retiring again in 2009 and relocating to Pierre. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Diana Koch; his daughter, Devon, in Woodbridge Va.; his brother, Gregory Koch, in Charlotte, N.C., and his sister, Pamela, in Rapid City.

Pierre will be represented at the annual 3-Class Shootout basketball event at Salem this Saturday. Remi Price was selected for the Class “AA” girls team, and Jackson Edman will play on the “AA” boys team. The schedule in both girls and boys games will have Class “AA” vs. Class “A” in one game with that winner then facing Class “B.”

Mary Gales Askren of Madison, who once worked as a reporter for the Capital Journal, is now a published author as he continues what now has been a three-year cancer battle. Her book, “In the Shelter of His Wings: Prayer and the Cancer Journey,” is now available on Amazon. Search for the book by its title or by her name. The cost is $6.95. A small profit from the sale of each book will go to the Avera Foundation.

Jason and Micki Noyes of Sioux Falls added a second son to their family. Kohen Bradie Noyes was born March 7, weighing 8 pounds, 15 ounces, and measuring 22 inches. He joins an older brother, Langston, in their family. Jason still works at Hireclick as he nears 20 years there, and he also continues to do some disc-jockey work. Micki still works at the architectural firm RSA.

A memorial service for the late Janice Bjerke, 82, who died on Dec. 10, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Isburg Funeral Chapel.

Lynne Rath was honored Tuesday for her 25 years of service with the Office of Emergency Management. Presenting her with a plaque were Tina Titze, director of the Office of Emergency Management, and Dan Lusk, South Dakota Public Safety deputy director.

Donna Leah Jensen, 89, passed away Tuesday. Her funeral is being held today (Thursday) at 11 a.m. at the White River Community Events Center. Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery in Pierre. Donna was the first of four children of Howard and Evelyn Hansen. She grew up southeast of Pierre and graduated from Pierre High School. She worked for Gov. Sigurd Anderson and then for the Ericson & Thorpe insurance agency. She worked for many rodeo associations over the years. Since moving to White River, she has been secretary of Frontier Days there for 48 years.

With the South Dakota Scholastic Chess Championship set to be held in Rapid City this weekend, here is a trivia question for you: Who is the only Pierre high school student to win the state individual chess championship? It was Eric Kilber in 1986. Over the years Pierre Indian Learning Center has won the team title in the elementary section of the tournament in 1997, 2003 and 2004, and Latticia Leftwich, Josiah Himes and Patrick Wind, all PILC students at one time or another, have won individual state titles.

The SDHSAA’s visual arts competition concluded last weekend at The Monument in Rapid City with final judging. Taylor Newell of Riggs High was the champion of the Class “AA” printmaking contest. Abeisha Kirkie of Pierre was the runner-up in the “AA” traditional culture art competition. Ryann Barry, also of Riggs High, was third in the “AA” functional ceramics competition.


“Age has taught me that, even if the sky falls down, there is always another sunrise and another sunset. It’s taught me the blessing of this day, this moment and this love. This moment is worth betting on, so embrace it. Revel in it. Do not take it for granted. And if your breathing ever gets shallow, put your toes in the dirt and move them around. Remind yourself that you are OK and that, while the madness is temporary, your light, your strength and your beauty are permanent.”
— Maria Shriver


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