Showing posts from May 13, 2007

Sam Kephart to run against Tim Johnson

(Hat tip to Dakota Voice)

The Rapid City Journal is reporting today that Spearfish businessman Sam Kephart has decided to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Johnson. This seems to be coming as a bolt out of the blue, because I don't think I'd heard that from anyone until it popped up in the paper:
Sam Kephart, a 56-year-old self-employed businessman from Spearfish, announced his candidacy Friday for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.

Kephart, a self-described “Eisenhower Republican,” said he plans to make his campaign official next week with an announcement in Spearfish. He said he wished Johnson well in his rehabilitation from a brain hemorrhage and subsequent surgery in December but also questioned the senator’s ability to continue to meet the rigorous duties of a U.S. senator.

“I’m not against Sen. Johnson. I think he has done a fine job of serving the people of South Dakota,” Kephart said. “I have some substantial questions about the propriety of…

My political booty from the Dakota Territory Political Button Show

I've been spending the evening moving my big desk, tearing sheetrock on the way by, rebuilding my big desk after I ripped one side off..... You can tell how things have gone this evening. I finally had a moment to take pictures of the items I traded for today at the political button show.

I got this super sweet Chas. H. Burke for U.S. Senator pin. It's absolutely mint with the original paper in the back. Someone has babied this one since the early part of the 1900's when it was issued.

I also picked up this Kirby for Governor pin. I've got a Barnett for Gov pin, and god knows I have all of the Rounds pins issued. But I'd never come across one of these. I traded a "Hunt for State House" pin for this one.

For the Burke pin and the one below, I traded that Will-key pin, as well as a 1940 GOP National Convention Ribbon Badge. And along with that pristine button, look what else I got:

This is one of those items which might just stay in my collection forever. It&…

Spring 2007 Dakota Political Collectors Show

A couple of shady characters if I ever saw one.

Actually, it's Argus Leader Political Reporter Dave Kranz, and another gentleman whose name escapes me at the moment. They, Senator Dan Sutton, Bern Schliessman, and several others were in Sioux Falls this morning to display their politically related wares.

I think the biggest thing I'm upset about is that I missed the opportunity to get the first inaugural pin which Dave Johnson of Sioux Falls had for sale. But I did manage to trade for a couple of choice political items which I'll show you after I get back from Lowes.

KCCR News: Klaudt's out. On Bail, that is.

Tony Mangan at Pierre's own KCCR Radio news posted a story today regarding former legislator Klaudt, and how he's back on the street after posting bail:
Former state lawmaker Ted Klaudt left the Hughes County Jail Friday night after posting bond on four second degree rape charges.

A jail employee says she doesn't know when Klaudt left the jail, but Klaudt was in jail for at least three hours. He had to post 10% of a $100,000 bond to get out of jail.

Klaudt is facing a total of 14 charges including 10 counts in Corson County. The charges include eight counts of second dgree rape, two counts of sexual exploitation, two counts of tampering with a witness and one count each of stalking and sexual contact with a child under the age of 16.

Klaudt was released on a personal recognizance bond in Deadwood and his legal representative, Platte attorney and Speaker of the House Thomas Deadrick, asked for the same bond in Pierre Friday night, saying the Attorney General's office, whic…

Senate President Pro Temp: The Legislature is still a safe place to work

In an updated article from the Associated Press (At the Rapid City Journal), Senate President Pro Temp Bob Gray says that despite all the attention of a second incident of legislative page abuse, the legislature is still a safe place to work:
Senate President Pro Tem Bob Gray, R-Pierre, said even though both cases involved pages -- high school students who run errands for lawmakers -- the Legislature is not a dangerous place for young people to work.
"If I were a parent, would this give me pause? Perhaps. What I would tell parents is this is a good program," Gray said.
The Legislature this year took steps to make the page program safer by making sure the students are staying in appropriate accommodations, Gray said.
Lawmakers, pages and other legislative employees generally work hard and stay out of trouble, Gray said. "Evidently, there are some bad people there from time to time."Read it all here.

If you think about it, in both cases, the first being the incident of Da…

Argus Leader: Speaker Deadrick stands with Klaudt as his attorney

The Argus Leader is reporting that Republican Speaker of the House Tom Deadrick is, for the moment, acting as attorney for Ted Klaudt, the former Representative who is now under investigation for multiple counts of rape and child abuse:
He's accused of performing "ovary checks" and "breast exams" under the guise that he was helping young women donate their reproductive eggs, according to court records.

House Speaker Thomas Deadrick, R-Platte, accompanied Klaudt in court Friday, saying he was acting as Klaudt's lawyer only for Friday's court hearings.

"I'm here as a friend who happens to be a lawyer," said Deadrick, who served four years with Klaudt in the House.

Terry Pechota of Rapid City, a lawyer who has represented Klaudt, said he would not be able to comment on the case.
Read it all here.

I'm a bit surprised that any politicos would be coming to Ted's aid in light of the charges and the affadavit. But, I suppose we can respect the S…

Reflections on the day.

It's the kind of thing that makes you physically ill the more thought you give it.

Yahoo News has the Klaudt story on the front page of the Yahoo! website tonight. As reported in that story:
The combined charges against him in both counties include eight counts of second-degree rape, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of sexual contact with a child younger than 16, two counts of witness tampering and one count of stalking. Some of the rape charges carry penalties of up to 50 years in prison. The accusers were aged 15 to 19 over the years the crimes allegedly occurred. One girl was allegedly molested when she was a legislative page.and...Klaudt's arrest is the second time in a year that the South Dakota Legislature has been rocked by allegations of improper sexual conduct. In January, the Senate censured Democrat Dan Sutton after he was accused of fondling an 18-year-old legislative page when they shared a motel room during the 2006 legislative session. Sutto…

Corson County information on Klaudt Rape Charges

Here's some of the information on the Corson County Charges:
That on or about December of 2005, in the County of Corson, State of South Dakota, Ted Alvin Klaudt did commit the public offense of SECOND DEGREE RAPE (SDCL 22-22-1(2)) in that he did accomplish an act of sexual penetration with his foster daughter, A.M., through the use of force or coercion; and as to

That on or about July or August of 2006, in the County of Corson, State of South Dakota, Ted Alvin Klaudt did commit the public offense of SECOND DEGREE RAPE (SDCL 22-22-1(2)) in that he did accomplish an act of sexual penetration with his foster daughter, A.M., through the use of force or coercion; and as to

That on or about July or August of 2006, in the County of Corson, State of South Dakota, Ted Alvin Klaudt did commit the public offense of SECOND DEGREE RAPE (SDCL 22-22-1(2)) in that he did accomplish an act of sexual penetration, separate and distinct from the act alleged in Count II, with his …

This is getting worse.

Read the Hughes County court documents for yourself.

This is one of the most horrific things I think I've ever seen.

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: More information on Klaudt story

Apparently this investigation has been going on for a while. I had a note from a girl who had served as a former Legislative page when Representative Klaudt was in the legislature, and this is what she had to say about it:
Probably a month and a half ago I received a call from a DCI agent who wanted to confirm that I served as a page sponsored by Ted. He asked if Ted had ever:

1.) Asked me to model for him

2.) Made any rude or inappropriate comments or remarks to me or anyone else while I was a page

I wasn’t aware of anything that happened during my time in Pierre .So, this has been rumbling for a while. I first heard about it at early part of the week because one of the reporters had been calling around asking legislators about it with an incredible amount of detail. During the week, I'd heard of other reporters poking around for information on Ted and his background, so now that it's out, expect a huge amount of information to hit all at once.

But before we rush to judgm…

More on Ted Klaudt rape/sexual assault story

The Argus has the story on their website now, and a few more details:

He faces four counts of second-degree rape involving two girls, according to an arrest warrent and complaint filed this morning in Hughes County Circuit Court.

Two of the rape counts date to March 2005 and a third one involving the same victim is alleged to have occured in January, according to the court records.

A fourth rape count involves a second girl, the records indicate.Read that here.

The Storm Clouds have erupted. KELO has the story. Former legislator arrested for stalking, rape.

I told you it was coming:
A former South Dakota legislator has been arrested. Republican Ted Klaudt faces several charges including stalking and second degree rape.

Klaudt is charged with eight counts of second degree rape, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of sexual contact with a child under 16, two counts of tampering with a witness, and one count of stalking.Read it all here at

This is bad. So bad.

~ fin ~

On the last day......

I always seem to come across the same running joke about those things that you'd do 'on your last day' as if it's some ominous benchmark where nothing matters anymore. You'll tell that scofflaw what you really think of their tactics, you'll be as blunt as a heart attack in that report, or you'll give "that special someone" a well deserved piece of your mind.

What do I want to do on my last day? None of the above. Because I think it's more important to try to take a minute to thank the people who have made the time with my current position an absolute joy, than to tell someone off. Time wasted thanking someone is not wasted at all.

I've spent the last few years primarily working on recognition for our state's veterans in the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials. In fact, if you look at the Vietnam Memorial Dedication website, that's my baby. With from help on scripts from BIT, I developed it from scratch. It was much …

Do the right thing? Minnesota bans smoking.

They just did it in Minnesota.

Is it time to attempt a total ban on smoking in public places in South Dakota? Even in casinos?

Do we allow adults to make their own choices? Do we allow businesses to make their own choices?

Or do we chip away, yet another freedom at a time?

Changes afoot (1 day to go)

One day until the big move over to the eastern part of the state. Which is as good a time as any to start sprucing things up around here. I'm trying to make a few of the graphic elements a little more pleasing, such as making the space where the beg button is a bit more visible, so people might click on it more often (ahem.....).

It might be a good time to ask - anything that you all want to see here that I'm not doing at the moment? Otherwise, I don't know if there will be many changes aside from a few cosmetic alterations. And the fact that topics I might have avoided in the past might not be so sacred.

Still lots of nervousness over what I'm going to be doing. Despite the fact I keep repeating to myself that "it will all work out." I think it's just a case of "high diving board jitters." A few butterflies are always there before you jump off into the great unknown.

What else is going on?

Of those polled, about half want to see Jim Seward run …

State of South Dakota might just say NO to federal law enforcement in the area of wildlife

The controversy between the State of South Dakota and the US Fish and Wildlife Service is heating up again over wildlife officer Bob Prieksat. The latest? According to Kevin Woster at the the Rapid City Journal, the Governor's Chief of Staff is threatening to cancel memorandums of understanding between the state and federal government:
Chief of Staff Rob Skjonsberg said Wednesday that he has given U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials until May 25 to agree to fire or reassign federal warden Bob Prieksat, who has been criticized for alleged heavy handed law-enforcement tactics. If that deadline passes without federal action, Skjonsberg plans to begin dismantling a framework of cooperation – called memorandums of agreement - between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Game, Fish & Parks Department.

Those MOAs delegate to state officers federal enforcement authority for a variety of outdoors-related laws, including regulation of aerial hunting, the interstate transportat…

Who is "The Greatest?"

I've been working on a project involving all of South Dakota's Governors, and as I was reading something about Governor Janklow tonight, it got me thinking. If we were to try to quantify that something special about our chief executives - who would we consider South Dakota's "greatest" Governor?

So, as any modern politico would, I'm doing a poll -

Who is South Dakota's Greatest Governor?Mike RoundsBill JanklowGeorge S. MickelsonRichard KneipJoe FossPeter NorbeckCoe CrawfordNone of the Above (Explain under comments) free pollsWho do you consider South Dakota's greatest Governor? And is this list just way too short?

Scott Heidepreim plays divide and conquer in today's Sioux Falls Argus Leader

Scott Heidepreim had a guest column in today's Sioux Falls Argus Leader where he's doing his best to continue the Democrat's tactics of divide the GOP to conquer.

It's pretty ironic, because to try to split the GOP, he's claiming that somehow, the "bad" House Republicans were working against a unified Senate where Republicans and Democrats skip and sing kumbaya as they hug each other and work together:
* Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats and House Democrats were united in a sweeping and positive agenda for K-12 funding with an index factor, endorsed by the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. This index factor, for the first time, would link the idea that adequate education funding is a tool for economic development. The House Republicans killed the proposal. Our teachers are paid the least in the country. * Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats and House Democrats were united in support of early childhood development, a concept supported by the Federal Res…

New Tim Johnson Photo Released

No sooner do I mention that Senator Tim Johnson is taking visitors in DC, than his office releases another photo. (Yes, Hat tip to the Argus).

This time, it's a photo of Senator Johnson undergoing rehabilitative services.


I wanted to add a little more to this, because I think this photo is worth noting. I griped in the past that some of the press coming out of the Senator's office seemed pretty selective, and to a degree, staged. But this photo is different. This photo is what I think they've been lacking up until now. It comes off as honest, and allows us to make our own assessment.

The indoor pool was on Georgia's mind.

A couple of the Sioux Falls locals told me that they'd gotten this e-mail from former SD GOP executive Director Georgia Hanson as she promoted the passage of an indoor pool as part of the recent election in Sioux Falls for an indoor versus an outdoor pool:
From: Georgia Hanson [mailto:********]
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2007 2:04 PM
To: "Undisclosed-Recipient:;"
Subject: Vote NO on Tuesday

Could you go swimming in a public pool today? No, and there are only 80 days a year at best that you can because Sioux Falls has five outdoor pools and no indoor options. Ten South Dakota communities have indoor public pools to offer their citizens year round exercise options. That’s important in a city with long winters and all generations struggling with obesity. It’s time for a Pool for All Seasons.

On Tuesday, May 15 VOTE NO on another inefficient, outdoor-only pool for Drake Springs. There are many reasons to VOTE NO so we can build an indoor pool:

* Open year round – 360 days i…

Tony Dean visits Tim Johnson in DC

I hadn't noticed this one until now, but noted South Dakota Outdoor personality (and friend) Tony Dean related the tale of his visit to an ailing Tim Johnson recently. It's all here at Tony Dean Outdoors:
Tim is going through rigorous rehab daily. We had a great visit. Tim has lost weight following surgery, something I think is normal. I know I lost about 30 pounds during my heart valve replacement last May.

Other than that, he looks great. We visited about a variety of things, including his goal of sitting in his Senate seat during the upcoming summer, and knowing Tim and his determination, he might just do that.


I also visited Sen. Thune's office, meeting with Lybnn Tjeerdsma, who left the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership to work on conservation issues for John. Midway through our meeting, John stepped in and we had a nice visit. I told him I would be seeing Tim that evening, and he said, "Give Tim and Barb my very best."

When I did, Tim's eyes we…

Bill Janklow goes toe to toe with Anne Hajek

Former Governor Bill Janklow reportedly went toe to toe with Minnehaha County Commissioner Anne Hajek yesterday at the hearing over a proposed Minnehaha county ethanol plant. She initimated that he might have a conflict of interest, and Bill gave it back to her with both barrels:
Janklow said he recently had learned that Hajek and her husband, Douglas Hajek, are both lawyers. Douglas Hajek is a partner with Davenport Evans Hurwitz & Smith in Sioux Falls. Janklow said Douglas Hajek had represented a Wentworth ethanol plant when it split off from the original company. Janklow said her voting on the issue was a conflict of interest.

"Is it illegal? No, it's not illegal, but ... I do think it does raise serious questions that only you have to answer," Janklow said.Hajek declined to recuse herself from the vote, saying she would not discuss her husband's clients with Janklow and that she did not know all of them.

Hajek said she was concerned about any possible ties Jankl…

2 days left. I think I'm feeling a little ill. And there ought to be a change in law...

2 more days after today, and I'm on the road to Brookings to be there on a regular basis. I had my course charted, and many things planned out for my departure, until I hit one small bump in the road.

I'd planned for so much money to be available from this source, and that source, and I was looking forward to cashing in my unused sick leave. I had planned on using it to take the real estate pre-licensing course. Except for one thing. As I got down to the wire, I found out that while I'm vested for purposes of my retirement funds after three years, my sick leave isn't vested for seven.


With the state, if you don't use your sick leave, as an employee who is vested (having worked for so many years) you get 1/4th of your leave paid back to you. It's not a huge cash bump, but it provides a little extra when you're between jobs. Except for me. Because I didn't have 7 years of continuous service in this stint. I've worked for the state off and on for e…

The definitive account of Daschle V. Thune

THE definitive accounting of what happened in the Daschle V. Thune race is being released this September through Check it out:

Daschle vs Thune - Anatomy of a high plains race by Jon Lauck has the lowdown on what really went on in the defeat of the Senate Majority Leader. Pre-order your copy today from

Dems are having a retreat this weekend.

Press releases and stuff are flying out from the Democrats for the Spring Senate Democratic Retreat this weekend - hosted by Senators Bartling, Katus, Maher and Two Bulls at the Sylvan Lake Lodge. If I'm correct, they sent out the following press release to the Lakota times:
Democratic Senators to Visit Pine Ridge Friday, May 18th

This year a resurgent minority in the state Senate changed the dynamic of power during the 2007 legislative session. Fifteen Democrats were elected, to share power with 20 Republicans. Though the Democrats remained the minority party in the Senate, the change meant the Democrats had a place at the table for special appropriations, emergency clauses and rules suspensions. The Democratic Senators are coming together this week in Rapid City, after a tour of the Pine Ridge Reservation, and later at Sylvan Lake. They will celebrate their new numbers and consider issues and strategies for the upcoming session. Senators Theresa Two Bulls and Tom Katus wi…

Kooker for Mayor Release - There's a new PAC in town, not like the old.

Rapid City Mayoral Candidate Sam Kooiker sent out a press release tonight announcing that he's receiving money from a new Rapid City PAC. Except no one named Hamilton or Adelstein is invited:
RAPID CITY – Rapid City mayoral candidate Sam Kooiker has announced that his campaign would accept contributions from a new political action committee called The Committee for Open Government.

The PAC, with retired 7th Circuit Judge Roland Grosshans and retired Rapid City educator Bob Williams at the helm, will support candidates who establish their commitment to open government.

Kooiker said Grosshans and Rapid City businessman George Dunham are among those who have contributed to the PAC.

“I’m very proud of the caliber and character of the people who have chosen to support my mayoral candidacy,” Kooiker said.

Kooiker said none of the people who have contributed to the PAC have any agenda, other than a desire for open and honest government.

“Rollie Grosshans volunteered his time to help me expose …

Here's one for the Pierre Readers

They were having a few problems at the convenience store down the street from the Capitol today. (No, not Scott Heidepreim's Kum and Go).

Photo by Tony Rae
Thanks Tony! -pp

What's with the comments?

I'm trying something for a couple of days that I've been toying with. I'm turning on the registration feature which requires people to register for a screen name before they can comment.

Why? Too many people are leaving comments as "anonymous" and not taking any responsibility for their words. Last night I was deleting comments left and right. Comments were either improper or off topic, and I get tired of being the comment police for the reason that some people wouldn't follow a simple request.

I'm tossed between this feature being "too much on-line government" and it being a welcome respite.

So, what say you non-anonymous commenters? Because the anonymous ones get to weigh in at around 5:15 today, when I turn the feature off.


Noon Update - I turned the feature off early. What do the anonymous among you have to say about all of it?

Governor disagrees with Flakoll

Governor Rounds took the step to respond to an editorial column in the Aberdeen American News by Cindy Flakoll against SB 115:
To the editor - Recently, Cindy Flakoll, legislative liaison for Concerned Women for America of South Dakota, questioned why state government involvement is necessary to provide pre-kindergarten programs in South Dakota. She went so far as to suggest last year's Senate Bill 115 would have "swept pre-kindergarten into the K-12 South Dakota education system." If she means the intent of SB115 was to make pre-kindergarten an integral part of South Dakota's K-12 system, it is simply not true.


The fact of the matter is many South Dakota women, particularly single mothers, must work to make ends meet. The 2006 South Dakota Kids Count Factbook shows 77.5 percent of women with children under the age of 6 are in the work force. We know these children are out of their homes for at least part of the day. Pre-kindergarten already exists. The standards…

Storm Clouds on the Horizon for a former GOP legislator

From the chatter among politicos both Republican and Democrat, it sounds like there's going to be a bomb dropped on a former GOP legislator in coming days. Possibly as soon as tomorrow. And it's not a small bomb, either. Think atomic weapon.

Apparently a stringer for the Argus whom we all know has been making contacts and trying to get comments for the story she's working on regarding the topic.

And the details coming out on the matter are nothing short of bizarre.

it will be interesting to see if the Democrats who called for restraint in the Sutton matter - which this somewhat parallels - will be making similar calls in this instance.

As a Republican, a father, and just as a plain human being, I hope there isn't a smack of truth to the allegations. But as the storm clouds start to gather, it isn't looking good.

And no, I'm not going to allow comments on this topic. We can all wait for when it comes out. If half of what I'm hearing from political types comes ou…

It sounds like JP Duniphan is going to set herself up for the slaughter again

Former State Senator Jeanie P. Duniphan is making noise as per Mt. Blogmore that she's going to give the State Senate another run. Too bad that it's a silly mistake on her part.

Why? There's a few reasons. First and foremost, take a look at the 2006 election results.

For a while, it seemed as if Dennis Schmidt couldn't do anything right. First, he had problems with his party registration. Then, he had problems with his election petitions. Why do I bring this up? Because despite this, he still absolutely destroyed her at the ballot box - nearly 2 to 1. SENATE DISTRICT #33 MEADE PENNINGTON

J.P. Duniphan 127 652

779 38.66% Dennis Schmidt 157 1079

Congressional buzz afoot. It looks like we might have a race or two on our hands.

Ever since I did the impromptu poll on "which Republican you like in the 2008 Congressional Race," I keep hearing more and more buzz on what's stirring out there for the future of this contest.

What am I hearing?

As you know, PUC Commissioner Dusty bowed out of being a possible in the contest. But at the same time as he was making his decision to say no, I'm hearing that Larry Russell supporters keep bugging him to think about it.

You won't hear about it from the people who talk to the MSM columnists. But a group of Republicans at the grassroot level keep chanting "Larry! Larry!" amongst themselves. Don't be surprised if you see "Draft Russell" posters popping up as you did when Thune first ran for Congress. (And if anyone is interested, I can do T-shirts cheaply - Money whore PP).

Because I consider Larry a friend, if anyone wants to make their own poster, here's a graphic you can use. (Just click on the image to get the full size one).…

GOP 2010 Governor Poll results

My completely unscientific poll on who the GOP should nominate for Governor in 2010 has made for some interesting fodder. With 304 votes cast, Lt. Governor Dennis Daugaard is in the lead, but the very close #2 is former Senate President Pro Temp Lee Schoenbeck. Current Senate Majority Leader Dave Knudson comes in 4th behind former Speaker of the House Matt Michels.

How are we to interpret the results? Not seriously at this point, as the primary is more than 3 years away. But it might give pause to those who are seeking the primary nod.

It looks to me that the grassroots are seeking someone viewed as having conservative credentials, and that nothing is locked up at this point.

And that we should spend more time worrying about who our 2008 candidates will be, rather than who it's going to be in 2010.

I guess I'm not the only one departing.

I guess I'm not the only one moving on to greener pastures. I hear today that a cabinet secretary submitted their resignation.

Stay tuned to your statewide news media to hear who.

UPDATE: A member of the MSM confirmed it. DOT Secretary Judy Payne has submitted her resignation to Governor Rounds.

4 more days. And If I didn't mention it, I'm not going anywhere.

I had a note this AM from a faithful reader who asked "Will the SDWC continue from Brookings? It would be a shame to end it."

Sorry if I hadn't been crystal clear on it. Sometimes I refer to things peripherally because I know them in my head, but in retrospect, I might not lay them out on paper as well as I should.

For the record (at this point in time), I'm not going anywhere, and the SDWC will continue.

I have 4 days left until I'm not in Pierre full time. Yes, it does mean my focus may change a little. I might write about local Pierre politics a little less, and I won't have the dead tree edition of the Rapid City Journal in my lap first thing in the AM.

But, if I can get local delivery of the Watertown Public Opinion to get my Mercer stories, it may be a plus, as it tends to be a more substantial paper than the Pierre Capitol Journal. The downside of that is I won't get the Pierre court reports to tweak politicos who get pinched by the local gendarme.


I admit it. PP is a lawbreaker

I read an article tonight at with some personal interest. Because apparently I, my dad, and a couple of family friends might not have been entirely within the law with an action we took a few years back:
South Dakota law, 34-26A-24 and 34-26A-27, speak only of permission to scatter human cremains over the sea and public waterways in the state, as well as on private land by consent of the landowner. Since there is precious little ocean in South Dakota, Jay Alderman, chief deputy of the Pennington County state’s attorney civil department, said he thinks the Legislature’s intent was to allow it to be done only in streams, lakes and other public waters, not on public land. “I see no reference in statute that allows it on land,” Alderman said.

In 2000, the Legislature amended the law to make it a Class 2 misdemeanor if people fail to file, with the nearest county Register of Deeds office, a verified statement that includes the name of the deceased, the time and place of …

SDWC Speculation on the Gorilla....

I had a reader drop me a note from Sioux Falls today with some of the most recent rumor and conjecture on the "gorilla project" that has all of Southeastern South Dakota in a state of mystery:
I am not sure if you have heard or don't like to print conjecture, but I have heard from a very reliable source in Sioux Falls that the big secret Gorilla project coming to SE SD / Elk Point area is Smithfield, the owners of Morrell. They plan to announce the closing of their major facilities in Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Kansas City (and another one).

Anyway, after closing all of these major locations they plan to build a very large facility at the rumored location in the SE which I would think would more than cover the lost jobs from the Sioux Falls location.That would seem to fit with the speculation that the mysterious project would be a large Ag processing plant.

Can anyone confirm or deny? Or is this just the latest rumor to add to the pile?

Happy Mother's Day

Today being Mother's Day, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the day and the people who made it possible (No, not the florists). When I think to those I consider models for mothers, I look to my memory of my own, and to the example of my wife.

My mom was a simple girl of modest means growing up in the Iowa of the 40's and 50's. Many of her formative years were spent on her relative's farms. As a high school grad, she worked her way through nurses training, and after marriage, eventually went on to have six kids. For many years she was a stay at home mom, until the youngest child in the family got to grade school. At that point, she took nursing back up again.

But in all that time, Mom was always doing something else on the side. She had one of Pierre's antique shops all through those years, and was always had a can-do attitude. If she wanted to expore an area of interest, she went and did it. It eventually led her to a side career in the auction business. I…

New South Dakota Blog

A new South Dakota Blog has popped up specifically in relation to South Dakota's persistent debate on abortion. is currently writing on the HB 1166 lawsuit, and the qualifications of the staff at planned parenthood:

Dr. Van Oppen(who performs abortions on women in South Dakota) states that in
HIS PERSONAL VIEW one isn't a "human being" until the child is "weaned" from his or her mother, often at about the post-natal age of TWO YEARS, but only if the
child's parents consider him or her a human being and welcom the child into the
family of human beings. Read it all here.

The Countdown is on
5 days to go

It's 6:15AM, and I can't sleep. Not that my slumber was all that great last night.

A light breeze coming in an open window is very restful and soothing. That is, until you hear someone at your neighbor's, loudly slurring as they sit by by the swimming pool at 2:55AM, "Where did my &%&^% cigarettes go?" Ugh. For some reason, Trailer Park comes to mind, although, I'm sure they wouldn't want that nonsense either.

The joys of being a homeowner. I think I'll be pricing fences this summer. And very tall bushes.

As I laid in bed, tossing and turning, it seems to be sinking in that I'm coming over here. What was once a distant possibility 2 years in the making, is now happening. In 5 more days, I'm here (except to get my stuff).

Just a few sundries are left at the Pierre office of the SDWC. And that other thing. Anyone want to help me move a 12 foot screen printing conveyor/dryer? It can't be more than 6 - 700 pounds.

Anyway, I've always be…