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Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Volume 113  •  Number 25 308 S. Main, Box 950 • Freeman, SD 57029 • twitter@freemancourier


Old and New

Casey’s closes on Cherry, opens on the highway; a look np3


To the Bricklayers, students and community; an opinion np4


Tips and advice on keeping those busy teens fed np6

Flyer Invite

Freeman runners compete well at Valley View Golf Course n p 9

Papa’s restaurant to be sold at auction Oct. 15

The Highway 81 restaurant Papa’s, which has been for sale by owners Jim and Sue Rigo for more than a year, will be sold on auction Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 15. The auction will begin at 3 p.m. According to an billing listed in this week’s Courier, the sale will include the 3,588 square foot building and 1.66 acres of land. Papa’s opened in 1993 under the ownership of Gillas Stern, who purchased the former Corner Corral from LaVern and Wilma Koerner before giving it a major renovation. Other Papa’s owners have included Doug Uecker and Keith and Susan Letcher, who co-owned the restaurant with the Rigos. Before it was the Corner Corral, the restaurant was known as Mr. B’s.

Swiss memorial dedication this Sunday afternoon

A memorial marker paying tribute to some of the earliest immigrants to settle in the area now stands at the cemetery at the SalemZion (North) Mennonite Church, and the larger community is invited to its dedication Sunday, Sept. 29. The program is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on cemetery grounds. The memorial honors 95 men, women and children who were buried in the earliest cemetery in the community, but whose specific gravesite markers were casualties of prairie fires that were common in the early decades of the settlement. The memorial also recognizes others burried there whose identities are not known. The cemetery was established in 1875 — one year after the primary migration that brought hundreds of Germans from Russia to what was then Dakota Territory. Among that group were 74 families of Swiss German Mennonite descent who settled primarily in the area east of what is now the city of Freeman. The effort to establish a marker is rooted in the Salem-Zion church in Rosefield Township 4 miles east of Freeman. The original cemetery is near the cemetery that continues to be used by the congregation. The project has grown in support over the years, with Salem-Zion members Duane and Marlys Tieszen taking a leadership role, and moved forward with support from both the Salem-Zion and Salem Mennonite (South) congregations. The fact that the families represented there extend beyond those churches has meant broader support from the larger community. More than $7,000 was raised for the marker that is now in place. Because of that broader interest and support, the larger community is formally invited to attend the dedication. Because parking at the cemetery is limited, guests are encouraged to car pool or walk from the church to the cemetery grounds. The dedication will be held inside the North Church sanctuary in the case of inclement weather.

Bengston to speak at Heritage Hall historical event

Ben Bengston of Freeman will speak at the next Heritage Hall Historical Society event, Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m., at the Bethel Church. Bengston will share about his research and the local history he discovered for his website Refreshments will be served. This is a benefit for those who are members of the society. Admission is charged otherwise.



Agriculture......................................................p. 5 Area News.......................................................p. 2 Church News.................................................p. 8 Classifieds.....................................................p. 10 Forum................................................................p. 4 Home.................................................................p. 6 Miscellanea.....................................................p. 2 Obituaries........................................................p. 7 Public Notice...............................................p. 11 Reflections......................................................p. 3 Social Notes....................................................p. 6 Sports........................................................p. 9, 11

Bringing theater to

Life n Through the lessons of the stage, the Bricklayers Theater Company challenges students, adults to be better versions of themselves by Jeremy Waltner The van that brought the Bricklayers Theater Company to Freeman last week came loaded with everything needed to help make its improve-laced performance of “Don Juan” a complete and fulfilling stage experience: curtaining and costumes, props and lights, and a suitcase carrying their signature mark — a series of handmade wooden masks that help define the Bricklayers Theater Company. Yet, as valuable as those essential theatrical elements were, they paled in comparison to what Matt Trucano, Kyle Cadotte and Jonathan Greene themselves came armed with: that is, energy, intrigue and finely-tuned ability to make profound connections that transcend the stage. Making a connection is what this Chicago-based theater troupe is all about, whether it’s through performances like “Don Juan,” which played in Pioneer Hall Friday evening, Sept. 20, as part of Freeman Academy’s Studio Subscription Series, or through workshops like the one the actors conducted for FA students in grades 1-8 over three mornings leading up to Friday night’s show. “It’s about giving everybody a communal experience to feel something together, and whether it’s the same or different, that doesn’t matter,” says Greene, who first began working with the Bricklayers this summer and plays “Don Juan” in the show that goes by the same name. “It’s not about us manipulating everybody to feel A, B or C, but about giving everybody an experience.” Greene continued: “Art breeds a more comprehensive understanding of self and creates a compassionate soul, and that’s important.”

Getting better together

And so it was that the Bricklayers trio met with almost 40 students from FA for several hours over three mornings last week to give them an experience. It was more than Theater 101, though; it focused on lessons and techniques that apply elsewhere. On the gym floor in Pioneer Hall, Greene was working with the youngest students — those in grades 1-4. His objective was to encourage the students to express themselves using movement, and he used clown noses to help the youngsters along. “The work that I’m doing is about getting to know yourself,” Greene told the Courier. “Getting to know how your body moves. Getting to know how you feel physically as much as you feel emotionally and mentally. Regardless of whether or not these students go into theater, the things they learn about themselves will influence them to be better versions of themselves.” On the Pioneer Hall stage, Cadotte’s call was to teach the fifth and sixth graders

Freeman Academy first-grader Joshua Cortes works with Jonathan Greene of the Bricklayers Theater Company during a workshop last week. Students in grades 1-8 were led by the Chicago-based troupe over three mornings Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. PHOTO BY JEREMY WALTNER how to be better as a group using the lessons of neutrality — that is, not offering support or help when that is exactly what is needed. “We need to learn to work together and get better together,” said Cadotte, who cofounded the Bricklayers Theater Company along with Trucano in 2007. “Learning is a challenge, so it needs to be a team effort. They need to breath together and respect each other and not give anybody a hard time if somebody’s wrong. She continues: “When one person messes up in an exercise everyone stops and everyone looks at that person who made the mistake. And I tell them, ‘the mistakes are the best things that ever happened, so give them the light and you show them the love. Then you fix the mistake and move on together.” “That’s a journey,” says Greene. “And it doesn’t get any easier; it’s not like riding a bike.” In the choir room in Music Hall, Trucano was teaching seventh- and eighth-graders about using the space around them. Inviting the group to pace randomly about at various speeds before identifying a chair and sitting down — and doing all of this without getting in anybody else’s way — taught respect. continued on page 12: Theater

Low numbers threaten Bus meeting next Monday Freeman Boy Scouts Value of program without measure, but growth critical for organization to continue by Jeremy Waltner In 1997, Janver Stucky lit a fire that led to the re-establishment of the Freeman Boy Scouts, an organization that had been dormant locally for several decades prior. Now, 16 years later, the troop leader is hoping to reignite that spark in an effort to save the organization. Plagued by the lowest numbers since the Freeman Boy Scouts revitalization of 1997, Stucky and the committee that oversees the organization is considering shutting it down if it cannot grow its membership, which today stands at just two. “Right now we don’t have enough kids — that’s the bottom line,” says Stucky, who never got the chance to be a Boy Scout growing up on the farm, but watched his two sons, Colby and Doran, both achieve Eagle Scout honors. “It’s hard to do activities with one or two, and it’s just not as much fun.”

Closing up shop is the last thing Stucky wants to see happen, because the benefit of the Boy Scouts — the lessons taught — cannot be quantified. “How do you put a value on education? On life experience?” he says. “Camping is part of that. Tying knots is part of that. Learning to cook is part of that. But the Boy Scouts also teaches leadership and self-reliance — finding out that you can do things that you didn’t think you could do. “How many people have the opportunity to study geology, or climb a tower, or go sailing?” he continues. “Not everybody.” Stucky estimates between six and 10 boys have taken part in the Freeman Boy Scouts each year since it has been an active troupe in Freeman, and as many as 13 participated at once at its peak. All told, that’s a wealth of experience for dozens of boys through weekly meetings, monthly activities, camping trips and fundraisers in the community.

Membership decline

Yet membership has declined. Stucky believes there are a number of factors that may be playing into that reality. When Stucky revitalized the troop in 1997 there was an active Cub Scouts program, and that continued under the leadcontinued on page 12: Scouts

In this 2010 photo, Freeman Boy Scout Nicolas Hora lights 12 candles to represent the 12 traits of the Scout Law: Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. COURIER ARCHIVES

With switch to BATA coming soon, public invited to learn about benefits by Jeremy Waltner In anticipation of its switch from the Rural Office of Community Services (ROCS) to the Brookings Area Tranist Authority (BATA), officials with Freeman Community Transit are inviting the public to a meeting to learn more about what the move means for local bus transporation in the area. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30 at the Freeman Community Center meeting room — the former music classroom. “If people have questions about this or just want more information, this is their chance,” says Norm Kaufman, who chairs the board that oversees Freeman Community Tranist. “(BATA) is going to spend a lot of time talking in general terms about what public transit is.” Plans are in place for the Brookings operation to assume administrative responsibilities for the Freeman program starting Oct. 1. That includes extended hours of operation as well as potential for expanded transportation services to the larger Freeman area. The meeting is designed to not only share information about the service but also to gain input from the public about community needs and opportunities in the program. The Monday evening meeting will include: n  A introduction of staff, management and advisory board n A brief description on how the financing of the operation works

n  A vision for transit in the area n  A review of Medicaid transportation n  Discussion of hours of operation n  Question and answer session Free bus transportation will be available in Freeman for the Sept. 30 meeting; to order a ride, call 605-6616545 by 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. The fleet of vehicles — there are currently two buses and one van — will be at the meeting location. Freeman Community Transit, a local non-profit corporation, began providing service to the Freeman community in July 2013. It began with the involvement and support from the Rural Office of Community Services (ROCS) in Lake Andes. It has served community residents not only in Freeman but surrounding communities as well. In a statement issued this summer, Freeman Community Transit noted, “we’ve seen growth in the ridership and scope of services over the past year.” The decision to transfer administrative services from ROCS to BATA “comes after a careful review of our operation over the past year and after consultation with representatives of BATA as well as Bruce Lindholm, program manager for the South Dakota Department of Transportation,” the statement notes. “We believe an affiliation with BATA offers a unique opportunity. that will enable us to explore our potential for expanded transportation services to the larger Freeman area.”

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Freeman, SD

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