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2019 YEAR IN REVIEW THE YEAR’S BIGGEST LOCAL STORIES A Special Supplement to The Daily Republic

HERE’S TO A NEW YEAR We want to take this opportunity to say Thank You for your business

We can put you back together again.

960 Commerce St ⋅ Mitchell, SD





December 31, 2019


Wolf’s Auto & Truck Repair would like to Thank You for your Patronage, and wish you Blessings for a Bright, Happy and Healthy New Year.

ALL MAKES OF VEHICLES CARS, PICK-UPS & DIESEL: LIGHT, MEDIUM, & HEAVY DUTY TRUCKS Brakes and Strut Work • Transmission and Engine Overhaul RV/Motor Home Repair • Full Line of Diagnostic Repair



40 years experience Certified ASE Master

7 years experience Certified ASE Master • Diesel certified technician





7 years experience

7 years experience Diesel Mechanic

US MARINE Mechanic


1004 SOUTH BEN STREET • PO BOX 89 • PARKSTON, SD 57366 605-928-7335 • 1-888-595-6717

WE NOW OFFER AND SERVICE ALL TIRES - AUTO-PICKUP-SEMI-MOUNT & BALANCE ASE Master certified / ASE Master Diesel certified, DOT Inspection certified, Air Conditioner certified.

Tony & Jodi Wolf, Owners


December 31, 2019


Dakota Wesleyan University basketball player plays with Tyson Wilber at DWU Head Coach Matt Wilber’s house while the team waits for the official NAIA Division II national tournament brackets to be revealed in Mitchell. At center, David Osterloo dances to the live music by the longtime Mitchell group Starfire Band as part of the First Fridays on Main event in downtown Mitchell. Canistota/Freeman Head Coach James Strang, center, and his assistant coaches celebrate the Pride’s 46-34 win over Britton-Hecla for the class 9A state championship at Dana J. Dykhouse in Brookings.


Alan Miller, father of SDSU senior Macy Miller, cheers while holding his three-year-old grandson Myles Gubbrud during the Summit League tournament championship as the Jackrabbits defeated the University of South Dakota 83-71 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. Under the direction of Mitchell High School Marching Band Director Ryan Stahle approximately 90 students spread across 9 pontoon boats perform their 15th annual Boat Parade to the crowd along the amphitheater on Lake Mitchell. Gertie Belle Roger third graders Kooper Moody, from left, David Bainbridge, Kennedy Knippling and Gavin Mendenhall along with GBR Teacher Sarah Fosness, left, react as the students watch as their grocery items are tallied trying to reach as close to $50 without going over while visiting Coborn’s to take part in a mathematics exercise along with an anti-bullying project.

y p p a H r a e Y New 2020

Thank You for your patronage, We are now under new ownership and are here for you!

Happy New Year!

We appreciate your business and would like to wish you a From the crew at The Depot;

Thank You for your patronage!

We look forward to serving you in 2020!

Luke Frederick 824 West Havens Mitchell, SD Cell: 605.366.7887 • 605.292.0730 • 1.888.409.8400

Happy New Year! 210 S. Main St., Mitchell, SD (605) 996-9417 Open at 11:30 am Daily

Very Happy New Year!

1010 N Main St Mitchell, SD 57301 605-996-7556

We wish you a wonderful New Year! Thank you for your continued patronage.

Twin Dragon CHINESE


704 E Norway • Mitchell, SD Interstate 90-Exit 332


Happy Holidays!

Thank you to our customers for choosing BankWest in 2019. By selecting BankWest as your financial partner, you enable us to reinvest in our community and help create a brighter future for all of us. We look forward to serving you in the years to come! • 1920 N. Sanborn Blvd. & 1200 E. Spruce St. in Mitchell • 605-995-5059 • Member FDIC



Matt Gade / Republic

The Mitchell City Council approved a land purchase to create a wetland near Lake Mitchell. Other top stories from the coverage region in January: No. 2: One person died following a small plane crash in McCook County, about 1 mile west of U.S. Highway 81 in the southern part of the county. The single-engine aircraft called into air traffic control about having health issues and trouble controlling the plane before it crashed. No. 3: The Mitchell Marlins boys hockey team was banned from postseason play by a state disciplinary committee. The penalties were in response to a December 2018 locker room fight between two Mitchell hockey players that was recorded via cellphone by multiple teammates. No. 4: A 26-year-old Mitchell man, Dylan Thompson, was charged with manslaughter following a bar fight that left a 59-year-old man dead. The fight was at Thirsty’s Bar in Mitchell, where Thompson caused severe head injuries to the man, who fell to the ground and hit his head. He later died after being taken to the hospital. No. 5: A woman died when a van she was driving collided with a train 2 miles south of Scotland, S.D. Isabelle Plath, 21, of Yankton, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

No. 6: Officials determined that an 11-month-old boy who died at a Parkston day care in 2018 died from “abusive head trauma.” Law enforcement continued to investigate the death of Elliot Milbrandt. No. 7: Anthony Lewis, 50, of Mitchell, was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison for the 2017 killing of Quinn Schleuning. The sentence was the maximum allowed by his plea agreement for stabbing Schleuning four times. Lewis pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. No. 8: Kim Vanneman, South Dakota’s new agriculture secretary under Gov. Kristi Noem, told The Daily Republic she was “honored to be asked to be in this role and excited to get started.” Vanneman is a Tripp County farmer and former state legislator. No. 9: A barn was completely destroyed in a rural Hanson County fire that also killed pigs, chickens and guineas. The barn was owned by Jared Holmberg. No. 10: Subzero temperatures didn’t set records but shut down businesses and rearranged sports schedules. On Jan. 30, Mitchell saw an overnight low of minus 22 and climbed to a high of minus 7 by noon. The windchill bottomed out at minus 42.

January 2019

December 31, 2019

By The Daily Republic The Mitchell City Council in a special meeting unanimously approved a $4.1 million purchase to create a wetland project near Lake Mitchell in hopes of cleaning the lake’s algae problems. Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson unveiled the land purchase proposal on Jan. 23. The purchase agreement includes $1.6 million that goes toward an approximately 300-acre parcel of land, while the other $2.5 million is spent on a 41-acre property and residential home of Harvey and Peggy Kelley. The $4.1 million purchase agreement will be paid over 20 years, which the city will pay $300,000 annually for funding the project. Everson said 84 percent of the total debt service on the purchase agreement could be paid through existing lease agreements on the property, as well as funds received from Poet for its water use. The annual debt contribution from the city’s funds is


New Year

Happy New Year! May 2020 bring all the good things you deserve.

We look forward to serving you in 2019

Thanks for your support in 2019. We look forward to seeing you again soon!


We wish you a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Sandy’s Bar NEW OWNERS:

Ross & Amber Bartscher

Thank You for your Business.

100 South 3rd Street Emery, SD 605-449-4290




estimated at $49,000. Everson noted the advantage of the property is Firesteel Creek running right through it, which he said is ideal for what the city needs to do for the watershed clean up in Lake Mitchell. “I’m thankful you brought this to me, and it happened to be perfect timing for what we’re trying to do at our beloved lake,” Everson said of the purchase agreement during the council meeting. “Lake Mitchell is currently on the list of impaired lakes by the (South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources), along with being a zero contact lake, and this is the best solution for improving our lake.” The plan is to build a low-head dam to raise the water slightly to approximately 6 inches to 2 feet into the low-lying areas of the property, which will then allow for the city to plant cattails and develop a wetland that will ultimately help remove phosphorus from the lake.

1130 S Burr · Mitchell



February 2019

December 31, 2019

By The Daily Republic Mitchell High School Principal Joe Childs was named the state Principal of the Year for 2018-19 by the School Administrators of South Dakota. The announcement was made Feb. 4 when Superintendent Joe Graves gathered MHS staff at the school’s library. “I had no idea what was going on,” Childs said at the time. “Dr. Graves told me we were heading to the library for a meeting. When I stepped in the library the teaching staff and my wife was there, and Dr. Graves announced that I was honored with this award.” Childs is a Spearfish native who has been in Mitchell since 2006. He started his role as MHS principal in 2013. He began his teaching career with stops in Mobridge and Watertown. He spent four years as the Longfellow Elementary principal in Mitchell before moving to the high school. He attended Dakota Wesleyan University, earned his masters from South Dakota State University and got his doctoral degree from the University of South Dakota. Childs was a regional high school principal of the year winner in 2017 from the South Dakota Association of Secondary School Principals. For earning the honor from the School Administrators of South Dakota, Childs was invited to represent South Dakota principals at the National Association of Secondary School Principals national ceremony in Washington D.C. in October.


Matt Gade / Republic

Mitchell High School Principal Dr. Joe Childs stands for a photo in the school hallway. Other top stories from the coverage region in February: No. 2: Chamberlain heavyweight Nash Hutmacher won his third straight Class A state wrestling championship. Even more impressive, all three titles were the result of an undefeated season. No. 3: A 20-year-old woman died in a one-vehicle rollover crash near Alexandria. Ashley Moe died when her vehicle rolled at the intersection of 421st Avenue and 251st Street. No. 4: In mid-February, the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association made its decision that the 2020 state amateur baseball tournament would be held in Mitchell. The 88th annual tournament will run Aug. 5-16. No. 5: The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team played a four-overtime game on Feb. 4 against Jamestown in North Dakota. DWU, then-ranked No. 4 in the nation, defeated the University of Jamestown 98-92. It tied a Great Plains Athletic Conference record for most overtimes in a women’s basketball game. No. 6: Dina Vander Wilt, a kindergarten teacher at L.B. Williams

Elementary, was named the Mitchell School District Teacher of the Year. The Classified Staff of the Year honor went to Kristina Allen, a paraeducator at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary. No. 7: The state of South Dakota reached a plea deal with Dawn Long, who pleaded no contest in February to aggravated assault. Long was originally accused of trying to kill her ex-husband and setting her house on fire. No. 8: Mitchell Middle School teacher Chris Gubbrud was selected as the new principal of Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary following school board approval. He replaced Vicki Harmdierks, who retired. No. 9: The Mitchell High School gymnastics team was runner-up at the Class AA state meet. The Kernels were behind only Eastern South Dakota Conference rival Watertown in the event that was held in Brookings. No. 10: A family in Bridgewater lost their entire home to a fire on Feb. 3. Rebel, Jeff, Maisie and Darby Hurd, and their two dachshunds, were able to walk away from the fire unharmed.

Happy New Year from all of us at

1531 W Elm • PO Box 487 • Mitchell, SD 57301 • 605.996.3106 • 605.770.5170 Cell



Photos by Matt Gade / Republic

Gene Kreutzfeldt clears out the water and slush blocking the sidewalk at the intersection of South Dobson Street and West Havens Avenue in Mitchell. Other top stories from the coverage region in March: No. 2: Authorities searched the James River in Sanborn County, north of Mitchell, for two missing men and a garbage truck. Travis Meyer, of Howard, and Glen White, of Canova, died when the garbage truck they were inside went into the river off Highway 37. No. 3: Shopko on March 18 officially announced its closure of all its remaining stores, including the North Main Street location in Mitchell. Shopko’s Chapter 11 case was held in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska. No. 4: Mitchell native Macy Miller was named the Summit League women’s basketball player of the year for the second straight year. The South Dakota State University guard was the women’s player since the inception of the Summit League to win the award multiple times. No. 5: The Winner girls basketball team capped off its perfect season with a Class A state championship in Sioux Falls. The Warriors defeated top-seeded West Central 60-53 in the title game. No. 6: A fire on Avon’s Main Street completely destroyed

Powers Furniture and Appliance. Owners Kenny and Stacey Powers were left to look at the smoky aftermath of the business that has been in the community for 52 years. No. 7: Fifty-three interested parties filed a report and lawsuit against Robert and Becky Blom that involved selling the same cattle to as many as four parties. More than 27,800 head of cattle were unaccounted for in the case. No. 8: The Mitchell City Council denied a settlement agreement with a local property owner and his neglected building. The council on a 4-3 vote decided it would not buy the corroding 301 and 303 North Main Street building for $1. No. 9: The defending national champion Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team lost in the national semifinals in double overtime. The Tigers fell to Southeastern (Fla.) 78-75 in Sioux City, Iowa. No. 10: Mitchell High School girls basketball coach Wes Morgan announced his resignation after 11 years. He won 134 games and one state championship.

Wish List Adoptors Fosters

Volunteers Donors

Happy New Year Woonsocket,SD 605-796-4448 --Wessington Springs, SD 605-539-1555


from Mitchell Animal Rescue

March 2019

By The Daily Republic March 2019 was an unforgettable month for weather. Sub-zero temperatures opened the month when Mitchell broke a 103-year-old record on March 3. The actual temperature that day was minus 18 degrees, breaking the previous record of coldest temperature on March 3 of minus 14, set in 1916. Nearby towns of Alexandria and Tyndall also set record cold temperatures that day. As the month moved ahead, eastern South Dakota was blasted with rain, freezing rain, snow and sleet. On March 13, Mitchell’s city streets began flooding with water as public safety officials began urging caution traveling throughout the city. No travel advisories were put in place all over the region. By the next day, Mitchell city employees were working to scoop and fill sandbags and piling them for anyone who had high waters threatening their homes or business.

Happy New Year!

Many thanks to our customers and friends this holiday season.

The Original Schuh Painting Company

Call Jim Gramm (605) 996-1243

December 31, 2019

The James River east of Mitchell is flooded following the rain and snow.

“There’s places with standing water that we’ve just never seen before,” said Mitchell Chief of Public Safety Lyndon Overweg. “With the frost in the ground, stuff just isn’t moving. We’ve got culverts that are jammed up and bridges and creeks that are jammed. We’re trying to salvage as much as we can. … You try to minimize damage and provide for the public what we can.” During the two-day storm, Mitchell received just under 2 inches of rain and 4.2 inches of snow. The James River and Missouri River both rose to major flood stage, and the state of South Dakota later declared an emergency declaration due to the storm.

Thank You

for your patronage, and we wish you all the best in 2020!



Mitchell, SD 605-990-5325

April 2019

December 31, 2019

By The Daily Republic Another Miller was drafted to play professional basketball. On April 10, Macy Miller was selected with the 36th and final pick of the WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm. There was some confusion with the selection, however. She didn’t receive a call from the Storm when they selected her, and there were reports that Seattle picked a different player whose first name is “Maci.” “Like you guys, I was in confusion as well where I was drafted,” she said. “I honestly was in shock when I saw my name (on TV). I hadn’t received a call or anything. But when I saw my name up there, it was a great feeling and I am super excited to get down to Seattle in a couple weeks and just get after it.” Miller had standout careers for both Mitchell High School and South Dakota State University.


She is the second former MHS standout to be drafted after her first cousin, Mike, was selected by the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 2000 NBA Draft. She was the first SDSU women’s player to be selected in the WNBA Draft since 2007 when Megan Vogel was taken 19th overall by the Washington Mystics. “It’s something you have been working for your whole life, as a little girl watching Mike,” she said. Later in the month, Miller was recognized by the Mitchell City Council and Mayor Bob Everson when Monday, April 15, 2019, was proclaimed “Macy Miller Day.” “Her character is admired and respected by the Mitchell community, and alongside her basketball accomplishments, she’s been named to the Summit League academic honor roll,” Everson said at the meeting.

Wishing you happiness in the new year and thanking you for your business and loyalty. We look forward to serving you in the year to come. ® 100 E Havens Ave | 719 N Main St | Mitchell

Matt Gade / Republic

South Dakota State University’s Macy Miller holds the championship trophy after defeating the University of South Dakota 83-71 for the Summit League tournament championship at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. Other top stories from the coverage region in April: No. 2: A 28-year-old man died when his vehicle went off the road and into the James River north of Mitchell, authorities determined following an extensive search. The body of Abraham Ramos-Ramirez, 22, of Huron, was found along the river’s west shore two miles east of Mitchell. No. 3: Damage to First Lutheran Church in Mitchell caused by a lightning strike caused the sanctuary to be deemed unsafe. Inspections found that the church’s bell tower and part of the roof were damaged. No. 4: Chad Greenway, Mandy Koupal and Dale Weber were among the inductees of the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame ceremony in Sioux Falls. Their inductions were delayed one year due to a blizzard in 2018. No. 5: A Mitchell man was taken into custody after police said he fired a gun into an apartment at a Mitchell motel. Harry Kirkvold was charged with aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm at an occupied structure. No. 6: Another storm slammed South Dakota, this time a

winter bomb that hit in mid-April. Several inches of snow fell in Mitchell from a storm that caused thousands to be without power across South Dakota. No. 7: The Mitchell City Council approved a settlement agreement and demolition of another Main Street building. The former Palace City Pawn Shop would be demolished and paid for by the city, but the owners, Austin and Laretta McPeek, would pay the city back through a loan agreement. No. 8: The Daily Republic office was announced to be moving closer to the heart of downtown Mitchell. The newspaper sold its former building on South Lawler Street and then shifted its office to 514 N. Main St. No. 9: A Winner man was arrested and charged with attempted murder. Jacob Antoine, 22, was accused of stabbing a man in the back repeatedly with a kitchen knife. No. 10: Josh Endres, Jalen Voss, Amanda Hart and Brock Seim were inducted into the Dakota Wesleyan University Athletics Hall of Fame banquet.

Plankinton, SD 605-942-KIDS (5437) At this festive time of year, we would like to express our gratitude for the support of our fine community. May you all have the Merriest of Christmases and a Prosperous New Year.

Susan B. Tjarks


Blinds, Shades, Shutters, Draperies, Top Treatments, Bedding, Motorization. Residential or Commercial.



Photos by Matt Gade / Republic

Dakota Wesleyan University senior pentathalete Kamber Lamer poses for a photo at the Dakota Wesleyan University/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex. Other top stories from the coverage region in May: No. 2: Following a drawn-out case, Dawn Long received a six-year sentence for trying to poison her now-exhusband and setting fire to their Mitchell house in 2015. She had pleaded no contest to an aggravated assault charge in February. No. 3: Dina Vander Wilt, a kindergarten teacher at Mitchell’s L.B. Williams Elementary School was named one of five regional teachers of the year in South Dakota. No. 4: Victims of Bob Blom’s feedlot financial collapse were close to home in Corsica, with some individuals saying they lost $1 million or more in the deal where Blom sold the same cattle multiple times, and involving 30,000 head of “missing” or phantom cattle. No. 5: Flooding at Lake Francis Case on the Missouri River forced Memorial Day campers to leave their campsites at Chamberlain, after the water levels had climbed by five feet in a matter of six days and 2 inches of rainfall on May 26 only compounded the problem. No. 6: DWU professors Mike Farney and Dave Mitchell retired from the university with a combined 87 years

of service to the school. Mitchell had 47 years as a business professor, while Farney had 40 years in physics instruction. No. 7: In the response to spring flooding, numerous counties, including Hutchinson County, banned nonessential travel on gravel roads. No. 8: South Dakota’s ban on out-of-state contributions to ballot measure committees passed in 2018 was struck down by a federal judge, saying it violated the First Amendment and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. No. 9: Wagner High School senior Joi Zephier was named South Dakota’s Youth of the Year, the highest honor presented by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, thanks to her academic record and community involvement. No. 10: McCook Central/Montrose’s Jacy Pulse won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and the 200-meter sprint at the Class A state track and field meet in Sioux Falls, winning Class A track MVP honors for the meet.

Happy New Year


May 2019

By The Daily Republic Kamberlyn Lamer had quite the year, especially her month of May. The Dakota Wesleyan University track and field athlete completed the multi-event national championship sweep, but not without some consternation over her registration for the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships after DWU missed the deadline to get her into the championship field. Coach Zach Lurz missed the fourhour window to sign up Lamer on May 13, leaving the senior from Hartford on the outs, despite being the No. 1 heptathlete nationally in the division. The university said the reminder email regarding the registration window was caught in a spam filter and was an honest mistake. Eight days later, an NAIA national committee allowed Lamer to compete at the meet in Gulf Shores, Alabama on the opportunity “to extend grace to a student-athlete who was prohibited from competing through no fault

December 31, 2019

Dakota Wesleyan University senior pentathalete Kamber Lamer poses for a photo at the Dakota Wesleyan University/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex

of her own” and said allowing Lamer to compete was in the best interest of Lamer, the student-athlete. On May 24, Lamer, who had already won the NAIA national championship in the indoor pentathlon in Brookings in February, did her part. She had personal bests in three of her final four events on the second day of competition, including a 139-foot javelin throw to seal the national championship. Lamer finished as the NAIA’s field athlete of the year, and was the first DWU track athlete to win a national championship. In July, Lamer said she plans to transfer as a graduate student to the University of South Dakota to use her final year of collegiate eligibility.

We appreciate your business, and are here for you in


Best Wishes For

Happy New Year

Mitchell: 714 S. Burr St., Ste 101



709 W Spruce St, Mitchell • 605-770-2962

June 2019

December 31, 2019

By The Daily Republic For more than 30 years, Lyndon Overweg was committed to the public safety of Mitchell. His service came to an end on June 14, as Overwg retired after 31 years of police work and 13 years as the city’s chief of public safety. He was honored with a retirement party at the Mitchell Department of Public Safety building. “I’ve always been honored to say that I’m a public safety chief from here,” Overweg said. “We’ve had some major incidents in Mitchell in my time here, and we’ve always had that level of community support that’s meant a lot.” Overweg, who grew up in New Holland and attended Dakota Wesleyan University, climbed the ranks from intern to patrolman to detective and was later promoted to assistant chief in 1999. In 2006, he took over the public safety chief position. Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson credited Overweg for his ability to relate


Photos by Matt Gade / Republic

Former Mitchell Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg, left, has a laugh at Overweg’s retirement open house June 14, 2019 at the Mitchell Public Safety Building. A retirement open house was held for Mitchell Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg. with people and his commitment to the city. “There’s a lot going on in the city, and you need someone who can meet with the public and keep the city government informed and be able to work back and forth with the two, and Lyndon did a great job of that,” Everson said. Glen Still, who previously had worked for 33 years in the Fremont, Nebraska Police Department, took over for Overweg on Sept. 30.

our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible.

No. 2: A home run catch by Dakota Wesleyan University alumnus Austin Buysse went viral at the College World Series, but only after he chugged a beer following his bare-handed grab, which was then broadcast repeatedly on ESPN. No. 3: The water at Lake Andes and its namesake lake would not go away all year, with high water splitting up the town and residents in the Yankton Sioux Tribal housing neighborhood. No. 4: An investigation into child abuse at Aurora Plains Academy in Plankinton showed that 400 complaints of child abuse and neglect were filed to the state over a 10-year period. No. 5: Howard native Maj. Gen. Tim Reisch retired from his role as the state’s adjutant general of the South Dakota National Guard. He held the role for eight years, and had more than 40 years of service to the Guard. No. 6: The Davison County Commission axed plans by a local animal nonprofit to hold an animal cruelty investigation training event for law enforcement, saying

Happy Holiday Wishes and Happy New Year!!

We take this opportunity to say "Thank You" and to wish you a Merry Christmas and a

Happy & Healthy New Year.

Thank You from all of us P.O. Box 167 • Ethan, SD 57334 1-800-573-8426 • 605-227-4224 Fax: 605-227-4225

Serving Your Family Like You are Our Family 805 W. Havens • Mitchell 996-2133 PEOPLE YOU KNOW...PEOPLE YOU CAN TRUST Locally Owned & Operated • Serving Mitchell and the Surrounding Communities


During the Holiday Season,

Other top stories from the coverage region in June: they didn’t want to upset local livestock producers. No. 7: In advance of Independence Day, Mitchell City Council members approved a change to the city’s fireworks ordinance to allow novelty fireworks and ground and handheld fireworks on private property within city limits. No. 8: It was a clean sweep for Burke High School girls golf at the Class B state tournament, as the Cougars won their second straight state title by four strokes, and junior standout Taylee Indahl won the Class B individual title in Yankton. Meanwhile, the Mitchell High School girls golf team finished sixth in Class AA, its best state finish in 16 years. No. 9: The South Dakota High School Activities Association approved the implementation of replay review for the state football and basketball championships during a board meeting in Pierre. No. 10: North Dakota State University professors met with Mitchell leaders to help the community develop goals for improving water quality and recreation opportunities at Lake Mitchell.

Thanks to our customers for your Patronage.

Happy New Year!

2 20 996-1884 715 S. Main • Mitchell

West of Cortrust Havens location



Photos by Matt Gade / Republic

Jeremy Swank does a lot of the finer detail engraving work inside the shop at Shafer Memorials, a six-generation 100-year-old business in Mitchell. Other top stories from the coverage region in July: No. 2: The Corn Palace sponsored the inaugural Cornstalk Music Jam on July 6 at Horseman’s Sports Arena. For $58, attendees saw performances from headliner Rodney Atkins, Tracy Lawrence and Mark Chesnutt. Scott Schmidt, who was the director of the Corn Palace at the time, said the idea of holding an outdoor summer concert in Mitchell had been discussed for several years. No. 3: Dozens of sick cats were rescued from two Mitchell trailers on July 11 after neighbors complained about the smell. A mother and son were arrested and each charged with 10 felony counts of cruelty to animals for leaving the cats to live in garbage. Both accepted plea deals later in the year and were not sentenced to prison time. No. 4: Four people were indicted by a federal court July 9 for allegedly embezzling money from the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe while they were tribal council members. The case against Roland Hawk Sr., Francine Middletent, Roxanne Sazue and Jacquelyn Pease has not yet been resolved. No. 5: As a way of honoring veterans who were wounded or killed while serving in the military, Mitchell became a Purple Heart City in July. The effort was led largely by Donald Loudner Sr., an army veteran originally from Fort Thompson who has also assisted five reservations in South Dakota in becoming Purple Heart Cities. No. 6: Scott Schmidt announced his resignation as Corn Palace director

Happy New Year!

2020 To you and yours From: Gary, Cindy, and Family

on July 29. Schmidt left the position in August, following the Corn Palace Festival, to become an assistant business professor at Dakota Wesleyan University. He had held the role since 2016. No. 7: A Davison County court ruled on July 29 that the city of Mitchell could proceed to work on finding solutions involving a crumbling building at the corner of Main Street and Third Avenue. The city had filed the case against David Finnell, who owned the building at the time, in June 2018. No. 8: A month of baseball kicked off in July at the Cadwell Sports Complex in Mitchell. For what is believed to be the first time, the complex hosted the Class A state American Legion tournament, as well as the Class B amateur tournament and the final three days of the Class B amateur tournament in 2019. No. 9: Nancy Tingle, the former business manager for Firesteel Healthcare Center in Mitchell, was indicted on federal charges of fraud and attempted tax evasion for allegedly losing the company between $250,000 and $550,000 and evading more than $100,000 in taxes since 2013. No. 10: Thousands flocked to Springfield for the town’s 50th annual Fourth of July celebration. The 2019 iteration of the event featured bull riding performances and a morning 5K race, as well as volleyball and horseshoe tournaments and a frog-jumping contest. In honor of the event running for half a century, organizers planned a bigger fireworks display.

July 2019

December 31, 2019

By The Daily Republic Two Mitchell companies celebrated a century of business in July, and both Shafer Memorials and Tessier’s marked the occasion in the buildings in which their businesses first opened. Since 1919, both businesses have changed their names. Harry and Cora Shafer founded Shafer Monument Works in 1919 at 1023 N. Main Street, and it became Shafer Memorials in 1971, when Gary and Kay Shafer took ownership. Today, the business is run by Kim (Shafer) Swank, her husband, Rick, and their son, Jeremy. Tessier’s, which now specializes in metal contracting, sheet metal manufacturing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, was originally known as Tessi-

er Sheet Metal Works, and the business’ focus shifted from roofing to HVAC in the 1950s.Tessier’s was bought by New Brighton, Minnesota-based API Group in 2007 and now operates in a total of five states, but the business is still headquartered in Mitchell, at the corner of First Avenue and Kimball Street. Shafer Memorials’ products aren’t dissimilar from what was sold in 1919, but the way in which gravestones and memorials are now engraved has shifted over the decades, from chisels and mallets to a precise, computer-assisted design program. Both businesses held open houses to commemorate 100 years of contributions to the Mitchell area and beyond.

Happy New Year!

2020 Happy New Year! Celebrate the New Year with friends and family, and enjoy all the fun and excitement that makes this time of year so special! Thanks for making the past year a pleasure for us. We look forward to seeing even more of you in 2020! May the days to come bring you continued success and good fortune. Thanks!

FARMERS ELEVATOR CO. of MT. VERNON 236-5233 or 236-5222

Lynn Deinert, Mgr. • Mt. Vernon, SD

Wishing You A Happy 2020 See Thune’s for all your hardware & appliance needs.

Thune's True Value Hardware & Appliance Center

1400 N. Main, Mitchell, SD 996-7508

As another year comes dancing in, we can’t think of better partners than all of you! We thank you, and we wish you all the best in 2020 and beyond.

Hoffman Gas & Grill, LLC 207 East 7th Street • Platte, SD 605-337-2645

August 2019


December 31, 2019

By The Daily Republic An EF-1 tornado swept through Burke the night of Aug. 6, causing heavy damage to some buildings, destroying others, injuring two people and tearing down an estimated 3,000 trees. The tornado’s path included the center of the town, which included its school, civic center and other prominent community buildings. It was reported to have touched down at 10:25 p.m. and taken eight minutes to travel from near the Burke Fire Department to an area south of town. The tornado’s path was 3.8 miles long and about 75 yards wide. Burke’s 600 residents weren’t able to rebuild their town quite as quickly as the tornado, which had been recorded at speeds of more than 100 mph, had torn it

down, but that wasn’t for a lack of effort. Within 48 hours, debris had been almost completely cleared from the streets, and workers from the American Red Cross and the state’s Office of Emergency Management left earlier than planned because of the amount of cleanup people in Burke had immediately worked together to get done. Students in Burke started school two weeks later than anticipated, as the scheduled start to the school year was just two weeks after the tornado left the school district with significant damage. On Aug. 23, the community came together for Burke’s first football game of the season, where emergency responders and workers from the company working to restore the school received free admission.

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Clean up work on the Burke High School and middle school addition of the school following the tornado that hit on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Other top stories from the coverage region in August: No. 2: On Aug. 16, 23-year-old Amanda Hernandez was charged with second-degree murder after her daughter, 3-year-old Aayana Hernandez, was found dead in a South Main Avenue house in Wagner. Hernandez allegedly told police her daughter had hit her head on a bunk bed in the days preceding her death, but an autopsy indicated the death was a homicide. No. 3: A 15-year-old Parkston girl died Aug. 15 in a one-vehicle crash in Hutchinson County. Taylor Thuringer, who was preparing to enter high school as a freshman, was driving a pickup when she swerved to miss a hole in the road and the vehicle rolled multiple times and caught fire, killing Thuringer at the scene and seriously injuring three other teenagers. No. 4: The Alexandria Angels amateur baseball team claimed its fourth state championship in seven seasons, topping Garretson 2-0 in the championship game at Cadwell Park. No. 5: In a year of unprecedented precipitation that made getting crops planted impossible for many, a record-breaking number of farmers statewide filed prevent plant claims in 2019. While the weather affected producers across the Midwest, a large fraction of those claims were recorded in southeastern South Dakota. No. 6: The Menno School District started the school year Aug. 19 with a $3.5 million building expansion that included classrooms and locker rooms as well as a library and a wellness center that

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are open both to students and the general public. No. 7: Damon Jobin, a 34-year-old man from California, pleaded not guilty on Aug. 7 to shipping more than 100,000 fentanyl pills to Mitchell, Chamberlain and Sioux Falls. Jobin was accused of sending a total of 2.6 million fentanyl pills to 32 states, with the pills seized more than twice as much by weight as what was previously the largest fentanyl seizure ever recorded. No. 8: Mitchell’s Jimmy Traupel, a 96-year-old WWII veteran, was honored Aug. 24 with the French Legion of Honor for his role in the liberation of France. The medal was presented to Traupel by Guillaume Lacroix, consul general to the Midwest region, during a ceremony at Veterans Park. No. 9: A federal court sentenced Jeremy Aungie to 35 years in prison on Aug. 19 for sexual abuse he committed in Wagner between 2012 and 2018. Aungie was convicted at trial of engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of 12 and a child between the ages of 12 and 16. No. 10: The city of Mitchell saw nearly $2,000 more in revenue at 2019’s Corn Palace Festival than it had the previous year. The festival, which was held Aug. 21-25, received mixed reactions from the public for being moved north to the area of Main Street between Fifth and Ninth avenues, as opposed to between First and Seventh avenues.

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Dakota Wesleyan University Baseball coach Sean Kammerer, right, along with rest of the team unload sandbags from the back of a pickup as they try to prevent more water from entering homes along Minnesota Street next to Dry Run Creek in Mitchell. Other top stories from the coverage region in September: No. 2: Tornadoes caused damage, but no deaths, during a storm that occurred Sept. 11 in Sioux Falls. Reports indicated three tornadoes carved destruction throughout the city, damaging medical facilities, businesses, uprooting trees, knocking out power to about 25,000 residents and flipping over cars. No. 3: Three Woonsocket High School students were killed and a fourth hospitalized following a three-vehicle crash east of Woonsocket Sept. 14. Among the dead were 14-year-old Kristian A. Kesary, 14-year-old Dylan T. Klich and 15-year-old Jordan T. Klich. The fourth students was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. “These three will be missed by everybody” said Woonsocket School District superintendent Rod Weber. No. 4: The Palace Mall, built in 1965, was in the process of being sold in mid-September. The 151,000 square-foot facility was listed at a price of $999,900 through Mitchell Realty. The building, which sits on a 10.4 acre lot, had been plagued by empty retail space for much of the previous decade. A buyer was expected to purchase the building for storage space, according to Brian Elliason, a broker with Mitchell Reality. No. 5: Davison County began looking ahead to a $16 million road improvement project that would take place through 2024. The plan included over 50 projects for asphalt overlays, chip and fog seal, gravel and bridge replacements. Officials estimated the local that the local funding obligation, after factoring in various state and grant funding, would come to approximately $12.5 million. No. 6: Following the deaths of three schoolmates and the hospitalization of a fourth, students at Woonsocket High School petitioned Gov. Kristi Noem to make traffic control

changes to the intersection of Highway 37 and Highway 34 east of the community, where the three-vehicle crash that took the three lives occurred. Noem listened, and along with the South Dakota Department of Transportation, changed the intersection to a three-way stop. No. 7: A non-profit organization with the goal of improving Lake Mitchell began to take shape following dissolution of the Lake Advisory Committee by the city of Mitchell in August. The Friends of Firesteel is made up of former members of the previous organization and would focus in the immediate future on raising funds to dredge the lake, should the Mitchell City Council wish to pursue that option in the future. No. 8: Active participants in the Forward 2040 convened to review the results of a recent community survey. The group, made up of city officials, business owners and community members, used the data from 978 respondents ranging in ages from 15 to over 81 to discuss several topics concerning the future of the community. No. 9: Over 100 people gathered in Oacoma for the South Dakota Farm and Ranch Stress Summit to learn more about how to handle stress in an increasingly high-pressure industry. The summit was co-hosted by South Dakota State University Extension’s rural behavioral health team and the South Dakota Counselors Association. No. 10: Elizabeth Smart, the victim of a kidnapping and nationwide search in 2002 before being reunited with her family, shared her harrowing story with members of the Mitchell community at a presentation at the Mitchell High School Performing Arts Center in late September. Smart was the featured speaker for the Abbot House’s 80th Anniversary Celebration.

December 31, 2019

By The Daily Republic In September, Mitchell was hit by a three-day storm that dropped more than 10 inches of rain on the community, flooding streets and homes, displacing families and disrupting the lives of thousands of residents in an event that stood out in 2019 even during the wettest year the state of South Dakota has ever seen. With 2.42 inches falling Tuesday, Sept. 10, another 3.53 inches fell that Wednesday and 4.56 inches on Thursday during the weather event, turning Mitchell and the surrounding area into a chaotic scene with flooded farmlands, washed-out roads and frustrated people desperately trying to dry out despite the water having nowhere to go. The heavy rains closed Interstate 90 from Highway 281 to Sioux Falls and classes were called off at the Mitchell School District for two straight days. The south central portion of Mitchell still saw significant standing water even after the rains ebbed, multiple blocks on Havens Avenue were closed as city workers looked to find a drainage solution.

Residents dealt with the aftermath as best they could. Many descended on local businesses seeking sump pumps and dehumidifiers. Local motorcycle fabricator Klock Werks moved their bikes and equipment to higher ground. Homeowners and landlords were fighting to dry out houses for family members or tennents. Dry Run Creek flooded near Minnesota Avenue.Rains from the storm in Mitchell poured down the James River, wrecking havoc for Hutterite colonies farther south along the waterway. Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson praised city workers for their recovery efforts and urged residents to be patient and to work with them as the community struggled to rebound from the disaster. “We had severe flooding in the spring, and the crews have experience with disasters like this. They did a great job then, and I’m confident they will now,” Everson said. “It will require some patience to get through this, but we need to do our best to get the water under control.”

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December 31, 2019

By The Daily Republic The Mitchell High School girls tennis team won its first state tennis championship Oct. 8 in come-from-behind fashion after winning their final three matches in doubles play at McKennan Park in Sioux Falls. The team edged Yankton by a score 492.5 to 484.5. The Kernels trailed by 21 points heading into the second day of competition, but received a boost from Olivia Huber and Ashley Jones captured singles state titles at No. 3 and No. 6 singles respectively. Yankton’s lead was cut to 18 points heading into doubles play when Kelsey Dahme and Atlanta Stahle posted a win in the finals of No. 1 doubles before Huber and Amber Moller locked up the state team title with a straight-sets win in the finals of No. 2 doubles. Kiersten Bathke and Allison Mastel also took home a third-place finish in No. 3 doubles. “I can’t be more proud of

the girls,” said Mitchell head coach Pat Moller. “We had some high-pressure matches at the end and we had to win all of them. The girls played their very best tennis of the year at the end.” Despite dropping a semi-final match in No. 1 singles play, Dahme said the fire of competition was alive and well in the Mitchell team during the tournament. They drew on that when they needed wins late in the competition. “I think it helps having that fire in your belly,” said Dahme, who also earned the tournament Spirit of Max Award. “Obviously in singles, I was super bummed about it, so being able to come out here is the best thing I could have asked for.” The 2019 tournament was the first since the South Dakota High School Activities Association split the state tennis tournament into two classes, making Mitchell the winner of the inaugural Class A tournament.

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Mitchell’s Atlanta Stahle returns a hit in No. 2 singles action during the girls Class State Tournament at McKennan Park in Sioux Falls. Other top stories from the coverage region in October: No. 2: The city of Mitchell selected Doug Greenway to serve as Corn Palace Director. Greenway was expected to leave his position as the director of advanced technical education at Mitchell Technical Institute to transition to his new role. Greenway, a 1998 graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University, succeeded Scott Schmidt, who left the position after three years in August. No. 3: James Brinker, charged with killing his wife in 2017, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter Oct. 29, nine days before his trial was set to begin. A plea agreement meant Brinker, 41, faced a 40-year sentence with 22 years suspended for the killing of Marie Brinker in a heat of passion, but in a cruel and unusual manner. No. 4: A popular downtown bar in Chamberlain was destroyed by fire Oct. 21. The Silver Dollar Bar, which occupied a building that dated back more than 90 years, was engulfed in flames shortly after 9 a.m. at its 206 N. Main St. location. No. 5: Syerra Christensen, of Kennebec, was named the 2019 Women’s All-Around Champion Sunday following following the South Dakota Rodeo Association Oct. 13 at the W.H. Lyons Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls. Christensen finished the 2019 season with an accumulated purse worth $9,727.28, beating out second-place finisher Rickie Engesser, of Spearfish, who finished with $8,166.63. No. 6: Dylan Thompson, 27, pleaded no contest to second-degree manslaughter Oct. 1. Thompson was charged with inflicting injuries that led to a man’s death in an altercation that took place Jan. 3 outside Thirsty’s Bar in Mitchell. Richard Sanders, 58,

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died in a hospital from injuries sustained in the altercation Jan. 8. Thompson was expected to be sentenced Jan. 2, 2020. No. 7: Performance Pet held a grand opening for its new 150,000-square-foot facility on East Havens Avenue in Mitchell Oct. 16. The facility is valued at around $30 million, and more than 50 dignitaries and officials were on hand for the event. No. 8: The 2019 crop harvest was behind the pace of the previous year due to the record-breaking rains that fell over the course of the growing season. The rains flooded fields and roads, complicating efforts to bring corn and soybeans out of the fields. By late October, only 9 percent of corn and 33 percent of soybeans had been harvested, well below the 24 percent and 45 percent the previous year, respectively. No. 9: Area residents were looking at ways of restoring a pair of lakes that suffered serious damage resulting from the storms that passed through the region Sept. 11 and 12. The auxiliary spillway at Lake Hanson collapsed, reducing the body of water from a 61-acre spring-fed lake to a small stream. Lake Platte suffered a similar fate when a road washed out from the heavy rains, draining the lake. No. 10: Renee Berg, an art teacher at Mitchell Middle School, was recognized by her peers for her work and achievements in the field of art education by the South Dakota Art Education Association, an organization that strives to bring quality, standards-based art education to South Dakota schools. Berg teaches art to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at Mitchell Middle School.

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Demolition of the 301 N. Main St. building in Mitchell continues.

Other top stories from the coverage region November: No. 2: The small-town of Kennebec was on edge after vehicles were allegedly stolen and one crashed, killing two males in a pursuit. No. 3: For the second straight year, the Canistota/Freeman Pride claimed the Class 9A state championship, handing Britton-Hecla its only loss of the season, 46-34, on Nov. 14 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. Joining Freeman/ Canistota in taking the state title home was BridgewaterEmery’s football squad that claimed the elusive 11-man football title for class 11B. No. 4: For the first time, South Dakota prep state football championships were held outside at the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in mid-November due to ongoing renovations at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion. No. 5: District 19 state Sen. Stace Nelson announced his decision to retire from politics, ending a long career serving his district, which includes Bon Homme, Douglas, Hanson, Hutchinson and McCook counties. No. 6: The retirement of Aros, a 12-year-old Belgian Malinois who worked as K-9 for the South Dakota

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and I am excited to have the street back open and have high hopes for some great redevelopment opportunities on this corner,” Everson said of the Nov. 13 when the building began coming down. Originally built in 1887 as the Champney building, the three-story building at 301 N. Main St. has been one of the city’s oldest structures, shortly following the community’s incorporation in 1883. When it was built, the Masonic Lodge was located on the third floor, and workers successfully removed the Masonic emblems and facade at the top of the building on Wednesday. The second and third floors were later converted to apartments before closing in 1980, while the first floor housed various businesses over the last 100-plus years, including Saterlie Drug and the Mitchell Clothing Company.

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Highway Patrol, retired on Nov. 18 after a 10 year career with the state patrol. No. 7: Mitchell’s first Cranksgiving was deemed a success as a group of bicyclists trekked across the community on a weekend in mid-November, purchasing items to be donated to local charitable organizations. No. 8: Nearly 200 Mitchell area military veterans who dedicated their lives serving in the armed forces united over lunch to celebrate a special Veteran’s Day together at the Davison County Fairgrounds. No. 9: As city officials, local business leaders and community members collaborated to share their ideas for mapping out a better future for Mitchell, Nov. 6 marked the end of the eight-month Forward 2040 planning process led by Future IQ. No. 10: Breaking Bread Ministries, a non-profit group, continued the local tradition of offering a free Thanksgiving meal to members of the community on Thanksgiving Day at Mitchell Wesleyan Church.

By The Daily Republic After two years of disrepair and neglect, the Third Avenue and Main Street building that’s been an eyesore in downtown Mitchell finally came down. The city was in a battle with the former property owner, David Finnell, as the corroding southwest corner of the building left a large hole in its side, causing public safety hazards. Roofing and masonry issues also plagued the aging building. Since August 2017, Third Avenue has been closed between Rowley and Main streets due to a gaping hole. Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson said it was sad to see a Main Street building with more than a century’s worth of history be torn down, but eliminating the eyesore was a sigh of relief for downtown Mitchell. “The city has been in a long, turbulent battle with addressing this major issue on Main Street,

December 31, 2019

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December 2019

December 31, 2019

By The Daily Republic CHAMBERLAIN — What was supposed to be a family hunting trip to Chamberlain turned into one of the deadliest private plane crashes in the nation’s history. After an Idaho family spent the day hunting the fields of Chamberlin on Nov. 30, they buckled up for their plane ride home to Idaho Falls that was cut short when the Pilatus PC12 airplane crashed into a cornfield not far from Chamberlain’s airport, killing nine and injuring three others. The plane crash occurred over the weekend and was published by The Daily Republic in the Dec. 1 edition. Weather was believed to be an influence in the cause of the Chamberlain crash. The area had been experiencing winter storm conditions at the time of the crash, according to information from the National Weather Service. Although nearly all of the passengers were killed in the tragic crash, Brule County State’s Attorney Theresa Maule Rossow applauded the first responders


for rescuing three of the victims. “The men and women of law enforcement, first responders and medical professionals should be commended in their heroic actions to rescue the victims in extreme weather conditions,” Maule Rossow said in a statement. Among the dead were executives Kirk and Jim Hansen, according to a statement from Kyäni Vision Group, a team within a wellness product company the men founded. The Hansens’ father, Jim Hansen Sr., and other relatives also died, including three children. The Hansens held leadership positions in other companies, including a family petroleum business, according to Kyäni’s website. Acquaintances said they were also active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Data recording stopped at 12:33 p.m., and the wreckage was located by the owner of the property where it landed at 1:57 p.m. in a dormant cornfield about three-quarters of a mile from the Chamberlain airport.

NTSB Photo

In this photo, taken Monday in Chamberlain, South Dakota, an NTSB air safety investigator begins the initial examination of the wreckage of the Pilatus PC-12 that crashed on Nov. 30, 2019, at 12:30 p.m. CT shortly after departure from Chamberlain Municipal Airport. Other top stories from the coverage region December: No. 2: Chamberlain senior and football standout, Nash Hutmacher, officially signed his Division I National Letter of Intent to play football for the University of Nebraska on Dec. 18, culminating a recruitment process dating back to his freshman year. No. 3: As the year came to a close, the cost of damage from flooding in Davison County climbed above $15 million. The total estimated loss for the county from the September flooding is $15,370,722.58, according to Davison County Emergency Management Administrator Jeff Bathke. No. 4: Eight months after an agreement was reached to demolish the buildings, the former Palace City Pawn Shop buildings at 115 and 117 N. Main St. were demolished in mid-December. No. 5: Frankie Nelson, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Bridgewater-Emery, was named as the New Professional of the Year by the National Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences.

No. 6: Nicholas Yellow Lodge, of Chamberlain, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the first-degree manslaughter of 77-year-old David Hart, which led to a 22 year prison sentence. No. 7: James Brinker, a Mitchell man who was found guilty of manslaughter for killing his wife Marie Brinker, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in early December. The sentencing came two years after Brinker tied his wife up and suffocated her in 2017. No. 8: Floats covered in Christmas lights marched through downtown Mitchell in front of community members to help celebrate the annual Parade of Lights in early December. No. 9: The Bon Homme County Sheriff’s Office welcomed Krome, a Belgian Malinois dog, to serve as the Department’s new K-9 partner. No. 10: The city of Mitchell began distributing new recycling containers, equipped with rolling wheels, signaling the beginning of the city’s single-stream recycling program.


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December 31, 2019

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Profile for The Daily Republic

Year In Review 2019  

The Daily Republic's compilation of the biggest and top news stories of each month for 2019. #YearInReview #TopNewsStories #MitchellSD #HiF...

Year In Review 2019  

The Daily Republic's compilation of the biggest and top news stories of each month for 2019. #YearInReview #TopNewsStories #MitchellSD #HiF...