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When Michael Linn got a call from a grieving mother that her son's story should be made into a movie, he was interested, but skeptical. "You get calls like that a lot as a filmmaker," Linn said. "You take that with a grain of salt." But Bonnie Boyum didn't give up, and eventually Linn agreed to make the movie, which he directed. That movie, "Until Forever," will open Friday at the Luxury 5 Cinemas in Mitchell. Showtimes are at 4:20, 7 and 9:15 p.m. Friday through Thursday, with additional matinee shows at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Mitchell High School's speech and debate team ended its regular season recently, but the competitions aren't over yet. Ron Grimsley, head speech/debate coach for MHS, said this weekend is the district tournament to qualify for the National Speech and Debate Tournament—and he has high hopes for his team, which he said did well throughout the regular season. "We've had a very solid year," he said.
VERMILLION—Walking down a snow-covered campus, coffee cup in hand, Tessa Dee still looks every bit the pageant queen. From her neatly manicured hair, makeup and nails to her confidence and poise, the former Miss South Dakota still knows how to put her best boot forward. But Dee said her days now are filled with more studying, teaching and job-searching than promoting a platform or performing on stage. "My life is pretty boring, I have to say," she said with a laugh.
A Mitchell educator is now one of five contenders for the national LifeChanger of the Year award, officials announced Wednesday. Shane Thill was announced a top-five finalist for the LifeChanger of the Year award during a surprise presentation Wednesday morning at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy. "You probably don't know what's going on?" asked High School Principal Joe Childs. "I really don't," Thill responded, which drew laughter from the crowd.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series on Charles and Kim Johnson, of Niobrara, Nebraska, and their lives after being convicted of felony arson and reckless burning in 2013. SPRINGFIELD—Just a few blocks from the restaurant they used to own, Charles and Kimberly Johnson talk about the night their lives changed forever.
ALEXANDRIA—What do books, feathers, a plant and a microscope have in common? They're all components Hanson High School Senior Tasha Determan used to define herself in her award-winning doodle, "Depicting Myself." Determan used sculptures to depict her eclectic interests and personality as part of the contest's theme, "What makes me...me." "I can't tell you who I am unless you know me," Determan told the crowd, eliciting laughs.
Mitchell School District is "blessed" by the expertise of its teachers, according to school board members. On Monday, Mitchell Board of Education members commended Tricia Neugebauer as the recipient of the 2016 Kelly Lane Earth and Space Science Grant; and Julie Olson as the 2016 recipient of the Robert E. Yager award and co-presenter at two sessions at the National Science Teachers Association Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. "We are blessed to have your expertise," Board President Deb Olson said.
Mitchell will host its first "Kernel Bowl" this fall, thanks to an effort by a local booster club to create the event. The event is scheduled for Aug. 27, a Saturday, which is the Kernels' first home football game against Harrisburg, and will be sponsored by the Mitchell Athletic Booster Club Kernel Bowl Committee members.
The Mitchell School District will consider formally endorsing the Blue Ribbon Task Force's plan to increase teacher pay in South Dakota. Gov. Dennis Daugaard appointed the task force to examine the issue of teacher pay in South Dakota, which ranks lowest in the nation. In response to the task force's findings, Daugaard has proposed a half-cent sales tax increase to help raise teacher pay, but his plan needs two-thirds approval in both the House and the Senate.
Dreams do come true. That was the message during Thursday's dedication ceremony for the DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex. "This is a great day to be a Tiger," Dakota Wesleyan University President Amy Novak said to applause. More than 600 people filed into the complex's fieldhouse for the morning event, which featured speeches, music, a ribbon cutting and self-guided tours of the facility. The new facility opened in January, but was dedicated Thursday in a ceremony that paid tribute to the donors, officials and partners who helped bring about the new facility.