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Drive past Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary at the right time, and you'll see a playground alive with children jumping, spinning, swinging and climbing. Gertie Belle Principal Vicki Harmdierks said much of that activity is possible because of the school's parent teacher association. In the past year, Harmdierks said the school's PTA has donated approximately $30,000 for playground equipment and $18,000 for technology. Jill Weber, president of the Gertie Belle PTA, said when she first joined the PTA, the school was still buying smartboards for the classrooms.
Tucked into a corner of the Congregational United Church of Christ, volunteers sift through shelves of items such as toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and dish soap. They are volunteers with the Helping Hands Pantry, a nonprofit in Mitchell that provides personal hygiene and household cleaning products for people in need. Pantry Coordinator Marsha Corcoran said she helped start the pantry in 2007, prompted in part by friends at the Salvation Army who saw a need in Mitchell.
There's a growing shortage of rural health care workers, and Diane Sandhoff wants to help. Sandhoff, the administrative chair of the Arlene Gates Department of Nursing at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, said a recently acquired grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation will help the university do just that. "We're trying to become a part of the solution for the issues that South Dakota faces in the gap for health care workforce," Sandhoff said. In July, DWU received a $750,000 grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.
HARRISBURG—"It was just a bullet." That's how Kevin Lein describes his recovery after getting shot last week. Lein, 57, was shot in the arm in his office at Harrisburg High School, where he is the principal. The bullet hit the ulna and the humerus in his right arm, then his chest. But Lein, who was back at school the next day, doesn't focus on his wounds, or even on the event itself.
Feeling louse-y? So are some students at Dakota Wesleyan University.
It's all about connection. That's how Rod Brown describes the role of the Dakota Discovery Museum, both in Mitchell and as part of the Dakota Wesleyan University community. "The desire, the objective here, is to tie the museum into the campus community," he said. "This place needs to be a place that facilitates connections between people and families and cultures." Brown is the new manager of the museum, which changed hands this year.
Rod Brown leans forward, motioning to group of tables with artifacts piled high. "All of the artifacts on these tables over here came to us because a father raised his children walking around Lake Mitchell," he said. "And whenever they found something, they picked it up, cleaned it up and took it home, and added it to their collection." The collection includes about 3,500 pieces—and that's just one aspect of the work Brown is passionate about sharing with others. Brown, 53, is the new manager of the Dakota Discovery Museum.
Get ready to rock. On Friday, the Corn Palace announced next year's mural theme will be "Rock of Ages," and will pay tribute to some of the biggest musical artists and genres. Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson are among some of the easily recognizable musicians featured. Mitchell's City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein said the city's contract with Wade Strand, who grows the corn, is $57,000 this year.
Joe Graves didn't expect to make the news Tuesday. But in a Tuesday morning blog post on the Dakota Free Press, a post authored by the blog's editor and publisher Cory Allen Heidelberger discusses Graves' role as director of a grant program from 2011 to 2014. In the post, Heidelberger says it's time to add Graves "to the list of establishment cronies ...
The Dakota Wesleyan University student who died last week tested positive for bacterial meningitis, campus officials said Saturday. Beau Keeter, 19, was found dead in his dormitory room Wednesday morning at Dayton Hall on DWU’s campus in Mitchell. Keeter, of St. Lawrence, S.D., was a freshman athletic training student and a member of the men's basketball team.