Cory and Joy Mohling were enjoying a summer evening outside the house they moved into last November, when they got the call to take cover. They were having a barbecue with their four children, twin 11-year-olds Cale and Cade, 7 year-old Logan and 5-year-old Brooke. The table was set and the food had just finished cooking on the grill when Cory's sister called to tell him a tornado was headed to Wessington Springs.
HOWARD -- Charles Leider has dedicated more than 50 years to landscape architecture. The 82-year-old Howard native and former Oklahoma State University professor received a Citation of Merit Award at the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Conference last week at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. The award was given for his work preserving historic cultural landscapes for 25 years with his students.
After 39 years at Ethan Co-op Lumber, 62-year-old Paul Fergen can finally take a vacation. Fergen received an executive proclamation from Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Friday in recognition of his hard work and dedication at the Ethan business during a retirement party held in his honor. Fergen, a rural Ethan resident, was the head accountant and stayed busy.
A former professional bike rider is helping in the design and construction of Mitchell's first pump track course. Since Tuesday, Randy Spangler has been spending much his time at Kiwanis Woodlot Park, located off Indian Village Road on the south side of Lake Mitchell, to help build a pump track. A pump track is a continuous loop of dirt berms and mounds that are ridden on a bike, mostly with having to pedal. Cyclists of all ages and skill levels can ride a pump track using BMX bikes, mountain bikes, kids bikes or scooter bikes.
An anonymous donor gave $25,000 to the Mitchell Area Safehouse, employees said, allowing for facility upgrades in the play areas. "We're excited," Shelter Coordinator Coleen Smith said. The money will be used for the permanent fencing surrounding the two play areas and playground equipment for the safehouse. The country estate fence was installed and completed Tuesday morning. The new fence incorporates more security than the previous fence, which had space in between the wood allowing outsiders to peer in the play area. The old fence was constructed along with the facility in 1999.
The Watoto Children's Choir has traveled further than most to get where they are today, physically and mentally. Watoto is a holistic care program located west of Kampala, Uganda, Africa, in Watoto villages that was initiated as a response to the overwhelming number of orphaned children and vulnerable women in Uganda. Marilyn and Gary Skinner founded Watoto Church in 1984 in Uganda. They started Watoto Child Care Ministries in 1994, according to the group's website, in response to the dangerous situations and circumstances of Africa's millions of children orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS.
The National Guard is no longer needed in Wessington Springs, according to the town's mayor. The National Guard left Wessington Springs Tuesday, Mayor Melissa Mebius said. Soldiers were sent in last week to clear debris on the roads as well as any debris obstructing a road or public right-of-way. The state hasn't declared Wessington Springs a disaster area, but requests have been sent to Gov. Dennis Daugaard's office, said Mebius. Many residents affected by the tornado have found housing and are renting places for now.
The tornado that demolished an Alpena farmstead last week was an EF4, the National Weather Service announced Wednesday. The frequency of an EF4 tornado occurring in South Dakota is rare, according to Todd Heitkamp, a warning coordinator meteorologist for the NWS. "Across the entire country, it was one of five EF4 tornadoes last week," Heitkamp said. The June 18 twister started southeast of Lane, in Jerauld County, causing minor damage to a farm east of Lane, said Todd Heitkamp, a warning coordinator meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
The Prairie Town Grocery store may close its doors for good by August. Leonard Lambright, who co-owns Prairie Town Grocery with his wife, LaLainya, said it's time for a change. They aim to be done by Aug. 15, Lambright said. Their store is located at 601 S. Sanborn Blvd. and opened in August 2008. The couple nearly closed the store last fall, but then found a manager to run the business during the owners' absence.
A cloudy and humid Saturday morning marked the 20th annual Tour de Corn charity bike ride. For Mitchell native Jay Fritzemeier and his daughter, Jasmine Fritzemeier, riding bikes together is nothing new, but the Tour de Corn provides them another opportunity to ride together. "We ride together quite a bit in the morning and this is something we get to do together," Jay said. "It's been a couple years since we've ridden in it, but I actually was involved in the first one way back when.