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Tim Kessler readily admits South Dakota's pheasant hunting is at a critical point in state history. "We're getting close to a tipping point in habitat going too far the wrong direction, and if we get too severe of a loss, our pheasant numbers will be too far down to rebuild," said Kessler, a member of Pheasants Forever's National Board of Directors. "We've lost 1.5 million acres of grassland in South Dakota since our height in the mid-2000s because of conversion to cropland.
Shown is the decorating crew, supervised by Doug Baldwin, working on one of the murals of the 1974 Corn Palace. Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and the Blackwood Singers were the headlining act that year. The Corn Palace van is a sign of the times. (Photo courtesy of the Mitchell Area Historical Society)
Collin Ell, of Mitchell, cuts a board used to frame a closet Saturday at the home being built by Mitchell Regional Habitat for Humanity, located at 1004 E. First Ave., near Longfellow Elementary in Mitchell. Ell, a member of the Mitchell Habitat board, said Mitchell Habitat hopes to finish the home before school begins in August. The home is being built for Amy Jorgenson and her three children: Sage, Victoria and Fabian. (Chris Mueller/Republic)
STICKNEY -- A former Corsica and Stickney music teacher who died Friday was described as "a fun-loving, laid-back guy" and someone who "connected well with the kids." Michael Nepodal, 54, died of cancer Friday at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls. His funeral was held Wednesday at the Stickney High School gymnasium. Stickney Superintendent Bob Krietlow said Nepodal was battling throat cancer for about three years. "He was very, very musically inclined," Krietlow said Wednesday afternoon. "He would write and compose some of his own music.
CHAMBERLAIN -- A 127-pound, 9-ounce paddlefish caught earlier this month by a Chamberlain man is the fifth-largest state-record paddlefish in the nation. Bill Harmon landed the monster fish May 7 on the Missouri River's Lake Francis Case, breaking the old state record of 120 pounds, 12 ounces that was held since April 1979. Harmon's catch is the largest fish ever recorded by an angler in South Dakota. "That's a big fish for sure," said Steve Zigler, a research fishery biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey who is stationed in La Crosse, Wis.
Travis Runia looks back at winter with a sigh of relief. "Yes, it was very cold, but we didn't have blizzard conditions or very much snowfall," said Runia, the upland game biologist for the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. One of Runia's main duties is to study the state bird, the ring-necked pheasant.
About 14,000 tons of salt have been used to clear interstates and state highways this winter in the southeastern part of the state. That's according to Jeff Gustafson, an operations engineer for the state Department of Transportation in the Mitchell region, which covers 2,500 miles of roads in southeastern South Dakota from the Missouri River east and from state Highway 34 south to Nebraska. "I would say that's fairly typical," he said of using 14,000 tons by this point in the season. Today, a spring storm will force the DOT to use even more salt. Jeff Chapman, a National Weather Service m
During a recent holiday, Bart Friedrick stayed up until 2 a.m. watching Mitchell High School basketball game tapes from the 1984 and 1985 championship seasons. The former Mitchell standout can’t remember the exact details of when he put those tapes in the VCR, but seeing those highlights brought back memories of how impressive those teams he starred for played. “You forget a lot of it, but then it comes back after you watch those games,” said Friedrick, recalling that he watched the games with his father, Jim, who still lives in Mitchell.
WAGNER — While Robert Kokesh is one step away from being a national champion, Alex Kocer is taking his first steps at the national tournament. Both Wagner natives, Kokesh and Kocer will compete this weekend at the NCAA Division I national wrestling tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla. The three-day meet starts at 11 a.m.
Mass Customized Learning lets students work at their own pace. A meeting is set for 7 p.m. Thursday for those interested in signing up for next year.