Seth Tupper grew up in Wessington Springs and Kimball and earned a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked for The Daily Republic in various capacities since 2003 and has been the newspaper's editor since 2010.
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I'm a sucker for all things western, and I don't make any attempt to hide it. The fascination started early. When I was a toddler, one of my first words was "bupablo" -- my attempt to say "buffalo" -- and I cherished a stuffed-animal buffalo that my parents bought for me. Shortly after my daughter was born, one of the first gifts I gave her was a stuffed-animal buffalo I bought at Wall Drug.
When I was in high school, I traveled through Germany as part of a tour for students who'd studied the German language. The first week, I stayed with a host family. My host mother was an enthusiastic and prolific cook, and she offered a memorable pearl of wisdom to me one day as I was enjoying the fruits of her culinary labor. "All food is good for you," she said, "in moderation." It was sage advice.
Shouldn't we be doing more to prevent house explosions? In just the past three years, there have been four house explosions in our little part of South Dakota. One caused a death, two left their single occupants badly injured, and one occurred when nobody was home. Three were caused by natural gas leaks, and one was caused by a propane leak. That's four explosions in three years, all contained in just three counties in one state.
In the wake of the Nov. 2 election, I'm tired of hearing politicians talk. I'm especially tired of hearing them talk -- and never act -- on so-called "food for votes" scandals. On Oct. 14, The Daily Republic was among the first to report that Democratic voter feeds and early voting rallies scheduled that day on the Crow Creek and Lower Brule reservations -- plus one held previously on the Pine Ridge reservation -- were allegedly illegal. The events were conducted anyway, and Democrats angrily defended themselves.
The Stephanie Herseth Sandlin campaign is accusing the Kristi Noem campaign of "pretending" to receive an endorsement from the National Rifle Association. Noem sent a campaign mailer bearing pictures of herself in camouflage and blaze-orange hunting gear, along with an "A rating" NRA logo near the pictures. Noem does in fact have an "A" rating from the NRA, but so does Herseth Sandlin. The Noem mailer does not mention that.
If there's one thing we journalists get tired of hearing, it's that old refrain about how the newspaper only contains "bad news." Readers who say that to reporters, editors and the publisher at this newspaper are liable to get a polite earful. It's simply false to say that our newspaper is full of bad news. I keep the past week's worth of front pages tacked to a wall in my office. As of the writing of this column on Aug.
What does a U.S. senator do on a summer day during a congressional recess when he has no re-election opponent? He stops for a burger and ice cream sundae at Culver's in Mitchell. That's what John Thune did Friday while on his way to see some old friends at Hutch's Café and Lounge in Presho and his parents in Murdo. With no Democrat or minor-party candidate running against him in the Nov. 2 election, he has some unexpected free time on his hands. That's not to say he isn't busy.
I'm not that old, but I'm old enough to remember when going to college meant roughing it. When I moved into Mathews Hall at South Dakota State University in the fall of 1997, my room was sparsely furnished. In fact, it wasn't all that different from a prison cell. As I recall, the room was tiny, with cold, tile floors and concrete-block walls. It had no air-conditioning and was outfitted with only the basics for its two occupants: two beds, two sets of drawers, two desks and a phone hookup. Our one luxury was cable TV, which I think we splurged for out of our own pockets.
Jon Lauck is a republican, with a lower-case "r." He's also deeply involved with the uppercase "R" kind of Republicans, as in the Republican Party. But the lowercase "r" version of republicanism is not a political party. It's a set of values and practices, and one that has been prevalent in South Dakota since its territorial days. Lauck, a historian and senior adviser to Republican Sen.
When I was a kid, I thought it was ridiculous that all the adults around me were so concerned about the weather. I found humor in the knowledge that so many people were so concerned about something they had absolutely no control over. I realized, of course, that many of the adults I knew in Wessington Springs and then in Kimball were directly or indirectly involved in agriculture, and because of that, they had a very good reason to be weather-watchers. But even farmers can't control what falls from the sky.