Think there should be more good news? Here are some of our best feel-good, positive stories from 2021
Do you think there should be more positive news? You may have missed some of these feel-good stories from 2021.
It's been a wild year.
And we at the Mitchell Republic have worked hard to cover community news that's important to all of our readers. From the pandemic to politics, crime and tragedy, many of the stories that grab our readers' attention the most have been gloomy reads.
But our staff has done an outstanding job finding positive, feel-good stories as well. Here is a list of some of our favorite stories we've written in 2021 that shine a bright light on the people of our community and region.
Tracy Diefenbach and Chris Reder, a veteran of the United States Navy and her partner at the DTOM 22/0 Veterans Ranch, both suffered brain injuries during their time in the service and understand the impact PTSD and other ailments can have on those returning home from service. -- By Erik Kaufman.
After devoting 40 years of his life to the game of pool, Steve “Schoeny” Schoenfelder was inducted into the South Dakota Billiards Hall of Fame. For Schoenfelder, of Mitchell, the day he received the honor ranks up there with the best days of the 60-year-old’s life. -- By Sam Fosness.
John Mengenhausen can tell the story of Horizon Health Care. As the CEO of the Howard-based health care clinic system in rural South Dakota for the last 38 years, he’s been there for all of it. But the map on his office wall tells the story as well, how the system went from two clinics and 14 staff members when he started in 1983 to nearly 300 employees, a 28,000-square mile coverage area and has 32 medical and dental clinics in 22 different communities today. -- By Marcus Traxler.
How could the wire from a bottom bouncer … how in the world did it get lodged in his heart? How did a great day on the water turn into a life-threatening situation? The 53-year-old Todd Thesenvitz -- who lives inside the South Dakota border near Jasper, Minnesota -- will be asking those questions his entire life. -- By Luke Hagen.
Brian Patrick used to believe that the only good spider is a dead spider, but as he grew up, he found value in the role spiders play in the world’s ecosystem. Now he has his own species. -- By Hunter Dunteman.
Growing up in Platte, helping each other out is what you do. Now, after helping their neighbors for so long, the Walstad family is on the receiving end of the “amazing” generosity of their neighbors and community. In September, the Walstad’s 13-year-old daughter, Addie, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Since then, the support of the people and community in Platte have been overwhelming, according to Addie’s mom, Erin. -- By Matt Gade.
“Our neighborhood is why we are staying and building a new home right here,” said Ryan Kirkpatrick, as he watched the demolition crews tear his house down to make way for a new chapter. “This is a great neighborhood, and we all have each other’s backs. That’s not easy to find.” -- By Sam Fosness.
Todd Glanzer was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer in 2018, and his daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in August. The father and daughter have been grateful for the amount of support from family, friends and the surrounding community. -- By Matt Gade.
As the 2020-2021 school year wrapped up, Ethan students scattered across the small town to spruce up pockets of the community during the Ethan Rustler’s Day of Giving Back. From applying a fresh coat of paint along the walls of the local American Legion to trimming shrubs at the baseball diamond, the group of students polished up the town that has supported their high school journey since day one. -- By Sam Fosness.
It has been a whirlwind year for Hargreaves, a sixth-grade science and language arts teacher, that saw her travel the state and the country while learning about and advocating for the educational experience of students and teachers around the United States. -- By Erik Kaufman.
“I am extremely humbled and honored to receive this award for two reasons,” MHS teacher Steve Morgan said. “One: this award is endorsed and recommended by students. Two: there are a lot of competent, compassionate and caring teachers in this school district.” -- By Hunter Dunteman.
The Gregory County high school baseball team made the Class B state tournament for the first time in May, the community’s teener baseball programs are consistently strong, and the amateur team has a young core of talent. But ask the players for those teams, and they'll all express their gratitude that they can still be in the dugout with Neil Hylla. -- By Marcus Traxler.
What started out as text messages to keep family and friends notified eventually morphed into something bigger. Through a journal and generosity, a family transformed their quiet tragedy of losing their newborn into a life-saving legacy: Cameron Vobr will always be remembered. -- By Luke Hagen.
Called by various names — Chase the Queen in Hudson, Chase the Joker in Chancellor — the recipe is otherwise the same: A game-of-chance with mysterious Canadian roots involving some lucky entrant, chosen by a raffle ticket, who then selects the sought-after card from among cards sheathed in dark slips for half the pot. The other half goes to charity. -- By Christopher Vondracek.
They're not journalists or public health professionals. They don't get paid for what they do. Still, these unlikely COVID-19 heroes took it upon themselves to daily gather COVID-19 information and publish reports about new cases, hospitalizations, breakdowns of media briefings and summaries of pandemic news reports. -- By Jeremy Fugleberg.