2012 year in review

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


Here’s a look back at 2012 as recorded on the front pages of The De Smet News.


Jan. 4:Beef Bucks will reach a national audience soon when they are offered as a prize on the popular TV game show, Wheel of Fortune. Chad Morken is the new manager of Dairy Queen and Subway in De Smet. Morken succeeds Kurt Schwarzenbart.


Jan. 11:The De Smet branch of Dakotaland Federal Credit Union held a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony with representatives from Dakotaland, De Smet Chamber of Commerce and the De Smet Development Corporation. Randy Beck is the new bar and restaurant manager at the Kingsbury County Country Club. Beck has renamed the business 3rd Base.


Jan.18:Gov. Bill Janklow, 72, died of brain cancer Jan. 12. Janklow, who served four terms as governor of South Dakota, is fondly remembered. Janklow was a member of the Kingsbury County Cattleman’s Association. When the Lake Preston High School Class of 1986 was in sixth-grade, they visited then Gov. Janklow at the state capital. During the visit, Janklow promised to come to Lake Preston and speak at their graduation, and he did.


Jan. 25:Interlakes Community Action Partnership (ICAP) will provide volunteer tax assistance in Kingsbury County for households that make less than $50,000 a year.


Feb. 1:The Kingsbury County Food Pantry is holding a drive for cleaning, personal care and non-perishable food items for needy people in the community during its “Souper Bowl Challenge.”


Feb 8:More than 300 fishermen from North and South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska took part in the second annual Lake Thompson Fishing Derby, sponsored by Kingsbury County Ducks Unlimited. Jay Vanduch of Brookings is the new director for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant. Vanduch succeeds Orval VanDeest.


Feb. 15:Renovation begins on the former Wells Fargo Bank building that will soon house the new city hall and visitor’s center. City Council approves a five-year city website contract with the Golden Shovel Agency.


Feb. 22:James Harris, the Anoka, Minn., man charged with second-degree manslaughter and driving while intoxicated in the September 2011 traffic death of De Smet teenager Zachery Eichstad, changed his plea to guilty before Judge Jon Erickson.


Feb. 29:Political newcomer, Jay Slater (R) De Smet, is running for a seat in District 22 State House of Representatives. Other candidates for the two seats are Dave McGirr (R-Huron), Dick Werner (R-Huron), Peggy Gibson (D-Huron), Doug Kazmerzak (D- Erwin) and Dale Hargens (D- Huron.


March 7:Jordan Rusche, a fifth-grade student at Laura Ingalls Wilder Elementary School donated several inches of hair to “Locks of Love” after receiving a short haircut from Kathy McAdaragh at Vintage Hair Parlor.


March 14:De Smet School board reviews a possible football co-op with Lake Preston.

Anthony Halverson and Bret Jensen are candidates for the Ward II city council seat.


March 21:Glen and Janet Davis, co-founders of Legend Seeds, Inc., receive an award from United States Department of Agriculture director Dana Kleinsasser to recognize the company for using a   $17,035 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant to install an energy efficient corn burner.


March 28:Randy Jencks of Arlington is inducted into the South Dakota Basketball Hall of Fame at Dakota Prairie Playhouse in Madison. Jenks, a 1971 graduate of De Smet High School, played basketball for the Bulldogs when the team won the State B basketball   championship in 1970 and ’71 and when they were runners-up in 1969.


April 4:James Harris is sentenced to 10 years in prison for second-degree manslaughter and driving while intoxicated. De Smet teenager, Zachery Eichstad, was struck and killed by Harris in the September 2011 accident.


April 11: De Smet High School band and music students and chaperones boarded three chartered buses early April 9 for a trip to Washington, D.C. and New York City.  Students will perform at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., and tour several places of interest.


April 18:Linda Daugaard, wife of Gov. Dennis Daugaard, visited Laura Ingalls Wilder Elementary School and read to students in grades 3-5. Daugaard, a former teacher and librarian, travels to elementary schools throughout the state to promote literacy. Kingsbury County commissioners toured 350 miles of county roads in two days to inspect them for damage.


April 25:The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant board will hold auditions for this summer’s production of The Long Winter at the United Church of Christ in De Smet and at TV Production offices in Brookings.


May 2:The proposed football co-op between De Smet and Lake Preston was rejected at a public hearing. Horizon Health Care, Inc. received a $1.04 million federal grant to build a new medical and dental clinic in De Smet.


May 9:The De Smet Development Corporation is studying the city’s options for an event center.

Fourth-grade students at Laura Ingalls Wilder Elementary School portrayed famous people from South Dakota in a living history museum. Daniel De Deyne, who portrayed radio and television personality Jim Woster, was surprised by a visit from Woster.


May 16:  Twenty-three students graduated from De Smet High School on May 13.

Local men, Geoffrey Langland, Seth Wallen and Jason Madison were among 184 soldiers in the South Dakota National Guard 200th Engineering Company who were welcomed home May 13 at a celebration in Pierre after a year’s deployment in Afghanistan.


May 23:The six candidates for District 22 House of Representatives, Jay Slater, Dick Werner, Dave McGirr, Peggy Gibson, Doug Kazmerzak and Dale Hargens held a candidate’s forum at the American Legion Hall in Huron. Dave Bean, manager of the Bookdocks Tiki Lounge south of De Smet, met with Kingsbury County Commissioners regarding concerns about a concert stage he had built outside the business.


May 30:  Area livestock producers voiced concerns to Kingsbury County commissioners about the wording in a zoning ordinance regarding the application of manure generated from concentrated animal feeding operations.


June 6:  Local candidate for District 22 House of Representatives, Jay Slater (R-De Smet) was one of four winners in the primary election.  Slater will go up against three other candidates for the two house seats in the November election. Construction of Rex Geyer’s building at Manchester is at a standstill pending a possible re-zoning ordinance.


June 13:Mayor Gary Wolkow names   Patti Ward this year’s De Smet Community Service Award winner. Marie Langland, long-time office manager at The De Smet News, is Grand Marshal of The Old Settler’s Day Parade.


June 20:Limbs and branches are down all over De Smet after high winds moved through the area late Monday and early Tuesday. De Smet City Council addresses the lack of rental housing at their first meeting in the new city hall building.  Jim Dobson and Shane Roth beat out John Anderson and Dan Wilkinson to win seats on the De Smet School Board.


June 27:Several bicyclists participating in the Tour de Kota, a 470-mile bicycle trip sponsored by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, made an overnight stop at De Smet and set up camp at Washington Park.


July 4:This year’s production of the Laura Ingalls Pageant, The Long Winter, opens July 6 and will run Friday-Sunday evenings for the next three weekends. The Farmers Market on the corner of Highways 14 and 25 opened for the season. The market is open Thursdays from 3-6 p.m. through the end of September.


July 11:Six teams competed in the 4th of July rib cook-off at Washington Park.  The Anchors Away Team of Bret Jensen, Lucas Thomas and Jim Thomas walked away with the judges’ top prize of $500. Laura Ingalls Wilder principal Jay Nelson resigned his position to accept a job at Dell Rapids Public School.


July 18:Sheyenne Dakota, a West Fargo based wire and cable harness manufacturer, plans to move into the spec building in the industrial park.

Carol and Doug Kazmerzak, owners of Prairie Town Gifts, have leased the former city hall building for their store.


July 25:Matt Varilek made a campaign stop in De Smet.  Varilek is the   Democratic nominee against incumbent Republican Kristi Noem in the race for the South Dakota seat in the United States House.


Aug. 1:Nearly 100 people attended a potluck picnic July 27 in Washington Park to learn more about The Young Guns organization. The extreme heat has put stress on some plants. Farmers and gardeners are watering more than usual, according to several vendors at the farmers market in De Smet.


Aug. 9: Abi Van Regenmorter is the new principal at Laura Ingalls Wilder Elementary School.  Van Regenmorter and her husband Dave have three young sons, Blake, Trace and Coy.


Aug. 15:More than 45 artists participated in the 4th annual Harvey Dunn Memorial Society Plein Air Paint Out Aug. 10-12 in De Smet. De Smet school enrollment in grades K-12 dropped from 334 last year to 313 this year.


Aug. 22:Former De Smet residents Jeff and Lindsay (Knock) Nolte were nominated as Angels in Adoption by Sen. Tim Johnson for outstanding advocacy of adoption and/or foster care issues. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society acquired 17 more Garth Williams illustrations. To date the society has purchased 27 of Williams’ illustrations from the original books.


Aug.  29:Wade Brinkoph is the new vicar at American Lutheran Church in De Smet.

Lynn and Chad Kruse, owners of De Smet Flowers and Gifts, celebrate 25 years in business.


Sept. 5:Local industry leaders meet with Otter Tail power company representatives to express concern about power outages. The current drought exceeds dust bowl conditions in some areas.  Stations in the far southeast corner of South Dakota expect to hit all time record lows for precipitation.


Sept 12:The De Smet school board heard plans from the Young Guns and the De Smet Economic Development Corporation about plans for a multi-purpose community, activity and wellness center. Bill Poppen, general manager of De Smet Farm Mutual Insurance Company, was presented with the 7th annual Bob Duxbury award at the South Dakota State Fair.  Poppen won the award for his many years of dedication to the State Fair.


Sept. 19:Melanie Koehlmoos, a 2006 graduate of De Smet High School, won both the Dacotah Star Contest and the Midway Roadhouse Rendezvous karaoke contest at this year’s South Dakota State Fair.


Sept 26:Homecoming queen candidates at De Smet High School are Taylin Albrecht, Shelace Albrecht, Mychelle Anderson and Amanda Poppen. Homecoming king candidates are Bradley Penney, Nathan Reynhout, Tanner Geiman and Eugene Martin.  Harvest yields are higher than expected with this year’s drought, according to representatives from H&I Grain LLC in De Smet and Prairie Ag Partners in Lake Preston.


Oct. 3:Tanner Geiman and Amanda Poppen are elected Homecoming king and queen at De Smet High School. John and Dana Barkman are the new owners and managers at Subway and Dairy Queen in De Smet. The new owners plan to keep Subway open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and keep the drive-up window at Dairy Queen open for extended hours.


Oct. 10:Lyle Signs, Inc. celebrates its 100th birthday. The sign manufacturing company started in Lyle, Minn., in 1912 and moved production to De Smet in 1974. The De Smet school board heard from residents questioning provisions of the current Iroquois-De Smet football cooperative.


Oct. 17:The city applies for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to be used for a community center. Five De Smet High School runners, Austin Kott, Amanda Gehm, Dashia Ohman, Nathan Mann and Mitch Dobson qualified for the State High School Cross-Country meet Oct. 20 in Huron.


Oct. 24:Horizon Health Care breaks ground for a new medical and dental clinic at the northeast corner of Wilder Pass and Prairie Avenue.


Oct. 31:The De Smet city website, wwwdesmet.sd.com is up and running. The Golden Shovel Agency of Little Falls, Minn., did the framework and design for the site. Angie Baszler of De Smet puts the information together for the site.


Nov. 7:Jay Slater handily carries Kingsbury County in the race for Distract 22 State House of Representatives, but finishes last in the race. District 22 consists of all of Kingsbury and Beadle Counties.


Nov. 14:Ken Roeder, president of American Bank & Trust in De Smet, will retire at the end of the year. The De Smet Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual chili challenge Nov. 17.


Nov. 21:De Smet senior Alexa Martens is named 2012 Kingsbury County Snow Queen and Miss Congeniality Nov. 18 at the 57th annual contest in Lake Preston.


Nov. 28:Gov. Dennis Daugaard awards De Smet a Community Development Block Grant of $515,00 to be used for a new community center. Shawn and Candy Wolkow of O’Keefe Implement & Ford Mercury in De Smet present De Smet High School student council members with a check for $7,840 from Ford Motor Company in the Drive One 4 Ur school program.


Dec. 5:The De Smet School board hears a proposal for a new state-of-the-art athletic complex from Todd Wilkinson, a member of the steering committee planning the project. The oral interpretation team excels at the state festival. The winter wonderland event Dec. 1-2 at the 4-H center draws an array of unique Christmas trees.


Dec: 12:De Smet City Council votes to accept a $515,000 Community Development Block Grant and move forward with plans to build a new community/wellness center. De Smet School Board approves a $515,000 capital outlay levy hike to help fund a new athletic complex at Purrington Field. Iroquois School District approves De Smet’s amended co-op proposal. De Smet-Iroquois will now be nicknamed the Bulldogs and have maroon and gold jerseys.


Dec 19:The De Smet School Board decided on a five-year, 50-cent per $1,000 valuation levy to pay for a capital outlay certificate for a new athletic complex. De Smet Economic Development Director Rita Anderson told city council more tax hikes are not anticipated for the building and mainteinence costs of the new community center.


Dec 26:District 22 Rep. Peggy Gibson (D-Huron) is one of five women in the state chosen to be part of a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) documentary, “The Makers: Women Who Make America.”


Donna Palmlund

Staff Writer

De Smet News

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