Physical science students create bridges

  • Category: News

Freshman Physical Science students created popsicle bridges as a challenge presented by teacher, Leigh Krogman, and 4-H advisor, Kaycee Jones. Kaycee challenged the teams of students to design a bridge using less than 200 popsicle sticks and held together with hot glue that would span a minimum of 14 inches and hold at least 20 pounds. After watching a video detailing strong shapes and ideas for building popsicle bridges, students worked with their teams to create a design sketch. After their sketches were complete teams set to work building their bridges.

Students worked on their bridges for the majority of two class period. Kaycee, Mrs.

Krogman and the students then tested their bridges.

The bridges were tested by spanning the bridge between two stools, adding 5 pounds, and then an additional 5 before jumping up to the 20 pound requirement. Every team was successful in spanning the distance and two-thirds of the teams build bridges that held the weigh. The winning bridge held 55 pounds and was designed by the team of Bobbie Watson, Tylan Bear, and Tyson Medicine Bear.

Through the lesson students gained critical thinking, team working skills while being able to gain insight into the engineering process.


Kaycee says “I was extremely impressed by designs of each team and how every student contributed to improving the design of the team’s bridge.”

Valburg appointed Mellette Co. Commissioner

  • Category: News

Mellette County resident Dan Valburg was appointed to the Mellette County Commissioners to complete the term of Ted E. Schmidt, who recently passed away. Valburg will serve until the next General Election. Pictured are Mellette County Commissioners Cecil Brandis, Jr., Casey Krogman, Commission Chairman, and Dan Valburg.

Petranek and Anderson- Veterans on and off the field

  • Category: News

What began as a friendship at White River High School in the 1930’s, Ed Petranek, class of 1938, and Chet Anderson, class of 1937, developed a work ethic and sense of patriotism that carried on through out  their lives.

Both Ed and Chet went on to college after high school attending the University of South Dakota. Chet was called to active duty in 1940. He served stateside and in the Philippines. Ed graduated in 1942 with his B.S. degree and at graduation was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant with the R.O.T.C. program. His first assignment was to the 34th Infantry Division in Algeria.

Both men served their country during WWII but on battle fields miles apart. Having been ordered to serve in the planned invasion of Japan, Chet’s orders changed with the dropping of the atomic bomb,  Chet then served in the occupation of Japan until he separated from the Army on March 21, 1946.

Ed was on the other side of the battle and a platoon leader fighting the Germans. Ed was a leader on the WWII war front, surviving many wartime injuries and always returning to his platoon to reorganize for the next battle. Ed was among the soldiers that marched into Rome the day before D-day in June of 1944. After the battle in Italy, his troop prepared for the invasion of France. Ed was injured four times and received a medical discharge in July 1946. Among the many awards that Ed received from his role in WWII was the French Legion of Honor medal on behalf of the French government for his “valorous action during World War II.” 

Ed and Chet both came back home with their war time experience. Chet went on to complete his degree at USD , all while continuing to play football. Chet went on to coach in Illinois and continued on to coach at the college level. Ed came back to South Dakota and eventually became the principal and coach at Colome.

Ed and Chet took their experience in leading men on the battle field and became successful coaches. Both were leaders in their communities and attributed their work ethic to their service to our country in WWII.

Ed ended his career in Belle Fourche   as a teacher and coach. He was honored by the Belle Fourche School District when they the local armory named after him in 2011.

Chet went on to become a successful college coach at Bemidji State University attributing his  coaching style  to his military experience. A coach at BSU for 26 year, they named the football stadium after him in 1996.

Ed and Chet’s footsteps began in Mellette County, S.D. just like many of us.  Both were admired in their military, personal and professional careers, for being hardworking, committed and having the ability to bring  the best out in the people around them. 

On Veteran’s day, we not only remember  Chet and Ed but all  veterans  and thank them for their sacrifice and their continued service on whatever field they are playing on.

Amy Lehman’s photography selected for S.D. Governor’s 6th Biennial Art Exhibition

  • Category: News

Amy Lehman, a local rancher and photographer, enjoys hiking on their century-ranch at Cedar Butte and taking in the beauty that the local scenery of the Badland has to offer. She usually has her camera readily available when she goes out to explore. As Amy states in her artistic biography, “Capturing the serenity of our natural surrounding in the primary emphasis of my fine art photography.”

On one such hike, with her camera in hand, Amy came across a creek with a very unique shadow introducing itself over the water. Amy’s photo of “Muddy Water” began on that hike and little did Amy know that day but the “Muddy Water” would put her artistic photography into the South Dakota Governor’s 6th Biennial Art Exhibition.

The exhibition, which began in 2003 and drew only 100 applicants with 36 artists’ work selected, has grown to 156 artists and over 400 slide imprints for the juror to view and select the items for the biennial event. 

This years artistic offering officially began at the artist’s reception and the display exhibition at the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings. The museum is host to the 53 items selected to be part of the travelling showcase of the South Dakota artwork until the first part of January 2015.

The travelling showcase will travel throughout the state of South Dakota for the next two years. The closest exhibition tour will be at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, S.D. from January 16 through May 30, 2015.

The 53 items in the exhibition showcase the artistic talent of South Dakotans in the traditional oil and watercolor  to 3-D media on iron, deerhide and fine hand-sewing to tobacco stain. As Christopher Atkins, the juror of exhibition said, “As the South Dakota Governor’s  6th Biennial Art Exhibition will show, South Dakota has many talented artists, working with varied and diverse practices.” 

Amy, who credits her artistic expression to her high school art teacher, Rose West, has used her  photography along with her  family’s love of ranching and nature to express her creative outgrowth as she puts it.  Her photography has taken on a new passion since  her boys have gone off to college and she, along with her husband Blake, can dedicate more time to their hobbies and artistry.

Congratulations, Amy Lehman,  for being part of the artistic landscape and identity of South Dakota as part of the S.D. Governor’s 6th Biennial Art  Exhibition.

Amy is pictured above with her winning  “Muddy Water” artistic photograph.

WNBA Star Shoni Schimmel comes to White River to inspire students

  • Category: News

On Friday, October 17, White River and Norris students hosted special visitors to their school. Shoni Schimmel, along with her parents Rick and Ceci, came to inspire, not only White River and Norris students, but St. Francis students and local community members as well.

Shoni Schimmel,for those of you who may not be familiar with her, is a 5’9” point guard for the Atlanta Dream, who was raised on the Confederated tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Mission, Oregon. The documentary movie, Off the Rez, shows  Shoni’s journey from her life at Hermiston High School to her family’s move to Portland, Oregon so Shoni could attend Franklin High School to increase her chances of being recruited by a Division 1 school. Shoni went on to have a very successful career at Louisville, where she was joined by her younger sister Jude. In April 2014, Shoni was selected in the first round of the 2014 WNBA draft by the Atlanta Dream. And according to her dad, Rick, with the help of Native Americans voting for her, was selected for the 2014 WNBA All-Star game where Shoni earned the Most Valuable player award.

Shoni and her parents shared their message with students in White River and Norris along with students from St. Francis and later in the day visited Todd County. Shoni, Rick and Ceci  also visited other reservations across South Dakota sharing their message.

Students and audience members heard a heartfelt message from Shoni, Rick and Ceci encouraging the students  to be their best at all times. Students were encouraged to be respectful, to show determination, to work hard. How else do you think Shoni has gotten where she is today? Ceci encouraged the students to keep their bodies and minds well and healthy by staying away from drugs and alcohol. She encouraged students to read as you will need to read the rest of your life. Students were encouraged to do their homework. But the most important message from the Schimmel family was listen and respect your parents and elders. A message that hopefully the students heard.

A few students from St. Francis and White River were lucky enough to be able to ask her a question, which she answered. Nic Marshal asked how she picked her number 23, to which she responded isn’t that what all the great ones wear on their uniform.

A big thank you to all that played a part in bringing Shoni and her parents to White River to share their story and words of encouragement.

The students, who were from kindergarten through high school, need to be commended as their behavior was outstanding and courteous throughout the hour.

Shoni Schimmel did not have time on this trip to the Rosebud Sioux Reservation to sign autographs or take pictures with students but did promise to return again, only next time bringing back her little sister, Jude, and together they will sign autographs and take pictures.

Shoni Schimmel, I do not know if you will read this but we will hold you to your promise of returning with your sister, Jude. So until  your next visit, play hard and keep being a good role model for young people to follow.

Operation RAV: Reaching all veterans to be held October 30

  • Category: News

  On Thursday, October 30, veterans and their families are invited to an open house to learn about the benefits they may be eligible for.

The Operation RAV will be held at the Sinte Gleska University Multi Purpose Room in Mission, S.D. The open house will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 2 p.m..

Professionals from the South Dakota Department of Veteran Affairs, along with County and Tribal Veteran Service Officers Terry Cousins, Gary Sletto and Orlando Morrison will be there to answer your questions and assist you during the open house.

There will be information on  Service Connected Compensation, Veterans and Survivors Pension, VA Medical Care, VA Home Loan information, burial benefits, state benefits as well as information on the state’s veterans home.

During the open house you will be able to find out what benefits you are eligible for as well as have your questions answered.

Plan on attending the Operation RAV on Thursday, October 30 at the multi purpose room at SGU from  9 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

Mellette County receives USDA grant to purchase sheriff vehicle

  • Category: News

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks announced the award of loans and grants to eight recipients that will assist them to spur economic development and improve services to several South Dakota communities.

“USDA Rural Development provides resources to assist small communities with maintaining and improving their quality of life,” said Meeks. “These investments will contribute to their respective local economies, create and retain employment, and improve services to rural South Dakotans.”.

Funding of each loan and/or grant announced today is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the agreement. The recipients announced today are:

Community Facility Program

•Town of Pollock, Pollock - $10,000 grant for replacement and repairs to the roof of the Community Center in Pollock.

•Mellette County, White River - $15,000 grant to purchase a patrol vehicle for the Sherriff’s department.

•Hot Springs Ambulance Service, Inc., Hot Springs - $2,000,000 direct loan for construction of a new Ambulance Service building.

•Eagle Crest Road District, Spearfish - $560,000 direct loan to be used towards road upgrades.

Water and Waste Program

•City of Hill City, Hill City - $931,000 loan for upgrades to the drinking water system. A 200,000 gallon reservoir and

upgrades to water lines will be included in the project.

•Town of Summit, Summit - $617,000 loan for expansion of water and sewer to hook up additional users and add a lift station.

•Crow Creek Housing Authority, Fort Thompson - $21,000 Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) grant will be used for a study to develop water and sewer infrastructure to provide housing on the Crow Creek Reservation.

Business and Industry Program

•G&G Enterprises, Inc. & Jacquelyn Gapp dba Sturgis Meat Service, Sturgis - $126,000 guaranteed loan to purchase equipmentand$278,000guaranteedloan toimproveefficiencyoftheoperationand expansion into new product lines.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.

Registration, finalizing schedules for back to school

  • Category: News

School is right around the corner for students of the White River School District, with classes set to begin Tuesday, August 19. In preparation for the start of a new year, several dates have been set aside for registration and finalization of schedules.

Finalization of schedules for high school students was held August 5 in Norris. August 11 and 12 (Monday and Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. has also been set aside for anyone yet to finalize their 2014/15 schedules. Finalization on the 11 and 12 will be held at WRHS.

Parents of all students who will attend Norris Elementary are asked to register their children on Monday, August 11 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

All new students, including those attending White River Elementary or White River Middle School, are asked to pre-register in their respective building prior to the August 19 start date. 

Those seeking information on the Alternative School can contact Principal Colberg at the High School.

White River Man sentenced for burglary

  • Category: News

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a White River, South Dakota, man convicted of First Degree Burglary was sentenced on July 14, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Christian Kelly, age 20, was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day of custody, 2 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Kelly was indicted for First Degree Burglary and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon by a federal grand jury on July 17, 2013.  He pled guilty to First Degree Burglary on April 23, 2014.

On May 10, 2013, Kelly and his co-defendant went to the victim’s home in Lower Swift Bear in Mellette County.  Once inside the house, Kelly found the victim asleep in a bedroom.  The victim awoke and Kelly and the victim began to argue.  Kelly remained inside the victim’s home without permission and punched and struck the victim several times before exiting the house.  Kelly drove away from the house before law enforcement officers arrived.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie H. Ruettgers prosecuted the case.

Kelly was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Achievement Days set for August 6-7-8

  • Category: News

Achievement Days is next week for 4-Hers and Open Class exhibitors of Mellette and Jones counties. It will be held in Murdo August 6-8. 

The activities begin Wednesday afternoon with the small animal show. Rabbits, poultry, cats, dogs and more are expected at the event. The judging there begins at 3:30. Check-in of large animals (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs) begins at 4:30. Also as part of the large animal show is an open class Pen of Three show which is open to all producers in the area. Small animal events are at the Jones County Sportsman’s Club. The large animal show is at the Murdo rodeo arena.

Thursday, 4-H and Open Class check-in is from 4-6 p.m. at the auditorium. The Fashion Review will be held at 6 p.m., followed by a scavenger hunt and other games.

Exhibits will be on display beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday. A number of activities will also take place throughout the day. Tractor driving at 9, geocaching at the city park from 10-12, the ever popular Veggie Derby, as well as Cupcake Wars, and a Hawaiian Luau Pool Party, beginning at 7 to wrap up the fun.

The Appreciation BBQ and 4-H Awards and auction, as ever, will also be part of the evening activities. 

Achievement Days is the culmination of a full year of activities, involvement, and preparation as the youth join with community members in celebration and recognition of the results that come with effort. The public is invited to  take part in this annual celebration.

 Box F, White River, SD 57579 • 605-259-3642 •

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