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Month: September, 2017

The Corn Palace and DWU to collaborate on mural design

Friday, September 29, 2017

The World’s Only Corn Palace is proud to announce it will collaborate with Dakota Wesleyan University and its digital media and design department to create the 2019 murals for the World’s Only Corn Palace. 

“We are excited to partner with DWU in regards to the murals, as I believe this will bring a great deal of togetherness for our community,” said Scott Schmidt, director of the World’s Only Corn Palace. “This is a great opportunity, not only for us to share in our community icon with DWU, but a wonderful opportunity for these students to build their portfolio and buy into our community.”

Dakota Wesleyan has a rather long history with the famous Corn Palace murals. Oscar Howe, who was an artist-in-residence at DWU in 1948, while also working on his college degree, designed the Corn Palace murals from 1948 to 1971. Howe, who was a Yanktonai Sioux born on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation, graduated from DWU in 1952 and became Artist Laureate of South Dakota. Many of his paintings hang on campus in the Dakota Discovery Museum and one of his murals still adorns the ceiling of the Carnegie Resource Center on Third Avenue while there is also an Oscar Howe Art Gallery on the second floor of the Corn Palace.  Later, Cherie Ramsdell, a local artist and former art professor at DWU, took up the mantle and has designed the murals since 2003. From South Dakota seasons to celebrating rodeo and musical performances in Mitchell, Ramsdell designed murals that echoed the community’s greatest events as well as everyday life.

This is the first year that a DWU class has been requested to take on the project but Kyle Herges, associate professor of digital media and design at DWU, saw it as an opportunity for his students to gain real-world experience for a project that is truly unique.

“Partnering with the Corn Palace is an exciting opportunity for the digital media and design program and the community, as well as the students involved,” Herges said. “We are empowering DWU students to think beyond their traditional perspective of art and design. Our students are consistently encouraged to creatively solve problems, collaborate with others, and express themselves in new ways. This project will truly be a transformative and hands-on learning experience for everyone involved. The students are excited for the opportunity to showcase their creativity locally, under the lights of the World’s Only Corn Palace.”

The Corn Palace Events and Entertainment Board will announce the 2019 Mural Theme in conjunction with an honorary special guest at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the World’s Only Corn Palace. 

Corn Palace


Dakota Wesleyan crowns 2017 homecoming royalty

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dakota Wesleyan University crowned its homecoming royalty Tuesday night during coronation. Austin Buysse and Chesney Nagel were named the DWU homecoming king and queen for 2017.

Nagel, of Springfield, is an athletic training major. She is also a member of the varsity DWU Tiger’s women’s basketball team, the president of the DWU Athletic Training Club, and South Dakota State President for the Mid-America Athletic Training Association. She is a graduate of Avon High School and the daughter of Blane and Cindy Nagel, Springfield.

Buysse, of Minneota, Minn., is majoring is sports management and minoring in communications. He is a member of the DWU Tiger football team. Buysse is a graduate of Minneota High School and is the son of Kevin and Michelle Buysse, Minneota.

Additional candidates for queen were: Jacey Jira, Hartford; Rachael Kriz, Geddes; and Madison Kuehl, Hartford. King candidates also included: Lewis Hofer, Onida; Jason Spicer, Sioux Falls; and Dillon Turner, Salem, Ark.

Blue & White Days is set for this weekend on and off campus, including the DWU Theatre and Turchen Welcome Center (first phase) dedication and ribbon cutting on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.; the Legacy Banquet on Friday night; and the Blue & White Days parade, tailgating, pep rally and football game on Saturday, followed by the DWU Unite All-Alumni Reunion.



South Dakota seeking living World War Two veterans for special honor

Monday, September 25, 2017

The South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs (SDDVA) with the assistance of the South Dakota County Veterans Service Officers Association (SDCVSOA) wants to honor and recognize all living World War II (WWII) veterans. 

Larry Zimmerman, Secretary of South Dakota’s Department of Veterans Affairs, states “One of the most valuable lessons we can learn from the World War II Veterans and other members of the “greatest generation” is sacrifice.   World War II was an event that unified the people of our nation like no other time in our history. While our veterans fought on the front lines, millions of other Americans served on the home front, providing the necessary equipment and support, like metal recycling drives and war bonds, for those in uniform. They volunteered for military service because they believed in the destiny and promise of the American dream and the essential goodness of America.”

The SDDVA has secured funding to purchase medals for living South Dakota World War II Veterans.   With such a small living population remaining the focus our attention will be on those heroes that are still with us. The medals will not be issued posthumously.  

If you are a WWII veteran and/or If you know of a living WWII veteran that is in South Dakota, please contact your local County or Tribal Veterans Service Officer for they are actively seeking these veterans to be honored.  

To verify active duty service, please bring a copy of the veterans WWII discharge if the veteran has not already been seen by their your local County or Tribal Veterans Service Officer.


Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops finalize deal

Monday, September 25, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (News Release)-- Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, two iconic brands and leaders in the outdoor industry, have officially joined forces with a vision to become North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company.

The combined company is poised to provide customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more with a strong commitment to advancing conservation initiatives.

“We are excited to unite these iconic American brands to better serve our loyal customers and fellow outdoor enthusiasts,” said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO Johnny Morris. “As we move forward, we are committed to retaining everything customers love about both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s by creating a ‘best-of-the-best’ experience that includes the superior products, outstanding customer service and exceptional value our customers have come to expect. We’re also deeply motivated by the potential to significantly advance key conservation initiatives.”

The combined company offers outdoor enthusiasts superior products, dynamic locations and above all, outstanding customer service. Innovative experiences include Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid, the largest, most dynamic retail destination experience ever created. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, the gigantic 52-million cubic-foot facility also contains the remarkable Big Cypress Lodge. Additional offerings include award-winning hospitality and nature-based attractions like Big Cedar Lodge, the wilderness resort in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains recently recognized as the number one resort in the Midwest by Travel + Leisure for the second consecutive year.

Conservation and introducing new audiences to the outdoors is a key focus of Morris. Last week the conservation-minded visionary opened Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, the largest, most immersive fish and wildlife attraction in the world. Located next to Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, Wonders of Wildlife is larger than the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. With 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, the 350,000 square-foot complex is a wonder in and of itself. Wonders of Wildlife is a gift to future generations from Johnny Morris, establishing a significant not-for-profit conservation attraction and education center in the heart of America.

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s were each born from a love of the outdoors and share a remarkable heritage and legacy. Avid young angler Johnny Morris founded Bass Pro Shops in 1972 with eight square feet of space in the back of his father's liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, the company’s sole location for its first 13 years of business. Cabela’s dates back to 1961 when Dick, Mary and Jim Cabela began a mail order service for outdoor products around their kitchen table in Chappell, Nebraska. Both companies went on to become industry leaders. Together the combined company will celebrate both the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s brands while building on the rich history of both companies and looking to the future to best serve customers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Bass Pro Shops


Main Street parking restrictions

Friday, September 22, 2017

There will be no parking on Main Street from Railroad to 7th and the half block either side of Main Street on 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th on Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 4:00am until 4:00pm for a car club parade with car show. The 600 blk of North Main and 1/2 blk of west 6th will remain closed until midnight. Vehicles not removed from the street by 4:00am on September 23rd, 2017 will be subject to ticket and tow.
Railroad, 1st, 5th and 7th will remain open for through traffic. 

Mitchell PD


Congratulations Judge Donna Bucher

Friday, September 22, 2017

Order in the court! South Dakota’s First Judicial Circuit welcomed Donna Bucher as its newest member Friday. She’ll handle Magistrate Court in Davison and surrounding counties.

Bucher’s long-time friend Judge Patricia Riepel administered the oath of office before a standing room only crowd of family, friends, and colleagues at the Davison County Courthouse.

Presiding Judge Steven Jensen selected Bucher for the Magistrate Judge position from a field of qualified candidates. “Donna stood out with her experience, her integrity, her character,” said Jensen. “You can tell that she’s really compassionate and cares about people. And you need that as a judge.”

For Bucher it’s day she’s looked forward to for a long time. “I am very relieved and humbled,” Bucher said. “I’m so happy to be a judge.”

Bucher replaces Judge Gordon Swanson who accepted a Circuit Judge position in Sturgis earlier this year.

J.P. Skelly


Mitchell man announces city council candidacy

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Mitchell man is taking another run on a city council seat. 23 year old Clay Loneman announced via e-mail Sunday that he’ll once again seek a council seat from Ward One.

He lost his first bid to Councilor Steve Rice back in June. Loneman says since Ward One Councilor Mel Olson is running for Mayor next year, in his words, “I came to the conclusion that now will be the perfect time to announce my intention to run for Olson's seat.”

Loneman says he has a vision for the community that he’d like to see come to fruition.

The city election is held in June.

J.P. Skelly


Corn Palace Plaza celebrates grand opening

Monday, September 18, 2017

Community members and a number of organizations gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the Corn Palace Plaza Saturday. The day’s activities included vendors a farmer’s market, games, music and food.

Corn Palace Director Scott Schmidt says overall it was a great day. “Everything ran smooth,” said Schmidt. “We had a really good turn out.”

Mayor Jerry Toomey says it was the first of many great days in the future for the plaza. He pointed to youngsters playing games in the grass and visitors mingling with local residents. “And that’s what city plazas do. They bring the visitors and locals together,” Toomey said. “This is why we did this.”

The final component of the plaza is a special piece of corn art that’s set for placement in the coming weeks when a formal dedication is planned.

J.P. Skelly


Local organization proposes Business Improvement District

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Mitchell Main Street & Beyond, an organization that works to promote and preserve Mitchell’s downtown will lead the charge in creating a Business Improvement District (BID) by increasing taxes for property owners within the historic district.  By creating a means to generate funds, Main Street will be able to enhance the historic commercial core and improve the business district.  
The BID funds will be generated based on assessed property values of commercial business properties within the historic district and surrounding commercial areas by dividing into two zones. Properties located within Zone 1 will pay an additional $5.00 per $1,000 of valuation. Properties located within Zone 2 will pay $2.50 per $1,000 of value. The minimum payment will be $120 and the maximum payment will be $3,000. For example, a property assessed at $75,000 in zone one would pay approximately $375.00 per year to the BID and the same property in zone 2 would pay approximately $187.50.  The BID is projected to raise approximately $88,000 per year. The program would take effect in January 2018 and will be re-evaluated after seven years.  
The BID area will include Main Street from The Depot Pub and Grill to 12th Avenue, and Lawler Street to Rowley Street from The Depot to 7th Avenue. It will also include 1st Avenue from Sanborn Boulevard to Kimball Street. Zone 1 will include the historic commercial district and Zone 2 includes the areas outside of the historic district but within the above described boundaries.  
“We have talked about a BID for several years now and while meeting with owners, heard an overwhelming response in support of the plan. However, they told us if we put all of our dollars into the street, we would have a beautiful street, but still have some ugly rundown buildings,” said Jeff Logan, Main Street Board President. “We took that into consideration and have revamped the plan to include a grant program for property owners and partnered with the City of Mitchell to include the street and infrastructure improvements to their upcoming budgets.” 
  The BID is modeled after other successful downtown projects throughout the state, following the South Dakota codified law SD 9-55-3 and would include a grant program for redevelopment and improvements to the exteriors of buildings within the district. The remaining funds would be utilized for projects such as park benches, light pole banners, statues, programming, events, etc. within Mitchell’s Historic District by creating a walk-able Downtown that is economically vibrant and community minded, through pedestrian friendly streets. Only property owners located in zone 1 and zone 2 who pay into the BID will be eligible for grant funding.  
The City of Mitchell will be a key partner with the BID project. Beginning in January of 2018, the City of Mitchell, would appoint a BID board to award the grant funds and oversee how the BID dollars are spent on Main Street improvements. Additionally, the City Council has committed at least $300,000 in entertainment tax funding and additional funding for water and sewer improvements for 2018. This will be the start to the streetscape project connecting the newly constructed Corn Palace Plaza to the Veteran’s Park utilizing features from Main Streets 2013 Plan.   
Mitchell Main Street and Beyond will be contacting all property owners prior to December 1st. If you would like to learn more, you are encouraged to set up an appointment with committee representatives by calling 990-4500. 



Corn Palace numbers up

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

It looks like a good year for visitation at the World’s Only Corn Palace. Director Scott Schmidt told the Corn Palace Entertainment Board Tuesday 267,361 people visited the Corn Palace between May first and September 11th which is up from last year despite the Burr Street construction project.

In other business Schmidt said it looked like a good year for the annual Corn Palace Festival. He reported a current profit of just under $53,000.

The committee also began planning for the 2018 festival and held preliminary discussion regarding mural themes.

J.P. Skelly