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Mike Phillips has always dreamed of opening his own ice cream shop. And approximately a month and a half ago, his dream became a reality as he and his wife, Janelle, opened Shakes 'N' Stuff. The couple purchased the building on May 30, and spent the summer cleaning, repainting and touching it up before officially opening on Oct. 6. "It's just something I've always wanted," Mike said. "It came up for sale and I kind of jumped on it. We've revived it a little bit and we're going to make a go of it."
Instead of celebrating just Thanksgiving, one South Dakotan is challenging the state to recognize an entire week of giving. Sarah Meusburger, a Mitchell native and now Brookings resident, kicked off a statewide giving initiative this week in hopes more South Dakotans will give to their local communities. And she did so with the help of Gov. Dennis Daugaard. Earlier this month, Daugaard proclaimed Nov. 19-25 as South Dakota Week of Giving, encouraging citizens and businesses in the state to identify community needs and offer to help, donate or volunteer.
With a serious face, Sister Nancy Dwyer turned to her fellow sisters to ask a question. "What do they call a nun who took the bar exam?" she said, staring and awaiting their answer. "A sister-in-law." Followed by chuckles and a wave of the hand, Sister Marita Pfau and Sister Loretta VonReuden took the joke in stride. "You've always got those up your sleeves," VonReuden said, shaking her head in response.
For the 37th year in a row, the Mitchell Area United Way met its annual fundraising goal. The group unveiled they raised $443,159 — $3,159 more than their goal of $440,000 — on Friday afternoon at the Highland Conference Center during its annual recognition banquet. The money will help support 31 partner agencies in the Mitchell area, officials said.
Late summer rains saved the day for South Dakota's soybean farmers. Despite drought in the early part of the growing season, last-minute rains boosted soybean production across the state, surprising many area producers in southeastern South Dakota, according to Matt Bainbridge. Bainbridge, a farmer in Ethan and newly elected chairman of the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, said many producers and farmers were shocked by the high yields after a brutally hot and dry summer.
PIERRE — Katy Hiltunen has always loved the outdoors, and so she made a career out of it. And now the 25-year-old Howard native is being awarded for her work, particularly her enthusiasm and love for the job. Recently, Hiltunen was given the 2017 Young Professional Award from the South Dakota Association of Parks and Recreation (SDPRA) for her dedication as a program assistant for South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks in Pierre.
Walking into their classroom on Wednesday afternoon, students Macey Linke and Carsyn Weich were surprised to find their classmates sitting on the floor, awaiting their arrival. It was then the two 11-year-old Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary students were surprised with the national Good Deed award — a recognition from the American Legion Auxiliary.
It's no secret the hunting industry helps drive Mitchell's economic engine, and Katie Knutson is working to make sure it stays that way. And with the help of a newly formed state organization, Knutson, the director of the Mitchell Convention and Visitors Bureau, will do this not only for Mitchell but across all of South Dakota. Knutson was named co-chair for Hunting Works for South Dakota, a recently created group that plans to educate the public about the importance relationship between hunting and the state's economy.
After devastatingly low cattle prices in 2016, South Dakota producers this year are smiling. Prices for cattle across South Dakota unexpectedly increased in October and have held steady through November, leaving many producers pleasantly surprised, according to Matt Diersen, a South Dakota State University Extension risk and business management specialist.
Walking into the pound on Monday afternoon in Mitchell, John Harcinske was greeted with great news. A German Shepherd and lab mix, a dog who was going on her fourth day in the pound, was adopted. "It's good she was adopted," Harcinske said with a smile on his face. Yet, five cats still remain in the pound — which is operated by Lakeview Veterinary Clinic — and Harcinske hopes to find these felines a home soon. But it's not always that easy for the Mitchell Animal Rescue volunteer.