Chew-Choo BBQ Sept. 21 in Hill City

Thursday, September 18, 2014

It is all about the food, music and trains at the South Dakota State Railroad Museum’s Chew-Choo BBQ and Concert on Sunday, Sept. 21.

Free museum admission plus family games and activities for ticket holders will begin at 1 p.m., with the afternoon’s main activities under the big tent (rain or shine) starting at 3 p.m. with the music of noted South Dakota musicians Hank Harris and Kenny Putnam. The duo will perform some of their favorite music, plus put a special spin on railroad classics from several eras. The performance is co-sponsored by the South Dakota Arts Council.

The barbecue meal featuring beef brisket, pork and all the trimmings will begin at about 3:30 p.m., with silent auction items for viewing and bidding available until 5 p.m., with the announcement of winning bids at 6 p.m.

The live auction will take place at 5:45 p.m. Contemporary Black Hills impressionist artist Dede Farrar will donate one half of the sale price for her original acrylic painting entitled “Prairie Flight”—a study of a red-tailed hawk hovering ahead of a train.

“I let the work speak for itself—I want to create pieces that are uplifting and positive,” Farrar said.

Other art, railroad memorabilia and specialty items will be auctioned to benefit the museum.

A partial list of event co-sponsors includes the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad; South Dakota Wheat Growers; BNSF Railway; Duhamel Broadcasting, Great Western Tire and Action Mechanical.

“The barbecue is planned as a very casual afternoon of great food, music, auction fun, and other family activities to showcase and promote all of the year-round programs going on at the museum,” said Charlie Johnson, museum vice-chair and coordinator of the event.

Attendees will also be able to visit with the museum’s staff and its board of directors. Johnson will also announce the details of a special raffle for a one-of-a-kind Canadian railroad passenger adventure at 6 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased in advance for $25 per person ($30 day of event), with kids 10 and under free when accompanied by paid adult admissions. More information and tickets available from Rick Mills at 574-9000 or at


Mountain lion killed in old Keystone

By Bev Pechan

Known for being nocturnal, mountain lions are not often spotted during the day. They also are known for avoiding places where humans congregate. And so the young mountain lion that caused a ruckus in Keystone Monday evening remained out of sight over the weekend as Holy Terror Days events and the Little House on the Prairie reunion took place in close proximity of its later attack on a large raccoon in a heavily-populated section of old Keystone.

Deb Dargatz said she was watching Monday Night Football’s double-header about 10 p.m. Monday when she heard the screams and screeching of animals in mortal combat. “It sounded like it was right outside my window,” she said. Dargatz and her neighbors followed the sounds to the front of her home and witnessed the mountain lion trying to kill the raccoon near The Rock Shed, across the alley and next to the Keystone Senior Center. A call to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office came in as a 911 call by Dargatz and a deputy was dispatched to the scene.

The raccoon was putting up a desperate fight, Dargatz said, adding that it took the lion about 40 minutes to kill it. The lion became exhausted during the effort, she said, but finally managed to drag its prey a short distance.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer News. To subscribe, call 605-673-2217.


Timm takes oath for school board

By Carol Walker

The first order of new business at the Hill City School Board meeting last week was to administer the oath of office to the newest member of the board, Rob Timm. Timm was appointed to serve out the term of previous board member Cyd Gruszynski, who resigned when her family relocated to Anchorage. Timm and his wife, Melanie, have two children, Cooper and Samantha, who attend Hill City schools.

Supt. Mike Hanson distributed the South Dakota Dept. of Education (DOE) 2013-2014 scorecard for Hill City Schools showing overall that attendance percentage was at 95.18 and  graduation rate at 92.31 percent. The percent of ACT scores 20 or greater for math was 36.84 percent and the ACT scores 18 or greater for English totaled 78.95 percent. Categories for overall school performance are Exemplary Schools, Status Schools, Progressing Schools, Priority Schools, Focus Schools and Small Schools, with Hill City positioned in the Progressing Schools category.

More specifically, in the area of science, looking at all students tested from grades five, eight and 11, only 2.59 percent were below basic, while 10.34 percent were in the advanced category.  The bulk of the students were either basic, at 25 percent, or proficient at 61.21 percent.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer News. To subscribe, call 605-673-2217.


Obituaries for Sept. 17

Arlene (Kapell) Vick, born 1932 in Ossian, Iowa, died at home on Sept. 14, 2014. A rosary will be said for Arlene at St. Rose Catholic Church in Hill City on Friday, Sept. 19, at 6:30 p.m. with a memorial mass to be held at St. Rose on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. Graveside services will follow at Hill City cemetery.

To read the full obituary, pick up the Sept .17 issue of the Hill City Prevailer. To subscribe, call 605.574.2538.


‘Little House’ was a big weekend

Thursday, September 11, 2014

DAY OF MEMORIES – Alison Arngrim, right, visits with a fan at the “Little House on the Prairie” book signing during the 40th anniversary of the TV series reunion held in Keystone last weekend. Arngrim played naughty Nellie Oleson and even brought one of the wigs from her repertoire to model. [PN Photo/BEV PECHAN]

By Bev Pechan

You didn’t have to be a fan of “Little House on the Prairie” to enjoy all of last weekend’s activities in Keystone, but for those who were, it was over the top. Young and old headed for the Keystone Museum after Saturday’s Holy Terror parade for book signings and a meet and greet with Ingalls biographer and author William Anderson and cast members from the Little House TV series. Throughout most of the day, lines stretched across the lawn at the museum as people waited patiently for a chance to see their favorite characters up close and personal.

In Keystone for the event were Lindsay Greenbush, who played Carrie; Alison Arngrim, the precocious Nellie Oleson; Charlotte Stewart, as schoolteacher Ms. Beadle; Hersha Parady,who played Alice Garvey and Radames Para, who starred as Jonathan Edwards Jr., the love interest of Melissa Sue Anderson as blind Mary Ingalls. Para is also known for his role of “Grasshopper” Caine in the Kung Fu TV series, also of the 1970s. He is the only surviving member of that cast, which featured David Carradine.

On Sunday, another book signing session was accompanied by a picnic on the museum lawn, a talk by author Anderson on the Ingalls connection to Keystone, a Q and A session with the actors and an Ingalls memorabilia auction. Consisting mainly of items donated by the stars, the sale grossed over $1,000, according to organizer Sandi McLain. Mike Trike acted as auctioneer. The first item to sell was a boxed set of Little House books in paperback, which sold for $50. Charlotte Stewart donated several “Beadle Bags,” handmade totes which she has created to raise funds for cancer projects – she is a cancer survivor — that brought $40 each from an appreciative crowd.

A rare chance to own a piece of history was granted to two bidders who each won an original script from the Little House programs. They were written by Michael Landon and donated by Lindsay Greenbush, dated 1978 and 1980, and brought $180 each. Bonnet and pinafore sets made by Patty Cofoid sold for $16 a set and Patty’s 40th Little House Reunion commemorative quilt brought $90, going to an appreciative fan. The magnetic signs for the cast during the parade went for $8 and $16 and lunch buckets signed by the cast sold from $7 to $22 each.

The highlight of the event, however, was the time spent with the cast answering questions from the audience. The exchange was light-hearted and often humorous. “What was your favorite scene as Carrie?” someone asked Lindsay Greenbush. “When I was nailed to the roof,” she responded, drawing laughter and crowd approval.

As perhaps expected, Alison Arngrim’s favorite scene was the one in which she was pushed down a hill in a wheelchair by an angry Laura. Naturally animated and witty, Arngrim brought along an adult-sized wig with her trademark blonde sausage curls, which she posed in briefly. She makes her living today in stand-up comedy and continues to be successful with her mischievous brand of humor.
For Radames Para, his favorite episode was poignant. “I didn’t have a dad for a long time in my life,” he said. He then went on to tell of how as a sensitive youth in the Little House series, he wrote his adopted father a letter telling of his feelings for him, only to learn that after he had poured his heart out, he learned his father couldn’t read.

Hersha Parady recalled scenes of Ms. Beadle and Nellie Oleson and a pig farmer. Charlotte Stewart was asked to repeat her familiar phrase from the series and she complied with “Willie, go to the corner!” to the delight of the audience.


Quilts brighten Hill City

Quilts of Valor — Quilts of Valor were on display at the Hill City Area Quilt Show & Sale, held Saturday and Sunday at Hill City High School. The Heart Ranch Quilters have been involved with Quilts of Valor since 2006 and have made 350 quilts to date. They are in the process of sending 32 quilts. The national organization shows a total of 104,827 quilts given since 2003, with 1,337 given just last month. The quilts are given to men and women in military hospitals all over the United States, as well as trauma centers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany. [PN Photo/CARRIE MOORE]

For quilt enthusiasts everywhere, Hill City was the place to be Saturday and Sunday.

Over 250 registered quilts were on display for the Hill City Area Quilt Show & Sale, in addition to around 15 quilts on display downtown at participating businesses, totaling over 265 quilts. The show was hosted by the Heart of the Hills Quilt Guild, which was organized May 1999. The first quilt show was held September 2000.

From modern and wall quilts to table runners and bags, the competition was fierce.
Winning Best of Show was Shirley Hanson, who received a $100 gift certificate.

Hanson also won  first place in the large bed quilt category. Taking second in the large bed quilt category was Deb Winter while Marilyn Hoelscher took third.

In the medium bed quilt category, JoAnn Hoffman took first place while Joyce Hoyer took second and Marilyn Hoelscher took third.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer News. To subscribe, call 605-673-2217.


Mineral Mountain receives backlash

By Bev Pechan

It wasn’t as cut and dried as some officials thought it would be at last Wednesday’s hearing for Mineral Mountain Resources’ proposal to explore and mine on 38.75 acres of Keystone land. While Keystone’s town board trustees called for a vote to approve the lease agreement, discussion afterward made it clear that many citizens did not approve the measure and they asked that the matter be put to a vote of the people.

One item of major contention concerned the “fact sheet” presented at the meeting by Mineral Mountain Resources, Ltd., a Vancouver, B.C. firm. In the one-page handout, it states “MMR is a junior-level gold exploration company, not a mining company.” Several people challenged this wording, as the proposed lease mentions mining and mining operations several times, they agreed.

Cathy Madison, Keystone resident and former business owner, quizzed Mineral Mountain’s CEO Kevin Leonard repeatedly about the firm’s true intentions.

“I have a question,” she said. “No underground mining? The lease reads different. Does another company come in to do the mining?”

Before Leonard responded, Keystone attorney Mitch Johnson interjected, “It can be assigned.”
Keystone Town Board President David Cofoid added, “If it goes to that point, it needs permits.”
Leonard did not return comment.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer News. To subscribe, call 605-673-2217.