Blue skies for the class of 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

HATS OFF! — The Hill City class of 2016 threw their caps in the air in celebration after being introduced as graduates. The annual Hill City High School Commencement ceremony was held Sunday, May 22, at Mount Rushmore. [PN Photo/CAROL WALKER]­

By Carol Walker

As “Pomp and Circumstance” was played by the Hill City High School Brass Choir on Sunday morning at the Mount Rushmore amphitheater, 29 Hill City seniors filed in for their commencement program. It was a picture perfect day as Supt. Mike Hanson welcomed the graduates and the crowd gathered to witness the event.

The Regents Scholars were introduced and the high school choir sang Omnia Sol (Let Your Heart be Staid); the salutatory address by Jessica Houser followed. She encouraged the class of 2016, saying they were loud, weird, loved to learn, and strove for good grades.

Houser quoted Mike Josephson who said, “Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go, but don’t forget to enjoy the journey.”

Valedictorian Taylor Vaughn said the graduating class includes experts in bull riding, Nascar, Star Trek, art, music, dying hair and many cat ladies, and each one of them should look for  success in whatever they do. She offered them a quote, “Be in fearless pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

Guest speaker Dr. Joy Mueller, a Hill City graduate, shared her experiences since she walked across the Mount Rushmore stage in 2003. After completing a degree in metallurgy from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, she went on to work for Nucor Steel in Norfolk, Neb., where she also became an EMT, an experience that led her to return to medical school at the University of South Dakota. She challenged the seniors to work hard, ask for help and help others.

High School Principal Todd Satter said the class of 2016 had an overall GPA of 3.32, received $80,000 in scholarships and were experts at Post-it mosaics, referring to their senior prank of covering the walls of the high school with the sticky notes.

Diplomas were received from Hanson and Owen Wiederhold, school board president, after which caps were tossed high in the air and family and friends flooded the stage to congratulate the graduates.


Memorial Day Service

A Memorial Day Service will be presented by the American Legion 160 at the Hill City cemetery Monday, May 30, at 10 a.m.

The presentation will honor those who gave their lives in service for this country.
All are welcome to attend.


Field request nixed

By Carol Walker

According to Mike Welu, 132 businesses and individuals have already donated money to the Ranger Field Renovation Project, and on Monday night, he asked the Hill City Council if they would join in that effort by voting to allocate $75,000 out of the Bed, Board and Booze (BBB) reserve fund.
Welu believes this project fits the parameters set for the use of BBB funds as it would be an athletic facility that would not be used just by student athletes, but also by many adults and visitors to the community. Janna Emmel, owner of Warrior’s Work, agreed that this renovation project would be a boon for the entire community.

“As a business owner, I would say that we have a small community with not a lot of facilities to stage events. Community organizations could use the field to host events. I see during the school year when, for example, there is a wrestling tournament on a Saturday the town fills up,” said Emmel.

Welu said the Ranger Field project has already raised $665,000, and people have put their trust in him to go out and get the remaining funding so the renovation can begin. He said $75,000 is only seven percent of the entire budget.

Welu said it is a misconception that this allocation would take away from other organizations. Even with each group’s piece of the pie allocated, he estimates there would be $297,000 in reserve by the end of the year. A $75,000 allocation for Ranger Field would still leave $222,000 in reserve.

Councilman Jason Gillaspie said he is not convinced that BBB funds could be used for this and he is concerned about the fact that the field is on land leased from the Forest Service. Although, he said, potentially the city council could talk about funding the purchase of something like portable bleachers, which could be used at the field or downtown.

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Me, a bobblehead and the TSA

By Kacie Svoboda

Recent national headlines have exclaimed the frustration with the TSA’s handling of security at major airports. Last week, 400 passengers at O’Hare International missed flights and had to sleep on cots in the airport due to a three-hour wait in security lines.

Now, instead of trying to ensure the security lines move faster, passengers are being asked by airlines to show up at least three hours before their scheduled flights. However, these headlines seemed distant nuisances until I tried to bring a bobblehead through a security checkpoint at the Kansas City International Airport.

I have traveled pretty extensively, so I thought I was prepared. I had gone online to check in for my flight, my boarding passes were on my phone, my quart-size Ziploc full of three-ounce liquid containers was in an easily accessible pocket and I knew my carry-on was within the airlines required dimensions. I stepped up to the security line and removed my shoes and jacket. I placed my Ziploc bag, laptop and bags on the conveyor belt and watched as they disappeared into the x-ray machine.

I went through the body scanner just fine but then that’s when things went from smooth sailing to a total standstill. My carry on’s contents were on the screen and the TSA agents behind the x-ray machine were staring at the readout with furrowed brows. I knew that wasn’t good and, sure enough, a few moments later one of the agents grabbed my bag off the conveyor, held it up and asked, “Who does this belong to? We’re going to have to search it.”

I followed him over to a metal examination table and watched as he opened it up and swabbed the rim of the bag with a test strip. He then inserted the strip into a machine and we waited for it to beep the all clear. Then he poked around inside my bag, extracting my extremely suspicious looking electric toothbrush and my Kansas City Royals bobblehead.

I’ve never owned a bobblehead before and don’t think I ever would have if not for recently attending my first pro-baseball game on “bobblehead night.”This is apparently a big deal in Kansas City, as they give away free Royals bobbleheads to ticket holders.

While it was neat to have a souvenir to commemorate my first Royals experience, I nearly left it behind, as it took up too much space in my bag. However, upon seeing my friend’s downtrodden look at the idea of leaving this prized memento behind, I stripped the bobblehead of it’s packaging and made it fit.

Now, I wished I hadn’t. The TSA agent pulled out another strip and swabbed the bobblehead, explaining that bobbleheads appear “a funny color” on the x-ray readout. The machine again confirmed that there wasn’t any bomb goo or whatever else they were testing for on my bobblehead. But it and my toothbrush still had to be run through the x-ray machine on their own — putting the items of the regular, bobblehead-free passengers on hold.

Then my bag had to be x-rayed again, making those in line more irate. As I stood there staring back into the livid faces of my fellow passengers, I considered when this process would end and if I needed to worry about the angered mob behind me grabbing my bobblehead and beating me unconscious with it. I had visions of becoming part of a national news headline: “Hundreds miss flights in Kansas City due to bobblehead bomb scare.”

As the time until departure ticked down, I seriously considered offering to leave it behind but figured that would just arouse the TSA agents’ suspicions even more — especially if I sprinted toward my gate, yelling, “Forget the bobblehead!”

However, the last pass through the x-ray machine apparently confirmed that I was not a terrorist and I was free to repack my back and go. I managed to make it to my flight on time but I’ve learned a very valuable lesson from this experience: never, ever try to fly with a bobblehead in carry-on luggage. It’s really not worth it and your fellow travelers and the TSA will thank you.


Andy Burch

Andy Burch was born on April 12, 1991, to Dwight and Jill Burch in Loveland, Colo., at McKee Medical Center. He attended Loveland schools until 2000, when the family moved to Hill City, S.D. He was a Ranger wrestler throughout middle school and high school.

He graduated from Hill City High School in 2009. He worked at Route 16 Auto Body as a Technician.

He married Talya Jo La Barr on March 16, 2013.

Andy Burch died on May 12, 2016, from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. He was 25 years old.

Andy was an avid motorcyclist, artist and loved animals and kids.

Andy is survived by his wife, Talya Jo Burch; parents, Dwight and Jill Burch; brother, Zachary; and niece, Madison, all of Hill City; his adopted brother, Kyle Poulain; nephew Nickolas of Clearwater, Fla.; uncle, Ivan, and aunt, Brenda Burch, of Thornton, Colo.; grandmother, Viola Burch of Rapid City; and grandfather, Darrell Burrow of San Diego, Calif.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Glenn Burch and Suzanne Aigaki and uncle, Terry (T-Bone) Burrow.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Blacks Hills Humane Society in Rapid City.
Memorial services were Tuesday, May 17 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Hill City with Father Janusz Korban officiating. You may contact the family at 180 Short St., Hill City, S.D. 57745.


Franklin Zwetzig, Sr.

Franklin David Zwetzig, Sr., was born in Keystone, S.D. on April 15, 1936, to Alex  and Ellen (Ebel) Zwetzig.  He graduated from Hill City High School in 1954. He served two years in the Army 24th Engineers Battalion  and was discharged Nov. 18, 1960.

Franklin David Zwetzig, Sr., passed away Friday, May 20, 2016.

Frank is survived by his wife, Rose (Dugie) Zwetzig of 53 years; children, Veronica (Vonnie), Ellen (Dennis) Cox of Challis, Idaho; Franklin (Frank) David (Tammy) Zwetzig, Jr., of Columbus, Mont., Candace Rose (Aaron) Lorimor of Keystone, and Bartholomew (Bart) (Jean Ann) Gregory Zwetzig of Challis, Idaho; grandchildren, Travis (Amanda), Devin, Letha and Davis Lorimor, Amber (Matt) Hall, Kyle and Ashton Zwetzig, Heather (Eric) Steiner, Charles (Cindy) Cox and Joseph Cox, and Amelia Zwetzig; and great grandchildren, Andrea, Coda, Raiden, Daniel, Anika, Calin and Crissa.
Services will be held May 31 at 10 a.m.  at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Keystone. Burial will follow at Keystone Cemetery.


Seven Rangers set for state track meet

State Track Qualifers — From left, back, Drew Hanson, Caleb Oliver, Lydia Raderschadt, Dory Schrier, Marion Hohn, Corbin Miller, Cody Homan, Jac Cutler and Makaley Anderson; front, Kalel Worischeck, Janean Hanka, Kally Knutson, Karlee Simmons, Taleigh Adrian, Skylar Ross, Kadyn Comer and Noe Escalante will head to the South Dakota State High School Track Meet to be held May 27-28. Alternates are Knutson, Anderson, Cutler, Escalante and Hanson. [PN Photo/KACIE SVOBODA]

By Kacie Svoboda

The Hill City High School (HCHS) will have 12 or 13 student athletes competing in 11 events at the South Dakota State High School Track Meet to be held May 27-28.

“We qualified the most kids to the state meet so far in my tenure as head coach,” said coach Joe Noyes.

Eight members of the HCHS girls track team will head to state: Marion Hohn, Skylar Ross, Karlee Simmons, Janean Hanka, Lydia Raderschadt, Dory Schrier, Kadyn Comer and Taleigh Adrian. Kally Knutson and Makaley Anderson will go as alternates.

Hohn, Ross, Simmons and Adrian will run the 4x800 relay. Adrian will also be part of the 4x400 relay with Hanka, Raderschadt and Schrier. Raderschadt, Schrier, Hohn, Ross and Simmons qualified in the medley relay. Hohn, Ross and Simmons also qualified in the 800-meter. Comer will compete in the 3,200-meter. Hanka qualified in the high jump and Hohn will also run the mile.

Four members of the boys team will compete at state: Caleb Oliver, Corbin Miller, Kalel Worsicheck and Cody Homan. Jac Cutler, Noe Escalante and Drew Hanson will be the team’s alternates.

Oliver, Miller, Worischeck and Homan qualified in the medley relay. Oliver will also  run in the 800-meter. Miller will compete in the 400-meter and long jump. Worischeck qualified in the 100-meter.

The Rangers will compete Friday in Madison and Saturday at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls. Meet schedules and event listings can be found at SDHSAA.COM.