Arts council honors Rost, Dickey

Thursday, April 10, 2014

MANY HOURS – Kathy Rost, left, received the Volunteer of the Year Award from Kristin Donnan Standard, president of the Hill City Arts Council. Rost is the volunteer coordinator for the arts council, making sure every arts council event is staffed with adequate volunteers. She has been at every Open Stage this year to oversee the popular event. [PN Photo/CAROL WALKER]
IN BUSINESS TO SERVE – Dan Dickey, left, was awarded the Business Volunteer of the Year by Kristin Donnan Standard, president of the Hill City Arts Council. Dickey, owner of Desperados, emcees Open Stage, provides ice and beverages for the Sculpture in the Hills event, drives his vintage truck in local parades advertising the arts council, and is generally available to serve when asked. [PN Photo/CAROL WALKER]

By Carol Walker

Programs sponsored by the Hill City Arts Council (HCAC) are meant to promote creativity in many realms, but, as with any worthwhile project, they don’t just happen. There is plenty of work involved. Two people were honored at the HCAC annual meeting last Wednesday for their dedication to making art events happen. Kristin Donnan Standard, president of the HCAC, presented Kathy Rost with the Volunteer of the Year award and Dan Dickey of the Desperados with the Business Volunteer of the Year.

Rost has been the volunteer coordinator for the HCAC, making sure volunteers are lined up for events, and keeping track of volunteer hours for the board of directors in order to use that information for potential grants. She has also been the chairman for Open Stage, held twice a month at Chute Rooster during January, February and March. Rost and her husband, Winston Barclay, attend every Open Stage during the season.

Dickey has been serving as the emcee for Open Stage for a number of years and he always lends his Desperados vintage pickup for the arts council to be featured in local parades. Dan and the Desperados restaurant provide beverages and ice for the participants at the Sculpture in the Hills Show and Sale.
“Dan just always shows up with his time and goodies whenever they are needed,” said Standard.
These awards were given out after several presentations highlighting activities from the past year and pursuits for the year ahead. These activities fall in line with at least two of six goals determined by HCAC.

The first goal is to provide three major community programs annually. Open Stage is one of the three programs, and 2014 was the best year yet in terms of audience, as well as monetary donations. A new award was established this year called the Thorpe Award, honoring Steve Thorpe, a musician who has promoted and performed at Open Stage. He was given a cash award and certificate, and in future years, other musicians will receive this award. A bronze harmonica is in the works to also be included in the award.

“We have been working with Jim and Joy Peterson and it has been a positive year for everyone. They would like us to have one more Open Stage and they will donate the bar proceeds to the arts council. So on April 5 we will have an Encore Open Stage. This just shows what a well-run, well-received event can do for us,” said Standard.

Sculpture in the Hills Show and Sale is another program in the works and scheduled for June 28 and 29 on Elm St. in Hill City between the Alpine Inn and Granite Sports. Sarah King, chairman of the sculpture show committee, said their expected outcomes for the show are to attract a minimum of 2,000 visitors over a two-day period and that 50 percent of the artists will sell sculptures.

“In 2013 we had 2,707 attend the show and 65 percent of the artists sold pieces, so we did achieve our projected outcomes. We have six new artists this year, so we are excited about that,” said King.
The third program is the High Plains Art magazine, which is now a web publication and will be in print in 2015.

The second goal has been to participate in annual events sponsored by other community organizations. One upcoming event in this category is the Black Hills Film Festival scheduled for Apr. 30-May 4.

According to Chris Van Ness, organizer for the event, it will begin on Wednesday with a Cinema Celebration on Main St. Square in Rapid City, followed by a showing of Dinosaur 13 at the Elks Theater. A post-show party will be at Murphy’s Pub and Grille. The rest of the weekend will be staged in Hill City with a variety of films, workshops and panel discussions and another showing of Dinosaur 13.

“I think sometimes we take ourselves for granted. The Black Hills Film Festival is amazing. It is what you could find in big cities and at bigger festivals. We have films by South Dakota people as well as films made by people from all over, and we have a Native American track. It is top notch,” said Standard.

Lesta Turchen talked about a new event “Beak Week,” that will piggy back on Art Extravaganza, sponsored by the Hill City Area Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, May 10. It will run from May 10 through Saturday, May 17. Turchen said the week will be filled with bird related activities including art, quilts, wine and a bird-watching tour on the Mickelson Trail.

“It should bring in a whole new group of people to Hill City. Jerry Cole [chamber director] is enthused about this also,” said Turchen.

Turchen also reported on the economic impact of HCAC activities during the course of the year, using a calculator from Americans for the Arts. The calculations showed the events generated $696,152 in total expenditures in Hills City, supported 18 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and created $358,578 in household income. The events brought in $33,423 in local government revenue and produced $33,203 in state government revenue.

Memberships in the HCAC were encouraged at the meeting. Anyone interested in membership and promoting the arts in Hill City can check it out at


The hunt is on!

Calling all hunters, of the Easter egg type, that is. Whether those heading down the Bunny Trail this Easter will leave tracks in the snow or enjoy warm sunshine will have to wait to be determined, but one thing is certain: there will be treasures to be found in Hill City and Keystone again this year.

Children are invited to hunt for Easter eggs in Hill City this Saturday, April 12, starting at 2 p.m. The annual Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored by the Hill City Area Chamber of Commerce, Hill City Mercantile and Harney Peak Inn, will be held at the Visitor Information Center. Age groups for particpants are 0-3, 4-7 and 8-11.

Hunters are encouraged to find special eggs to receive a prize and are also reminded to bring their own Easter baskets. Afterwards there will be face painting and photos with the Easter Bunny.

In Keystone, the hunt for Easter eggs will be on Saturday, April 19, at the city park. Donations of colored or white hard-boiled eggs are requested to be dropped off at the library before-hand. An egg-dying session will take place at the library on Thursday, April 17, beginning at 5 p.m. During the hunt, additional surprises will be hidden and prizes will be awarded to four age groups for their finds.


Drummond, Neff win seats on the Keystone townboard

By Bev Pechan

Tuesday’s election in Keystone of two town board trustees for three-year terms will be a first for Keystone’s five-person board, which became official last year after years of controversy and arguments about whether adding two more people to the board would help or harm the overall operations of the city.

Earning the two spots were Dick Drummond and Kwin Neff, both with 67 votes each. Raymond French finished third with 36 votes.

Drummond is new to city politics but says he is interested in helping in any way he can while Neff has a background in geology and mineralogy and wants to use his expertise in working toward the future in Keystone.

Jerry Przybylski, public works director, like maintenance personnel before him, has said that the longtime practice of having a three-person board of trustees was detrimental to conducting city business since those trustees could not engage in dialogue with employees about a particular need or problem without constituting a quorum or requiring a meeting.  One of the advantages of having a five-person board, some have said, is that Keystone would then be allowed under state statute to have a planning and zoning commission to address some of the many issues that have not been able to be legally resolved in the past.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer, to subscribe call 605.574.2538.


Rangers earn awards at science fair

Hill City High and Middle School students competed at the High Plains Regional Science Fair at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology last Friday, March 18, where many walked away with a prize for their hard efforts. Students earned the right to compete by placing in the Hill City All-School Science Fair in February.

In the high school division, Dylan Thomas, Gage Skillingstad and Marshall Swanson took third place in senior division engineering, while Desiray Wilson and Mikahla Ferguson won outstanding performance in animal health/animal science and Rakel Albertsdottir won theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administra-tion (NOAA) award for “Taking the Pulse of the Planet.”
She also won the American Meteorological Society Award, RICOH, Sustainable Development Award and the Association for Women Geoscientists Award for Geoscience Excellence award.

In the middle school division, Brian Ballard took third place in the seventh grade engineering category.
“All of the students did an outstanding job representing our school,” said science teacher Chad Ronish. “Only 11 months until next year’s science contest!”


Tablescapes event was ‘better late than never’

Thursday, March 27, 2014

FOR the rangers — Anita Peters, left, and Jennifer Karschnik, right, members of Beta Rho Sorority, present Pat Wiederhold a check for $2,500 for the Hill City Scholarship Foundation. The funds were from the Tablescape event held at Golden Spike Best Western in Hill City on Sunday, March 9. [PN Photo/MITZI MOORE]

Submitted by Jennifer Karschnik

After a five month delay, the Beta Rho Sorority’s biannual Tablescapes scholarship fundraiser was a huge success. Sandwiched neatly in between Mother Nature’s typical spring snows, the weekend of March 9 rolled in with a sunshine and mild temperatures, creating the perfect atmosphere for the fundraiser.

Due to the delayed date, the event was held at the Golden Spike Best Western in Hill City and the venue proved to be the perfect setup for this display of beautifully decorated and themed tables. With a bit of adjusting, 14 lovely tables were set and tickets held over from last fall were honored, serving over 80 in attendance.

Everyone was treated to a fabulous buffet luncheon served by Anita Peters of the Golden Spike and decadent desserts served by Moni Matush of the Alpine Inn. Guest musician Gary Diass played an array of classics, accompanying himself on guitar. The event was emceed by Carmen Ronish.
Pat Wiederhold, representing the Hill City Scholarship Foundation, gave a brief talk explaining the history of the foundation as well as its long-term fundraising plan. As a result of this event, Beta Rho Sorority was able to present a check to the foundation for $2,500.

The mood was bright, conversation was light and everyone enjoyed viewing the tables and getting the opportunity to vote on their favorites. Winners in the respective categories were: “Elegant” went to Moni Matush for her table entitled “Ever After.” “Seasonal” was won by Trina Curl for her table called “Snow, Snow, Snowmen,” and the “Special Theme” category went to Lori Comer for her table “Midnight Masquerade.” “Best of Show” was chosen by guest judges Bev Peterson and Judy Hengen from Rapid City. This honor went to the table entitled “Oriental Garden” set by Beth Blecha and Brenda Reichart. This year’s co-chairmen were Anita Peters, Jennifer Karschnik and Carmen Ronish.
Guests in attendance also had the opportunity to buy tickets on four gift baskets. These were themed as well, with each basket stuffed with gift items, including kitchen, wine and coffee items. Plans are to expand the basket raffle in coming years.

The fundraiser was held with the help of Beta Rho’s sister chapter, Xi Alpha Chi, also from Hill City. Both organizations are a branch of the worldwide organization Beta Sigma Phi, which enables women to network, learn, grow and contribute to their communities.

Since the inception of the Tablescapes event, the local Hill City Chapter has raised over $12,000 which has been donated to various local charities.

The next Tablescapes fundraiser is scheduled to return to its normal time of year which will be the f­­all of 2015.


Halley’s slot machine taken, to be destroyed

By Bev Pechan

Things were rather quiet during late January in old Keystone and a couple of persons driving through town asking about a slot machine for sale raised few eyebrows. But if someone was looking for the unusual, they were usually directed to Halley’s Store – perhaps the longest-running general merchandise store and curiosity shop in South Dakota, with origins going back to Dakota Territory.

A couple decades ago, Bob Nelson purchased the old store, filling it with antiques, old books, rocks, junk and an ever-growing assortment of oddities, such as a two-headed stuffed calf and a stuffed buffalo, the latter also a Deadwood acquisition. Most of the store’s inventory has been purchased at auction or by bartering with individuals over time. It is a Keystone attraction that tourists and collecting buffs love to explore at leisure.

More recently, Nelson’s son, Trygve, has updated the merchandise displays and added live music to the venue, but on Jan. 31, agents raided the store, confiscating an “illegal” slot machine that had been placed for sale on Craigslist. The Nelsons reportedly were not licensed to have such an article in their possession.

Acting on an anonymous tip, the South Dakota State Gaming Commission sent agents to Halley’s and confiscated the single machine – an IGT Red, White and Blue single denomination variety and removed it to their Deadwood office, where it will remain until gaming officials take action to destroy it, Larry Eliason, executive director of the gaming commission, told the Prevailer on Monday.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer, to subscribe call 605.574.2538.


Beak Week scheduled to bring in the bird watchers

By Carol Walker

Hill City seems to host the type of events the South Dakota Dept. of Tourism is looking for, according to Kristin Donnan Standard, Hill City Arts Council (HCAC) president. Events such as the Sculpture in the Hills, activities connected with the Mickelson Trail, winery events, the Black Hills Film Festival, Heart of the Hills Quilt Show, the 1880 Train along with South Dakota Railroad Museum and more all seem to bring to town people with particular interests.

Standard and Lesta Turchen told the city council on Monday night that In the week following Art Extravaganza on Saturday, May 10, the HCAC is proposing a new event, “Beak Week,” to draw in area bird buffs.  Featured during the week will be such things as paintings, sculptures, quilts, jewelry and wine, all with a bird aspect to them. The week will culminate with a bird watching tour on Saturday, May 17.

Along with the report on Beak Week, the council was asked to approve a special event application for Sculpture in the Hills scheduled for June 27-29. The council voted to allow them to move ahead with the event which closes Elm St. between Granite Sports and the Alpine Inn in order to set up a 40 ft. by 100 ft. tent to house the sculptures.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer, to subscribe call 605.574.2538.