Easter egg hunt set

Thursday, March 26, 2015

By Kacie Svoboda

On Saturday, March 28, from 2-4 p.m., the Hill City Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Easter egg hunt at the Visitor Information Center grounds. The chamber chose the weekend before Easter to accommodate those who travel for the holiday and to stagger its hunt from the others held in the Black Hills area.

There will be three age groups for participating children: 0-3, 4-7 and 8-11. The event will last approximately two hours, depending on how quickly the children can search out the 2,000 plastic eggs stuffed with small toys or candy.

Three prizes donated by the hunt’s sponsors will be awarded for each age group. Last year, a Strider bike was one of the first place prizes. However, this year’s rewards are still being finalized.
This year’s sponsors are Harney Peak Inn, Hill City Mercantile, Krull’s Market, Alpine Inn, Things That Rock, Heart of the Hills Quilters, First Impressions, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Black Hills, Xi Alpha Chi Sorority and Dakota Stone.

In addition to the hunt, children may get their picture taken with the Easter Bunny and get a new spring look at the temporary tattoo station.

“I just like seeing the kids’ faces when they find an egg,” said chamber events coordinator Angela Raderschadt, “especially the little kids who don’t know what’s going on and have to get help from Mom and Dad.”


Oldenkamp appointed city finance officer

FINANCE OFFICER — On March 23, Mayor David Gray appointed Dotti Oldenkamp as Hill City’s new finance officer. Oldenkamp was sworn in during the city council meeting. [PN Photo/CAROL WALKER]

By Carol Walker

Brett McMacken, city administrator, gladly handed over the finance officer duties to Dotti Oldenkamp on Monday night as Mayor Dave Gray appointed her to fill the position for the city of Hill City. McMacken was temporarily carrying out the finance officer duties until a person could replace him. He said he was very excited to see Oldenkamp in this position and relieved he could get back to his responsibilities as city administrator. Oldenkamp was hired in early January as the new account clerk, but her credentials indicated to city officials that she could be responsible for much more. The decision was made to have her gain some experience as the clerk and see where it would go from there.

City council members have been in discussions as to whether or not the position should continue as a one-year appointment by the mayor, or should transition to an employee of the city. No decision was made as to which direction to go.

“We are very excited to have Dotti become our finance officer. Over the past few months she has shown that her expertise, training and work ethic make her a good fit for this position. One of her first missions will be to work with us on the possible transition from an appointed position to a permanent employee of the city,” said Gray.

At a party last week, the city said goodbye to city employee Jason Bintliff, a person who has worked in maintenance since 2008. McMacken said he has been an all-purpose guy for the city, able to build and fix and renovate things, and was instrumental in the renovation at the library and the recovery work after Winter Storm Atlas. He said the city wishes him well in his future pursuits.

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Keystone chamber seeks new executive director

By Kacie Svoboda

After approximately 20 years of service with the Keystone Chamber of Commerce, executive director Bonnetta Eich-Nedved has resigned.

The board has begun the search for a new executive director. Chamber president Ben Brink said, “This position is integral to the success of the organization’s businesses and the community at large. The role of the executive director has evolved through the board’s attention to marketing and tourism in Keystone and the surrounding area.”

The chamber has released a job description and posting, which may be found at Indeed.com/cmp-/Keystone-Chamber-of-Commerce/jobs/Executive-Director-f3895a14d8dd-5c31. This vacancy will be filled after the chamber members vet the qualified candidates. The chamber intends to have the new executive director on board by May 1.

In the meantime, chamber board members April Hagen and John Esposti, as well as Brink, will cover the executive director duties.


Run for Rangers to raise track scholarships

By Kacie Svoboda

The seventh annual Run for the Rangers, a three-mile run/walk in Hill City, will be held on Sunday, March 29.

Registration will be from 11:45-12:45 p.m. at Granite Sports and the race starts at 1 p.m.
Funds raised by the event go toward up to $500 in scholarships for all Hill City High School seniors involved in track.

Last year, the event raised $3,500. This year there are six seniors in track. Any additional monies will go to the Hill City Scholarship Foundation.

Over the seven years of its existence, the event has raised and rewarded approximately $12,000.
The three-mile route will start behind the Slate Creek Grille, pass Major Lake, follow part of the Mickelson Trail and end at the high school.

Over 100 people have pre-registered for the run.  Vendors at Granite Sports are donating $5,000 in door prizes, including Patagonia jackets and backpacks.

Last year was the event’s biggest turnout, with over 165 people.

“If the weather is good, we’re hoping to get 200 or more,” said event coordinator Pat Wiederhold, owner of Granite Sports.

The pre-registration period for the event closed on March 1, but for $25 those interested can still register up to 12:45 p.m. on the day of the race. For a registration form, email Granite Sports at GSSales@hills.net, print a form from the event photos on the Run for the Rangers Facebook page or pick one up from Granite Sports.

“It’s a good way for the community to give back to the school,” said Wiederhold. “Everybody should do it.”


Fire season begins way too early

The lack of snow, and precipitation in general, the area has received was painfully evident last week when several fires (the North Pole Fire being the largest) broke out around Custer County. In addition to the North Pole Fire, which broke out several miles west of Custer, just east of Hell Canyon, a few other small fires started and consumed a few acres, including one by Hermosa. After an extremely wet and snowy past couple of winters and springs, this winter has seen very little in the way of snow or precipitation. The result is increasingly rising fire danger.

Making matters worse is the unusually warm weather we have experienced over the past couple of months. In February, there was a string of days where the temperature was pushing 60 degrees. For the better part of the past two weeks, temperatures have been more like May than March in the area, as temperatures even reached up to 70 degrees Sunday. No precipitation, high temperatures and some wind make for a perfect recipe for the forest fires that have cropped up. As does the fact that the grass that should be under snow is dead, making it easier to burn.

Unless we get some more snow this spring or a lot of rain (both of which are possible) this could end up being a very dry summer. With very dry summers come very dangerous fire conditions. Firefighters could see a lot of action this summer if things continue the way they are. It’s just another reminder of how lucky we are to have such professional and competent firefighters in our area, from the ones who get paid to fight fires to the volunteers in our local departments.

We must all do our part to make sure we aren’t the reason a large fire starts. Most of the things we can do are common sense. If there’s no snow on the ground, don’t burn things outside. Slash piles are unsightly, but it’s not worth risking a large fire just to get rid of a small pile of slash. Make sure any fires lit in a burn barrel don’t get out of control. A little vigilance can go a long way to making sure a fire that could be prevented puts people in danger. The absolute worst scenario would be a prolonged dry spring that leads into the summer, putting us into extreme fire danger about the time one million bikes pour into the Black Hills for the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. A fire at the time would be an absolute disaster. Any fire during the summer is harmful to the tourism industry as it is, and this summer is shaping up to be great for local businesses.

Here’s hoping we can receive some more precipitation in the coming weeks. It’s no secret that this area is prone to the severe spring snowfalls, sometimes piling up a few feet high. While most people don’t like snow in that great of an amount, it could go a long way to help stave off the fire season. If we can’t get any snow, let’s at least hope we get some good, soaking spring rains to green the area up and make it wetter, both of which can also help fend off a forest fire.

While the average person has no control over the weather, we can all do our part to make sure a fire doesn’t ruin our summer. At the very least, we can all say a little prayer for rain once in a while.


Lyle Dean Terrio

Lyle Dean Terrio was born May 2, 1930, in Yankton County (S.D.) to Robert and Helen Terrio. He spent his childhood on a farm in Irene, S.D. He was baptized and confirmed at Elim Church and attended Lonestan School.

Lyle enlisted in the Air Force in 1957 and traveled extensively while working in communications. He was honorably discharged in 1976.

After retiring, Lyle moved to Hill City, S.D., where he continued his numerous hobbies, one of which was collecting and working on old radios.

Lyle died Monday, March 23, 2015, at the VA Black Hills Health Care System in Fort Meade, S.D. He was 84.

Lyle is survived by his two sisters, Lorraine Rye of Renner, S.D., and Eleanor Edelman of Rapid City, S.D.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be 9 a.m. at Black Hills National Cemetery on Friday, March 27. Military Honors will be provided by the Ellsworth Air Force Base Honor Guard. Chaplain (Ret.) Herbert B. Cleveland will officiate.

A memorial has been established to the Dept. of Veteran Affairs Fort Meade Hospice Unit. An online guestbook is available for friends and family to leave written condolences at BlackHillsFuneralHome.com.


Spring breakers spring clean in CSP

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Students today, leaders forever — On March 15, students from the University of Minnesota — Duluth volunteered at Custer State Park during their spring break Pay It Forward Tour. [PN Photo/KACIE SVOBODA] 

By Kacie Svoboda

Spring break conjures up images of warm tropical beaches, swimsuits and partying for many college students. But increasingly more students are choosing an “alternative spring break” option. For an alternative break, a group of college students participate in volunteer service for at least a portion of the spring break week. Alternative breaks offer a benefit to both the organization or social issue chosen and often provides impactful social awareness and career building experience for the students.

One such alternative spring break group spent the night in Hill City March 14. The University of Minnesota — Duluth’s Student’s Today, Leaders Forever (STLF) group was hosted by the Lighthouse Assembly of God. The church provided a meal as well as a place for the group to sleep on Saturday night.

For the all-student run group, this trip is part of their annual “Pay It Forward Tour.” During spring break, volunteering groups from across the United States choose a destination city. The groups then meet in that city during the break week and do a large volunteer project. This year the destination city is Denver, Colo. Last year, it was Washington, D.C. and the year before, it was Dallas, Texas.

Along the route to the destination city, STLF chooses five different communities as host cities. Five bus cores, students who organize the logistics of each of the five host cities, make contacts to find housing and line up volunteer projects. The route for the 45-member STLF group will take them first to Mitchell; then Hill City; Casper, Wyo.; Evanston, Wyo.; Grand Junction, Colo., and finally, Denver.
The 45 students will be volunteering in Custer State Park (CSP), preparing it for the summer season. Hill City bus core Laura Levar contacted several places about volunteering opportunities and Craig Pugsley, director of visitor services in CSP was the first to respond.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer News. To subscribe, call 605-574-2538.