Town sees phenomenal response to BBQ

Thursday, August 27, 2015

All Good — Betty Cox of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly barbeque group served many smoked helpings to the unprecedented crowd at the third annual Wine, Brew & BBQ event in Hill City last Friday and Saturday. Over 25 competitors vied for the People’s Choice award. [PN Photo/CAROL WALKER]

By Carol Walker

Reflecting on the turnout for the third annual Wine, Brew & BBQ last weekend, Bob Stanfiel was smiling from ear to ear and summed up the weekend in two words, “absolutely phenomenal.”
He and his sidekick, Shane Alexander, and a group of dedicated volunteers brought world-class barbeque to Hill City for this Hill City Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event.

The Kansas City BBQ-sanctioned event brought in 26 competitors from not only South Dakota, but from seven other states including California, Montana, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wyoming and North Dakota.

The smell of barbeque wafted through the streets, drawing in a crowd eager to taste the unique recipes concocted by the contest participants. When the meat was gone and the votes were in at the end of Saturday afternoon, Big Daddy Q got the most votes, garnering the People’s Choice award.

The official judges had their work cut out for them, taste testing chicken, beef and pork from all the contestants. The overall top BBQ winner was Parrothead Smoker. Completing the top 10 list, in order, were Spitfire, Bad Draft BBQ, Rooftop BBQ, Joe Bawbs BBQ, Charqueterie, Smokin’ Hot BBQ, Sin Circle BBQ, Big Daddy Q and finally Scrumdown Smokers.

When it came to the four categories of meat, Rooftop was deemed the winner for their chicken barbeque and Backdraft came in number one for their pork ribs. Spitfire took top honors with pork shoulder and Scrumdown for their beef brisket.

On Saturday afternoon when the tasting was going on, a parking place was not to be found on Main Street in Hill City. Vehicles were parked on both sides of Railroad and Pine Avenue and cars were lining the shoulder of the road heading up Museum Drive from the Slate Creek Grille.

Stanfiel said the ads were huge in drawing in the people, but he said, “Hill City sells itself” when it comes to both the tasters and the BBQ creators.

“It’s a unique venue, the town, the friendly people, the accommodations,” he said. “It is the total package for people. Many of the Kansas City BBQ events are in parking lots.” There were many repeat teams from the previous two years. Had all the contestants returned this year, Stanfiel said there would have been 35-40 teams.

Mixing with the BBQ was the sound of music broadcasting from the big tent between Rico’s and Twisted Pine Dakota’s Best, as well as in the Wine and Brew Village across the street. There was generally a festive air on Saturday afternoon as people sampled the barbeque. but according to Stanfiel, the streets were busy on Friday as well, as people bought food and drink from local vendors.

Jerry Cole, chamber executive director, predicted that the crowds would come ­and that “people would be amazed at what Hill City has done with this event.”


25th & final polo match set for Aug. 30

Polo Play  — Rapid City player Kurt Ketelsen, center, sets up for a nearside backhand shot, one of the most difficult maneuvers because the rider is off balance, as Rushmore player Duane Lammers, right, and Tim Gregson, left, pursue. Hill City was victorious, handing Rapid City its fourth straight loss, with a score of 5-3. [Submitted Photo]­

The Rushmore Polo and Social Club will stage its 25th annual “Picnic & Polo” game this Sunday, Aug. 30, at Lippman Field at Newton Fork Ranch on Deerfield Road, starting at 2 p.m. The public is invited, tailgate parties are encouraged and admission is free.

Teams from the Black Hills Polo Club in Rapid City and Hill City's own Rushmore Polo & Social Club will stage another of their great end-of-the-summer-season games at Lippman Field. What sets this particular game apart from the previous 24 is that it will be the final match.

The roster for the local players will feature the Gregson boys, Boe and Tim. Boe returns to his home field from Sheridan, Wyo., where, as a Colorado State student, he played NCAA indoor polo. Adding strength to the Rushmore team will be local cowboy and perennial crowd-pleaser Dan Gylten.

On behalf of the Rapid City players, the match will showcase the talents of Rich Jensen of Double Diamond Ranch at Three Forks, veteran rancher Kurt Ketelsen from north of Ellsworth, whose father and grandfather played polo with the Fort Meade cavalry in the ’30s and Duane Lammers, a well-known former Hermosa rancher and buffalo wrangler. Jensen, Ketelsen and Lammers are seasoned devotees who always exhibit fine horsemanship and technical skills. And joining the Black Hills Polo Club, as an alternate, will be Susie Lammers. a Sioux Falls resident returning for her fourth year. Susie, although fairly new to the game, continues each year to display tremendous prowess matched with strong competitiveness.

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Ready and set for new school year

By Kacie Svoboda

As the summer draws to a close, many Hill City area students prepare for the first day of the 2015-16 school year on Aug. 31. Preliminary data shows enrollment should remain fairly steady with last year’s numbers at approximately 500 students.

During the summer months, school administration, staff and facilities have undergone changes and additions to ensure a successful year for Hill City area students.

Seven new faculty members will join the school district. This includes Sarah O’Brien, who will teach first grade; Kelley O’Brien, who will teach fourth grade; Jaime Kessler, who will be the kindergarten through 12th grade vocal music instructor; middle school social science and high school alternative school instructor, Jared Noyes; Nathan Bayne, who will teach high school language arts; food service manager, Roxann DuBois; and Dr. Steve Helgeland, who will be the special education and Title Program director.

Noyes will also coach middle school girls basketball and middle school track, Justin Kruse will be the new head wrestling coach and Chris Kuehler will serve as the new assistant varsity football coach.
The school system will expand curriculum offerings by cooperating with faculty from Black Hills State University to enhance mathematics instruction at every level in the district throughout the year and by implementing the Daily 5™ framework on the elementary level for structuring literacy time. The Daily 5™ program encourages students to develop life-long habits of reading, writing and working independently.

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Exercising body & brain

By Kacie Svoboda

According to the 2013 report “The Learning Curve,” the United States ranks 17th out of 40 countries ranked in overall educational performance. Reading scores have also stagnated or lost ground to other countries, which spend much less money per pupil than the U.S. does. Another 2013 report for International Student Assessment stated that the average reading literacy score for 15-year-old  American students is 498 out of 1,000 possible points. This placed the United States at 24th out of the 65 educational systems evaluated.

In addition to these issues, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the last 30 years.

As schools across the United States start their 2015-16 school year in the next few weeks, these two distressing trends loom over America’s youth on their path to adulthood.

Luckily, exemplary teachers — like elementary school counselor Scott Ertl in Winston-Salem, N.C. — are experimenting with creative solutions to battle against these trends. Ertl developed an ingenious solution to address both issues at once. While riding an exercise bike one day, Ertl realized that as a busy adult the only time he made for reading was while he was exercising. This inspired him to set up a single stationary exercise bike in the corner of the classroom.

It was a huge hit. So with the help of Craigslist and garage sales, Ertl equipped an empty classroom with stationary bikes, creating the Read and Ride program. Teachers could then sign up their classes for 15-20- minute time slots in the bike room. Students could either bring their own book or choose from a selection of educational magazines to read while they pedaled.

“I've been surprised how eager some students have been to read — especially boys,” Ertl told Education World. "Because they love being active, they find that the movement allows them to have more fun reading. Many students previously thought reading was boring or too hard, but now they see reading can be fascinating and fun.”

Ertl’s school compiled data — which showed reading test scores and proficiency were up and that the more time students spent in the Read and Ride room, the better they did on state reading tests. Read and Ride programs are now being implemented in 30 states — while others are utilizing other exercise methods such as under-desk ellipticals, exercise balls in place of chairs or adjustable-height desks that allow students to sit, stand or perch on a stool.

Obesity rates are thought to be so high partly due to the inactive entertainments that today’s children spend the majority of their free time pursuing. This includes video games, anything involving the internet, movies and television — so it is necessary that schools develop exercise opportunities at times when their normal sedentary hobbies are not available to distract them.

When I was in high school, public consensus was that it was not possible to prepare us for a career because it was highly likely that my graduating class would have jobs that didn’t yet exist, due to exponential advances in technology and the rapidly changing workforce.

I admire these programs because they are one of few things in the educational system that also teach a good life habit. In my experience, many things taught in schools are geared toward test results rather than lessons that can be directly applied in adult life.

I am also excited about any school program that encourages and develops a love of reading, as I am an avid reader and reading has always been a source of enjoyment for me. In addition, reading closely ties into all other subjects in school and I find that no matter what I read, I always learn something — whether it is a new word, an unusual sentence structure or some random fact picked up in the story line.
These innovative approaches to solving lower reading scores and a lack of activity in our youth connects with how I wish my primary and secondary educational experience had been. As a child, I was one of those students who had trouble sitting still and was often told to stop fidgeting . When recess was removed from the daily schedule and PE was reduced to 20-30 minutes a few days a week in upper elementary, I found myself wondering why a static and idle adult seemed to be the goal of the education system.

Now, I realize the standard of stillness had a lot to do with classroom control, as it was easier to tell who was throwing things at other students if no one else was moving. But perhaps less kids would have fired projectiles if they had a more constructive way to burn off restless energy.

 I applaud the schools and faculty that move beyond the typical classroom and adjust to their students’ changing lifestyles to focus more on producing engaged life-long learners. I hope programs like this continue to evolve and spread and pioneering teachers like Ertyl keep thinking out of the box to serve the educational needs of today’s youth.


Big Taste is center stage at the Wine, Brew & BBQ

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Doing it all  — Ken Hansen of Belle Fourche was at the Wine, Brew & BBQ demonstrating some of the things he can make on his Trager grill. Hensen, his wife, Pam, and their son offered tast tests of grilled mushrooms, as well as caramel rolls made on the grill. The third annual Wine, Brew & BBQ will be held Aug. 21 and 22. [PN File Photo]­

By Carol Walker

Those who come to Hill City this Friday and Saturday for the third annual Wine, Brew & BBQ sponsored by the Hill City Area Chamber of Commerce (HCACC), may be surprised by the “Big Taste” experience throughout the two-day event.

Barbeque will be center stage, but the event will be an all-around sensory experience as visitors can enjoy a variety of tastes at BBQ Alley and the Wine and Brew Village and varied sounds of rock, country and jazz music at the music tent.

According to Jerry Cole, HCACC director, 27 competitors submitted entry forms as of Tuesday in the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned event that will span two big days in Hill City. Organizers invite the public to come and taste great barbeque chicken, pork and beef. With a $10,000 prize package for the weekend, there is sure to be some fierce competition.

The KCBS is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote barbeque, and it does that through the 450 sanctioned barbeque contests worldwide. With 19,000 members, it is the world’s largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts. It offers education through its website as well as through presentations to civic groups, all to promote barbecue.

In Hill City, things get started early Friday morning when professional competitors will begin to set up on Elm Street.

On Main Street at 11 a.m. the Wine and Brew Village will open at Harney Peak Inn as well as at BBQ Alley in the Twisted Pine parking lot. From 2-10 p.m. everyone is invited to listen to music in the area between Twisted Pine and Ricos on Main Street in Hill City. Cole said the Hill City Slickers, Don Anderson, the Beer Slingers, Michael Shaw and Brent Morris and the Western Acoustics will all take their turns in entertaining the public. The food, drink and music will have a similar schedule on Saturday.

At noon on Saturday, competitors will take turns bringing their barbequed entries to the judges, located in the Hill City Senior Center.

At 2 p.m. the general public can begin to rev up their taste buds by going from booth to booth to taste the barbeque offerings, then casting a vote for their favorites which will translate to a People’s Choice Award for one of the competitors.

Something new this year is a BBQ Camp, sponsored by South Dakota State University and the South Dakota Beef Council. People who attend the camp will learn some of the tricks of the trade in making great barbecue.

Joining the chamber of commerce, Integrity Realty, Krull’s Market, Desperados, Dakota Stone, Alpine Inn, Duhamel Broadcasting, Community Bank and at least 20 more have helped to make this event possible.

“In our third year, this is going to be the best event ever and I believe there will be crowds to prove it. There will be hot weather on Friday, but it is supposed to be nice on Saturday,and I think people will be amazed at what Hill City has done with this event,” said Cole.


Open enrollments, tough decisions

By Kacie Svoboda

On the Aug. 10, the Hill City School Board was forced to make some tough decisions, as Hill City classes were considered too full by principals Chip Franke, Blake Gardner and Todd Satter to accept additional open enrollment students. The meeting began with a plea by Travis and Anna Eckert for the Hill City Schools to accept their kindergarten son Colton. Travis and Anna both attended school in Hill City and wanted their son to have the same opportunity. The family currently lives outside of the school district near Reptile Gardens but they own a house in Keystone.

There were a total of eight cases up for review. However, it was immediately discovered that Case 1 was actually within the school district and therefore had to be added to the roster. Discussion was heated on the other cases with Mike Hanson maintaining that elementary principal Chip Franke’s recommendation, as he was not present, was to deny all elementary open enrollment students. High school principal Todd Satter commented that he’s seen attendance and academic performance issues from high school open enrollees, particularly from the Rapid City area. Satter also pointed out that the school had purchased 13 computers to provide for the returning students. Board member Dennis Krull didn’t think that students should be turned down because there were too few computers.

Middle school principal Blake Gardner also said that he saw issues with older open enrollees but did add that he saw it as a different case if the child was beginning their education in Hill City, as opposed to transferring.

Colton Eckert was considered next as Case 2. He was unanimously accepted due to the families strong ties to the town and school.

Though considered separately, acceptance was denied for Case 3 and 4 with all opposed, except Krull.
Cases 5-8 were considered together as state regulations mandated that if one student in a family is accepted for open enrollment, all other family members must be as well. The four were unanimously denied.

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Big changes at chamber

By Kacie Svoboda

Hill City Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Jerry Cole has submitted his resignation from the position with the organization. Cole, who has served as executive director since November 2013, is leaving to accept the executive director position with the chamber of commerce in Dickinson, N.D.

Cole reflected on his time serving the Hill City Chamber — both the highs and the lows. He felt one of the highlights of the many projects he undertook was the organization’s recent campaign with an ATVing- focused episode on Dirt Trax Television. This national exposure introduced Hill City to approximately 500,000 new individuals and potential visitors.

The campaign is already showing results with 20 separate parties, amounting to a total of over 100 people, booking ATVing trips in the Hill City area so far and another 500 or more expected to visit in the next few months.

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