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Farmers Market Season Opens at Callaway’s May 2

The first Farmers Market to offer Sioux Falls the freshest plants and foods this year is the Callaway’s Farmers Market, with a Wednesday opening on May 2. The fun continues on Saturday, May 5 in Callaway’s parking lot and runs from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the growing season.

Sioux Falls area gardeners will find a dazzling selection of gorgeous hanging baskets, colorful planters and garden plants ready to put in the ground from Iott’s Greenhouse and Gardens, one of the big attractions at the Farmers Market at Callaway’s.

One of this year’s outstanding new plants is Supertunia Mulberry Charm, a stunner with a slightly vigorous mounding habit. Growers are very excited about its vigor and eye-popping color. Mulberry Charm likes a part-sun to full-sun location and will have a mature height of 6 to 12 inches.

SolarTower ipomoea—the first self-climbing sweet potato vine—is available in two color choices this year. SolarTower Lime and SolarTower Black ipomoeas contrast beautifully and could be planted with thunbergia to add a splash of floral color. Both of these sweet potato vines are vigorous and can climb from four to seven feet.    

This year the Farmers Market at Callaway’s also spotlights a wide selection of specialty meats from Hanisch Farms, and home-grown, home-canned delicacies from JR’s Specialty Foods.

“From beautiful baskets to brighten patios to delicious fresh foods, it’s all available at The Farmers Market at Callaway’s,” said Chris Iott. “We’re looking forward to seeing our many Sioux Falls friends again this year at our Farmer’s Market.”

The Farmers Market at Callaway’s is two blocks east of the intersection of 69th Street and Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls. For more information, go to www.iottsgreenhouse.com.


New Life Treatment Center Announces 39Th Annual Horse-Ride-A-Thon

The board and staff of New Life Treatment Center, Woodstock, MN, announce the 39th Annual Horse Ride-a-Thon.  Horses with riders and horse drawn rigs will begin their trek from Pipestone County Fairgrounds and proceed to their destination at the Center in Woodstock.  They ride the Casey Jones Trail and get to enjoy the great outdoors. The date is Saturday, May 19, 2018, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

The Horse Ride-a-Thon has been greatly enjoyed by all who participate and attend since 1980.  If any rider or buggy  or wagon drivers would like to join the caravan, regardless of fund raising efforts, we welcome you to join.  There is no “entry fee” or minimum amount that any person must raise, all riders are welcome.  The proceeds for the Horse Ride-a-Thon this year will go towards furnishings in the men’s and women’s units.

The Annual Horse Ride-a-Thon will be concluded by lunch, awards, and prizes at the Center at approximately 1:30 p.m., along with T-shirts for all participants.  For further information, contact New Life Treatment Center, Woodstock, MN, at (507) 777-4321.  Please join us for this day of fun and fellowship!


Wieneke Awarded DSU Champion Scholarship

Tori Wieneke of Slayton, Minn. was recently awarded the DSU Champion Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to high achieving students based on ACT scores and high school GPA.

Wieneke will be attending Dakota State University in Madison, S.D. in the fall, majoring in respiratory care.     

In 2017, DSU awarded over $1,284,764 in academic, athletic and other scholarships.

CHAMPION SCHOLAR -- Tori Wieneke, a DSU Champion Scholar, is pictured with Bob Preloger, interim vice president for Institutional Advancement at DSU.

Dakota State University is a public university located in Madison, S.D. DSU offers technology-intensive and technology-infused degrees in a variety of majors, from the associate to the doctoral level. Strategic partnerships with governmental entities and corporations have bolstered DSU’s position as a technologically forward-thinking institution. Both online and on-campus programs have been recognized for their quality, affordability, and graduates’ job placement records, which are 100 percent for several majors. Enrollment for Fall 2017 was 3,307. For more information, contact Jane Utecht, Strategic Communications Coordinator at mediarelations@dsu.edu, 605-256-5027, or visit the DSU website at dsu.edu.


Lissette Garza Awarded Scholarship from United Recyclers Group

United Recyclers Group Scholarship Foundation is pleased to announce Lissette Garza as a $1,000 scholarship award winner for 2018.   

Lissette is the daughter of Nelly and Ricardo Garza.  Ricardo is employed by Nordstrom’s Automotive.  Nordstrom’s is a member of URG, an organization dedicated to promoting and advancing automotive recycling and its members.  

Lissette says “URG, I am so thankful to have been chosen as a scholarship recipient this year.  My education has always been important to me and your gratitude will allow me to go through college with a little less financial stress.  I can assure you that the award will be used to its full potential as I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene at Minnesota State University, Mankato.”


Stoel and Beerman Take Home Top Honors in the 2018 Creative Writing Contest

Two Murray County Central Elementary students were the top finishers in the 2018 Creative Writing Contest, which is made possible through a partnership between SWSC Service Cooperative and the Southwest Minnesota State University creative writing department.

In it’s 14th year, the program was created to encourage the love of language and writing for all students as a way to recognize talented young writers in the 18 counties of southwest and west central Minnesota.  The contest is open to students in grades 3-12.  Students may submit entries in poetry, fiction and non-fiction writing.

In the 5-6 grade non-fiction category, 6th grader, Lauren Stoel won the first place award and 6th grader, Ranissa Beerman won the third place award.  Stoel’s piece, 24 Days, recalls the event of when she burned herself in 4th grade.  Beerman’s piece, I Can’t Feel My Mouth, tells the tale of loosing her two front teeth at the same time.  

Both participants received an anthology that included the published version of entries from the top three finishers in each category at every age level.  Stoel also received a $20 gift certificate for Barnes and Noble for her first place award.


MCC K-Kids Raise Funds for Local Causes 

MCC K-Kids is a community service group sponsored by the Slayton Kiwanis Club.  We have had an active group this year with 23 students in grades 5 and 6 participating.  K-Kids have had a busy year – holding a gift collection for the Murray County Christmas Project, making Teacher Appreciation Easter notes, helping with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast and Soup & Dessert Lunch, selling cupcakes at Valentine’s Day as a fundraiser, and having a fun Christmas party have been club highlights.  

We also celebrated Kindness Month in November by doing a project called “You Rock!”.  The K-Kids decorated rocks with positive words and phrases to brighten someone’s day.  The rocks were left in an individual’s locker or on their desk as a random act of kindness.  The rocks could then be passed along to others to spread the kindness in our school

We recently took on our biggest project of the year by selling May Baskets for staff and students at West Elementary to exchange.  The group members didn’t want anyone to feel left out, so they decided to make sure every student in grades 2-6 received a May Basket.  Extra baskets were made for any students who had not received one from a friend.  Imagine our surprise when we ended up making a total of 1,200 May Baskets!  There was a lot of excitement in the West Elementary hallways on May 1st!

The goal of the May Basket sale was to raise funds to support local causes.  K-Kids voted to donate funds from their two fundraisers to purchase new balls for our playground, as well as donating to the newly established Backpack Program at MCC Elementary.  The Backpack Program will send food packages home with select students to help feed children over the weekend.

This project was a lot of work, but the kids all did a fantastic job!  We were also blessed with many Kiwanis members, school staff and parents who helped pitch in to help us accomplish our goal.  The K-Kids would like to extend a special thanks to Marv Nysetvold from the Slayton Kiwanis for all of his help and support.  The K-Kids celebrated their accomplishments with a well-deserved bowling party on May 1st.  Great job, kids!


Witnessing a Mock Crash, and Everything That It Destroys

Reckless and drunk driving are extremely dangerous and risky. Every four years there is a “mock crash” organized in order to show students of MCC the dangers of drinking and driving. This year, many of my closest friends had volunteered to perform in this year’s iteration.

As with all mock crashes, there is first a story behind the accident. In this version, a drunk driver crashes into a pole, killing his girlfriend in the front seat and severely injuring two of his best friends in the back seat. 

Now, the strange part about the mock crash is that the gentleman who portrayed the drunk driver actually plans on being a police officer in the future. Seth Atwood, the “drunk driver”, is a close friend of mine who enjoys spending time on ride alongs and talking to our local police force here in Slayton. “I think that I was picked for this specifically because they could never see me in this situation,” Seth said. “All the guys at the station trust me pretty well.” When asked about what it was like to act in a mock crash, Seth had a few thoughts. “Well, I’ve never really been an acting star, so it was tough learning to improvise so quickly. Improvising his actions, he exited the car and simulated being drunk. “I don’t know if I made all of the best possible improvised calls, but I think that throwing the cans underneath the car was a good idea,” Seth remarks. “In that situation, it would not surprise me to find a guy trying to hide the evidence of drinking underneath his vehicle.”

Seth’s character, the drunk driver, did not get to fulfill his dreams. He felt helpless at the sight of his friends suffering and dying at the crash. He was drinking and was also wearing his seatbelt. He faced minor scrapes and bruises from the crash due to this. However, he fails both a sobriety test and a breathalyzer test, which revealed him to be at .19 blood alcohol content. He spent the rest of the weekend in jail and is charged the following Monday morning. He is found guilty of Criminal Vehicular Homicide and spends three years in prison, in addition to a $10,000 fine for his actions. None of this could ever compare to the guilt he felt for the death of his girlfriend.

If you had witnessed the mock crash, there was a very big surprise when a helicopter came in from Sanford Health in Sioux Falls to show how they treat severe patients. The person who was taken off by the helicopter, Payton Braun, found the experience very surreal. “It went by very quickly,” Payton remembers. “I could only really see the sky once they took me out of the vehicle.” Using the “Jaws of Life”, the fire department took the top off of the vehicle in order to rescue both Payton and Jeremy Thompson. Both were in the back seat and were in critical condition. Payton was deemed to be in worse condition and then was brought to a Sanford Health emergency helicopter, which landed in the nearby baseball field. “When they brought me to the helicopter, I was a bit frightened,” Payton remembered. “I had never really been in a helicopter before, and now I was being put in one on a stretcher.” She was then taken to the Slayton airport, and then the helicopter headed back to Sioux Falls. In a real scenario, obviously they would have brought her to Sioux Falls. She then was brought back to school.

Payton’s character suffered the worst injuries in the entire group (with the exception of Chelsea, who died within minutes of the crash). Payton was not drinking in the vehicle but was not wearing a seatbelt either. She was in the backseat. The crash resulted in her ribs being shattered. One of the ribs punctured her left lung, causing it to collapse. As she struggled to breathe, she was transported to SF by the Helicopter. The extreme expenses of the emergency helicopter and ER cause her family to struggle for years to pay off her medical bills. She still had some trouble breathing years later.

Jeremy, also portraying a character in critical condition, found the experience to be somewhat enjoyable. “I love seeing the emergency teams at work,” Jeremy says. “It is very reassuring to see that our town is in good hands.” Jeremy also was taken by ambulance to the Slayton hospital to be treated for his injuries. “It was actually really crazy how fast they operated on the scene of the crash,” Jeremy remarks. “As soon as they took the top off of the car with the ‘Jaws of Life’, they immediately got to work on taking Payton and I to medical help. I was immediately put on a stretcher and wheeled into the ambulance, and then rushed to the hospital from there.” Jeremy’s character was supposed to be in severe pain, and if you were close enough to the scene, you could hear him screaming a bit. “We were supposed to portray the characters as in pain. Payton was coughing and choking a bit, and I was screaming whenever I was moved. I had a concussion and a dislocated hip, what do you expect?” 

Concussions are a very serious problem that people face every day. In the mock crash, Jeremy Thompson portrayed someone who faces this problem. At the time of the crash, Jeremy’s character was drinking and was not wearing his seatbelt. At the point of impact Jeremy’s head smashed into the window, instantly shattering the glass and giving him an extremely severe concussion. This leads to Jeremy being unable to focus around bright lights and loud noises. In addition to the horrible concussion, Jeremy’s knee hits the back of the seat in front of him, dislocating his hip from its socket. After the crash, Jeremy had to be in the hospital for 3 weeks. He lost all the power in his hip and required a hip replacement by the age of 20. He faces the problems associated with a deteriorating hip for the rest of his life. Worst of all, his dreams of being a sports star were crushed, all because of the accident. 

The only one who was supposed to die in the crash, Chelsea Luckhardt, felt very strange when she was treated as a corpse. “When they put me in the body bag, it was suffocating,” Chelsea explained. “They kinda knew that it would be, so they left a little opening at the top for me to breathe. It was still really warm though. The makeup and corn syrup blood that they put on started melting when I was in the bag, if that explains how bad it was.” Chelsea also had to spend the majority of the mock crash laying on the hood of the Blazer. About fifteen minutes after the beginning of the mock crash, the responders put a blanket over her, which made myself and the other viewers of the crash assume that she was deceased. We were correct. 

Death is something that is very hard to come to terms with. Chelsea Luckhardt’s character represents that feeling of helplessness that drunk driving can cause. Chelsea was not drinking or wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. At the point of impact Chelsea’s body flew through the window. Shrapnel from the door of the car stabbed into her body, causing severe internal bleeding. She died in less than five minutes after the crash from lack of medical attention. The character’s mother quit her job due to severe depression and moved away from Slayton. Sometimes it’s the parents who suffer the most. What would it feel like to lose a child to a drunk driver? I wish that no one knew the answer to that question.

The people in the crash are never the only ones who suffer. Alcohol addiction is a terrible problem that regular people face every day. Drinking and driving can result in the deaths of friends and loved ones. Living with the guilt of knowing that you caused the loss of someone you value and love is very difficult. Don’t let it be you.