All posts by Michael Tisone

First class of students complete Wizipan Leadership and Sustainability Program based at Crazy Horse Memorial

The first class of students to enroll in the new Wizipan Leadership and Sustainability Program recently completed the semester-long experience offered through a unique partnership between South Dakota State University and The Indian University of North America of Crazy Horse Memorial. The new program provides students with a unique, immersive academic experience grounded in Native philosophy.
Nine students earned a 15-credit hour certificate in Leadership and Sustainability from SDSU after completing the program. The students attended classes and lived in a modern, suite-style residential and instructional facility at Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
“The program creates a unique atmosphere for students,” said Kristi Cammack, director of SDSU’s West River Research and Extension. “This cohort style of studying and living can help students succeed by building a support system that can last beyond the program itself.”
Coursework for the program combines American Indian studies, natural resource management, global food systems and leadership. The courses encourage students to evaluate and understand the relationship of care of self, care of community, care of environment and care of culture. Students are encouraged to work together to solve complex problems and also to work on problems that are relevant to them and their communities.
Students had the opportunity to integrate concepts from each of their individual classes into capstone projects that reflected their own self determined learning styles and interests. Rachel Lindvall, SDSU Wizipan Coordinator, stated that “I was highly impressed to see the level of these projects in each of the classes. Students reflected upon what they had learned in the classroom, in their own investigations, and in the field and applied it cohesively and often insightfully to this work.”
Lindvall said the students frequently expressed their enthusiasm for the opportunities to visit in-person, as well as virtually, with knowledgeable guest speakers who were experts in their subject areas, many with an Indigenous perspective. The program also included outdoor field trips that gave new insights to students often not familiar with local natural and agricultural resource bases.
“The spirit of this program is closely aligned with the Wokini initiative at SDSU and helps SDSU expand its efforts to support American Indian student success,” Cammack said. “Students from SDSU and other universities can gather together in the Black Hills, a sacred area that holds a multitude of hands-on learning opportunities for students.”
Classes are taught by instructors from both SDSU and The Indian University of North America in an innovative, interdisciplinary, hands-on style emphasizing Indigenous experimental learning through field trips, mentorship, group discussions and collaborative inquiry projects.
Tuition, lodging and a complete meal plan were funded by the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation for all students in the program. Many students also took advantage of part-time employment opportunities at Crazy Horse Memorial.
“The Wizipan program and the partnership with South Dakota State University are among the ways that Crazy Horse supports and strengthens Native students and communities,” said Laurie Becvar, Crazy Horse Memorial president and chief operating officer. “Generous charitable gifts to the Memorial and its Indian University of North America make it possible to fully fund the program for students.”
To enroll in the program, students ideally are currently enrolled in a degree granting college, university, technical school or other higher educational institution and are in good academic standing. Preference is extended to enrolled members of Federally Recognized tribes, however admission is open to all qualified students.
Applications for the next class, which will be held during fall 2021, are due May, 1, 2021. The application will be available soon on the Wizipan Leadership and Sustainability Program website at and at
For more information about the program or application, contact Rachel Lindvall, Wizipan Leadership and Sustainability Program Coordinator at or Kristi Cammack, director of SDSU’s West River Research and Extension, at or Whitney Rencountre, associate director of enrollment management of The Indian University of North America, at

Cork Thornton Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament

The Cork Thornton Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament held at the Merritt Reservoir on January 29 and 30th.  There will be a guaranteed $5,000 prize for 1st place, Champion Coats for bragging rights and a a trophy.  Also included in the event will be lots of raffles, prizes, and everyone will go home with a prize.  If one wants a registration form mailed to them, or have any questions registering the tournament; Call or text  402-322-1602 or call Dean Jacobs at 402-376-5138

SDSU Extension to Host Money Talk for Women

Regardless of marital status, women continue to face more specific financial needs than men. However, when it comes to preparing for their financial future, many still shy away from those conversations, says Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist.

In a 2016 study conducted by America Saves, women were less likely to be make progress in saving money compared to men. Fidelity Investments found that women wanted to learn more about financial planning, investing and getting more involved in their finances, but only 47% of the respondents in the 2015 study said they were confident discussing money. Sixty percent reported worrying about having enough money during retirement.

“Women, on average, live longer than men, earn less than men and have gaps in their employment history,” says Saboe-Wounded Head.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified financial disparities for women, says Saboe-Wounded Head. Of the 700,000 jobs lost since March, 60% have been lost by women.(

“Women who take on more of the child care responsibilities may also be facing a reduction in income,” says Saboe-Wounded Head. “Now, more than ever, women need to become financially empowered by learning strategies to manage their finances.”

To address the issue, SDSU Extension is hosting Money Talk for Women, a six-week program that will empower women to become more confident in making financial decisions to improve long-term financial security. Throughout the sessions, Saboe-Wounded Head will lead participants through discussions on financial basics, insurance, investing, retirement and planning for future life events.

“By the end of the program, participants will develop a spending plan that reflects their values and financial goals, examine current insurance policies to determine long-term risk management needs, develop long-term investment goals, assess retirement investment needs and investigate estate-planning options for long-term financial security,” says Saboe-Wounded Head.

The program begins Jan. 25 and will conclude March 5. A hybrid format will be used, with participants independently completing assignments online and meeting once a week virtually with the group and facilitator. Online live sessions are scheduled for Tuesdays, February 2, 9, 16 and 23, and March 2 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. CST.

Participants will receive a copy of the book “Money Talk: A Financial Guide for Women.” The fee for the program is $50, however scholarships are available.

To register, please visit the SDSU Extension Event site. ( For questions or more information contact Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head by email.

View this release on our website.

Butte Blood Drive

There will be a blood drive in Butte, Nebraska on Wednesday, December 30th from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Butte/Naper Community Center.  The drive is sponsored by the Naper Community and to make an appointment one can call Phyllis Camin at 402-832-5777.

Burke Blood Drive

There will be a blood drive in Burke on Tuesday, December 29th at the Burke Civic Center from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Appointments are encouraged however walk-ins will be welcome. To sign up contact Sharla Spencer at 605-208-1751.

Kimball Blood Drive Tomorrow

There will be a blood drive in the Kimball Community tomorrow from 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church located at 417 S. Elm St.  Appointments are required; to schedule an appointment one can go online at or call 800-287-4903.

New South Dakota Mesonet weather station installed in Campbell County

The state’s weather network, the South Dakota Mesonet at South Dakota State University, has installed a new weather station near Mound City in Campbell County with the support of the Campbell County Conservation District.
“The Campbell County Conservation District stepped up to support this station and we’re glad to be working with them,” said South Dakota Mesonet Director Nathan Edwards.
According to Edwards, the station will provide critical information to Campbell County residents that common weather sources aren’t able to gather. The Mesonet’s network of automated weather stations provides real-time weather and soil reports.
“The Mesonet provides local coverage with 32 stations throughout South Dakota,” Edwards said. “It addresses needs for individuals like sprayers, forecasters and emergency managers who need updates every five minutes rather than hourly. The Mesonet also deploys special sensors that enable it to provide specialized reporting on metrics like crop water demand.”
The weather stations stream data 24/7 to the National Weather Service for improving forecasts and severe weather monitoring. Due to the Mesonet’s importance to the food supply chain and public safety, it is considered essential infrastructure and operations have continued uninterrupted during the COVID-19 outbreak.
About South Dakota Mesonet at SDSU
Operated by South Dakota State University in partnership with local station sponsors and South Dakota State University Agricultural Experiment Station, the South Dakota Mesonet is the state’s weather network with real-time weather and soil reports. Data collected by Mesonet stations is utilized by the agriculture, natural resources, emergency management, water resources, research and the general public. All Mesonet information is available at

December 30th Deadline for Renewing Expired Driver Licenses

December 30th  is the deadline for people to renew their expired South Dakota driver licenses and ID cards.
When COVID-19 temporarily shut down the state’s driver license stations in early March, Gov. Kristi Noem issued an exemption delaying the renewal of driver licenses and ID cards that expired on or after March 13. That exemption ends Dec. 30.
In the past nine months, the Driver License staff has tried to reduce the backlog of renewals by having exam stations open additional days. You may also have seen or heard commercials about our “Renew 2020” campaign, letting people know how they can renew online.
If you can renew your license online we encourage you to do that. Here’s how:
  • To apply online go to for further information.
  • You may access and print instructions and an application at to renew by mail.
  • The renewal fee is $28 for a regular license and $33 for a CDL.
  • The mailing address is Driver Licensing Program, 118 W. Capitol Ave., Pierre SD 57501.
  • To apply by mail, contact our office by email at (preferred method) or call us at 605-773-6883 for a renewal by mail packet.
If you must renew in person, you must make an appointment in advance at The appointment times are filling fast so please do that as soon as possible.
Please do NOT delay renewing your license or ID. If you do not have either one renewed by Dec. 30, you could be cited by law enforcement for driving with an expired license.