Page created by Armando Hodges
                                OCTOBER 2021 VOL. 22 NO. 6


Casey S. Hibbert invites
brave visitors to tour
the haunted Adams
House in Deadwood
                           Spooky SD
                           The most haunted
                           spaces in SD
                           Page 8
                           Libraries offer
                           places to grow
                           Page 12

It’s a Matter of (Co-op!) Principles
                                                                 vote in how the co-op is run, and each voice
                ACE Hardware, State Farm, REI, Land              and vote are equal. Butte Electric’s leadership
             O’Lakes, and Butte Electric all share               team and employees live here in our
             something in common: we’re all cooperatives.        communities. Our board of directors, who
                We may be in different industries, but we        helps set long-term priorities for the co-op,
             all share a passion for serving our members         also live locally on co-op lines. These board
             and helping our communities thrive. In fact,        members have been elected by neighbors
             all cooperatives adhere to the same set of          just like you. We know our members have a
             seven principles that reflect our core values of    valuable perspective, and that’s why we are
John Lee     honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness,       continually seeking your input and encourage
CEO          and service to the greater community good.          you to weigh in on important co-op issues
             October is National Co-op Month, so this is         and participate in co-op elections.
             the perfect time to reflect on these principles        Our close connection to this community
             that have stood the test of time but also           ensures we get a first-hand perspective on
             provide a framework for the future. Let’s take      members’ priorities, thereby enabling us
             a look at the first three cooperative principles.   to make informed decisions on long-term
             VOLUNTARY AND OPEN MEMBERSHIP                       investments, such as economic development,
                Just like all co-ops, Butte Electric was         equipment and technology upgrades, etc.
             created out of necessity––to meet a need            MEMBERS’ ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION
             that would have been otherwise unmet in               As a utility, our mission is to provide
             our communities. So in 1940, a group of             safe, reliable, and affordable energy to
             neighbors banded together and organized             our members. But as a co-op, we are also
             our electric co-op so everyone in our               motivated by service to the community,
             service territory could benefit. For a modest       rather than profits. Members contribute
             membership fee to the co-op, any farmer             equitably to, and democratically control,
             could get electricity brought to his farm.          the capital of Butte Electric. At least part of
             Neighbors came together to tackle a problem         that capital remains the common property of
             that they all had but couldn’t solve alone. They    the cooperative. Members allocate surpluses
             worked together for the benefit of the whole        for co-op programs, initiatives, capital
             community, and the newly established electric       investments, and supporting other activities
             lines helped power economic opportunity in          approved by the membership.
             the community.                                        Because we are guided by seven cooperative
                While this history may be forgotten, key         principles, it’s not just about dollars––it’s
             parts of that heritage remain––the focus on         about opportunity for all and being fair when
             our mission and serving the greater good.           engaging with our members. The cooperative
             In this, we include everyone to improve the         way is a values-based business model.
             quality of life and economic opportunity for          Butte Electric is a reflection of our local
             the communities we serve.                           communities and their evolving needs. We
             DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL                           view our role as a catalyst for good and
               Our co-op is well suited to meet the              making our corner of the world a better
             needs of our members because we are locally         place.
             governed. Each member gets a voice and a


                ERATIVE                             81ST ANNUAL
(ISSN 1531-1031)
Board of Directors
 Cris Miller, Spearfish - President
 Dan Marrs, Whitewood – Vice Pres.
                                                      Three directors will be elected to three-year
 Thomas Brunner, Nisland – Secretary                terms on the Board of Directors at the 81st
 Daniel Hefner, Whitewood – Asst. Sec.              Annual Meeting to be held at the Belle Fourche               Bell Fourche Area
 Travis Schenk, Spearfish – Treasurer
 Thomas Casteel, Vale
                                                    Area Community Center on October 26, 2021.                  Community Center
                                                    Terms expiring will be:
 James Mortenson, Spearfish
 Chandy Olson, St. Onge                               District 1 – Travis Schenk, Spearfish
 Steve Smeenk, Newell
                                                      District 2 – Tom Brunner, Nisland
Office Personnel                                      District 3 – Tom Casteel, Vale                               26, 2021
 John Lee - CEO                                       If any Butte Electric member is interested in
 Kim Wince - Office Mgr./Accountant
                                                    serving on the board, please request a petition                    5:30 PM
 Laine Mitchell - Communications Director
 Colleen Schreiner - Billing Clerk                  from our office by calling (605)456- 2494.
 Angie Alexander - Administrative Assistant         The completed petition, signed by 15 or more
 Lee Ann Gaer - Member Services/Accountant
                                                    members, is due back September 27 by 4:00 p.m.
 Operations Personnel                                 To be a candidate, a member must reside in the district and not be employed
 Brett Fosheim - Operations Manager                 by or financially interested in a competing enterprise or a business selling
 Bart McLellan - Spearfish Operations Manager
 Adam Zvorak - Foreman
                                                    electric energy or supplies to the Cooperative, or a business primarily engaged
 Chuck Even - Foreman                               in selling electrical fixtures or supplies to the members of the Cooperative.
 Jeff Hughes - Foreman                                Join us for the Butte Electric Annual Meeting and enjoy a free roast beef din-
 Journeyman Lineman:
   John Branham
                                                    ner while learning about the current happenings at Butte Electric Cooperative!
   Jacob Breidenbach
   Mike Davis
   James Gyles
   Corey Hines
   Kyle Nudd
   Dave Pietz
   Elliot Rayman
                                                           Pre-register for a chance to
   Dalton Steiger

                                                           WIN A
   Adam Willuweit
 Craig Douthit - Work Order Clerk

Butte Electric Beacon Cooperative Connections is

                                                           32” TV
the monthly publication for the members of Butte
Electric Cooperative, Inc., PO Box 137, Newell,
SD 57760. Families subscribe to Cooperative
Connections as part of their electric cooperative
membership. Cooperative Connections’ purpose
is to provied reliable, helpful information
to electric cooperative members on electric                Yes, I/we plan on attending the Butte Electric Cooperative’s
cooperative matters and better rural living.
                                                           81st Annual Meeting on Oct. 26, 2021.
Subscription information: Cooperative members
devote 50 cents from their monthly electric
payments for a subscription. Non-member                    Please plan on ________ person(s) for dinner.
subscriptions are available for $12 annually.
                                                           Name: ________________________________________________
Periodicals postage paid at City, SD 57427.
                                                           (as it appears on the mailing label)
Postmaster: Please send address changes to Butte
Electric Beacon, PO Box 137, Newell, SD 57760;             Phone Number: ________________________________
telephone (605) 456-2494; fax (605) 456-2496;
                                                           Please cut out and return it to PO Box 137, Newell, SD 57760 by Oct. 18, 2021.
email butte@butteelectric.com
                                                           Must be present to win.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider
and employer.

                                                                                 OCTOBER 2021 | COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS 3

                                                                          WE’VE GOT SD
Practice fire safety
this fall and winter
When the weather turns colder, you inevitably start
hearing more news about house fires. Even a small fire
can be devastating.
   Most house fires are caused by cooking that gets out of hand,
according to the National Fire Protection Association. But the
second most common cause is materials in the home that catch
fire. This often occurs when a heat source, such as a space heater
or flying embers from a fireplace, comes into contact with fabric or
                                                                              South Dakota’s electric cooperatives deliver affordable,
paper, which then ignite. Once a fire starts, it can move so rapidly
                                                                          reliable power to our members in every corner of the state. But
that even the best efforts to put it out may fail.
                                                                          we do so much more!
   When it comes to old houses, the risks are even higher. The older
                                                                              Visit our Co-op Connections Plus YouTube channel and you’ll
the wood is that a house is constructed of, the faster it burns. Once
                                                                          see co-ops in action providing valuable consumer information
flames invade the walls of an old house, they move with frightening
                                                                          at Dakotafest and the South Dakota
                                                                          State Fair. You’ll see co-ops at local
   Fire protection in any home is absolutely necessary, but even
                                                                          community events and youth leader-
more careful precautions should be taken if your house is older.
                                                                          ship programs. We’ve got South Dakota
Here’s how to help ensure the safety of your house and everyone
in it.
                                                                              Simply scan the QR code to the right
   Smoke detectors. These are the first and best line of defense;
                                                                          and be sure to subscribe!
they allow you to get out of the house at the first whiff of smoke.
The NFPA found that six in 10 deaths in house fires occurred in
homes that did not have working smoke detectors. Go beyond the
federal recommendations and put a smoke detector in every room.
Stay on the even safer side by opting for those that detect both
smoke and carbon monoxide.
   Fire extinguishers. Keep small fires from getting out of control
with fire extinguishers that are easily accessible. Choose several fire
extinguishers that are light enough for even kids to handle. Make
sure they have simple pull mechanisms that don’t require much
strength. Look for fire extinguishers that work for various parts of
the house; for instance, an extinguisher in the kitchen should be
able to handle grease fires.
   Install arc-fault interrupters. These ingenious little gadgets
detect the electrical arcing that occurs when an old wire buried
deep in your wall begins to fail. Speak with an electrician about
where best to install interrupters and how your particular ones
   Maintain it all. Finally, test everything on a regular basis. Smoke
detectors should be tested every month, their batteries replaced
every six months, and old smoke detectors replaced every 10 years.
Opt to purchase an extra fire extinguisher so your family can take it      Call 811 before you dig!
to the backyard and practice using it.
   Have a plan. What if the worst happens and those smoke                  Fletcher Nutt
detectors go off? Have a plan to get out fast. Make sure those on
upper floors have a fire ladder that can get them safely to the            Fletcher reminds readers of Cooperative Connections to
ground. Designate a meeting place for all family members, and              be sure to call 811 before digging. Fletcher’s parents are
practice your safety plan at least once every six months.                  Donald Nutt and Amanda Larron of Sioux Falls.
   Does all of this sound like overkill? It’s not! Fire safety is
imperative year-round for every home. Your home deserves                   Kids, send your drawing with an electrical safety tip to your
to have the care required to keep it safe and sturdy, but more             local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). If your
importantly, your family deserves the peace of mind that comes             poster is published, you’ll receive a prize. All entries must
from knowing they are protected in an emergency.                           include your name, age, mailing address and the names of
                                                                           your parents. Colored drawings are encouraged.


PASTA PICKS                                                                    SPAGHETTI PIE
                                                                               6 oz. spaghetti
                                                                               2 T. butter
                                       HERB BAKED CHICKEN AND
                                                                               2 well beaten eggs
RATTLESNAKE PASTA                      PASTA
                                                                               1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
Ingredients:                           Ingredients:
                                                                               1 c. cottage cheese
1/4 c buttery spread                   2 cups uncooked medium pasta,
                                                                               1 lb. ground beef
2 T all-purpose flour                    such as rotini, penne or ziti
                                                                               ¼ c. chopped green pepper
3/4 c dairy milk                       1 pound uncooked boneless
                                                                               ½ c. chopped onion
1/2 c vegetable broth                    skinless chicken breasts, cut
                                                                               2 c. chopped tomatoes
1 T vegetable base                       into 1-inch cubes
                                                                               1 tsp. sugar
1/2 c Parmesan cheese,                 2 cups shredded mozzarella
                                                                               1 tsp. oregano
  shredded                               cheese, divided
                                                                               ½ tsp. garlic salt
  salt, to taste (optional)            1 1/2 cups water
                                                                               ½ c. shredded mozzarella
  pepper, to taste (optional)          1 package McCormick® Italian
1/4 c pickled jalapeno slices            Herb Baked Chicken & Pasta
                                                                               Cook spaghetti, drain. Stir in
3 T minced garlic                        Seasoning Mix
                                                                               butter, Parmesan cheese and eggs.
10 oz. cooked rotisserie chicken,      1 can (14 1/2 ounces) petite            In buttered 10 inch pie plate,
  shredded                               diced tomatoes, undrained             form the mixture into a crust.
1 green bell pepper, sliced            METHOD                                  Spread the cottage cheese over
1 red bell pepper, sliced              Preheat oven to 375ºF. Place            crust. Cook beef until browned.
1 handful fresh cilantro, minced       pasta, chicken and 1 cup of the         Drain fat. Stir tomatoes, sugar,
                                       cheese in 13x9-inch baking dish.        oregano and garlic salt into
1 pound whole-wheat linguini,
                                       Mix water, Seasoning Mix and            cooked beef. Put all in spaghetti
  cooked                                                                       crust. Bake 350 degrees for 25
                                       tomatoes until well blended.
METHOD                                 Pour over pasta and chicken.            minutes. Add mozzarella and
In medium pot, melt buttery            Stir to coat well, making sure          cook five minutes more or until
spread then add flour; mix             most of the pasta is covered with       cheese is melted. Bulk sausage
well. Slowly add dairy milk and        sauce. Cover with foil. Bake            may replace ground beef.
vegetable broth, stirring well.        45 minutes or until chicken is          Linda Sherry, Sioux Falls
Add vegetable base and Parmesan        cooked through. Remove foil and
cheese; heat slowly until              stir. Sprinkle with remaining 1     Please send your favorite dairy recipes
thickened. Add salt and pepper,        cup cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5      to your local electric cooperative
to taste, if desired. Add jalapenos,   minutes longer or until cheese      (address found on Page 3). Each
                                                                           recipe printed will be entered into a
garlic, bell peppers and roasted       is melted. Let stand 5 minutes.
                                                                           drawing for a prize in December 2021.
chicken; heat thoroughly.Serve         (Sauce will continue to thicken     All entries must include your name,
over cooked linguini.                  upon standing.)                     mailing address, phone number and
Family Features                        mccormick.com                       cooperative name.

                                                            OCTOBER 2021 | COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS 5

Dear Pat: I’ve heard heat pumps can
be a good alternative for heating my
home, but it looks like there are several                            heating efficiency and the Seasonal Energy
                                                                     Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating measures
types available. Can you explain a few                               cooling efficiency. Minimum ratings for a new
                                                                     heat pump are HSPF 8.2 and SEER 14. Heat
of the most common options? – Brett                                  pumps with the ENERGY STAR® rating are
                                                                     significantly more efficient than the minimum
                   Dear Brett: It’s a good idea to consider a        standard. The quality of the installation also
                heat pump for your home. The technology has          matters, and some contractors will have more
                improved a lot over the past 10-20 years and         experience and training than others.
                is likely to be at least 20 percent more efficient     2. MINI-SPLIT HEAT PUMP
                than what you have now. Heat pumps can                  If your home does not have ductwork or
                also cool your home during summer months,            the ductwork is poorly designed or leaky, a
                which is an added value!                             ductless mini-split heat pump might be your
                   Newer models can operate effectively in           best bet. With a mini-split heat pump, tubes
                sub-zero weather, but sometimes they do so by        connected to the outside compressor carry
                switching to electric resistance mode, which is      refrigerant to one or more air handlers, which
                much less efficient. In a colder climate, it may     are mounted high on a wall to distribute
                be worth investing in a dual fuel system where       air. Thermostats regulate each air handler,
                propane or another fuel provides supplemental        providing control of different zones.
                heat on extremely cold days.                            In climates that don’t experience extreme
Pat Keegan         Here are a few situations where you might         cold, a ductless heat pump could supply all
Collaborative   use the different types of air-source heat           the heating and cooling in a small home. They
Efficiency      pumps.                                               are often used in combination with a central
                  1. DUCTED HEAT PUMP                                heating and cooling system. Ductless mini-
                   If your home has a forced air furnace, a          splits are an excellent option if you don’t have
                centralized air-source heat pump can work            central air ducts, your ducts are leaking or you
                well. A compressor outside your home that            only want the new ductless heat pump to heat
                looks like an A/C unit is connected to your          or cool part of the home.
                home’s existing duct system. Like your                3. GEOTHERMAL (OR GROUND-SOURCE)
                furnace, the temperature is controlled through       HEAT PUMP
                one main thermostat. This is a solid solution           Several feet underground, the temperature
                if your system has quality ductwork that heats       remains constant year-round, typically 45-75
Brad Thiessen   and cools every room evenly, which is rare.          F, depending on latitude. Heat is transferred
Collaborative      Ductwork in most homes is not designed            into or out of the ground by pipes buried in a
Efficiency      to heat or cool every room evenly. Long              loop 10 feet underground or drilled up to 400
                supply runs provide little air to some rooms,        feet into the earth. The pipes carry water to a
                and it’s typical for some rooms to lack return       compressor, which uses a refrigerant to transfer
                air registers. Also, ductwork is often leaky,        the heat to or from your home’s ducts.
                which creates comfort issues. If leaky ducts            A geothermal system is extremely energy
                are located in unheated areas such as attics, it     efficient since the earth’s temperature is
                will increase your heating and cooling costs.        warmer than the outside air in the winter and
                Poor ductwork will render any kind of central        cooler than the outside air in the summer. But
                heating or cooling system much less effective.       I should note this efficiency comes with a high
                Some HVAC contractors can repair ductwork            price tag, which is the initial cost to install the
                problems if the ductwork is accessible.              pipe loop or drill the hole for a vertical pipe
                   Heat pumps vary in efficiency, and this is           I hope this information provides a good
                measured in two ways. The Heating Seasonal           starting point in your research of heat pumps.
                Performance Factor (HSPF) rating measures

USD alumnus Chris Nilsen follows Coyote                                                   Beijing Olympics and also qualified for
                                                                                          the Olympics in Athens in 2004 and
tradition of success with a silver medal                                                  London in 2012.
                                                                                             Miles couldn’t resist taking a few
Billy Gibson                                                                              good-natured jabs as his protégé during
                                             wishers at the Muenster University
                                                                                          the celebration: “I’m a little upset with
billy.gibson@sdrea.coop                      Center in Vermillion. Trailing behind a
                                                                                          Chris right now. It took me about
                                             police escort, the USD grad rolled onto
                                                                                          12 years after graduation to win an
   Pole vaulters have a term to describe     campus perched proudly in the back of
                                                                                          Olympic medal and he did it in a year.
one of their worst nightmares. It’s called   a Jeep and waved to the onlookers lining
                                                                                          He got a better color than I did and
being “spit out,” a phrase that sounds a     the streets with his silver medal glinting
                                                                                          jumped about a foot higher.”
lot like what happened in the Biblical       in the summer sun.
                                                                                             Then he turned more serious
account of Jonah and the whale.                 The celebration included his
                                                                                          in congratulating Nilsen on his
   In the world of track and field, it’s     parents, Mark and Karen Nilsen,
                                                                                          accomplishment: “It was a pretty special
an ignominious term that vaulters use        university officials, athletic department
                                                                                          moment to coach him at the Olympics.
when you sprint as fast as you can down      representatives and a bevy of youngsters
                                                                                          As a coach, you want the best out of
the runway and plant your pole but you       who got to hold the medal for a moment
                                                                                          your athlete and it was a special moment
don’t have enough force to get up and        and dream of their own Olympic success
                                                                                          to see him respond to adversity when he
over the bar. The result is a humiliating    one day.
                                                                                          missed 19 feet on the first attempt and
and often painful return to terra firma.        Nilsen turned in a personal best of 19
                                                                                          then come back and win the silver.”
   It’s an experience Chris Nilsen knows     feet, 7 inches during his time in Tokyo.
                                                                                             Nilsen credited Miles and the
all too well after getting the spitting      Coming up two inches shy of Swedish
                                                                                          supportive cultural environment at USD
treatment three straight times during his    gold medalist Armand “Mondo”
                                             Duplantis, Nilsen became the only U.S.       for much of his success.
first attempt at pole vaulting back when                                                     “The reason I came here was because
he was a freshman at Park Hill High          vaulter to finish second or better in the
                                                                                          of the culture. USD was my fourth
School in Kansas City.                       event since 2004.
                                                                                          official visit after a few SEC schools. But
   But years of hard work, the support          The celebration on the Coyotes
                                                                                          Derek looked me in the eye and said,
of family and friends, and the guidance      campus was the first time Nilsen’s
                                                                                          ‘You can go to any school you want in
of several capable coaches paid off when     parents saw their son since he departed
                                                                                          the country and probably become a
Nilsen secured a silver medal in the         for Tokyo to prepare for the games. His
                                                                                          better pole vaulter, but you’ll never find
Tokyo Olympics.                              USD track coach, Derek Miles, was
                                                                                          a coach who cares more about you than
   The University of South Dakota            the only other individual allowed to
                                                                                          I do.’ It shows what kind of person he
alumnus was given a grand reception          accompany Nilsen due to COVID-19
                                                                                          is and he’s allowed to be that kind of
when he returned from Tokyo and              restrictions. Miles claimed a bronze
                                                                                          person because of the culture here.”
met a crowd of several hundred well-         medal in the pole vault at the 2008

                                                                   OCTOBER 2021 | COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS 7

Casey S. Hibbert peers out into the natural world through a window in the top floor of the haunted Adams House in
Deadwood. Photos by Billy Gibson

Paranormal enthusiasts search for signs                                                Miller developed a passion for
of the hereafter in SD’s haunted spaces                                             the paranormal when he had an
                                                                                    unexplained experience as a youngster.
                                                                                       “I was in my bedroom and – I don’t
Billy Gibson                               For the past 10 years, Miller and        know how or why it happened – the
billy.gibson@sdrea.coop                  his crew have been conducting their        closet door blew off the hinges and
                                         missions all across the Black Hills        went flying across the room. My
   Those eerie, creaky footsteps         area and have logged scores of audio       parents thought the door came down
heard coming from the stairwell          recordings and other evidence they         because I’d been swinging on it like a
in Deadwood’s historic Adams             offer as possible proof of the existence   monkey. I was a little unnerved and
House could be the restless spirit of    of the hereafter.                          slept on the couch for a month. But I
former owner W.E. Adams. Or they           Every October, Miller invites            started reading academic material on
could simply be a figment of the         fearless guests to accompany the           the subject to see if there was really
imagination.                             investigators on their missions. But he    something to this paranormal thing,
   Maurice “Mo” Miller isn’t going       often warns visitors beforehand: Don’t     and it’s been my passion ever since.”
to try to convince you either way.       come dressed in a Dracula costume             The BHPI team has several black
He just wants to collect evidence        or some silly getup - this is serious      metal cases, or “spirit boxes” full of
that there was in fact an unexplained    business.                                  devices, contraptions and gizmos
sound and let you draw your own            “This isn’t a dog-and-pony               they use to detect the presence of
conclusions.                             show,” Miller said. “We never do           wandering ghosts. There are electro-
    Miller is founder and lead sleuth    investigations with the public on          magnetic field meters, binoptic
of the Black Hills Paranormal            Halloween because people will come         cameras, infrared static cameras,
Investigations team. He and his          dressed up as a vampire or a witch and     digital audio recorders and more.
six-member squad aren’t out to bust      think it’s the county fair. The shows         They’ve completed investigations of
ghosts or chase mischievous spirits      on TV are for entertainment. We have       many haunted places in Deadwood
away. They only want to make a           fun, but we don’t contrive things for      and the surrounding area such as the
friendly connection with inhabitants     entertainment value and promise we’ll      Homestake Opera House, the Bullock
of the afterlife, maybe say hello and    deliver a ghost in a jar or yank one out   Hotel, the Brothel Deadwood, the
spend some quality time together.        into the open with a hook.”                Lucky Nugget Casino and others.


Black Hills Paranormal Investigations team member LeAnn Harlan keeps an eye out for spirits during a recent visit to a
private residence in Spearfish. Above/right, a device used by BHPI triggers when spirits are detected nearby.

   As far as the fear factor goes, Miller   selling author Ann Charles, but there
said during late-night investigations       a many other famously haunted places       Visit these haunted sites
he often finds himself keeping a close      and spaces around the state.               if you dare
eye on BHPI Case Manager Mark                  Author Chad Lewis has been
Shadley, a retired police sergeant and      researching paranormal activity in           Here is our Top 10 list of the eeriest,
seasoned law enforcement officer. If        South Dakota, across the region, and       scariest, most haunted places in South
the former lawman starts showing            around world for nearly 30 years           Dakota. Enter at your own risk:
                                            and has written 25 books on the              • Bullock Hotel - Deadwood
                                                                                         • Adams House - Deadwood
                                            supernatural, including The South
                                                                                          • Old Minnehaha Courthouse
                                            Dakota Road Guide to Haunted                    Museum - Sioux Falls
                                            Locations as part of his “Unexplained”       • Dakota Theater - Yankton
                                            series. While Lewis has made many            • Hotel Alex Johnson - Rapid City
                                            television appearances, he often             • Sioux San Hospital - Rapid City
                                            speaks to local audiences and calls          • Lucky Nugget Casino - Deadwood
                                            attention to some of the lesser known        • Homestake Opera House - Lead
                                            haunted sites such as Devil’s Gulch          • Eastons Castle - Aberdeen
                                            in Garretson and Spirit Mound State          • Mount Marty College - Yankton
                                            Historic Prairie near Vermillion.
                                               “Spirit Mound’s legends date
                                            back as far as Lewis and Clark. In        Theatre in Yankton, Eastons Castle in
                                            their journals, they wrote that once      Aberdeen and others.
                                            arriving upon Spirt Mound, their             With Halloween coming up, Lewis
                                            guides would go no further as they        encourages anyone interested in all
                                            feared small creatures that looked like   things unexplained to get out and
                                            little people and were very good with     explore haunted sites and also to
                                            poisonous arrows.”                        learn more about the history, lore and
BHPI lead investigator Maurice “Mo”
Miller discusses strategy with Deb
                                               He has explored many haunted sites     culture of different locations.
Sutton and Kayleigh Johnson.                in the Hills such as the Mount Moriah        “I think people should venture out
                                            Cemetery and the Keystone Mount           and see things for themselves and
signs of fright or starts heading for the   View Cemetery at the foot of Mount        make their own determinations,” he
door, then it’s probably time to scram.     Rushmore. But Lewis has also studied      said. “If you go out to Spirit Mound,
   The Black Hills area is often            spooky places in eastern South Dakota     make sure to leave an offering like
considered a hotbed of paranormal           such as the Orpheum Theatre and Old       a shiny rock or candy for the Little
activity of the kind depicted in local      Minnehaha Courthouse in Sioux Falls,      People. This will protect you from
folklore and in the tales spun by best-     Mount Marty College and Dakota            them getting followed home.”

                                                                OCTOBER 2021 | COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS 9

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Laine Mitchell
lainem@butteelectric.com                several steps that we can take daily   password cracking tools to enable
                                        to mitigate risks and stay one step    attackers to break into accounts.
                                        ahead of malefactors. Here are a few   USE A STRONG PASSWORD
   We are more connected than           quick tips:                            MANAGER
ever, and being “cyber smart” is of     ENABLE MULTI-FACTOR                       This may seem obvious, but all too
the utmost importance. This year        AUTHENTICATION                         often, utilizing a password manager
has already seen more than a fair         Multi-factor authentication          is overlooked. Spending more
share of cyber attacks and breaches,    (MFA) adds that necessary second       time online during the pandemic
including the high-profile attacks      check to verify your identity          has certainly contributed to more
on the Colonial Pipeline and other      when logging in to one of your         attackers prowling for accounts.
critical infrastructure. Furthermore,   accounts. By requiring multiple        Using long, complex, and unique
as has been underlined by these         methods of authentication, you are     passwords is a good way to stop your
recent breaches, cyberattacks are       protecting your account from being     account from being hacked, and
becoming more sophisticated,            compromised, even if a bad actor       an easy way of keeping track and
involving more actors cropping          hijacks your password. In this way,    remembering your passwords is by
up each day. Luckily, there are         MFAs make it more difficult for        using a password manager.


   When a device prompts that          and be aware
it’s time to update the software,      of who can
it may be tempting to simply           access your
click postpone, and ignore the         documents.                      Heating season is upon us!
message. However, having the latest    This extends
security software, web browser, and    from Google                             If you have an electric heat
operating system on devices is one     docs to Zoom                            meter, be sure to the breaker
of the best defenses against online    calls, and                              to the heat meter is turned
threats. So, don’t wait - update.      beyond. For                             on to collect the discounted
DO YOUR RESEARCH                       meetings on                             heat rate!
  Common sense is a crucial part of    Zoom, for
maintaining good online hygiene,       example,
and an intuitive step to stay safe     create
online is to do some research before   passwords so
downloading anything new you are       only those
downloading to your device, such       invited to the session can attend,       presence. Following these tips
as apps. Before downloading any        and restrict who can share their         is also easy, and free. By taking
new learning app on your device,       screen or files with the rest of the     preventive measures and making
make sure that it’s by checking        attendees.                               a habit of practicing online safety,
who created the app, what the user        Being cyber smart and                 you can decrease your odds of
reviews say, and if there are any      maintaining stellar online hygiene is    being hacked exponentially
articles published online about the    the best way to protect yourself and     preventing lost time, money, as
app’s privacy and security features.   others from cyber attacks. No single     well as annoyance.
CHECK YOUR SETTINGS                    tip is foolproof but taken together
  Be diligent by double-checking       they can make a real difference
your privacy and security settings     in taking control of your online

                                                         OCTOBER 2021 | COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS 11

Public libraries across the state continue to serve the needs of their communities as places to go for a wide range of experiences.

South Dakota’s public library system grows
and adapts to an ever-changing cultural                                                          computers with internet access,
                                                                                                 37 subscriptions to magazines and
and technological landscape                                                                      periodicals, and free WiFi access.
                                                                                                    In the year prior to the pandemic,
Billy Gibson                                    changes in culture and contemporary              3.7 million visits were made to the
billy.gibson@sdrea.coop                         lifestyles, South Dakota’s libraries             state’s 107 public libraries while nearly
                                                are still delivering the goods - and             half the state’s residents held a library
   The state’s public library system got        the books - in their respective                  card. In 2019, more than 600 of the
its start even before there was a state.        communities.                                     state’s citizens were employed at a
   In 1886, three years before South               Mary K. Schlim is the head                    public library, and a collective 5.8
Dakota achieved statehood, the                  librarian in Howard and says the                 million digital and physical materials
Howard Public Library was chartered             community takes a lot of pride in                were circulated.
and quickly became a point of pride             being home to the state’s first facility.           Brenda Hemmelman, access and
for the people of present-day Miner             She takes an optimistic view of the              development services director for
County.                                         future of libraries...as long as they            the state library system, said libraries
   The contents of the library have             continue to adapt.                               return $4 in various programs
long since been relocated to a modern              “I think libraries have a bright              and services for every $1 invested.
facility in the town’s Municipal                future,” she said. “You just have to             She describes libraries as a sound
Building, but the original structure            keep updating and modernizing and                investment in communities large and
can still be visited at Prairie Village in      keeping up with the trends and the               small.
nearby Madison.                                 technology. We have the computers,                  Hemmelman recently announced
   As the first of its kind in the              but we’re adding new books all the               the distribution of nearly $2 million
state, the Howard Public Library is             time. There will always be demand                in grant money disbursed to a total of
still a thriving entity and serves as           from people who want an actual,                  78 public, local school and academic
a testament to the versatility and              physical book to read. There will                libraries across the state. The grant
resiliency of the state’s library system.       always be a need for libraries.”                 money came from the Institute of
Standing strong through world wars,                Schlim said her facility is open six          Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
recessions, depressions, funding                days a week with more than 14,000                through American Rescue Plan Act
pressures, political challenges and             books on the shelves, five public                (ARPA) funds.


                                                                    STATE LIBRARY DIGITIZES 41 VOLUMES
                                                                    OF SOUTH DAKOTA HISTORICAL

   “This will help our libraries invest in infrastructure,
technology and materials that will serve their patrons
through modern, innovative facilities and practices well
into the future,” Hemmelman said.
   Grant-funded items include the following:
   • Technology to replace old computer equipment                       As the South Dakota State Historical Society celebrates
   • Podcasting equipment                                           its 120th year, the South Dakota State Library has
   • Digitization equipment                                         digitized all 41 volumes of the South Dakota Historical
   • Books, audio books, e-books                                    Collections. From 1902 to 1982, this series was published
   • 3D printers and other makerspace equipment                     biennially by the Department of History (now the South
   • Furniture with embedded technology                             Dakota State Historical Society) as part of its mission to
   • Library automation software                                    collect, preserve and make accessible the history of the
   • SMART boards/Promethean boards for classroom                   state. All 41 volumes are now available via the Featured
teaching and displays.                                              Collections section of the South Dakota State Library’s
   The state system also purchased an additional $76,000            Digital Collections.
worth of audiobooks and e-books for the South Dakota                    These volumes cover a wide array of topics and are
                                Titles to Go (SDTTG)                a valuable resource for students, teachers, and scholarly
                                consortium with funds               researchers. Six editors presided over the South Dakota
                                from IMLS through ARPA.             Historical Collections during its run, including Doane
                                Hemmelman said SDTTG                Robinson, Will G. Robinson and Dayton Canaday.
                                program usage increased 18          Their different editing styles and interests are evident
                                percent from 2019 to 2020 as        throughout the volumes. Taken as a whole, the series
                                users checked out more than         represents an evolution in perspectives on the state’s
                                400,000 titles.                     history, heritage and culture. In 1989, an index to the
                                  Hemmelman said libraries          collection was compiled and published to aid researchers.
                                face an ongoing challenge to            The South Dakota State Library serves as the state’s
                                remain relevant and useful in a     depository for current and historical state agency
                                rapidly changing technological      publications, some of which go back to territorial days.
landscape. She said libraries were fortunate to receive the             The South Dakota State Library’s Digital Collections
recent grant money after 96 percent of the state’s facilities       reflect the history and culture of South Dakota. Primarily
closed temporarily during the pandemic.                             of interest to librarians, researchers, and genealogists,
   She was quick to note, however, that 86 percent                  the digital collections include newspaper articles, South
continued to provide public services even though the                Dakota library photographs, state government annual
physical facility may have been closed. More than 80                reports and research reports, South Dakota Codified
percent provided outside or curbside checkout services and          Laws, Session Laws, House and Senate Journals and
all of them increased access to digital materials.                  more. Access the collections at: sdsdl-montage.auto-
   For Hemmelman, those indicators point to a promising             graphics.com/.
future for the state’s public library system.

                                                                  OCTOBER 2021 | COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS 13


Entertainer and Mount Vernon Mayor Weston Frank bears a co-op logo on his forearm in memory of his great grandfather.

South Dakota’s cooperative leaders                                                           As for Weston Frank, the co-op
leave a legacy of service in local                                                         symbol has an even deeper meaning
                                                                                           than the memory of his great
communities throughout the state                                                           grandfather.
                                                                                             “That logo stands for a time
Billy Gibson                                 Howard Frank, who started working             when men did what they said they
billy.gibson@sdrea.coop                      at the ag co-op in Wessington                 would. You could trust the word
                                             Springs after his gas station business        of your fellow man, and the local
   Some people place a lot of faith          burned to the ground. He eventually           co-op board. I have on occasion
and belief in the cooperative way of         retired from the co-op in the                 caught grief from some folks who
doing business.                              mid-1990s.                                    associate the double circle with poor
   And then some people don’t mind             When Weston Frank takes a                   memories and situations. I always
letting the world know exactly               glance at that image on his arm,              apologize that they feel that way, but
where they stand on cooperatives             he remembers a man who had                    the co-op provided for my family for
and what they represent.                     earned the respect of everyone in his         many years without incident. For
   When Weston Frank pulls up his            community.                                    me, the logo helps me remember the
shirt sleeve, everyone can see how             “I love the double circle co-op             man, the good he did and the love
much cooperatives mean to him. He            logo because it’s something my                he had for his family.”
has the word “COOP” tattooed in              great grandfather wore every day.               Cooperatives have been part
big, bold letters right there on his         Everyone knew him as a kind and               of South Dakota’s landscape for
forearm.                                     quiet man who would help anyone.              well over 100 years, and have an
   Frank, who is mayor of Mount              He’d stay late to get a job done,             estimated annual economic impact
Vernon and an entertainer well-              then head out to the 281 Junction             of $8 to $10 billion. Collectively,
known throughout the state, had the          on Sunday afternoon at the drop               cooperatives provide an estimated
cooperative logo inked into his arm          of a hat to help a stranded stranger.         16,000 jobs for South Dakotans,
for a special reason. He got the tat         I never met one person who had                and contribute almost $600 million
in memory of his great grandfather,          something bad to say about him.”              in tax revenue to the state.


                                         South Dakota Cooperative Association Hall of Famer Charles Birkholt served as general
                                         manager of Cam Wal Electric Cooperative for the last eight of his 45 years there. After
                                         retiring from Cam Wal, Birkholt served on the board of Venture Telecommunications.

                                         25 years. At the end of December
                                         each year, she would accompany her
                                         dad down to the co-op to help take
   The cooperative spirit also                                                                      Estimated economic
runs through the veins of Brenda                                                                          impact
                                           “On the way over we’d talk about
Forman, executive director of
the South Dakota Association of
Cooperatives. Her introduction
                                         the co-op and how it got started
                                         and why he served on the board,                              $8-10
to the co-op world came early in
life when she was a girl growing
                                         to help people,” Forman recalled.
                                         “Something that touched me deeply                            billion
                                         happened when a gentleman came                              of South Dakota’s
up in Gettysburg where both her                                                                         cooperatives
                                         up to me once and I told him I was
grandfather and father served on the
                                         from Gettysburg. He said he knew
Cenex board of directors.
                                         my dad and they worked on the
“THAT LOGO STANDS FOR A                  Cenex board together. He looked                  “I enjoyed working at both co-ops
TIME WHEN MEN DID WHAT                   around at the other people and told            and being able to see things on both
                                         them I come from good stock. That              sides of the board table,” he said. “It
THEY SAID THEY WOULD. YOU                was one heckuva of a compliment,               gives you different things to think
COULD TRUST THE WORD OF                  coming from someone who thought                about and makes you understand
YOUR FELLOW MAN, AND THE                 that much of my dad and granddad               you have to keep an open mind. But
                                         and their involvement in the co-op.”           in both positions, you’re working
LOCAL CO-OP BOARD.”                        Charles Birkholt is a member                 to improve the service and your
                                         of the SDAC Hall of Fame and                   relationship with your members.”
   At the age of 14, Forman landed
                                         has served consumers of both a                   Birkholt said he encourages all
her first job at the local Cenex
                                         telecommunications co-op and                   cooperative members, employees
station and worked there through
                                         an electric co-op. Back in 1952,               and leaders across the state to
high school and college, often filling
                                         Birkholt joined Cam Wal Electric               pause a moment during Co-op
a spot on the spraying crew. She
                                         in Selby as a groundsman at the rate           Month in October to reflect on the
joined the co-op association 25 years
                                         of 85 cents an hour. He climbed                importance of these not-for-profit
ago and has carried on the mission
                                         his way up to manager and recalls              organizations.
of serving the association’s members
                                         farmers complaining about their $5               “The consumer is our primary
and lauding the many benefits of
                                         monthly power bills. He later retired          goal, our only reason for existing.
cooperative businesses, including
                                         after 45 years of service at Cam Wal.          That is very unique and isn’t the
telecommunications, farm supply,
                                           But Birkholt wasn’t done yet.                case for investor-owned enterprises.
marketing and electric organizations.
                                         Shortly after retiring 20 years ago,           We’re the underdogs, so that just
   Her father, Richard Mangin, held
                                         he joined the board of Venture                 means we have to work harder,” he
a position on the Cenex board for
                                         Communications.                                said.

                                                              OCTOBER 2021 | COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS 15
                                                                                                     Native American Day
                                                                                                     Crazy Horse Memorial, Crazy
                                                                                                     Horse, SD, 605-673-4681

                                                                                                     OCTOBER 16-17
                                                                                                     Heartland Quilter’s Guild
                                                                                                     Highland Conference Center,
                                                                                                     Mitchell SD, Contact Karen at
                                                                                                     605-996-6726 for more info

                                                                                                     OCTOBER 16-17
                                                                                                     KELOLAND Living Arts
                                                                                                     & Crafts Show
                                                                                                     Best Western Plus Exhibit Hall
                                                                                                     & Annex, Sioux Falls, SD, email
                                                                                                     events@keloland.com for
  Pheasant Hunting Season                                                                            more info
  Opening Day
  October 16, 2021                                                                                   OCTOBER 22-23
                                                                                                     Governor’s South
                                                                                                     Dakota Showcase
                                                                                                     1201 N West Avenue, Sioux
                              SEPTEMBER 25                       OCTOBER 1-3                         Falls, SD, 605-773-3301
                              Great Downtown                     SiouxperCon
                              Pumpkin Festival                   1201 N West Avenue, Sioux           OCTOBER 29-30
                              526 Main Street, Rapid City, SD,   Falls, SD, visit siouxpercon.com    Deadweird
                              605-716-7979                       for more details and tickets        Various Locations, Deadwood,
                                                                                                     SD, 605-578-1876
                              SEPTEMBER 25-26                    OCTOBER 2-3
                              Menno Pioneer Power Show           Fort Pierre Horse Races             OCTOBER 30
                              Menno, SD, contact Daniel at       Stanley County Fairgrounds,         16th Holiday Shopping
                              mennopowershow@yahoo.com           Fort Pierre, SD, 605-223-2178       Extravaganza
                              for more details                                                       Davison County Fairgrounds,
                                                                 OCTOBER 7-10                        Mitchell, SD, call Cindy at
                              SEPTEMBER 25-26                    Annual Great                        605-999-8563 for more info
                              Reza: Edge of Illusion             Scarecrow Festival
                              Oscar Larson Performing Arts       Campbell Park, Huron, SD,           OCTOBER 30
                              Center, Brookings, SD, tickets     605-354-0491                        Scare in the Square
                              on sale at                                                             Main Street Square, Rapid City,
To have your event            http://www.RezaLive.com            OCTOBER 8-9                         SD, 605-716-7979
                                                                 Junkin’ Market Days
listed on this page, send                                                                            OCTOBER 30
                              SEPTEMBER 30                       W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds, Sioux
complete information,         7th Annual Taste of                Falls, SD, 605-941-4958             Yankton’s Harvest
including date, event,        Sioux Falls                                                            Halloween
place and contact to your     Washington Pavilion, Sioux         OCTOBER 8-10                        Downtown, Yankton, SD, email
                              Falls, SD, 605-367-6000            Pumpkin Festival                    mandi@bostonsyankton.com
local electric cooperative.
                                                                 Country Apple Orchard,              for more info
Include your name,            SEPTEMBER 30 -                     Harrisburg, SD, 605-743-2424
address and daytime           OCTOBER 3                                                              NOVEMBER 13
telephone number.             Festival of Books                  OCTOBER 9-10                        Sisseton Area Merchants &
                              Various Locations, Deadwood,       Sioux Falls Quilters’ Guild         Crafters Holiday Open
Information must be
                              SD, 605-688-6113                   Bi-annual Quilt Show – “Fall        House Extravaganza
submitted at least eight                                         in Love with Quilting”              Sisseton, SD, call Beverly at
weeks prior to your           OCTOBER 1-2                        Sioux Falls Convention Center,      605-698-7425 for more info
event. Please call ahead      Oktoberfest                        Sioux Falls, SD, for more info
to confirm date, time and     Various Locations, Deadwood,       visit siouxfallsquiltersguild.com   Note: Please make sure to
                              SD, 605-578-1876                   or send an email to                 call ahead to verify the event
location of event.
                                                                 sfqg2021show@gmail.com              is still being held.
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