Eastern Chapter of SD Engineering Society Announces Award Winners

Sioux Falls, South Dakota: The Eastern Chapter of the South Dakota Engineering Society presents awards annually to acknowledge the accomplishments of the engineering profession and recognize engineering achievements that capture the innovative and dynamic spirit of a profession dedicated to public service. The following awards were presented at the Annual Awards Banquet on February 23, 2019:

Microsoft Word - News Release - Award Winners_ldw comments

Photo submitted in press release

Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award

DGR Engineering – Dell Rapids Wastewater Treatment Facility Improvements Project

The City of Dell Rapids existing wastewater treatment facility lacked the capability to provide adequate treatment of the City’s wastewater. The City of Dell Rapids is a growing community that wanted to position themselves to welcome newcomers and not be constrained by a treatment system with limited treatment capacity.

The City understood that discharge limits are only going to become more stringent in the future, and they needed a treatment system that was easily expandable and adaptable to meet these future limits. The City selected a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) because it met these requirements and set Dell Rapids up for future growth and success.  The overall project construction cost was nearly $5.8 million.


Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award

RESPEC – Big Sioux River Flood Information System Project

The Big Sioux River Basin in eastern South Dakota has experienced repeated flooding in recent years. In 2014, a major flood in the lower basin revealed shortcomings in understanding and predicting flood-event behavior. In 2016, the State of South Dakota commissioned the development of the Big Sioux River Flood Information System.

The Flood Information System is a two-part web platform including access for the public and flood-response teams. The first part is a public site http://www.bigsiouxfis.org/ with access to stream conditions at over 50 locations throughout the Big Sioux River Basin and a library of over 8,000 inundation maps, representing flood scenarios for five different communities. The second part is a site reserved for state and community officials and includes access to real-time flood inundation forecasts. When flood events are predicted, the hydro-logic output is run through models and predicted inundation maps are loaded to the web platform.

The Flood Information System provides the public with an understanding of potential flood risks and gives flood-response teams accurate information for decision making during flood events.

Already in 2018, the system has proven its value during two separate events near North Sioux City. As significant amounts of rain fell over parts of the basin upstream, there was a lot of uncertainty in the severity of flooding that may occur. The Flood Information System predicted less-severe impacts than previous forecasting methods. Flood response managers had the confidence to hold off any drastic measures well in advance. The Flood Information System predictions held true, accurate to within 0.1 feet of observed flood stage.

The total project cost was $1.3 million.


Young Engineer of the Year Award – Krista May, PE

Krista May is a Project Engineer at Infrastructure Design Group, Inc. of Sioux Falls. Krista has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University. Krista has played the lead engineering role for multiple large-scale complex projects in her 8 year career. Her lead role includes roadway design, traffic control, lighting and signals, traffic impact studies, drainage, erosion control, water main, pavement marking, signage, and sanitary sewer. Krista has been involved in nearly $130 million worth of civil engineering projects. Krista is involved in numerous professional and community organizations including: Alpha Omega Epsilon (AΩE) (President), MATHCOUNTS Competition (SE South Dakota Chairperson), SD Engineering Society (Eastern Branch President-Elect), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Young Professionals Network (YPN), and Sioux Empire United Way (Emerging Leaders Advisory Committee). Krista likes to read, attend theater productions, and attend her cousins’ sporting events.


Engineer of the Year Award – Lance Weatherly, PE, MBA

Lance Weatherly is a Principal Engineer for the City of Sioux Falls providing engineering support for the Public Works Stormwater division.  Lance is responsible for the planning and execution of the $44 million Stormwater Capital Improvements Program to improve neighborhoods and promote comprehensive growth.  Lance’s professional career has spanned 15 years in the private and public sectors in Eastern South Dakota.  Lance has Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Dakota.  Lance obtained his professional engineer licensure in 2008 and is licensed in South Dakota.    Lance is active in the South Dakota Engineering Society, having served in different leadership roles and is the current president of the Eastern Chapter. Lance enjoys giving back to personally and professionally to the Sioux Falls community and mentoring the upcoming generation of professional engineers.  Lance enjoys spending time with his family and traveling to explore new cultures.

Share and Like this story:

DSU Hosts Watch Party for USS-South Dakota

This Feb. 2, 2019 photo provided by Dakota State University. Members of the United States Submarine Veterans Scorpion Base, including Mike Neuroth (seated), attended the USS-SD Commissioning watch party at Dakota State University on Feb. 2. Also pictured is the group’s Vice Commander Brian Schnerr (left), Kent Winter, Larry Little, Gerald Davey, and Jim Farquhar.

This Feb. 2, 2019 photo provided by Dakota State University.Members of the United States Submarine Veterans Scorpion Base, including Mike Neuroth (seated), attended the USS-SD Commissioning watch party at Dakota State University on Feb. 2. Also pictured is the group’s Vice Commander Brian Schnerr (left), Kent Winter, Larry Little, Gerald Davey, and Jim Farquhar.

MADISON, S.D., Feb. 5, 2019 – The newly-commissioned USS-South Dakota, is “not your grandfather’s submarine,” said Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal at the submarine’s commissioning ceremony on Feb. 2.

The boat is “state-of-the-art as far as technology goes,” said South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, the keynote speaker at the Groton, Conn. ceremony.

Dakota State University’s programs of study center around state-of-the-art technology, so the institution hosted a watch party for the event. About 40 people, including DSU students, faculty, staff, and members of the community gathered at the Beacom Institute of Technology on the campus to watch the 75-minute ceremony. DSU President José-Marie Griffiths attended the ceremony in person, but offered a video welcome to the guests on campus.

Several guests were Navy submarine veterans, members of the United States Submarine Veterans Scorpion Base, including Mike Neuroth, aka “Captain Neutron.” He was brought to the ceremony by a staff person from the Dell Rapids Nursing and Rehab Center, where the 75-year old veteran currently resides.

Neuroth served on two submarines while in the Navy, working in the boats’ nuclear power plants. During his seven years of service, he traveled to the North Pole, and to South America, although in a submarine he admitted “you couldn’t see much.” In civilian life, he traveled the country working at nuclear power plants. “They needed people who knew what they were doing,” he said.

Neuroth is one of seven club members who traveled to Madison for the event. “It’s the camaraderie that keeps us together,” said Brian Schnerr, vice-commander of the Scorpion Base. “It’s awesome to be able to come to DSU for this,” he said. It’s also fulfilling to see South Dakota highlighted, he told KELO-TV in an interview, because “it’s a really great state.” Schnerr is from Hills, Minn.

Rounds, a member of the Armed Services Committee, noted the submarine’s impressive features and talented 132-member crew, which will play a significant role in the nation’s national security efforts.

“We are fiercely proud of the men and women who will serve on this sub,” Rounds said, the same sentiment felt for the two previous South Dakota ships. All three will share the same mission, he stated, to win wars, maintain freedom of the seas, and prevent war.

He said to the crew members, “God go with you and help this nation achieve peace through strength.”


Dakota State University (DSU) is located in Madison, S.D. Founded in 1881, DSU offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs through its colleges of arts and sciences, business and information systems, computer and cyber sciences, and education. DSU has a special focus on the development, application, implications, and impacts of computing, information technologies and cyber security in all areas of human endeavor. DSU has received multiple Center of Excellence designations in education, research and regional resource development from the U.S. National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. DSU is home to the Madison Cyber Labs (MadLabs), a cyber R&D hub with labs and institutes that explore and advance technology application, workforce development, business expansion, economic growth, and policy improvement across multiple disciplines and fields. For more information, contact mediarelations@dsu.edu, 605-270-3816, or visit the DSU website at dsu.edu.

Share and Like this story:

Norby’s and Fabulous Moments to Host Meat Raffle

PrintFor years, the Meat Raffle put on by Norby’s Bar and Grill has been a standout event. On Friday, January 25th at 6pm Fabulous Moments will host a meat raffle. Providing both a charitable donation towards a specified cause and also an opportunity to literally bring home the bacon, it brings about the best of two worlds.

Fabulous Moments, one of South Dakota’s newest nonprofits, will be the beneficiary of the generous donations made in the upcoming raffle. Striving to “make memories one fabulous moment at a time,” the group creates travel opportunities for those who are facing life threatening illnesses along with their families. Fabulous Moments was launched with the intention of assisting families with a wide-variety of health ailments, the organization’s impact is only as pertinent as the funds being raised by volunteers and donors alike.

Founded by Robin Wiebenga of Dell Rapids, Fabulous Moments has coordinated the trips of two separate families dealing with life-threatening illnesses since its conception in 2017. The 501(c)3 makes the aspiration of one final memory truly a reality. To make a donation, submit an application, or learn more about the mission of Fabulous Moments, please visit their website at FabulousMoments.org.

Share and Like this story:

Benefit Fundraiser to be Held for Derek Gerlach

PlainsPeopleLogoA benefit fundraiser for 10 year old Derek Gerlach, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, will be held Friday, January 25th, in Flandreau. The Crystal Theater will host a performance of “Plains Speaking People, Dakota Stories For the Stage”. Music from the amazing Will Prines will begin at 7pm, and the story tellers will hit the stage at 7:30pm. A free will donation of $10 per person is suggested. All money will go directly to Derek’s family.

“Plains Speaking People” features eight individuals sharing a chapter of their life. The tales can range from heartbreaking to inspirational to hilarious. Each story only takes 10 minutes. Some of the speakers you may be familiar with, and some you may not.

In addition, a raffle for a couple of homemade quilts and some other items will be held.

Derek is the son of Shane and Donelle Gerlach. They currently live in Dell Rapids. Shane is a Flandreau native.

For more information, go to plainsspeakingpeople.com. There is also a Go Fund Me page to help the family if you are unable to attend.

For more info or interviews, contact Mike Henriksen at 605-595-8487

Share and Like this story:

Event to Impact Local Blood Supply This Winter

CommunityBloodBankDell Rapids, SD- Avera Dells Area Health Center and Community Blood Bank are joining forces to help ward off winter blood shortages by hosting a blood drive event. The blood drive will be held on Thursday, January 10 from 7:00 am to 11:00 am and 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm at Avera Dells Area Health Center in Dell Rapids, SD.  All blood donations will stay local for local use.  

Every three seconds someone needs blood, and the only way to ensure that those needs are met is to rely on volunteer donors to donate blood. The need for local blood donors is immense. The Community Blood Bank supplies over 550 units of blood each week to people in the region. Among those who benefit from donated blood are trauma and burn victims, cancer patients and persons undergoing surgery.

“The winter months can be a difficult time to maintain an adequate blood supply for the community,” states Ken Versteeg, Executive Director, Community Blood Bank. “With the cold and flu season upon us, less people are eligible to give blood. This fact coupled with an increase in travel accidents creates a high need for blood products, data shows a steady increase in usage as we go through the winter season.”

Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with a signed parent consent form), weigh 110 lbs or more and be in good general health. It is recommended that a person eat and drink plenty of fluids prior to donating blood. Please bring an ID with you at the time of donation. For more information log onto www.cbblifeblood.org, call Community Blood Bank at 1-877-877-3070 or call Avera Dells Area Health Center at 605-428-2421.

Community Blood Bank is not affiliated with other blood bank organizations and takes pride in being a self-sufficient organization, thanks to the generosity of our local blood donors.

Share and Like this story:

Monster 4th Quarter Lifts Flandreau Past Dell Rapids

By Rich Winter, Sacred Hoops Contributor

NewDRLogoTrailing 40-23 during Friday’s, December 28th, Dell Rapid’s game, Megan Severtson’s ball club roared back, outscoring Dell Rapids 26-9 in the 4th quarter and won 60-56. Hannah Parsley’s 15 point, 16 rebound effort were huge, but Severtson received double-digit scoring from Ashtyn Bertram (13) and Marianna Pavlis (12). Off the bench, Bella Pavlis hit a clutch 3-pointer while Mia Parsley contributed eight points and six rebounds.

Down by 17, M. Pavlis and Bertram turned up the heat.

First Pavlis put back an offensive rebound, then Bertram canned an open 3-pointer before banking in a tough, jump-shot in the lane that cut the lead to ten, 40-30.

Dell Rapids led 46-34 after three quarters.

H. Parsley hit 1-2 at the line, Mia Parsley put back a rebound, and then H. Parsley connected on a pretty feed from Madie Hursey, and suddenly the Fliers trailed 46-40.

Quarrier senior, Jayda Knuppe, saddled with foul trouble late, scored on a pretty post move, but M. Pavlis answered to cut the lead to 48-42. A Bertram 3-pointer cut the lead to four. A tough catch and finish from M. Parsley cut the lead to 54-52.

Hursey’s drive made the score 56-54, and the Fliers took their first lead of the night, 58-56 after M. Pavlis hit a pair of free-throws. H. Parsley sealed the win with a pair of made free-throws.

Knuppe led the Quarriers with 18 points in the game.  Aspen Hansen finished with 16 points, and Janae Schoeberl added nine points.

Dell Rapids (3-3) will travel to Lennox to play the Orioles on Monday, January 7th.

Box score:

Dell Rapids 13 20 14 9 – 56

Flandreau 8 15 11 26 – 60


Share and Like this story:

Christmas for Our Kids Thanks the Dell Rapids Community

Photo submitted by Brenda O'Hara

Photo submitted by Brenda O’Hara

Please accept our sincere “Thank You” on behalf of “OUR” kids and their families for your generous support this Christmas. Your help for families came in the form of child or family adoptions, cash donations, toys, clothing, gift cards, and homemade pillow cases – all representing your love for others in our community. We found a thankful home for each gift donated and used the financial contributions to buy toys and gift cards. You opened your hearts to spread Christmas joy to families currently experiencing difficult times. Thank you so very much!!!

Sue Horstmeyer, a long-time educator in Dell Rapids, started the project over 30 years ago by helping a single family that she saw needed some extra help. Over the years she continued to adopt more families and recruited her friends to help families as well. She named the project “Christmas for OUR Kids” because she wanted to emphasis that it is a community project helping to take care of their own. It really does take a village. In 2007, when she retired and moved to Sioux Falls, she asked our local ESA chapter to take over the project. The Dell Rapids chapter of ESA (Epsilon Sigma Alpha), an international women’s service organization, has been in Dell Rapids since 2004.

This is the 12th year the local ESA chapter has spear-headed the “Christmas for OUR Kids” project. Over the years we have had tremendous community support. Three angel trees are put up after Thanksgiving for those in the community that want to buy gifts, the public schools have a weeklong donation drive, and the local quilt shop customers donate home-made pillow cases for each child.

A special thank you to the “Dells Elves”, another local group of women who make a difference in Dell Rapids. For the last 4 years, the “Dells Elves” have been holding a fundraiser at Norby’s to benefit the “Christmas for OUR Kids” project. Thanks to the Dells Elves and all of those in the community that donate to and attend the fundraiser. The monetary donation makes a world of difference to the project and these families.

In 2007 when ESA took the project over from Sue, we helped 28 families with 75 kids. This year we helped 56 families with 136 kids. Thank you on behalf of “OUR” kids and their families for your contributions to our 2018 Christmas drive. You’ve made the “Dell Rapids” difference!

Here are a few excerpts from the many thank you notes sent by the families we helped:

  • “Thank you so much for helping us for Christmas!! Bless you.”
  • “I just want to say thank you again. This is an amazing thing you guys do and once I am on my feet I will definitely be donating and giving back.”
  • “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Photo submitted by Brenda O'Hara  The ESA Elves who spear-head the "Christmas for OUR Kids" project. Back row (l to r): Glenda Siemonsma, Sandy Grismer, Elaine Hammer, Teri Zastrow, Natalie Reed, Sheba Schlaikjer, and Maria Crisp Front row (l to r): Kim Berven, Laurie Huewe, Melissa DeNoon, Diana Jones, Brenda O'Hara Not Pictured: Lori Morris and Jericha Phelps

Photo submitted by Brenda O’Hara
The ESA Elves who spear-head the “Christmas for OUR Kids” project.
Back row (l to r): Glenda Siemonsma, Sandy Grismer, Elaine Hammer, Teri Zastrow, Natalie Reed, Sheba Schlaikjer, and Maria Crisp
Front row (l to r): Kim Berven, Laurie Huewe, Melissa DeNoon, Diana Jones, Brenda O’Hara
Not Pictured: Lori Morris and Jericha Phelps

Share and Like this story:

Mount Marty College Announces Partnership with Sacred Hoops

MtMartyYANKTON, SD — Mount Marty College (MMC) recently announced a partnership with Sacred Hoops, a South Dakota based basketball academy, that will foster opportunities for South Dakota athletes to achieve their goals both on the court and in the classroom.

As part of the agreement, Sacred Hoops athletes who go on to play any collegiate sport at MMC will be awarded an automatic $16,000 (minimum) scholarship. The scholarships, which are subject to student fulfillment of MMC’s admission requirements, are renewable for four years and have a minimum net value of $64,000.

MMC Athletic Director, Chris Kassin, says the agreement is a fantastic opportunity for the Lancers.  “We’re always looking to partner with organizations who share our mission and core values,” explains Kassin. “Our goal is to provide talented athletes from across the region with the chance to continue their co-curricular activities while they get a quality degree, so the partnership with Sacred Hoops was an obvious choice.” SacredHoops_300px

Sacred Hoops Basketball Academy provides individualized training and competitive tournament opportunities for South Dakota basketball players who want to improve their game. The program currently serves male and female athletes from across the state with headquarters in Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Pierre, and Rapid City. The program has more than 32 summer basketball teams and does more than 150 high school program workouts in the off-season, along with various types of skill workouts, coaching clinics, and humanitarian events.

Sacred Hoops Director, Allan Bertram, believes the partnership is another way to help students pursue their athletic dreams. “Our organization focuses on helping athletes from all parts of our region, and it’s so important for us to do this with organizations that share our Mission and Vision,” says Bertram. “We are very proud and blessed to be able to partner with Mount Marty College to promote post-secondary education and give young people the opportunity to participate in athletics at the collegiate level.”

Mount Marty College offers a variety of in-demand majors including education, nursing, science, business, and criminal justice degrees. To learn more about academic programs and scholarship opportunities at MMC visit www.mtmc.edu. To learn more about Lancer athletics visit mmclancers.com.


Founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery, Mount Marty College is a Catholic, Benedictine school of higher education located along the bluffs of the Missouri River in Yankton, South Dakota, with additional locations in Watertown and Sioux Falls. Mount Marty offers undergraduate and graduate degrees with particular focus on student and alumni success in high-demand fields such as health sciences, education, criminal justice, business, accounting, recreation management and more. A community of learners in the Benedictine tradition, Mount Marty emphasizes academic excellence and develops well-rounded students with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills and moral, spiritual and social values. To learn more, visit www.mtmc.edu.

Share and Like this story:

Local Students to Learn About Ethics from Top Leaders

JuniorAchievementLogoDell Rapids, SD- Misusing company time, abusive behavior, and employee theft are among the most frequently observed unethical behaviors in the U.S. workplace (according to a survey conducted by the Washington, D.C. based Ethics Resource Center, January 2015). In an effort to stop this trend, Junior Achievement is striving to educate students about the importance of ethical decisions while they are still in school. Through the JA Excelling through Ethics program, over 9,300 South Dakota middle and high school students from 32 communities will learn from executive level volunteers the importance of ethics.

Junior Achievement partners with nearly 500 local business executives across the state to share their personal experience with ethical decision-making and to provide each student an opportunity to think critically about ethical dilemmas they may face. Along with the foundation of ethics, they challenge students to consider their own integrity, reliability, values, and character.

On Wednesday, December 5, over 75 Dell Rapids students will participate in the program. The JA Ethics volunteers will conduct activities, lead discussions, and share real-life ethical decisions they have faced and how they responded. Through these discussions, students will gain a better understanding of their responsibility to society and of the role ethics and integrity play in the workplace and in life.

Kayla Eitreim, President of Junior Achievement of South Dakota, stated, “Today’s students are tomorrow’s future leaders, and Junior Achievement is proud to have the opportunity to help ensure our students are prepared for the workplace. JA volunteers help students develop their soft skills and encourage them to take time to think about the implications of tough decisions while at work and in their personal lives.

Junior Achievement of South Dakota, founded in 1968, inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy. For more information about the JA Excelling through Ethics program, please contact our state office at 800-871-7007 or visit www.jasd.org

Share and Like this story:

Sacred Hoops to Host Inaugural AAU All-Native National Basketball Championships

First-ever event will be held in Rapid City, South Dakota in June of 2019

AAUSIOUX FALLS, S.D – In a continuing effort to expand the game of basketball in South Dakota, the Sacred Hoops Basketball Organization is pleased to announce it is partnering with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to host an AAU All-Native National Championships basketball tournament for Boys and Girls in Rapid City, South Dakota in June of 2019, with Rapid City Central High School being the host facility.

This news comes after Sacred Hoops Director Allan Bertram had meetings with AAU National Basketball Board Members at the AAU National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. While exact dates of the tournament have yet to be announced, a preliminary date of June 14, the second week in June, has been set.SacredHoops_300px

“The ability to provide a national championship tournament affiliated with the top amateur basketball organization in the world to Native Americans across the country is something we are extremely proud of,” said Sacred Hoops Director Allan Bertram. “Basketball is so special for Native American athletes throughout the country and we eagerly anticipate hosting the event and crowning national championship teams.”

Since its inception in 1888, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has set the standard for amateur sports in the United States with one goal in mind: “Sports For All, Forever.” The organization continues to expand its event programming across the country.

“Supporting this first-ever All-Native National Championship program is a no-brainer for the AAU,” said AAU President/CEO Dr. Roger J. Goudy. “This first venture into an All-Native National championship will become a standard to showcase athletes from across the country and provide an opportunity to play on the biggest of stages.”

Overall, the partnership between Sacred Hoops and the iconic AAU organization will positively impact participants lives on and off the court.

“The game of basketball is so special for the youth on our Reservations and this will bring a legitimate opportunity to play in a prestigious National Championship.” said Sacred Hoops Director Allan Bertram. “In addition, the hope is this high-level tournament will provide further opportunities for athletes who wish to continue their post-secondary education.”


The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest- non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the country. As a multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports programs. Founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in sports, the AAU philosophy of “Sports For All, Forever” is now shared by nearly 700,000 members and 150,000 volunteers across 41 sports programs and 55 U.S. districts. For more information, visit www.aausports.org.

Share and Like this story: