Dell Rapids Student Receives Gold at National FCCLA Conference

July 2018 – Over 8,000 Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members, advisers, alumni, and guests from across the nation traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for the 2018 National Leadership Conference (NLC) June 28 – July 2. The conference was an incredible opportunity for members to develop leadership skills by attending a multitude of workshops and training programs. Students listened to well-known motivational speakers. Members explored different career paths and colleges while attending the conference and learned new ways to “Be Inspired” through conversation with members from across the country.

Rylee Rinehart, Dell Rapids FCCLA member, qualified for national competition at the state conference held in April. She was one of the middle and high school members from chapters across the state who competed at this level. She presented her Food Innovations STAR Event and received a gold rating.

Rinehart and her advisor, Beverly Rieck, also served as room consultant volunteers for different STAR Event presentations.

During the opening general session, the members listened to keynote speaker Johnny Earle, also known as Johnny Cupcakes. Johnny Earle is the founder of Johnny Cupcakes, a T-shirt business that aims to make the entire process feel like a bakery. He had started sixteen businesses before he turned sixteen and spoke about what he learned throughout the years. His words inspired members to do what makes them happy and to follow their dreams.

During the closing general session, Chick-Fil-A CEO, President, and Chairperson Dan T. Cathy spoke to members his life lessons. Cathy believes in having passion behind all the work we do. He also believes we must take the initiative if we wish to see change occur in our world. Cathy was a generous sponsor during NLC.

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a dynamic and effective national student organization with the goal to help men and women grow as youth leaders in their communities and remain strong leaders into the future. FCCLA pursues to address personal, family, work, and societal issues and find solutions through Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA reaches these goals thanks to the 200,000 members that are active within the organization. Over 5,500 chapters are spread among forty-nine state associations, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Since 1945, more than ten million youth have been involved and have grown within FCCLA.

FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience stands apart from other youth organizations because the programs and events are planned, led, and carried out by members. FCCLA is the only career and technical in-school student organization with the family as its central focus. When members participate in national programs and local chapter activities, they grow and develop into strong leaders in their families, careers, and communities. The members lead in the present, and they will continue to lead into the future with help from the skills learned from FCCLA’s programs, workshops, and overall curriculum.

Share and Like this story:

South Dakota State Rep. Dan Ahlers Selected for the CSG 2018 Toll Fellows Class

DanAhlersStateRepLEXINGTON, Ky.South Dakota state Rep. Dan Ahlers is among the 48 state leaders from across the country selected to participate in The Council of State Governments’ 2018 Henry Toll Fellowship, the nation’s premier leadership development program for state government officials.

The members of the Class of 2018 hail from 32 states and Guam and represent all three branches of state government. A committee of program alumni reviewed applications and selected the class.

“My hope is to improve my leadership and communication skills,” Ahlers said. “Improving these skills will help build new partnerships. These partnerships can help solve the challenges we face as a state.”

The Toll Fellowship, named for CSG founder Henry Wolcott Toll, has convened a group of the nation’s top officials for this intensive six-day, five-night intellectual boot camp for more than 30 years in Lexington, Kentucky. The 2018 program will be held Aug. 24-28.

The program’s agenda includes a lineup of dynamic sessions designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth, while providing networking and relationship-building opportunities. Each year’s program is unique, but previous programs have included sessions on leadership personality assessment, media training, crisis management, appreciative inquiry and adaptive leadership.

“The CSG Toll Fellows are a remarkable group of state leaders,” CSG Executive Director/CEO David Adkins said. “We have designed the fellowship to expand their leadership capacity with a strong focus on collaboration, communication and teamwork skills. Politics today are often characterized by polarization and gridlock. Toll Fellows learn how to overcome differences to serve the common good. These dedicated public servants leave the program energized and ready to return to their states and continue to make a difference.”

Adkins was a 1993 Toll Fellow when he served as a Kansas state representative.

Toll Fellows alumni include Cheri Beasley, associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court; Oregon Gov. Kate Brown; Delaware Gov. John Carney; Idaho U.S. Attorney Bart Davis; Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey; Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap; Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett; former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell; Anne McKeig, associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court; Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin; Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill; Tennessee U.S. Attorney Doug Overbey; Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate; U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, a former Indiana secretary of state; former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis; and Rhonda Wood, associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

“We need to continually challenge ourselves to be better leaders,” Ahlers said. “We can never rely on just one session to really change our bad habits. We need ongoing reinforcement, follow up and feedback to ensure good leadership habits are maintained.”

About The Council of State Governments

The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships. For more information about CSG, visit

Share and Like this story:

Dells Veterinary Services Adds New Doctor

DellsVetNewHireThe Dells Veterinary Services family is growing!  The duo of doctors is now a trio.  Dr. Ashley Vegter joined the Dells Vet team this June.  Dr. Vegter grew up on a small crop farm in Illinois.  She spent her childhood there taking care of cats and dogs, which grew into a passion of caring for animals.  While working on a dairy farm, Dr. Vegter found she enjoyed working with production animals just as much as companion animals.  She developed her veterinary skills at the University of Illinois so she could help animals both large and small.  Dells Veterinary Services is thrilled to have her at the clinic to be able to help more of the community!


Share and Like this story:

Central Payments Expands Headquarters in Dell Rapids

CentralPaymentsLogoCentral Payments is renewing its commitment to the community of Dell Rapids with an expansion that more than doubles the size of its headquarters in the Rocky Run development.

Central Payments, a division of Central Bank of Kansas City, is a leading national issuer of prepaid debit cards and delivers innovative financial products in collaboration with partner businesses. The bank, owned by the same family since opening in 1951, entered the payments space modestly in 2002 when it offered one of the industry’s first stored-value cards in its Kansas City branches. Central Payments was formed in 2014 with the hiring of a new President, South Dakotan Trent Sorbe, who was charged with leading the new division’s aggressive nationwide issuing goals.

Why Dell Rapids?

“It was important for us to be close to Sioux Falls, a hub for payment card issuing in the U.S., in order for us to recruit experienced payment card professionals,” said Trent Sorbe, President of Central Payments. “It was equally important for us to find a home in a welcoming community that shares our values and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Dell Rapids fit the criteria and Central Payments opened its doors in January 2015. “Most of our staff grew up in Midwestern communities like Dell Rapids and we think those small-town values have had a lot to do with our early success,” said Sorbe. “From the beginning, we felt welcomed by the local Chamber of Commerce, the Dell Rapids Economic Development Corporation, the office site developer, and the City of Dell Rapids.”

Fastest Growing Issuer in the U.S.

Central Payments is quickly setting itself apart in the marketplace.

“We are not a mass issuer catering to hundreds of partners,” said Sorbe. “We choose to work with a select number of highly reputable companies capable of significant growth verses the prevailing many-to-one issuing model embraced by our competitors.” Central Payments clients include market leaders like Bausch & Lomb and General Motors.

It’s an approach that is paying off. The Nilson Report, a national source for payments news and statistics, identified the company as the fastest growing prepaid issuer in the United States in 2016 with more than $106 million in purchase volume. Central Payments issued nearly 500,000 cards in 2017 and projects annual growth rates of more than 100 percent.

Expansion in Dell Rapids

That growth is fueling new job creation. The company expects to add 15 new professional-level positions in the next two years, bringing the total workforce to more than 40.

“It’s rare for a community the size of Dell Rapids to be home to a growing, nationwide financial services company,” said Doug Hainje, President of Dell Rapids Economic Development Corporation. “Central Payments’ workforce is predominantly made up of college-educated, salaried professionals who spur our local economy by shopping and living here.”

Central Payments’ growth has also required more space. Earlier this month the company extended its lease with Quartzite Investors another four years and is doubling its square footage by expanding into the west half of its current location. The project is expected to be complete in June and a grand opening will be held in early Summer.

“Our home here and the support of everyone in Dell Rapids is a big part of our success,” said Sorbe. “Choosing to expand locally was an easy decision.”

Share and Like this story:

Dell Rapids Conquers Brookings Softball Tournament

Brookings ChampsOn the weekend of June 8th, the Dell Rapids Q’s played in the Brookings Softball Tournament and took 1st place in the U14 Division. They played pool play games and were in 1st place after those games.  They continued with the tournament and defeated Winner for the championship.

Dell Rapids was led in pitching by Kylie Bittner and Autumn Tomes.  Bittner pitched the first game of the tournament which was a no hitter!  Bittner ended the weekend with 13 strike outs while pitching two games.  Tomes pitched three games and had 18 strike outs.

Leading Dells in stolen bases was Abby Greenhoff with nine, Rileigh Foster with eight, Haileigh Barnhart and Jacee Tebay with seven, and Bittner and Kenzie Garry with six.

Leading the hitting over the weekend were Bittner with the batting average of .833, Garry with a .700 average, and Greenhoff, Tomes, Cara Rice, and Tebay with a .667 average. Makayla Duinkerken and Garry hit home runs in the tournament!

Share and Like this story:

Soil Health Road Show Scheduled for June 12-13

SDSHCLogoSOUTH DAKOTA SOIL HEALTH COALITION (SDSHC), Pierre, S.D. May 20, 2018:  A Soil Health Road Show has been scheduled for June 12-13, with events being held in four different locations throughout central and eastern South Dakota. Each event will feature nationally recognized soil health speaker Ray Archuleta as well as additional soil health specialists from the state and region. Archuleta is a farmer from Seymour, MO who teaches Biomimicry Strategies and Agroecology principles for improving soil health nationwide. He has over 30 years of work experience as a Soil Conservationist, Water Quality Specialist, and Conservation Agronomist with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Next month’s road show begins on June 12, with a bus tour in Moody County from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Stops will be made in Dell Rapids, SD and Pipestone, MN with soil and equipment demonstrations to be included as well as lunch and a producer panel. Beginning at 5:00 PM the same day will be an event at the Spink County 4-H Facility. This event will include a meal followed by a presentation by Archuleta which will cover topics such as soil biology, the benefits of diverse crop rotations and cover crops. The first event the following day, June 13, will be held at Dakota Lakes Research Farm and feature a farm tour and speakers Dr. Dwayne Beck, Dr. Cody Zilverberg, Dr. Jose Guzman and Ray Archuleta. Topics covered during the farm tour will include the importance of proper crop rotation techniques and their benefits, phosphate fertility associated with long-term use of no-till, the importance of understanding the carbon to nitrogen ratios in crop and cover crop selections, as well livestock integration into cropland.

The fourth and final event of the Soil Health Road Show will begin at 6:00 PM in Tripp County at St. Mary’s Hall. Speakers Bryan Jorgensen and Ray Archuleta will present sessions on the benefits of diverse crop rotations and cover crops as well as a discussion on carbon to nitrogen ratios. Attend an event near you to learn how you can work to improve your soil health this season and for years to come!

For full event details and flyers for each event please visit our website or contact Cindy Zenk, SDSHC Coordinator, at (605) 280-4190 or

Share and Like this story:

Magician Tries to Help Youth Avoid “Social Media Land Mines”

Cyber Safety & Magic don’t usually go together, but on Thursday, May 3 students at Dell Rapids and Dell Rapids St. Mary will be learning about social media safety in an unexpected & engaging way!  

Teaching students about social media safety is critical. Whether it’s getting addicted to technology, posting hateful things, hurting reputations, meeting people online or tarnishing your online reputation. It can be dangerous.

Magician and “edu-tainer” Robert Hackenson Jr. is slowly changing how teens post and use technology. This amazing presentation has allowed students across the country, in 46 states and counting, to see and understand what to post and what not to post.

His presentation infuses card tricks, eye-catching props, and illusion in a way that engages students while reinforcing the educational lessons. Every piece of magic, story, video clip, etc. is used to deliver a message and make it memorable, without making light of this serious issue. His presentation helps start a conversation amongst students about social media safety and responsible posting. It makes them think not only about their own safety, but also about how they can keep their peers safe.

Hackenson will also give a parent presentation on Wednesday, May 2nd starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Dell Rapids MS Commons area.  The Dell Rapids Connections group will be serving refreshments.


Share and Like this story:

Dell Rapids Native Jon Hansen to Run for State House

JonHansenCampaignDell Rapids, SD – Former State Representative Jon Hansen announced that he will run for a seat in the South Dakota House of Representatives for District 25.  District 25 includes the towns and rural areas surrounding Baltic, Colton, Dell Rapids, Garretson, Rowena, Sherman, Valley Springs, and eastern Sioux Falls.

Hansen lives in Dell Rapids with his wife Sheila and their three children.  “We’re so blessed to call this community our home, and if elected, I look forward to once again standing up for the people of our district so they know that someone out in Pierre has their back,” Hansen said.

Hansen previously served in the State House from 2010 to 2013.  During that time Hansen served in leadership as a majority whip and as vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.  Hansen holds a law degree from USD.

While in Pierre Hansen, a fiscal conservative, advocated for low taxes and fees, open and efficient government, protection of life, preservation of family farms, and quality education for South Dakota children.

Hansen will face a primary election on June 5th, 2018.

Share and Like this story:

AT&T Brings Faster Network to Dell Rapids Customers

4G LTE Expansion Will Give Customers Better Access to Mobile Internet

AT&T Logo VerticalDELL RAPIDS, S.D. Apr. 2, 2018 — AT&T* added a new cell site to its 4G LTE network in Dell Rapids. The upgrade will give customers faster, more reliable wireless service.

With 4G LTE, customers will have a better network connection while streaming videos, sharing on social media or texting family and friends.

“Customers are doing more with their wireless devices than ever before, and our goal is to give them an effortless network experience,” said Cheryl Riley, president of AT&T Northern Plains States. “Thanks to this investment, Dell Rapids residents and businesses can now enjoy faster mobile speeds than ever before on our 4G LTE network.  We are proud of our continued investment across South Dakota.”

We’re also boosting network reliability and capacity as we expand our network. These upgrades will improve critical services that support public safety and first responders.

In 2017, South Dakota accepted the FirstNet and AT&T plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state’s public safety community. AT&T, in a public-private partnership with FirstNet, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for South Dakota’s public safety community for the next 25 years at no cost to the state. The FirstNet experience will deliver innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responders.

From 2014-2016, we invested more than $90 million in our South Dakota wireless and wired networks. These investments boost reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for South Dakotans and their businesses.

We continued our investment in South Dakota in 2017 and plan to keep upgrading our network throughout 2018.


*About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, business, mobile and high speed internet services. We have the nation’s largest and most reliable network** and the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider. We’re one of the world’s largest providers of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. More than 3 million companies, from small to large businesses around the globe, turn to AT&T for our highly secure smart solutions.

AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at and on YouTube at

© 2018 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

**Coverage not avail. everywhere. Based on overall coverage in U.S. licensed/roaming areas. Reliability based on voice and data performance from independent 3rd party data.

Share and Like this story:

St Mary Student Council Recognized as “Outstanding” by SDHSAA

DRSM LogoThe South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) announced today that 38 South Dakota high school student councils have been recognized as being “Outstanding Student Councils” for the 2017-18 school year. This is the 28th year this statewide program has been sponsored by the SDHSAA to recognize those South Dakota high school student councils that meet or exceed the rigorous standards of excellence that are necessary to achieve the “Outstanding Student Council” designation. Student councils that achieve this recognition can best be described as being very active within their school and community throughout the school year. Outstanding Councils excel in having a well-rounded program of activities and projects which benefit both their school and their community throughout the school year.

The “SDHSAA Outstanding Student Council” program requires each participating student council to complete a self-evaluation of their organizational structure and their successful completion of projects in a variety of areas. The evaluation also considers the involvement of the student council in their school and community. The High School Activities Association recognizes the student councils that have met the stringent standards and criteria demanded by this program. The 38 student councils that have been recognized this year are well organized, highly motivated and have met the rigorous standards necessary to be declared outstanding. The self-evaluation focuses on the structure of the student council as well as the positive involvement of the student council in the activities of their school and community.

To be recognized as an “Outstanding Student Council”, each council was involved in projects in the areas such as “Community and School Service”, “Health, Safety or Chemical Awareness”, “Education”, and “Leadership”. Completion of projects in a wide range of areas was necessary to fulfill a variety of goals for the student council. Each school receiving the “SDHSAA Outstanding Student Council” award has demonstrated a desire for self-improvement and individual growth by participating in leadership workshops and conventions, as well as other educational programs.

The 2017-18 “SDHSAA Outstanding Student Council” Award recipients are:

  • Aberdeen Central High School
  • Bennett County High School
  • Dakota Valley High School
  • Dell Rapids St. Mary High School
  • Douglas High School
  • Edgemont High School
  • Ethan High School
  • Harding County High School
  • Harrisburg High School
  • Henry High School
  • Herreid High School
  • Huron High School
  • Irene – Wakonda High School
  • Lead – Deadwood High School
  • Lemmon High School
  • Lennox High School
  • Lyman High School
  • McCook Central High School
  • Milbank High School
  • Mitchell High School
  • Philip High School
  • Pierre T.F. Riggs High School
  • Rapid City Stevens High School
  • Sioux Falls Lincoln High School
  • Sioux Falls O’Gorman High School
  • Sioux Falls Roosevelt High School
  • Sioux Falls Washington High School
  • St. Francis Indian School
  • Sully Buttes High School
  • Summit High School
  • Timber Lake High School
  • Vermillion High School
  • Wall High School
  • Watertown High School
  • Waverly-South Shore High School
  • Winner High School
  • Yankton High School
Share and Like this story: