Opinion

An update on South Dakota’s COVID-19 response

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I always knew that South Dakota could be an example to the nation; I never expected that such an example would be set in the midst of a global pandemic. But the work that South Dakota did wasn’t just me. It was our team at the Department of Health, the countless medical professionals across our state, teachers, law enforcement officers, grocers, small business owners, moms, dads, grandparents, you name it.

Embracing the storms of winter...and kids alike

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Growing up in Michigan, a state surrounded by lakes, wet snow was the only kind I really experienced as a kid. Heavy and damp, we’d make igloos, and snow forts, and whole families of snow people whenever we got enough snow to support such endeavors -- which wasn’t all that frequently. Snow would come and go as the temperatures rarely stayed below freezing for more than a week or two, and by March, it was definitely gone for good.

A South Dakota Staple: The Buffalo Roundup

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I recently got to enjoy one of my favorite days of the year in South Dakota, the annual Buffalo Roundup. I appreciate each and every day that I have the privilege to serve you as governor, but the day of the Buffalo Roundup is truly special. It incorporates South Dakota’s culture, heritage, outdoor spirit, and love for freedom, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun to boot.

Reaching out to our Neighbors

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I recently had a chance to visit with a single mom, the mother of two young girls, from another state. Her state is locked down. Her little girls are doing 100% distance-learning. She is working full-time from home. And she is struggling.

Take a moment to show Veterans you care!

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September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to raise awareness and connect individuals to treatment services. Mental health conditions can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background.

Unexpected miracles can happen

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The brown mare came to our ranch with no name. An elderly cowboy friend of my husband’s had gotten her to be a companion to his roping horse. The mare did not take to roping -- the sound of a rope swinging over her head terrified her. So, she lived peacefully in his small pasture, watching the seasons slide past, by no means neglected, but certainly not befriended either.

A reason for gratitude in tough times

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South Dakota veterans and the Hot Springs community are currently celebrating the VA’s announcement that it has begun the process of rescinding the order to close the Hot Springs VA facility. This was a hardfought victory in a battle that we weren’t always sure we would win. It started almost a decade ago, in 2011, when the Obama administration announced plans to realign – read, close – the Hot Springs VA facility. I was well aware of what the Hot Springs facility means to South Dakota veterans and to the entire Hot Springs community, and I determined that there wasn’t going to be a closure if I could help it.

The equinox is a rare moment of balance

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Walking through the north pasture, I am surprised by the tops of the elms nestled in the folds of the land. A few days ago they were still green, but now they are burnished to a bright, glowing amber. Against the gray sky and dusty prairie grasses, they shine like a vein of gold in a granite hillside.