Cara Hetland

SDPB Radio News Director

Cara Hetland is the News Director for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. She has more than 20 years in public radio as a reporter and producer.  Cara is also host of the Friday midday program Innovation.  She loves a good story and can’t wait to tell South Dakotan’s about it.  Cara also teaches media writing at the University of Sioux Falls in the spring semester and loves working with interns to develop their own style of storytelling.   Cara lives in Sioux Falls with her husband, Daren and three daughters.  She is their number one fan whether it’s marching band, athletics or academics.

Ways To Connect

Paula Poundstone started doing stand-up comedy in the late 1970s.  She has appeared in several cable specials over the years on HBO and Bravo.  Poundstone has also won two CableACE Awards.  She remains busy as a frequent panelist on Wait...Wait, Don't Tell Me, the NPR news quiz that airs on SDPB Radio Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. Central and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Central.  The Emmy Award winning Poundstone brings her act to the Washington Pavilion stage on Friday, October 16 at 8:00 p.m.

Six Ukrainian leaders are participating in a number of professional and cultural events in Brookings.  The activities are in cooperation with the South Dakota World Affairs Council.  These individuals are participating in the Open World Program and are reviewing nongovernmental organizations and civil society development.  They are also engaging in discussions with leaders from a range of private and non-profit organizations.  The delegates are employed by nongovernmental organizations in Ukraine and are seeing ideas about fundraising and recruiting and training volunteers.

In 2014 the South Dakota State Historical Society received a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize historical newspapers.  The project is part of Chronicling America, a Library of Congress initiative to develop an online database of select historical newspapers from around the United States.  As part of the grant the State Historical Society/Archives will digitize around 100 rolls of microfilmed newspapers pre-dating 1922.  Some of them are available now and text searchable.  Chelle Somsen, State Archivist with the South Dakota State Historical Society, t

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Domestic violence thrives when people are silent.  Abby Sharp, Team Case Manager for Working Against Violence, Inc. (WAVI) in Rapid City, joined Dakota Midday to talk about what people can do if they are in violent domestic situations, how the situations can be identified, and how others can help.

South Dakota State Historical Society

Gaylord Torrence, Senior Curator of American Indian Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art discusses the international touring exhibition, "The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky".   Torrence is one of the nation's leading scholars of Plains Indian art.  He describes the Great Sioux Horse Effigy as being a truly quintessential piece. 

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John M. Seigenthaler is the lead anchor for the Al Jazeera America network.  He is also the 2015 winner of the Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media.  John Seigenthaler discusses his time in the news business, he approach to story telling and says "if anyone tells you what the news business will be like in five years, they're lying."  John Seigenthaler was previously an anchor and correspondent for both NBC and MSNBC.  He is best known for his eight-year-tenure as weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News.

Dakota Midday: Author Brian Evenson

Sep 30, 2015
Brian Evenson

The Department of English and Astrophil Press at the University of South Dakota present award winning author Brian Evenson as part of Astrophil Press' launch party.  Evenson will give a craft talk at 2:00 p.m. in the Al Neuharth Media Center Conference Room and provide a reading at 5:00 p.m.

Flags fly at half-staff today out of respect for former South Dakota Governor Walter Dale Miller.  He died Monday at the age of 89.  Steve Kirby served as Miller's Lieutenant Governor.  He joined guest host Cara Hetland to talk about South Dakota's 29th Governor and to share his memories of serving with Miller at the State Capitol.

Roger Whittle, managing editor of the Watertown Public Opinion, and Jonathan Ellis, Sioux Falls Argus Leader reporter and columnist, visited about former South Dakota Governor Walter Dale Miller who died Monday at the age of 89.  Other topics included the South Dakota Gear Up Program, the possible expansion of South Dakota's Medicaid program, and the Santee Tribe's announcement of a new marijuana resort.

Liz Almlie, Historic Preservation Specialist for the South Dakota State Historical Society and State Historic Preservation Office discusses three South Dakota properties that were recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.  The listed properties are the First National Bank, Freeman; Harmony Friends Church, Wessington Springs vicinity; and Terrace Park and Japanese Gardens, Sioux Falls.  The National Register is the official federal list of properties identified as important in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture.

Paulson Institute

Damien Ma, a fellow at the Paulson Institute joins Dakota Midday.  Ma will speak at Daktronics on Monday, October 5 as part of the South Dakota World Affairs Council’s event “China Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections.”  To help individuals better understand the complex U.S.-China relationship and the growing role of Chinese investment, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is conducting its ninth annual China Town Hall at more than 70 locations nationwide.

Mark VandeBraak

Mark VandeBraak, PhD., FT, MT-BC, Thanatologist & Music Therapist at Avera Behavioral Health Center.  September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  Stories of murder/suicide have been in the news this month with incidents involving families in Platte and also in Minnetonka, Minnesota.  Dr. VandeBraak also addresses the use of social media as a cry for help and for healing.

Wes Shelton, Executive Director of the Black Hills Educational Institute, discusses Living Rushmore.  The event is Sept. 27. The performance features a discussion among the four Rushmore Presidents about their role in the various aspects of America's history.  Washington and Jefferson, though not close, and sometimes political rivals knew each other, but they know nothing of Lincoln or Roosevelt.  Lincoln respected and studied the leadership characteristics of Washington especially his involvement in the Revolutionary War.  Roosevelt knows of all three but is really from a different era.

Guest host Cara Hetland welcomed Seth Tupper of the Rapid City Journal and Jon Hunter of the Madison Daily Leader to talk politics.  Topics included a proposal for a ballot measure that would create a publicly-funded campaign finance program, the Pope's visit to the United States and the "revolving door" at the Corn Palace with respect to the director's position.

Julie Hoffman of East River Nursery in Huron joined Dakota Midday and answered listener questions about tips about planting mums, winter survival for geraniums and transplanting rhubarb and thinning out other plants.

Terry Torkildson, General Manager of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.  The facility is now a year old.  Torkildson talks about attendance, statistics and other issues over the building’s first year of hosting sporting events, concerts and other major attractions.


Weiwei Zhang, professor of Sociology at South Dakota State University in Brookings.  Zhang is the new state demographer and director of the state data center.  She discusses immigration, growing diversity and changing demographics in South Dakota.

Christine Cagle, CDC Associate Director for Policy, Planning and Communications in the division for HIV/AIDS prevention.  She is speaking to students at the University of South Dakota about– “The New Era of HIV prevention in a changing landscape.”  She begins with an overview of what HIV and AIDS looks like today in the United States.

George McGovern enjoyed civil debate and the McGovern Center will host its civic engagement forum on September 29th.  The question being discussed is “Should religion play a role in 21st century politics?”  The Reverend Barry Lynn, the Executive Director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State discusses why the separation needs to be absolute.

Dakota Political Junkies –  KELO-TV Rapid City reporter Kevin Woster and Denise Ross – the editor of the Black Hills Knowledge Network/South Dakota Dashboard discuss the sentencing of Clayton Walker, Republican Presidential debate and even compare Donald Trump to Bill Janklow.

Dr. Brad Thaemert joins Dakota Midday to discuss a new weight loss procedure being offered in South Dakota. Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center is the exclusive site in South Dakota to offer a revolutionary weight-loss procedure that’s non-surgical and incision-free. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the ORBERA™ Intragastric Balloon by Apollo Endoscopy, Inc. This new minimally-invasive weight-loss procedure will be performed by board-certified surgeons, Brad Thaemert, MD, and David Strand, MD.

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Interview with Dr. Chang Kee Jung, Research Coordinator with the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility and associated Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment and professor of physics at the State University of New York Stony Brook.

Dr. Chang Kee Jung will deliver a presentation on “What’s Physics Got to do with Sports?” Thursday at 5:45 p.m. at Black Hills State University. His talk will focus on the effects of spinning and non-spinning balls in popular sports, including baseball, football, soccer and volleyball.

Hunting Film Tour

Gary Gillett is the founder of the Hunting Film Tour. The Hunting Film Tour, in its third year, is an exhibition of hunting films that celebrates the conservation side of hunting. The idea is to showcase quality filmmaking about hunting, to dispel the myths surrounding hunting and to show as many people as possible that hunting and hunters are the driving force behind conservation efforts in North America.

The South Dakota Engineering Accelerator has received a $100,000 innovation grant to create and pilot a new program.  The Accelerator, based at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, is part of the Enterprise Institute.  The goal is to identify early-stage engineering projects and then commercialize the technologies into viable businesses.  Tom Eitreim, manager of the Accelerator program, detailed the program on Innovation Friday.  Host Cara Hetland was also joined by several Accelerator participants as they described their concepts.

Marco Werman

PRI's The World has launched an ambitious two-week multimedia initiative taking to the internet, the airwaves and social media with a groundbreaking look at a new generation of women fighting for civil rights around the globe.  Julia Barton, senior editor in charge of planning for "Across Women's Lives," joined guest host Cara Hetland to discuss The World's special coverage of gender equality and the role of women in society.  PRI's The World can be heard weekdays at 3:00 p.m. Central on SDPB Radio.

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  So far this year there have been no major wildfires in South Dakota, but the state has seen a blanket of smoke drifting in from fires burning across the drought stricken west.  Hundreds of homes have been lost to wildfire this year across the country.  But officials say homeowners can take steps to protect their own property before a fire hits.  

People who sit on the board of South Dakota's public retirement plan are considering changes to the pension. Those considerations include adding two years to the age for normal retirement.  The changes would not change the plan for anyone who is already a part of the South Dakota Retirement System, but they would apply to anyone new entering the program.  SDPB's Kealey Bultena has this conversation with Executive Director Rob Wylie.

Norm Evers of Norm’s Greenhouse in Aurora joins Dakota Midday and talks about voles and other critters eating your garden. Norm Evers is Instructor Emeritus of Horticulture at South Dakota State University in Brookings and the former manager of McCrory Gardens.  He joins Dakota Midday for our bi-weekly segment on planting, gardening and horticulture.

Brookings Mayor Tim Reed and Entrepreneurial Program Director for the Brookings Economic Development Corporation, Beth Knudson join Dakota Midday to  discuss the start-up grant awarded to the community.  Twenty-seven prizes of $50,000 were awarded through the “Start Small” competition.  These prizes were awarded to 25 cities and two Native American tribes in order to help these communities develop a streamlined, centralized business formation platform.  Brookings and the Cheyenne River Reservation both won $50,000 prizes.

Lloyd Metzger, Associate Professor in Dairy Science at SDSU and Director of Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center, is knowledgeable on cheese manufacturing and often serves as a consultant for food manufacturers.  We discuss proteins found in dairy and the desire of consumers for protein fortified products and the technology used to produce dairy based protein concentrates and isolates.