Cara Hetland

SDPB Radio Director

Cara Hetland is the Director of Radio 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 In the Moment program Innovation.  She loves a good story and can’t wait to tell South Dakotan’s about it.  Cara also teaches media courses at the University of Sioux Falls 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

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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. 

Lori Oster, Program Coordinator for the Better Choices Better Health Program and Megan Olesen, Program Associate for the Better Choices Better Health Program.  Better Choices Better Health is a chronic disease self-management program developed at Stanford University in the 1990’s. 

Dr. Thayne Munce, Associate Director of the Sanford Sports Science Institute, discuss opening football season and what he’s adding to his football concussion study using youth football teams in Sioux Falls.

2015 Accelerator Challenge - it’s a program to boost emerging entrepreneurs and launch businesses. 

The show features six of the participants in a short conversation about their idea and where they're at in launching a business in South Dakota.  Also featured in the show is Rich Naser, Executive Director of the South Dakota Technology Business, a business incubator launched by Forward Sioux Falls in 2004. The Center and its staff serve as the resource for innovators and entrepreneurs launching, growing or expanding successful technology-based businesses in Sioux Falls.


This is my fifth trip a mile underground.  I’m still as excited about the experience now as the first time down.

Jessica J Messersmith,Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department at USD. She discusses the department's Cochlear Implant program. Technological advances are helping more and more people with severe hearing loss. We also meet people whose lives have been changed through implants. 

The South Dakota Office of the Small Business Innovation Research program is hosting a two-day event that gives technology entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet with representatives from 11 federal agencies about competing for grants and contracts for the research and development of innovative produces and processes. Gary Archamboult, SBIR program Director, joins Innovation to talk about the SBIR Road Tour. 

The Event is July 16 & 17

Michael O'Connor

It’s not uncommon to get story ideas sent to me.  I try and respond to all of them, some people are patient and some are a like Michael O’Connor who has a mission.  I agreed to meet Mike and hear the rest of his story.  He lost his hearing over a period of time.  Some of the loss was caused from aging; some from years of being around loud equipment.  But it was after an accident that caused him to lose his right arm when he noticed a more profound loss of hearing. 

Sioux Falls Development Foundation

A new, 800 acre business park for Sioux Falls is being built at the cross section between interstates 29 and 90. This is the tenth development park for the city and could employ more than 8,000 people once it’s fully built. On Tuesday, economic leaders and government officials, including Governor Dennis Daugaard and Mayor Mike Huether, announced the new Foundation Park.

Chynna Lockett

After 5 years with the Rapid City Area School District, Superintendent Dr. Tim Mitchell announced his resignation at a press conference on Tuesday morning. His resignation is effective June 30, 2016, following the 2015-2016 school year.

Dr. Shelby Terstriep, medical oncologist (based in Fargo) and medical director for embrace Survivorship Program and Meagan Huisman, affiliate coordinator for Susan G. Komen South Dakota.  They discuss a Susan G. Komen grant to start a survivorship program for women with breast cancer.  The program is designed to create an innovative program to meet the physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological needs of every cancer survivor.  

Earlier this month the 13th annual Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference was held in Rapid City.  SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray sat down with three of the featured speakers to talk about water management, water rights and the idea of cloud seeding.  Guests include, Andy Detwiler a professor at South Dakota School of Mines --  Robert Hirsch a Research Hydrologist with the US Geological Survey and Rob Harmon The Presdient and CEO of Energy RM.

Luke's Bike

Apr 12, 2015

What started out as a class effort to get enough online votes in a contest has turned into a fundraising effort to get a special bike for a classmate. This is a story about teamwork and a simple question of why not?

Wyoming University

Ellen Currano has a joint appointment in Botany and Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming. She received a BS in geology and BA in biology from the University of Chicago and PhD in geosciences from Penn State.

The last two years of her graduate career were spent as a pre-doctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Wyoming, she was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Southern Methodist University and an assistant professor of geology at Miami University (OH). 

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Dr. Steven Powell, with Sanford Health discusses how researchers are looking at immunotherapy as a way to fight cancer.  Immunotherapy develops treatments to harness your immune system and use your own immune system to fight the cancer.

Dr. Keith Miskimins – Senior Scientist and Director of the Cancer Biology Research Center at Sanford Research.  His lab is currently looking at the Translation control of tumor suppressor protein p27Kip1 in normal and cancer cells.  p27 is an inhibitor of cell cycle progression that is commonly down regulated in cancer cells.

Daniel Engebretson, PhD, is a physical chemist and is chair of the USD biomedical engineering program.  He’s also the head of the USD Graduate Education and Applied Research (GEAR) Center in Sioux Falls.  He  discusses the latest biomedical engineering research, the bioSNTR statewide efforts and collaborations with clinicians and industry.

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Dr. Gareth Davies, Chief Scientific Officer and Scientific Director at the Avera Institute for Human Genetics.  He was listed as a co-author in Nature, the international weekly journal of science for an article titled “Common Genetic Variants Influence Human Subcortical Brain Structures” which was released Jan.

Charles Michael Ray

A team from Rapid City Stevens High School will represent South Dakota at the National Science Bowl in Washington DC this April.

Stevens won the state competition beating out other schools in South Dakota -- now they go up against the best in the country.  

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray caught up with Stevens Science Teacher Lisa Weisbeck and two students on the winning state team --  Junior Rachel Fenenga and Senior James Donhiser.

To escape the noisy school hallways the three stepped into a quiet science storage room, filled with beakers and instruments…  

South Dakota Lawmakers killed two measures that deal with concealed weapons.  House Bills 1096 and 1116 were deferred to the 41st Legislative day by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Lawmakers objected to what might happen with the passage of the legislation

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  An effort to add more newborn screening tests is moving through the legislature.  A House Committee approved Senate Bill 60 that adds inherited and genetic disorders to the list of diseases tested on infants.

A legislative committee has approved a proposal that requires parental consent for minors to use indoor tanning beds at salons.

The House Health and Human Services Committee voted 8-5 on Thursday for the amended plan, which originally banned minors from using tanning facilities at all.

Republican Rep. Lana Greenfield of Doland says she thinks the proposal interferes with small businesses and requires something that’s already being done.


  Dr. George B. Stefano is the Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute.  Dr.