Cara Hetland

SDPB Radio Director

Cara Hetland is the Director of Radio and News and Information for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. She has nearly 30 years in public radio as a reporter, producer and manager.  Cara is also host of the Friday In the Moment program Innovation.  She loves a good story and can’t wait to tell South Dakotans 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. She spends her "free" time being mom to two adult daughters and cheering on her youngest daughter in her high school events. Cara likes to exercise, read and is always open for a ride on the tilt-a-whirl.

Ways to Connect

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. 

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). 

Michael Cherry, PHD Louisiana State UniversityCredit LSU WebsiteEdit | Remove