In The Moment ... July 2, 2018 Show 370 Hour 2 

For kids, summertime in South Dakota often means a trip to camp.

Brett Walfish is the Executive Director of the Rushmore Music Festival. It's a camp that draws students from across the state, and now, across the world.

He visits about the remarkable growth of the program.

Pay Attention!

Jun 7, 2018
Sanford Health

In The Moment ... June 5, 2018 Show 351 Hour 1

In one of NPR's upcoming How to Raise a Human reports Michaleen Doucleff travels to rural Mexico to discover a group of Mayan children with extraordinary abilities to pay attention.

SDPB is bringing How to Raise a Human home to South Dakota.  Shane Hamilton, an Integrated Health Therapist with Sanford Health, expands on the subject.

Kealey Bultena

A treatment developed at Sanford Research is in clinical trial to help kids with a debilitating genetic condition. The FDA fast-tracked the study in part because the condition progresses quickly and children die.

Six patients are part of the Batten Disease trial. One family from the Midwest has a child treated.

Beth and Bryan live in Minnesota. At four years old, their son Blake struggled with fine motor skills. They incorporated occupational therapy. Then Blake needed speech therapy. Then his gross motor skills deteriorated, and he needed physical therapy.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

This week kids in Sioux Falls are planting seeds and sprouts in four raised garden beds next to a parking lot. A few days ago, we brought you a conversation from Ground Works-Midwest about teaching gardens. Volunteers have now constructed more places for food to grow.

Kealey Bultena

A group from the Sioux Falls area is back in South Dakota after distributing wheelchairs to people in need in Guatemala. The Dispatch Project team members worked at a wheelchair seating clinic. They adjusted chairs to fit the needs of children and adults with disabilities.

SDPB's Kealey Bultena participated in the trip to Central America. Listen to her description of the experience as she talks with In The Moment host Lori Walsh here, and read select stories below.


Last week the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy in Sioux Falls announced that it would close its doors before Christmas. A letter from their board of directors said passage of a ballot initiative capping payday lending interest loans impacted the decision. The board added that the majority of donations to the nonprofit music academy came from Dollar Loan Center and, without that sort of funding, the nonprofit would have to be dissolved.

Tom Roberts writes books for children that help children. His Christmas story project has raised more than a million dollars over the years for the Children's Home Society of South Dakota. Roberts' latest book is called The Greatest Gift: The Wise Ones' Journey. Illustrated by Jim Brummond, The Greatest Gift has garnered the Moonbeam Children's Book Award. Roberts joins Dakota Midday to discuss his latest book and how all of his writing has helped raise funds for CHS.

Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Agriculture, discusses a federally sponsored, state-administered food program that provides suppers for children in South Dakota.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Lakota man is celebrating three decades teaching life lessons to elementary school students through Native American dance. Dallas Chief Eagle started working as an artist-in-residence for schools in the mid-1980s. Today he’s still sharing Lakota culture with school children across the state.

In his performance, Dallas Chief Eagle rapidly moves his feet as he glides across a gym floor, picking up plastic hoops. He links them together in a long line. Chief Eagle tosses the chain into the air, and spins the hoops over the heads of screaming elementary school students.

Dakota Midday: "School Of The Future"

Sep 14, 2016
Stanford Graduate School of Education

Once the envy of the world, American schools are now in trouble. Test scores show American children lag far behind their peers in other industrialized countries. How can our schools help students of all backgrounds meet the challenges of tomorrow? Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. Central, NOVA explores how the science of learning and technological innovations are transforming the way we teach and learn.

FRONTLINE brings you "Children of Syria" tonight on South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Filmmaker Marcel Mettelsiefen talks with Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh about telling the truth and making art amidst the rubble and hope of the human experience.

State lawmakers killed a bill Thursday that allows science teachers to incorporate information outside the approved curriculum to help students analyze and learn. Supporters of the measure say it gives teachers power to facilitate understanding; opponents question whether the measure solves a real problem.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Four children and their parents are alive after first responders saved them from carbon monoxide poisoning. Sioux Falls emergency leaders say the deadly gas has no smell, no taste and no color. That makes it hard to detect. Family members are telling their story of a close call to encourage others to purchase carbon monoxide detectors.

Michael Holloway says his weekend started as usual. His family stayed in bed Saturday while he got up to make breakfast for everyone. Holloway says he realized something was wrong when his daughter said she couldn’t feel her legs.

While people brave Black Friday on the hunt for deals, an expert says toy shoppers should make sure their great buys are appropriate for particular kids. Not all toys are made for children of different ages. Plus some choices offer kids a better opportunity to learn and grow.

Amy Hiesinger is a family life educator with Sanford Health. She says people should consider a child’s age and capabilities when shopping for gifts. Hiesinger says little children respond well to interactive gifts.

Dakota Midday: SD Video Wins Award

Nov 19, 2015

The Chamber Music Festival of the Black Hills recently recorded over 200 boys and girls from the Pine Ridge Reservation and the Black Hills.  They're featured in a "virtual choir" video that earned a second place honor at one of the largest Native American film festivals in Europe.  Guest host Jackelyn Severin was joined by Michael Hill, Executive Director of the Chamber Music Festival of the Black Hills.

Former Middle School Teacher Gets 25 Years In Child Porn Case

Nov 16, 2015

Former Rapid City middle school teacher Andrew Hipakka was sentenced to 25 years in prison for attempted enticement of a minor on the internet.  
The case involves 100-thousand images of child pornography over a two year period and Hipakka’s recorded live chat videos of minors he convinced to perform sex acts over the internet.  Federal Judge Jeffrey Viken also sentenced Hipakka to a lifetime of supervised release.   
Viken calls Hipakka a predator.   Prosecutors say this case lead to arrests around the country and world.

O’Connell Trial Wraps Up Day One--Protest Follows

Jul 22, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

The trial of Trace O’Connell is underway in Rapid City this week.  
O’Connell is accused of disorderly conduct after a group of Lakota children from American Horse School were doused with beer at a hockey game in January.  
During the incident, the group of school kids and chaperones were allegedly told to “go back to the rez” by those in a corporate box seated above the stands. The school kids and chaperones left the game early.  
The city prosecutor made his case Wednesday, with the defense up Thursday.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Kids in Sioux Falls can get free passes to ride public buses until September. City leaders are launching the Dog Days of Summer pilot program that makes bus rides free for people 18 and under. The program aims to offer teenagers and some kids a safe way to navigate the city and to promote public transportation.

Children March For Dogs On Pine Ridge

May 28, 2015
Courtesy Virginia Ravndal

Students from the Pine Ridge Reservation held a march this week aimed at preserving and protecting animals on the homeland of the Oglala Sioux. Their primary focus was saving dogs from the mass sweeps the tribe has announced…and which have resulted in the deaths of dozens of dogs in the past. 

The report of a young Lakota girl’s death last November as the result of a dog attack caused tribal officials to immediately round up and kill any dogs on the Pine Ridge Reservation considered to be “stray”.


May 19, 2015
Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Annie E.

Feeding America

The latest information from Feeding America shows more than 1 in 10 South Dakotans lacks consistent access to enough healthy food. A recent study shows that, in the past year, more than 12 percent of people in South Dakota didn’t have access to enough food. 

Every county in South Dakota suffers from food insecurity. The numbers prove hunger affects children, and it’s more likely in certain parts of the state.

Authorities in Sioux Falls are launching a program to help identify children with special needs who go missing. Parents can enter details about their kids in a Sioux Falls police database. That can make it easier to distribute information to officials if a child is lost. 

Police in Sioux Falls now have a database to house information on children with disabilities so they have quick access if a child is missing. Parents can use an online form to register in the Special Needs Directory. Details include name, height, weight, disabilities, any means of tracking the child – and a place to add a photograph.

Hate Crime Charges Possible After Incident At Rush Game

Jan 28, 2015

An incident at Saturday night’s Rush hockey game in Rapid City may result in hate crime and assault charges.

57 students from American Horse School were on a trip from Pine Ridge to attend the game as reward for good behavior and academic achievement.  
But in the third period a group of white men in a rented suite above the children’s seating area allegedly poured beer down on to the students and shouted racial slurs.   

The school group left the game early out of concern for student safety.

You can hear the rest of the story by clicking play below.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sioux Empire is looking for male mentors to match with kids. There are currently 40 boys on the waiting list. The requirements are a minimum of four hours per month with a one year commitment. Mentors work with children in the community, in their schools, and many places in between. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sioux Empire operates in Sioux Falls, Mitchell, and Watertown. The organization's executive director, Jami Gates, joined Dakota Midday and discussed the need for male mentors.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder Study

Dec 29, 2014
Sanford Health

Dr. Gene Hoyme is internationally known for his work with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder. He also serves as president of Sanford Research and chief academic officer for Sanford Health. Hoyme has led FASD research studies in South Africa for the past 15 years. He co-authored a study that shows nearly five-percent of U.S. children may be affected by FASD.  The study explored the incidence of FASD among first grade students in Sioux Falls.

More Gift Ideas From The Computer Guys

Dec 5, 2014

Kent Osborne and "The Computer Guys" offer more gift ideas in a continuation of the annual "Guide to Geek Gifting" program.  They also cover the important topic of online security for kids.

TAP Program In Rapid City

Apr 29, 2014

In the spirit of using art as a vehicle for change and growth, Masayuki Nagase and his wife, Michele Ku, are working with the Rapid City Arts Council, Rapid City Area Schools, Destination Rapid City and area artists to launch a Teaching Arts Program (TAP).  TAP will start its pilot program at Wilson and South Canyon elementary schools in Rapid City and at the Lakota Waldorf School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  TAP is modeled after an artists-in-schools program through the Museum of Children's Art in Oakland, California.  TAP is being overseen by the Rapid City Arts Council's Arts E

A Sioux Falls service group is giving the CASA program $11,000. Rotary West members raised the money to benefit an organization that advocates for children in the court system.

Rich Lauer says Rotary is about putting service above self. He says that mission prompted the club to choose the CASA program to receive 11-thousand dollars. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Volunteers work for judges to support children who are victims of abuse and neglect.
Lauer says members recognize the importance of putting child advocates in court.

South Dakota lawmakers are trying to change the definition of Domestic Abuse in the state. Two bills passed the State House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Child Obesity Rate Drops

Feb 27, 2014

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shows a sharp drop in obesity rates among young children, ages 2-5.  South Dakota is among the states showing the biggest decline.  The director of the CDC said that this is the first report to show many states with declining rates of obesity in very young children after decades of rising rates.  Mary Beth Russell of Avera Health discussed the new CDC report.