Death

Brown Bag Book Club: Dr. Rick Holm

Aug 12, 2019
SDPB

In The Moment ... August 12, 2019 Show 635 Hour 2

Dr. Rick Holm is a South Dakota physician whose broadcasting career has brought help to thousands. He's the host of On Call With the Prairie Doc on SDPB-TV.

As part of the Brown Bag Book Club, Dr. Holm visits about his book Life's Final Journey: A Guide for Aging and Dying With Grace. In the book he talks about his journey as a doctor, as a broadcaster, and as a cancer patient. He continues his battle with cancer today and continues to be a voice for science, compassion, self-care and for hope.

In The Moment ... May 16, 2018 Show 338 Hour 2

Dr. Richard Holm provides some interested thoughts on near death experiences during his weekly visit on In The Moment.

Tune in to On Call with the Prairie Doc - Thursdays on SDPB-TV.

 

South Dakota Public Broadcasting

West Nile has killed an elderly South Dakotan. State Health Department leaders say the person lived in Yankton County and was in the age range of 80 to 89. That case is one of dozens reported this summer, and officials looking to Labor Day expect even more infections.

South Dakota ended 2015 with 40 cases of West Nile Virus. State epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says 2016 so far almost doubles last year’s total.

"We’re having a fairly heavy year this year with West Nile," Kightlinger says. "We’ve had 74 cases reported, and the number’s growing every day."

John Seiber of KDLO Country in Watertown joined the program this week to discuss the passing and legacy of Pat Summitt. In 38 seasons with the University of Tennessee, Summitt won eight national championships, including 1,098 career wins, which is the most in NCAA basketball history - men's and women's. Seiber joined the program to discuss some of his memories with the legendary coach, and to talk about his time living in Tennessee.

  You are going to die, say Don and Lindsay Frankenfeld. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

The father-daughter pair have prepared a TEDx talk that explores questions of life, death, and leaving loved ones behind. They join Dakota Midday  for a conversation about denial and faith, bucket lists and love.

Don Frankenfeld is a forensic economist. He’s a former South Dakota state senator and was named a Bush Leadership Fellow in 1987. Lindsay Frankenfeld is startup community advocate, a teacher, and a former reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Attempt To End Death Penalty In SD Fails

Feb 10, 2016
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A bill to end the death penalty in South Dakota failed in the state legislature. State Senator Art Rusch, who spent many years as a prosecutor and circuit judge, brought Senate Bill 94 to the House State Affairs Committee Wednesday. 

Testimony on both sides was often emotional. Lynnette Johnson of Sioux Falls lost her husband on his 63rd birthday in 2011.  Ronald “RJ” Johnson was attacked and killed during an escape attempt by two men serving life prison terms.  Johnson’s widow is opposed to repealing executions in the state.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Sioux Falls Police officer says a weekend shooting involving federal authorities is one example of local law enforcement collaborating with other agencies. The FBI is leading an investigation into a South Carolina murder suspect killed by a US Marshal Saturday in Sioux Falls.  

Heroin Overdoses: Hype Or Actual Pending SD Epidemic?

Dec 17, 2015
Centers for Disease Control

The Centers for Disease Control describe heroin related deaths as an epidemic in the United States, and some officials have raised concerns South Dakota is about to see a spike in heroin and prescription opioid overdoses.

But, data from the State Department of Health shows that over the last decade heroin overdoses are almost non-existent in South Dakota.   

 And while prescription drug abuse is a concern the numbers of opioid overdose deaths are smaller than other drugs like meth or alcohol.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Investigators are trying to piece together factors that left a family of six dead in a murder-suicide. Fire engulfed a home near Platte one week ago, and responders found six bodies inside. Preliminary autopsy results show Nicole Westerhuis and four children died of shotgun wounds. Authorities suspect husband and father Scott Westerhuis killed them before shooting himself.

Scott Westerhuis was business manager for an organization called Mid Central Education Cooperative. Recent audits reveal financial issues with grant money that funnels to the group.

South Dakota authorities say four children and their mother found dead in a house fire last week are homicide victims. Attorney General Marty Jackley says preliminary autopsy results show Nicole, Kailey, Jaeci, Connor, and Michael Westerhuis died of shotgun wounds.

Officials say the sixth person dead is husband and father Scott Westerhuis. He also died of a shotgun wound, and authorities suspect suicide.

On September 17th flames engulfed a home just south of Platte, South Dakota. After first responders put out the fire, officials found a family of six dead.

Baby Death In Sioux Falls May Be Homicide

Aug 10, 2015
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Sioux Falls Police say they suspect that the death of a baby last week was not an accident. Authorities are looking for the girl’s father; he faces abuse and drug charges. Meantime officials are trying to understand what happened to the girl before emergency responders got to the baby’s home.

Kayleigh Joy Schumm was two and a half weeks old when she died last week at a Sioux Falls hospital. Authorities say it happened a day after the baby stopped breathing while home with her father.

Gregg Spindler

The family of one victim in a violent car crash nearly two years ago says the punishment for the driver is insufficient. This week Ron Fischer, Junior was sentenced for vehicular homicide in two deaths. The judge ordered the maximum sentence, but the victim’s father says that isn’t enough.

In July of 2013, a drunk driver ran a stop sign near Pickstown, drove the minivan into a parking lot, and slammed into two people. US Fish and Wildlife workers 46-year-old Robert Klumb and 25-year-old Maegan Spindler both died in the gruesome crash.

Terminally ill patients in South Dakota could get a chance to try experimental drugs that have not completed the full FDA approval process.

The State Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved House Bill 1080—it gives a dying patient a chance to try an unproven drug treatment.  

State Representative Leslie Heinemann is a sponsor of the bill.     

Photo by Jim Kent

The death certificate for a Lakota girl found dead on the Pine Ridge Reservation last November has been released by the South Dakota Department of Health. But the document leaves as many questions unresolved as it answers about a tragic incident.

Jayla Rodriguez was found dead at the bottom of a hill on the Pine Ridge Reservation on the evening of November 18, 2014. The 8-year old Lakota girl had been playing in the snow and sledding down that same hill.

Courtesy Colombe family.

The death of a young Lakota woman on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation continues to raise questions in her community more than a month after her passing.   Family and friends of Feather Rae Colombe never expected to hear that she had died following a high-speed police pursuit.

Officials are still investigating a plane crash that occurred early Monday morning about fifty miles east of Pierre. The crash took the lives of four South Dakotans. Those left behind are remembering those who died.

State legislators are attempting to ease the process of transferring property upon death. House Bill 1077 sets a uniform deed transfer process for citizens and lawyers to follow, without going to court. The transfer deed can be modified up until death, and the person receiving the property must still settle debts left on the estate. Tom Barnett with the South Dakota State Bar says creating this process makes sense.

Numbers are still being reported for livestock lost in the early October blizzard in western South Dakota.  With about 14,000 cattle reported dead so far. Veterinarians are researching what happened and they're able to explain the cause of death for most livestock.

West River Ranchers are still sending in reports of dead cattle five weeks after the storm. State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven says many ranchers were caught by surprise. He says because this storm wasn’t normal, it caused unexpected devastation.

"Grief Odyssey"

May 9, 2013

Doug O'Neill and Dan Gilbertson join the program. O'Neill and Gilbertson are the authors of "Grief Odyssey," a book written for anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, especially widowed fathers. O'Neill is a South Dakota State University associate professor/lecturer of sociology, who works at University Center in Sioux Falls. Gilbertson is the vice president of Summit Wealth Group, a financial planning company in Denver. When O'Neill's wife died of cancer on August 30, 1989, he found himself heartbroken and the single father of six young children.