Collaborative marketing creates local holiday shopping destinations

Shoppers take in the holiday displays at Fiksdal Furniture & Gifts during the Jingle & Mingle event on Nov. 21 in Webster. The eight shops that participated were bustling with activity during the six-hour promotion. (Photo by Heidi Marttila-Losure/Dakotafire Media)

by Anna Jauhola and Wendy Royston, Dakotafire Media Some entrepreneurs in the Dakotafire region are banding together to bring more of the thrill of the holiday shopping experience—and those who seek it—into their shops. “The experience … determines how long a customer stays around and how much shopping they’ll try to do while they’re in the store,” said Becky McCray, ... Read More »

Mothers can bring experience to classrooms through ‘encore careers’

Angie Baszler, 34, has been substitute teaching in DeSmet, S.D., while pursuing a teaching certificate online. Baszler, who has both bachelor's and master's degrees in business and held a prestigious position at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., before becoming a stay-at-home mom and working in economic development part-time in DeSmet, said she and other moms may be the answer to South Dakota's teacher shortage issue. (submitted photo)

by Anna Jauhola and Wendy Royston, Dakotafire Media Perhaps the answer to South Dakota’s teacher shortage doesn’t lie in recruiting this year’s high school seniors to the profession or retaining next year’s education grads within our borders. Maybe the answer is sitting in homes and in offices throughout our state, already engaging with youth. “Being a teacher was not an ... Read More »

Changing the way we educate educators could be one answer

By Tasi Livermont, for Dakotafire with additional reporting by Doug Card, The Britton Journal and Wendy Royston, Dakotafire Media Should future teachers have to spend as much time sitting in desks to earn the right to stand at the front of class? Some think the answer to South Dakota’s teacher shortage at least partly lies in reducing education expectations put ... Read More »

Some S.D. schools have given up on filling teacher vacancies

Some classrooms in South Dakota are making due without teachers this year, as approximately half as many teachers came out of college last spring as were needed to fill classrooms this fall.

By Tasi Livermont, for Dakotafire with additional reporting by Doug Card, The Britton Journal; Jody Moritz, Faulk County Record; and Wendy Royston, Dakotafire Media With a hope and a prayer, school districts across South Dakota attempted to fill vacant teaching positions this year. “I must have prayed really hard,” said Monte Nipp, Langford (S.D.) Area School superintendent. “I was really ... Read More »

Communities mark Veterans Day with retirement ceremonies for Old Glory

Ellendale, N.D., residents gathered Monday at the school gym for a Veterans Day program. Across America, the service and sacrifice of veterans is celebrated officially on Nov. 11 each year.

By Kristin Vandersnick, for Dakotafire with additional reporting by Sheila Ring, Onida Watchman Veterans Day is about honoring those who have volunteered to serve their country, committed to giving even their lives, if asked. Many Dakota communities also take the day to honor Old Glory, the nation’s outward symbol of the freedoms veterans yearn to protect. “I look at it ... Read More »

Join the conversation on youth engagement in Doland Nov. 17


How can we better connect youth and community? That’s the question that will be the main focus of a conversation event in Doland on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The event, called a Dakotafire Café, is part of a series of events held in small towns across the Dakotas that is intended to spark community conversations around topics presented in Dakotafire magazine. ... Read More »

Claremont bank, Langford restaurant vie for funding in national competition


First State Bank of Claremont and Langford to Compete for $15,000 Strong Communities Award (Langford, S.D.) –  First State Bank of Claremont and the community of Langford have been selected as one of seven Strong Communities Award finalists vying for the opportunity to receive $15,000 for The Front Porch, a community investor-owned business development project. The Federal Home Loan Bank ... Read More »

Consolidated celebrations bring new traditions

High school homecoming traditions are changing due to consolidations and sports cooperatives. Here, Frederick High School students are crowned during a homecoming coronation. (photo by Heidi Marttila-Losure, Dakotafire Media)

Editor’s Note: See related story here. by Wendy Royston, Dakotafire Media with additional reporting by Sheila Ring, Onida Watchman; Kim Ehlers, Standard Publishing; and Ken Schmierer, for the Dickey County Leader Consolidations of schools and sports teams are common across both Dakotas, and they often change the way homecoming unfolds in those schools and communities. Corsica and Stickney, S.D., will ... Read More »

Homecoming could have a stronger call to ‘come home,’ expert says

Elementary students march through a homecoming parade in Frederick, S.D. Community-building experts say bringing young adults back into the community starts with events such as homecoming, when alumni are back in town to visit.

Editor’s Note: See related story here. by Wendy Royston, Dakotafire Media with additional reporting by Sheila Ring, Onida Watchman, and Ken Schmierer, for The Dickey County Leader The word “homecoming” suggests the original intent of the fall celebrations was to bring graduates—and the focus of the community—back to the school. In many towns today, that call to come home is ... Read More »

Dakota Local Food Challenge is underway!


The Dakota Local Food Challenge officially started on Saturday … but if you didn’t remember, didn’t get the memo, or just needed a little more time to gear up for it, it’s not to late to sign up! Head on over the main page for details: Read More »

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