Our Community Articles
Published: Thursday, February 4th, 2016
Custerites are encouraged to help celebrate the opening of An English Touch Day Spa, the newest spa and salon in Custer.
Janet Cook, owner, will host an open house for the grand opening on Thursday, Feb. 4, from 1:30-5:30 p.m. A Touch of English Day Spa is located at 25389 McCurran Ranch Road in Custer.
Cook found her passion in the beauty industry at the age of 15 in Birmingham, England.
Published: Thursday, January 28th, 2016
There were many emotions during last week’s demolition of the Custer County Market building which took place a month after a fire destroyed the downtown grocery store. While the remnants of the building have been torn down and hauled away, the memories live on.
Long before Custer became a city, the property was just that: a grocery store. In the book “Custer County History to 1976” by Jessie Sundstrom, the property was mentioned in a portion submitted by the Walt Smith family.
Smith’s father had an uncle, George Smith, who established a general commission store along with a livery stable in the back. Instead of holding a celebratory dance as a “housewarming” (since George Smith was very religious) he secured Preacher Smith to hold a church service. This was the first service to be held in the Black Hills, given by the first preacher to live in the Hills.
Published: Thursday, January 21st, 2016
Eleven Custer County Korean War veterans were among hundreds honored in Pierre and across the state Tuesday, Jan. 12, at Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal Ceremonies. The local event was held in the afternoon at Custer Senior Center with a live webcast of the Pierre ceremony shown on a big screen television to about 70 people.
Those honored with presentations of red scarves and medals from Custer County were Arnold Anderson, Grant Muse, Kenneth Fortune, Kenneth Glaser, Richard Knutson, Harold Koester, Lloyd Nickels, Robert Schilling, Walter Thomas, Calvin Van Ornam and Harold Waltman.
Published: Thursday, January 14th, 2016
One year removed from entering the 2015 Custer County Chronicle’s Biggest Loser contest, the lifestyle changes that began with entering the contest are still with Scott Marsich.
These days, he still leads a “Spin Sculpt”âï¿½ï¿½class at the YMCAâï¿½ï¿½(a class that combines riding a stationary bike with light weight lifting) that he began when he joined the contest last January. When he’s not doing that, he and his wife, Terri, are playing volleyball, lifting weights or working out on the elliptical machines at the YMCA. They also still watch what they eat.
Perhaps Marsich’s easiest way to track his continued process, however, is through lost ounces—of Diet Mountain Dew.
Published: Thursday, January 7th, 2016
As always, the people of Custer County had plenty to say in 2015. Here is a sampling of some of the more “quotable” quotes uttered during the second half of the year.
“I will never say we don’t need rain. But I will say we could use a break once in awhile.” - Custer County emergency management director Mike Carter, on the extremely wet spring and early summer Custer experienced.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve with you.” - Custer Mayor Gary Lipp to the Custer City Council at his last meeting as mayor.
Published: Thursday, December 31st, 2015
While Randy Scott has been a barber for 40 and 50 years less than some of his fellow South Dakotan colleagues, when it comes to accolades in his profession, few have risen through the ranks as quickly as Scott. Scott, owner of Randy’s Barber Shop in Custer, is already the president of the South Dakota Barber Association. More recently he was appointed to the South Dakota Barber Board of Examiners by Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
The board falls under the umbrella of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, with the stated goal of protecting the public consumers of barbershop facilities from unsafe and unsanitary conditions by regulating the licensing of barbers, enforcing sanitary operating procedures and updating governing statutes, rules and regulations.
Published: Thursday, December 24th, 2015
When it comes to spreading Christmas cheer, there’s no one better for the job than Santa and Mrs. Claus. Fortunately for the Custer community, the jolly Clauses have been Custer County residents for years.
Arvon Hamilton has portrayed St. Nick for 32 years, with his wife, Ann, at his side as Mrs. Claus for 30 of those. While they started their journey on the mall circuit, the two’s purpose for spreading Christmas cheer soon grew, developing into what is now known as Christmas for Kids.
The Hamiltons began Christmas for Kids 24 years ago for two reasons.
Published: Thursday, December 17th, 2015
There is a new church, Grace Family Fellowship, in Custer. Grace Family Fellowship has been meeting since July and has been steadily moving forward to become a church that is community minded and gospel driven. Pastor Eric Futrell and his wife, J.J., say they are excited to begin their journey as a part of the community.
Starting last Sunday, Pastor Futrell began leading Grace Family Fellowship.
“This process has been bathed in prayer with great expectations,”âï¿½ï¿½Pastor Futrell said.
Published: Thursday, December 10th, 2015
The Custer Ministerial Alliance has announced the details of the annual Custer Community Christmas Project, a multi-faceted program with the goal of bringing the entire community together to experience the spirit of giving and sharing. The distribution of food baskets and Select-a-Gift, both taking place on Saturday, Dec. 19, bring the project to a culmination.
Names of individuals and families in need who are potential participants are suggested by pastors, Social Services, The Storehouse, schools and individuals. Letters are already being sent to potential participants, asking if they wish to be part of the dinner, Select-a-Gift, the food basket program or all three. Those persons are asked to return their letters as soon as possible. Anyone who is in need and would appreciate participating but who does not receive a letter is welcome to contact any pastor. A person or family may also be suggested for participation by contacting a pastor. The only stipulation is that participants be Custer County residents.
Published: Thursday, December 3rd, 2015
Jennifer Sobolik may be a new face at the Custer Clinic, but she’s not new to the Southern Black Hills.
Sobolik, a certified nurse practitioner (CNP), will serve in the walk-in department of Custer Clinic Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. She is looking forward to working in family medicine after transitioning from maternal medicine.
Published: Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
It was in October of 2011 that 25-year-old Lynette Warner found herself held captive in a locked room of a trailer in Colorado City, Ariz., with the doorknob removed and two screws drilled into the lone window.
Lynette, one of the estimated 79 wives of Warren Jeffs — self-proclaimed prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) who was at that time held captive himself in a Texas prison for life plus 20 years after being convicted of two felony counts of child sexual assault in the case of two of his underage “spiritual wives” — was being held in the trailer prior to her “blood atonement,” or ritual murder.
Published: Thursday, November 19th, 2015
Chris Wilson hated math in high school. That’s ironic, because his job as a production rigger these days encompasses algebra, load distribution and a lot more.
Chris has traveled the world with the likes of Michael Buble, Avril Lavigne and Linkin Park. He loves his job, needless to say, even though it offers him very, very little downtime.
“It’s constant,” he said. “If I’m not on tour with someone, I’m in my office drafting. I do paperwork, order all the gears, plan truck space. If I’m slow or running behind, everything else gets behind.”
Published: Thursday, November 12th, 2015
Shifting from a small town to Army life was a big change for farm kid Ed Sedlezky, who grew up on his family’s farm in Freeman. Nonetheless, Sedlezky made the switch just fine, making some memories along the way.
Sedlezky, now of Custer, graduated from high school in 1957 and worked on the family farm. Soon after that, their crops were hailed out, forcing Sedlezky to leave home and follow the combines to North Dakota for harvest season.
Published: Thursday, October 29th, 2015
Donna Talley, executive director of Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE) has got a lot on her mind — and on her plate. The shelter has been busy, the NFL is upsetting her, WEAVE is in desperate need of volunteers and more women are being arrested now than ever before.
The last she attributes to the mandatory arrest law that has been in place for about 25 years. Every time a domestic violence call is made to the police and they have to visit the home where the call was made, a mandatory arrest is made and someone goes to jail if there’s evidence of domestic violence.
Published: Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
It was shortly before Easter of his year when June Johnston first thought something not quite right might be going on.
The Custer woman was informed by her mother, who lives in Whitney, Neb., that she had given June’s sister, Dianne, $5,000 to put a walk-in shower in her trailer.
“I said, ‘That’s ridiculous! The whole thing isn’t worth that much money.’ I didn’t believe it; the trailer was at least 30 years old. Why would anyone want to put a walk-in shower in something that old?”
June suspicions had actually been heightened earlier when she and Dianne met for one of their routine bi-weekly shopping trips in Rapid City.
Published: Thursday, October 15th, 2015
Those who remember Joey Ford from his days as a Custer High School student will probably find it little surprise that he is performing for a living. After all, Ford, who was homecoming king his senior year and a member of a bevy of activities as a student (including band, choir, student council, golf, track, soccer, drama and volunteer fire department cadet) was a known thespian in high school, something he continued later in life at the Black Hills Playhouse, where he eventually met his wife, Jenna.
What may come as more of a surprise, however, is that Ford’s performances these days are as a member of his band, “Tree Party,”âï¿½ï¿½and not as an actor.
Published: Thursday, October 8th, 2015
While 11.9 million television viewers took in the 2015 Emmy Awards, over 7,000 people were in attendance of the show held at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. Among the crowd was Custer resident Jackie Twiss, who was supporting her daughter, Jill, in a very memorable moment.
“It was just so fun, exciting and sparkly!” Twiss said. “I just really wish more people could go, because it was so fun.”
Published: Thursday, October 1st, 2015
The city of Custer will be honored as the Community of the Year on Oct. 6 at the Governor’s Philanthropy Luncheon at the Rushmore Holiday Inn in Rapid City.
It was nominated based on its support of Operation Black Hills Cabin (OBHC) in Custer. Founded in 2011 by Jeff and Pat Baird of Custer, Operation Black Hills Cabin’s purpose is to offer a week-long respite to qualifying wounded veterans from the Iraq/Afghanistan campaigns and their families, at little or no expense to them, except for transportation.
Published: Thursday, September 24th, 2015
Although Fairburn is a fair mix of long-established residents with roots that date back generations and new residents looking for a quiet place to live, there are instances that are certain to bring most every resident of the town together. Those instances are almost always when the town residents see a fellow resident in need.
“When something happens, we band together,”â��said Sally Nordstrom, who was born and raised three miles outside of town and has spent 35 years in and around Fairburn.
Nordstrom points to a recent death in town where, before she even talked to one of the deceased’s family members, she was making a list of food to prepare for a get-together for his friends and family.
Published: Thursday, September 17th, 2015
The community of Custer has known for some time that it is blessed with great medical staff. But now, the college of medicine at the University of South Dakota (USD) is not only recognizing it, but honoring it as well.
Dr. Joy Falkenburg received the Edward J. Batt Memorial Award on Wednesday, Sept. 9, which is given each year to an outstanding faculty member from USD’s family medicine department. Only a handful of West River medical professionals have received the award.
Published: Thursday, September 10th, 2015
It’s going to be a week of celebration in Hermosa and Custer County, as residents, staff and patrons of the Hermosa Library mark 10 years of service.
“It’s just fantastic,” said Roberta Upton, assistant library director, who has been a part of the Hermosa branch for eight years. “It’s wonderful to be available to the community.”
While it’s easy to see how much of a role the library serves in Hermosa, it was a battle to get to where they are today.
Published: Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
In her over 31 years of experience of working with the U.S. Forest Service, Tracy Anderson has worked in every one of the service’s regions except one. Until now, that is.
Anderson, 57, began her new post as district ranger of the Hell Canyon Ranger District Aug. 9, coming to the district from the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana, where she spent the last two years as the vegetation management officer, putting her in charge of the timber program. The Bitterroot National Forest is located in western Montana, with the supervisor’s office located in Hamilton, one hour south of Missoula.
Published: Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Ask any student in the Custer School District (CHS) about their school and they’re more than likely to tell you it’s good. Ask an alumnus and they may tell you all the fun they had. But to the alumni who come back to teach in the school, they’ll all tell you the same: “Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat,” which translates to “my school is pretty awesome.”
Eleven graduates of CHS make up part of the teaching staff in the Custer School District (CSD). In addition to teachers, the district is made up of alumni in other roles, such as paraprofessionals, custodial staff, secretaries, coaches, school board members and even an administrator.
Published: Thursday, August 20th, 2015
Steven Kreeger may have moved away from Custer since he graduated as part of the Custer High School class of 2000, but for him, Custer is always home.
Kreeger, 33, now lives in West Point, N.Y., where he is a major in the U.S. Army and an instructor at the United States Military Academy. Since leaving Custer, Kreeger has been an undergrad at West Point, attended graduate school at Cambridge University in England and served a tour of duty in Iraq. It’s fitting he is now involved in shaping young minds, as he says the greatest thing he took away from Custer was his education.
Published: Thursday, August 13th, 2015
While the 75th Rally seems to have everyone on the go, it all seemed to come to a halt Thursday afternoon for Custer VFW Post 3442’s annual veterans honoring ceremony.
The ceremony, held after the Veterans Appreciation Ride on Thursday, Aug. 6., honored two VFW life-members and Custer residents. Members and supporters of the VFW performed a 21-gun salute, the National Anthem and Taps before the honoring ceremony was held.