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How The City of Sioux Falls Came To Be

By Mike Zitterich

Once upon a time, the City Of Sioux Falls had two major islands within the main business district of the Town. The first, largest, and more famous of the two, was Brookings Island. Known today as Seney Island, which stands today below the Sioux Steel Property being developed into commercial real-estate. The second, and lesser known island was appropriately named, "Second Island".

Second Island, which received its name primarily because it was the second largest of the two islands on the river, as it passed through Sioux Falls proper, was located at the junction of where 9th Street and Second Avenue come together in Downtown Sioux Falls. It may have been the smaller island, but it was large enough to hold citywide events on it, and for more than eighty years, it did just that.

First, let us review the history of how the city came to be. Two companies came to the area between 1840 and 1850 to explore, settle, and search for land to build their commercial power house. The falls, on the Big Sioux River, became the center attraction. Western Town Company, which was a group of land surveyors from Dubuque, Iowa, would purchase roughly 160 acres of land under the 1841 Preemption Act. The Preemption Act allowed settlers to seek out and squat on a piece of land, with the intent to claim it, patent it, and develop it. By 1856, the company was able to purchase the rights to the land just south of the Falls, from 3rd Street south to 7th Street. For those who know this area, this is the same property which held Sioux Steel, Pitts Steel, Ravens Industries, and the Railroad Yard. This group of settlers would eventually occupy, and hold the land rights to Seney Island.



By 1862 a second group of investors, the Dakota Land Company, would come to the area with similar intentions. This became the second group of settlers to move to Sioux Falls with the intent to form a city. Eventually, The Dakota Land Company would claim the land between 7th Street, going south to 12th Street. For those familiar with a city map, this area would later be known as Downtown Sioux Falls, as the city grew in population. In addition, Dakota Land Company would occupy what became known as "Second Island." A fitting title, for the second company, or group of settlers to explore, and "settle" the area.

While the Western Town Company established it's town-site known as Sioux Falls in 1856, during the 1860's the two groups would work together to form Sioux Falls City. Combining their two settlements in order to form one big city, the Dakota Land Company agreed to build "Fort Sod," in an effort to protect the residents from the area's original inhabitants. That fort, is now a parking lot for the Great Western Bank building, directly southwest of Second Island.

Between 1881 and 1920, Second Island like its sister island to the south, was fast becoming a popular destination for residents, who oftentimes held picnics on the island. Second island, modeled after iconic boardwalks and Coney island, held a small building that doubled as a Dance Hall, Concert Venue, Roller-skating Rink, and Mess Hall.

The island itself had a small 'western channel' that went around its western boundary. The "west bank" of the Sioux River, as it passed through what quickly became Downtown Sioux Falls, was often times the lowest point along the river. It often flooded, which led to some desperate times for local businesses, homeowners, and all who claimed properties in that area of town. By the 1930's, plans were being put into motion to quickly re-develop and completely change this area for the future.

By 1936, work began on building the massive stone flood walls which you can see today. This would bring in with it tons and tons of dirt, gravel, and fill in order to fill in the land behind the wall. Yes, this meant the plan was to raise the land behind the wall, which would then usher in the newly adopted "Urban Development" of the 1940's. New buildings were erected, and in 1965 the river ramp was replaced. Gone was the island, but in its place now stands the 9th street extension, allowing traffic to connect to 2nd Avenue, heading southbound to 14th.

The picture below, is what Second Island appears like today. As you can see, a remnant of the Island is still there, if you know where to look. Located between the two Flood Gates in the wall, one located behind the former Western Bank building, and the other gate next to the Rock Island Railroad Bridge. The two gates mark the points of which the former western channel connected to the river, on both sides of the island.

From 1965 to 2009, the River Ramp which stood over the island itself, was again redeveloped to build the River Greenway Project. The ramp was removed, and once again the former island showed some signs of life, despite the fact it is 10 feet beneath the surface. But if you look closely, you can still see the island beneath the flood wall, a glimpse into the past. Behind the wall, however, you see the higher filled in embankment due to the Urban Development of the 1940's.

Although both islands are all but gone today, a well planned out Metropolis has come together around the Falls, the center attraction to the City of Sioux Falls. Today this area is a thriving financial commercial hub for the State of South Dakota.

Western Town Company (Company A)

"Wilmot W. Brookings. Brookings set out for Dakota Territory in June of 1857. He arrived at Sioux Falls on August 27, 1857, and became one of the first settlers there. He and his group represented the Western Town Company quickly formed and established the Sioux Falls City, along with many investors of the Dakota Land Company, quickly with the help of both groups, despite a small hiccup between 1866-1871, With the help of his dear friend Richard F. Pettigrew, Sioux Falls quickly became, the commercial hub of what became the State of South Dakota."

Dakota Land Company (Company B)

"Governor Samuel Medary approved the charter on 23 May 1857. Contemporaries portrayed the Dakota Land Company as a "company of gentlemen, principally residents of St. Paul,"' who "represented some of the leading capitalists of New England."* Listed among the incorporators were Samuel A. Medary, William H. Nobles, Joseph R. Brown, Alpheus G. Fuller, Jefferson P. Kidder, Samuel J. Albright, Byron M. Smith, Judge Charles E. Flandrau, James M. Allen, Franklin J. DeWitt, N. R. Brown, and James W. Lynd. Most were professional politicians active in Minnesota Territorial affairs, and several were destined to play roles in the development of Dakota Territory. All original incorporators of the Dakota Land Company professed strong Democratic convictions....The Dakota Land Company was quick to realize the profits available. With their political ties to the Democratic administration in Washington, company promoters thought territorial status could be achieved for this western area. Judge Charles E. Flandrau explained that the speculators hoped to "avail themselves of the advantages of being proprietors of the capital city and several lesser ones, that might become the seats of the university, penitentiary, and other public institutions."" There was also the matter of a host of appointive jobs that accompanied any new territory. The capitalists envisioned a monopoly, not just of land but of governmental offices as well, if they secured an organic act for Dakota Territory." From the book "The Politics of Land in Dakota Territory" [Early Skirmishes—1857-1861] written by Grant K. Anderson.

Together, Wilmont W. Brookings, Richard Pettigrew, Samuel Medary, all became the early leaders of what has become one of America's fastest growing "Cities' in the upper Midwest. And two uniquely positioned islands, Seney Island near Falls Park, and Second Island near 9th Street and Second Avenue, both played a huge role in the early development of the City of Sioux Falls today.

Help Support The Dakota Leader... DONATE TODAY!

--Mike Zitterich

Post Date: 2022-08-10 09:44:21Last Update: 2022-08-10 11:29:28


South Dakota Hires Outside Counsel to Fight Citizens For Public Records
Your Tax Dollars Hard at Work...

In January of 2022, the Federalist and Just The News released a report regarding Georgia's missing video surveillance. Starting in February of 2022, three South Dakota women began filing Freedom of Information Act requests with their respective county auditors, to request the video footage of absentee ballot boxes, amongst other things.

On May 11, 2022, Therasa Pesce received a denial letter to her Freedom of Information Act request, from Minnehaha County. In response to her request for information, pertaining to the video surveillance and audit logs during the 2020 and 2022 elections, county auditor Bennet Kyte contacted ESS (Elections Systems and Software), the manufacturer of South Dakota's contracted voting machines. Kyte was
appointed to the position of Auditor after former Auditor, Bob Litz was accused of wearing his mask improperly during the 2020 general election. Litz tested positive for COVID-19 two days after the election, and later resigned. Kyte took over the office effective January 1, 2021.

According to ESS, release of the logs could compromise the cyber-integrity of their machines, and potentially disclose "proprietary information," listed under South Dakota state law as an exemption to public records. In addition,
Auditor Bennett Kyte wrote to the Office of Hearing Examiners to "respectfully request," the Hearing Examiners "deny the petitioner’s request for disclosure," of the public records.

On July 12, 2022 Linda Montgomery received a similar response from Aurora County State's Attorney Rachel Mairose, to a separate Freedom Of Information Act filed in February. Montgomery requested information pertaining to the government contracts and purchase agreements with ESS, as well as the audit logs. This request was also denied, citing the denial from Minnehaha county, in addition to stating that election materials may be destroyed within 60 days of a non-federal election, and 22 months after a federal election.

Upon receiving similar denials to their public records requests, the women filed an administrative appeal with the South Dakota Office of Hearing Examiners. In response to these appeals,
The Hearing Examiners consolidated the separate requests for information, into one response. According to the OHE, due to the fact that the requests were similar in nature, "a consolidation was appropriate and allowed."

In addition, the OHE determined that "pursuant to
SDCL 1-27-40, no good cause was offered or shown necessitating a hearing." Ultimately, OHE sided with the county auditors, and ordered the non-disclosure of public records to be upheld, arguing that the ESS machine logs and database materials are not to be considered public record. Meanwhile, the request for video surveillance went ignored.



The lack of evidence provided from the Office of Hearing Examiners, other than quoting ES&S (Elections Systems and Software out of Omaha NE) as the basis of their denial, emboldened residents from every county across South Dakota to file their own round of FOIAs. The second round of public records requests included a much broader list of records being requested, but especially record of video surveillance at the ballot drop box sites.

However, shortly thereafter every response became uniform, and cited the OHE denial, while ignoring the expanded list of records being requested, as seen here; Deuel county response, Hutchinson County response, and Codington County's response. Each county admittedly unable to reproduce the video footage of absentee ballot boxes, required to be kept for 22 months by federal law. Each county citing absurd dollar amounts for copies, and each county responding with the exact same, rubber stamped response.

Then the end of June rolled around, and with it came the
disclosure of privately hired legal counsel, on the taxpayer's dime. Each county is now lawyering up, with Minnehaha and Pennington County Auditors having hired the President of the South Dakota Bar Association, Lisa Hansen Marso, and her colleague at Boyce Law Firm, David Hieb.

While President of The South Dakota Bar Association, Marso has
represented large corporations like Avera Health. Last year, Marso and her colleague David Hieb, both now retained to represent Minnehaha and Pennington counties, fought a Doctor in a wrongful termination lawsuit against their client, Avera Health. In fact, when calling the Boyce Law Firm, the first thing mentioned is an internal conflict of interest report, to ensure the firm doesn't currently represent the opposition. Interestingly enough, many companies will retain larger firms, such as Boyce, so their tenants, employees and anyone seeking to sue them cannot access the legal services of such firms, due to a conflict interest.

Most notable, is the disproportionate political advantage of having the President of the Bar Association on retainer. The Bar Association creates the curriculum for law schools, and a Bar card is the difference between being able to practice law or not. Every judge in the state of South Dakota, is still answerable to the Bar Association. Many say that the Bar is so powerful, no lawyer in their right mind would oppose its officers.

Should the citizens of South Dakota persist in trying to get public records from County Auditors, they will now be faced with the full opposition force of the state, and the Bar Association. The question remains, why is the state using South Dakota taxpayer money, to fight the disclosure of records that belong to the people of South Dakota?

Public disclosure and transparency appears to be an important aspect of free and fair elections to many individuals, across the political spectrum. While the 2020 election has left many Republicans feeling uneasy or mistrusting of election integrity,
the 2016 Presidential election had similar impacts upon Democratic voters.

Regardless of where people stand on the issue of the 2016 and 2020 federal elections, in South Dakota there is bipartisan support for cleaning up voter rolls, and not having more than one precinct voting at any given polling place after the hiccups that occurred during the 2022 primary. Due in part to redistricting, the issues that occurred across the state during the last primary have resulted in trans-partisan unity and a recognized need for election integrity.

Help Support The Dakota Leader... DONATE TODAY!

--Breeauna Sagdal- Editor At Large

Post Date: 2022-08-09 11:11:32Last Update: 2022-09-07 10:19:12


An Opinion Editorial From Pierre

On July 18th, Governor Noem announced that South Dakota finished fiscal year 2022 with a surplus of $115.5 million, while claiming that “South Dakota operates conservatively.”

With $422.6 million of state reserves and the last four years of surplus being spent on pet projects, this is just simply over taxation of South Dakota citizens, it’s not being conservative or frugal.

Even with this excess, we must ask why many in the 2022 legislature refused to pass a food tax repeal, a sales tax reduction or even a gas tax holiday bill? By killing any proposed tax breaks like, Senate Bill 117 a bill to "revise the gross receipts tax on certain food," we missed the opportunity to save South Dakotans between $82 and $103 million dollars, when they needed it most.

HB 1327C is another prime example that would have reduced all sales tax by a half-cent, which is actually required by state law SDCL 10-64-9. Current law, as written in SDCL 10-64-9 states "the additional net revenue from such obligation shall be used to reduce the rate of certain taxes."[emphasis added]

Passing HB 1327C would have satisfied current state law, and saved the taxpayers $147 million dollars. Even if we had only reduced the sales tax by just a quarter-cent, we could have still saved taxpayers $74 million dollars, while still leaving a surplus of $41 million dollars at the end of fiscal year 2022.

In addition, a gas tax holiday was proposed for the three months of tourist season, that would have given a break on gas taxes of $54 million dollars, lowering the price at the pump for South Dakotans. Again, that bill never made it off the House floor.

Even worse,
Governor Noem stated on July 22, 2022,

“While this surplus may lead individuals to call for a reduction in our state’s tax structure. I offer a word of caution. We must be prepared to weather any economic storm that may come our way.”

Even if that were true, just last year, Governor Noem’s legislative allies killed
HB 1255. HB 1255 was brought forward, and authored by committee members on Appropriations as a ‘rainy day’ fund. Even though the state was being flooded with federal money at that time, this was an attempt at responsible, and long-term economic storm preparation for the state, that would have simultaneously provided South Dakotans the same luxury.

Instead of preparation, that proposed $200 million dollars in HB 1255 was spent as one-time monies instead of being saved. The reason given, according to the Assistant Majority Leader, “we can’t give future legislators more money than they need.” Which roughly translates to, "we can't give South Dakotans back, more money than they need," as evidenced by hoarding $422.6 million dollars of your money, rather than settling for the ample sum of $200 million.



Even if South Dakota's economy is better than the rest of the country, we still have the lowest wages nationally, while also dealing with inflation and supply-chain issues, like everyone else. That is what I would call an "economic storm."

The state needs to tighten its belt on spending and learn to live within its means. Especially when those who pay the bills are already strapped tight, with soaring housing prices and the Biden administration’s disastrous economic policies. South Dakotans know how to tighten their belt, and we have, but now it’s time that the bureaucrats in Pierre do the same.

It's time to stop over taxing the citizens of South Dakota! For this reason, I stand firmly with The South Dakota Freedom Caucus in urging our colleagues to provide fiscally-responsible tax relief to the people of South Dakota. Be it federal or state taxes, this money belongs to the people, and it's time to give it back!

Rep. Tina L. Mulally

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--Rep. Tina L. Mulally

Post Date: 2022-08-08 08:22:19Last Update: 2022-08-06 11:11:32


OP-ED “Schoenbeck is The Pot Calling The Kettle Black”
Sen. Lee Schoenbeck’s Colleagues Fire Back

Senator Lee Schoenbeck’s recent op-ed in the Rapid City Journal is a feeble attempt to try and smear some of the state’s top conservative republican legislators. Lawmakers such as, Representatives Phil Jensen, Tony Randolph and Taffy Howard, with proven track records of defending the ideals outlined by those who elected them.

What's more, Schoenbeck has decided to use the left-leaning Elevate Rapid City scorecard as the basis for his assertions. Ironically, using this scorecard is the equivalent to Congresswoman Liz Cheney telling Americans which conservative republicans to vote for, based upon the democratic party's platform.

Congresswoman Liz Cheney, also happens to be someone who Schoenbeck admires for her “courage, in a room of wimps,” which he tweeted on May 12, 2021.

McCarthy is an embarrassment for real Republicans. Thank you Liz Cheney for your courage, in a room of wimps

— Lee Schoenbeck (@LeeSchoenbeck)
May 12, 2021

His assessment of Elevate Rapid City’s scorecard, as being a “fair scorecard … [that is] only about making your lives and your family's lives better [with] no political agenda,” is nothing but disingenuous. Elevate Rapid City actively opposed legislation to stop forced sex changes on children (2020: HB 1057) , and they consistently take taxpayer dollars for projects that could be easily funded by private enterprise and a free market.

But it should come as no surprise coming from the self-proclaimed “conservative,” Senator Lee Schoenbeck, who referred to Trump “as a con man” in his tweet on Mar. 1, 2016, while chiding those that supported President Trump as “fake conservatives infiltrating our party.”

Schoenbeck accusing real conservatives of supporting big government is also extremely hypocritical. He has voted to increase our state’s budget by $1.226 billion dollars since 2018 (2018: HB 1320, 2019: SB 191, 2020: HB 1294, 2021: SB 195 & 2022: HB 1340).

He actively fought against repealing the half-cent internet sales tax this year (2022: HB 1327), saying it was like “throwing money away.” This is the same tax that he “broke kneecaps” to impose, during the 2016 legislative session. He has also voted an exorbitant number of times to increase other taxes and fees during his time in the legislature, which began in 2015.

Perhaps worse of all, Senator Schoenbeck voted to expand emergency powers during the pandemic (2020: HB 1296), supported medical arrests (2021: SB 3) and supported President Joe Biden’s Executive Orders without review (2021: HB 1194).

Without a doubt, Schoenbeck is the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.

Schoenbeck consistently receives low scores from conservative organizations. He has even received a lower score than some Democrats, like former Sen. Craig Kennedy from Yankton, who scored higher than Schoenbeck on the Family Heritage Action’s 2020 scorecard. Meanwhile, Schoenbeck has received failing grades from the American Conservative Union Foundation (57% Lifetime Avg), The National Rifle Association (67% 2022 NRA-PVF), and even Americans for Prosperity (“F” 2020 & 2019).

With a liberal record like this, Schoenbeck and his Senate puppets should stop deceiving voters and just switch parties.

His support of big government aside, his recent outbursts against his colleagues is par for the course for Schoenbeck, who’s known for unprofessional behavior and demeaning rhetoric. In 2016, after referring to Republican Majority Leader Brian Gosch as a “coward,” “pond scum” and a “chicken,” which resulted in him being banished from the Republican caucus by the Majority Leader, Schoenbeck threatened to resign from his legislative seat early.

When it comes to scorecards, SD Citizen’s for Liberty scorecard is one of the best for showing how your legislators are voting in alliance with the Constitution and the South Dakota Republican party platform. Because of their strong scores, we would strongly encourage support for Representatives Jensen, Randolph and Howard. They are a few of the best conservative legislators, as nationally recognized by organizations like the American Conservative Union and other national groups, who are still fighting for your individual liberty and freedom.

Senator-elect Tom Pischke

District 25

Representative Aaron Aylward

SD Freedom Caucus Chair

District 6

Help Support The Dakota Leader... DONATE TODAY!

--Senator Tom Pischke and Representative Aaron Aylward

Post Date: 2022-08-04 13:14:12Last Update: 2022-08-04 12:22:19


Leaders of Industry OP-ED “Before we rid the world of crude oil, is there a backup replacement?”
We know what the decarbonized world of the 1800’s was like, so how about proving the new parachute, i.e., the replacement for crude oil, works before we jump out of the plane?

Clean Energy is only Clean ELECTRICITY.

Those clean renewables, like wind turbines and solar panels, can only generate ELECTRICITY, and intermittent electricity at best from available breezes and sunshine. The indisputable science is that renewables CANNOT manufacture any of the oil derivatives that are the basis of the thousands of products that are the foundation of societies and economies around the world. In fact, these renewables cannot exist without crude oil as all the parts of wind turbines and solar panels are made with oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil.

Crude oil is useless unless it can be manufactured into something usable like the fuels for the heavy-weight and long-range transportation infrastructures of ships and jets and the derivatives that make the thousands of products that have made our lives more comfortable. But wind and solar cannot manufacture anything for society. Before we jump out of an airplane without a tested parachute, we need to be able to support the demands of all the infrastructures that exist today that did not exist a few hundred years ago.

The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30, 2022, dealt a major blow to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) power to regulate carbon emissions. Those clean renewables, like wind turbines and solar panels, can only generate ELECTRICITY, and intermittent electricity at best from available breezes and sunshine. The indisputable science is that renewables CANNOT manufacture any of the oil derivatives that are the basis of the thousands of products that are the foundation of societies and economies around the world.

Without a backup plan to replace crude oil, ridding the world of crude oil will be depriving citizens of the more than
6,000 products that were non-existent before 1900, made from the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil. Ridding the world of oil, without a replacement in mind is immoral and evil, as extreme shortages will result in billions of fatalities from diseases, malnutrition, and weather-related deaths.

The domino effects of tinkering with the supply chain of fossil fuels, is
supply shortages and soaring prices for not only electricity, but for the thousands of products that support the entire medical industry, all branches of the military, airports, electronics, communications, merchant ships, container ships, and cruise liners, as well as asphalt for roads, and fertilizers to help feed the world.

The major unintended consequence of divesting in crude oil that was responsible for the world populating from 1 to 8 billion in less than 200 years is that
efforts to cease the use of crude oil could be the greatest threat to civilization, not climate change.

Having confidence in humanity’s ability to adapt to climate changes, like they have done since the beginning of time, in my heart of hearts I dream of the day when the public recognizes climate change will not bring on an end of the world as we know it, or even a long-term net decline for human civilization.

However, efforts to cease the use of crude oil could be the greatest threat to civilization’s eight billion, and may result in billions, not millions, of fatalities from diseases, malnutrition, and weather-related deaths trying to live without the fossil fuels that have been benefiting society. Here is a reminder of what wind turbines and solar panels CANNOT manufacture, as these are all manufactured from crude oil. These manufactured items from oil did not exist before 1900. Most importantly, they are needed to support the growing demands of the world’s economy and for the health and well-being of the world’s eight billion residents.

Fuels for the; Life Without Oil is NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU MAY THINK as renewable energy is only intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine and NEITHER wind turbines, nor solar panels, can manufacture direct energy for society. Climate change may impact humanity but being mandated to live without the products manufactured from oil, will necessitate lifestyles being mandated back to the horse and buggy days of the 1800’s and could be the greatest threat to the planet's eight billion residents.

Everything that needs electricity, from lights, vehicles, iPhones, defibrillators, computers, telecommunications, etc., are all made with the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil. There would be nothing to power in a world without fossil fuels!



Banks and investment giants that are driving today’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) divesting in fossil fuels are all the rage on Wall Street to divest in all three fossil fuels of coal, natural gas, and crude oil. It is appalling that both President Biden and the United Nations support allowing the investment community to collude to reshape economies and our energy infrastructure.

Before divesting in all three fossil fuels of coal, natural gas, and crude oil, where is the replacement or clone for crude oil, to keep today’s societies and economies running in the healthy and wealthy developed countries?

--By Ronald Stein Pulitzer Prize nominated author, and Policy advisor for The Heartland Institute on Energy

Post Date: 2022-08-04 11:11:54Last Update: 2022-08-04 11:30:58


Out of Lockstep Prepares to Launch in Sioux Falls
Immersive Art Exhibit Tells the Story of "The Rest of Us"

“It feels like the whole paradigm of the world has shifted, changed gear, got colder and less unified....we are further from solving any global issues as love is being diminished daily, nothing left to trust in when your fellow man treats you like a pariah....” –Mollixillom, Australia

“The effects could be seen everywhere in the street. Especially when it came to Venezuelan refugees in the streets of Colombia, you could tell the situation was now much worse for them.” –Po, Columbia

“I no longer think the majority of people are good. I don't want to have friends anymore. I don't trust people. I can't believe how easily people have been brainwashed. After the Traffic Light System came into effect, I started having suicidal thoughts. I didn't want to live in this world anymore.” –Martz, New Zealand

“I believe the effects, psychologically and physically in people, has not hit us full force yet but god help us when it does,” –Jacob, Northern Ireland, UK

Out of Lockstep has been collecting pandemic stories and photographs from all over the world since February 2022. These stories will be featured in an immersive art installation along with other artistic representations of the pandemic zeitgeist – how the media stoked fear, what people were told to think and not think, what the effects on individual people were, and how we can find unity, resilience, and healing together. The exhibit will feature a variety of media elements and engage multiple senses through sound design, lighting, visual art, and interactivity.

Submissions for Out of Lockstep are open to anyone in the world who wishes to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, regardless of their background or political positions. Ameris Poquette, the Creative Director of Out of Lockstep hopes that “this project helps to bridge the gap between pro-mask and anti-lockdown movements, but I would settle for increased visibility around this issue and prompting important conversations. I’m excited to start a conversation, but even more so, I’m excited to tell the stories of many who were ignored or censored during the pandemic and mandates.”



However, some have been reluctant to share their stories with Out of Lockstep because they feel that it would contribute to an anti-lockdown message. While the project was initially conceived as a response to lockdown policies, the goal is to share a wide range of stories from different viewpoints in the same place, allowing the viewer to make their own decision. “When Anna explained the concept behind Out of Lockstep, I knew it had to happen,” Poquette explains. “While the construction of the actual exhibit presents its challenges, the biggest challenge to this project is perception. We’ve been programmed by the media into a binary of thought, prompting many to call this an anti-vax or right-wing project. Many seem to have lost the independent thought necessary to appreciate and consider a project like this in the spirit in which it is presented.”

Even among those who were against lockdowns and mandates, there is trepidation over losing friends, creating family conflicts, and attracting the attention of authorities. Several members of a Chinese subreddit who were invited to participate declined due to their concern that the CCP was trying to gather intelligence. While it may be easy to imagine this happening in China, the response from several members of an anti-lockdown Facebook group based in New York was eerily similar. Poquette described how her friend who is enrolled in art school in New York City expressed an interest in getting involved with creating pieces for Out of Lockstep, but decided against it due to fears of being kicked out of school for her participation. That same friend joked about how she “lost all her friends in the pandemic… but they are still alive!”

With these concerns in mind, people working on and submitting stories to Out of Lockstep have been given the option to remain anonymous. This means that some portraits will be done in an abstract style that captures the essence of the story while also being unrecognizable. It also means that some artists are working under pseudonyms, such as one Australian musician who refused to reveal even his first name out of fear of his government. “To succeed in our mission of giving a voice to those who were silenced, we have to protect their safety,” said John Healy, the project’s executive producer.



When asked about the divided political climate and how that could affect how Out of Lockstep will be received by the general public, Poquette answered, “It’s going to be a controversial piece. The point is to get people thinking, present them with facts, and allow them to come to their own conclusions. I believe this project will be appreciated by people on both the left and the right, so long as they are willing to consider the message.”

“The timing is also crucial,” Healy added. “While the pandemic is a contentious topic for many people today, it will become less so over time as people continue to heal.”

Out of Lockstep is inviting creative professionals to join the project and continues to collect stories from the public. The exhibition is expected to open in Sioux Falls in 2023.

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--Anna Cole, Associate Editor

Post Date: 2022-08-04 09:00:00Last Update: 2022-08-07 21:36:17


Graphic Documentary Honors Lives Altered, Lost and Devalued in Wake of Pandemic
“Their struggle, their pain, their deaths deserve to be acknowledged for what they are — the result of medical malfeasance, regulatory corruption and societal ‘mass formation’ insanity driven by media fearmongering and outright lies.” - Dr Joseph Mercola

“A common thread in these stories is the consistent dismissal by the medical community. Even in cases where the doctors do suspect a COVID jab injury, they still have no idea how the symptoms are caused or how to treat them, so they just send the victims home. Successful treatments appear to be extremely rare, which adds insult to injury,” stated Dr. Joseph Mercola.

The medical community is unifying and speaking out after alarming information has come to light. Many are now calling on lawmakers to pump the breaks on childhood covid shots, after disparities between clinical trial results, and documents submitted to the FDA, for the Emergency Use Authorization, show malfeasance. Approval for, never before used biologicals, was granted by the FDA to combat COVID-19. However, after FOIA requests were compelled by court order, it is now understood that both Pfizer and Moderna withheld vital information from their clinical studies, when presenting benefits vs risk to the FDA.[Full Report]

According to an analysis of the Pfizer documents, Robert W. Chandler, M.D., M.B.A shares, "but [the shot] did not all stay in the deltoid muscle. From the injection site in the deltoid muscle, mRNA/ Lipid Nanoparticles appeared in blood and plasma fifteen minutes after injection and persisted for the entire duration of the two-day study..."The major tissues that contained the drug concentration, aside from muscle at the injection site, were identified as being the liver, spleen, adrenal glands, and ovaries. The drug persisted in tissues throughout the duration of the study. The meaning and potential implications of the persistence in tissues was not addressed."



Dr Noami Wolf, via Daily Clout has covered the release of the FDA FOIA documents, and revelations that have come from hidden clinical trial evidence. Of particular concern, was the revelation that the shots created for children, contained 100 micro grams of mRNA, twice the level considered to be toxic during clinical trails.

According to
Indiana based life insurance company OneAmerica, the death rate is up a stunning 40% from pre-pandemic levels among working-age people.

“We are seeing, right now, the highest death rates we have seen in the history of this business – not just at OneAmerica,” the company’s CEO Scott Davison said during an online news conference. “The data is consistent across every player in that business.”

According to Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Indiana’s chief medical officer, "the number of hospitalizations in the state is now higher than before the COVID-19 vaccine was introduced a year ago, and in fact is higher than it’s been in the past five years," Dr. Weaver stated during a news conference with Gov. Eric Holcomb.

On June 17, 2022,
the FDA approved the Pfizer and Moderna shots for children 6 months of age and up. However, a recent survey from The Kaiser Family Foundation, shows that 43% of parents of children 6 months to 4 years old will “definitely not” get them vaccinated. Another 13% say they will only vaccinate their child if required to do so for school or daycare. Less than 4% of parents have vaccinated their children 6 months to 4 years old.

Parents, and even
college students are now saying they will leave public schools, and universities, rather than face vaccine mandates. With various social factors effecting public school enrollment, some say this could end up being the last line in the sand for parents, and a major issue for public school funding going forward.

--Breeauna Sagdal- Editor and Health Policy Journalist for The Dakota Leader

Post Date: 2022-08-02 11:49:10Last Update: 2022-08-03 13:14:12


Is Excellent Customer Service a Lost Art ?

Most adults grew up starting out in life working customer service jobs. That was the first thing kids learned after mastering how to ride a two-wheel bike and tying their own shoes. Customer service became the foundation for all their future careers, a financial starting point, and important lessons of interactions with customers, co-workers, clients, employers, and the public. Excellent customer service has always been the main driver of a business’ revenue. But what is happening in Sioux Falls?

As one shops around town in Sioux Falls and interacts with businesses on the phone, it’s become more and more noticeable that this valuable skill is nearly null and void, almost a lost art. Yet, the lack of good customer service may not always be the employee’s fault - let’s face it- unless employees are utilizing their own learned “common-sense” skills and “thinking outside the box”, the employer should still be providing customer service training to all new hires. Also, they should be providing ongoing customer service workshops and opportunities to existing employees so they can graduate to the next financial level. The employer’s #1 most important and valuable lesson is to…

Invest in Your Employees with the Proper Tools and Training!

Because most employers are not investing in their employees with the proper tools of customer service training. If they are expected to learn as they go, this sets them up for failure. Are they learning any new habits, good customer service phone skills, coworker non-bullying tactics, how to count back change, are they encouraged to cross train - so they become more valuable? If you answered ‘No’ to any of the above or you honestly don’t know, then that’s where the breakdown begins. The loss of customers and high employee turnover is on the business owner/employer not the employee.



Employers / Business Owners - Heed this Warning!

All employers and managers should inspect what they expect. Be alert and aware of ‘what’ your employee says to your customer and ‘how’ they say it -either in person or on the phone. This will determine your profits, return customers, new future customers, and help in avoiding the high cost of rehiring/retraining staff all over again!

If You Are Still Not Clear, Then Ask Yourself These Questions…

Question: When was the last time Human Resources (HR), management, or corporate checked the cost of the new hire on-boarding/orientation process to include drug testing?

Question: Is HR providing any mock customer service workshops or phone scripts?

Question: What can big corporations or small business do to fix their crumbling customer service dilemma and retain valuable employees?

Question: Is your HR and the hiring manager(s) keeping their promise or are their hours cut after on-boarding?

Question: What else are you doing to retain your employee -if raises are not an option? Answer: Click on this link to Ask Mare! Write to me, I’m here with a few solutions that may help save time/money.

--Ask Mare

Post Date: 2022-08-02 11:33:44Last Update: 2022-08-02 11:49:10


“Lucky Thirteen” – A List of Thirteen Gas Saving Tips!

1. Never pump when the fuel truck is refilling. As doing so, causes air to fill in the tank and will result in less fuel per fill.

2. Never top off. That will cause added air in the tank.

3. Never gas up when the ground is HOT.

4. Keep the tank full, and gas up before your tank reaches the half-way point. I know that’s hard now, but payout will be less.

5. Use Premium when possible; this costs a bit more but you will get better gas mileage.

6. Keep tires inflated properly. This saves gas, and each tank will go farther due to the added efficiency.

7. Keep the trunk empty! Added weight lowers fuel efficiency.

8. Maintain the vehicle; change out air filters, use high grade oil, and keep wheels aligned.



9. When traveling on the freeway; keep steady speed at 65 mph. Do not speed or continually accelerate. Use the cruise control when safe to do so.

10. Plan out errands and routes to avoid backtracking and unnecessary driving.

11. Avoid excessive acceleration and abrupt stops. This creates wear-and-tear on the foot brake and may cause you to be rear ended. To save on gas and brakes, try this… When approaching an intersection - about 100 yards in advance – start early to slow the vehicle by letting off the accelerator (gas pedal) let the car/truck slow on its own and upon approach of the stop light, apply the foot break gently, and gradually come to a safe stop. No need to race up to the light, or the car ahead of you in line, only to slam on the brakes.

12. Do not leave the car/truck on idle for long periods of time.

13. Use the air conditioner only when needed, this can help reduce fuel consumption by 5-20%.

Let me know how you’re doing, click HERE to Ask Mare.

Enjoy the ride!

--Ask Mare

Post Date: 2022-08-02 11:12:13Last Update: 2022-08-02 11:33:44


Freedom Caucus Urges Tax Breaks for South Dakotans
Press-Release SD Freedom Caucus

Pierre, S.D. (Aug 1, 2022) – Governor Kristi Noem recently announced a $115.5 million state budget surplus, and today the South Dakota Freedom Caucus responded to that announcement in a public statement calling on Governor Noem to give the money back to the citizens.

“South Dakota has nearly a half a billion dollars in reserves,” said Freedom Caucus Representative Tina Mulally, who also serves on the House Appropriations Committee, “and this is not the time for the state to be hording money when people are struggling to fill up their gas tanks or buy groceries.”

The $115.5 million surplus was transferred into the state budget reserves, which now totals $422.6 million dollars.

Governor Noem claimed in a recent press release that the large reserves are a positive sign of the state’s economic conditions and will help with the economic uncertainty caused by the 40-year highs in inflation, which she says is being caused “by the Biden Administration’s heavy spending.” Governor Noem said in another public statement that she intends for the state to “spend taxpayer money wisely and responsibly,” and has publicly cautioned against “a reduction in our state’s tax structure.”

But the South Dakota Freedom Caucus sees the large reserves as a clear sign of over-taxation and reckless spending priorities by the Noem administration.

“The Governor and her legislative allies need to remember this isn’t our money,” said Freedom Caucus Chairman Representative Aaron Aylward, “it’s the people’s money that we’ve been entrusted for their benefit, not to hold on to or horde when people need it the most.”

The South Dakota Freedom Caucus further pointed to expenditures totaling over $5 million under the Noem administration, which the Freedom Caucus publicly stated are “wasteful and unnecessary expenditures,” including the: Governor’s new private jet; Governor Mansion security wall & redecoration costs; a personal tv media studio; and a still undisclosed amount of taxpayer funds that were spent on political campaign related activities.

“Using public money for personal benefit, is not wisely spent taxpayer money,” said Mulally, “when the public never sees the benefit.”

The South Dakota Freedom Caucus intends to make the issue a priority at the upcoming 2023 legislative session, which starts January 10, 2023.



--SD Freedom Caucus

Post Date: 2022-08-01 09:54:56Last Update: 2022-08-01 10:02:36


Cautiously Optimistic- South Dakota’s Finances and the Future
Press-Release Gov. Kristi Noem

July 22, 2022

Earlier this week, the State of South Dakota closed the financial books for fiscal year 2022 with a record-breaking $115.5 million surplus. This historic surplus was a combination of revenues unexpectedly being $72.3 million above what was adopted by the legislature this past session and the general fund budget for state government operations having expenses $43.2 million less than budgeted.

For starters, the growth in our revenues reaffirms the strength of our state’s economy. South Dakota’s personal income growth led the nation again in the first quarter of 2022, and we have been a leader in this metric since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. People continue to move to South Dakota as our net inbound migration was ranked second in the nation. South Dakota’s 2.3% unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation and lower than before the pandemic. For their part, state agencies displayed tremendous fiscal responsibility throughout the year and, at my direction, brought state expenses in under the appropriated budget.

While this surplus may lead individuals to call for a reduction in our state’s tax structure, I offer a word of caution. Our state is in a great financial position thanks to our structurally balanced budget and strong reserves, but we must be prepared to weather any economic storm that may come our way. It will be difficult for our state to maintain the unprecedented growth as our citizens struggle with the highest inflation in 40 years.



Over the past few years, the national economy has been artificially supported by the trillions of dollars that Congress provided to states, businesses, and individuals because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The result was a predictable one: historic inflation. Until President Biden reverses the policies that have caused inflation to skyrocket, the strain of inflation will continue to be an obstacle to South Dakota’s fantastic growth. There will come a time when our economy is no longer boosted by these stimulus dollars, and we must be prepared for the impact that will have on our state’s finances.

In addition to an unknown economic climate, there are key investments our state needs to continue to make in education, healthcare, public safety, and our state workforce. As many of your wallets have felt the impact of inflation, our state’s budget will also feel this increase.

As always, we will turn these challenges into opportunities for South Dakota to continue to thrive. We will spend taxpayer dollars wisely and responsibly and save where we can. South Dakota is financially stronger than ever. I am committed to ensuring our state continues to invest in our people, workforce, and infrastructure while continuing to have as low of a tax burden as possible.

--Governor Kristi Noem

Post Date: 2022-07-26 11:53:15Last Update: 2022-07-26 12:02:15


SCOTUS Will Soon Determine Election Authority, Democrats Race to Add New Justices
Do State Legislature’s have the Sole Authority to Create Rules Considering Federal and State Elections?

The U.S Supreme Court will soon hear North Carolina Supreme Court v the North Carolina General Assembly, case related to Article 2, Section 2-5 of the constitution. The question before the high court is a constitutional matter, related to the State of North Carolina. The general assembly has alleged that the State Court superseded its authority by nullifying the legislature's decision on redistricting based upon future, federal and state districts, per the 2020 Federal Census.

The U.S Constitution specifically gives full authority to the numerous State Legislatures, the very bodies to whom directly represent American Citizens of the several State Republics. The only delegated power given to Congress, is to ensure the proper process is being followed within all Fifty (50) States. Each state has the sovereign right to adopt their own election laws, rules, and procedures regarding time, place, and manner.

The argument being stated in
Supreme Court Case #21-1271 is a pending controversy between the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina General Assembly. The court overruled, or "nullified" the legislature's facts, findings, and decision on how to align the state, by means of redistricting. The North Carolina General Assembly states that it waited for more than twelve months in obtaining the 2020 U.S Census. Then per the state constitution, held public hearings, allowing all citizens of the state to participate in redrawing their district boundaries, while debating various proposals from the redistricting committee.



Article 2, Section 1 lays out the entire process of how federal elections for the President and Vice President shall be constructed, while emphasizing the fact the State Legislature's have the sole, direct, authority in adopting laws, rules, and procedures for how to govern that process. This includes aligning the state in federal districts, and establishing rules and procedures for how to elect the presidential electors. It's also important to note that this section outlines rules regarding time, place, and manner of voting, to ensure that only 'born citizens' of the state, who are properly vetted, domiciled, and registered, can vote in the federal election.

By bringing this matter to the U.S Supreme Court, the North Carolina General Assembly asserts the following,

"TO THE HONORABLE JOHN G. ROBERTS, JR., CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES AND CIRCUIT JUSTICE FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT: The federal constitution expressly provides that the manner of federal elections shall “be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.” U.S. CONST. art. I, § 4. Yet barring this Court’s immediate intervention, elections during the 2022 election cycle for the U.S. House of Representatives in North Carolina will be conducted in a manner prescribed not by the State’s General Assembly but rather by its courts. “The Constitution provides that state legislatures”—not “state judges”— “bear primary responsibility for setting election rules,” Democratic Nat’l Comm. v. Wisconsin State Legislature, 141 S. Ct. 28, 29 (2020) (Gorsuch, J., concurring in denial of application to vacate stay), and this Court should intervene to protect the Constitution’s allocation of power over this matter of fundamental importance to our democratic system of government."

Per the landmark Supreme Court case cited, Democratic Nat'l Committee v Wisconsin State Legislature

"Elections must end sometime, a single deadline supplies clear notice, and requiring ballots be in by election day puts all voters on the same footing. 'Common sense, as well as constitutional law, compels the conclusion that the government must play an active role in structuring elections,' and States have always required voters 'to act in a timely fashion if they wish to express their views in the voting booth.'"

In Democratic Nat'l Committee v Wisconsin State Legislature, the Supreme Court upheld that the State's Legislature has the sole authority to adopt election laws, rules, and procedures, and to officially establish a firm 'date' of which the presidential election is to be held on, and ballots collected by. The court further asserts that this authority shall not be delegated to the courts, without express permission or request from the legislature.

The North Carolina General Assembly, by this request to the U.S Supreme Court, asked for and was granted preliminary relief, ahead of the 2022 Elections. This preliminary relief may now give the state enough time to adopt rules and procedures for the looming elections, and resolve potential controversies ahead of the 2024 Presidential Election. However, there are still arguments to be heard that could shape the future of the country via precedent.

Pending Arguments to be Heard:
  1. Does the North Carolina Court have authority to strike down, change, or deny the State Legislature of adopting newly aligned voting districts?
  2. Did the North Carolina Court have the right to rule in favor of a private political group, honoring their request to strike down a law adopted by the legislature?
  3. Does a state court have the authority to compel the state legislature to report remedies or data used to determine the process of re-districting?
  4. Is it constitutional for a state court to further delegate authority, as the North Carolina Court has done, when appointing political scientists to determine proper procedure of district alignment?
At stake, pending this Supreme Court Case, is the matter of who has the "authority" to govern, manage, and set the laws regarding Federal and State Elections.

There is no doubt that Supreme Court Case #21-1271, will play a huge role in determining how future Federal and State Elections will proceed going forward. This single case has the potential to reshape the future of the country. Stakes are currently so high, that Democrats have unveiled a plan to stack the Supreme Court with four new Supreme Court Justices, in an effort to overrule the current majority.

Our democracy is under assault, and the Supreme Court has dealt the sharpest blows.

To restore power to the people, we must

That's why I'm introducing the Judiciary Act of 2021 with @RepJerryNadler, @RepHankJohnson, and @SenMarkey to add four seats to SCOTUS. https://t.co/iW0hlmIpwk

— Rep. Mondaire Jones (@RepMondaire) April 15, 2021

With allegations of fraud and abuse during past elections, many believe it is now more important than ever, to reassure the American public that the election process can be trusted. Election security is vital to prevent violent uprisings like January 6th, and also reaffirm trust in our democratic republic.

As Senator Amy Klobuchar reminded, in the aftermath of violent events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, we have “a republic,” but only “if we can keep it.”

Help Support The Dakota Leader... DONATE TODAY!

--Mike Zitterich

Post Date: 2022-07-25 10:42:36Last Update: 2022-07-25 12:38:55


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