Carol Jean Huzuka, 89

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Carol Jean (Tharnish) Hazuka was born on May 3, 1928 in Creighton Nebraska, daughter of Henry and Leona Tharnish. She had two older sisters, Marcelline and Alma, both deceased.

She married Glen Bloom of Winner, SD in 1948. They had seven children: Sandra Diane Uttecht (Jim), Hartford, SD; Glenda Jean Rogers (Bill), Georgetown, TX; Clifford Anthony Bloom who passed away in infancy; Michael Frederick Bloom (Ann), Bismarck, ND; Trudy Jane Harris (Jim), Payson, AZ; Margo Ann Kolbo (Larry), Bismarck, ND; and Bonnie Marie Swartwood, Cheyenne, WY.

She married Anton (Tony) Hazuka in 1977 and resided in Winner with him until his death in 2011. She was moved to a Bismarck nursing home to be near her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She has 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Carol Jean is fondly remembered for her love of music (there was always singing in her house), hot meals on the table every night, being the nurse for one of her children that lead to nursing two, three and eventually 6 kids sick all at one time, and the fun of games and cards. She always made Easter and Christmas a special family time. She and Tony loved camping and gardening in their backyard. Catholic Daughters and the Catholic Church were very important in her life, many times she would join clubs and be voted in eventually as president. She had a great dry sense of humor. Most importantly, if ever you were in trouble or having a hard time, she was the one to go to. She always had a listening ear and nonjudgmental attitude.

Darnytia Kucera, 85

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Darnytia Kucera died peacefully on May 29, 2017 at the Winner Regional Hospital in Winner, SD after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 85 years old.

Darnytia Ioma Boes Kucera was born on July 20, 1931 on the family farm in Spring Valley Township, Gregory, SD to Jacob and Hulda Boes. She was one of 8 children. She attended Allum Country School south of Burke, SD.

Darnytia married Joseph William Kucera on December 4, 1949. They lived on a farm south of Gregory until 1970 when they moved to Gregory. The couple had five children: Linda, Robert, Richard, Darla, and Brenda. She worked a variety of jobs and excelled at whatever she did. She impacted the lives of the children she cared for in her in-home daycare. Darnytia was an avid bowler, loved to garden, and did a variety of canning. She loved to dance at Carlock and listen to Polka music. Mollie B Polka Party was a favorite. She moved to Winner in 1978.

On June 6, 1981 Darnytia married Robert Heying. They enjoyed traveling and took many trips. She enjoyed her job at Burns Pharmacy where she managed the soda fountain and served several generations of Winner youth. Making salads at the American Legion filled many Friday afternoons. Telling her jokes and stories with a group of friends over a cup of coffee was a favorite pastime. Friends will fondly remember Darnytia’s “love taps” and have the bruises to show for it.
She married James Kucera on March 24, 2001. She and Jim enjoyed camping and fishing and traveling to many vacation spots. They enjoyed their Sunday afternoon drives to different casinos and taking the bus for overnight trips. As Jim says, “Mom was never a loser.”

Mary Kaiser, 84

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Mary Kaiser, 84, of Pierre, passed away Friday, May 26, 2017 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital.

Mary Kaiser was born at Prosperity Flats, east of Westover, SD at the home of her maternal grandparents on August 23, 1932. She passed away on May 26, 2017 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital.

She married Harold Kaiser in Pierre, SD on Dec. 1, 1955.

Kathleen Gushwa, 92

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Kathleen was born in Hamill SD on Nov. 24, 1924, the 5th of 7 children to Ollie and former Tripp County Commissioner, Millian Kulbel. During World War II she moved to Santa Monica CA where she worked as a secretary while waiting for her sweetheart, Keith Gushwa of Colome SD to return from the war in the Pacific.

The high school sweethearts wed in 1946 in Colome. After several moves they settled in Escondido California in 1961. Kathleen worked in food service for Escondido Schools for 27 years and also served as a food team leader for 1st United Methodist Church where she was a devoted member for 56 years. Memorial service was June 1 at 1st United Methodist Church, Escondido, CA. Memories can be posted at

Gregory County Man Arrested for Second Degree Murder


Attorney General Marty Jackley and Gregory County States Attorney Amy Bartling confirm that Chance Harruff, 46, Dallas, has been charged and arrested by complaint for second degree murder in the death of Kristi Olson, 38, Dallas.

Charges stem from an incident that occurred in Dallas on June 1, at a residence located at 417 Hwy 18.
Harruff is presumed innocent until such time as proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the Gregory County Sheriff’s Office, Gregory Police Department and the Division of Criminal Investigation and being prosecuted by the Gregory County States Attorney.

Sutton Enters Race for Governor

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State Senator Billie Sutton of Burke entered the governor’s race on May 31.

The Democratic senator made the announcement at his family’s ranch.

The 33-year-old said he was up for the challenge. “We rise to the occasion together. No matter what the obstacles ahead, no matter what the challenges we can work together to make South Dakota everything it can be,” he said.

Sutton shared with family and friends and fellow Democratic lawmakers the story of his rodeo accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

The investment consultant and former rodeo rider has served as a member of the state Senate since 2011 representing District 21. He would hit his term limit in the senate in 2018.

Sutton says he has the ability to work across the aisle politically and to relate to east and west river South Dakotans.

Sutton would be the first Democrat to be elected governor since former Gov. Richard Kneip. Kneip won the seat in 1974.
Sutton is the first Democrat to announce his candidacy in the gubernatorial race.

J.W. Parmley and his Quest for Good Roads

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Long before the television show “The Amazing Race,” Joseph Parmley was making what one newspaper described as “the most remarkable run in the history of the state.”

“This is an important day in the history of the Yellowstone Trail,” read an article in the Pierre Weekly Free Press referring to an event on May 15, 1915. “At 4 o’clock this morning, J.W. Parmley, of Ipswich, president of the association, left Lemmon in a Studebaker Six for a trip across the state, which he expects to finish at Ortonville, Minn., at 8 o’clock this evening, making the 349 miles in 16 hours.”

It was a feat many considered impossible. Parmley, 1861-1940, was a driving force behind the establishment of the Yellowstone Trail Association in 1912. The association’s goal was to create a high-class transcontinental highway from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound with the hope it would attract travelers to Yellowstone National Park and open the Northwest to tourists.

At the time, roads weren’t marked, there were few maps and mud was the usual road surface.

Parmley set out to prove that travelers from the east need not fear selecting the Yellowstone Trail as the route west by dashing off in the dawn to travel the entire distance of the Trail in South Dakota in less than a day.

A race driver from Kansas City, W.R. Payne, drove the Studebaker Six that was furnished by W.C. Nissen, the Studebaker distributor in Aberdeen. Parmley and Payne were accompanied by a mechanic and representatives of Aberdeen newspapers. Accounts of the journey were given in the Aberdeen Daily News and Aberdeen Daily American. Cheering crowds in every town along their route sped the party on its way. The racers also encountered the nemesis of travelers: muddy roads.

Despite losing track of the trail and plowing through mud hub-deep, the group arrived in Aberdeen at 2 p.m., only 10 minutes behind schedule. “Hundreds of people lined the streets to see the car arrive and at the W.C. Nissen garage a huge crowd had collected, which set up a mighty cheer as the car swept down the street and slid into the garage on high gear,” read the Aberdeen Sunday American, the Sunday edition of the Aberdeen Daily American. “The crowd swarmed up to the car in their enthusiasm and it was with difficulty that the waiting mechanicians adjusted new (mud) chains to all the tires and filled the gasoline tank.”

Good roads between Aberdeen and Ortley enabled the car to reach Ortley exactly on schedule. The party was ready for a flying trip down the grade into Big Stone City. “Upon leaving Marvin, however, they encountered the worst piece of road on the trip,” read the article in the Aberdeen Sunday American. “The road was in many places covered with water from the rains, which had assumed almost the magnitude of a cloud burst. The grade through here is rather low, necessitating the car to travel on intermediate and low speed the entire distance. As was the case along the western part of the trip, the carburetor filled with water from the road bed, necessitating a stop to drain it.” The band was playing and crowds had gathered when the mud-plastered Studebaker arrived at Ortonville at 8:15 p.m.

The vehicle failed to make the run in 16 hours, “but everybody there considered that despite this fact the car had made the most remarkable run in the history of the state, and with decent weather could have cut two hours from the running time easily.” Parmley became known as “The Father of the Yellowstone Trail,” now U.S. Highway 12. A man of vision and action, he helped bring about the International Peace Garden and advocated for many special projects such as soil conservation, diversified farming, building dams to create artificial lakes and beautifying towns by planting flowers on vacant lots. He was named to the South Dakota Highway Hall of Fame in 1972 and the South Dakota Cowboy and Western Heritage Hall of Fame in 1981. His house in Ipswich is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The J.W. Parmley Historical Home and the Parmley Western Land Office in Ipswich are maintained as museums.

This moment in South Dakota history is provided by the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising partner of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. Find us on the web at Contact us at to submit a story idea.

South Dakota’s Pump Price Average is Holding Steady


Nationally, the price of a gallon of gasoline increased one cent to $2.38 from last week; however, the price at the pump in 30 states has fallen as much as four cents. The moderate decline in gasoline prices is typical following a long holiday weekend.

South Dakota’s statewide average today is $2.369, the same week over week and four cents higher than one year ago. Prices over the last month have only fluctuated by one or two cents.

“As you’re heading out for that great American road trip this summer, it’s good to know what gas prices are doing in the states you’ll be traveling in and through,” said Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota. “You’ll get up to date price averages for each state by checking”

Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline

Sioux Falls – $2.23, down 2 cents from one month ago … up 1 cent from 6/5/16
Rapid City – $2.42, down 1 cent from one month ago … up 14 cents from 6/5/16
South Dakota – $2.36, down 2 cents from one month ago … up 4 cents from 6/5/16
U.S. – $2.38, up 2 cents from one month ago … up 2 cents from 6/5/16