United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler Announces Retirement

After 22 years with the United States Attorney’s Office, Randolph J. Seiler has announced his retirement. Seiler will bid farewell on December 31, 2017.

Randy Seiler was nominated in 2015 by President Barack Obama as the 41st United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota. He was sworn in on October 8, 2015, by U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange at a ceremony at the U.S. Courthouse in Pierre, South Dakota.

Prior to his appointment, he served as both Acting and Interim U.S. Attorney, and also as the First Assistant United States Attorney and the Tribal Liaison for the District of South Dakota. As First Assistant, Seiler was responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He also supervised the U.S. Attorney’s branch office in Pierre, where he was directly involved in prosecutorial matters and decisions. As Tribal Liaison, he consulted and coordinated with tribal justice officials and leaders, tribal communities, and victim advocates in an effort to address any issues in the prosecution of major crimes in Indian country in South Dakota.

Seiler has had a distinguished career as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. He spent 14 years prosecuting violent crime offenses. In 2001, he received the Department of Justice Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention. In 2009, he became the first recipient of the Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance in Indian Country. In 2008, Seiler also served as Council to the Director in the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He has been an instructor at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, as well as a presenter at numerous conferences and trainings on various topics including violent crime, sexual assault, domestic violence, and legal issues in the prosecution of violent crime in Indian country.

Some highlights of Seiler’s tenure as U.S. Attorney include:

· The number of cases filed and defendants charged has risen significantly over the past three years, with approximately 200 more in both categories since 2014.

· Established a dedicated Civil Rights Section within the office, spearheaded by a Civil Assistant U.S. Attorney. In addition to enforcing federal civil rights statutes, the Civil Rights Section strives to educate community members about their rights under federal law by engaging in outreach programs throughout the state.

· Instrumental in the inception of the Guardians Project Task Force, which is designed to enhance federal law enforcement effort to expose fraud and public corruption in Indian country, by uniting the expertise and resources of the participating thirteen federal investigative agencies.

· Made drug prosecutions one of the office’s top priorities by committing the U.S. Attorney’s Office to work with and coordinate drug task forces across South Dakota, including the newly created Northeastern South Dakota Drug Team. The District of South Dakota is now among the top ten federal judicial districts for drug prosecutions, based on population. This is a marked change from ten years ago, when South Dakota was not in the top ranks.

· Revised the management structure of the SD U.S. Attorney’s Office to include more women and minorities, and has hired minorities as Assistant U.S. Attorneys and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys, providing a more diversified approach to the offices’ priorities and focus.

· Created “Walk-In Wednesday”, wherein a representative of the U.S. Attorney’s office is on-site at Pine Ridge each Wednesday. Seiler implemented this initiative to allow citizens to more easily communicate with the office concerning crime on the reservation, inquire about existing cases, or to obtain any information which might be sought by the citizenry.

· Extended outreach in Indian country by holding community listening sessions, meeting with Tribal Councils, appointing Tribal Prosecutors as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and implementing a “First Friday” call with Tribal Chairmen.

· Initiated regular community based outreach meetings in Sioux Falls and Rapid City discussing such topics as civil rights, officer involved shootings, frauds and scams, immigration, and hate crimes.

· Started a reentry program in the U.S. Attorney’s Office to address the high rates of recidivism.

Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1995, Seiler was in private practice in Mobridge, South Dakota, where he practiced criminal and civil law. He was appointed by the South Dakota Supreme Court to the Board of Pardons and Paroles and also served on the State Board of Education. He was elected to three terms on the Mobridge School Board and also served as a Special Judge for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Most recently, Seiler served his community as a member of the Fort Pierre City Council.

Seiler grew up in Herreid, South Dakota, served his country in the U.S. Air Force, which included a year-long tour in Vietnam, and graduated with honors from the University of South Dakota School of Law. He and his wife, Wanda, live in Fort Pierre, and have four grown children and two grandchildren.

Following his resignation as U.S. Attorney, Seiler plans to practice law in Fort Pierre, and pursue other opportunities.


Joan Mary Ainsworth, 90

Joan Mary Ainsworth of Spearfish, SD, passed away at the age of 90 on Nov. 9, 2017. Joan was born on April 15, 1927 in Lead, SD, to Florence (Kitterman) and Omer Moorhead. Upon graduating from Spearfish High School in 1945, she attended BHSU. She married the man of her dreams, Stan Ainsworth, in 1946. Together they had 7 daughters.

While Stan was teaching in Buffalo, SD, Joan was very active, giving private piano lessons, teaching choral music in the Buffalo School system, and sharing her talent and love of music with the community.

After moving to Winner, SD, in 1954, Jo worked for her uncle, Cliff Doud, at the Modern Cleaners while Stan began his 20 year teaching tenure in the Winner School District. They purchased this business in 1959. Later they became owners of the bowling alley on Main Street. In 1975 they built the new Galaxy Inn and Star Lanes outside of Winner.

In 1979, Joan and Stan moved back to Spearfish where she worked in various positions at the Dorsett Healthcare Facility for 17 years, again entertaining the residents with her musical gift. In 2005 the couple moved to Payson, AZ. After the passing of her husband in 2016, she returned to Spearfish where she resided until her death.

She is survived by her daughters, Jackie (Bob) Dinardi – Payson, AZ; Sandy (John) Wilkinson – Spearfish, SD; Doni O’Malley (Scott Bucher) – Payson, AZ; JoLynn Dougherty – Sioux Falls, SD; Bobbie (John) Voegeli – Winner, SD. She was blessed with 13 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren: Tyler (Kelly) Messick and Tatum; Wade (Julie) Wilkinson, Morgen and Cameron; Heather Wilkinson (Jarrod Walton), Kelsey and Samantha; John O’Malley, Lucas and Jax; Shani O’Malley (Josh Powers), Jaggar, Holly, and Zane; Katie O’Malley ( Tim Zigler), Jessica and Caetlin; Tori Smith (Josh Monahan), Soren, Layne, and Allison; Tami (Casey) Heyer, Belle, Libby, Eryka, and Gracyn; Ryan (Janelle) Routh, Rylynn, Landon, and Peyton; Pam Routh (Justin Lynde), Cole, Jax, Maks, and Kensley; Sam Voegeli; Jace Voegeli; and Daniel Haak (Audrey Larson) and Zoey Dee. She is also survived by her sister, Gloria (Jim) Nelson, sisters-in-law, Mary Ann Moorhead and Garnette Ainsworth as well as several nieces and nephews. Additional survivors include a host of close friends and staff members at Sandstone Manor and the Dorsett Healthcare Facility.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Stan; daughters, Pamela and Kelly; her parents; brothers, Gerald and Don Moorhead; mother-in-law, Rena Shipley; son-in-law, Jim Dougherty; sisters-in-law, IdaMae Moorhead and Lillian Ainsworth; brothers-in-law, Lydston and Lyle Ainsworth; and several nieces and nephews.

Jo will always be remembered for her fabulous cinnamon rolls and baking skills. Her “loving and spoiling ways” will be forever cherished by her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Joan and Stan will be laid to rest together with a family celebration of life at the Black Hills National Cemetery at a later date.

Thanksgiving Facts

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. It’s a day to give thanks for the blessings of the previous year as well as the harvest. Thanksgiving was traditionally a religious and cultural celebration, but today is celebrated by many people in Canada and the U.S. regardless of their beliefs or culture. In Canada, Thanksgiving is held on the second Monday in October while in the U.S. it is held on the fourth Thursday in November. Similar holidays exist around the world in other countries and cultures, but have different names and are held on different days. The only ones likely to not enjoy a Thanksgiving feast today would be the turkeys. Ceremonies to give thanks are common in almost all religions, especially after harvests.

Interesting Thanksgiving Facts:

The first Canadian Thanksgiving is thought to have occurred in 1578, when an explorer Martin Frobisher held a Thanksgiving celebration for surviving his journey from England.

Some believe that the first Thanksgiving celebrations in Canada can be traced to French settlers. These settlers who came to New France in the 1600s with explorer Samuel de Champlain, celebrated successful harvests with large feasts of thanks. They also shared their food with the native people.

Most of Canada considers Thanksgiving a statutory holiday.

The first Thanksgiving in the United States was held at Plymouth in 1621. This feast was prompted by a good harvest and celebrated by pilgrims and puritans.

It wasn’t until the 1660s that the harvest feast became an annual affair.

Each year the President of the United States pardons a turkey. This lucky turkey is guaranteed to spend the rest of its life living freely and not ending up on a turkey platter.

When the pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower, the Wampanoag Indians taught them how to cultivate the land. These Indians were invited to the first Thanksgiving in 1621.

The first Thanksgiving in 1621 was celebrated for three days.

The first Thanksgiving feast was made up of lobster, chestnuts, onions, leeks, dried fruit, cabbage, carrots, chicken, rabbit, honey and maple syrup and other items.

There were no mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, or even corn on the cob at the first Thanksgiving feast.

The writer of Mary Had a Little Lamb, Sarah Josepha Hale, is thought to be the person who persuaded Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be the national day for Thanksgiving.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in the 1920s and is still held today.

Approximately 280 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving in the United States.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday in the United States and is the first official shopping day for Christmas.

Even if turkeys wanted to escape before Thanksgiving they couldn’t fly. Commercially raised turkeys are not able to fly.

Other countries that celebrate Thanksgiving include:

Germany – they celebrate the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival in early October; Grenada – they celebrate Thanksgiving Day on October 25th; Korea – they celebrate Korean Thanksgiving Day in late September or early October; Japan – they celebrate Labor Thanksgiving on November 23rd; Liberia – they celebrate Thanksgiving on the first Thursday of November; and Norfolk Island celebrates Thanksgiving on the last Wednesday of November.


Sutton Honored by Casey Tibbs Foundation

Renee Sutton of Burke was honored at the 28th annual Casey Tibbs Foundation tribute dinner Nov. 4.

Sutton was named the rodeo cowgirl great. She was one of six persons honored at the banquet.

Sutton has been involved with rodeo for many years. She has been a contestant, secretary, timer and held state queen titles.

Sutton has been the voice of rodeo for SDRA for many years doing the SDRA rodeo report for radio shows.

She has worked promoting the Burke Stampede Rodeo for more than two decades. She is most honored in raising her three rodeo children: Dee Haugen, Billie Sutton and Rehme Sutton.


Pierre, S.D. -The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission did not adopt their proposal which would have expanded the use of hounds to hunt mountain lions.

The initial request, through the citizen petition process, asked to remove the restrictions of the use of hounds on public land outside of the Black Hills Fire Protection District. In October, the GFP Commission accepted a petition as a proposal which allowed for public input and a public hearing at their November meeting.

After receiving public comment and further discussing the matter, the GFP Commission did not adopt the change. Lion hunting with hounds outside the Black Hills Fire Protection District will remain under the same structure. Pursuits must originate on private land and can culminate on School and Public Lands or Bureau of Land Management properties with the exception of the Fort Meade Recreation Area.


University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine Receives National Honor

The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine is the 2017 recipient of the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service. This distinguished award – considered by many to be the top award that a medical school can receive- is presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the national organization for America’s 147 medical teaching institutions.

The award recognizes successes and efforts by the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine to serve the health care needs of rural citizens in South Dakota, including those living in or near small towns and on Native American reservations.

“We are grateful to the many communities and countless individuals across our state who partner with us and support our mission to serve South Dakotans,” said Dr. Mary Nettleman, dean of the medical school. “This gratifying award humbles us and inspires us to continue our work.”

In announcing the award, the Association of American Medical Colleges issued the following statement: “The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine has dedicated itself to advancing the state’s highest health priority: ensuring South Dakotans have access to high-quality, culturally appropriate care.”

The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine was presented this award at the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges, held in early November in Boston, Massachusetts.

Here’s a look at Veterans Day, a holiday honoring men and women who have served in the US armed forces.


Celebrated annually on November 11th, the anniversary of the end of World War I.

There are 18.5 million veterans in the United States, according to the most recent statistics available.

There are 1.6 million female veterans.

There are 9.2 million veterans over the age of 65.

November 11, 1918 – The armistice ending World War I begins at 11 am.
1919 – President Woodrow Wilson proclaims November 11 as Armistice Day.
November 11, 1921 – The first Unknown Soldier is reburied at Arlington National Cemetery. The tomb has the words inscribed, “Here rests in honored glory An American Soldier Known but to God.”
May 13, 1938 – Armistice Day becomes a federal holiday.
June 1, 1954 – President Dwight Eisenhower signs a bill changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to include all US veterans.
May 30, 1958 – Unknown Soldiers from World War II and the Korean War are reburied next to the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
1968 – Congress changes the date of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October in order to give federal employees a three-day weekend. The change begins in 1971.
September 25, 1975 – President Gerald Ford changes the date of Veterans Day back to November 11. The change begins in 1978.
May 28, 1984 – An unknown soldier from the Vietnam War is reburied in Arlington National Cemetery. In 1998, he is identified through DNA tests as Michael Blassie, a 24-year-old pilot shot down in 1972 on the border of Cambodia.

Veterans Day in the United States

In the USA, Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day.

Veterans Day honors those who served the United States in all wars, especially veterans.


Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. It is marked by parades and church services and in many places the American flag is hung at half mast. A period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11am. Some schools are closed on Veterans Day, while others do not close, but choose to mark the occasion with special assemblies or other activities.

Veterans Day is officially observed on November 11. However, if it falls on a week day, many communities hold their celebrations on the weekend closest to this date. This is to enable more people to attend and participate in the events. Federal Government offices are closed on November 11. If Veterans Day falls on a Saturday, they are closed on Friday November 10. If Veterans Day falls on a Sunday, they are closed on Monday November 12. State and local governments, schools and non-governmental businesses are not required to close and may decide to remain open or closed. Public transit systems may follow a regular or holiday schedule.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory”. There were plans for parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business activities at 11am.

In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared that the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving. The Congress also requested that the president should “issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.”

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) was approved on May 13, 1938, which made November 11 in each year a legal holiday, known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I. A few years later, World War II required the largest mobilization of service men in the history of the United States and the American forces fought in Korea. In 1954, the veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the word “Armistice” to “Veterans”. Congress approved this change and on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans, where ever and whenever they had served.

In 1968 the Uniforms Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) made an attempt to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday of October. The bill took effect in 1971. However, this caused a lot of confusion as many states disagreed with this decision and continued to hold Veterans Day activities on November 11. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which stated that Veterans Day would again be observed on November 11 from 1978 onwards. Veterans Day is still observed on November 11.


Sobriety Checkpoints Listed for November

November’s list of sobriety checkpoints have been announced by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

Checkpoints are planned for the counties of: Butte, Codington, Davison, Edmunds, Hughes, Jerauld, Jackson, Lincoln, Meade, Minnehaha, Pennington, Roberts, Stanley, Tripp and Union.

The checkpoints are designed to discourage people from drinking and then driving.

The monthly checkpoints are funded by the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety and conducted by the highway patrol.