Monthly Archives: August 2013

A nice night on the mound for Twins staff w/update

It’s tough to hold off the power bats of the Texas Rangers. The Minnesota Twins did it Friday night. Liam Hendriks somehow kept the Rangers to just two runs through six innings. Then the Twins bullpen took over. Brian Duensing and Josh Roenicke threw a one-hit seventh inning, Jared Burton went through the eighth clean and Glen Perkins closed out the 3-2 win with a perfect ninth inning. Perkins threw two of the Twins’ meager four strikeouts. Second baseman Brian Dozier robbed a  would-be RBI hit from Jurickson Profar  in the fourth after Profar had homered in the third. The Twins needed every bit of great defense and solid pitching because Texas starter Yu Darvish no-hit the Twins through six innings, but Chris Herrmann (with Dozier aboard) and Justin Morneau nailed back-to-back home runs in the seventh to put the Twins ahead 3-2. Best of all is that Morneau remains with Minnesota. For at least one more night, the Twins made their 2013 style of baseball — good defense, ground-ball pitching and timely hitting — work for a victory. They stand at 58 wins and 75 losses; Texas is 78-56. Tonight in Texas favors the Rangers, as Mike Pelfrey faces tough Matt Garza.

UPDATE: Justin Morneau has left the building, in exchange for Alex Presley, in a swap Saturday between the Twins and the Pirates. Morneau, at 259 and 17 home runs this season, has posted the same stats line as the Pirates previous platoon of Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez (combined .260 and 16 homers). The Twins get a 28-year-old part-time major league outfielder in Presley who’s been unable to consistently crack the Pittsburgh lineup. The Pirates get a 32-year-old who hit nine home runs in August. The Twins will get either a player to be named later or cash in addition to Presley.

2013 will test pheasant hunters’ abilities

The state Game, Fish and Parks Department just released its 2013 brood county survey. The bottom line is a statewide average of 1.52 pheasants per mile, down from 4.19 last year at this time. Best results: Chamberlain at 2.62 — but that’s down from 10.81 in 2012 and a 10-year average of nearly 16 birds per mile. The main season opens Oct. 19 and runs through Jan. 5. None of the regions is better than a year ago. The best general belt is Mobridge to Pierre to Chamberlain to Winner. Overall, this could be a blow for South Dakota’s rural economy and for the GFP budget if non-residents don’t keep coming as they once did. On the other hand, this could be a godsend to pay-preserves where hunters know they should find birds. Read the full report here from SDGFP on the 2013 brood count:


Great update on NYC’s mayoral race

Any election battle that brings Carlos Danger into the conversation and makes you want to hum the “I wish I was an Oscar Mayer wiener” song deserves a mention for the Labor Day weekend. Visit the latest piece on the New York City mayoral contest at in today’s on-line editions of The New York Times. The front-runners are no more… and there are just 11 days to go. As our nation’s largest city and, in many ways, our national symbol worldwide, New York City demands attention from the American people — and this latest twist is just part of a great tale about the battle to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

An interesting move in the minimum-wage drive

Zach Crago, the interim executive director for the South Dakota Democratic Party, said this morning that the petition drive to put a minimum-wage increase on the 2014 statewide ballot kicks off today at the State Fair in Huron and will ramp up on Labor Day in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. The settings will be the Sioux Falls trades and labor picnic at Elmwood Park and the Rapid City labor council’s morning parade on Main Street and picnic at Old Storybook Island’s park. The hourly minimum in most instances is $7.25 currently. The initiative seeks to increase it to $8.50 followed by cost of living increases. South Dakota’s labor organizations and the Democratic Party are teaming up on the petition drive. They need valid signatures from 15,855 South Dakota registered voters by Nov. 4 in order to make the 2014 ballot.

Duggan departs as state courts administrator

Patricia Duggan is state courts administrator no more. Her last day was Tuesday, August 27. The University of Mary graduate (BS and MS) spent six years  in analyst positions in the New Mexico courts system, then was trial court administrator for five years in Clay County, Minnesota. In 2000 she became administrator for the Third Circuit in South Dakota, based at Brookings. Chief Justice David Gilbertson appointed her as state courts administrator for South Dakota in 2008. Monday was proclaimed, jointly, by Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the chief justice as Patricia Duggan Day in South Dakota. Their proclamation noted her accomplishments and described her career as “distinguished.” One of those accomplishments was her leadership in taking South Dakota from a mainframe-based case filing system to the new Odyssey web-based system, with the final counties coming on-line in June this year. Her current annual salary was $111,394.50. The Unified Judicial System is currently advertising for her successor. (For more on the Odyssey system:

A picture worth one million words: ‘The joy of governing’

Gov. Dennis Daugaard somewhere below 10,000 feet during his first sky-dive Wednesday at Madison, as part of a fundraiser by the local Dairy Queen for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. That's DeLon Mork, who sold 38,412 "Blizzards" at his DQ restaurant, pairing with the governor, whose initials DD might now best stand for DareDevil.








Gov. Dennis Daugaard shows the daredevil in his soul Wednesday in this photo taken somewhere short of 10,000 feet, as he sky-dives for the first time in his life, as part of a tandem with instructor Dan Spisak near Madison. The governor fulfilled his promise to sky-dive after DeLon Mork’s Dairy Queen restaurant at Madison sold 38,412 Blizzard treats in a single day as a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The governor said he would sky-dive if 32,000 Blizzards were sold. The photo is even better if you click on it to enlarge. (Photo courtesy of the governor’s office)

Date of CSP buffalo roundup changes this year

The tradition of holding the buffalo roundup on a Monday is no more. This year the Custer State Park event will be on Friday, Sept. 27. The two-day art festival will continue in its traditional Saturday-Sunday slot, but now the festival will follow the roundup rather than precede it. The goal of the change is to get more people to enjoy more time in the beautiful park and the Black Hills. Moving to Friday also might make snow a little less likely. There’s probably a weather-person out there who can give us those odds. Parking lots will open at 6:15 a.m. on roundup morning, while the actual roundup starts at 9:30 a.m. and will be done in about two hours. A steak fry will be held later Friday at the pavilion. There will be pancake breakfasts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and a lunch on Friday after the roundup’s completion (fees are charged for the meals). This will be the forth-eighth annual roundup for CSP.

Sad news about Morneau clearing waivers has the story: about Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau being in position to leave the Twins for a contender in the days ahead during the races for berths in Major League Baseball’s playoffs. The CBS piece says the Twins are willing to pay about $3 million still owed to Morneau on his $14 million contract this year. He’s currently hitting at his best in many years and maybe, as a pure hitter, he’s at his peak. I always thought Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau weren’t moveable pieces but I live too often in a dream world. Perhaps we are about to see the start of the Chris Colabello era at first base, after he won the MVP and rookie-of-year honors for the AAA-minors International League this summer. Colabello’s AAA numbers were .352 and 24 home runs.

Fed highways chief coming to South Dakota

Victor Mendez, director for the Federal Highway Administration, will visit Sioux Falls on Thursday where he’ll join state Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist in a news-media availability and tour the Cliff Avenue project along Interstate 90. Bergquist said this will the first visit by Mendez to South Dakota in his current role to see a federally funded project and the trip also will provide an opportunity to meet with SDDOT and local FHWA officials. Mendez began duties as FHWA administrator in July 2009. He previously was Arizona secretary of transportation since 2001 and began in Arizona’s transportation department as an engineer in 1985. He served in 2006 as president for western states association of transportation officials and for the national association.

School of Mines ready for wellness and rec center

The proposed price tag is $8.9 million for the new wellness and recreation center sought by South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at its Rapid City campus. The state Board of Regents’ building committee meets this morning in a 10 a.m. CDT teleconference to approve the final design. The plan calls for a new two-court gymnasium (one floor maple, the other synthetic), a cardio-fitness area and a bouldering wall 60 feet long by 10 feet high (times have changed…) along with a new south entrance and casual seating area. There also will be 18,200 feet of remodeled space for weights, group exercise, larger locker rooms and a new elevator. Students will pay for $6.7 million of the costs through a $10 per credit surcharge while $2.2 million will come from gifts. The addition will be built on eight-tenths of an acre south and east of the King Center. The gymnasium will cost about $2.9 million, the fitness center about $1.3 million and renovations about $2.5 million, Sidewalk revisions and other items will run about $700,000 and furniture about $300,000. Two contingency accounts total nearly $1 million.