The littlest tykes were made to feel at home at the Discovery Center, during the Itty Bitty Einsteins preschool science class, Saturday, July 6.
“I am a scientist. I explore ...,” was enthusiastically repeated by the kids, responding to Hannah Gates, Pierre, summer teaching intern. Gates got her class of youngsters, and their parents, to do actions in a classroom setting. After hearing and pantomiming what they were going to do, and how to do it, everyone trooped through the main room of the Discovery Center to get to the outside planter area.
Exclaimed as “South Dakota Discovery Center — your hands-on science playground,” the building “used to be a power plant. That is why all the windows are kind of funky, and the basement is a maze,” said Gates. The center is at 805 W. Sioux Avenue in Pierre. Its summer hours, through August 31, are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. through 5 p.m. Many activities for all ages come with the $60 per year family membership. Admission for a day is $4 per person, if the family does not have a registered membership.
The Itty Bitty Einsteins class was approximately a half hour indoors, followed by another half hour of outdoor activities. Some kids (with parents) stayed a bit longer before going inside to touch upon the hundreds of other hands-on activities there. Inside, visitors were assisted by young Mesa Winder, year round associate. Many volunteers, from 11-years-old and up, get visitors started. An entire day seems to slip away while doing all sorts of science activities. Check the website sd-discovery.org.
“Get to know how plants grow, and what they need to be happy and healthy,” said Gates, as she showed up-close how to open a seed. The “baby plant” is inside. Each kid was loaned a magnifying glass to see clearer, things such as the seeds and the leave-lines of growing plants. Each kid planted beans in take-home containers. Seeds, soil, and container were all provided. Various raised planters were investigated by the kids, seeing different growth stages of plants in each. Watering the plants with spray bottles was fun, and extensive. And, now the kids get to watch their own plants grow at home.
In 2001, the Hopeless to Home Animal Rescue in Pierre was founded by now-president Lacey Boxley. With the help of vice president Brenda Manning and board member Janelle Allmond, they are still continually recruiting foster pet-parents, and finding permanent homes for dogs.
“We usually have from three up to six or seven at a time looking for homes,” said Boxley. “We try to not get too many, we must have the space for them in our volunteer foster places. The occasional high numbers usually mean we have had litters.”
Over the years, more than several hundred dogs have found “forever” homes. Anywhere from over half to three quarters of them have been from less than perfect situations. Some have been abused. Some have been orphaned because of traffic accidents. Senior citizens and families in divorce have had to give up their beloved dogs. “We have some contacts that reach out to us for help with placement,” Boxley said. “Life happens.”
Some foster homes fall off of the list because of “foster fails,” said Allmond, where a temporary family falls in love and decides to keep their foster dog. Some of these families then decide they do not have the room to foster any other dogs.
“We operate just off of donations. We are a foster home based organization,” Manning said, explaining not only the volunteer foster homes and lack of any real office space, but also veterinary work, vaccinations, beds, microchips and other overhead expenses. Adoption of a dog from Hopeless to Homes (H2H) costs $150. “A spay itself can cost more than that,” said Manning. “We do a lot for very little.” She praises all vets, particularly Dr. Virginia Trexler-Myren with All Creatures, for much of the work on H2H dogs.
H2H is hosting a fundraising event, the Chase the Four of Clubs. “We picked the Four of Clubs because the four represents four paws, and the clubs looks the most like a paw print,” Manning said.
People can purchase tickets to win 10 percent of that week’s sales of tickets. The beginning pot of $500 was donated 50/50 by Pet Pros Grooming and The Longbranch. The weekly winner also draws a card from a deck; and if they draw the Four of Clubs they win the entire pot. If the card is not drawn, the pot continues to grow with 40 percent of the weekly sales. The losing drawn card is not put back into the deck, thus within 52 weeks some weekly ticket-buyer will win the ever-growing pot. To win, you must be present at the 7:15 p.m. Monday drawings at The Longbranch. There will be specialized dog-named alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, as well as dog-named appetizers.
Fifty percent of each week’s sales goes to H2H, which is a 501©3 non-profit organization.
Celebrating the Fourth of July might have gotten a bit out of hand for some people. And some of this kept the Pierre Police Department busy.
On top of the other duties performed daily by the department, specific calls included some interesting incidents. Officers must do their duties, though they strive to keep the peace and settle calls as efficiently and amicably as possible.
According to Captain Derald Gross, there were a total of 36 specific calls during the evening of July 4. Some are still under investigation. Others were effectively closed by the attending officers.
Some reported incidents were just shenanigans. “Mischief. (Two people) were warned about discharging fireworks in Steamboat Park.” “Fireworks. Under investigation.” “Fireworks.”
“Responded to a report of loud fireworks. I did not locate anyone igniting fireworks.” “Mischief. A large group of individuals were ordered to clean up and leave Steamboat Park.” “Fireworks. Received a call of fireworks being shot off in the area. I was unable to locate anyone shooting off fireworks.” “Fireworks. Patrol was dispatched to a report of fireworks being discharged in the parking lot. I monitored the area and observed no fireworks being discharged.” “Fireworks. Received a call of someone discharging fireworks in the area. I drove the area and was unable to locate anyone setting off fireworks.” “(One person) was cited for discharging fireworks within the city limits of Pierre.” “Patrol was dispatched to a report of children out after curfew. No children were located.” “Disorderly conduct. Verbal warning.” “(Three people) were given a verbal warning for disturbing the peace.”
With the fireworks going off seemingly everywhere, dogs were going crazy. “Animal found. Animal impound. I impounded a German shorthair dog.” “Animal found. Under investigation.” “Animal call. Under investigation.” “Received a call of a dog that ran away.” “Animal complaints. (A person) reported his dog jumped out of his vehicle. (He) recovered his dog.” “Received a report of a German shepherd that was running at large. The dog was released to owner.”
“Intoxicated person. (A man) was found lying on the sidewalk. Was detained for protective custody — intoxication.”
Some were just routine. “Served (a person) with a city summons.”
Some incidents were the police having to deal with (editorial suggestion: idiots). “Citation issued to (person) of Annandale, MN, for speeding 73/35. He was also given a stern lecture about the recklessness of his driving habits.” “Received traffic complaints of two cars racing.” “Unknown subject used fireworks to blow up a truck’s windshield.” “Gave verbal warning to (a man) for careless driving.” “Citation issued. I issued the citation of exhibition driving to (a man).” “Suspicious person-vehicle. Suspicious red pick-up circling park multiple times.” “(Business) requested extra patrol regarding a customer that had been kicked out. I patrolled the area until closing, no issues.”
Some were assisting other first responders. “Patrol assisted AMR with a bicycle accident in the parking lot of (a business). The pedestrian was transported by AMR to Avera ER.” “Assisting other agencies. Assisted the fire department with a fire alarm call at St. Mary’s. The alarm was found to be a water sensor that triggered the alarm.”
Some incidents were what convince the rest of the public it needs police officers. “(A man) while riding his bicycle, was clipped by a car coming out of the China Buffet parking lot. There was no injury and no damage on the bike. The vehicle did not stop, and left the area.” There were two attempts of suicide, with one report stating, “(A woman) consumed a large amount of medication as she was feeling depressed.”
“(A person) called in about two bikes found behind his shed. I placed both bikes in the evidence shed.” “Theft. Refer to prosecutor. (A man) reported that a female stole his phone.” And then, later, “Property found. I collected a found phone from (same man).
“Domestic/family dispute. I spoke with (female) who stated the unknown male had already left her residence. Officers patrolled the area but were unable to find the subject.”
And then there are some calls that just simply stink. “Animal destroyed. Received a call of a skunk that was hit by a vehicle.”
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