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‘Great Job’: Trump says government doing well in battle versus COVID-19, despite growing numbers
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South Dakota reached another all-time high for active COVID-19 infections on Wednesday at 2,875, while the state Department of Health confirms 169 residents — including four from Hughes County — have died from the disease.

At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed more than 184,000 American deaths attributed to the disease as of Wednesday, along with more than 6 million total coronavirus cases since tracking began early this year.

And despite criticism from many, including Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, President Donald Trump said the federal government’s response to COVID-19 has been sound.

“We’ve done a great job on COVID, but we don’t get the credit,” Trump told Fox News host Laura Ingraham during an interview that originally aired Monday evening.

“We’ve worked through the governors. The governors have gotten everything they wanted,” the president continued, speaking specifically of ventilators that many requested for COVID patients.

Trump at times has referred to the disease as:

the “China virus,”

the “Wuhan virus,” and

even the “kung flu.”

During his interview with Ingraham, Trump continued to blame China for the problems in the U.S.

“It wasn’t the people’s fault that China gave us this virus. China gave us the virus, whether it was through incompetence or on purpose,” Trump said.

Trump also said that a vaccine should be available “very soon.”

Ingraham also asked Trump about his relationship with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. Fauci is one of the key figures in the federal government’s response to COVID-19.

“I like him. I don’t agree with him that often, but I like him,” Trump said of Fauci.

Biden Meanwhile, during a Monday speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, questioned why American’s should feel safe with Trump in office.

“I want a safe America — safe from COVID, safe from crime and looting, safe from racially motivated violence, safe from bad cops. And let’s be crystal clear: Safe from four more years of Donald Trump,” Biden said in Pittsburgh.

Two weeks ago during the Democratic National Convention, Biden also said he would implement a national mask mandate. Trump and Gov. Kristi Noem have strongly opposed such a stringent step.

“President Trump has failed to address COVID-19 — and now our students and educators are paying the price,” Biden added via Twitter on Wednesday. “We all want students back in the classroom, but President Trump hasn’t done the work to make sure schools can reopen safely and effectively.”

Despite Biden’s assertions, K-12 schools in South Dakota are up and running.

South Dakota Situation

As of Monday, there were 114 K-12 schools in South Dakota with at least one infection for a total of 195 infections in those schools. Some schools have more than one infection, with 20 schools having at least three.

Just last week, the total number for infections in South Dakota K-12 schools was 70.

The new total of 195 infections is further detailed with students and staff members. Staff members include teachers, principals, secretaries, janitors and anyone else who works at the school. Monday, there were 138 students infected, along with 57 staff members.

“I would again encourage all community members to take the personal responsibility to limit exposure and keep our case numbers as low as possible,” Pierre School District Superintendent Kelly Glodt reminded residents earlier this week.

Also, the South Dakota Department of Health now shows 552 infections on 15 college campuses across the state. State health officials said 518 of these infections were among students, with the remaining 34 among staff members.

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Beds for Children In Need
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Simple things that many take for granted, such as having a bed in which to sleep, are not yet a reality for some Pierre and Fort Pierre children.

Volunteers and organizers of Sleep In Heavenly Peace, a new nonprofit organization in Pierre, build beds and give them to local kids who don’t yet have a bed. Each bed comes with a mattress, sheets, comforter, and pillow. If donations allow, a stuffed animal and books are also part of the free package.

“There will be two upcoming bed-build days; on September 12 and Sept. 26. I’d like to invite you to the builds,” Pierre resident Abby Edwardson said.

Teams of volunteers build the beds. Other teams of volunteers go on deliveries and assemble the bed, mattress and bedding.

“What started as a one-time project in a family garage in Idaho slowly turned into a regional, then national organization whose motto is ‘No kid sleeps on the floor in our town’,” said Brian Lueking, Pierre Chapter co-president of Sleep In Heavenly Peace. “We believe all children deserve a safe, comfortable place to lay their heads, and we work to accomplish this by organizing members of the community to build and deliver twin-sized single beds to kids who don’t have beds of their own.”

“Our local chapter started delivering beds given to us by the Brookings chapter in the fall of 2019. We have continued to both make and delivery beds in the Pierre and Fort Pierre area,” Lueking added.

The core team consists of Lueking and chapter co-president Dawn Boender, along with Mark and Abby Edwardson and Amy Lueking. Along with over 30 other local volunteers, the group has delivered 68 beds since last fall. “We have built 15 beds locally and have 30+ beds scheduled to be built in September,” Lueking said.

“The donated cost of a bed package is about $175, which covers the lumber, mattress and bedding. It also covers the build day overhead costs — stain, sand paper, saw blades, tool replacements, etc. Ten percent of cash donations go to national SHP headquarters to cover the costs of insurance, websites, software, donation tracking, and other administrative tasks. The local chapter provides all of the tools needed to build and assemble the beds. The startup money for these tools was donated by The Bridge Wesleyan Church in Pierre,” Lueking said.

A bed-build takes two to three hours for a group of 10-15 volunteers to turn a trailer full of stock lumber into 10 bed frames. Using eight different assembly stations, the lumber is cut, sanded, drilled, assembled and stained into head and foot boards, side rails and mattress slats. Volunteers do not have to be accomplished carpenters. These pieces are assembled on site when volunteers deliver the beds to the kids. Delivery takes between 20-45 minutes to assemble and make the beds, depending on the number of beds going to that home.

“We typically deliver one to two times a month, with each team stopping at two or three locations,” Lueking said.

The finished product is a standard twin-sized bed with a wooden frame. The beds can be converted, by adding an extra safety rail, and stacked into a bunk bed. Depending on items donated, kids also sometimes receive a stuffed animal and books.

All funding for the beds comes from donations from individuals, businesses, churches and community organizations. Anyone is welcome to join in for the building. Businesses and churches can also sponsor whole builds (10-plus beds) as a company outing for their employees, or they can have their funds sponsor public builds. People can contact the local SHP to donate new bedding, or they can drop off bedding at the Pierre Music Store.

A parent/guardian with a 3-to-17-year-old child may request a bed; visit the website www.SHPBeds.org. There are no income limitations; the only requirement is a child who doesn’t have a bed of their own. All applicants are contacted to go over their application. A committee approves/denies and ranks them for priority-based on need, not first-come first-serve). A child sleeping on the floor gets priority over a child sleeping on a temporary air mattress. How quickly a person receives their bed after approval depends on volunteer availability and the number of beds available versus the number of requests.

“Build days are currently held in my driveway. It takes about 1,200-1,500 square feet of space for a full build, and we need access to four-plus circuits to power all the tools at once. Our setup is mobile so we can also build in a business’s parking lot if sufficient power is available. Chapters don’t rent space since every dollar spent on rent is a dollar not available to build beds for kids,” Lueking said.

On the day of delivery, the team needs a clear walkway to where the bed will go and room to assemble it. The teams have run into some tight conditions.

“You can also check out our Facebook page @SHPPierre to see some of our current activities,” Lueking said. “We would love for you to come out to a build and see us in action. We have a 10-bed build scheduled for September 12 at 9 a.m.. And, we also have a 20-plus bed-build on September 26 at 9 a.m. to participate in Bunks Across America — SHP’s annual build event where chapters from all over the country build on the same day in order to unite the country and help get kids off the floor. This year we will have chapters from 30+ states participating with a goal of making 7,000 beds in a single day.”

For more information, contact Lueking at 605-310-2067 or at brian.lueking@shpbeds.org.

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Clipped: Pelosi caught getting haircut in San Francisco amid lockdown
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Having twice broken the “glass ceiling” to become the highest ranking female elected official in American history, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is now the first politician caught on camera while violating San Francisco’s order against indoor salon services.

“It was a setup. I take responsibility for falling for a setup,” Pelosi said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference in San Francisco.

“I think this salon owes me an apology,” the speaker added.

Many cities and states around the county, particularly those that lean to the political left, continue to prohibit — or strictly limit — indoor activities because of concerns about COVID-19. Not many cities or states are considered more liberal than San Francisco.

On Tuesday evening, Fox News aired video surveillance footage that appeared to show Pelosi walking into a salon, with her mask around her neck rather than on her face, walking through the establishment. A stylist follows her, wearing a mask.

Pelosi and her staff later confirmed the woman on the video was the speaker, but said they did not believe she had violated any rules.

Pelosi initially became speaker after Democrats won the U.S. House in 2006, serving a term of four years until Republicans swept back into control. The 2010 election saw then-U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, D-S.D., ousted by now Gov. Kristi Noem.

When Democrats drowned the GOP in 2018’s “Blue Wave,” which was paid for in large part by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Pelosi again took power in the House.

With the 2020 election swiftly approaching, Republicans quickly pounced on what they saw as a bit of hypocrisy on Pelosi’s part.

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi is being decimated for having a beauty parlor opened, when all others are closed, and for not wearing a Mask — despite constantly lecturing everyone else. We will almost certainly take back the House, and send Nancy packing,” President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

Current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also critiqued Pelosi via Twitter.

“Americans have shuttered businesses, complied with local orders, and sacrificed everything to defeat the virus. But Nancy Pelosi doesn’t think the rules apply to her. She thinks she deserves special treatment,” McCarthy tweeted.

Pelosi, however, tried to focus on the positives of her experience.

“I have been inundated by people who are in the hair service industry saying, ‘Thank you for calling attention to this. We need to get back to work,’” she said during her Wednesday news event, streamed via KTVU Fox 2, which covers the San Francisco Bay Area.

Shown is a highly magnified photo of the virus that creates COVID-19.

COVID-19, By The Numbers
  • Updated

4 (Same as Monday)

Deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Hughes County, according to the South Dakota Department of Health as of 4 p.m Wednesday.

26 (- 4 from Monday)Active COVID-19 cases in Hughes County as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

1 (Same as Monday)Active COVID-19 cases in Stanley County as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

6,047,692Total COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

184,083Deaths attributed to COVID-19 across the U.S. as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

14,003 (+494 from Monday)Total COVID-19 cases in South Dakota, according to the state Department of Health as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

2,875 (+145 from Monday)Active COVID-19 cases in South Dakota as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

169 (+2 from Monday)Deaths attributed to COVID-19 in South Dakota.

77 (+1 from Monday)People “currently” hospitalized for COVID-19 in South Dakota.

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White supremacist fighting over Stanley County land
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A controversial white supremacist born in Pierre, known now for decades of racist political activity in southwest Missouri, was in state court in Fort Pierre this week in a contentious lawsuit involving a million dollars of ranch land he inherited.

Martin Lindstedt, 63, is the self-styled pastor of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, Aryan Nation in Missouri. It’s a church with no other members, no building, no assets, he told the Capital Journal.

But it has a lot of beliefs. Many of them so poisonous, so racist and offensive, the Capital Journal is not publishing them.

Lindstedt gets graphic about what he thinks of African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, and, in his book, worst of all are Jewish people. He says none of them are human beings; what he said they are is not going to be repeated here.

He's run for governor and for Congress in Missouri and for local and state offices; always garnering only a small percent of the votes, he admits.

He came to his home town to go to court because an Ohio attorney, Bryan Reo, who won a defamation suit against Lindstedt last summer in Ohio, is trying to collect on his $105,000 Ohio judgment through a lien on Lindstedt’s land here. Lindstedt and Reo have been fighting in court for nine years, Reo told the Capital Journal, over what Reo describes as outrageous and libelous charges Lindstedt makes about him. From court documents, it appears many of Lindstedt's claims and comments about Reo aren't possible. Reo's attorney, Robert Konrad of Pierre, says his client is a respected attorney in Ohio who has done none of the nefarious things Lindstedt has claimed.

Lindstedt can be affable in the midst of saying hateful things about most people, including members of his family.

“I was born right over there in St. Mary’s” Lindstedt said on Tuesday in Pierre at the Capital Journal where he came to spread his views and make his case known.

Until he was 6, his parents — Richard Lindstedt and Martina Samuelson Lindstedt — raised him and his siblings on a farm east of Pierre on the Canning road, he said. The family moved to Missouri in the mid-1960s.

“My grandfather was Martin Samuelson,” Lindstedt said. Samuelson was a state legislator in the 1930s and a big rancher and farmer in Stanley County. His grandmother, Jenny Samuelson, lived out her last years in Pierre, near downtown, he said.

Much of the land still is owned by Samuelson’s descendants in the northwest part of Stanley County, some of the acres adjacent to the famous Triple U/ Standing Butte buffalo ranch now owned by Ted Turner.

Lindstedt's father Richard died in 1986 in Missouri; his mother Martina died in 2013 in Midland, South Dakota and was buried in Granby, Missouri, according to online sources.

He has a brother, Michael Lindstedt, who has lived in Philip, South Dakota, and in Missouri. The brothers have feuded, in part over the family's ranch land, according to court documents.

The Anti-Defamation League that monitors anti-Jewish and other racist activity, reported in 2005 that: “For years, Lindstedt, a former truck driver, has been a vocal white supremacist and an adherent of Christian Identity, a racist and anti-Semitic religious sect. Most recently, he has been the Missouri contact for the Church of the Sons of Yahweh, a Louisiana-based Christian Identity group whose leader, Morris Gulett, was arrested in May 2005 for allegedly planning a bank robbery.”

Christian Identity groups teach that Aryans - Germans, British, Scandinavians - are the true descendants of the ancient Israelites.

Lindstedt confirmed much of this to the Capital Journal.

He said he was falsely charged with sexual abuse of his grandchildren in Granby, the small town in southwestern Missouri where he has lived for years. He was arrested in that case in May 2005. He said he was “forced to go to the nuthouse” in Missouri because of those charges. It's difficult to follow his arcane explanations of his thinking, but he blames his arrests on family feuds and also, somehow, the efforts of the ZOG — the Zionist Occupation Government — that he and other white supremacists see as a conspiracy ruling the world and southwest Missouri and even the courtroom in Fort Pierre on Monday.

He seems intelligent and widely read and has a joking self-awareness.

“I know I come across as some kind of wild-eyed maniac and I am one to some extent,” Lindstedt tells a reporter with a friendly laugh.

He wears a years-long beard on one side of his face while going not-quite-cleanshaven on the other half. He wears a hippie-like headband on his unkempt long hair. He explains the half-beard as something to do with an end-times prophecy in the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.

Based on more than one of the five senses, it seems perhaps Lindstedt has been living in his 2011 HHR (Heritage High Roof) Chevy wagon while in Pierre and Fort Pierre. He says he has little income and may apply for disability payments.

He’s pretty open about selling his 1,800 acres of range land in Stanley County last fall to his sister, Susan Bessman, for a pittance mostly to keep Reo from collecting any of the $105,000 judgment.

That’s why both Lindstedt and Reo were in Fort Pierre this week.

Reo, through his attorney Robert Konrad of Pierre, was seeking a temporary injunction against Lindstedt and his sister so they could not do anything with the 1,800 acres until a larger issue is settled: Did Lindstedt commit fraud when he conveyed the land to this sister in October for $1?

That’s what Konrad is contending.

Lindstedt argues there’s no way that any landowner can legally be kept from selling his land to whoever, whenever he wishes. Lindstedt also openly acknowledges he handed over the land to his sister so that Reo could not collect on the judgment.

Lindstedt almost gleefully admits he has virtually no assets, as does the Christian Identity church with no members which he pastors.

Lindstedt states in angry and hateful language in court documents that Reo wasn’t interested in seeking much from him for the defamation until he found out about all the land Lindstedt owns near Fort Pierre. Last year, Reo filed a lien against Lindstedt’s land here.

The range land is in several parcels in two townships, nearly contiguous, that add up to about 1,780 acres assessed a value, for tax purposes, of about $986,000, according to county officials.

Lindstedt says it's worth about $2 million.

In October 2019, Lindstedt sold it to his sister, Susan Bessman, for $1, according to Stanley County officials. Such family deals are often done and generally are legal, county officials said.

But in this case, it’s illegal, argues Reo and his attorney Konrad, because there are laws against divesting oneself of assets simply to avoid paying a debt. That’s fraud, Konrad and Reo argue.

In June 2019, an Ohio jury awarded Reo $105,400 in damages from Lindstedt defaming him in an internet-based campaign.

In a news release, Reo said Lindstedt “falsely published on his website accusations that Mr. Reo suffered from venereal disease, was a murderer, engaged in insurance fraud, committed wire and mail fraud, and engaged in extortion.”

Konrad says the charges are absurd and that Reo is an attorney in good standing in Ohio and that the jury there found Lindstedt had defamed him.

As he did in Fort Pierre on Monday, Lindstedt acted as his own attorney last summer in Mentor, Ohio. During the three-day trial in Ohio, Lindstedt told the jurors they were “real stupid,” called himself “a domestic terrorist,” and “boasted that he counts among his friends Frazier Glenn Miller who is currently on death row in Missouri for the 2014 shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City” in which he shot and killed three people and injured others.

Because of Lindstedt’s long record of activism and provocative language, courtroom security in Fort Pierre was beefed up with extra Stanley County Sheriff’s deputies for the hearing on Monday, Konrad said. Those at the hearing said Lindstedt was rambling and hard to follow and at times the gavel was used to restore order and stop his rants.

After the long hearing on Monday, state Circuit Judge Bridget Mayer granted Reo’s request for a temporary injunction barring any further transfer of the land until the larger fraud allegations by Reo and Konrad can be heard in court. That likely will take months to begin.

Lindstedt figures he will leave Fort Pierre and Pierre about Friday. First, he has to file some responses to Reo still going in the Ohio defamation case, he said.

Lindstedt said that also will be his plan in the court proceedings in Fort Pierre, to continue to file responses and keep the case going, he said.

He is a veteran of litigation. In just three years in the late 1990s, he filed about eight lawsuits in federal court in the Western District of Missouri against individuals and local governments, including his city of Granby. One lawsuit involved a brawl at a city council meeting said to have been started by insults Lindstedt made against a council member, according to a federal court document.

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Pierre parish to host music minister Rotella for 12-night conference
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The public is invited to 12 straight evening meetings of music, prayer and teaching in Saints Peter and Paul Catholic parish on Euclid Avenue in Pierre featuring musician and speaker Marty Rotella.

It begins at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4 and continues each evening through Sept. 15, about two hours each night.

Rotella also will sing and speak at other events during the 12 days.

It’s billed as a “mission of reparation,” which is a spiritual discipline of time and effort to repair the effects of past sins or failings, according to Catholic teaching.

“It’s an opportunity to spend a series of days in prayer and teaching to grow closer to Christ,” said Lynell Erickson, a member of Saints Peter and Paul parish and the key organizer of the event.

Although Catholic parishes regularly have special speakers and musicians, the Rotella event isn’t usual, Erickson said.

“This is a unique event, being this many nights,” she told the Capital Journal.”

People of all ages and faiths are invited, she said. Members of St. John the Evangelist parish in Fort Pierre are involved in promoting it and taking part, too, Erickson said.

Erickson said she’s not sure how many will attend. But it will take place in the main sanctuary, so there is room for hundreds of people.

Which is something to think about during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are encouraging masks, of course,” Erickson said. “And social distancing. If it gets to be too many, the basement is open and the sound system goes there. That will be a nice problem to have, if we have to use it as overflow.”

Rotella is an accomplished musician and producer, with several albums, and a motivational speaker as well as a spiritual teacher, according to online information.

His ministry is called Spirit Power, which he says is “music created to feed the soul. It is worship, prayer, reflection and healing: a way to help the inner self encounter love.”

A New Jersey-ite, Rotella seems well-known in Catholic circles nationwide, maybe not so much in this part of the country.

“He said he’s only been to South Dakota a couple of times, a long time ago,” Erickson said.

During the days, Rotella will speak to a mens group in the parish and to women at the state Women’s Prison in Pierre, she said.

At noon on Thursday, Sept. 10, Rotella will give a presentation on Our Lady of Guadalupe, based on the sacred site in Mexico City where many believe the Virgin Mary appeared several times.

He has a full schedule: according to his website, later in September he will be in Springfield, Pennsylvania; on Oct. 10, in San Diego; Oct. 17 in his hometown of Ridgefield, New Jersey; Dec. 29 in Las Vegas.

Even during the Pierre event, according to his website, later at night next week Rotella will lead a virtual event, Jazz For Life, in Santa Fe, New Mexico via live-streaming on the internet, it appears.

All Rotella’s appearances in the parish in Pierre are open to the public and there is no registration or fees, Erickson said.