*****This is the last post on the Madville Times, because...

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Representative Dan Kaiser, Representative Al Novstrup, Senator David Novstrup, permit me to introduce your newest District 3 constituent:

Cory Allen Heidelberger, editor-in-chief of the Madville Times, in front of the Brown County Courthouse, in his new home city of Aberdeen, South Dakota. 2015.02.03

Cory Allen Heidelberger, editor-in-chief of the Madville Times, in front of the Brown County Courthouse, in his new home city of Aberdeen, South Dakota. 2015.02.03

As of this morning, I am the 24,752nd registered voter in Brown County and the 17,293rd registered voter in Aberdeen. Under current law, I could gather enough signatures to refer any bad bills my new legislators may propose without leaving my home county. Yum! (David Novstrup, why are you co-sponsoring Senate Bill 166? Here, read this, David, and then let's talk at the next crackerbarrel.)

Regular readers know that I have spent the last eighteen months in a sort of exile as I accompanied my wife during her pastoral internship and the completion of her seminary studies out of state. But my wife is now a master of divinity (on top of so much else!) and will soon be ordained as a full-bird pastor. We are thus back in South Dakota, as we intended all along.

Readers, I know you may have shared the worries I had that a South Dakotan abroad might lose touch with South Dakota and would not be able to sustain a serious South Dakota blog. But your faith, your support, your comments, your questions, your news tips and your cash tips (I am still amazed, not to mention immensely grateful, that some people think what I do here is worth real money) have all helped me stick with writing about South Dakota.

And now I'm fully back, with my body and bikes back where my heart and soul have always been, in South Dakota.

Aberdeen's new slogan is a pen, and its new slogan is, "Write Your Story." How very appropriate for my new home. I'm glad to be here, Aberdeen! And I'm glad to be back to continue serving South Dakota.


The Reverend Representative Steve Hickey (R-9/Sioux Falls) tells an interesting story in this blog's comment section about civil discourse and the mainstream media. The good Hickey discusses the media inquiries he got right after Judge Karen Schreier's ruling Monday that South Dakota's ban on same-sex marriage violates the Constitution:

True story: when the Court decision came down this week my phone started ringing. Apparently in this moment of time I'm the media's go to person for the other view on this issue. Many media calls came. Something different happened this time. I did every interview pretending my friend Steve Hildebrand was sitting next to me. The concerns I voiced were nothing new but I guess I did leave out the creative and biting rhetoric that easily comes to me. Only one media source dropped a quote from me in their story. Usually when they call me, they quote me. Makes me think there is a hunger out there for us to be beating each other up. I didn't feed it this time and civility apparently isn't as newsworthy [Steve Hickey, comment, Madville Times, 2015.01.15].

Rep. Rev. Hickey, a vociferous opponent of same-sex marriage and homosexuality, discusses the issue while imagining he is in the same room as a passionate gay-rights advocate. He tones down his rhetoric—just as I have seen we tend to do on this blog in the comment sextion when we speak to each other with real names instead of pseudonyms. The professional mainstream media comes away disappointed not to get the money quote and leaves the good Hickey's tempered response mostly out of their coverage.

Elsewhere, I notice that KELO reports on the proposed increases in vehicle registration fees by talking to three men in the street. The KELO report offers no indication of the three men's qualifications as objective, informed commentators on public policy. The KELO report is just three guys' opinion.

I thought the mainstream media beat blogs because blogs lean toward extremist, inflammatory discourse, while the mainstream media strive for more tempered reportage. I thought the mainstream media beat blogs because blogs are just some guy's opinion, while KELO et al. give us authoritative facts.

The above two examples suggest that we bloggers are producing journalism not that much different from our mainstream counterparts... except our product costs less and is more fun.


Right-wing politician and blogger Gordon Howie is up to something. He's opening a new base of operations in the hinterlands east of Rapid City, overlooking the Rapid Creek floodplain. Howie has built a new studio so he and Ed Randazzo and Sam Kephart and Tonchi Weaver and can start making crazy videos again. He's built a meeting facility for conservative groups—a convenient sixteen-mile drive from the heart of Rapid City and all that liberal urban corruption, and close to the airport so he can monitor the comings and goings of Cristo ni Iglesia members headed for Scenic.

And next Saturday, Howie's holding an open house at his new International Headquarters:

While the “International Headquarters” title is somewhat tongue in cheek, the impact of activities from this unique facility will no doubt have far-reaching impact.

You are invited to the open house…

  • Where: 15372 Antelope Creek Road, Rapid City SD. 57703
    3.8 miles east of the RC Regional Airport turnoff on Hwy 44 to Antelope Creek Rd, turn south… 2.3 miles to the driveway (on the right)
  • When: Saturday, Jan 17th 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

There won’t be any formal ceremony. It’s just a day for you to drop in for a cup of coffee and see our new facility.

You might even learn something about Gordon’s new “secret mission” [Gordon Howie, "World Wide Grand Opening," The Right Side, 2015.01.10].

Bob Ellis of the American Clarion says he'll be there; this open house will be a chance for progressive operatives to infiltrate the compound and surveil the machinations of two arch-conservative Black Hills bloggers! Liberals, bring cameras and back-up, and go visit Gordon next Saturday!


A couple of friends have noted that, over the Monday noon hour, Larry Pressler may have said the funniest thing uttered this month on South Dakota Public Broadcasting. The former Senator and unsuccessful 2014 Independent candidate for Senate was chatting with Karl Gehrke about his involvement with the Centrist Project and the declining state of quality journalism when, at timestamp 5:45, he said this:

We do have some great bloggers in South Dakota who are basically centrists. One of them is Cory Heidelberger, who is a Democrat, but he does some very responsible blogging [Larry Pressler, interview with Karl Gehrke, SDPB: Dakota Midday, 2015.01.05].

Me, a centrist? Mr. Pressler, you're going to mess up my branding!

Pressler singled out another South Dakota blogger for praise:

Another is John Tsitrian, the Constant Commoner. Blogs are coming along, and maybe they will... get us away from lots of other blogs that are just one side or the other [Pressler, 2015.01.05].

John! Wow! You've been banging away for less than a year and a half on your own blog, and already an intelligent, experienced politico can recognize the value of your blogging! Well done!


It's almost Epiphany, almost time to leave the holidays behind and get on with regular business. But permit me one more brief retrospective on 2014.

I've listed the most-read and most commented stories of the year on this blog. I've also named the man of the year in terms of South Dakota political news, Richard Benda. But I'd like to take a moment to point out some of my best work on the Madville Times in 2014.

As you know, I spent much of 2014 on the road. My best blogging came from two trips around South Dakota.

In April, I crossed the state and interviewed Gordon Howie and Mike Myers and covered a speech by Joe Lowe. The Howie interview spawned a series of video conversations that I like to think exemplify the sort of spirited yet civil engagement (not to be confused with civil union) that South Dakota conservatives and liberals can and should enjoy.

Charlie in the distance, four-wheeling across the prairie, Hoffman farm, 2014.08.19

The prairie makes us all look small—photo from Charlie Hoffman's farm, northeast of Eureka, August 19, 2014 (click to enlarge).

Then in August came the tour de force... or the Tour de Blog! For eight days I toured South Dakota, talked to all sorts of people, and wrote 23 articles capturing a diverse album of South Dakota snapshots. I spoke with Lilias Jarding about the dangers of letting Powertech (now Azarga) dig for uranium in the southern Black Hills, then spent an entire afternoon with three Powertech honchos touring the proposed uranium mining area and talking about the company's plans. I visited Pine Ridge and Rosebud to learn about housing, voting rights, and Teach for America on the reservation. I attended two of the three Dakotafest debates and wrote five posts about them. I found an SDSU professor and a Republican legislator saying the same things about restoring prairie grass. And I got Republican Charlie Hoffman to say he'd like to expand Medicaid, raise teacher pay, and elect a Democratic governor.

I wrote plenty of articles that I'm proud of in 2014, but my articles from the road are my favorites. Feel free to note your favorites in the comment section below... and look forward to new favorites from around South Dakota in 2015!


Lakota Voice blogger Ann-erika White Bird sees a little justice done by her Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council. White Bird reports that the council voted unanimously to fire Rosebud Attorney General Aisha Uwais-Savage Concha Wednesday:

During the discussion about the Attorney General, Antelope Community Councilman Calvin “Hawkeye” Waln, Jr. stated, “We’re going into the final year of the contract and she hasn’t passed a bar (exam). There’s malfeasance and there’s a liability and credibility in presenting litigation in court, and based on a recommendation from the judiciary and resolutions from communities, I move to terminate the Attorney General’s contract for cause, the cause being malfeasance.

"She was lying about being an enrolled member of a federally recognized Tribe, she disrespects our Lakota culture, disrespects our Tribal members' sacred names to the point an elder is crying, and blatant insubordination to Tribal Council instruction and motions. We’ll see who puts a non-Indian before our tribal members" [Ann-erika White Bird, "Attorney General Concha Fired," Lakota Voice, 2015.01.03].

Councilman Waln's objections to Concha's continued employment match the controversial complaints White Bird has reported on her blog throughout the past year.

Cory Allen Heidelberger in the KSOO studio, August 22, 2014. Photo by KSOO's Dan Peters.

A voice and a face for radio! Madville Times on the airwaves New Year's Eve, 6 p.m., 1140 AM, KSOO! (Photo by KSOO's Dan Peters, August 22, 2014)

Programming Note: you can hear the Madville Times live on KSOO Radio this evening at 6 p.m.! Todd Epp will interview me on Viewpoint University to discuss this blog's top stories for 2014 and 2015. I'll also have a chance to restore the IQ of VPU following the indigestible regurgitations of Pat Powers on air at 4:30 p.m.

Start your New Year's Eve off right with some audio blog fun on Viewpoint University, KSOO 1140 AM or live online or on your mobile unit! Feel free to shout at Epp and producer Dan Peters via the VPU Twitter handle.


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