2012 was an eventful year in Mobridge


For many 2012 will be remebered as a year of building, progess and the culmination of driving forces that can make things happen in a small town. There were many news stories that impacted our community. The following are the top news and sports stories of 2012, as chosen by the Tribune staff.


June storm wreaks havoc in area

On June 7, Mobridge area residents watched as Mother Nature showed her force, releasing winds clocked at 77 mph through the area.

There was massive damage to trees and buildings in town and rural residences.

The shop roof at Lucky’s Gas N’ More was ripped from the rafters and wrapped around an electric pole between KT’s Fireside and Bridge City Bait.

At the Pheasant Drive In, the outdoor screen was ripped from the frame and scattered across the parking lot.

Sustained winds were clocked at 55 to 60 mph during the thunderstorm, but no tornadoes were indicated during the storm.


200th returns home

After spending nearly a year in Afghanistan, Detachment 2 of the 200th Engineering Company of the South Dakota Army National Guard returned home to Mobridge Saturday, May 12.

Waving flags and smiling faces lined the streets of Mobridge as area residents greeted the unit on a sunny afternoon. As a flatbed carried the soldiers through the streets of town, horns honked, people waved and more than a few tears flowed as fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and mommies and daddies were welcomed home.

Soldiers of the multi-role bridge company were greeted with a parade and welcome home ceremony at the Mobridge-Pollock High School gym in mid-afternoon, after starting Saturday morning in Fort Dix, N. J. The unit had spent a week at Fort Dix for de-mobilizing requirements. They left the East Coast just after 1 a.m., flying to Sioux Falls before boarding a bus for the trip to Pierre.


Residents on edge as ‘creeper’ breaks into homes

During the warm months of summer, area residents were on alert as a number of home invasions caused alarm in the city.

In one such incident, a teenager awoke to find a male in her bedroom. In another two teens walked in on a male going through drawers in a bedroom.

In another incident, on June 25, officers were called to a Second Avenue East home at 1:45 a.m. after an individual had attempted to break into the residence. At 3:30 a.m., officers were again called to the home after an occupant of the home shot a non-lethal round at a person who attempted to break into the home.

All available officers in town were called out to help find the perpertrator, but no one was arrested.

Alarmed that the person came back to the residence and the number of these types of incidents that had occurred in recent weeks, Mobridge Chief of Police Justin Jungwirth asked the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation for assistance.

On June 27, two Mobridge men, Sasha Rudebusch and Kohta Martell were arrested in connection with a rash of burglaries and the home invasions.


Railroad crossing finally opens/Library construction begins

Though it had been planned for more than 11 years, the railroad crossing connecting Mobridge’s Main Street to the riverfront was finally opened in 2012.

Because residents had heard for a number of years that the crossing was on the schedule for construction, until Tuesday, Aug. 28, when officials from Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad Company informed Mobridge City Administrator Steve Gasser, that a full crew will be in Mobridge starting Tuesday, Sept. 18, many believed it would never happen.

But the crews did arrive and on Wednesday, Nov. 7, the barriers were moved and the first vehicles crossed the tracks onto South Main Road.

On Friday, Nov. 30, before the annual Parade of Lights, past and present city officials who played a role in the effort to connect the city to Lake Oahe cut the ribbon to officially open the South Main Railroad Crossing.

After more than 11 years of fundraising and seeking grants to build the project, the Mobridge Library Foundation and Library Board broke ground on the project. Although it is not yet finished, Another project that changed the look of the community in 2012 are the renovation of the former bus barn at the Mobridge-Pollock High School into a career and technical education (CTE) facility. A part of the middle school will also be remodeled for the CTE curriculumn.

City gives up the ghost on the swimming pool

Knowing it would change the manner in which area children spent their summers, the Mobridge City Council on Monday, Oct. 1, voted to close the swimming pool and let bids for demolition as soon as possible.

After trying to keep the pools filled and the equipment patched together, officials decided the more than 60-year-old pool could no longer be saved. Ward I Councilman Tom O’Connell and Water Department Manager Brad Milliken gave a presentation noting the problems with the pool and bathhouse to the city council.

After the presentation, the council voted to close the pool and demolish it as soon as possible.

On Monday, Nov. 12, special equipment was used to begin the demolition of the facility.

Top sports stories of 2012

Mobridge-Pollock sports teams left their mark in 2012, with state championships in track and wrestling and another trip to the state volleyball tournament.

The Mobridge-Pollock wrestling team had one of its most successful seasons in recent history, which culminated at the state tournament with Collin Jensen completing a perfect season with a state championship.

Nine wrestlers qualified for the state tournament with three Tigers crowned champions at the District 8B Wrestling Tournament.

Led by seniors Collin Jensen, Lucas Martin and Camerin Davis, five wrestlers including Teddy Lopez and Brady Spiry competed at state.

Jensen defeated Tanner Ovre of Canton 12-6 to win the 220-pound title at the State B Wrestling Tournament in Rapid City at the state tournament for a record of 45-0 in 2012.

The Mobridge-Pollock track team had an incredible year which was cemented in team history with many new records and State A championship in the 1600-meter relay.

All season long, the Tigers and Lady Tigers broke existing records and racked up win after win. In the Region 6A Meet in Chamberlain the Lady Tigers won five regional titles and had eight second-place finishes. Four girls won individual titles. Kass Keller ran a 27.5 to win the 200. Krista Ulmer ran a 1:05.0 to win the 400. Steph Gemar threw 117-4 to win the discus and Alexa Schaefbauer went 16-2 to win the long jump.

The Lady Tigers qualified all five relay teams with one win and four second-place finishes.

The Tigers did not compete in some of their top events at the meet, after already qualifying for the state tournament, but still pulled off five region championships. Daniel Roberts led the way with a pair of region titles. He went 163-10 in the discus and 52-8.5 in the shot put. Bailley Friesz ran a 22.8 to win the 200. The Tigers teamed to win the 800-meter and 3200-meter relays.

The Tiger track team put an exclamation point on a record-breaking season by winning the 1600-meter relay state title at the State Track and Field Meet in Rapid City on Friday, May 25.

The team of Bailey Friesz, Austin Borah, Peyton Friesz and Cody Schaefbauer ran the final race at the state meet. Mobridge-Pollock took the lead on the opening leg and never looked back. When Schaefbauer crossed the finish line, the Tigers had run a dominating 3:24.07, leaving the competition more than two seconds behind.

The foursome were not as fast in the preliminary round, but their 3:26.75 was more than a second faster than Vermillion. From the first time the team broke the school record with a 3:31.64 at the Big Dakota Meet in mid-April, they knocked more than seven seconds off their time.

The thinclads had an outstanding state meet. Along with winning the state title, the boys finished fourth and placed in seven more events. Daniel Roberts finished second in the discus and third in the shot put. The 800-meter relay team finished second and the 1600-meter medley relay team finished fourth. Bailley Friesz finished third in the 400 and seventh in the 200 and Austin Borah finished eighth in the 100. The Lady Tigers earned two medals with Steph Gemar taking third in the discus and Kass Keller taking eighth in the 200.

– Jay Davis, Katie Zerr –


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