KATIE ZERR: Summer has proved difficult on news end


Normally when I return from taking a vacation I am able to wax poetic about relaxing, enjoying nature and what returning to Mobridge means to me.

This year members of my family who live in Montana and Missouri came to Mobridge for a visit. It was great to be with family that I don’t often get to see.

Being in Mobridge these last two weeks also meant that I got a backseat view of the news as it was happening.

I have a very difficult time letting go and these news events made it extremely difficult for me to stay away.

Leaving an inexperienced young reporter, our intern Sara Bertsch, to deal with the explosive events of the former Walworth County state’s attorney’s arrest is not the ideal situation. She could have handled it, but it was and still is a very difficult situation.

Luckily for me, I have experienced and very talented individuals that back me up. Travis Svihovec and Jay Davis picked up the ball and ran with it.

Travis did an excellent job handling the local, state and federal officials who are sometimes tight-lipped when it comes to ongoing investigations.

They have to be so careful to stay within their boundaries and not to cross any lines.

Travis covered a lot of ground and did a great job.

Jay did what he does best in keeping what could have been a chaotic situation on an even keel. He took last minute changes to the layout of a number of pages on Wednesday and finished the work quickly in order for the paper to be delivered to our readers on time. He kept Sara on track (as he also has at time s done with me) and mentored her through the past two weeks.

For those who don’t understand what happens in a newspaper office on paper day, it can sometimes be controlled chaos. It can be loud and disruptive or deadly quiet depending on the situation. The work it takes to create the product that you hold in your hands on a Wednesday is a long and involved process that begins sometimes weeks and months before with the selling of advertising.

The creative minds that develop ad ideas into what appears in the paper also cover many other duties in that process, including processing other papers for print in our office.

It is too complicated to go into, but creating “the read” each week includes many people from sales, composition, production, print, office staff and bookkeeping.

There are so many people involved and we are lucky to have dedicated and talented people who are involved in that process.

That is why I could be away from the office during the turmoil of the past two weeks and I thank every one of them for making that possible.

The close-knit office also makes it very difficult to watch one of our own going through the extreme pain of learning a partner in life may have done something that is so unbelievable.

It hurts to watch a very trusting person be so shattered and lost. It is also difficult to see the uncertainty in Franklin’s eyes when we speak of the future.

He fears how the people who have called him a friend will perceive him in a community that he has called home. The difficulty in dealing with this situation is becoming more complicated as the case unfolds.

We hope it becomes easier for him as times goes on.

The news that has unfolded this summer has been difficult for many and one wonders about the naivety of our neighbors. There have been many who could not understand why law enforcement arrested people who purchased items stolen from local retailers then sold them to others at a lower price. They say that ignorance to the fact that these items were stolen should protect those individuals who bought the items.

It doesn’t always work that way, especially in a small community. People do know what others are doing and news travels quickly in a small town.

Others have said people who purchased items that were obtained through a government program are only trying to help the seller by giving them cash for those items.

That transaction is a federal crime that will be prosecuted and I caution everyone who has ever done that to immediately cease doing so. Once something like this comes to light, it could mean we are being watched more closely.

The last couple of months in Mobridge have been difficult on the news end, but we understand that bad things happen even in a great community like Mobridge. It is our home and we are lucky to live here.

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