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Northwest Salmon




It’s just a thought, what positive

actions might do

by John Suhr

There seems to be death and destruction going on somewhere every day. Sometimes I think there is so much of it we do not even notice or have become deaf and blind to it.

When it does hit us hard is when it is close to home. And close to home is a figure of speech. For some that may mean in their neighborhood, yet others in their community, county, in their section of the state and you get it.

I guess when it hits me the hardest is when it happens to someone we know–a close friend or even someone we have met along the way. No matter where we live or where tragedy happens it should have an impact on our lives and how we go about them.

But the closer to home, we know one thing. Towns and people around the area and state do gather around in support when something bad happens. The further away it gets the less one may be affected.

This past week when I first heard of the terrorist attack in London it hit home. It was almost 12 years ago we were there for the London Marathon. A friend and some of his friends came down to watch us run in the event. So, no surprise, as soon as I heard England and London my thoughts turned to those runners I have gotten to know. While they do not live in London, you always wonder if they or a relative of theirs were there.

Earlier in the week a friend’s brother lost his business to a fire. The good news, if there is anything out of a total loss, no one was injured or killed. But people in the small community pulled together.

I have always wondered if people would only pull together sooner, what a great world this might be. It’s not a political or cultural thing, it is people pulling together for others just like we do in a tragedy.

Maybe it is something for all of us to think about in making not only our local neighborhoods better, but even our state, nation and world. A less negative and more positive action.


Journalists shed light in the darkest

corners of our society, government

by Amanda Fanger

I heard it said last week that in our nation’s capital there are few keeping an eye on our politicians and because of it, many act accordingly. That got me even more excited about the importance of my job.

My trip to Washington, DC is a blur in my mind still. I took in as many sights and sounds as I could possibly pack into my two days there. It was quite a shock for this small town farm girl to be in not only such a big city but one of such weight as our nation’s capital. Sometime, if you have an hour or three to listen to me talk about it all, let me know.

The majority of the first day was spent in meetings at the offices of South Dakota’s delegation to talk about issues important to newspapers.

Even with one day set aside strictly for sightseeing, it wasn’t enough to take in everything; we walked the length of the National Mall, from the Capitol Building to the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, putting on over 10 miles. We went to the Pentagon memorial (simply haunting), I got to experience riding a subway for the first time (I now believe a sub is a stranger sandwich) and I’ll go back someday just to go through the Newseum again.

But my favorite part of the trip, by far, was the conversation surrounding the importance and impact of journalism at every level of government and how it impacts history and everyday life.

During the banquet at the National Press Club where I was presented the Public Notice Journalism Award, I heard from members of the National Newspaper Association. It was rejuvenating to be in a room with so much passion for the news industry.

I especially liked the keynote Q&A with Charles Lewis (journalism professor, author and former producer of ABC News and 60 Minutes) and Martin Baron (current executive editor of The Washington Post, formerly of the Boston Globe which won the Pulitzer for Public Service for a story that made the 2016 Academy Award-winning motion picture Spotlight).

“Democracy dies in darkness,” Baron said is the new slogan for the Post. He assured us that slogan had been in the works long before recent political happenings could affect it, but even so, it seems those happenings are an exclamation point for that motto.

As I said during my acceptance speech, in my experience as a journalist, it’s at coffee shop conversations where small town speculation takes place; those are the conversations where people make up their minds about what they’re going to believe and what they’re willing to support, if they’re going to stand up for change or fight to keep things as they’ve always been.

I’m blessed that my job is to root out and record the truth in those conversations.




We call them ‘helicopters’

by Emre K. Erku

Rural athletes are spoiled. In a lot of cases, as long as they know how to sign-up, they’re automatically accepted to the team.

That’s unhealthy.

This lack of filtration allows students to selfishly and inorganically shop around school districts as if all the educational institutions include half off sales on playing minutes. It also makes it easier for parents to threaten to take them somewhere else based on whatever reason they see fit.

These parents are called, “Helicopters.”

They’re lucky they’re not in a bigger city, where it’s an honor just to sit on the junior varsity bench.

Even to be worthy enough to dress is an accomplishment in itself, because it was based on your efforts that coaches told themselves, “Hey, this kid can work. This kid cares.”

Trust me, watching the game from the bench hurts, and I’m sure it kills a parent to see their kid sad. But the moral of the story is to teach you to suck it up, work harder, believe in yourself and believe in your team.

If nothing’s handed to you in this world, then where’s the lesson in retreating when the crap hits the fan? Any farsighted person knows that enabling such an emotional welfare is conducive to a lifetime of trying to pussyfoot around the abundance of adversity.

And rural athletes face a lot of adversity.

They’re being recruited from the tractor while big city programs basically pluck kids from crowded sports factories.

To boot, once big city athletes hit high school, they’re typically focused – at the very most – on two sports. Heck, for many of them it’s one year for one sport.

For rural athletes, it’s a different sport for every season.

This makes me really think about how hard it is to actually become a top tier team. It’s like asking a coach to take last season’s Cleveland Browns and have them beat the 1927 Yankees in a game of baseball.

And yet the “helicopter” complaints flow like a coach’s nightly stress caps.

With that being said, does anyone actually expect to triumph by simply putting the jersey on? Are champions created from apathetic coaches? They’re not there to hold your hand. They’re there to guide it.

If you want to overcome bigger and better athletes throughout any given season, just remember: If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right.

Call me cold, but even as I kept most benches warm, I nearly froze to death at night after a loss.


Fiksdal Funeral Home

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