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Northwest Salmon




Award recognizes those who may go


by John Suhr

September 28 is National Good Neighbor Day and the newspaper wants to recognize those who are truly good neighbors. It does not matter which community you live in, inside our coverage area, we want to know about those who have gone out of their way to help you.

The list could be endless when it comes to something that devastates a community, such as an ice storm or windstorm or for that matter any storm that has hit this area. Neighbors help neighbors in their time of need.

Back when we had the windstorm that hit Webster my neighbor Roland Larson would have certainly been nominated as he helped organize a clean up week of cutting up all the fallen trees on our entire block. There were 19 trees down in our lot alone – one so big a huge pay loader had to drag it down the road.

While he was just one, there were other neighbors and some who had not even moved into the neighborhood yet, like Ray Spiering. All with chainsaws and muscles loading up the fallen trees

But this is just one example. It could be a neighbor who goes out of their way to mow a lawn for the resident who can’t. It could be a person who takes time out of their schedule to transport a neighbor to medical appointments.

I have seen numerous cases of good neighbors and some may not even live in the same block or area. Yes the chamber has a citizen of the year, but sometimes it is all the small things people do for a neighbor or organization that go unnoticed.

While this is the first year for the newspaper doing this, we hope we receive a large number of nominees who make the decision difficult for the judges. So sit down and write out in approximately 100 words why that person who has affected your life is deserving of the award.

You can send them to our PO Box 30 in Webster, by Sept.16 or email me at with the subject line good neighbor.



Stories have power so tell yours,

here’s mine

by Amanda Fanger

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s that every single person has a story. And I mean everyone. I feel blessed to be able to tell the stories of those around me through my career but so often come across people who don’t want to tell their tale. Personally, I feel those individuals rob the world of a service. You should be willing to own who you are and all that’s happened to you.

With that said, it’s come to my attention recently that there are many readers who don’t fully know my story or how I came to be a journalist. I often write about how I was homeschooled and about how I did not go to college, but I don’t know if I’ve ever told all the details of how I became a journalist.

In my story, I’m convinced God personally orchestrated my story because of the specific series of events that took place in a specific period of time; had it happened any other way, I’d have missed this career path.

My foray into newspaper was at the Onida Watchman where I began working a week before graduating ­homeschool high school. A few weeks before I was asked to apply for the job, my high school biography was published in that paper; in it, my favorite subject was listed as English and my love for writing expressed. Later the same week the only reporter at the Watchman quit. That left the editor of the publication in a bind. Having remembered my biography, she decided to give me a call.

Meanwhile, I was stuck in an internal debate within my own head, trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life. As the oldest of five and the first in my sibling group to graduate, I had no idea what to expect next. I’m sure the feelings I struggled with were nothing every other graduate hasn’t felt, but all I could think of at that time was how lost I felt. What was I going to do with my life? I’d always been the mold breaker but this time there was no mold to be broken.

I have always had this conviction that God is going to use me for something great, but at that time I had no idea what it was. I knew I loved to write, but how could you make a living doing that?

Because I also loved animals, I’d toyed with the idea of becoming a veterinarian. Although it didn’t quite feel like the right fit, I remember once throwing my hands in the air and shouting at my mom, “just sign me up for veterinary school!” before storming out of the room, displaying both my frustration and ignorance on the subject of college.

Later my mom found me laying face down on my bed, sulking, and asked, “Have you prayed to ask God about this yet?” Well, no.

I remember that prayer being one of the most sincere, heartfelt prayers I’ve ever prayed. “Lord, please tell me what you want me to do. I’ll go wherever you want me to, just please make it clear to me. Open a door so I know where to go.”

The phone call from the editor of the Watchman came two days later.

I was hired on a six-week trial basis, at the end of which I had secured a full time job and praised God for his direction. In my acceptance speech for the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Outstanding Young Journalist award a few years later, I remember saying to a room full of editors and publishers from across the state, “I’m hooked on this industry. If things hadn’t worked out at the Watchman, I guarantee you I would have come knocking at each and every one of your doors, looking for a job!”




And your undisputed, undefeated

champion is...

by Emre K. Erku

A big fella and his cronies approached me when I just knocked in the eight ball to win a couple days worth of sandwich meat.

By the look in their eyes it was clear their thirst for blood was more palpable than their thirst for cherry liqueur. For one reason or another, they despised my imperfections displayed on
both literary and verbal platforms, so the only answer to this infantile disposition was violence.

Being that I’m clearly a well-trained, abdominally chiseled martial artist who loathes the prospect of pacifism, the only night cap they’d receive would be in the form of Wet Willies, noogies and the highly-coveted five finger death punch I learned during my travels to Indochina. As they shot me the stare of death, I anticipated my next move.

After some bad noise, the big fella swung. I ducked with Zen-like precision while his knuckles connected with a poor regular brooding at the bar. He fell to the floor and the fast-acting barkeep refilled his spilled tankard while maintaining his eyes on the action.

Another crony then attacked me. This time with a pool stick. After an 0-2 count, I booted the guy so hard he went through the wall and across the street. I then winked at a few girls enjoying the show from afar. They were so impressed they blew kisses.

This is when the bigger fella regrouped himself to set up for the next strike. Like a bull at full charge towards the matador, he beelined my way with a thick grunt. Remembering my skills as a running back in fifth grade, I juked. Another miss! Little did he know I was offered scholarships by the time I was 10. Once he tumbled to the ground I immediately reached across the bar, picked up the bartender with my bare hands, spun him around like a helicopter above my head, and hurled him onto the big fella. It was almost like bowling a strike.

By this time, the bar cheered and cheered, and a couple gals wrapped themselves around my biceps and kissed me on the cheeks. The event became so monumental in fact, the city of Webster declared the day to be what’s now known as “Ray Day.”

For his courageous efforts during a barroom battle which left two fellas licking their wounds, I hereby declare this day as “Ray Day”.
Signed, the mayor.

Actually, ladies and gentlemen, no violence occurred. Just some inebriated goons – including me – barked at one another before realizing none of this was worth going to jail over.


Fiksdal Funeral Home

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