Sioux Empire Podcast 105 Mama and Sioux Falls Startup Podcast with Joshua Sopko

Recorded during the April Snowpocalypse of 2018, Robert Mehling interviews Joshua Sopko from Sioux Falls Startup Podcast.  But first, he’s joined by phone by Seth Glover and Melissa Rochelle May for a very special Seth’s Book Club featuring a reading of the horror short story “Mama” by the author herself.  This episode is sponsored by Macabre Grimoire Podcast. Macabre Grimoire is a podcast of paranormal and mystery exploration. Psychic/medium Ari Show, magician Travis Nye, and historian Robert Mehling delve into the dark places where mysteries go unsolved, events go unexplained, and the line between legend and fact becomes obscured. Whether you’re a skeptic, believer or something in between, the Macabre Grimoire will change the way you see the world.  Coming May 1st! Learn more at The Sioux Empire Podcast learned in this episode that the only thing scarier than post-apocalypse cannibal warriors is letting your employees down.

Please help support The Sioux Empire Podcast and the work we do to bring you local content.

Seth’s Book Club

“Mama” by Melissa Rochelle May

A Short Horror Story Reading, story read in its entirety by the author.


Joshua Sopko from Sioux Falls Startup Podcast



Sioux Empire Film Festival

Macabre Grimoire Podcast

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Tactical Pain Episode 012 Ryan Stoick’s Story


This week Jeni Mc interviews Ryan Stoick, an entertainer with cerebral palsy.  Ryan describes his medical history and managing his life and health.  Ryan also talks about overcoming internal strife like fear and embarrassment that can come from chronic illness.  

Tactical Pain Episode 012 Ryan Stoick’s Story

Tactical Pain Episode 012 Ryan Stoick’s Story

This episode is sponsored by DiPSy Doodle Productions Voice Talent Dave Holly

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A Race We Can and Should Win By Sen. John Thune

By Sen. John Thune 

The United States has experienced numerous technological revolutions throughout its relatively short history that have been so monumental that life as Americans knew it would never be the same. Henry Ford made automobiles and the assembly line a reality. Scientists helped American astronauts take “one giant leap for mankind.” And U.S. innovators and academics played a pivotal role in making the internet as integral to our day-to-day lives as it is today.

It was Americans’ desire to ask “what’s next?” that led to each of these technological revolutions in the past, and it’s already leading to those of the future. An easy example of this is the evolution in how we’ve consumed media over the last century and the technology that has allowed us to do it. We had books and newspapers, then radio and television, then color television, then VHS and VCRs, then DVDs and Blu-ray, and now with a few quick clicks, you can watch a movie from a wireless tablet on a chair in your backyard or on an internet-connected airplane at 30,000 feet.

When it comes to mobile broadband technology, in particular, of which media consumption is only one small part, I believe American innovators and entrepreneurs are at the doorstep of another “what’s next?” moment. I’m hopeful that lawmakers in Washington can help these new American pioneers cross the finish line faster and more efficiently, because if we don’t win this race, another country will.

In early 2016, I introduced the Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless (MOBILE NOW) Act, bipartisan legislation that would lay critical groundwork for the next generation in wireless broadband technology. At the time, I said the MOBILE NOW Act would be our passport to a 5G future of gigabit wireless connectivity, and I believe it now more than ever.

While the Senate Commerce Committee, which I chair, easily approved this common-sense legislation a few months later, it unfortunately didn’t make it to the Senate floor before the end of the year. We were close, though, which is why I reintroduced the bill on the very first day of the 115th Congress in 2017. Our hard work and persistence paid off. The committee passed it again, and, as part of a larger legislative package, so did the full House and Senate. Our multi-year effort culminated with the president recently signing it into law.

Now that it’s the law of the land, I hope we can move quickly to cut unnecessary and overly burdensome red tape so U.S. innovators can continue to move the ball down the field. By deploying newer, modernized infrastructure, like small cell technology, and making more of it available for broadband, including inefficiently used government spectrum, the airwaves over which mobile communications travel, we can achieve these goals.

My hope is that as this new technological revolution continues to take shape, states like South Dakota can play a leading role in making it a reality. Some might say, “why South Dakota?” And to them, I say, why not? It’s within reach.

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Boe Forum On Public Affairs: Condoleezza Rice

Each year the Center for Western Studies brings in an amazing and nationally prominent figure to discuss the issues of the day to Augusta Universtiy.  This year we sent Peter Pischke to take some notes and get some reaction to the event.  This years speaker was former United States Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice.

Peter Vaughn Pischke

Peter Vaughn Pischke (Photo Provided)

Hello Audience,

This is a summary (what was to be quick)a write-up of the Condoleezza Rice speech at the Boe forum over at Augustana University on 3/20/2018.
I’m not going to pretend to be unbiased when it comes to the incredible legend that is Dr. Condoleezza Rice.

I’m a big fan, and this bio will tell you why.

A Quick Bio

She is a superstar in the worlds of policy, politics, history, and academia in general. Few in the western world know more about the middle east and Russia. She in person talked to Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Gorbachev (another BOE forum speaker).

Both Presidents Bush came to her for advice and guidance on policies across the board, both foreign and domestic. During the whole of the George W. Bush administration she was there to lean on, first as the National Security Adviser 2001-2005 (first woman to do so). Then she served as the 66th Secretary of State 2005-2009, the first African-American woman to occupy that position and the 2nd woman to hold it as well.

Since then, she has written definitive books and guides that still are used by members of academia, and is currently a rock-star professor over at Stanford Graduate School of Business. And to my eyes, she always looks like she is in her 30s, which is pretty good for a young 63 years of age.

So when my friend Robert said he needed to offload some tickets to hear her speak: it felt like I was getting to meet some iconic rock group like the Beetles or the Police.

I mean getting to hear the lady who was an essential guiding hand to our foreign policy following 9/11 is a can’t miss opportunity.

Why all the pain these days, some historical background info

If you want to know what American Conservatism is, you need only listen to this speech from Rice.

Rice started by telling that the reason for the tension and chaos that we are feeling in the United States and across the globe is because worldwide, nations are abandoning the systems put in after World War 2.

After World War 2, an open and free economic system was put together in the U.S. and the rest of the western world. This system was to be non-interventionist and to stay away from protectionism because it was these systems created and elongated the Great Depression. And to help growing nations with developing economies the World Bank and International Monetary Fund so that all countries had a chance to build economically.

These systems worked “remarkably well” and “lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty.”

We, the United States led the allied powers after WW2 into supporting free and independent democratic nations in Germany and later Japan.

“Free Peoples and Free Markets” With the protection of the “American Military power as the Halo on top of this head.”

The Modern Era for China and Russia

“Everyday after September 11th felt like September 12th.  Now we face danger from ungoverned nations. There are new threats like cyber warfare, and Russia and China. (which) are two great powers misbehaving.”

Rice notes accurately how China is angrily expanding at an enormous in the South China Sea. However, China will still have to hold back because they are too integrated and dependent on the United States economy.

Russia is a different case. While China is a rising nation, in her opinion Russia is a declining power.

This next part reminds me of how awesome Rice is:

” I’ve met and talked with Vladimir Putin,” said Rice. Putin believes himself to be a great Russian leader like Peter the Great. I know because he told me “Rice you know us. You know Russia succeeds when a strong leader is in control”. In his eyes “he is turning back the humiliation of Russia.”

That is why he is willing to take Ukrainian land and push jet patrols over the coast of Sweden.

The 4 Horseman

Condoleezza then labeled the evil ideologies that are in opposition to Free Peoples and Free Markets.

Populism, Nativism, Isolationism, and Protectionism

Said Rice “for some globalization didn’t turn out well.”

Rice warned about the rise of these new so-called right-wing parties in Europe that are starting to take control of some governments.

Everyone these days decides to “play the blame game… for the left, it is big banks.”

So how do we begin to protect the liberal order?

Rice referred to when two people who speak a foreign language try to get each other to understand what they’re saying. How that people tend to “speak a bit louder, so they will understand” what they’re saying.

That is what it is like today communicating with people on the other side of politics from you.

To Rice the solution to save the liberal order is dire and straightforward: The United States must lead, or there is no chance for free nations and free markets to prosper.

Technology and Energy

Rice lives and works in Silicon Valley where the tech companies feel that they have the solution for everything. To Condoleezza, she believes that technology is neutral with the potential to be both for good and evil.

Her example is the splitting of the atom, which brought nuclear energy, medical scanning, and useful isotopes. But it also brought the horror of the atomic bomb.

In particular, the power of Online Learning is capable of transforming lives of children who live in poverty. Technology allows a kid from any walk of life the opportunity to gain an education.

Rice said with wisdom “Technology can be the answer to: Do you hear me now?”

She was working at the White House when the price for of a barrel of oil went to almost $145 in 2008. Russia decided to use this opportunity to wreak havoc and invade the Crimea and move forward other intense interests.

Russia didn’t use its energy resource and power for the global good. But we the people do.

“The United States can be the most stable energy platform in human history.”

So just imagine what good it could do?

The Millennial Generation

Condoleezza Rice is a professor and works with millennial students all the time.

“This is the most public-minded generation ever!”

She says a lot of her students then expect their first job too meaningfully. Don’t make this mistake.

“Your first job will not be meaningful; it’s your first job. Just do it and get it over.”

Education problems

“We the People is never an exclusive policy.”

America is an inspiration. It doesn’t matter where you come from. Even if you were born in Russia, and immigrated to the US like the co-founder of Google.

“Sergei Brin, the co-founder of Google, would never have been able to create Google in Russia.”

But Rice is scared for the fate of many young Americans where this founding principle may become untrue.

“The Crisis in K-12 education may be the biggest National Crisis today!”

“8-year-olds that can’t read now will never be able to read.” She also added that only 30% of the military could pass the written basic training test.

Rice stated her worries that people would remain ignorant and thus scared and angry at each other due to a lack of proper education.

“Education is the armor against prejudice.”

With probably the best line of tonight, Rice said: “My Grandfather is a Presbyterian minister and college educated because of it. He knew it would transform generations of Rices.”

Education can provide “limitless horizons.”

Rice fears that the United States may soon exist as if we were like two countries, one that is educated and one that can’t read.


Rice still feels that America can thrive and that “There has to be a way out.”

Americans have the most ingenuity, innovation, and compassion than anyone else.

Solving today’s problems are hard “but no harder than our origins.”

Rice said our founding is profound considering the impossible trials before them. Washington defeating the most powerful nation on earth at that time, the end of slavery via the defeat of the Confederacy in the civil war, and the migration of so many over mountain passes to settle in the beautiful west.

The U.S.A to Rice has come far: “I took the oath of office for Secretary of State under a document that treats a black person as 3/5 of a man.”

Condoleezza Rice ended her speech by praising our great country.

We are the “most compassionate and freest country in the world.”

Boe Forum on Public Affairs Dr. Condoleezza Rice

Boe Forum on Public Affairs Dr. Condoleezza Rice (Photo Provided)

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Sanford Research summit focuses on Native, rural health

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The health of rural and Native American populations will be the focus of an upcoming summit with Sanford Health.

The Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health will host its annual summit April 16-18 in Sioux Falls. For the first time, the Center for Health Outcomes and Population Research will also present at the event.

“The needs of our native and rural communities share many similarities,” said DenYelle Kenyon, associate scientist with Sanford Research and principal investigator for CRCAIH. “This kind of event allows for people from across the region to spend time together to search for commonalities, shared experiences and, ultimately, solutions.”

Speakers this year will focus on storytelling as a way to share information and experience as it relates to Native American communities, research and innovation. The summit, now in its sixth year, provides networking opportunities and features presentations from researchers and experts in the field of Native American and rural health.

Highlights include:

  • Rafael Luna, Ph.D., of Boston College will explain how researchers can use the structural aspects of storytelling and narrative to write research manuscripts.
  • Abigail Echo Hawk, of the Urban Indian Health Institute and Seattle Indian Health Board, will talk about how native populations are rich with knowledge, strength and resilience and how trust and reciprocal partnerships can help research and community.
  • Emily Griese, Ph.D.; Jessica Hanson, Ph.D.; DenYelle Kenyon, Ph.D.; and Arielle Deutsch, Ph.D.; all of Sanford Research, will talk about their projects related to substance use, education, risks and resiliencies in rural and Native American youth.
  • Several members of the research and native communities will share their personal stories of how building tribal research infrastructure has helped different populations.

CRCAIH was established in 2012. It brings together tribal communities, researchers and health care entities to address American Indian health through transdisciplinary research. CHOPR was funded in July 2017 through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Center of Biomedical Research Excellence mechanism focused on American Indian and rural health.

Five tribes from North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota partner with the program. CRCAIH has supported three large research projects and 15 pilot grants, with a focus on social determinants of health.

Registration is free and open to the public. For information, go to The event is at the Sanford Center, 2301 E. 60th Street North, Sioux Falls.

In September 2012, Sanford Research and its partners received a $13.5 million grant – the largest in its history – from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to create the CRCAIH.

About Sanford Health
Sanford Health is one of the largest health care systems in the nation, with 44 hospitals and nearly 300 clinics in nine states and four countries. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and serving the Upper Midwest, with nearly 1,400 physicians, Sanford Health is dedicated to several initiatives, including global clinics, genomic medicine and specialized centers researching cures for type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and other diseases. Sanford Health has 28,000 employees, making it the largest employer in the Dakotas. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford over the past decade have transformed how Sanford Health can improve the human condition. For information, visit

Urban Indianz Podcast Episode 020 HB 1253 Kenny Anderson Jr and HellnBack

Urban Indianz Podcast: Gabriel Night Shield, Char Green, Kat Stands, Levi Hansen

Guests: Kenny N Anderson Jr Candidate for Sioux Falls Mayor and Artist HellnBack

Produced By Robert Mehling

Music Spotlight:  
“Keep on Moving” by HellnBack

Native American History Bill Story

Gabriel Night Shield, Levi Hansen, Robert Mehling, Char Green, Kat Stands, Standing Rock, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Rosebud, Kenny Anderson, Kenny Anderson Jr, HellnBack, History, South Dakota State Legislature, Native History, Black History, HB 1253, Julie Frye-Mueller

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Sanford USD Medical Center ranked No 1 South Dakota hospital

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Sanford USD Medical Center is the No. 1 hospital in South Dakota, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals of 2017-2018.

According to U.S. News & World Report, rankings are made to help patients decide where to receive care; U.S. News evaluates data on nearly 5,000 hospitals in 16 adult specialties, 9 adult procedures and conditions and 10 pediatric specialties.

“We’re pleased by what U.S. News & World Report found when evaluating Sanford USD Medical Center,” said Paul Hanson, executive vice president of Sanford USD Medical Center. “We’re always proud of our staff’s accomplishments and pride ourselves in remaining on the cutting edge of health care. This ranking from U.S. News is validation of our hard work and efforts.”

The medical center is ranked high performing in all nine areas evaluated (colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, COPD, heart failure, heart bypass surgery, aortic valve surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, knee replacement and hip replacement). Only 48 hospitals, or one percent, of those evaluated across the nation received such high honors.

Sanford USD Medical Center is also rated high performing in six adult specialties (cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, geriatrics, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology). In gastroenterology and GI surgery, the medical center comes in at no. 32 in the nation. 

Sioux Empire Podcast 097 Owl Creek Bridge and Theresa Stehly

This podcast contains adult content, listener discretion advised.

Theresa Stehly makes her triumphant return to The Sioux Empire Podcast this week to tell Robert Mehling, Seth Glover, Natasha Estes, and Dustin Buri all about city government and her adventures in amateur journalism. But first, Seth give the crew a little run down on “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce. A story Kurt Vonnegut called “the greatest American short story.” Theresa tells us all about her newsletter “The Stehly Report” and talks about what it would be like to run a small newspaper. She also gives us an update on last week’s legislative coffee and a quick rundown of recent city news. This episode is brought to you by Sioux Falls Sno Jam Comedy Festival celebrating comedy and…Snow! That’s right there is no other comedy festival like it. Thirty comedians from around the country will be traveling to Sioux Falls, SD to perform in various venues across the city. Over the course of three days they will perform in both stand up and themed showcases, not only testing their comedy wits but their endurance to the cold. All the while supporting a good cause. Net proceeds will benefit the Special Olympics of South Dakota. Kurt Vonnegut also once called The Sioux Empire Podcast “the greatest American Podcast.” Sure he died seven years before this podcast existed, but you’d be amazed what you can find out with an ouija board and enough cough medicine.


Seth’s Book Club
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, a short story by American author Ambrose Bierce, is “one of the most famous and frequently anthologized stories in American literature”. Originally published by The San Francisco Examiner on July 13, 1890, it was first collected in Bierce’s 1891 book Tales of Soldiers and Civilians. The story is set during the American Civil War, in which Bierce himself was a soldier.

“An Occurrence” is renowned for its irregular time sequence and twist ending. Bierce’s narrative, discarding linear sequence, and adopting the protagonist’s inner experience, is an early employment of stream of consciousness. Calling it “the greatest American short story,” author Kurt Vonnegut added, “It isn’t remotely political. It is a flawless example of American genius, like ‘Sophisticated Lady’ by Duke Ellington or the Franklin stove.”

It has been adapted as a film, as well as an episode of the twilight zone and, has been imitated in popular culture thousands of times.

Tags and Topics:

Robert Mehling, Natasha Estes, Seth Glover, Theresa Stehly, Voting, Government Spending, The Stehly Report, Tom Walsh, Great Life, Golf Contract, Pat Starr, Snow Gates, John Hult, Tim Stanga, Greg Belfrage, Patrick Lalley, KSOO, Kermit Staggers, Gary Hanson, Utility Costs, Pam Nelson, Minnehaha County, Mike Milstead, Minnehaha County Sheriff, Argus Leader, Small Newspapers, Gannett Media, Joe Sneve, Jeff Barth, Crime, Todd Epp, KELO, Veterans Cemetery, Larry P. Zikmund, City Council, South DaCola, Jim Schmidt, Lincoln County, Lura Roti, Bruce Danielson, Mixed Use parking Ramp, Gold Plated Ramp, Annexation, Llyod Company, Tax Increment Financing, TIF, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce, Civil War, Kurt Vonnegut, Dustin Buri, Sioux Falls Sno Jam Comedy Festival

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Tactical Pain Episode 007 Spa Utopia with Lucinda Larson

This week Jeni Mc meets with Lucinda Larson of Spa Utopia.  They different techniques that can be used to manage and reduce chronic pain with massage and Reiki.  Lucinda also offers advice for first-timers and the importance of stretching.  

This episode is sponsored by DiPSy Doodle Productions:

DiPSy Doodle Productions

DiPSy Doodle Productions

Spa Utopia


Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Migraines, myalgic encephalomyelitis, Pain management, Jeni Mc, Robert Mehling, Message, Lucinda Larson, Peace of Mind, BioMat, Reiki, stretching, aromatherapy, Hot Stones, touch

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Sioux Empire Podcast 096 The New Colossus with Polly Dean

This podcast contains adult content, listener discretion advised.

This week The Sioux Empire Podcast Crew (Robert Mehling, Natasha Estes, and Seth Glover) get serious to talk about human trafficking with Polly Dean from The New Colossus.  But First, they talk about Russian Gun Advocates, arbitrary, meaningless lists,  and all of those bald glowing children in Brandon.  This episode is brought to you by Sioux Falls Sno Jam Comedy Festival celebrating comedy and…Snow! That’s right there is no other comedy festival like it. Thirty comedians from around the country will be traveling to Sioux Falls, SD to perform in various venues across the city. Over the course of three days they will perform in both stand up and themed showcases, not only testing their comedy wits but their endurance to the cold. All the while supporting a good cause. Net proceeds will benefit the Special Olympics of South Dakota.  Don’t look into it but The Sioux Empire Podcast is the #1 podcast in the entire universe according to absolutelynotamadeuplistwebsiteseriously.fakeweb.  


The New Colossus

Sno Jam Comedy Fest



The Sioux Empire Podcast has no scruples and will totally launder your rubles.

A Failing Grade

More arbitrary lists

Radioactive!  Radioactive!

I guess all of those bald glowing children were drawing some attention.


Robert Mehling, Seth Glover, Natasha Estes, The New Colossus, Polly Dean, Argus Leader, Human Trafficking, arbitrary lists, KSFY, KELOLand, Law Enforcement, Bad Drivers, Brandon, Russia, Imagine Dragons, Internet Safety, Emotional Manipulation, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Snapchat, Criminal Record, Student Loans, Rehabilitation, Drugs


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