Section C: Transitions
Press & Dakotan

Section C: Transitions


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PRESS & DAKOTAN SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011 PAGE 18C: YANKTON 150 Celebrating 20 Years of Caring! All your childcare needs from infant to age 12 at one convenient location. New pre-school program offered in the daycare setting Delicious homemade meals and snacks Convenient hours, plus transportation to and from school For More Information Call Lynette 661-1806 or Shelly 665-7755 E-mail: Discovery From Page 6C the historic event. Cedar County (Neb.) Commissioner Frederick Pinkelman told the crowd he was optimistic construction of the new bridge would positively impact area residents. It is my hope that in the spirit of appreciation, and with God s help, we d all be inspired to strive to make our communities on both sides of the river even better places to live now and for future generations, he said. By January 2008, the piers for KELLY HERTZ/P&D In July 2011, Gov. Dennis Daugaard was on hand for the ribbon-cutting at Yankton s Dakota Trailer, which the bridge had been poured and luck was on the construction unveiled a 40,000-square-foot expansion. company s side. When you re drilling holes in lished at Yankton in 1968 as mann Engineering and Dakota the ground, you don t know what Trailer are just a few that were all Hawkeye Eagle Grain Trailers. In you ll find. You still have some 2005, the company was renamed risk there, Timmons said. started and developed into the companies they are now, because Dakota Trailer Manufacturing. Ultimately, many of the drilled From Page 3C Since then, the firm has grown a Yankton resident had an idea shafts for the bridge s piers from an eight-person operation that they developed into a strivdidn t need to be as deep as origto a 140-employee company with inally thought. That cut about ing company. the name of Lawrence Welk was For example, Kolberg Pioneer, a global client base. $350,000 from the project s cost, looking for a home. The city of Yankton has been Inc. was started in 1928 when Timmons explained. Gurney himself said he fed the Russell Grader Manufacturing proactive helping businesses get Timmons estimated that 5.4 tired and dusty young musicians million pounds of steel would be Company sold part of its product their beginnings and expand. in the nursery company s cafetehung on the bridge piers during Using a new development, Fox line to Caterpillar and continued ria before putting them on the Run, as well as spec buildings to the following 2 1/2 months. on as Pioneer Gravel Equipment air; and the Lawrence Welk NovOn a Tuesday in mid-March, a attract new plants and local comCompany. It was purchased and elty Orchestra was an immediate crowd of onlookers was on hand panies, the city lead businesses sold six times over the next 58 hit. For the next six years Welk as construction crews set the such as Lewis and Clark Hyyears until in 1997 it was purwould be a fixture on the station. chased by current owners, Astec first steel girder to touch Yankdraulic, Shurco and L&M RadiaOver the years, a countless ton s shoreline and complete the tor to continue to grow and Company. number of well known air personNebraska-South Dakota span. Even today that entrepreneur- expand in the community. alities have called WNAX home at ial spirit continues to expand By that time, the BYBC was alLooking forward, manufacturone time or another. within the community. ing will continue to be a segment ready making tentative plans for Many of the businesses that Dakota Trailer Manufacturing, of our community that drives our an October ribbon-cutting for the now exist today, were started which celebrated the completion economy, and that other commu- bridge. Meanwhile, construction during the first 50 years of the of its 40,000-square-foot expannities will look to as the example crews began building the forms for the deck of the bridge. 20th century. Cimpl s Meats, sion this July, is a glowing examof how to grow from within. Although a 10-ton load limit Freeman Company, Mtron, ple of what Yankton businesses on the Meridian Bridge for part Vishay/Dale, Applied Engineerand manufacturers are capable of the summer put a kink in the ing, Muller Industries, Ehresof. Dakota Trailer was estabplans for pouring concrete on the Industry Top 5 From Page 1C But finally, the school was done in by the bottom line. YC began developing money problems, the scope of which was not widely known to the public. That s why it came as a shock to many people when it was announced in December 1984 that the college was closing its doors at the end of that semester. Almost immediately, efforts to revive the college with new ownership began. There were several entities that looked promising, and there were always rumors about new possibilities. But nothing came of these prospects. In 1987, a radically new option came forth: The federal government became interested in purchasing the campus and converting it into a minimum-security prison. This prospect turned into a divisive issue for some, particularly with residents who lived literally in the shadow of the old college. Eventually, however, the idea prevailed, with voters overwhelmingly approving the sale of the land in the fall of 1987. The Yankton Federal Prison Camp opened in 1988. Today, the prison still maintains and preserves the old buildings. Meanwhile, Yankton College still exists as a nonprofit entity that is assisting students and aiding other programs. The spirit of the Greyhound lives in the 21st century. 3. THE DEPARTURE OF GURNEY S For many gardeners around the country, Yankton was synonymous with their passion, known far and wide as the home of Gurney s Seed and Nursery, a (primarily) mail-order seed business. One of the staples of winter life was receiving the Gurney s catalog in the mail, serving as a sure sign of spring and the new growing season. For area residents, Gurney s was also a reliable source of employment, and the locally-owned business was one of the true dynamos in the area business universe. But changing times are occasionally dictated by changing economics. The local stake in Gurney s was eventually sold, and in 2000, it was announced that Gurney s Seed and Nursery was closing its doors in Yankton. A year after the closure, Foster and Gallagher, the firm that owned the seed company, went out of business, leaving Gurney s in limbo. Today, Gurney s Seed and Nursery is still in business and is based in Green- dale, Ind. As for Yankton, it is left with the old, massive Gurney s complex now a development called Gurney s Landing and a special zip code that is still on the books. 4. OFF TO WAR AGAIN It s a sad truth in our culture that nations go to war, and when they do, soldiers are summoned to duty and sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice. Yankton s 1/147th Company C Charlie Battery faced this grim reality during the community s third 50-year era. Although there were no world wars during this period, there was still conflicts to be met, enemies to be faced and tears to be shed. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990, President George H.W. Bush put together a coalition of nations to stand up to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and drive his forces back home. This operation, called Desert Shield, ultimately led to Charlie Battery being mobilized late in 1990 and sent to Saudi Arabia to await what would happen next. Desert Shield became Desert Storm in January 1991, and the Persian Gulf War was on. Six weeks of crippling aerial bombardment led to a short ground war that drove the Iraqi troops out of P&D ARCHIVE PHOTO An individual looks over at Meridian Bridge from its replacement, the Discovery Bridge, during the opening ceremonies for the new bridge in October 2008. Discovery s deck a supplier on the Nebraska side of the river had to be used briefly the final segment of the deck was poured in August. At that point, crews began stripping the wooden forms from the deck and installing the bridge s 50-foot spires, which had started arriving around that time in the form of five-foot precast sections. All we do is set one down on top of the other, said Bob Wiebelhaus, a project manager with the NDOR. Then there s some metal plates inside that get welded to hold them together. Weeks before the Oct. 11, 2008, dedication ceremony, the spires had been erected and workers continued to ready the bridge for traffic. Although the sky was overcast during that Saturday morning s Discovery Bridge dedication ceremony, spirits were high as South Dakotans and Nebraskans celebrated their joint accomplishment. Walking across the new bridge from Yankton toward the stage set up on its southern edge, one small Kuwait. Charlie Battery troops returned home several weeks later. The U.S. went after Iraq again in 2003, this time striking directly at Saddam and Baghdad. Charlie Battery soldiers were activated and sent to Oklahoma for training. But with the fall of Baghdad a few weeks later, the local soldiers were order to stand down and were sent home. They were summoned again in 2005 and this time were sent to Iraq. In December of that year, two members of Charlie Battery died in a landmine explosion. Another soldier wounded in the attack died two months later. A fourth soldier was killed the following spring. Also, Sgt. Corey Briest suffered severe head wounds in the attack; his case caught national attention, and he has since come to be the face of the wounded soldier for the 21st century local homefront. Charlie Battery returned home in September 2006 and was welcomed by a huge parade that saw approximately 30,000 lining the streets in one of the biggest displays of appreciation seen in the community in decades. Charlie Battery was mobilized again in 2009 and sent to Kuwait. The unit completed its one-year mission and returned home in spring 2010 without incident. In 2011, the unit was activated for a boy encapsulated the youthful exuberance the new structure has inspired in children and adults alike: This is awesome! he told his grandparents as he ran and looked over the railing at the river below. This is so awesome! Hundreds of people, including dignitaries from both Nebraska and South Dakota, took part in a 90-minute program of music and reflection on what the project means to the region. This project is important to the economic vitality of northeast Nebraska and southeast South Dakota, and it is the perfect example of how we can work together, Neb. Gov. Dave Heineman said. After two decades promoting the project, it was literally a dream come true for area residents. We here today dreamt the dream of a new bridge, South Dakota Transportation Commission Chairman Ralph Marquardt told the crowd at the dedication ceremony. We here today are happy to have the new bridge. Thanks for the courage to make that come true. more conventional National Guard mission: assisting in regional flood relief during the Missouri River flooding. 5. RIVERBOAT DAYS MAKES PORT The river has always been part of the life blood of Yankton; so, too, have festivals and celebrations. An effort to combine these two elements evolved into one of the most popular draws the community has ever known. In the early 1980s, local officials wanted to host a festival that celebrated Yankton s river heritage. With that, Riverboat Days was born. The first event was held in 1984 in the bare-bones fields of Riverside Park. The inaugural Riverboat Days drew a decent crowd, encouraging organizers to keep the idea going. Riverboat Days evolved quickly into a staple of late-summer life in the Yankton area. Situated far enough away from other local festivals and just far enough ahead of the Labor Day holiday, Riverboat Days now draws about 130,000 visitors annually, making it one of the biggest economic boosts the community sees each year. And as of this writing, the three-day festival shows no signs of slowing down.
Celebrating 20 Years of Caring!
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