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Obits
Lyons, Shirley May

RAPID CITY | The world was blessed on Feb. 28, 1935, with the birth of Shirley Mae Lyons to Harry and Clara Hansen in the small town of Havelock, Iowa. She was the first of six successful children.

She lived in Havelock for four years then transitioned to a farm 5 miles from town. She attended County School through the fourth grade, and then transferred to Havelock school system until she graduated at the top of the class. She had a passion for music and singing. She entered many singing competitions, solo and choir. She was a girls basketball phenom and was a first-teamer all four years until graduation.

Shirley won a basketball scholarship to Commercial Extension Business School in Omaha, Nebraska. She graduated at the top of her class again in 1954. She tested for and scored a career job for the civil service.

Shirley met Air Force veteran Donald Gilbert Lyons Sr. while working in Omaha and got hitched on Dec. 4, 1954, in Harlan, Iowa. With her marriage to Donald, it took her to air bases in Massachusetts, California and lastly Ellsworth in Rapid City. She had a career high of 34 years in various positions with the last and most prestigious being the 44th Missile Strategic Wing Commander's secretary before her retirement in February 1990. After retiring, Shirley took part-time customer-services jobs at Speigel and Prudential Insurance.

She is survived by three children, Donald G. Lyons Jr., Lori Lyons, and Jody (Heather Hedglin) Lyons, all of Rapid City; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; three brothers, Jerry “Sonny” (Barb) Hansen of Manson, Iowa, Willis “Bill” Hansen of Rancho Cordova, California, and Cecil “Lee” (Helen) Hansen of Pocahontas, Iowa; and one sister, Janice (Rich) Young of San Antonio, Texas.

She was preceded in death by husband, Donald Lyons; grandson, Gordy Lyons; her sister, Donna Chalfont; and parents, Clara and Harry Hansen.

She was transformed to an Angel Butterfly on Feb. 7, 2019, at the Regional Hospice House. She will be loved, admired, thought of, and missed by all that met her and were able to get to know an amazing daughter, sister, grandmother, wife, friend, mentor and most of all champion mother. She will now share eternal life with her husband of 58 years. Godspeed, Mom!

Memorial services will be  at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Kirk Funeral Home, with Pastor Chris Swarthout officiating.

A memorial has been established for her loving grandchildren. Friends may sign Shirley’s online guestbook at www.kirkfuneralhome.com.


Obits
Dunton, Doris J.

SPEARFISH | Doris J. Dunton, 91, died Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.

Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels & Isburg Crematory


Obits
Steele, Timothy ‘Raab’

MANDERSON | Timothy "Raab" Steele, 64, died Feb. 9, 2019.

Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge


Obits
Trandahl, Arden

SPEARFISH | Arden Trandahl, 86, died Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019.

Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels & Isburg Crematory


Govt-and-politics
Sioux Falls Council to draft new proposal for beekeeping in city limits

SIOUX FALLS — Sioux Falls officials are reconsidering the city's restrictions on beekeeping after recent media attention about the declining bee population created a buzz.

City officials and beekeeping advocates met recently to discuss the prospect of legalizing apiaries, a place where bees or a collection of beehives are kept, the Argus Leader reported. Preserving hives and raising bees are prohibited within city limits, with the exception of agriculturally zoned land.

Councilor Theresa Stehly intends to draft a proposal that centers on protecting the public while opening more of the city to hobby apiaries. She sought feedback on the proposal from other councilors, a few beekeepers as well as officials with the zoning, city attorney's and animal-control offices.

Assistant City Attorneys Ryan Sage and Keith Allenstein and Sioux Falls Animal Control Supervisor Julie DeJong appeared to be less eager to ease restrictions on beekeeping within city limits. Each raised concerns about the city's liability in the event of bee stings, bee swarms and general public safety.

"It's going to take one person to die and guess who's getting sued? The city of Sioux Falls — whether that's a successful suit or not," Allenstein said.

DeJong cited news stories from other parts of the United States where people have been injured by bees being kept in urban areas and noted officers in her department aren't adequately trained to handle bees or determine if someone fits the criteria required to be a beekeeper.

But the beekeepers attending the meeting rejected those notions, saying beekeepers are the primary recipients of honey-bee stings as the honey-bee species rarely acts defensively, and only does so when someone gets near a hive.

"Ninety percent of the population, what they know about bees is wrong," said Dave Jastram, an apiary enthusiast who used to run a commercial beekeeping operation.


Movies
'The Favourite,' 'Roma' win big at British Academy Awards

LONDON — Tragicomic royal drama "The Favourite" and Mexican family memoir "Roma" split the honors with multiple wins each at Sunday's British Academy Film Awards.

"The Favourite" won seven trophies including best British film and best actress for Olivia Colman, who plays Britain's 18th century Queen Anne in the female-centric drama.

Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma," which centers on the nanny to a middle-class Mexico City family, took prizes for best picture, director, cinematography and foreign-language film.

Director Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Favourite" snapped up the outstanding British film and screenplay awards as well as prizes for its production design, its costumes, hair and makeup and the performances of Colman and supporting actress Rachel Weisz.

The best-actor trophy went to Rami Malek for his turn as Queen front man Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Mahershala Ali was named best supporting actor as a concert pianist touring the 1960s Deep South in "Green Book."

Other winners included "BlacKkKlansman" for best adapted screenplay and "A Star is Born" for music.

The awards, known as BAFTAs, will be scoured for clues on who might triumph at Hollywood's Academy Awards on Feb. 24. "Roma" and "The Favourite" each have 10 Oscar nominations.

British academy voters all but ignored superhero blockbuster "Black Panther," which is up for best picture at the Oscars and took top prize at the SAG awards last month. It had a single BAFTA nomination, for visual effects, which it won. One of its stars, Letitia Wright, was named Rising Star, the only category decided through a public vote. The London-raised actress spoke of her past struggles with depression and urged others not to give up.


Obits
Mason, Robert E.

SPEARFISH | Our beloved brother Robert E. Mason, 69, passed away Feb. 8, 2019, at Spearfish Canyon Healthcare.

Bobby was born April 26, 1949 in Deadwood to Robert and Evelyn (Dryer) Mason.

He has been active at Black Hills Works in Rapid City since 1972 learning many trades and most importantly to live independently. In 1995, he was honored at the Black Hills Works Recognition Gala and featured in the Rapid City Journal. Also, he was a participant in the Special Olympics and proud of his medals.

Our brother enjoyed country music, his Denver Broncos, fishing, bowling, swimming and his model cars. Family was very important, he was always reminding us of when the next holiday or his birthday was coming up. A must-do would be going to his McDonald’s — or as he would say, “O’Donalds.” Church was a big part of his life; he liked to listen to the Gospel — or as he mispronounced it “the Gossip.” Bobby had many challenges and obstacles in life, but he always persevered with strength and resilience.

He is survived by his brother, Steve (Launa) Mason; his sisters, Linda (Dan) Green and Deanna (Darryl) Cornell; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Bobby was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Evelyn Mason; grandparents, Maurice and Loula Mason and Edward and Ethel Dryer; and great-nephew, Kyle.

Our family is grateful to everyone who inspired, influenced and cared for Bobby throughout his life.

We will be celebrating his life at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Lead. Please dress casually, as Bobby was a Bronco jersey and jean-type guy.

In lieu of flowers, if you choose to give please consider Black Hills Works or Spearfish Canyon Health and Rehabilitation (formerly David Dorset Home).

Arrangements are under the care of the Lead-Deadwood Memorial Chapel of Lead.

Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com.


Obits
Peck, Ricky

RAPID CITY | Ricky Peck, 30, passed away Feb. 8, 2019.

Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at Kirk Funeral Home with visitation one hour prior to service.


Govt-and-politics
Despite fierce weather, Nebraska avoids climate change plan

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska state lawmakers and conservationists who have seen a major drought, historic flooding and gigantic wildfires over the last decade are pushing to prepare the state for climate change.

But if history is an indicator, legislators won't be warming to the idea anytime soon.

Nebraska is one of seven Plains states that haven't created a formal plan to confront the local impact of more extreme weather, bucking the trend of 33 others and the District of Columbia that have done so since the mid-2000s.

A 2016 report endorsed by a bipartisan legislative committee called on lawmakers to write a plan "based on empirical evidence and Nebraska-based data." But a bill that would have started the process died in the Legislature in 2017, leaving some supporters exasperated.

"I don't know if it's politics. I don't know if it's just climate deniers. I just think this is very serious for our generation and future generations," said Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln. "Just winging it is not a plan."

North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming also have no plans in place, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, a Virginia-based nonprofit that tracks state climate plans.

Pansing Brooks has again introduced the measure, calling for the University of Nebraska to develop a plan for adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change. University officials would submit it to lawmakers and the governor by Dec. 15, 2020.

The plan would require university officials to estimate Nebraska's total greenhouse-gas emissions, outline goals to reduce them, and identify the positive and negative impacts of climate change on the state economy.

They also would have to drill down on how it would affect specific state resources, including farms and ranches, water, public health and energy. The university would get up to $250,000 from a state environmental fund generated by landfill waste and tire sale fees.

Pansing Brooks will present the proposal to a legislative committee Monday with backing from Nebraska's state climatologist, university forestry officials and environmentalists, but its prospects are unclear.

Nebraska has endured several stretches of record weather in the last decade. Nebraska State Climatologist Martha Shulski said researchers can't conclusively tie any specific weather event to climate change, but the planet's gradual warming likely made those weather outbreaks worse and is expected to fuel severe storms, floods and droughts in the future.

In 2011, a giant snowpack in the Rocky Mountains led to weeks of flooding along the Missouri River, threatening Nebraska cities and leaving farmland deep underwater.

A major drought in 2012 killed trees throughout the state and caused a cattle-feed shortage so severe that some ranchers had to harvest ditch weeds to keep their animals alive. State officials ordered more than 1,100 farmers to stop irrigating their crops to compensate for low water levels.

The drought also contributed to more than 1,600 wildfires that year that burned a total of 813 square miles — an expanse more than six times the size of Omaha.

Despite the weather extremes, some members of Nebraska's Republican-dominated Legislature remain skeptical about efforts to prepare for climate change.

Sen. Dan Hughes, who will review the bill as a member of the Legislature's Executive Board, said he was concerned about the proposal's $250,000 price tag and the potential cost of its recommendations.

Hughes, a farmer from Venango, said he questions whether man-made climate change is real and noted that Nebraska has always dealt with droughts, floods and wildfires. He argued the state shouldn't spend money to prepare for problems he said may never materialize.

"I'm concerned it would be detrimental to our economy for no measureable benefit," he said.

The influential Nebraska Farm Bureau, which represents farmers and ranchers who routinely deal with harsh weather, said it doesn't plan to take a position on the bill.

"We are aware of it, but it's not a top issue for us," said Craig Head, a group spokesman.

The reluctance in Nebraska may be driven by the political polarization of climate-change science, said Jon Christensen, an adjunct assistant professor at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

Christensen said the Nebraska proposal "appears to be a very sensible and cost-effective approach," but the issue too often gets hijacked by extreme positions on both sides — those who deny climate change and others who demand dramatic and immediate changes.

"It's so polarized because both climate and the environment have become identified with political parties," he said. "If you ask people whether they're concerned about potential changes in rainfall and crop productivity, I suspect you'd get a very different answer than if you ask if they're concerned about climate change."

All the states without climate plans lean conservative, but those that have approved plans include the Republican-led states of Arkansas, Alaska, Kentucky and South Carolina.

"Climate plans are a really important step because it shows states are serious," said Doug Vine, a solutions fellow at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

Shulski, the state climatologist, said developing a plan could help state officials mitigate some of the effects of climate change.

In the meantime, Shulski said she's working with individual Nebraska cities to develop their own plans. Some are looking to buy more snowplows and improve their storm drains to accommodate heavier precipitation, while others have identified shelters for the elderly and poor to escape extreme summer heat.

Shulski said scientists don't know exactly how much Nebraska's average temperatures will rise, but the state will likely experience more frequent flooding from intense rain and snowstorms and hotter, longer summers that could stress livestock and crops. River and groundwater levels could drop as well, requiring more conservation.

"The best time to plan for a tornado is not when you hear the sirens going off," she said.