Woman Joins Patient Safety Movement Following Mother’s Death

Losing a parent is never easy, but a local woman believes the death of her mother could have been prevented.

Norma Reiners was 85 years old, but her daughter says you never would have known it.

Reiners was completely healthy and independent and lived in her own home.

This matriarch of the family was very beloved.  But one night, she tripped and fell down the stairs and broke her ankle.

“So that would have been 12 days before her death. She went from that to death in 12 days,” daughter Brenda Ludens said.

The cause of her mother’s death is on the rise and most people have never heard of it:  Sepsis.

Ludens is now on a mission to educate anyone she can about this medical problem that if not caught in time, almost always results in death.

Ludens believes that if her mother’s condition would have been diagnosed right away, she may have survived. She’s asked health care providers to make changes in response to her mother’s death but she has run into some resistance. That story is tonight’s Eye on KELOLAND.

No Election In Fort Pierre After Challenger Disqualified

Fort Pierre will not hold a city election this year, after the only potential challenging candidate was disqualified.

There is no opposition for three City Council seats up for election, and Mayor Gloria Hanson also has no challenger.

City Finance Officer Roxanne Heezen says a resident did file nominating petitions to run against Hanson but hadn’t handled the petitions correctly, making them invalid.

The city of Yankton also has canceled its municipal and school board elections this year, due to a lack of candidates. The Daily Press & Dakotan reports it’s the second straight year of no city election and the third consecutive year of no school board election.

Huron Businessman And Philanthropist Earl Nordby Dies At 85

Huron businessman and philanthropist Earl Nordby has died.

Nordby died Tuesday at a Huron hospital. He was 85.

Nordby’s funeral is 10:30 a.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church, followed by a private burial.

Nordby made his money in the soft drink bottling industry and later donated millions of dollars for public projects. The Nordby Exhibit Hall on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds is named for him.

Nordby was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1997 and into Beverage World magazine’s Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2011, Gov. Dennis Daugaard proclaimed May 6 as Earl Nordby Day.

Police: Garretson Man Arrested For DUI, Child Endangerment

A Garretson man was arrested after he wouldn’t leave a Sioux Falls convenience store.

At around 3 p.m. Monday, police responded to Casey’s General Store on Sycamore Avenue near Arrowhead Parkway. Employees called after a man refused to leave the store.

When officers arrived, the man was inside a vehicle with a 6-year-old girl from Valley Springs. Police said the man was a friend of the child’s mother and had picked the girl up from school before the car ran out of gas.

Officers smelled alcohol and found a bottle of rum underneath the driver’s seat. Omar Reuben Thornton, 45, of Garretson, was arrested and charged with his first DUI, two counts of child endangerment, failure to vacate after notice, unrestrained child, open container, and possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia.

Police also found a bag with less than a half ounce of meth after talking with the child.

Dakota Wesleyan University Plans $1M Theater Project

Dakota Wesleyan University is planning a $1 million project that will include a theater and a welcome center.

The center and multipurpose theater will be in an expansion to the Dakota Discovery Museum, which the Mitchell university began managing last year. The university’s development offices also will be housed in the new space.

The university has raised most of the money for the project. University President Amy Novak says officials hope to break ground in the fall and sell naming rights.

The university will demolish Hughes Science Hall, the theater department’s current home. The century-old building is one of the last remaining original buildings on campus and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Novak says it would cost too much to renovate.

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Pierre Seeking New Bids For Airline To Serve City


The city of Pierre is seeking bids from airlines interested in serving South Dakota’s capital city under the Essential Air Service federal subsidy program.

Great Lakes Airlines currently provides service from Pierre to Denver and Minneapolis, but city officials have been unsatisfied with the service and began looking for a new carrier in 2014. They ended up recommending Aerodynamics Inc. but have since soured on that carrier due to concerns over finances and managerial competence.

The city last month asked federal regulators for permission to reopen the bidding process.

The deadline for new bids is March 31. City Commissioner Steve Harding says officials then will take 30 days to decide on a new recommendation to the federal Transportation Department.

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Seekamp’s Special Summit League Fan

This weekend, the madness continues as the Summit League Tournament comes to town.

USD senior guard Nicole Seekamp, makes it home once a year, if even that much.
So when it’s tournament time, she’s lucky to have a few extra fans in the stands.

In her final season as a Coyote, Seekamp will try to take USD to their fourth consecutive Summit League Tournament Championship.

For the first time since last year’s tournament she’ll have a special fan in the stands. Her mom, Charmaine is here, from Australia, to watch her daughter in her final Summit League run. Just last week, Seekamp’s father, Alan, was also in Vermillion.

“It’s kind of nice to have them spread out and get to have family here for a month, considering that I don’t see them for eight, nine months of the year so it’s awesome to have them here,” Nicole said.

Charmaine says, she enjoys seeing the impact her daughter is making on and off the court.

“Everyone says, ‘ We just love Nicole. We love Nicole.’ And so do I, love Nicole,” Charmaine said.

Seekamp, who’s leading the Coyotes on their 14 game winning streak says having her mom in the stands, makes her a better player.

“You know, it’s awesome. I think she kind of relaxes me during games and she knows how I think in games so after something happens she knows exactly what I’m thinking so I can kind of talk to her about the game. So that kind of helps take the pressure off me and I can get myself focused on the next game,” Nicole said.

Although, the Australian duo rarely see each other, Charmaine says, she’s proud of what her daughter is accomplishing in the states.

“It’s always nice to be around her but she’s only playing basketball for a short amount of time in her life, so she’s to to take any opportunity that comes her way, so one door closes and another one will open,” Charmiane said.

And, when it’s all over, Charmaine says she’ll miss her annual trips to America.

“It really is going to be a sad time when we get on the plane and leave because we won’t be back here for a very long time,” Charmaine said.

But before she leaves, there’s just one last thing, she’d like to see her daughter do this weekend.

“Winning! Winning! That’s it. Playing the best basketball she can,” Charmaine said.

If you can’t make it to the tournament this weekend, you can follow Bailey Milne on Twitter as she’ll be live tweeting updates from the women’s games throughout the tournament.

You can also follow @KELOSports for the latest on all the sessions.

Also be sure to visit our Summit League page for the most up-to-date information during the tournament.

Daughter Shares Her Story After Mother Dies In Hospital

There are about 200,000 patient deaths every year in the U.S. Most of those deaths could have been prevented, and a local woman believes that her mother’s death was one of them.

The Patient Safety Movement is trying to mobilize all areas of health care to raise awareness about preventable deaths from infection and bring the number from more than 200,000 a year down to zero by the year 2020.

In the last four years, the Patient Safety Movement estimates it has helped prevent nearly 25,000 deaths in 1,600 hospitals.

The fourth-annual Patient Safety Summit brought together healthcare leaders, patient advocates and policymakers to look for solutions to ending preventable death in hospitals.

Brenda Ludens attended the meeting in California in July to share her mother’s story. Norma Reiners died in 2014, a death Ludens says was preventable.

“Whenever I tell my mother’s story, I say, ‘Just put yourself in my position and put your mother’s name in my story,'” Ludens said.

Luden’s mother died from one of the most common and most preventable causes of death in hospitals, but it’s one you may never have heard of.  She is sharing her mother’s story tonight on Eye on KELOLAND at 10.

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Child Playing With Lighter Starts Aberdeen Area Home On Fire

No one was hurt when a child playing with a cigarette lighter started a mobile home on fire near Aberdeen.

Rural Fire Chief Mark Stoks said the fire started about 5 p.m. Tuesday, in a back bathroom of the home. He says the home suffered smoke, heat and water damage.

Stoks says the family spent the night with relatives in the area.

  • Crime
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State’s Top Spellers To Compete In Vermillion

Fifteen students have made the list of competitors who will try to represent South Dakota in a national spelling bee in Washington, D.C. in May.

The students who will participate in the state’s spelling bee on March 19 hosted by the University of South Dakota were the top spellers at regional competitions that took place in Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Mitchell and Rapid City.

Contestants will range from fourth through eighth grades. The winner will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee that will run from May 23 to 27 in Washington D.C.

The state competition will be streamed live on USD’s website.

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