A decade of weather, firsts and losses in KELOLAND

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Two Presidential visits, the first female governor in South Dakota, some weather extremes and the loss of KELOLAND icons. The 2010s was a busy decade and we’re here to break it all down.

Here are the moments that shaped the past 10 years.

2010

The decade began with sad news. Our beloved Captain 11 died on January 22. Dave Dedrick was 81.

He first signed KELO-TV on the air in May 1953 before going on to host the longest-running children’s program in the country.

Dedrick was one of the first employees at KELOLAND; his was the first voice to be broadcasted when KELO-TV first began broadcasting on May 19, 1953. In addition to his duties as Captain 11, Dedrick also worked as a weather forecaster during nightly newscasts.

In 1955, Dedrick won a coin toss to become the host of a new children’s program. He entertained generations of children for 41 years as Captain 11. To this day, fans of the show can recite the opening to Captain 11, which began with, “One man in each century is given the power to control time.” And at the end of every show, Dedrick issued a reminder to his young fans:

“Remember, gang. Mind mom and dad, eat everything they tell you to eat, brush your teeth and say your prayers before you go to bed. That’s the most important part. So long crew, nice being with you.”

The same day Dedrick died, a massive ice storm toppled the KPLO-TV tower on Medicine Butte near Reliance, SD.

The 1,000 foot tower fell to the ground around 1 p.m. A new tower wouldn’t be built for several years.

But, the big issue of 2010 was smoking. South Dakota voters overwhelmingly passed a statewide smoking ban to include all bars, restaurants and casinos.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune (R-SD) lit a political fire when he said he was considering running for president in 2012. He never did.

Deputy Sheriff Chad Lee Mechels (Courtesy: Officer Down Memorial Page)

One of the biggest stories from the courtroom was in Parker. Ethan Johns avoided a possible death sentence by pleading guilty to shooting and killing Turner County Deputy Sheriff Chad Mechels.  His admission sent Johns to prison for the rest of his life and ended a year and a half court case. 

“I feel he should be able to think about this for the rest of his life,” wife Jamie Mechels said. 

The winningest basketball coach in NCAA history retired in 2010. Northern State’s Don Meyer finished out his illustrious career with 923 wins, surpassing legendary Bobby Knight. Meyer died in 2014.

Continue exploring the 2010s. Click here to jump to 2011.

The 2010s: A Decade in KELOLAND

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