SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– This year marks the 70th anniversary of KELOLAND News.

Throughout this time, we’ve had hundreds of employees come through our doors, all who have left their mark and made KELOLAND what it is today.

“My whole journalism life is thanks to my beginnings at KELO and the wonderful people who were there,” Nancy Sutton said.

For Nancy Sutton, journalism has been a lifelong career, taking on many different forms. But it all began for Sutton as an intern at KELOLAND.

“I interned at KELO my junior year of college as a full time reporter, which I was quite prepared for that, that really dumped me into the deep end,” said Sutton. “Then in May when I graduated as a senior from Stephens, they hired me as a full time reporter, then in the fall they started the morning show, and they picked me and Joe Cooper to anchor the morning show and that was a really dumped in the deep end also, but I really enjoyed it.”

From KELO, Sutton went on to work in news stations across the country, film a documentary, start her own video business before coming back to the Midwest to teach journalism at the Career and Technical Education Academy (CTE) Northeast Community College and the University of Sioux Falls.

“I have walked through every video tape format there was until we were in digital space and on the computer. So I just think how amazing to have been in that time period where the technology was changing so rapidly,” said Sutton.

But for others, like Perry Groten, KELOLAND has become their home for decades. He began his career at KELO in 1984.

“I started reporting out of back then KELOLAND had a Worthington, Minnesota bureau, so I covered stories in southwest Minnesota, northwest Iowa,” said Groten. “Then I went out to Rapid City, we started a TV station out there KCLO.”

Now stationed out of Sioux Falls, Groten has covered many historical events from 1980s farm crisis, the end of the Cold War, 9/11, as well as the daily more light heart stories throughout the community.

“Deep down it’s just fun, it’s so interesting, I think being in this profession really sparked a curiosity and I want to know everything about everything, you know what I mean?,” said Groten.

Creativity also comes out through Grotens reporting, taking every day topics and trying to make them interesting to his viewers.

“Several years back during a real snowy winter, we just went to I believe it was Nybergs Ace, just did a story on what kind of various shovels people can use and just held up a shovel to the camera, did another one, did another one, and it turned out to be quite popular and I think just the simplest ideas for a story, the simplest way to tell a story can leave a strong impact and impress on viewers too,” said Groten.

Watching technology rapidly change along the way.

“When I was out in Rapid City we would shoot footage on 3/4 inch tape we had a camera with a cable attached to a tape then I would shoot my story and I would have to put it on a plane by mid afternoon so I had to shoot write and edit fast and get that drive to the airport which was about a 20 minute drive from our studio out in rapid city to the airport and I remember times where I would just barely get it on the plane,” said Groten. “Now everything is digital, the camera you’re shooting with right now is digital, it just kind of speaks to how the technology has changed throughout the years.”

“Well certainly the changes in technology with the camera equipment the edit equipment, the evolution that PC computers have made in the business and how things are produced and things that you can do it’s just incredible,” said Paul Farmer, Director of Marketing and Creative Services, KELOLAND Media Group.

Carrying on the legacy and keeping KELOLAND your home.

“You know, it’s really great to be apart of a willing team and that’s what KELOLAND is and every year has been new and different, there’s always new challenges, new technology, things change all the time in the media business and with the technology changes that I’ve seen over the years it really makes it exciting and a lot of energy in the television business and in broadcasting, so you really feed off of that,” said Farmer.

“When we do stories, we do stories that touch lives and how people can learn from that and people can grow from that, we are a bright light in sometimes a world of darkness, but people turn to us to learn about the world and what is happening,” said Groten.

Over our 70 years of coverage, we’ve brought you thousands of stories. You can find a link to watch some of our older stories through our Flashback Friday here.