Murder mystery at the Valentine’s Day banquet


The IMPACTED class expanded their theatrical horizons this week and joined in the fun as they and other audience members became ‘employees’ of the Bleeding Heart Candy Company at an annual company Valentine's Day banquet.

The employees soon learned that the company owner, Art Hart, had been murdered, and the case needed to be solved.

The suspects were Hart’s self-centered millennial daughter, Candi Hart (Haley Salem), Cass Mone’y (Tristin Gruenhagen), the company's drunk CFO with sticky fingers and Jerry Atric (Larry Janish), the Chief Information Officer who failed high school math and clearly had no idea what he was doing in his tech job.

Another suspect was Fran Tic, the Chief Compliance Officer (Kristy Hubbard), who was using her job as a stepping stone to her dream job with the PEEPS Candy Company. Fran Tic had recently discovered that deceased owner Hart had been dumping hazardous waste into the local water system. A final suspect was Hugh Jass (Leo Jensen), the company’s Chief Operating Officer who was having an affair with a reporter from the Kingsbury Journal.

All suspects clearly had motive in the intricate and interwoven plot.

The IMPACTED ‘employees’ worked diligently during cocktails and a catered meal to determine whom they thought murdered company owner Hart and what weapon had been used.

At the end of the evening, ‘employees’ Sam Gigov and Loren Eitreim were the only two that said, “Fran Tic did it; she poisoned his drinking water!”

The Bleeding Hearts Murder Mystery Dinner Theater script was written and directed by Haley (Hubbard) Salem.

New Programs at lake area tech & old beauty at goss opera house

Lake Area Technical College is not only growing in enrollment but also growing in the number of programs offered. A beautiful new wing has expanded their medical career programs where students work in state-of-the-art facilities. They learn on mannequins that can do everything from birth babies to yell ouch, bleed or burp. Seven separate medical programs include instruction and study involving cadavers.

Other areas are expanding as well – diesel technology is doubling the size of their facilities. Piloting and maintaining drones are new programs starting in 2022 in the aviation program.

“I was amazed to learn that Mount Marty is so tightly aligned with Lake Area,” said Roxy Jensen. “Mount Marty has their office and classes right on this same campus, so students who double up can graduate with 4-year degrees in two years.”

Ninety-nine percent of the Lake Area students find employment upon graduation, and 84% stay in South Dakota. There are 30 programs and 2608 students presently enrolled. All students have access to over $400,000 in scholarships.

Maverick’s Steak House, with a very interesting menu, was next on the tour.

“I want to come back,” commented Marilyn Skyberg. “They have one item where I can pick my own steak, and then they bring it to the table on a hot lava stone. I can finish it however I want. That sounds unique and fun for our next road trip.”

The group also toured the historic Goss Opera House. The building had started to fall apart and was in complete disrepair. During repairs, one room was left as it was so everyone could appreciate what it took to bring the entire building back to its 1889 magnificence. Many commented that they would like to come back for one of the concerts or plays that are scheduled for this upcoming year.

coming up

The Gentle Yoga and To Be Fit classes will finish up their final IMPACTED week. The Rattle, Farkle and Mexican Train Domino players have their last official session on Monday, too.

“Although the IMPACTED group is done this week, they can extend game day,” said Event Center Director Kristy Hubbard. “So, if people want to continue, we can schedule some dates.”

Wednesday marks the last IMPACTED 2021 tour which starts at the newly opened Wilbert’s Alehouse in Brookings, followed by tours to the SD Art Museum and State Agricultural Heritage Museum.


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