One Dead, Officer Injured in Rosebud Shooting

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The following is a release from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Lawenforcement Services:

On Tuesday February 2, 2016, around 7:43 a.m., Rosebud Police received a call reporting vandalism in the “Low Rent” area of Rosebud. An Officer was dispatched to the residence. The Officer took the report and went to seek out the suspect, who was reported to be Raymond Gassman. 

At Approximately 8:00 a.m., the Officer arrived at a residence in the Fairgrounds area of Rosebud. The Officer made contact with Gassman at the residence. The Officer attempted to place Gassman under arrest. The Officer placed a handcuff on one of Gassmans wrists.  Gassman resisted the Officers efforts to arrest him, a struggle ensued. Dispatch received a 911 call from a resident requesting another Officer to the residence reporting Gassman had tackled the Officer. Additional Officers were dispatched. During the struggle shots were fired. Gassman was shot, the Officer was also shot. The Officer requested Medical Assistance from Dispatch.

At around 8:06 a.m. additional Officers arrived at the residence. Immediate medical attention was given to Gassman and the Officer. Rosebud Ambulance Service arrived shortly after the Officers and took over medical treatment. CPR was started on Gassman.  Rosebud Ambulance Service contacted the Cherry County Emergency Room. After attempts to revive Gassman were unsuccessful, Rosebud Ambulance Service was advised by Cherry County ER Doctor to cease their efforts. The Officer was transported by Ambulance to the Cherry County Hospital then transported to another medical facility for treatment.  The Officer has since gone under surgery. The Officers injuries were not life threatening. The Officer has been placed on administrative leave. It is standard operating procedure that Police Officers be placed on administrative leave after a shooting incident, pending the investigation. 

The FBI was contacted immediately and responded. Upon their arrival all evidence including the Officers Body Camera were turned over to the FBI. The FBI has assumed all aspects of the investigation.

Lady Warriors rip Ainsworth, 1-1 over holiday break

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By Rich Winter

A week after getting ripped 73-48 in McLaughlin, the Lady Warriors of St. Francis used the home cooking of the Warrior Dome to get past Ainsworth, Neb., 65-40 Monday night in St. Francis.

St. Francis senior Neola Spotted Tail led the way with 19 points but she had plenty of help as Haylee Quick Bear (14), Sheigh Lunderman (12) and Matilda Anderson (10) also reached double figures. 

After Ainsworth took a 2-0 lead, Spotted Tail took over.

Spotted Tail drilled a trey to give St. Francis a 3-2 lead, extended that lead to 5-2 after she finished on a pretty feed from Lunderman and added another trey as St. Francis led early, 8-2. 

Back-to-back layups from freshman Anderson and Quick Bear helped St. Francis lead 12-4 after one period. 

Fellow senior, Sheigh Lunderman absolutely took over the game in the second period with eight points, tons of defense and a few well timed outlet passes.

Lunderman’s offensive-rebound putback upped the lead to 14-5. A Quick Bear trey followed by a Lunderman bucket and a Spotted Tail deuce and another triple from Quick Bear helped St. Francis lead 24-13.

Lunderman put back another carom found Spotted Tail for another layup and drilled a 15-footer as the Lady Warriors led 33-15 at half. 

Anderson started the second half with an early bucket, hit a pair of free throws while Quick Bear notched her third trey of the game as St. Francis stretched the lead to 39-19.

Freshman Savannah Black Moon’s trey finished off the period with St. Francis leading 51-25. 

Quick Bear added another deep trey, her  4th of the night to start the final stanza. 

With mostly a group of reserves playing the final period, coach Ryan Holy Eagle’s squad improved to 2-5 on the season with the win.

Community pulls together as Cherry-Todd Electric digs out from 2015 storm

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By Rich Winter

As the wind and ice bore down on the Rosebud Reservation last Monday, Dec. 14, workers at Cherry-Todd Electric braced themselves for whatever Mother Nature had to offer. 

Little did those workers know that the December storm of 2015 would take down over 100 power poles and leave residents of the Rosebud  scrambling for power into the latter stages of the week. 

“Our guys came to work on Monday at 8:00 a.m. and that first shift was over 40 hours straight,” Tim Grablander, Cherry Todd Electric, General Manager said. 

The storm packed plenty of punch, dropping freezing rain and then ice and nearly a foot of snow on top of that.

Grablander said the storm dumped about 100 poles, (combination of 3-phase and single-phase poles). 

“Some areas were fairly simple to restore and others where we had two or three poles down took two to three days to repair,” Grablander said. “We don’t like our customers to be without power so everyone really pulled together to get power restored as quickly as possible.”

That everyone included representatives from Lacreek Electric, Southeastern Electric, Charles Mix Electric and the Black Hills Electric Co-op out of Custer.

“We had 10 outside guys and a few trucks,” Grablander said. “God bless them, they were a tremendous help in getting the power restored as quickly as possible.”

When a storm like last week’s blizzard hits, Grablander and his staff often use comments from consumers to help paint a picture of where power problems might be originating.

“Consumers are very helpful in a storm like this,” Grablander said. “They are the eyes and ears for us.  Often times a consumer tells us about a pole that is down or a flash they saw or even where a downed tree is and that all helps us paint a picture of what’s going on out there that ultimately helps us resolve the problem more quickly.” 

While the majority of the calls fielded by Cherry Todd were positive some were challenging, but Grablander said he encourages customers to call in as his staff is happy to provide any information they can in relation to how long the power might be out.

“I never discourage a customer from calling in because we can tell them if it’s going to be a simple fix or if the problem might take a few days to fix,” Grablander said. 

When a major storm such as last week’s hits, Grablander said his first priority is getting power to the Rosebud Hospital and the Dialysis Unit. 

In addition to the out-of-town Cooperatives that came to help, Grablander noted how much help local entities were in getting power restored quickly. 

“We had pretty slick conditions while we were out in the field and a lot of landowners and people from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Todd County Highway Folks really combined to help.” Grablander said. “And there were a lot of people that supported our line guys with cookies and coffee and that helped so much during what turned out to be a very difficult storm.” 

Lady Falcons 0-2 over holidays as schedule stiffens

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By Rich Winter

Fresh off their 2nd place finish at Lakota Nation, Bob Boyd’s Lady Falcons ran into some serious competition over the holiday break.

The Falcons dropped a 71-63 decision to Red Cloud on Wednesday, Dec. 30. After a long road trip to Eagle-Butte on Saturday, Jan. 2, the Lady Falcons dropped a 60-51 decision to the Lady Braves. Todd County was 5-3 heading into Tuesday’s road game at Winner. 

Red Cloud 71 Todd County 63

While Todd County was storming to the LNI Championship game, last year’s Region 7A champs, Red Cloud struggled, losing to White River in the quarterfinals, eventually finishing 6th in their bracket.

The Crusaders, who never seem to have trouble knocking down shots in Todd County, blistered the nets at Ben Reifle, jumping out to a 43-29 lead at halftime.

Despite trailing by 14, Boyd’s team showed no quit, cutting the lead to four late in the third period.

Red Cloud extended that lead to eight with 5:25 remaining, but again Boyd’s girls came back, trailing by five with four minutes to play.

Although Todd County cut it to four several times, they could get no closer as Red Cloud improved to 3-4 on the season.

Trista Merrivel led Red Cloud with 24 points. 

CEB 60 Todd County 51

After a four hour bus ride Saturday, the Lady Falcons were handed their third loss of the season.

Team and scoring stats not available by press time.

While the losses dropped Todd County to 4-3, Lady Falcon coach Bob Boyd knew it was going to be a tough holiday stretch.

“Red Cloud and Eagle Butte are two of the top teams in Indian country. Both made the State tournament last year and have pretty much everyone returning. We knew this would be a good test for our team, especially going on the road to Eagle Butte on Saturday,” Boyd said. “The last three teams we’ve played have experienced and top-notch guards, so it was nice to see our freshmen back-court compete against them. We lost three consecutive games but against some really good teams. All three games were close and a play here or there and we have a chance to win them.”

While the youth of this year’s team has shown itself at times early in the season, Boyd said the girls are working hard and improving every day. 

“All phases need to improve, but defensively is where we need improve the most. It was easier last year when we had multiple players, who understood and executed our defensively philosophies,” Boyd said. “This year, with many inexperienced players, we are going through a steep learning curve. We have to teach and reteach and explain and re-explain all of our concepts. They will get it. Just takes game experience to understand. They work their butts off but sometimes are in the wrong positions on the floor. I just need to do a better job of communicating and teaching. It will be better by Regions.’

Toys For Tots A Labor of Love

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By Penelope Rose

The Toys For Tots gift give-away ran like clockwork on Saturday, December 20. This was due in part to the intensive training that Noella Red Hawk went through with the USMC (United States Marine Corps). 

Training and certification is required to become a distribution point coordinator for the USMC Toys For Tots (TFT) program. It takes approximately a year, and requires a background check, a credit check and the applicant cannot have any felony convictions. Noella talked about 14 hour days of training, but said it was worth it.

Shane Red Hawk, husband of Noella, was also on hand to assist people. This was his third year of being involved with the TFT program. He explained how there are a set number of locations for distribution, and that South Dakota has only three. 

This year the Pennington County coordinator left, late in the season. Less than three months ago, Noella got a call from Washington, asking her if she would be willing to take on Pennington County. There were 1,100 children who would be without gifts, if no one was found. 

After coordinating with a reliable friend, she called back and said yes, and the Rapid City location was moved to Pine Ridge. Until that time, Pine Ridge residents had to travel to Rapid City to participate  in the give-away. Moving it to the reservation made it easier for the people. 

Volunteers from both the Episcopal Church and the Youth Group founded and run by Noella and Shane, had been  working on the project as early as spring of this year. 

Robyn Prynor, Director of Todd County School District  Food Services , was responsible for receiving truckloads of gifts, as early as August. There were also times where she would up in the middle of the night, sometimes, to meet with FedEx and UPS drivers to receive the incoming items.

All communities were invited to come for gifts. The kids were not brought, so that parents could maintain the fiction that the gifts came from Santa. Parents and grandparents had to bring some kind verification of a child or children in the household, to receive the gifts.

Groups such as the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, were invited to come at preset times, either before or after the general give-away. 

Noella said that any remaining gifts would be brought to the gift give-away at the Rosebud Police Department, on Monday, December 21. 

On Sunday, Noella and staff loaded two horse trailers with over 1,400 gifts and took them to the Police Department. This enabled them to bump up the recipients to include kids up to age 18, as resources had not permitted them to be included previously.

“This is a labor love. It’s for the children and their families.” Noella said. “I will do this as long as I am physically able.” We can only hope that is a very long time.

Falcon Boys 1-1 over holiday break

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By Rich Winter

Mike Hammer’s Todd County boys team is 4-3 heading into Friday’s home contest with Little Wound.

The Falcons earned a 92-53 win over Bennett County on Dec. 29 and followed that up with a 74-65 road loss to Cheyenne Eagle-Butte on Jan. 2. 


Things could not have started worse for the Falcons in a Tuesday road game at Bennett County.

A made technical free-throw from Bennett County  and three straight baskets from the Warriors found the Falcons down, 7-0.

Falcon coach Mike Hammer promptly inserted five new bench players and the move paid immediate dividends.

Dante Sazue found Weston Frazier for back-to-back inside hoops was followed by a pair of hoops from Umpo Little Doctor and John Boyd’s driving layup tied the game at 10-10. 

Aiden Bizardie’s 15-footer tied the game at 16-16 after one quarter.

Bizardie started the second with a runner down the lane and the Falcons took off on a 26-14 run to lead 42-30 at the half.

The Falcons opened up the offense in the second half, outscoring the Warriors 50-23 in the final two periods.

Box score:

TCHS 16  26  30  20 - 92

BCHS 16  14  10 13  - 53


Assists: John Hacker (5), Umpo Kills In Sight (3)

Steals: John Hacker and Austin Hammer (6)

Rebounds: Chris Eagle Bear 10, John Hacker 8, Austin Hammer 6, Weston Frazier 5

Points: Aiden Bizardie 14, John Boyd 13, Weston Frazier 12, Austin Hammer 12, Umpo Kills In Sight 10, Antone Iron Heart 1, John Hacker 7, Dante Sazue 6, Toby Hacker 4, Gavyn Spotted Tail 2, Chris Eagle Bear 9, Loren Dragg 2


CEB 74 Todd County 65

Another slow start for Todd County as Cheyenee Eagle-Butte started the game on a 19-4 run. Todd County scored four unanswered and trailed, 19-8 after one quarter.

With Cheyenne Eagle-Butte guard, Grant Kohlus getting loose for layups, the Braves raced to a 40-23 lead at the half.

But, a gritty Todd County team fought back and trailed 46-39 entering the final period.

The Falcons got as close as four points with 56 seconds remaining but Eagle-Butte hit free-throws down the stretch and earned a nine point victory that dropped Todd County to 4-3 on the season. 

Stat summary:

Assists: Austin Hammer, Umpo Kills In Sight, Antone Iron Heart, John Boyd, Chris Eagle Bear (2 apiece)

Steals: Antone Iron Heart, John Hacker (4 apiece)

Rebounds: Chris Eagle Bear (10), John Hacker (9), Toby Hacker (7), Aiden Bizardie and Austin Hammer (6 apiece)

Points: Aiden Bizardie 14, Austin Hammer 17, Antone Iron Heart 2, Umpo Kills In Sight 7, John Hacker 11, Toby Hacker 3, John Boyd 1, Chris Eagle Bear 6, Weston Frazier 4

CEB: Grant Kohlus 25

Falcon Boys fight well with 2-2 LNI record

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By Rich Winter

After dropping game one of the 2015 LNI tournament, the Todd County boys high school basketball team earned wins over Crazy Horse and Tiospa Zina to reach the finals of their bracket.

Down a few players to injury, Todd County dropped their final game of the tournament to Cheyenne Eagle-Butte.

Game 1: Lower Brule 71 Todd County 53

After staying with Lower Brule for much of Thursday night’s late game, the turnover bug bit Todd County late as Lower Brule earned a 71-53 win over the Falcons. 

Chris Comes Flying led Lower Brule with 33 points while Aiden Bizardie paced Todd County with 12. 

Scoring Summary:

TCHS      31   22  - 53

LBHS      34   37  - 71

Scoring: Aiden Bizardie 12, Gavyn Spotted Tail 2, Austin Hammer 9, John Hacker 6, Toby Hacker 4, Chris Eagle Bear 9, John Boyd 9, Weston Frazier 2

Rebounds: Eagle Bear 4

Game 2 - TCHS 78 Crazy Horse 40

After dropping their opener with Lower Brule, Todd County rebounded with an easy, 78-40 win over Crazy Horse.

John Hacker led the Falcons with 20 points but the Falcons got double-digit points from Aiden Bizardie, John Boyd and Chris Eagle Bear.

Eagle Bear continued his solid efforts on the board with 11 rebounds. 

Scoring: Umpo Kills In Sight 4, Aiden Bizardie 12, Austin Hammer 2, Antone Iron Heart 2, John Hacker 20, Lorenn Dragg, Toby Hacker 9, Ty Arcoren 2, Chris Eagle Bear 2, John Boyd 10, Weston Frazier 4

Rebounds: Eagle Bear 11

Game 3: Todd County 75 Tiospa Zina 72

After dropping behind early Todd County fought back to claim a 75-72 win over Tiospa Zino that put the Falcons into the championship game of their bracket.

Senior Austin Hammer led the Falcons with 25 points while freshman, Aiden Bizardie pumped in a career high of 17. 

Scoring Summary:

TCHS    38    37  -  75

TZHS    42   30   - 72

Scoring: Umpo Kills In Sight 7, Aiden Bizardie 17, Austin Hammer 25, Antone Iron Heart 2, Toby Hacker 7, Chris Eagle Bear 8, John Boyd 7, Weston Frazier 2

Rebounds: Toby Hacker and Eagle Bear (7 apiece)

Steals: Bizardie and Hammer (3 apiece)

Game 4: CEB 84 Todd County 64

After fighting their way back from a tournament opening loss with two straight wins, Todd County ran into a buzz-saw as Cheyenne Eagle Butte shut down the Falcons in an 84-64 win for the Braves.

Todd County, down several players because of injury or other, was led in scoring by Aiden Bizardie and Umpo Little Doctor who had 16 and ten points respectively. 

Scoring Summary: 

TCHS      25    39  - 64

CEB        37   47  - 84

Scoring: Umpo Kills In Sight 10, Aiden Bizardie 16, Gav¥n Spotted Tail 3, Austin Hammer 8, Antone Iron Heart 7, Toby Hacker 9, Chris Eagle Bear 4, Weston Frazier 7

Rebounds: Hacker and Eagle Bear (9 apiece)

Steals: Umpo Kills In Sight (5)