Happy Wednesday! Megan here.

First things first, this issue is sponsored by White Space Studio.

  • White Space Studio is a natural light photography studio and event space owned by local photographer and business coach Maddie Peschong. White Space opens this week in a new location in Tea, with more than 2,500 square feet of rentable space for creatives to dream, build, host and collaborate. Learn more here.
    • P.S. White Space Studio is partnering with Cmtv News to offer a free headshot mini-session to one lucky person who upgrades to a membership using Maddie's special link. (Must be available May 17 to redeem. Drawing will be held May 14.)

Weather check: Get outside today before the rain comes back later this week

This week, I've got a look at some of the proposed changes coming as the city looks to bring new pools to Frank Olson and Kuehn Parks. And speaking of new things – Sioux Falls' newest elementary school has a name, and you'll find the story behind it. Plus, catch lots of Super Simplified Stories and our weekly event guide.

And now, news:


Get a look at what's coming for the new Frank Olson and Kuehn Park pools

Simplified: The Sioux Falls City Council will decide in the coming weeks whether the city should invest $77 million in new aquatics and indoor recreation facilities. If they say yes, here's a look at what changes are coming for Frank Olson and Kuehn Park pools.

Why it matters

  • Both the Frank Olson and Kuehn Park pools are aging and need to be replaced. The city has been working for the last few years to seek community feedback and figure out how best to meet everyone's needs with new facilities.
  • Throughout that feedback, Sioux Fallsians said loud and clear that they want more indoor recreation opportunities – a sentiment backed up by the growing crowds of folks at the Midco Aquatic Center and highlighted by Mayor Paul TenHaken in his recent State of the City address.
  • Now, the city is looking at adding an indoor rec center at Frank Olson Park, a new outdoor pool at Kuehn Park and – as announced just last week – the purchase of the Tea/Ellis Sanford Wellness Center to provide even more indoor recreation for west-siders.
"From my perspective, this is a home run for us on many counts," Parks Director Don Kearney said last week in a press conference announcing the details of the bond and the Sanford Wellness Center purchase.

Tell me more about the plans for the new pools


Learn more about Marcella LeBeau, Sioux Falls newest elementary school namesake

Simplified: The Sioux Falls school board on Monday unanimously approved the name of the new northwest elementary school: Marcella LeBeau Elementary. It's named after LeBeau, a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member, World War II veteran and long-time nurse known for her spirit of service.

How was the name selected?

The name was chosen by a committee of 25 people – including representatives from students, teachers, parents, community members, administrators and representation from the school board.

They got together, looked at school district policy, discussed suggestions made by the public and ultimately decided to recommend naming the school after LeBeau.

Who is Marcella LeBeau?

Here, let me defer to Anna Brokenleg, who leads the district's Office of Indian Education, for a succinct bio.

"Marcella LeBeau was not only an indigenous matriarch and elder, but also an inspirational figure whose legacy continues to resonate deeply within our community."

Tell me more


Super Simplified Stories

  • Go vote. Absentee voting is now open for the April 30 runoff election. Just a reminder – you'll be choosing between candidates Jordan Deffenbaugh and Richard Thomason for who'll fill the At-Large City Council seat. Another reminder – turnout wasn't too great the first time around – you can be part of the solution in making it better next Tuesday.
  • Something in the air. Particle pollution in Sioux Falls has worsened year-over-year, according to the annual "State of the Air" report from the American Lung Association. The Sioux Falls metro ranked 56th worst in the country this year (compared to 59th last year) with an overall C grade. Nationally, the report found more than 130 million people living in areas with a failing grade – so I suppose it could be worse?
  • Share your thoughts on roads. City leadership from Brandon, Sioux Falls and the folks at Minnehaha County are hosting an open house Thursday to get public input on the long-term plans for Rice Street and Holly Boulevard. The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Brandon Valley Assembly of God. You can also submit comments to the following: Shannon Ausen, City of Sioux Falls, at shannon.ausen@siouxfalls.gov, Tami Jansma, City of Brandon, at tjansma@cityofbrandon.org, or Jon Wiegand, HDR, at jonathan.wiegand@hdrinc.com.
  • Don't worry – the fire is supposed to be there. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue will conduct a prescribed burn at Pasley Park in the southeast part of town today between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. The fire is intended to clear noxious weeds and promote native prairie restoration.


Stuff to do: April 24-30

  • Vote. The runoff of the At-Large race in the City Council election will take place Tuesday. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and voters will decide between Jordan Deffenbaugh and Richard Thomason as to who will represent the whole of Sioux Falls on the city's governing body. Find your election guide here (the date is different, but the information is the same).
  • Celebrate business anniversaries. A couple of local businesses are hitting big milestones this weekend. Terra Shepherd Boutique is celebrating five years Saturday – customers can get gifts with purchase, swag bags and coffee. And Elegant Mommy is celebrating its sweet 16 with a 20% off sale and giveaways.
  • Catch a show. There are a number of plays happening this weekend, including Annie at the Pavilion, Love and Information at Last Stop, and [title of show] with the Mighty Corson Art Players.
  • Get some 'you time.' Face Foundrie is teaming up with Megan Bertsch Beauty and Good Natured for a Makeup + Mocktails event Thursday evening. Enter to win giveaways, take home a free gift, sip refreshing drinks, and learn makeup techniques and skincare tips.
  • Take a hike. The Sioux Falls parks department is hosting a "Date Hike" at Great Bear on Friday evening. Starting around 6 p.m., bring your sweetie on a little scavenger hunt to check out the local plants and animals. More details here.


What I'm falling for this week:


More Simplified Stories

Here’s what we learned during the annual State of the City address
Mayor Paul TenHaken on Thursday delivered the annual State of the City address to scores of Sioux Fallsians at the Convention Center. He covered a wide variety of topics – here’s a quick run-down of some of the newsiest tidbits.
What’s in the city’s proposed $77 million aquatics bond?
Mayor Paul TenHaken this week unveiled initial details for a planned $77 million bond to fund a new pool at Kuehn Park, and indoor pool and recreation center at Frank Olson and the purchase of the Sanford Wellness Center on Tea/Ellis Road.
How Sioux Falls’ quick response to the 911 outage helped the whole state
The team at Metro Communications and the broader city communications team didn’t miss a beat on Wednesday night when they realized the system that accepts 911 calls wasn’t working.


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Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or April showers to megan@cmtv-news.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Cmtv News sponsors, including Dakota Adventure Supply, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Panther Premier Print Solutions, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, and the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. When you support them, you're also supporting Cmtv News.

Special thanks to White Space Studio!

Learn more about White Space Studio's new location here, and don't forget to sign up as a Cmtv News member so you can be entered to win a free headshot mini-session from Maddie Peschong on May 17.