This is blog for brandoninfo.com, a website dedicated to news in the Brandon community. Contributers include the staff of the Argus Leader, the Brandon Valley Challenger and the website itself.

Sewer smell

April 9th, 2014 by Alica

Have you noticed a smell coming from your sewer lately? If so, where, exactly? In your house, or out in the neighborhood?

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments »


February 25th, 2014 by Alica

Brandon Police are adding Tasers to their duty belts. (See story in the Feb. 26 Brandon Valley Challenger.) There doesn’t appear to be problems in Brandon that require Tasers, but Brandon Police Chief Dave Kull said he made the proposal as a preventive measure because Sioux Falls police officers were injured while trying to get a suspect there into custody.

Apparently, Sioux Falls police don’t use Tasers.

Kull said the Tasers probably will replace the pepper spray Brandon Police now carry.

Do you think Tasers are a good idea for Brandon Police?

Posted in Uncategorized, City business | 18 Comments »


February 25th, 2014 by Alica

Today, the South Dakota Senate will consider a bill to classify e-cigarettes in the same category as any tobacco product. Do you think the Senate should pass it?

Some people say e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes, while others say the products might carry unknown health risks.

Apparently, at least some of the people who use e-cigarettes also smoke regular cigarettes.

If e-cigarettes are legal, should people be able to smoke them in restaurants and places like that, where regular tobacco is banned? I was in Subway once and someone had an e-cigarette in his mouth, and I questioned it, thinking he was violating the no smoking law. That was the first I ever heard of e-cigarettes.

What are your thoughts?

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Seeking sports photos

February 11th, 2014 by Alica

Did anybody get photos of last night’s boys basketball game with Yankton? I had some camera trouble and was unable to get photos.

Usually Challenger editor Jill Meier takes excellent photos of Brandon Valley sporting events, but she is on vacation this week and I am not nearly as good at sports photos as she is.

If you have sports photos from any of this week’s Brandon Valley sporting events, home or away, would you please send me a couple for possible publication in the Feb. 19 Brandon Valley Challenger?

Send them to apthiele@argusleader.com. Please say who is in the picture and what they are doing.

Many thanks, folks. Go Lynx!

Alica P. Thiele

Posted in Uncategorized, BV sports | 1 Comment »

Legislative coffee

January 30th, 2014 by Alica

The next Legislative Coffee, sponsored by the Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 15, in the Bethany Meadows community room. The event will start at 9 a.m. Legislators from both District 10 and 25 will be on hand to update the public on the 2014 Session and answer questions.

Will you attend? What issues would you like the legislators to address that day? Are you following any particular bills? Which ones?

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Water well work

January 20th, 2014 by Alica

I saw this on city councilman Roger Brooks’ Facebook page.

ATTENTION ALL RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF BRANDON! Brandon will be making repairs to the well that provides the majority of water to our residents beginning on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. The repairs are expected to be completed in 2 days. During this time we ask residents to restrict their water usage as much as possible. The City will be utilizing a backup well during the repairs. This may cause some residents to experience discolored water during and after the repairs. Please contact City Hall at (606) 582-6515 if you have any questions.

Posted in Uncategorized, City business | 9 Comments »

Shared custody

January 17th, 2014 by Alica

The South Dakota Legislature is in session, and one of the issues being discussed is whether divorcing couples should automatically get shared custody of the children. Some people say that shared custody should be the default ruling, and judges can look at cases individually to see if one parent would be the better choice. Other people say that automatic shared custody might put children at risk of spending time with an unfit parent.

What are your thoughts?

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »


January 2nd, 2014 by Alica

What things do you hope for in Brandon this year? As always, I hope for a full-menu Greek restaurant in Brandon (or anywhere closer then Sioux City, where the closest one I know of is). I also hope for a prosperous business climate in the city, which brings in sales tax dollars, which in turn pay for many of the city’s amenities residents enjoy.

What are your hopes for Brandon, and what resolutions would you make for the city this year?

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Water/sewer rates

December 5th, 2013 by Alica

Brandon’s water and sewer rates are taking a hike starting the first of the year. City leaders say the hikes are necessary to have infrastructure in place for future growth.

How do you feel? Do you think the hikes are justified, or too much at once? What will you do, if anything, to cut your water or sewer use to keep your personal costs down?

Posted in Uncategorized, City business | 46 Comments »

Golf course-for sale?

November 19th, 2013 by Alica

Brandon has received an offer from a private citizen to lease the municipal golf course with an option to buy. Here is a link to the story that ran in the Nov. 13 Brandon Valley Challenger:


What do you think of this offer? The golf course has not turned a profit in recent years and is dependent on the weather for much of its revenue. On the other hand, the city is two-thirds of the way, or better, through the loan for the clubhouse. Once that loan is paid off, that money will go toward the bottom line and the course’s financials will look a lot better.

What are your thoughts?

Posted in Uncategorized, City business | 43 Comments »

Lynx football

November 7th, 2013 by Alica

Brandon Valley travels to Roosevelt on Friday to see which of them will play in the season championships. If Brandon Valley wins, the Lynx will take on another Sioux Falls school in the championships in the DakotaDome.

What do you think are the Lynx’ chances of taking the state football championship this year? What aspects are in their favor? What might hold them back?

Posted in Uncategorized, BV sports, School business | 12 Comments »

School bond

October 23rd, 2013 by Alica

The Brandon Valley school board has set Dec. 3 for $5.95 million school bond vote for a new school for grades five and six. The entire project is estimated at $12 million – they’ll use $6.1 million in capital outlay money.

The board wants to start construction next spring so the school can be ready for students in fall 2015. Taking fifth grade out of the elementaries and sixth grade out of the middle school will free up space in those buildings and relieve the need for a new elementary school in the near future, Brandon Valley officials say.

A study has shown that the best site for the new school would be in the area where Robert Bennis Elementary is.

How do you feel about your property taxes going up to pay for a new school? How do you feel about separating the fifth- and sixth-graders from the other grades? How do you feel about another school in the Robert Bennis area?

And how do you feel about a school bond vote coming right on the heels of Tuesday’s city bond vote for more than $14 million for Aspen Park Improvements? Would you vote for one, the other, neither or both? Why?

Posted in Uncategorized, School business | 51 Comments »

Sidewalk on Holly

October 1st, 2013 by Alica

A couple who lives in the Eagle Creek addition on the east side of Brandon have asked the city to build a sidewalk along the south side of Holly Boulevard from the Eagle Creek and Bluffs additions to South Sioux Boulevard, so people who live on the east side can get to “town.”

Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not?

One snag to the proposal is that the land between Eagle Creek and “town” is privately owned, and the people who own it would have to agree to a sidewalk on their property, and pay for it through assessment.
I wonder. The Bluffs and Eagle Creek abut Big Sioux Recreation Area on their south side. Is there access to the park from those neighborhoods? If so, the bike path winds through Big Sioux Rec and comes out on South Sioux Boulevard, and there is access to the city’s “business district” via paths along Holly Boulevard between Sioux and Splitrock boulevards. That would be the long way around for east-side residents, though, for sure.

What are your thoughts?
While one Brandon neighborhood is battling over a proposed path, another neighborhood is asking for a sidewalk.
Seasson and Peter Vitiello, 1309 Creekside Drive, have asked City leaders to consider a sidewalk along Holly Boulevard from the Eagle Creek community located on Brandon’s west side. “The number of young families in our west-side community has significantly increased,” the Vitiellos wrote in their letter. “Adding a sidewalk along Holly Boulevard will serve to increase safety and allow for us on the west side to explore Brandon businesses and shop locally, thus increasing the connectedness of the entire community.”

The Vitiellos say they have observed people walking, running and biking along Holly Boulevard, prompting them to suggest a sidewalk or some sort of footpath.


Posted in Uncategorized, City business | 22 Comments »

School TV channel

September 5th, 2013 by Alica

Alliance Communications is dedicating digital channel 226 to the Brandon Valley School District. The school will provide all content. Right now it’s just sports, but if the district gets the right equipment, things that happen in the Performing Arts Center could be broadcast too. And stuff like the school board meetings.

Will you watch the channel? What kinds of things would you like to see on it?

The high school could have a class in broadcasting, and those kids could produce their own shows, even. Do you think this would be a good idea?

What are your thoughts?

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

Aspen Park

August 14th, 2013 by Alica

Brandon voters will decide whether it’s worth $14.8 million to improve Aspen Park. The election will be Oct. 29.

The plan includes a second entrance to the park, improvements to the swimming pool, a baseball stadium, more parking and other amenities.

What do you think of the plan? Are there any parts you particularly favor? If so, why? How about parts you aren’t crazy about? Does the plan miss something you think should be added?
Would you vote for the bond issue to pay for the Aspen Park package?

Posted in Uncategorized, City business | 112 Comments »

Hometown Days

July 30th, 2013 by Alica

I’ve lived in Brandon since 1964, so I do call Brandon my hometown. Do you?

Will you attend Hometown Days this weekend? Have you attended in the past?

What parts have you enjoyed in the past, and which parts are you looking forward to this year?

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments »


July 9th, 2013 by Alica

Did you go to the meeting Tuesday night where the city explained the new road surface polymer that will be used on some Brandon streets this summer instead of the usual tar and rock chips that usually are used?

Will you be on one of the streets that will be treated this year? What do you think of the idea?

I can’t think of anybody who likes those rock chips the city puts down every year, but they are a necessary evil. If there is something better that works just as well but is less messy and comparably priced, why not try it?

Do you feel that way? Why or why not?

Posted in Uncategorized, City business | 6 Comments »

Happy 4th

July 3rd, 2013 by Alica

How are you spending Independence Day this year? I’m having some friends over for lunch and (card and board) games.

I plan to put little flags on toothpicks into the dessert bars.

I recently read a book about the Revolutionary War, and I learned things I didn’t already know. (Check out the Independence Day quiz in Thursday’s Argus, or on argusleader.com.)

The Fourth of July isn’t just a day off. It’s a day to remember the leadership and sacrifice of our Founding Fathers.

Happy July 4.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


June 26th, 2013 by Alica

Will you attend Automania this weekend? Anyone in good physical shape could walk to Automania from their Brandon home, so parking wouldn’t be a problem for them. The route itself is a mile long, once you get there.

If you live on the edge of Holly, do you think people will come up your street from the back side and park in front of your house?

What do you think of closing one of the main streets in town?

About 50,000 people are expected, and up to 80,000 people are expected. I suppose a lot of that depends on the weather, but the forecast is good for this weekend.

What if you have to go to the grocery store on Friday evening. Will you even try?

Do you suppose there’s a way to figure out how much extra money will come into Brandon because of the event? The city gets a sales tax check every month, so we will see if June’s check is way bigger than usual. It should be, from what organizers are saying about the event. And if it becomes an annual event, maybe the city can use the money it brings in to pay for special projects or something. What do you think?

Posted in Uncategorized, City business | 13 Comments »

East side

June 18th, 2013 by Alica

The time is prime for several hundred more homes on the east side of Brandon. Three developers have plans to add houses, and one is planning to start right away. The school district even bought 20 acres for a possible new grade school sometime down the road.

What do you think of development to the east? Will Brandon and Valley Springs ever meet?

Or should Brandon continue to concentrate on the west side of the city, finally filling in that small area between the Brandon and Sioux Falls city limits?

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

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