While I never worked for the Argus (I did have several editorial cartoons printed) I did work with these two fine gentleman on several big stories concerning city politics. The Event Center siding settlement comes to mind. The one thing I appreciated about both of them was there ‘NO BS’ approach to creating a story. anytime I would give either one of them a lead they would dig. Ellis said to me all the time, “If only I could get someone on the record!” he was always adamant about having a reliable source. Sneve had a different approach, he would usually try to coax the information out of people with a little liquor and biker charm. I hope they both continue as great journalists in our community. I know they both have families and long ties to South Dakota, so I don’t see them leaving anytime soon.
My funniest memory was meeting Joe for the first time. I had beers with him, Bruce and Mike Myers at Monks. MMM’s communications manager saw us and quickly told her boss about our meeting. Joe told me soon after that Mike told him not to talk to us and Joe told Mike “I will talk to whoever I want to.”
Today marked my last day as a reporter at the Argus Leader, a newspaper which I’ve had a relationship with for the entirety of my 37 years on this planet.
From the announcement of my birth that ran in a 1984 August edition of the paper, swimming in disheveled copies of the paper on the floor of my grandfather’s house as a tot, to delivering two routes in Dell Rapids as a young teen, to becoming an intern while in college, to eventually becoming a new hire in 2012 – the Argus Leader has been part of the fabric of my life more so than just about anything else besides my family.
It’s a been a wild ride that’s opened many doors, brought me to many places I’d never have gone otherwise and has enriched my life deeply.
I’d like to thank every single co-worker, many of whom have become some of my best friends (which isn’t going to change), that I’ve had over the years. You made me a better journalist.
But the Argus Leader chapters of my life have come to an end.
However, I am not letting my years of experience as a watchdog journalist go to waste. And despite having some safer career alternatives presented to me, I am forgoing those to continue to hold South Dakota governments and the officials that operate them accountable.
My time at the Argus Leader is done, but I’m only getting started when it comes to kicking ass and taking names.
Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks about what’s next!
After nearly 17 yeas, today marked my last day at the Argus Leader.
It’s been a great run. I’ve worked with some phenomenal people over the years. First-rate journalists and just good people. Sadly, a couple of them are no longer with us. Dave Kranz was an outstanding political columnist. Maricarrol Kuiter a great editor.
When I interviewed at the Argus in 2005, I had also interviewed at the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. Working at the Argus gave me opportunity I never would have had at a larger metro daily. Thank you Amy Johnson Ellis for highly suggesting that I take the job.
Less than three years into my time at the Argus, I was doing one-on-one interviews with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as they battled in the 2008 Democratic primary. I never would have had that opportunity at a larger paper.
The Argus has supported my numerous efforts to win public information. We’ve been to the South Dakota Supreme Court several times, and we also went to the U.S. Supreme Court. Not many newspapers would have had the moxie to do that.
So I will always be indebted to what the Argus gave me. But now, it’s time to move on. It may seem crazy to some, but I believe we are entering a golden age of journalism. And Joe Sneve
and I are ready for what’s to come. Standby.
Finally, I want to thank the institution and the great people I worked with and under. We’ve had solid newsroom leadership at the Argus. We’ve done amazing work. That can never be taken away from those of us who labored there. We can be proud of much.