September/October 2022 Down Country Roads - Page 4

Ron Burtz is writing for a newspaper again after a nearly 40-year break . Right out of high school , the Winner native worked two summers for his hometown paper , the Winner Advocate . Then after a few years of reporting news on radio , he became a pastor . Ron served churches in Illinois and South Dakota for 25 years before moving with his wife , Tammy , to Custer in 2017 where he now writes for Southern Hills Publishing , Inc .
Lori Thorson is the new marketing coordinator for Southern Hills Publishing . She is originally from a small Iowa town called Swea City . It was in the communities of Swea City and the neighboring town , Bancroft , that she raised her two sons . Both her sons have incredible wives and they have given her six beautiful grandkids . Lori has been a portrait photographer for over 30 years where she got her marketing experience . Her other career adventures include driving school bus for 23 years , receptionist at three car dealerships , working in the restaurant field and most recently managing a local storage business . Lori moved to the Black Hills area in 2019 and currently resides in the Custer area with her dog , Chico .
Jason Ferguson has been writing for the better part of 20 years and has won dozens of South Dakota Press Association awards , including being named the state ’ s Outstanding Young Journalist in 2002 . Ferguson has a bachelor ’ s degree in English and journalism from Chadron State College . He enjoys movies , exercising and being outdoors .
Leslie Silverman has called the Black Hills home since 2018 . She earned a bachelor of arts degree in English and physics in 1994 and worked in education for more than 30 years before beginning her second career in journalism . She loves being outdoors and spending time with family , friends and her dog Sadie .
Kate Najacht moved to the Black Hills in June 2014 after living in a small college town in Ohio for 30 years . She earned a bachelor of arts degree in English literature and popular culture in 2004 and worked for an academic library . She loves God and her son .
Esther Noe has been writing since she could first hold a pencil . She recently graduated with a bachelor ' s degree in Liberal Studies from Thomas Edison State University where she studied writing , communications and literature . In October 2021 , Esther moved from Minnesota to the Black Hills with her parents and siblings . She now works as an office manager and journalist for Hill City Prevailer News . In her free time , she enjoys crafts , reading and talking with friends .