Happy Valentine's Day! Megan here.

Weather check: Snow on the way

This week, I've got a look at a new way the City Council is looking to be more present in the community. You'll also find stories about plans for new pools at Frank Olson and Kuehn Park, an exciting TV appearance by a local zoo leader and our weekly event guide.

And now, news:


See the latest plans for new pools

Simplified: The city parks department has spent more than a year gathering feedback on what the public wants to see for pool replacements at Frank Olson and Kuehn Park. Here’s a look at where they’ve landed so far.

Why it matters 

  • The pools at both Frank Olson on the east side and Kuehn Park on the west side are at the end of their useful life and need to be replaced, Parks Director Don Kearney said
  • Early on in the process, community feedback showed a significant want for more indoor recreation space across town. That’s why the pitch at Frank Olson is for a new indoor pool and recreation center.
  • Meanwhile, Kuehn Park neighbors emphasized a desire to preserve green space in the park, Kearney said, which is why the current plan is to build a new outdoor pool with zero-depth entry, a lazy river and water slides. 
  • Kearney said it’s important for the city to ensure the neighborhood voices and those of all residents are heard before the city prepares to issue bonds — essentially take on debt — to make these projects happen. 
“The reality is, these are once-in-a-generation facilities, and we want to make sure we get them right out of the gate," Kearney said.

Show me the renderings


Meet the zoo leader starring on the Drew Barrymore show

This is a paid piece from the Great Plains Zoo and Butterfly House and Aquarium.

Simplified: Stephanie Arne has worked as an underwater tour guide, hosted a wildlife show, helped conserve endangered wolves and toured the country in a tiny house. Now, as conservation director for the Great Plains Zoo, Arne is bringing her animal expertise to daytime television with an appearance on the Drew Barrymore show this week.

Stephanie Arne poses on set of the Drew Barrymore show.

How did that happen?

In February 2020, Arne found out Drew Barrymore would be hosting a daytime television show, and while on vacation in Hawaii, Arne filmed several videos of herself as clips to send to the show – knowing that she wanted to be a guest.

She never sent the videos.

Fast-forward four years, and a producer Arne had been connected with on her days hosting Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom" reached out to see if Arne would be able to come on the Drew Barrymore show.

Tell me more about Arne

Arne grew up in South Dakota and Iowa, and her obsession with animals started at a young age.

  • She went on to receive a bachelor of science from South Dakota State University, and after college got an internship and later a job at the Omaha Zoo, where she worked in every animal department.

For the next seven years, she traveled anywhere and everywhere around the world, working different jobs that allowed her to be close to animals – including diving with sharks.

"I did everything from working with researchers, doing surveys, and satellite tagging, to ecotourism and taking people diving on the Great Barrier Reef, looking for Nemo," Arne said.

How'd she end up on TV?

And learn how to catch her on Drew Barrymore's show tomorrow.


Super Simplified Stories

  • Want to run for office? There are four open seats on the Sioux Falls City Council this election season, and current and outgoing council members are urging folks to consider running. As it stands now, there are two seats that'll go unopposed. Want to be a contender to fill them? The filing deadline is Feb. 23. More info here.
  • A new option for senior care. Sanford Health this week announced plans for a new, full-continuum senior community called Good Samaritan Society - Founder's Crossing and located on the east side of town at 57th and Veterans Parkway. The campus will offer all health and wellness services under one roof, including independent living apartments and villas; assisted living and memory care services; short-term rehabilitation and long-term care; home-based services; life enrichment programs; and a direct connection to a future Sanford Health clinic and Lewis Drug.
  • A fashion function. Tickets are on sale now for the third annual Style Show, a fashion show benefiting the nonprofit Rare by Design. Learn more about them here, and then you can get your tickets here.


Why City Council is working to be more visible in the community

Simplified: Sioux Falls City Council members are working to be more visible in the community as a way to bolster the city's legislative branch and keep the community informed on its work.

Why it matters

  • The city administration (i.e. Mayor Paul TenHaken's team) has been hosting regular weekly press conferences for the past year, and moving forward, councilors are planning to provide monthly updates on what they're working on, Councilor Marshall Selberg said Tuesday at the first of these events.
  • The goal will be to share what councilors are working on, preview upcoming ordinances they're bringing and give local reporters a chance to ask questions.
  • And while Selberg knows his days on the council are numbered as his term expires this spring, he said he hopes this monthly update is a way to leave something behind that'll continue with new elected officials.
"We hold the purse strings on a lot of things in how this city runs, and so I think it's time that we got out front and spoke more often," Selberg said.

What happened at the first briefing?

Conversation ranged from childcare to the Delbridge taxidermy collection. Get a run-down here.


Stuff to do: Feb. 14-20

  • Drink beer. It's BrrrrVana at Monk's starting Sunday at 1 p.m. A ticket gets you a tasting glass with unlimited sampling of 50 unique brews. More details here.
  • Do brunch. Remedy is hosting its fourth annual BrunchFest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Stop by for brunch and a beer. More details here.
  • Do a drag brunch. Catch brunch and a show at DaDa Gastropub. Doors open at 11 a.m. with a brunch buffet starting at 11:30 a.m. Sunday and the performance to follow. Tickets available here.
  • Mingle with singles. Riding solo this Valentine's Day? Stensland has you covered with a singles painting party (plus, of course, ice cream). The party starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Details and tickets here.
  • Support local theater. The Premiere Playhouse is hosting the "Premiere Premieres" featuring two one-act plays written by local playwrights Leigh Spencer and Richard Swanson. Performances run Thursday through Saturday. Details and tickets here.
  • Go punk. Saturday is Punk Night at the Full Circle Book Co-op starting at 8 p.m. Details here.
  • See some art. Ken's Korner is teaming up with Third Eye Gallery for an art mixer. Swing by Ken's Korner between 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday for conversation, camaraderie and art. More details here.


What I'm falling for this week:


More Simplified Stories

What is functional medicine? And why is it so popular right now?
More Sioux Falls women are looking for a holistic approach to medicine and wellness, and with that, functional medicine providers are seeing an increasing demand for their services.
How the Canaries are working to bring more than baseball to the Birdcage
From yoga on the field to corporate events to an early aughts punk festival, there’s a lot more going on at the Birdcage than just baseball.
How a ‘no wrong door’ approach will bolster the county’s system of support
Minnehaha County has a new, full-time position focused on connecting various resources within the community.


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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 Super Bowl memes to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

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