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South Dakota disses Montana

SOUTH DAKOTA

The Custer County Chronicle, established in 1880 in the Black Hills of western South Dakota, is one of those weekly papers that asks the sheriff's department to pitch in and publish its daily log of complaints, most of which seem relatively trivial, including concerns about "a big black cow" wandering the highway, a lion (that turned out to be made of plastic) lolling in front of a residence, and "some kind of altercation involving a man with a chainsaw" -- settled, finally, by the two men involved, who'd been arguing for some time about a fence. Every once in a while, though, editorializing creeps in, says writer Linda M. Hasselstrom, who lives on a ranch in Hermosa, S.D. She should know, since she's been avidly reading the colorful "Sheriff's Log" for years. She laughed at Deputy Seth Thompson's contribution: "A deputy searched for an unknown person yelling for help in the Custer Limestone Road area. He found no one in distress, but briefly detailed a wayward sheep he found wandering. Not having a lasso handy, he secured the sheep with a waist chain and a set of pink transport handcuffs. The sheep was released into its pasture without any charges. Usually, incidents involving sheep and handcuffs only happen in Montana."

COLORADO

It is now known that for part of the time John Edwards sought the Democratic presidential nomination, his mistress, Rielle Hunter, was stashed in Aspen, living in a mansion owned by one of Edwards' associates. Alas, her privileged life was not all roses. A local paper reports that Hunter was in town having lunch one day when she became perplexed by her Reuben sandwich, which had been served with an unfamiliar dressing. Naturally, she promptly called her spiritual advisor for help, revealing that "she would fit right in any number of restaurants here," reports the Aspen Daily News.

Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write *betsym@hcn.org*.

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