The 2010s: 2012

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FILE – In this May 28, 1972 file photo, U.S. Sen. George McGovern, D-S.D., appears on TV ‘s “Face the Nation.” The Sunday morning public affairs show “Face the Nation” celebrates 60 years of broadcasts this week, making it the second longest-running television program on the air. (AP Photo/Jeff Robbins, File)

The year began with an emotional start. Janklow died on Jan. 12 at the age of 72. He was the state’s 27th and 30th governor.

William John Janklow, the longest-serving South Dakota in South Dakota history and second longest-serving governor in United States history, lies in state at the Capitol Building in Pierre, South Dakota (KELO-TV)

The combative Republican-dominated South Dakota government for more than a quarter-century, inspiring both fierce support and criticism.

“We’re all here for one reason, and one reason only, to celebrate the life of the greatest governor the state has ever had,” former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) said at Janklow’s funeral.

The coffin of former South Dakota Gov. Bill Janklow lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda guarded by representatives from the Marine Corps, the South Dakota Highway Patrol and the Honor Guard, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. The former governor and congressman died Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, at age 72 after a months-long battle with brain cancer. (AP Photo/Amber Hunt)
In this March 7, 1973, file photo Russell Means, left, tells villagers on the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, SD, that they must continue their fight against the government until their demands are met. (AP Photo/File)

South Dakotans also said goodbye to Native American activist, Russell Means. He was on the front lines of the American Indian Movement. Means led the 1973 takeover of Wounded Knee, a standoff with the federal government that lasted 71 days.

AIM sought a return to Native American traditions while standing up for treaty rights.

Means disagreed with critics who said AIM’s aggressive tactics were counter-productive.

“The American Indian Movement only involved itself in violence in self-defense! Never did we attack, never!” Means said.

The procession approaches Kyle, S.D. as family, friends and supporters make their way to an honoring service for Russell Means on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012. The American Indian Movement activist passed away Monday at his home on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was 72. (AP Photo/Rapid City Journal, Aaron Rosenblatt)

In October, South Dakotans also paid their last respects to former Senator and one-time presidential candidate George McGovern.

(AP Photo/The St. Augustine Record, Daron Dean, File)

At his funeral, colleagues talked about the man who was a voice for the voiceless and an inspiration to the Democratic party.

FILE – In this May 28, 1972 file photo, U.S. Sen. George McGovern, D-S.D., appears on TV ‘s “Face the Nation.” (AP Photo/Jeff Robbins, File)

“There’s a little girl in Malawi who has never heard the name George McGovern who has enough to eat and an education. There’s a young man in Kenya committed to peace and justice. It is up to us to carry on that legacy forward. We love you Senator,” Rep. Jim McGovern, who isn’t related to McGovern but worked as an intern in his office, said.

A photograph of former Democratic U.S. senator and three-time presidential candidate George McGovern and his late wife Eleanor, sits next to Sen. McGovern’s casket during a public viewing at the First United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls, S.D., Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. McGovern died Sunday in his native South Dakota at age 90. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, Pool)

In a year full of sadness, a story of inspiration came at the end of 2012. KELOLAND viewers watched South Dakota Highway Patrolman Andrew Steen walk out of the hospital on December 14th, after spending eight weeks in recovery. He’d been run over by a suspected drunk driver and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

“I’ve gotten thousands of people praying for me, so that saved my life,” Steen said.

A life that got to spend time with his family this holiday season.

“We got our boy back and we can’t have a better gift than that,” Steen’s mother Tricia Steen added.

Continue exploring the 2010s. Click here to jump to 2013.

The 2010s: A Decade in KELOLAND