Books

"Surviving the '72 Flood"

Portraits and firsthand accounts from 27 survivors of the 1972 Black Hills Flood, published for the 50th commemoration.

SOLD OUT

"Calvin Coolidge in the Black Hills"

The adventures, misadventures and legacy of a sitting president's three-month sojourn in the Black Hills.

"The Black Hills of South Dakota"

A guidebook packed with maps, carefully curated recommendations, and everything else you need to simplify your trip-planning process.

Documentary

Podcast

Journalism

Federal judge declines to intervene ‘at this time’ in fight over abortion ballot measure • South Dakota Searchlight

A federal judge is declining, for now, to stop a lawsuit in state court against South Dakota’s abortion-rights ballot measure.
Judge Karen Schreier signed her order Friday. She said a state court should rule on a key issue in the lawsuit before she considers intervening.
But she added, “If the state court ruling contradicts a federal court order, this court will consider the issue at that time.”

The anti-abortion Life Defense Fund filed its lawsuit in state court last month. The group wants to...

Company applies to build 68-turbine, $261 million wind project in northeast SD • South Dakota Searchlight

An energy company has applied to construct another wind farm in northeastern South Dakota.
The company is Chicago-based Invenergy. It wants to build up to 68 turbines through its South Dakota subsidiary, Deuel Harvest Wind Energy South. The turbines would be spread across 54 square miles of privately owned land near the small town of Brandt in Deuel County. The project’s estimated cost is $621 million.
The “south” in the project’s name distinguishes it from the 109-turbine Deuel Harvest Wind Far...

Flood washes away Noem’s false veneer of leadership • South Dakota Searchlight

While the rain fell, she abandoned the state for a political conference and television interview.

When catastrophic floodwaters surged toward McCook Lake, her cursory appearance there — along with her lackluster crisis communications and departure for an out-of-state political fundraiser — left people without adequate warning about the danger they faced.

And after declining to use the National Guard for the flood preparations or response, Noem said activating the Guard would be “extremely expe

McCook Lake residents say their homes were sacrificed, and they want a new flood plan • South Dakota Searchlight

State and local authorities knew they were placing McCook Lake in the path of record high floodwaters but failed to adequately warn residents of the danger, according to some people who live in the flood-ravaged community.

Authorities rejected the criticism and said they executed a long-established flood mitigation plan that was simply overwhelmed by record amounts of water. They also defended their communications, saying they gave multiple warnings to residents before the floodwaters arrived.

Homes and roads in McCook Lake area ravaged by flooding • South Dakota Searchlight

Homes were ruined, roads were washed out, sinkholes opened up, a railroad bridge was destroyed, and rescuers worked through Sunday night into Monday morning to save people from rising floodwaters in the McCook Lake area of southeastern South Dakota.

“It looks like the Grand Canyon here, and it’s just pouring in. What a disaster,” said McCook Lake Association President Dirk Lohry while kayaking the lake and surveying the damage Monday morning. He waded through trash and navigated currents that h

Southeast SD flooding claims at least one life as focus shifts to Dakota Dunes • South Dakota Searchlight

Federal, state and local officials are focusing their efforts on a voluntary evacuation of Dakota Dunes and a levee construction project across Interstate 29 near McCook Lake as they continue responding to historic rainfall and flooding in southeast South Dakota that has claimed at least one life.

Gov. Kristi Noem led a press conference Sunday in North Sioux City. She shared news of the death but declined to provide any information about the person, circumstances or location, other than saying

Strained wastewater systems, swollen rivers remain threats in flooded southeast SD • South Dakota Searchlight

Sioux Falls is asking area residents to limit their contributions to the wastewater system, while state officials are warning of river crests that will arrive Monday and Tuesday as southeast South Dakota recovers from several days of historic rainfall totaling more than 17 inches in some locations.

Mayor Paul TenHaken said Sioux Falls is diverting wastewater into holding facilities that have never been used before, and those facilities are full.

“This is the most strained the system has ever b

Explaining the lawsuit against South Dakota’s abortion-rights ballot measure •

A new court fight over South Dakota’s abortion-rights ballot measure could hinge on a complicated answer to a simple question: Does a set of six-year-old petition requirements still exist?

The court fight started Thursday, when the Life Defense Fund filed a lawsuit in state court. The lawsuit challenges the legitimacy of a citizen-initiated Nov. 5 ballot question that would reinstate abortion rights. The Life Defense Fund is a ballot question committee organized to oppose the measure.

Dakotans

Helicopter tour companies lose early battle in fight against Rushmore and Badlands restrictions • South Dakota Searchlight

New restrictions on air tours at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Badlands National Park will stay in effect while a lawsuit against them proceeds, a federal court has ruled.

Three South Dakota helicopter operators want to overturn the restrictions: Badger Helicopters, Black Hills Aerial Adventures and Rushmore Helicopters. In court documents, they allege the new restrictions will cause “irreparable harm in the form of unrecoverable economic loss that threatens their existence.”

They asked

Incumbent Republican legislators suffer losses as pipelines and property rights surge to the fore • South Dakota Searchlight

At least 14 Republican legislators lost their races against fellow Republicans on Tuesday in the 2024 primary election, with a controversial carbon dioxide pipeline among the top wedge issues to emerge.

Voters also ousted two of the state’s Native American lawmakers (a mother and son), and brought back a Republican who served as speaker of the House until two years ago.

Some of the victors leaned heavily on their opposition to Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon capture pipeline, a multibillion-do