"Surviving the '72 Flood"

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


"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.




The cost of free land and either-or history

Some white South Dakotans love to talk about their generational connection to the land. I’m one of them: a proud, fifth-generation descendant of Dakota Territory homesteaders.

The federal government awarded nearly 100,000 parcels of free land to South Dakota settlers via the 1862 Homestead Act and successive rounds of related legislation. Modern South Dakotans celebrate that legacy in myriad ways, including an annual State Fair ceremony honoring farms and ranches owned by the same family for 10

$1.5 billion of construction planned for new bombers at Ellsworth

RAPID CITY — The Air Force will spend $1.5 billion on 35 construction projects to accommodate new bomber planes at a base near Rapid City, according to the base commander.

Nine projects are underway, said Col. Derek Oakley, who leads the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base. He spoke Friday to the Black Hills Forum and Press Club.

“If you see an airman downtown, pat them on the back and tell them you’ve got their back, because they’re tired,” Oakley said. “There’s a lot going on right no

Congressman preaches civility to hundreds of high school students

Members of the other political party aren’t evil, journalists aren’t the enemy, and watching a lot of cable TV news isn’t a good idea.

That’s a sampling of comments Monday from U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, who hosted his inaugural Level Up Youth Conference at Western Dakota Technical College in Rapid City. Hundreds of students attended from local and area high schools.

Johnson is fresh off a bruising several weeks in Washington, D.C., where the House of Representatives ousted its s

Forest Service floats fee increase as latest response to Black Hills UTV surge

There was a time years ago when Travis Bies didn’t worry as much about cattle escaping his Black Hills pastures.

“Every Monday, you had to be there and check your gates to make sure they were closed,” Bies said. “Now, I’ve had to hire a full-time person to be there every day.”

That’s because so many more people are driving utility task vehicles — known as UTVs, or as “side-by-sides” due to their multiple seats — and are failing to close the gates they open.

Escaped cattle are one impact from

Navigator cancels its carbon pipeline project

A company that sought to build a $3 billion carbon sequestration pipeline in South Dakota and several other states announced Friday that it’s giving up on the plan.

“Given the unpredictable nature of the regulatory and government processes involved, particularly in South Dakota and Iowa, the Company has decided to cancel its pipeline project,” said a news release from Navigator CO2.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission unanimously denied a permit for Navigator’s Heartland Greenway proj

Proposed bentonite mine takes next step; Homestake bond raised

A state board approved a step forward for a proposed bentonite mine and increased the required bond amount to protect the state from expenses related to a closed gold mine.

The Board of Minerals and Environment, consisting of nine members appointed by the governor, met in a telephone conference on Thursday.

Texas-based Bentonite Performance Minerals won approval of its contractor for a required socioeconomic assessment of the effects of the company’s proposed bentonite mine. The contractor is

State breaks ground on $60 million women’s prison in Rapid City

RAPID CITY — While controversy continues over the site of a proposed new penitentiary near Sioux Falls, the state Department of Corrections is proceeding with a plan to build a new women’s prison on the other side of South Dakota.

State officials broke ground for the women’s prison Monday in Rapid City.

“I’m very happy to be here today and very proud of the work and the collaboration that has been happening over the course of the last six months,” said Kellie Wasko, state corrections secretary

Noem-Lewandowski relationship doesn't have to be an affair to be inappropriate

After reporting that Gov. Kristi Noem is allegedly having an extramarital affair, Ken Silverstein suffered a memory lapse.

It happened on the Dakota Town Hall podcast. The hosts wanted to know if Silverstein’s Sept. 15 story about Noem was his first about South Dakota politics.

Silverstein struggled with his answer — “I don’t think that’s possible, because I honestly feel like I’ve covered …” — until one of the hosts interrupted. The host suggested Silverstein had probably written about former

Regents request control of whistleblower hotline; Noem says 'no planned changes'

RAPID CITY — The board that oversees South Dakota’s public universities has requested control over the governor’s whistleblower hotline for higher education, but the Governor’s Office said there are “no planned changes.”

News of the request came from Jeff Partridge, a member of the Board of Regents, during a meeting Thursday on the South Dakota Mines campus in Rapid City.

“We’re hoping that will be heard and received as far as us taking that over in the near future,” he said.

Gov. Kristi Noem

How two dead South Dakotans continue to feed the world

There are politicians who spend their entire careers pursuing power and fame, and there are others who set aside those ambitions long enough to make a lasting difference.

A reminder of that truism arrived recently in the form of a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The release said the department is awarding a combined $455 million of funding through two international food initiatives: Food for Progress, and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrit