"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.




Black Hills sawmill lays off workers and alleges Forest Service is to blame • South Dakota Searchlight

The owner of a Spearfish sawmill is laying off 50 people and alleges the U.S. Forest Service is to blame for not allowing the company to cut enough timber.

The Forest Service, through a spokesman, declined to comment.

Neiman Enterprises announced the layoffs at Spearfish Forest Products in a Thursday evening news release.

“The layoffs are the direct result of reductions to the Black Hills National Forest timber sale program,” the release said.

A Neiman spokesperson said about 150 employees r

Q&A: Johnson calls criticism of his forestry hearing ‘absurd’ •

Dusty Johnson resents the implication that he’s looking out for the timber industry at the expense of the Black Hills National Forest.

“The idea that anyone in government wants to allow the timber industry to cut what they want to cut is absurd,” Johnson told South Dakota Searchlight. “I think it does a tremendous disrespect to this process.”

Johnson, a Republican who is South Dakota’s lone U.S. representative, disliked a recent commentary written by retired U.S. Forest Service employee Dave M

South Dakota does well in regional college cost survey • South Dakota Searchlight

Several years of tuition freezes have helped make South Dakota’s public universities the most affordable for undergraduates in the region, according to new data.

“As a result of this past legislative session, we’re continuing to save students money,” said Nathan Lukkes, executive director and CEO of the South Dakota Board of Regents.

He made the comments during a board meeting Thursday in Vermillion, reflecting on the legislative session that ended last month. Legislators and Gov. Kristi Noem

Q&A: Thune adapts to the political ‘reality we live with’ as he seeks leadership post •

It may seem illogical for John Thune to run for Senate Republican leader after he was booed by Republicans in his own state, but as Thune says, “these aren’t normal times.”

The booing happened in September. Former President Donald Trump headlined a South Dakota Republican Party fundraiser in a Rapid City arena packed with 7,000 people. Thune did not attend.

When Thune’s picture appeared on a video board, many in the crowd voiced their disapproval. He heard about it later from members of his Ra

Lawmakers approve $10 million for airport grants as session winds down • South Dakota Searchlight

Airports across the state may soon be able to apply for a share of $10 million in state-funded grants to improve, expand and support the future capacity demands of their terminals, thanks to a bill headed to the governor’s desk.

The grants would be issued by the state Aeronautics Commission. Lawmakers said the grants would allow airports access to federal matching funds, thereby extending the value of the state’s investment.

“Some of those could see up to a 90% match for 10% of state investmen

Noem signs ban on foreign-owned ag land; lawmakers busy as final week begins •

PIERRE — Governor Kristi Noem signed a bill Monday that bans ownership of agricultural land in South Dakota by people, companies and governments from six countries, while legislators sent her a flurry of other bills as the annual legislative session’s final week began.

“Their goal is to dominate the world, and the way they do that is by taking out America,” Noem said during a bill-signing ceremony at the Capitol.

Under an existing state law dating to 1979, foreign people and governments were a

Legislative Roundup: Tuition freeze expected in budget as session enters final week •

Lawmakers on a budget committee have agreed to another tuition freeze for state universities as South Dakota’s legislative session enters its final week and attention turns to the budget.

If the agreement holds, it will be the third consecutive year that tuition has gone unchanged.

The goal is retaining young South Dakotans and supporting workforce development by attracting students from other states, said Sen. Ryan Maher, R-Isabel.

“We can’t grow our workforce organically by producing more p

Election officials say verbal abuse is common as lawmakers reject bill to protect them • South Dakota Searchlight

The assertion that election officials are not being threatened or intimidated in South Dakota helped derail legislation this week at the Capitol in Pierre that would have criminalized those acts.

Yet a South Dakota county election official published an article last month detailing verbal abuse suffered by her staff. And another county election official said this week that her office faces “intimidating” tactics from members of the public.

The article is from Susan Kiepke, the auditor of Daviso

Medicaid work requirement question will appear on South Dakota ballots in November

South Dakotans will vote on Medicaid work requirements in the Nov. 5 general election.

The measure would not immediately impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients who qualify under recently expanded income guidelines, but would authorize state officials to impose work requirements if they so choose and if the federal government allows it.

On Tuesday at the Capitol in Pierre, the state House of Representatives voted 63-7 to send the measure to the ballot. The seven no votes came from the

Legislative Roundup: Direct democracy, abortion, pipelines and property rights take center stage

Bills addressing pipelines, property rights, abortion and direct democracy are provoking strong opinions from legislators as they begin the final two weeks of their annual lawmaking session at the Capitol in Pierre.

Democrats are calling House Bill 1244 an assault on citizens’ rights to gather the thousands of petition signatures necessary to place questions on statewide ballots. The legislation would establish a process for people who regret signing petitions to remove their signatures.