"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.




Eight supervisors, seven years: The 'challenging' Black Hills National Forest

The Black Hills National Forest has its eighth supervisor in the past seven years, and if recent history is any indication, he probably doesn’t fully recognize what he’s up against.

Carl Petrick, most recently the supervisor of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, won’t stay long in his new Black Hills post. He’s an acting supervisor, like five of the prior seven people in the job.

His predecessor, departing Acting Supervisor Bryan Karchut, said during a recent public meeting that the Forest

Rule change would make foreign purchases near Ellsworth reviewable

When a Chinese company was on the verge of building a corn milling plant last year near an Air Force base in North Dakota, people concerned about national security wondered why the federal government hadn’t stopped it.

As it turned out, a federal committee tasked with reviewing foreign investments in the U.S. lacked jurisdiction over the area around Grand Forks Air Force Base.

After Congress passed a law in 2018 empowering the committee to review foreign purchases of real estate near sensitive

New state grant program aims to lure last-minute summer tourists

RAPID CITY — Gov. Kristi Noem announced the creation of a $200,000 grant program for tourism businesses Wednesday at Reptile Gardens in the Black Hills.

Noem cited industry data indicating 91% of this summer’s travelers already have their trips planned. She wants the grant money to help South Dakota businesses target the remaining 9% of travelers.

“We want to make sure those that have a change in plans or haven’t decided yet, that they decide to come and visit us,” Noem said.

The Tourism Adve

Tardiness in recognizing water needs could lead to 'unacceptable consequences'

As recently as nine years ago, I thought Rapid City had enough water for decades to come.

I got that idea from covering an event in 2014 where then-Mayor Sam Kooiker spoke.

“Unlike many other cities in the West, Rapid City does not have a water supply problem,” he said, adding that the city of 73,000 had “enough water in this area to serve more than 170,000 people.”

Time and new developments have altered that impression.

Four years ago, I reported on a study commissioned by the West Dakota W

Grants could add 2,400 openings at child care centers

Money from the federal government could soon help add about 2,400 openings for kids at new and expanding child care centers in South Dakota.

The money comes from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, which Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed into law in 2021. The legislation was a response to the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state Department of Social Services is making $17 million of remaining funding from the law available as startup and expansio

Public tells Forest Service to expand proposed mining ban in portion of Black Hills

RAPID CITY – Dozens of people told federal officials Wednesday that they not only support a proposed ban on new mining-related activity in a portion of the Black Hills, but also want the ban expanded.

The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management hosted a four-hour public input meeting at the Rapid City Ramkota Hotel. Beyond the dozens who spoke, hundreds attended, and most appeared to support the proposed mining ban.

The ban would cover about 32 square miles encompassing the Pacto

Noem is just like her father in good and bad ways

Gov. Kristi Noem shares a lot of stories about her late father, Ron Arnold, that are intended to portray him as the South Dakota embodiment of John Wayne. Noem doesn’t seem to realize that with every story she tells, she’s also creating her own public psychological profile.

Recently, she spoke to a National Rifle Association gathering in Indianapolis, where she shared a memory of hunting with her dad when she was 10 years old.

They were stalking elk in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains when he told

Congressional Roundup: Thune wants to rein in electric vehicle incentives

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the latest installment in a series of periodic updates on the activities of South Dakota’s congressional delegation.

Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, says the federal government gives too much help to the electric vehicle industry.

Automakers can tap into the Department of Energy’s $40 billion pool for loans and loan guarantees to lower the cost of electric vehicle production. Buyers are also eligible for up to $7,500 in tax credits.

Thune calls that “double dipping.” T

When emails aren't 'writing,' and other adventures in pursuit of pardon records

EDITOR’S NOTE: This commentary about public records is part of a special report on executive clemency. Additional stories explore pardons and commutations.

As a journalist with more than two decades of experience, I thought I’d experienced every way a bureaucrat could make a public records request difficult.

That was until I asked for pardon records from the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office.

It all began in December, after Gov. Kristi Noem announced seven sentence reductions – formall

Parolee cited for exhibition driving after Noem reduces vehicular homicide sentence

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story about commutations is part of a special report on executive clemency. An additional story explores pardons, and a commentary outlines difficulties encountered in obtaining pardon records.

A man who committed vehicular homicide in the 1990s pleaded guilty to exhibition driving last summer, six months after a state board granted him parole and two years after Gov. Kristi Noem reduced his prison sentence.

That’s one of the outcomes of 12 sentence reductions – formally kn