'People screaming for help as they floated by': Survivor recalls 1972 Black Hills flood

The attached audio above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment. The 50th commemoration of the 1972 Black Hills Flood is June 9th. It’s a time to honor the 238 lives lost, and it also brings a flood of memories for survivors. Every week between now and the anniversary, SDPB is sharing stories from those survivors, in their own words. This week, we hear from Tom Haggerty. He was in bed at his family’s home near Rapid Creek when a flood surge rolled through Rapid City. An SDPB

Woman recalls surviving '72 flood on floating roofs

The attached audio above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment. The 50th anniversary of the 1972 Black Hills Flood is June 9th. It’s a time to honor the 238 lives lost, and it also brings a flood of memories for survivors. Every week between now and the anniversary, SDPB is sharing stories from those survivors, in their own words. This week, we hear from Arlene Mattis. She was in a car that was swept up by the floodwaters of Rapid Creek in Rapid City. She and four other peopl

50 years ago, Rapid City couple reunited after harrowing flood ordeal

The attached audio above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment. The 50th anniversary of the 1972 Black Hills Flood is June 9th. It’s a time to honor the 238 lives lost, and it also brings a flood of memories for survivors. Every week between now and the anniversary, In the Moment is sharing stories from those survivors, in their own words. This week, we hear from Rob Oliver. Some listeners may recognize him as a former Sioux Falls bank executive and former president of August

50 years after flood, Guard soldier still haunted by recovery mission

The attached audio above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment. The 50th anniversary of the 1972 Black Hills Flood is June 9th. It’s a time to honor the 238 lives lost, and it also brings a flood of memories for survivors. Every week between now and the anniversary, SDPB is featuring stories from those survivors, in their own words. This week, we hear from Darrel Heimes, of Rapid City. He spent the night of the flood working with other National Guard soldiers to rescue people

How a fix for Capitol Lake could kill the Flaming Fountain

This video is from SDPB's news program, South Dakota Focus. South Dakota’s Flaming Fountain is missing a key feature: flame. It’s been that way for more than a decade. Now there’s a plan to cap the well that supplies the fountain with natural gas. If that happens, it could close a fascinating chapter in state history with ties to a legendary politician, an unfortunate explosion, and generations of Capitol visitors.

Mother who lost children in flood: 'I don't think you ever get over it — ever, ever, ever'

The attached audio above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment. The 50th anniversary of the 1972 Black Hills Flood is June 9th. It’s a time to honor the 238 lives lost, and it also brings a flood of memories for survivors. Every week between now and the anniversary, SDPB is featuring stories from those survivors, in their own words. This week, we hear from the Masters family. They were trying to escape the flood in their vehicle when a wall of water swept them off the road. T

50 years later, man recalls being in Canyon Lake when the dam ruptured during flood

The attached audio above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment. The 50th anniversary of the 1972 Black Hills Flood is on June 9. It’s a time to honor the 238 lives lost, and it also brings a flood of memories for survivors. Every week between now and the anniversary, SDPB is featuring survivors' stories, in their own words. This week, we hear from Dave Baumberger. He was near Rapid Creek in western Rapid City when the flood surge hit, and he took shelter in a home with eight

Noem slams federal proposal to realign veteran health care in South Dakota

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is rolling out realignment plans. The plans could reduce or eliminate veteran health-care services in some South Dakota cities, while adding services in others. Governor Kristi Noem broke the news Friday with the release of an audio recording. The recording is from a conference call conducted by VA officials with employees. One of the speakers on the call is Robert McDivitt. He’s a VA official overseeing a region including South Dakota. McDivitt said a

Condo owner recalls '72 flood: 'And pretty soon they wouldn't scream anymore'

The attached audio above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment. The 50th anniversary of the Black Hills Flood of 1972 on June 9 is a time to honor the 238 lives lost, and it also brings a flood of memories for survivors. Some of those survivors are telling their stories to SDPB. Every week between now and the anniversary, we’ll bring you one of those stories. This week, we hear from Dick Knecht. The modern location of Cliffside Park along Rapid Creek in western Rapid City is

Explaining the decades-old law that caps nursing-home beds in South Dakota

The attached interview above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh. The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe wants to build a new nursing home. The tribe doesn’t need any help from the state, except for one thing. “Now why do I bring this in front of this body? And it's not that they need permission to build a nursing home with their own money on their own lands. It’s about the moratorium that we have on beds.” He was talking about a 34-year-old law that puts a cap

'We all should've been in therapy': Recalling the Black Hills Flood, 50 years later

The attached audio above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment. The 50th anniversary of the Black Hills Flood of 1972 on June 9th is a time to honor the 238 lives lost. It also brings a flood of memories for survivors. Some of those survivors are telling their stories to SDPB. Every week between now and the anniversary, we’ll bring you one of those stories. This week, we hear from Kay Schriever of Rapid City. She was in a car with five other teenagers near Rapid Creek when th

'Not a single board left of the house': Remembering the 1972 Black Hills Flood

The attached interview above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment. The 50th anniversary of the Black Hills Flood of 1972 on June 9th is a time to honor the 238 lives lost. It also brings a flood of memories for survivors. Some of those survivors are telling their stories to SDPB. Every week between now and the anniversary, we’ll bring you one of those stories. This week, we hear from Robbie Corner. He was a teenager who was out with friends when the flood began. When he trie

No, this isn't South Dakota's first impeachment process

The news is full of references this winter to the potential impeachment of South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. Many reports call it an unprecedented situation – the first time the Legislature has formally considered impeaching a public official. As it turns out, this is at least the second time the South Dakota media has proclaimed a first-ever impeachment process. learn more at https://listen.sdpb.org/

No, this isn't South Dakota's first impeachment process

This video is from SDPB's news program, South Dakota Focus. The news is full of references this winter to the potential impeachment of South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. Many reports call it an unprecedented situation – the first time the Legislature has formally considered impeaching a public official. As it turns out, this is at least the second time the South Dakota media has proclaimed a first-ever impeachment process. The historical record indicates the first impeachment pro

Warren Nelson remembers the Black Hills Flood of 1972

The attached interview above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment. The 50th anniversary of the Black Hills Flood of 1972 on June 9th is a time to honor the 238 lives lost. It also brings a flood of memories for survivors. Some of those survivors are telling their stories to SDPB. Every week between now and the anniversary, we’ll bring you one of those stories. This week, we hear from Warren Nelson. He had just finished a day of training at Camp Rapid with the National Guard

'Ridiculous' bingo tax was once a serious topic for lawmakers

Gov. Kristi Noem took aim at several targets during her recent State of the State address, and she reserved some of her sharpest criticism for a surprising topic. “Although we don’t have many taxes in South Dakota – we’ve been looking for them – I am going to propose that we eliminate one that is incredibly ridiculous," she said. "Did you know that we have a bingo tax? So this is largely a tax on elderly populations and our veterans. I’m proposing that we get rid of the bingo tax." Judging by the applause from legislators during the speech and the bill’s reception so far, the bingo tax is doomed. But it wasn’t always viewed as “ridiculous.” Jason Evans alluded to that history while testifying to a state Senate committee. He works for the state Department of Revenue and Regulation. “I imagine during the 1970s and 1980s, bingo was all the rage," Evans said, "and there probably was a legitimate regulatory purpose for these license fees and taxes.” Crackdown leads to legalization Indeed, bingo was formerly a more lucrative and even controversial industry. It was taxed and regulated to ensure oversight, and to track where the money went. As one of the first forms of legalized gambling in the state, bingo paved the way for the billions wagered today on lotto games, video lottery, casino games and sporting events. Beginning in the 1920s and ’30s, bingo events raised money for civic organizations. While playing the game for money was illegal, most authorities looked the other way. Then, in 1969, South Dakota Republican Attorney General Gordon Mydland cracked down on bingo and other illegal gambling. His raids on VFWs and American Legion halls were not popular. The Legislature responded with a new law in 1970 to legalize limited bingo games, raffles and lotteries for certain public-spirited organizations. Voters agreed, approving the measure with 59 percent support in a statewide election. That remains the basis for limited bingo gambling today, which only certain groups are allowed to conduct. “Typically those would be your veterans organizations, your civic, fraternal, educational-type of organizations that can conduct those games," Evans said. 'The Silent Gambling Empire' Eventually, other groups figured out how to get a piece of the bingo pie. In the 1980s, bingo halls went up and entrepreneurs rented them out to rotating lists of civic groups. While the bingo was conducted for the benefit of approved organizations, some of the money went to the private owners of the halls. At the same time, bingo halls opened on reservations – the precursors of tribal casinos. Bingo became such big business that the Argus Leader newspaper dubbed it "The Silent Gambling Empire.” In 1990, the paper reported the annual gross revenue of just the bingo operations in Sioux Falls was more than $3 million. Lawmakers took notice. They slapped new regulations and a tax on bingo in 1988. Those taxes and regulations still exist. Jason Evans says the Revenue Department does not tax the civic groups that run the games, or the players. The tax is on the companies that provide bingo supplies and equipment. Manufacturers have to buy a $2,500 license, and distributors have to buy a $5,000 license and pay a 5 percent tax. Evans said the cost of those fees and taxes is probably built into the pricing of the products, thus affecting veterans, the elderly and other bingo enthusiasts, as Noem mentioned in her State of the State speech. 'Outlived their usefulness' Bingo’s popularity has waned over the years as other forms of legal gambling have arisen. A series of South Dakota elections and law changes in the late 1980s authorized state-operated lotto games, video lottery and Deadwood casino gambling. Tribal governments followed suit, replacing bingo halls with casino-hotels. And statewide voters approved Deadwood sports betting in 2020. Yet Evans said the Revenue Department is still spending a lot of time and energy on a small amount of bingo activity. That’s why he wants to repeal the taxes and fees. Evans said the department collected $45,000 in license fees and $34,000 in taxes from bingo activity in 1996. By last year, those numbers had declined to about $20,000 in license fees and $12,000 in taxes. "And so it just seems like with that sharp decline over the years that this tax and license fee have probably outlived their usefulness," Evans said. The state Senate has already passed the Noem administration’s bill to repeal the bingo tax and license fees. The legislation is pending in the House of Representatives. Bingo manufacturers and distributors would still have to pay any applicable sales tax on their operations.

'Ridiculous' bingo tax was once a serious topic for lawmakers

This segment is from SDPB's monthly news program, South Dakota Focus. Gov. Kristi Noem took aim at several targets during her recent State of the State address, and she reserved some of her sharpest criticism for a surprising topic. “Although we don’t have many taxes in South Dakota – we’ve been looking for them – I am going to propose that we eliminate one that is incredibly ridiculous," she said. "Did you know that we have a bingo tax? So this is largely a tax on elderly populations and our

Sioux Falls' dispensary deadline, and one of Rapid City's most impactful leaders

In the Moment airs live at 12CT/11MT. The audio will be attached to this story soon after the show airs. The deadline is drawing near to apply for a license to operate a medical cannabis dispensary or testing facility within Sioux Falls city limits. Stacy Kooistra is the city attorney and he joins us with more details. Sixty buffalo from Wind Cave National Park are now grazing on the Rosebud Reservation. It's part of the park's efforts to thin its bison herd, while contributing to tribal food
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