The U.S. Senate recently passed legislation that will add approximately 200 acres to the Black Hills National Cemetery, reports the Rapid City Journal. The land is currently held by the Bureau of Land Management.
Established in 1948, the cemetery occupies 107 acres of land. The 200 ares to be transferred is located northwest of the cemetery and is largely barren. Approximately 28,600 veterans from South Dakota and surrounding states have been buried in the cemetery.
Companion legislation was introduced and passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Kristi Noem last year. The legislation must be signed by President Trump before it is enacted into law.
To learn more about veterans affairs in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
On December 21, 1981 Bear Butte, located east of Sturgis, South Dakota, was designated as a National Historic Landmark. Bear Butte is one of just over 2,500 National Historic Landmarks across the nation. National Historic Landmarks must be “historic places that possess exceptional value in commemorating or illustrating the history of the United States” and may be buildings, sites, structures objects or districts.
Known as Mato Paha by Lakota people—and as Noahvose by Cheyenne people—the butte is not a butte by definition but is instead the remnant of ancient volcanic activity. Bear Butte sits 1,200 feet above the land that surrounds it, at a total of 4,426 feet above sea level. The result of a volcano that failed to fully erupt, the land feature is also a place of deep significance to a variety of indigenous peoples from the region. The Cheyenne spiritual leader Sweet Medicine is said to have received the basis of Cheyenne spiritual and moral customs on Bear Butte, while Lakota and Dakota people have held various ceremonies there.
By the end of World War II, homesteader Ezra Bovee was the legal landowner of Bear Butte. Early in 1945, Northern Cheyenne individuals requested to hold a ceremony at Bear Butte to pray for the war’s end. Bouvee welcomed their presence and became a steadfast supporter or preserving the butte. Bouvee went so far as to spark interest in making the butte a national park. While the federal government did not show interest in creating a national park, the South Dakota legislature set the area aside as a state park in 1961. Four years later, the butte was designated as National Landmark.
The Meade County School District is planning to build a new elementary school in Union Center. According to the Black Hills Pioneer, the Meade County School Board approved a contract for the design of the school at its December 11 meeting.
The school will be approximately 10,000 square feet and will cost roughly $1.5 million. The school district purchased 4.5 acres for the school which is south of the Central Meade County Community Center. A new deep water well will be required for the school.
To read more about education and training, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s issue hub page.
Although areas unavailable for parking are marked by “do not park” signs and yellow lines, the 77th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has seen an increase in parking violations, reports KOTA News. The Sturgis Police Department has reported an increased number of individuals who have received tickets or had their vehicles towed.
This year, the department issued approximately 150 parking tickets—approximately 70 more than the previous year. Police Chief Geody VanDewater indicated that parking violations are a habitual issue as visitors do not want to walk as far to their destinations.
To learn more about the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s issue hub. Read more recent news from Sturgis at the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
Native Hope is discussing the dangers and signs of sex trafficking with Sturgis Rally attendees, reports KOTA News. The non-profit organization hopes to decrease the instances of sex trafficking during the annual event held in Sturgis.
Native Hope works primarily to prevent sex trafficking among Native Americans, who are more likely to be trafficked than other racial groups. The group helps to promote education and safety techniques to help those who may be at risk of being trafficked.
An individual may be a trafficking victim if they avoid eye contact, are not allowed to speak for themselves, or if their background information is unclear. If you suspect an individual is the victim of human trafficking, call 911.
To read more about the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
While volunteer fire departments assist with numerous wildfires in the region, they also have a hand in extinguishing car fires. In order to raise awareness for the danger of car fires, the Black Hawk Volunteer Fire Department provided a demonstration of safety techniques for car fires at its second annual open house, reports KOTA News. The event also served as a fundraiser for the volunteer department.
The open house allowed community members to learn more about the department and meet its firefighters. The department estimates that it receives over 400 calls per year for a variety of safety situations.
To learn more about public safety issues in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
This spring, 13 graduates were recognized at a ceremony held at the Sturgis Community Center. South Dakota Supreme Court Justice offered remarks as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.
The Northern Hills Drug Court is a judicially-monitored program that focuses on non-violent, adult drug offenders. Goals of the court include breaking the cycle of addiction, encouraging growth of healthy families, and efficiently using public funds.
To read more about judicial issues in the Black Hills, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
In order to alleviate overcrowding concerns in Meade County Schools, a new middle school is being constructed, reports KOTA News. Stagebarn Middle School will cost approximately $18 million dollars and hold about 600 students in its 10,000 square foot facility.
Some staff from the existing Piedmont Middle School will be transferred to Stagebarn Middle School, with more staff to be hired. The middle school will host grades five through eight. The building is anticipated to be completed by August 2018.
To read more about education and training in Meade County, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile. Read more news about education and training in the Black Hills region at the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
Incumbent Jerry Davidson defeated challenger Dale O’Dea in the Whitewood Ward 3 City Council race, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Davidson earned 50 votes over O’Dea’s 30 in the city election. Forty-two percent of Ward 3 voters cast their ballots.
O’Dea indicated that the voters chose to keep Davidson on the council, but that he ran to provide voters a choice.
In Wards 1 and 2, Randy Weige and Monica Shear, respectively ran unopposed and were automatically reelected to the city council. Whitewood’s swearing in ceremony will be held on May 1 during the city council meeting.
To read more news from Whitewood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.
Residents of Whitewood will cast their votes for a Ward 3 Council representative on April 11, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The Black Hills Pioneer presented the candidates, Jerry Davidson and Dale O’Dea with a civic questionnaire. Davidson and O’Dea are both vying for the only competitive seat on the Whitewood City Council. Randy Wiege, of Ward 1, and Monica Shear, of Ward 2, are running unopposed.
The questionnaire inquired about the candidate’s employment, experience for the elected position, issues of importance, and more. Jerry Davidson’s responses to the questionnaire can be viewed here. Dale O’Dea did not respond to the questionnaire.
Individuals who utilize the Whitewood Water System will see an increase in their monthly rate, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Households within city limits will pay $23.00 per month for up to 2,000 gallons, while individuals outside of city limits will pay approximately $69.00.
Residents within city limits using over 2,000 gallons per month but less than 27,000 gallons will be charged an additional $2.20 per month, per 1,000 gallons used. An additional $2.30 per gallon per month will be charged for usage over 27,000 gallons. For Whitewood water users outside of city limits, those rates will be tripled.
The new rates are slated to take effect on April 1. The City of Whitewood estimates the new rates could produce up to $18,000 in additional revenues.
Following a fundraising effort by the Sturgis Police Department and a local boxing club, Sturgis Police Officer Joe Leveque reached out to the National Police Athletic League to develop the first PAL chapter in South Dakota, reports KOTA News.
The National Police Athletic League is non-profit program aims to reduce juvenile crime by providing recreational and athletic opportunities for youth. The Sturgis chapter hopes to prevent juvenile crime as well as drug and alcohol abuse among area youth. Individuals interested in learning more about the Sturgis PAL can find more information on their website.
To read more news from Sturgis, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
Our featured art exhibit for the months of January and February is a nice assortment of donated prints, plates, paintings and mirrors that we are selling by silent auction. All proceeds benefit the library. Come place your silent bid at the library today.
If you have art pieces in good condition that you would like to donate for this fundraiser, please contact us at 718-3663 or [email protected]
Piedmont Library offers classes in robotocs programming using the Lego Mindstorm EV3 robot for students ages 10 and older on selected Saturday mornings. Quadcopter flying lessons are also offered for ages 8 to adult.
Classes in using Essential Oils are offered during the week. No obligation to purchase any products and the library does not endorse or recommend any products. Purchases and use of any oils are at your own risk.
Call the library at 718-3663 or email [email protected] for more information.
Friends of the Piedmont Library are hosting a big winter book and movie sale January 31 through February 4 during library hours.
Thousands of titles - fiction and non-fiction, adult and children. Suggested donation is $5 a bag. DVDs and audio books $1-$3.
Call 718-3663 for more information
or email [email protected]
The efforts of the Buffalo Chip to remain as a municipality have reached the South Dakota Supreme Court, reports KOTA News. In order to keep its current designation, the court would need to overrule a decision by a circuit court judge who ruled that the Meade County Commission erred in its approval of a vote that designated the Sturgis Rally destination into a new town in South Dakota.
The final briefs for the case have been filed with the state Supreme Court. A decision on whether or not the court will hear the case is expected soon.
To read more about the Buffalo Chip, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
A large-scale project in downtown Sturgis aimed at replacing waterlines and improving lighting and walkways is over 50 percent complete, reports KOTA News. The effort is included in the Future Sturgis Initiative which began in 2009.
Crews have nearly finished replacing water lines in the town which were 50 years old. The next steps in the project will include installing new lights and paving new sidewalks. Streets will also be resurfaced in the spring, as asphalt requires warmer temperatures.
To read more about Sturgis, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
Although area businesses had proposed allowing open containers of alcoholic beverages during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the Sturgis City Council voted against the proposal. According to KOTA News, law enforcement officials and citizens of Sturgis spoke against allowing open containers.
Sturgis Chief of Police Geordy VanDewater noted that approximately three-quarters of calls during the event are alcohol-related. He noted that open container would likely increase the number of disturbances.
Both the westbound and eastbound rest areas on Exit 40 of Interstate 90 will close permanently on October 31, as reported in a press release by the State of South Dakota. The South Dakota Interstate Rest Area Revitalization Plan published earlier this year indicated that parking at each rest area will remain open until improvements would be necessary.
The westbound and eastbound Wasta rest areas will also face changes at the end of the month. The information centers at each Wasta rest stop will be eliminated. The closure of eight total information centers will save the state approximately $225,000 annually in wages. In 2018, the Wasta rest areas will be brought into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and additions including family restrooms and security cameras will also be updated.
To read more transportation news from the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
The number of early and absentee voters in Meade County is well above average, as reported by KOTA TV News. Meade County Auditor Lisa Schieffer believes early turnout has increased due to the extensive list of initiatives and constitutional measures on the ballot this year.
To get information on polling locations, voter registration, and where to find a sample ballot, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s Voter Resource Guide.
For more information on the 2016 elections, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.