Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Lead has been named the third safest city in South Dakota according to a new report conducted by Safe Home Security. As reported by KOTA News, Lead had a safety score of 95 out of 100. Safe Home Security bases its score on the total number and type of crimes committed in the area as well as total population and the number of law enforcement officials.

Sisseton was named the safest city in South Dakota with a safety score of 98.7, while Rapid City placed last with a score of 66.8. Sioux Falls also earned a low safety rating of 71.1. See how all 25 South Dakota cities included in the study were ranked here.

Data from the study was compiled from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report and included South Dakota cities with a population of at least 2,000. You can read about the study’s full methodology here.  

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In 2017, Rapid City had the most Airbnb visitors in South Dakota, reports KOTA News. Approximately 11,500 bookings were made in Rapid City with hosts bringing in $1.2 million. Sioux Falls placed second in the state with 7,000 bookings and $445,000 in revenue for Airbnb hosts. While Lead placed fewer bookings than Sioux Falls at 4,700, its hosts out-earned Sioux Falls with $582,000 generated. Over $4 million was generated across South Dakota in 2017.

To read more about the economy in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The Rapid City Regional Airport served approximately 600,000 customers in 2017, reports KOTA News. This reflects a one percent increase over the previous record set in 2010.

While 2017 set an overall record in passengers served at the airport, Executive Director Patrick Dame noted that some of the increase could be attributed to competitors traveling to Rapid City for the International Collegiate Programming Contest held at the South Dakota School of Mines in May 2017.  Adding routes to Charlotte, NC and Chicago, IL may have also contributed to the increase in passengers.

To learn more about the Rapid City Regional Airport, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Residents of Rapid City listened to Mayor Steve Allender present two options for the future of the Barnett Arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. According to KOTA News, one option is to build an entirely new arena with a cost estimated between $100-$130 million. The other option involves renovations, which are estimated at $25 million.

A special meeting to discuss and vote on options for the arena will be held by the Rapid City Council on February 26. Additional public presentations on the future of the Barnett Arena will be available through May 2018.

For more information on the history of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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After hearing concerns from citizens and the Rapid City Police Department, Rapid City’s Legal and Finance Committee is considering an ordinance that would create greater distinction between security vehicles from police vehicles, as reported by KOTA News.

Under the new proposal, private security vehicles must display the word “security” on the sides and back of the car. Currently, one private security company utilizes the word “patrol” on its vehicles, causing some confusion among Rapid City residents.

To read more topics related the law enforcement in the Black Hills, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Residents of Rapid City and the surrounding area will soon be able to take a direct flight to Newark, New Jersey. As reported by KOTA News, United Airlines will begin flying to Newark Liberty International Airport from Rapid City on June 23. The route will be offered on Saturdays through the first week of September.

Newark is located approximately 60 miles northeast of Philadelphia and 15 miles southwest of New York City.

To read more news about Rapid City Regional Airport, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Public presentations have been scheduled to discuss the future of the Barnett Arena in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, reports KOTA News. Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender will host presentations on January 11 at 6:30 p.m. and on January 20th at 2 p.m. at the Civic Center’s LaCroix Hall A.

Mayor Allender will answer questions during the presentation in addition to providing a tour of the Barnett Arena. Similar presentations were held in September and October of 2017.

To read more about the history of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s corresponding issue hub page or digital history archive.

Published in News
Wednesday, 20 December 2017 22:24

Rapid City Voters to Decide on Water Rate Hike

The Rapid City Council recently set a special election date for a vote on increasing the city’s water rate, reports the Rapid City Journal. The special election was set after a petition collected enough signatures to refer the increased water rate to public vote. A total of 5% of registered Rapid City voters are required to sign a petition in order to refer measure to a public vote.

Under the Rapid City Council’s proposal, the water rate would have increased by 9-10 percent in 2018 when compared to 2017. For the following four years, the rate would increase by approximately 8.5 percent. Based on an average use of 5,600 gallons per month, a single-family residence currently pays $30.72 per month. Next year, the same family would pay $33.74 per month.

The city proposed the water rate increase due to the poor functionality of its Mountain View water treatment facility, which has been called “functionally obsolete” by Rapid City’s Public Works Department Director. The facility was constructed in the 1960s, which makes finding replacement parts difficult at best.

To read more news from Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The City of Rapid City is now offering home improvement loans to city residents made possible through the Community Development Block Grant. According to KOTA News, the program will allow homeowners to make improvements to issues related to structure, safety, energy efficiency and accessibility.  

The loans are based on income and awarded on a first-come, first serve basis. Recipients may receive loans with no or low monthly payments.

Individuals interested in the loan program can call 605-394-4181 for more information. Learn more about Rapid City on the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

Published in News
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 06:00

Rapid City Sees Uptick in Heroin, Fentanyl

While meth is still the number one illicit drug in Rapid City, police officers have been seizing more heroin in the past two to three years, reports KOTA News. Legalization of marijuana has caused drug cartels to move heroin instead. Additionally, physicians began logging opiate prescriptions through the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, causing individuals addicted to prescription painkillers to seek other sources.

There has also been an increase in fentanyl in Rapid City. While the drug has nearly the same cost as heroin, it is 40-50 times stronger and can be transported more easily due to its smaller size.

To read more about drug use in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The City of Rapid City is working toward sole ownership of the City School Administration Center, reports KOTA News. Rapid City plans to buy out Rapid City Area Schools which is relocating to the building formerly owned by Black Hills Corporation. The Rapid City YMCA will also occupy space in the former Black Hills Corp building.

The current concern for Rapid City is how to pay for the space, which is estimated at nearly $3 million. Mayor Steve Allender has suggested utilizing Vision Funds, but the purchase may not be in compliance with city ordinances governing the fund.

To read more about Rapid City Area Schools, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The Rapid City Journal recently announced that the final publication date for both the Meade County Times-Tribune and Butte County Post will be November 8. On November 9, the Journal will begin publishing a Northern Hills page.

Following the announcement, the Belle Fourche City Council approved an ordinance to designate the Black Hills Pioneer as the city’s legal newspaper. As the city’s legal newspaper, the Pioneer will publish all of Belle Fourche’s legal notices, which include items such as minutes from governmental meetings and bids for construction projects.

The Black Hills Pioneer and Rapid City Journal are not affiliated.

To learn more about Meade and Butte Counties as well as Sturgis and Belle Fourche, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profiles.

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At its November 6 meeting, the Rapid City Council approved an increase to the city’s water rate, reports KOTA News. The council’s vote will increase the water rate by 43 percent over the next five years. Utility rates in Rapid City have not been increased since 2013. The Rapid City Council approved the measure on a vote of 8-2.

Some residents expressed concern over the ordinance, citing the cost of permits for building hook ups.

To read more news from Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile.

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Physicians working in emergency rooms throughout the Black Hills have noted an increase in emergency visits as a result of illicit and illegal drug use, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Methamphetamine, heroin and synthetic marijuana are among the most common drug overdoses seen in emergency rooms in the region. Some physicians have also seen heroin laced fentanyl, a powerful drug commonly used to abate pain following surgery.

Although methamphetamine still comprises a large number of drug-related hospital visits, area physicians indicated that more individuals are using heroin due to its affordability. The number of teenage patients admitted for drug overdoses has also risen in recent years.

To read more news about health and wellness in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The ride-sharing transportation service known as Lyft will be soon be arriving in Rapid City. According to KOTA News, services could begin in approximately two months.The decision to offer services in Rapid City comes shortly after Lyft announced it would begin offering rides in Sioux Falls.

The Rapid City attorney’s office is currently writing an ordinance establishing regulations concerning licensing and insurance. Once drafted, the ordinance will be read at two city council meetings, after which there will be a 20 day publication period before the ordinance is active.

To read more about transportation in Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Rapid City schools are preparing students how to react in the event that an active killer enters the building. According to KOTA News, the students will receive ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) Training. A meeting was held to help inform parents about the training and its techniques which would be taught to their children. The training is anticipated to begin in November 2017.

To learn more about Rapid City Area Schools, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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On October 26, 1918, a man was arrested and brought to trial for spitting in public in Rapid City. According to the Rapid City Daily Journal, the anti-spitting ordinance was established in order to prevent further spread of the disease “through the filthy and careless habits of some thoughtless people who persist in expectorating on the floors in public places and on the sidewalks.” The typical fine for the offense was $6, or $92 in 2017 inflation adjusted dollars.

Rapid City Mayor William E. Robinson instructed law enforcement officials to strictly enforce the ordinance in order to prevent further spreading of the Spanish Flu. A physician himself, Robinson attended to numerous patients at all hours during the flu pandemic. However, the mayor’s grueling work schedule and exposure to the deadly disease threw him into a state of exhaustion. He died on December 2, 1918, while still serving as mayor.

In 1918, the number one cause of death in South Dakota was influenza. Lawrence County suffered the greatest number of casualties, with 145 flu-related deaths. Statewide, the disease claimed 1,847 lives—28 percent of the total number of deaths in the state that year. By comparison, in 1917 influenza was No. 20 for causes of death in the state, claiming just 54 lives.

You can learn more about Mayor William Robinson on the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s Mayoral History Page.

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Sioux San – Rapid City Indian Health Service (IHS) Facility

The Indian Health Service (IHS) is a federal health program for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

IHS is an agency that operates within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The United States Constitution, along with numerous treaties between the United States federal government and sovereign American Indian tribal nations established a trust responsibility that requires the government to provide certain services to Native Americans. Healthcare is one of the services included in the United States’ trust responsibility.

Previously, American Indian healthcare was overseen by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) as provided in the Snyder Act of 1921. Seven years later, the BIA began contracting healthcare services through the Public Health Service and continued to do so for approximately 30 years thereafter. In 1955, Congress removed Native American health services from the Department of Interior and placed it under the Department of Health and Human Services. With this placement, the Indian Health Service came into fruition. Today, IHS provides health services for approximate 2.2 million people within 567 recognized tribes in 36 states.

Rapid City, South Dakota is part of the Great Plains Area of IHS. This area includes South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska.  The Great Plains Area currently includes seven hospitals, eight health centers, and additional smaller clinics.  Seventeen Tribes share the same geography as these states. Approximately 130,000 individuals receive care in the Great Plains Area of IHS.

Rapid City Boarding School/Sioux Sanitarium/Rapid City IHS Timeline

 1898  Rapid City Indian School was created for acculturation for Native American children from South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.  They required them to speak English at the school. 
 1929 - 1930 1930 - The school had a large number of students with tuberculosis and became a Sanitarium School for those students. 
 1933 The Civil Conservation Corp used the facility for a federally funded work relief program.
 1939  The location became the Sioux Sanitarium for tuberculosis for Native Americans. 
 1943 The antibiotic for TB was discovered.
 1955 The Indian Health Service (IHS) took administrative jurisdiction over Sioux San.
 1966 Congress appropriated funds for the pilot IHS Clinic in Rapid City.
 2001 Indian Health Board of the Black Hills created to address issues of care for those eligible. 
2002 Indian Health Board of the Black Hills brings forward issues of patient care. 
2003 A $4 million dollar renovation is started and expected to be complete in 2005.  It includes more lab and x-ray space as well as additional handicapped-accessible restrooms, and more exam rooms. 
2004 Aberdeen Area Office proposes closing the Sioux San inpatient services. 
2004 IHS users bring their unrest about available funding and services to a budget session with local administrators. 
2006 IHS officials sign program justification document to begin a federal process that will help build a replacement facility. 
2007 IHS officials propose an expansion that will be complete in 2012 under the best circumstances which are unlikely.
2009 Sioux San Hospital cancelled all appointments to prevent a further H1N1 outbreak.
2010 Sioux San Hospital’s Hope Lodge caught on fire and destroyed the substance-abuse center because there was no extinguisher system available. 
2016 IHS investigates quality of care concerns regarding Sioux San Hospital.
2017 IHS announces Sioux San will close Sioux San inpatient and emergency services to make way for a new hospital to be completed by 2022. 

Additional Links and Resources

Published in Issues Hub

Officers of the Rapid City Police Department and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office will begin wearing body cameras in 2018, as reported by KOTA News. While the technology will be new to both of these departments, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department has been using the technology since early this year. GF&P officials have been utilizing the cameras to help enforce fishing and hunting regulations. The cameras have also aided investigations and case reports.

To read more stories from Pennington County, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The first reading of an increase for Rapid City’s water rates was approved by the city council, reports KOTA News. The ordinance will increase water rates by 43 percent over the next five years. Additional funds generated by the tax increase would be directed toward the city’s reserve fund in the event that upgrades or expansions to the city’s water system are needed.

To learn more about Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile.

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