Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

The 24th Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson will be giving a lecture at the Journey Museum on June 25th, at 7PM. According to the Rapid City Journal, the lecture will be on the topic of “War and Computers” and will be free and open to the public. Secretary Wilson is the former President of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

This lecture is sponsored by the Classics Institute at Dakota State University and is part of their ongoing lecture series “The Cultural Consequences of Computers”. The lecture will discuss how technology has revolutionized modern warfare.

Find event details here. Find more news articles about the Journey Museum in the Black Hills Knowledge Network digital archive.

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Rapid City residents voted Tuesday on a $130 million proposal to replace the Barnett Arena in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, reports KSFY News. This is after citizens rejected a previous $180 million proposal three years ago.

17,034 people voted on this proposal Tuesday, with 10,968 (64 percent) voicing their support for the measure. Had this measure failed to pass the popular vote, Rapid City would have still been required to renovate the existing arena to be in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act, at a cost to the city of $28 million.

Mayor Steve Allender has said that the city plans to begin construction on the new arena next year and hopes to see its completion within two years.

For more information about the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s news archive.

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Classes concerning mental health, money management, education and more are being offered by Rapid City’s Youth and Family Services (YFS). These classes are open to anyone in the community and are geared to help families communicate and find a common ground, reports KOTA News.

Classes are primarily geared toward teens and adults, but staff are adaptable to working with families with young children. Staff are able to provide instruction in a home setting or at the YFS office, depending on the convenience level for the family. Two hour classes are provided once a week, while the YFS office is open five days per week.

To learn more about education and training in the region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Individuals interested in archery will soon have a new range in west Rapid City, reports KOTA News. Outdoor Campus West will soon construct an additional hunter education and archery complex close to their current campus. An indoor facility will provide educational space for bow hunting, game cleaning and BB gun shooting instruction. The primary archery range will be outdoors under a pavilion with 14 target stations. The estimated cost of the project is projected to be $1.5 million.

To learn more about recreational activities in the Black Hills, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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While Rapid City residents take time to consider a new arena, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender tackled a key concern of many: parking options for the new arena. According to KOTA News, current parking for the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center along with a proposed lot north of the arena will total 1,260 parking spaces. However, 300 spaces may be lost with the addition of a new arena, bringing the total down to 960.

Some residents have expressed interest in the addition of a parking ramp, but the addition would cost approximately $30 million. Alternative options to a new parking ramp include a shuttle service for patrons to the arena or simply walking several blocks from other city-owned parking lots.

To read more about the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s issue hub page.

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While a half-cent sales tax increase provided higher wages for teachers in the Rapid City Area School District, a new funding formula instituted by the South Dakota State Legislature changed how local school boards can spend revenues in their general funds, according to KOTA News. Under the previous formula, districts were allowed to spend revenues from their general funds at their own discretion. However, the legislature’s changes have led the Rapid City Area School District to dip into their capital outlay fund, intended for building maintenance and supplies, to pick up costs not prescribed by the new general fund formula.

Currently there are over $58 million in expenses in the general fund. Critics have cited high administrative costs as the primary contributor for the budget shortfall, with 10 top administrative employees costing the district $1.1 million. Assistant Superintendent Dave Janak noted that the district has commissioned a study to determine cost saving measures.

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

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Three tribal nations in western South Dakota recently passed resolutions in an effort to transfer control of the Sioux San Indian Health Service (IHS) facility to the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board, reports the Rapid City Journal. The federal government would continue to fund the IHS facility, but the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board would be responsible for management.

Federally-recognized tribal nations are able to transfer management of federally-administered programs to tribal hands through the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) of 1975. This act, commonly referred to as 638 in reference to the public law number, was passed to ensure “effective and meaningful participation by the Indian people in the planning, conduct and administration” of federal services and programs.

Under ISDEAA, tribes can either directly administer programs that would be provided directly by IHS (Title I Self-Determination Contracting) or assume control over the programs and services otherwise provided by IHS (Title V Self-Governance Compacting). The two options are not mutually exclusive and tribes can tailor the options to best fit their needs.

The tribal resolutions will now be considered by the Indian Health Services’ Great Plains Area Office in Aberdeen before heading off to the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board CEO Jerilyn Church anticipates the approval process will take anywhere from 3-6 months.

To read more about the Sioux San IHS facility,  the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Rapid City Chief of Police Karl Jegeris is considering the addition of a police substation, reports KOTA News. The new addition would be located on the west side of Rapid City in order to reduce police response times on calls and to accommodate the city’s population growth projected over the next 5-10 years.

Chief Jegeris discussed the need for a substation before the Rapid City Council on April 16. The council is currently reviewing the plan for the station and have placed it on hold until 2019. The projected opening date for a new station, if approved, will be in 2024.

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

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Rapid City Collective Impact is currently laying the groundwork for the operations of the OneHeart Campus, reports KOTA News. Stakeholders are considering how multiple care providers can collaborate to achieve the shared goal of assisting individuals in transitioning out of poverty and homelessness to independent living.

Project Manager Charity Doyle hopes that the OneHeart Campus will be able to partner with the Pennington County Community Restoration Center, which will be housed next to OneHeart. While the OneHeart Campus may offer a community health clinic, the Pennington County Community Restoration Center will be better able to manage crises situations, offering potential for crossover between the two entities depending on client needs.

To read more news from Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive. For more information on the OneHeart Campus, visit Rapid City Collective Impact’s website.

Published in News
Wednesday, 04 April 2018 14:36

Rapid City Settles Billboard Battle

The City of Rapid City settled its years-long lawsuit with Epic Outdoor Advertising concerning digital billboards, as reported by KOTA News. The two entities were at odds after the city passed an ordinance banning full animation and motion billboards after Epic already had been utilizing the new technology.

Under the settlement agreement, the current billboard ordinance will remain, but an amendment will be included to exempt existing billboards from requiring a conditional use permit. The agreement will also allow Epic to implement larger billboards along locations near I-90, but additional full motion billboards will no longer be permitted. Council members voting in favor of the settlement did so in part to save additional tax-dollars from being spent on further litigation.

To read more about the history of billboards in Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s issue hub page.

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On March 27, 2011, over 1,100 maintenance personnel launched four B-1 bombers out of Ellsworth during a blizzard to assist in Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya. The bombers’ launch marked the first occurrence the aircraft was ever launched from a continental U.S. location to support combat operations.

While just two B-1 bombers and their crews would continue strikes in Libya, the mission mandated extensive communication as well as assistance personnel working around the clock. Aviators in the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons had been briefed on the operation before they prepared the strike mission which would occur over 6,000 miles away from Ellsworth Air Force Base. Less than a day later, 125 munitions were built—enough to equip seven B-1s.

The B-1 Bombers arrived in Libya 12 hours following take-off. The mission that followed would be the deepest strike made during Operation Odyssey Dawn, with the aircraft occupying hostile airspace for over an hour. During the two-day strike, the bombers hit over 100 targets.

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In 2017, the Western South Dakota Juvenile Services Center handled 51 cases of minors using methamphetamine, reports KOTA News. The center serves Butte, Custer, Fall River, Lawrence and Harding Counties. 2017 marks a substantial increase from 34 cases handled in 2015.

Western South Dakota Juvenile Services Center partners with Regional West for short-term treatment programs. However, Butte County State’s Attorney Cassie Wendt noted a need for long-term programs in western South Dakota, as the only program currently available is in Yankton. The great distance makes it difficult to transport clients and impedes potential support from friends and family members of those seeking treatment.

For more information on children and youth, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Following the filing of a federal lawsuit which involved Pennington County’s adherence to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), there has been an increase in kinship placements of Native American Children in foster care. As reported by KOTA News, kinship placement is foster care with either relatives or other tribal members and is a key component of ICWA.

Prior to the lawsuit, only 9% of Native American children in state custody were placed in kinship care. By 2013, when the lawsuit was filed, 21% of children were placed in kinship care. The percentage of Native American children in Pennington County placed in kinship care has remained over 20% since the lawsuit’s filing, with a record 29% set in 2014.

While the lawsuit did not address kinship placement, both attorney Dana Hanna, representing the tribal parties, as well as Pennington County state’s attorney Mark Vargo agreed that the lawsuit address and improve upon the care received by Native American children in Pennington County.  

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

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Both the Hill City and Hot Springs School Districts are facing cuts in staff, reports KOTA News. This month, the Hill City School Board voted to eliminate several positions while the Hot Springs School Board voted to reduce two full-time counselor positions to half-time and eliminate a Spanish language teacher.

The Hot Springs School Board is aiming to gain back $400,000 through cutting the positions, but some staff believe the cuts are hurting students. Hill City is facing similar budgetary issues as the district is hundreds of thousands of dollars in deficit. The staff cuts have not yet been finalized in Hot Springs and affected staff are able to file recall rights. Additional meetings were scheduled to discuss staffing issues in Hill City.

To read more about education and training, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

Published in News
Wednesday, 14 March 2018 16:23

Rapid City Passes CEDAW Resolution

Rapid City recently became the first city in South Dakota to pass the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) resolution, as reported by KOTA News. Of the total 194 member states of the United Nations, 187 countries have signed the resolution. The United States is one of the seven countries that has not signed the resolution. Rapid City is one of 18 cities in the United States to pass CEDAW.

Citizen group Democracy in Action led the charge on getting the Rapid City Council’s approval of the resolution, which helps ensure the city examines proposed policy’s impact on women and children. The city council approved the resoltuion unanimously.

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

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In the month of February, Rapid City issued 166 building permits with a total valuation of $27,917,585, as reported by KOTA News. One of last month’s highest-valued permits included eight apartment buildings for Meadow Apartments on Moon Meadows Drive. The permit issued for the apartments was valued at approximately $22 million. Additional projects with high valuations included two homes valued over $300,000 as well as a grocery-pick-up addition at the LaCrosse Street Walmart.

For 2018 so far, Rapid City’s Building Services Division has issued 402 permits valued at a total of $125,483,613.

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

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The Journey Museum and Learning Center is hosting several presentations in March to commemorate Women’s History Month, reports KOTA News. The first presentation held was a play entitled Dakota Daughters and explored the accounts of several women’s recollection of the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Three women who played fictional characters characterized what life for women would have been like from 1865-1890 in the region. Women’s perspectives were largely unrecorded during this time period. The women starring in the play researched women’s accounts of Wounded Knee to help viewers see the event from a fresh perspective.

Learn about more events at the Journey Museum pertaining to Women’s History Month on their website. Learn about the Wounded Knee Massacre on the Black Hills Knowledge Network.

Published in News
Friday, 02 March 2018 16:03

Keystone Wye Bridges Go Under Inspection

The Keystone Wye Bridges on Highway 16 will soon receive an inspection by Stantec and Wood Research Development, reports KOTA News. The bridges will stay open during the inspection but lanes will be adjusted during daylight hours.

WRD will look for signs of decay using stress wave timing. The South Dakota Department of Transportation aims to prolong the service life of the bridges and must have a better understanding of their current conditions in order to do so.

For more information on Keystone, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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After conducting a five-month audit of energy usage at the City/School Administration Building in Rapid City, students from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology identified $10,000 worth of potential savings annually for the city. As reported by the Rapid City Journal, some of the recommendations made by the student team include updating the current lighting system to LED technology. The initial cost of updating the lighting would be $49,000 and would be recovered in three years’ time.

Additional recommendations included an excess of office equipment and use of space heaters and fans as a result of inefficient heating and cooling systems. Students conducted the energy audit at no cost to the city.

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

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On February 20th, 1892, the Western South Dakota Stock Growers Association held its first meeting in Rapid City at the Harney Hotel. Thirteen men attended the gathering, including the association’s first president and mayor of Rapid City, James M. Woods. The organization would go on to become the present-day South Dakota Stockgrower’s Association.

James M. Woods served as Rapid City’s seventh mayor and was in office from 1890-1894. Woods moved to the Rapid City area in 1883 and purchased tracts of land along Elk Creek. Shortly after moving into the region, he formed the Woods, White and Woods Cattle Company with his brother, W.S. Woods, who was the president of the National Bank of Commerce in Kansas City, Missouri. The company came to be valued at one million dollars and over 20,000 head of cattle by 1885.

Woods also had a passion for horses, and was instrumental in organizing the first horse roundup in 1887 at Brennan Station. By 1891, Woods had acquired a ranch in Rapid Valley along Rapid Creek. On April 26th of that year, the Black Hills Horse Breeders Association was organized and Woods was elected as its president.

Although Woods was instrumental in the formation of the Western South Dakota Stock Growers Association, he served as its president for just 70 days—from its inaugural meeting on February 20th 1892 to April 21, 1892.

A list of past presidents for the South Dakota Stockgrower’s Association can be found on the association’s website. Learn more about James M. Woods and other past mayors of Rapid City on the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s website.

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