Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently awarded Pennington County with a grant to assist in criminal justice reform and to reduce the county’s jail population, reports the Rapid City Journal. The 1.75 million award is part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, a $100 million national initiative to reduce incarceration rates by changing the way Americans perceive jail usage.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and Seventh Circuit Court have developed a plan to implement local justice reform in order to reduce the daily jail population by 20-24 percent over two years.

To learn more about public safety issues in the Black Hills, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The Rapid City Council has voted to keep funding going for two nonprofits listed by Mayor Allender for possible cuts, but others are still moving forward. According to the Rapid City Journal, the Journey Museum and Allied Arts Fund were removed from the list of targeted nonprofits. Unfortunately, the council approved budget cuts to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program as well as the Human Services Community Investments Fund. View the budget agenda here.

To read up on past and current news on the government of Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network online news archive.

For more information on the government and citizenship of the area, be sure to check out the Black Hills Knowledge Network Community Profiles.

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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.

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On July 25, 1974 Storybook Island officially reopened following the devastation of the 1972 flood. Symbolic keys were presented to Girls and Boys Club representatives at the dedication of the rehabilitated park.

Just two or three of 30 original playsets were saved from the original park, including the 1911 coal-burning steam locomotive, dubbed “The Happy Train.” Several items were swept away with the flood waters, including Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage, which landed near Baken Park. The “Three Men in a Tub” rode through the storm, landing ashore several miles from their original location. “Snow White and her Seven Dwarves” were split up in the storm, and four dwarves were never recovered.

Although losses were substantial, the Rotary Club and Rapid City community rallied together to save the children’s park. Vince Baumgartner, then the president of the Rotary Club led the park’s recovery efforts. Ahead of rebuilding the park, the current 13-acre site was selected for its proximity to Canyon Lake Drive. The new site was rebuilt through Office of Emergency Preparedness funds alongside matched funds raised by the community.  

Read more about the history of Storybook Island on the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s digital archives.

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The United Way of the Black Hills has distributed over 4,300 books to children in the Black Hills, reports KOTA News. The books are being donated through a program called Imagination Library, which was established by country singer Dolly Parton.

Children must be under the age of five in order to receive books through the program and can be signed up on the Imagination Library website.

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

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The Rapid City Club for Boys has developed a partnership with the SD Department of Corrections to hire several inmates to work in the club’s thrift store, reports KOTA News. The inmates earn 25 cents per hour and some work as many as 40 hours per week in the store.

While the inmates come from all over South Dakota, many are from the Black Hills region. They perform a variety of tasks in the thrift store. Club for Boys Executive Director Doug Herrmann indicated that the work of the inmates has helped reduce the number of items accumulating in the thrift store’s storage area.

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

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The Black Hills Community Bank recently donated $1,000 to Rapid City Collective Impact in order to help the initiative address food insecurity in the region, reports KOTA News. The funds were used to create promotional flyers that include information about summer food distribution sites and their respective meal times.

The flyers mark the first time that the summer food programs have conducted extensive marketing to increase participation, according to Feeding South Dakota Food Security Manager Mary Corbine.

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

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The Black Hills Area Community Foundation recently awarded $103,000 across 26 area nonprofits, according to KOTA News. The awards will support efforts to promote art, the environment, education and more in the region.

Some of the award winners in the region included Rural America Initiatives, the Rapid City YMCA, the Hope Center, Northern Hills Family Recreation Center, Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Front Porch Coalition. View the full list of award winners here.

Learn more about non-profits in the Black Hills Region at the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The John T. Vucurevich Foundation granted the Rural America Initiatives $1 million towards their new head start facility reports the Rapid City Journal.  The grant brings them within $2 million of the projected $6.9 million needed for the project.  Other funds will come from the Rapid City Vision Fund, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Minnesota, and other business and individual donors.  

Currently young students utilize modular structures that are spread among various locations in North Rapid and the Sioux San Hospital.  The new site has yet to be revealed according to the Rapid City Journal, but will concentrate all of the resources to one location.  The Head Start and Early Head Start programs have an enrollment of 130 students.  The program works exclusively with Native American students.

For more information about Rural America Initiatives, you can visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network online archives.  You can learn more about the Rapid City Vision Fund by visiting the Black Hills Knowledge Network issue hub.

Published in News
Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:22

Rapid City Library Adds Grant Support

Rapid City Public Library will now offer assistance to people and organizations seeking grants. The Rapid City Journal reports that the library has added the Foundation Center to its available databases. Additionally, Library Associate Carrie Bond will provide assistance on researching available grants and funding opportunities, but will not assist in writing grant proposals. According to a KOTA interview, Ms. Bond has received five requests in the first week of the program.

The database is paid for by a grant from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation and is only available inside the library. Stories concerning the Rapid City Public Library are linked in the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive.

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The Hope Center and Cornerstone Rescue Mission saw increased donations during the holiday season and continue to receive donations reports KOTA TV.  These shelters are used by more than 100 people each day.  Citizens' generosity helps these shelters to meet needs by indivudals.

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender says that the City of Rapid City is looking into options to help those in need find affordable homes.  He says that being homeless is very dangerous in Rapid City because of winter weather conditions.

For more information about charities, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network online news archive.  

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The Humane Society of the Black Hills is currently housing 270 animals, its largest number in five years, reports the Rapid City Journal.

After sheriff's deputies received an anonymous call about neglected animals at a house in Creighton, SD, 75 animals were removed and relocated to the Humane Society on Tuesday.  By early afternoon on Wednesday, the Humane Society has received over $10,000 in donations, as well as food, blankets and towels to help with the influx.  Criminal charges are pending for the owner of the animals, and they will be at the shelter until the court case is resolved.

For more information on animals in the Black Hills, please visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archive.

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Rapid City nonprofit organizations have released their holiday wishlists, which can be found in this Rapid City Journal article. Included in the article is a lists of nonprofit organizations along with a description of the services they provide, a list of any items needed, and contact information for those who wish to donate. Requests are varied, including monetary donations, hygenic products, furniture, computers, vehicles, and more.

Click here to discover a comprehensive list of nonprofit organizations in Rapid City.

For more information on nonprofit organizations, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archives.

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The Rapid City Journal reports the Rapid City Council approved 6 grant requests.  Four were accepted through the regular process for the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and two were based on funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The following projects were approved:

  • $100,000 to Youth & Family Services for a drainage project
  • $44,138 to Behavior Management System for personnel
  • $28,514 to Pennington County Health & Human Services to help intensive care management participants
  • $5,000 to Lutheran Social Service Arise Youth Center to provide 5 hours per week of additional case management
  • $38,765 to the Cornerstone Rescue Mission to complete a basement bathroom remodel due to ADA compliance
  • $25,209 to the Canyon Lake Senior Center to replace insulation to prevent mold and mildew growth

For more information about grants, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archives.  

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Local agencies and the Summer Food Service Program are providing free meals for children and some adults during the summer, reports the Rapid City Journal.

For many children in the area, these are the only meals they get over the summer months.  Local agencies involved include the Rapid City Area Schools (RCAS), Youth and Family Services (YFS), the YMCA and Feeding South Dakota.  RCAS have been providing breakfasts and lunches for the past 5 years, last summer they provided over 30,000 summer meals.   YFS provided over 32,000 nutritious, but also kid-friendly summer meals last year.  The YMCA offers breakfast and lunches to kids up to 18 years old, and provided 25,000 meals last summer.   To help during the weekends, Feeding South Dakota runs the Back Pack Program, which uses money from grants and private donations to provide 700 backpacks stocked with food for the 12 summer weekends.

For more information on poverty and assistance in Rapid City, please visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archive.

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A new community-wide initiative is taking on a new grassroots approach to bring about social changes to Rapid City at a faster rate. According the Rapid City Journal article, the new group, called the Rapid City Collective Impact Group, is a collection of local philanthropists, civic, nonprofit, and church leaders who will be working to improve the lives of citizens in town. After gathering eight months of research from various community organizations, the group is looking to bring about social change to the city at a more rapid pace than if the groups were doing it seperately. 

Click on this archives link for past news articles related to nonprofit groups in Rapid City.

For more information on nonprofits in the city, check out this Knowledge Network resource page.

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Ground was broken May 17, 2016, on a new housing development in North Rapid City by Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity and a private contractor.

According to the KOTA report, the old Garfield School building will be converted into a 12-unit apartment complex while the area around it will have eight modular homes installed. The development, called "Garfield Green," will feature affordable housing units for single families and include work to repair some surrounding homes to help older residents remain in their homes.

The project will help address what the Rapid City mayor describes as "an affordable housing crisis," reports KELO-TV

The Garfield Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative was laid out in the Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity's spring 2015 newsletter. The initiative also will include a neighborhood survey to determine what area residents would like to see, reports KEVN-TV.

Click on this archives link for past news articles related to affordable housing in Rapid City.

For more information on housing development and planning, check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network resource page.

This video, from Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity, shows the vision for the project: 


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Non-profit organizations that work to help the disadvantaged in the Black Hills will get together at the annual Community Partners Meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 21, at the Journey Museum. 

The event is being organized by Community Services Connection, a coalition of Black Hills non-profit groups. The event will include the release of the HelpLine Center's 2015 Community Trends Report and an overview of the collective impact initiative underway in Rapid City. 

Read the full press release below: 

Community Partners Meeting brings non-profits together 

RAPID CITY – Parenting classes. Substance abuse counseling. Food pantries. Volunteer opportunities. Social service providers and non-profit groups in the Black Hills offer thousands of programs to help people in need in the community, but it’s not easy to keep up with what’s available.

That’s the idea behind the Annual Community Partners Meeting, an event that brings local groups together to share information about the programs and services they provide. The meeting is organized by Community Services Connection, a coalition of local non-profit groups.

About 50 local organizations are expected to participate in this year’s meeting on Thursday, April 21, at The Journey Museum. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. with the presentation beginning at 9 a.m.

“Community Services Connection is an invaluable resource for our community, serving as a hub for human service providers across the Black Hills,” said Leacey Brown, co-chair of Community Services Connection. “The Annual Partners meeting is a great opportunity to showcase the good work being done in our community.”

During the program, Albert Linderman will give an overview of the Collective Impact Initiative now underway in Rapid City.  The initiative brings together nonprofits, government, businesses, faith communities, philanthropists and local citizens to address complex social issues such as homelessness and poverty in order to bring about lasting social change in the community.

Linderman, a cultural anthropologist and consultant from Minnesota, has been hired to oversee the initiative.

In addition, Helpline Center will present its 2015 Community Trends Report, a compilation of calls to 211 from the six Black Hills counties in 2015. Helpline Center answers the free 24/7 “211” information line, which provides referrals to non-profit organizations and government agencies. Helpline also operates the  Volunteer Connections program.

Last year, Black Hills residents made 11,660 contacts with Helpline Center by calling or searching the online resource database.

The public is welcome to attend Thursday’s Community Partners meeting. There is no charge.


Published in News

Longtime Native American newspaper publisher Tim Giago has formed a nonprofit corporation with the hopes of raising the more than $3 million needed to purchase 40 acres of land at the hitsoric Wounded Knee site on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, reports the Rapid City Journal

Giago's nonprofit, the National Historic Site of Wounded Knee Inc., would buy the land on behalf of the state's nine Indian tribes with the vision that it be run as a cultural site commemorating the 1890 massacre of about 300 Lakota at Wounded Knee along with other tragic killings of Native Americans in American history, reports Giago's paper, Native Sun News. In addition, Giago envisions an artists pavilion where indigenous artists could create and sell their work. 

Giago has personal ties to the Wounded Knee site, as his father worked in the trading post throughout his childhood and until 1973 when American Indian Movement activists took over a small group of buildings, which burned during the occupation. Giago remembers hearing elders talking about their memories of the 1890 massacre and its aftermath. 

Read more about Wounded Knee on the Black Hills Knowledge Network


Published in News
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 00:00

Rapid City Mayor Encourages Winterized Statues

Winter clothes will be returning to the president statues in downtown Rapid City. Groups have often adorned the statues with hats, gloves, and scarves during winter, making them available to people in need. However, last week the city attorney had the items removed, citing a 2013 policy prohibiting decorating the statues. The Rapid City Journal shared Mayor Allender's announcement where he partially reversed the policy. Winter weather gear will be permitted from November 15 to March 15, although any other advertising or adornment is still prohibited.

The president statues have been a feature of downtown since the first statues were installed in 2000.

More stories about Rapid City's mayors can be found in the archive.

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