Since 2006, bee colonies have been decreasing in number on a worldwide scale. Things may continue going from bad to worse, as experts predict more decreased numbers this year.

Bruce, South Dakota may only have 200 residents, but that doesn’t stop this community from gathering a lot of ‘buzz’ this time of year.  Workers at the Adee Honey Farms extract honey from honeycombs, filling barrels of honey each day.  This process continues until sometime in October.

Mock Dorm Burns In Minutes

Aug 30, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

September is Campus Fire Safety Month in South Dakota.   The idea is to raise awareness about the potential for fire in college dorms, Greek housing, and off campus apartments.

The Rapid City Fire Department held a demonstration at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to show students the danger of structure fire.

The department set up a steel trailer with side by side rooms.  Both rooms were filled furniture and then set on fire.

Tim Behlings is an Assistant Chief at the Rapid City Fire Department.   

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

One Sioux Falls official says residents have up to 10 weeks to watch paint dry as crews work to restore the inside and outside of a water tower. The Menlo water tower stands 159 feet tall in the central part of the city.

Splotches of rust seep through the light blue paint on a huge water tower in central Sioux Falls. Water superintendent Greg Anderson says rust spots dot the tower because the protective coating failed between the steel structure and the primer.

Banjo Babes

Aug 28, 2015

Banjo Babes is a grass roots collective of professional women banjo players organized by California banjo chanteuse Erin Inglish.  The Banjo Babes release a calendar and album every year to celebrate the music of the women who play the instrument.  The Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City hosted Banjo Babes Erin Inglish and Jami Lynn along with Mary Temple in February in the Bruce H. Lien Cultural Cafe.

Lloyd Metzger, Associate Professor in Dairy Science at SDSU and Director of Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center, is knowledgeable on cheese manufacturing and often serves as a consultant for food manufacturers.  We discuss proteins found in dairy and the desire of consumers for protein fortified products and the technology used to produce dairy based protein concentrates and isolates. 

Lori Oster, Program Coordinator for the Better Choices Better Health Program and Megan Olesen, Program Associate for the Better Choices Better Health Program.  Better Choices Better Health is a chronic disease self-management program developed at Stanford University in the 1990’s. 

Dr. Thayne Munce, Associate Director of the Sanford Sports Science Institute, discuss opening football season and what he’s adding to his football concussion study using youth football teams in Sioux Falls.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Law enforcement in three states want people to know they won’t tolerate drunk driving. Officials in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota are encouraging people to plan for a safe ride, be the sober driver for others and call authorities if they see dangerous driving. They say they’re collaborating ahead of the Labor Day holiday. Part of their effort to reach people includes a family’s pain.

Officials say, in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa, 1,215 people have died in drunk driving-related crashes in the last five years. One of those was Brad Bigler’s five-month-old baby.

Gary Ellenbolt / SDPB

Friday night, the lights will go on at high school football fields across South Dakota.  Teams in the state’s seven classes begin play with an eye toward state championships in mid-November.  But this season, and in 2016, the lights won’t go on in a southeast South Dakota town that once was a football powerhouse.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Area leaders say technology is rapidly changing the way they do business. People from different industries met in Sioux Falls Thursday to discuss technology and South Dakota’s economy. The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce worked together for the free event.

Northwest Area Foundation Leader Speaks in Rapid City

Aug 27, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

The president and CEO of the Northwest Area Foundation says the demographic changes underway in this country make him optimistic about the future.   

But Kevin Walker says more needs to be done to create opportunities for poor and marginalized people in this economy if the United States is going to compete globally.

The Northwest Area Foundation is a $400-million dollar philanthropic organization that was started about 80 years ago.  It invests in projects across eight northwestern states and 75 indigenous nations.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

The U.S. Geological Survey and NASA are celebrating 25 years of partnership at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center near Sioux Falls. In August 1990, the USGS and NASA jointly established the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center at EROS to collect and disseminate critical land sensing information.

Two years ago NASA launched the Earth-observing satellite Landsat 8 which collects images archived at EROS. The images help document drought, deforestation, trends in seasonal vegetation, the impact of natural disasters and more.

South Dakota schools have a waiver from No Child Left Behind but it lasts for just one year, and federal officials have put the state on high risk status.

South Dakota’s first waiver from NCLB lasted for three years. The latest exemption applies for only one year – and it’s happening because of teacher evaluations.

Some people who’ve already owned homes may qualify for a new program that helps people buy houses. The South Dakota Housing Development Authority often helps first-time homebuyers. Now a repeat homebuyer loan program offers assistance with down payments and closing costs.

Financial assistance is now available for people who want to buy a house – again. Mark Lauseng leads the South Dakota Housing Development Authority. He says some people don’t meet the requirements for first-time homebuyers but need options.

South Dakota Railroad Museum

Railroads played a crucial role in the development of the state. They provided safe and reliable transportation connecting the frontier to the rest of the nation. While it’s been about a century since their peak, railroads are still vital in supporting the state’s agriculture-dominated economy.

Hugh Glass was a member of a fur trading party in the summer of 1823 when he was attacked by a grizzly bear along the shores of the Grand River, south of present day Lemmon. He was badly wounded and abandoned by two members of the expedition left to look after him. Alone with a broken leg and open wounds, Glass crawled some 200 miles to Fort Kiowa.

Denise Ross, editor of the Black Hills Knowledge Network and South Dakota Dashboard, and Roger Whittle, managing editor of the Watertown Public Opinion, joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed protests over Governor Dennis Daugaard's planned changes for Hilger's Gulch on the capitol grounds; out-of-date information on the state's official network; the state congressional delegation's travels in South Dakota during recess; and possible Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in 2016.

Payday Loan Interest Rate Cap Petitions Now Circulating

Aug 26, 2015

There are two petitions in South Dakota that aim to cap the amount of interest that payday lenders can charge. According to one study payday lenders charge average rates of 574 percent  in South Dakota.    But, proponents of a 36 percent cap, call a second interest rate campaign a fake that aims to confuse voters.

Black Hills Lion Shot In Bluegrass State

Aug 25, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

The state of Kentucky is about 1200 miles from the Black Hills but that might not be too far for a mountain lion to roam.   A Black Hills mountain lion turned up in the Bluegrass State recently.

The 5 year old male was treed by a dog near the town of Paris, Kentucky and local officials shot the animal citing public safety concerns.  Later genetic testing showed the big cat is related to the Black Hills population.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

One of South Dakota’s US Senators says Congress is more dysfunctional than he realized. Mike Rounds started his term in January; he spent part of his time back in South Dakota Tuesday talking to members of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. Rounds says lawmakers must take pointed steps to make federal systems more efficient. 

United States Senator Mike Rounds has been talking about a broken Washington since he started his campaign for Congress. Less than one year since he took the oath, Rounds says the system is worse than he suspected. He says lawmaking is slow by design.

University of South Dakota

75 years ago this summer, the Baltic States became a part of the Soviet Union following an invasion and rigged elections. In 1990 and 91, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania regained their independence and subsequently became the only ex-Soviet states to join NATO and the European Union.

U.S. Air Force

When he was around ten years old, Faith-native Scott Petz saw the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at Ellsworth Air Force Base. He remembers watching the pride, precision and professionalism of the Air Show and made it his goal to be part of the demonstration squadron. 25 years later, Major Scott Petz was back at Ellsworth earlier this month as a member of the Thunderbirds. He flies the No. 8 jet as the advance pilot/narrator for the squadron. 

SDSU Extension

Dr. David Graper is professor of horticulture at South Dakota State University in Brookings. He’s also the SDSU Extension interim Coordinator of the South Dakota Master Gardener Program and former director of McCrory Gardens and the South Dakota Arboretum. He joined Dakota Midday and answered listener questions about ridding crabgrass from lawns; transplanting peonies; plum trees; and planting new bulb gardens.

The Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls has two new black bears. After repeatedly raiding camp sites at the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, park officials decided it was time the bears find a new home.

President of the Great Plain Zoo Elizabeth Whealy says the zoo acted fast to bring two troublemaker bears to Sioux Falls. The bear and her cub had been reported 17 times in the past three years snooping around picnic areas and campsites looking for food.  Whealy says park officials were eager to relocate the bears.

Chynna Lockett

South Dakota is a state that’s known for rodeos. The annual Range Days Rodeo at the Central States Fair had competitions for riders young to old.

Children between the ages of 3 to 6 joined in the State Championship Mutton Bustin’ competition in which they rode a sheep-bareback-for as long as they could. The finalists performed in front of the crowd at Range Days.  

Chynna Lockett

Many schools are back in session this week in South Dakota. The Rapid City Arts Council and Rapid City Public Library joined a group called Seventh Direction to help students kick off the year with A Block Party.

The event included live music and spray painting activities. Organizers also gave free school supplies to children.

Children spray painted posters and watched as local musicians performed in Rapid City’s College Park on Sunday afternoon. Tyler Read is the Arts Engagement Coordinator for the Rapid City Arts Council.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Tickets Sell Out In Minutes

Aug 24, 2015

If you were able to land a ticket to see Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson in Rapid City on October 1st you may be the envy of many.

Dr. Tyson is Director of the Hayden Planetarium and a well-known astrophysicist and science communicator.

His lecture is scheduled to take place at the Rapid City Civic Center Theater which has about 1650 seats.   

Tickets went on sale at 10:00 am on Monday and sold out in minutes.

The John T Vucurevich Foundation is hosting the event.  Carmen Hansen is an organizer.  She says she’s pleased at the public response and enthusiasm.

Zebra Mussels Invade Lewis And Clark Lake

Aug 24, 2015
Sam Stukel, GFP Fisheries Biologist
Sam Stukel, GFP Fisheries Biologist

The invasive species of zebra mussels have been found in Lewis and Clark Lake. The Game Fish and Parks found mussels attached to boats on the Yankton reservoir.

Zebra mussels are small shell species that cause huge problems. Jeff VanMeeteren is the regional park supervisor for the southeastern part of the state. He says the  hard mussels can cause damage to any hard surface in the water.

Local Oncologists Use New Cancer Therapies

Aug 24, 2015

Doctors in South Dakota are using recently-approved drugs to help patients fight cancer. Former President Jimmy Carter’s melanoma diagnosis highlights treatment that includes both radiation and IV immune therapy. Similar treatments may work for cancer patients in South Dakota.

Melanoma is one type of skin cancer. Doctor Marcus Frohm says about 75,000 people will get melanoma this year, and traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation may be necessary.

Two South Dakota women are Congressional Gold Medal recipients for their work during World War Two. The official ceremony in Washington, D.C. in December awarded the medals. Monday afternoon Governor Dennis Daugaard hosts a ceremony honoring the women. 

The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the highest honors for civilians. South Dakotans Lois Schmidt and Pauline Hanson Brehe are recipients.

Civil Air Patrol Major Todd Epp says American leaders are acknowledging their service. He says Brehe and Schmidt were part of the original South Dakota Civil Air Patrol.