Dakota Digest

7:30 AM and 5:30 PM Central

SDPB's award winning News Staff delivers an expanded Dakota Digest feature report each weekday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered.  It's a chance to hear more about South Dakotas news makers, issues, and events.

Click here for the archives prior to Sept. 2012. Current archives are available by scrolling down.

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Developing
11:42 am
Tue August 19, 2014

South Dakota Photographers Reflect on Their Craft

The first photograph ever taken.
Credit Joseph Nicephore Niepce

2014 brings the 175th anniversary of photography, being celebrated with “A Day in South Dakota”.  It’s an opportunity for people to take photos of what living in the state means to them, and send them along as a video archive of the day.  Collecting memories and recording history have obviously moved along as technology has improved photos and made them simple enough to take.  

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Business - Lakota - Credit
2:38 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Lakota Federal Credit Union Calls For More Members

Members line-up to make transactions at the Lakota Federal Credit Union.
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

A financial institution on the Pine Ridge Reservation is giving Lakota tribal members the opportunity to conduct banking transactions within close proximity to their homes for the first time in history. The Lakota Federal Credit Union also allows tribal members to not only save money, but to invest in fellow tribal members.

But you can’t save or invest unless you open an account and make deposits.

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Kids and Family
2:06 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Replacing Aging Pools

Swimmers enjoy the Vermillion City Pool during the final days of summer. Vermillion is seeking to replace their 50-year-old pool as a part of a park renovation.
Credit Heidi Kronaizl

  Diving into a pool is a great way to cool off on a hot and humid summer day. While many towns across the state have aging pools, the process of getting new pools and upkeep isn’t so easy on a small town budget.

The sound may never get old of summer time at the pool. But pools get old. The Vermillion City Pool is almost 50. Because that’s the expected lifespan of any pool, the city is looking to build a new one. Jim Goblirsch is the Director of the Vermillion City Parks and Recreation. He says the current pool has 2-inch wide cracks and leaks about 12,000 gallons of water a day.

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Business - Custer - Burgers
6:22 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Black Hills Burger & Bun Named Best

Black Hills Burger and Bun's "Classic Burger" with cheddar cheese.
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

A restaurant in the Black Hills town of Custer has been named the best place in America to buy burgers by the travel website Trip Advisor. In a country where 40 billion burgers are consumed annually, that’s quite a moniker to live up to. Today we visit “Black Hills Burger and Bun” to find out what patrons think of the eatery’s new status and to do a little taste-testing himself.

Like the greater majority of people in America, I love a good burger. And though I eat a good many of them from my own kitchen…..

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Sports
9:48 am
Wed August 6, 2014

The Music of Baseball

Left Field at The Birdcage, the home of the Sioux Falls Canaries, Sioux Falls, SD
Credit Gary Ellenbolt

Kids who love baseball are known to pick a favorite player and emulate his batting style. Maybe they'll hitch up their pants before they go to the plate--or hold the bat high off the shoulder with the front foot behind the back foot. In the past few years, kids have copied another part of the at-bat; the walk-up song that plays when a player comes to the plate or to the mound to enter the game.  

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News
9:05 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Prairie Dog Plague Vaccine Aims To Save Ferrets

@CharlesSDPB

In South Dakota prairie dogs have the plague.

The disease can kill off whole colonies and it hurts the effort to restore endangered species like the Black Footed Ferret.  

In order to preserve prairie dogs and ferrets in certain areas a new vaccine is being developed.  Researchers are now testing the vaccine in the field at Wind Cave National Park.

 

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Arts - Square - Native
3:39 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Native Artists Gather At Main Street Square

Pura’ Fe and Jennifer Kreisberg of “Ulali” perform during “A Gathering of People, Wind and Water”.
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

Rapid City’s Main Street Square celebrated the second annual “Gathering of People, Wind and Water”. The Native American art market and cultural celebration is designed to use the Passage of Wind and Water sculpture project as an inspiration for cross-cultural awareness and appreciation.

One of Masayuki Nagase’s goals in creating the “Passage of Wind and Water” sculpture in the heart of Rapid City is to offer an environment where people of all races and cultures can gather to share their stories.

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Arts - Main St Square - Sculptor
2:31 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Sculptor Returns To Main Street Square

Masayuki Nagase has returned to Rapid City's Main Street Square to continue work on his sculpture "Passage of Wind and Water:"
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

The country’s largest privately-funded public art project - “Passage of Wind and Water” - has resumed at Rapid City’s Main Street Square. We  spent some time with the artist to discuss his plans for the second year of work on a sculpture that’s scheduled for completion in 2017.

It’s a lot cooler in Rapid City than its been and it’s a perfect day for the gathering planned to welcome back Masayuki Nagase for his second year of work on the “Passage of Wind and Water” sculpture project.

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Culture - Spearfish - Cowboy
1:28 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Spearfish Museum Celebrates National Cowboy Day

Branding cattle on the Great Western Cattle Trail.
Credit Courtesy High Plains Western Heritage Center

As citizens across the country celebrate our nation’s independence tomorrow, the High Plains Western Heritage Center is also putting time aside to recognize the American Cowboy. We visited the Spearfish museum to learn what it was like to raise cattle for a living and to discuss efforts by a 9-state coalition to mark the historic trail that brought cattle north from Texas to South Dakota and beyond.

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Arts - Sculpture - Theater
12:53 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Theater Production Celebrates Sculpture Project

Graham Thatcher, Emily Weber and Michael Lytle (l to r) reading "A Passage of Wind and Water: The Badlands" - by Christine Stewart with the Rapid City Community.
Credit Photo by Joleen Zoller

The “Passage of Wind and Water” sculpture project at Rapid City’s Main Street Square is having an impact on diverse sections of the Black Hills community – from local students to area and regional artists. We visited the Rapid City Performing Arts Center recently for a cross-artistic theater presentation featuring modern dance, film, poetry, and music inspired by the largest privately-funded art project in the country.

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Politics - Obama - Reservation
5:36 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Tribal Members Comment On Presidential Visit

Monument to the oral history of the Standing Rock located near the tribe's administrative offices.
Credit Courtesy Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Following up on a promise made last Fall to tribal leaders from across the country, President Barack Obama is on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota today. And though a presidential visit is a big event in any part of the country, feelings on this Native American land that stretches across 2 states is being met with mixed feelings.

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Science - Guinness - Reptiles
5:17 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Reptile Gardens Makes Guiness Book

There's more to the Reptile Gardens than creepy, crawly things - such as this camera-shy but very vocal parrot in the botanic gardens
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

As South Dakota marks 125 years of statehood, SDPB is featuring stories that rediscover our identity and heritage through the people, places, and ideas that make this state unique. Although most people across the country might consider us as “Small Town, U.S.A.”, many of our “places” are world-class. Today we visit a Black Hills institution that just made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest in its class.

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Business - Lakota - Coffee
11:50 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Hoka Coffee Creates Rez Brew

Hoka! Coffee - on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Credit Courtesy Hoka! Coffee

The Lakota are known for their strong cultural beliefs and traditions, their respect for all creatures – especially the buffalo, their sense of humor and their love of gatherings – large and small – that revolve around food. Always present at these gatherings – regardless of the season, is coffee.

Today we visit with a young woman on the Pine Ridge Reservation who decided to honor her own love of the coffea shrub – and that of the Lakota people – by establishing her own coffee company.

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Health - Reservation - Dogs
12:10 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Non-Profit Provides Vet Services For Rez Dogs

Veterinarian Erica Monaco performs neuter procedure on "Bull" during Lakota Animal Health Care Project spay & neuter clinic.
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

 A non-profit organization on the Pine Ridge Reservation was founded with two primary goals in mind: care for the animals on the home lands of the Oglala Lakota, especially dogs…and reduce the population of “man’s best friend” that wander through the reservation’s villages.

Today we visit with a group of women who are doing their best to achieve both those goals – one “sunka” dog at a time.

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Environment - Badlands - Bison
10:31 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Managing Bison In The Badlands South Unit

The Oglala Sioux Tribe's;proposed reintroduction of bison to Badlands National Park's South Unit is causing concern among many .
Credit Courtesy Badlands National Park

Transfer of Badlands National Park’s South Unit management to the Oglala Sioux Tribe has been an ongoing process since 2006. Plans for a series of public meetings on bison management in that area, and the sudden cancelation of those meetings, has raised red flags among tribal members as well as the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. Their joint concerns center on the intentions of the National Park Service and the Oglala Sioux tribe toward landowners and those who lease land near the South Unit.

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Business - Hot Springs - Plunge
1:45 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Evans Plunge Re-Opens Under City Ownership

"The Plunge" after its re-opening under ownership of the City of Hot Springs.
Credit Courtesy City of Hot Springs

The Evans Plunge has been an important part of the small southern Black Hills town of Hot Springs for more than a century. Its warm waters have helped soothe those with physical ailments as well as provide a place for recreational activities to visitors and local residents alike. 

We visited “The Plunge” after its recent Grand Re-Opening to talk to community members about their views on the popular water spot’s new owners: the city of Hot Springs.

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Science - Mammoth - Expansion
1:46 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Mammoth Site Plans Expansion

More than 100,000 people visit The Mammoth Site each year.
Credit Courtesy of The Mammoth Site

The Mammoth Site is one of the premiere tourist attractions in Hot Springs, bringing in some 100,000 visitors each year. These numbers have more than outgrown the facilities available for those who flock to Southwestern South Dakota from around the world to learn about the state’s ancient history.

Plans are underway to construct a 5000-square foot facility to provide more educational space for paleontology enthusiasts and, hopefully, more tourism income to the Hot Springs community.

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News
8:42 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Grasshopper Numbers To Remain Low In 2014

This Two Stripped Grasshopper is considered to be among the more troubling species in South Dakota. It favors to eat crops rather than grass. Officials with SDSU State Extension say the state is home to some 70 species of grasshoppers.
Credit USDA-APHIS

Following the all the fires and floods in recent years you might think a plague of locusts is next.

But farmers and gardeners can take some hope this  summer.   State experts are predicting lower numbers of grasshoppers than normal for 2014.

 Experts who track grasshopper numbers say the population has taken a rollercoaster ride in recent years.

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Arts - Music - Severinsen
5:56 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Swinging With Doc Severinsen

Doc Severinsen performing at Rapid City's Civic Center Theater.
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

For the millions of viewers who watched The Tonight Show from the 1960s into the 1990s, the name “Doc Severinsen” was synonymous with that of Johnny Carson.

We caught up with the legendary trumpeter during his recent Rapid City concert to talk about the old days and the new – and what keeps the 86-year old musician going.

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News - Williams - Mines
1:22 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Jody Williams On Land Mines And The 1st Amendment

Jody Williams - 1997 Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
Credit Courtesy Nobel Women's Initiative

There are 6 living female recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. One of them, Jody Williams, is from the United States. 

We spent some time with Ms. Williams during her recent visit to the Pine Ridge Reservation to talk about the causes the Vermont native has spent a good portion of her life fighting for: peace, human rights and women’s rights.

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Politics
12:39 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Gov. Dennis Daugaard Seeks Second Term

Lt. Gov. Matt Michaels and Gov. Dennis Daugaard kick of re-election campaign in Sioux Falls.
Credit Cara Hetland

Governor Dennis Daugaard is asking voters for another four year term in office.  He kicked off his re-election campaign in Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Pierre. Daugaard credits his conservative values for successes over the last four years in office.

Dennis Daugaard says while he has led the state through some dark days with a Missouri River Flood, and a $127 Million structural deficit. There are brighter days ahead because of making tough choices.

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Health - Badlands - Virtual
1:00 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

iHike Program Allows Virtual Badlands Treks

Web Ranger iHike program showing SDPB journalist Jim Kent's progress on a virtual hike through Badlands National Park.
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

Badlands National Park has announced the introduction of its virtual Web Ranger iHike. The computer program challenges people of all ages to get outdoors, get active, and get moving by matching actual distances walked or hiked with equivalent virtual distances on Badlands Park trails.

I spent some time at the Badlands learning about the program and going for a short hike with a park ranger. Then I tried it on my own in the Southern Hills – with some canine support.

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Culture - Lakota - Memorial
10:51 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Anniversary Of "Warriors' " Deaths

Poster for Memorial Dinner shows Lyle Eagle Tail and Madison Wallace
Credit Courtesy Wallace family

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the deaths of Madison Wallace and Lyle Eagle Tail. The Lakota man and the non-Native teen drowned in Sioux Falls as they attempted to save Madison’s younger brother from the Big Sioux River’s churning waters.

Native Americans in the community are holding a memorial dinner tonight to remember Wallace and Eagle Tail and to honor all those who helped in attempting to save and then recover them.

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Science - Deadwood - Remains
2:50 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Discovering The Past Through Dental Fillings

Mandible and cranium remnants of human remains found in Deadwood having a panoramic x-ray taken.
Credit Courtesy Deadwood City Archives

As we move further into the second decade of the new millennium, advances in science, technology and medicine seem to occur almost every day. But for as much as we move forward toward the next “great new world”, shadows of our past continue to arise reminding us of our “roots”. 

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Education - Sculpture - Cuccicula
1:45 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

New Curricula Explores Sculpture Project

Gabrielle Seeley (center) discussing the Passage of Wind and Water curricula at the Teachers Learning Circle
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

  An innovative curricula has been developed to bring Rapid City’s Main Street Square Sculpture project to local schools. The sculpture, called The Passage of Wind and Water, is an interpretation of the topography, wildlife and diverse cultures of the Black Hills and the Badlands.

Created by an award-winning teacher, the program is being taught to local educators through a Teachers Learning Circle over a 3-month period.

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Science - Deadwood - Remains
12:16 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Investigating Deadwood's Century-Old Human Remains

Photo of Deadwood's first cemetery - where unidentified human remains have been found.
Credit Courtesy Deadwood City Archives

The town of Deadwood has developed a reputation in many areas over the years. It’s the place you go to find gambling in the Black Hills. It’s the place to go to find historical reenactments of the Old West. Many say it’s also the place to go to find the spirits of the dead. But it hasn’t been known as the place to go to find a skeleton in your backyard…until now. 

Today we visit the stomping grounds of Wild Bill Hickok and finds the remains of a former resident who – at the moment - has no name. 

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Culture
5:50 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Keeping the Mine Clean

SDPB's Cara Hetland with Robin Varland at the 4850 foot level of the Sanford Underground Lab at Homestake
Credit SDPB

Gold mines are dusty dirty places; full of mud, seeping water and grime.  It’s a different place if that mine is turned into a world-class underground science lab. Stepping off the lift and into the Sanford Underground lab at Homestake is like stepping into a hospital operating room only cleaner.  The walls here are vacuumed regularly and even grated stairs are meticulously scrubbed with alcohol wipes by hand.  Here we’ll introduce you to the woman whose job it is to keep the lab clean and the experiments dust free.

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Science
12:36 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Arctic Ice Loss And The Loopy Jet Stream

Fog covered peaks in the Brooks Range of Northern Alaska. Northern latitudes are warming faster than other parts of the hemisphere.

If you think the weather has gone crazy in recent years some scientists say you can blame the melting of the polar ice cap.

New research ties together the massive summer ice loss over the North Pole with a weakening of the jet stream leading to changes in the weather in mid latitudes.

Take for example the record flooding in 2011, the drought of 2012, and again floods in some areas around the country in 2013. 

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray spoke with a lead researcher of the study and with a regional climatologist to ask if this pattern of extreme weather will continue.

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News
12:01 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Could Change S.D. Implied Consent Protocols

The South Dakota Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments challenging the state’s blood-draw protocols in DUI arrests. In April the United States Supreme Court ruled that officers have to get a search warrant before drawing blood when a traffic stop is routine. But the state says drivers consent to a warrantless search when they get a drivers license. SDPB’s Victoria Wicks talks with defense and prosecution lawyers.

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News
5:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Country Isn't Indivisible When It Comes To The Pledge Of Allegiance

Victoria Wicks

Last November, a discussion in Sioux Falls about policies over the pledge of allegiance stirred up a heated national debate. In the aftermath, a South Dakota state representative says he’s going to introduce a bill that, if passed, will require all schools to make time for the pledge, although it won’t compel students to recite it. For today’s Dakota Digest, SDPB’s Victoria Wicks researches the sometimes dark history of these 31 words.

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