Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A woman who survived the Boston Marathon bombing says people with disabilities deserve respect and opportunity. She is one speaker during this week’s Disabilities Rights Conference in Sioux Falls. The gathering is aimed at health workers, business leaders, educators and officials to raise awareness and remind people of their role in protecting the rights of people with disabilities.

Before April 15, 2013 Heather Abbott was a full-time human resources manager who specialized in affirmative action and equal employment opportunity.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB News

A visible member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe says work between Indians and the rest of the state is not done. While much of the country took Monday off for Columbus Day, South Dakotans celebrated Native American Day. Leaders made the decision to change the holiday years ago. One man says some people still don’t use the holiday’s proper name.

JR LaPlante spent nearly four years as South Dakota’s first Secretary of Tribal Relations. He says changes made in 1990 were not answers to Native-white relations, but starting points. He says issues still exist.

Ask This Old House

This Old House is a popular, long-running PBS television program following remodeling projects over a number of weeks. But because the program only works on one or two houses a year, a new program, Ask This Old House, was spun off in 2002 to help solve home improvement problems faced by viewers. Host Kevin O’Connor and experts answer everyday home improvement and repair questions along with more specialized questions.


Nestled into a cornfield in northeast South Dakota, the Granary Rural Cultural Center is a place to celebrate the beauty of both art and nature. Here’s a look at what visitors will find when they take a trip to this arts oasis the middle of the countryside.

Dakota Midday: New Domes Installed At Corn Palace

Aug 4, 2015
Mitchell Corn Palace

The three new domes are up at the Mitchell Corn Palace. The new, onion-shaped domes were installed last Monday. The domes, along with new decorative turrets, are part of a $7.2 million renovation of the iconic South Dakota landmark.

Bob Glanzer grew up on a farm northeast of Huron with dreams of becoming a world champion bull rider, but fourth place in the regional high school rodeo was about as close as he got. Instead he became a teacher, and helped with the rodeo club at Wessington Springs High School. He later served as manager of the South Dakota State Fair in the late 1970s and was superintendent of the grandstand stage shows and events for two decades. During his first year as manager, he had to rush out and buy boots for country Johnny Cash minutes before the country music legend took the stage.

Red Cloud was the only American Indian leader to win a war against the United States Army. What's called Red Cloud's War was armed conflict over control of Powder River Country in present day Wyoming. Later he was committed to preserving his people’s traditions and culture as they were moved to reservations.

Over the course of their expedition, Lewis and Clark came into contact with nearly 50 Native American tribes. Some had never seen a white man before, while others spoke bits of English and wore hats and coats they received from Europeans.

Presentation College history professor Brad Tennant says that while the meetings between the Corps of Discovery expedition and the native populations were relatively peaceful and friendly, one of the most strained meetings occurred in present-day South Dakota when Lewis and Clark held council with the Teton Sioux, or Lakota.

US Attorney’s office / DOJ

The US Attorney’s office and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have come to a new agreement that aims to help inmates transition back into life outside prison.

The overall goal is to reduce crime and recidivism by helping newly released inmates integrate back into tribal communities.  

Troy Morley is the Tribal Liaison  for the US Attorney’s office in South Dakota.   He says currently the halfway houses used by former prisoners are outside the reservation.   Morley says this causes problems for those just released who want to visit home.    

RESPECT Celebrates The Art Of Motorcycle Culture

Jul 13, 2015
Dahl Arts Center

When you think of bikers roaring into the Black Hills for the 75th Sturgis Rally an art gallery might be the last place you’d think they’d visit. But, the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City wants to change that notion. The Dahl has a special exhibit celebrating biker culture and the 75th Rally anniversary. 

The stereotypical biker is not someone you’d expect to find in an art gallery.

Photo by Jim Kent

The Chadron Public Library held its second annual Native American film festival this past weekend. The goal of the “Trading Stories: A Native American Film Festival” is to bring another perspective to the “Fur Trade Days Celebration” held each summer in the western Nebraska town. 

“Pow Wow Highway” was among the first films made by Native Americans about Native Americans that sought to break the stereotypes engrained in a century of Hollywood celluloid.

Photo by Jim Kent

As part of its second annual Native American film festival, the Chadron Public Library added traditional story tellers to its list of educational entertainment. 

Joyzelle Gingway Godfrey is Yankton Sioux and Ottawa. She started story telling in the Rapid City school system. The American Indian elder says she shares traditional stories as a way to educate people.

Thomas Pitz

All across the nation on Saturday, people will celebrate Independence Day with parades, band concerts and fireworks. It was on July 4, 1776 that the 13 American colonies declared that they were no longer a part of the British Empire, but instead a new country.

The principal author of the Declaration of Independence was Thomas Jefferson, who also served as the nation’s third president from 1801 and 1809. One of his major accomplishments in office was the Louisiana Purchase, a huge swath of territory including the future South Dakota.

South Dakota Dashboard

South Dakota had begun to narrow the education spending gap with neighboring states at the start of this decade, but state budget cuts in 2011 widened the difference and the gap has continued to grow in recent years. That’s according to an analysis of data by South Dakota Dashboard.

Patrick Dobson was a novice canoer when he launched his boat in Montana and began a journey down the Missouri River to Kansas City. A woman in Helena told him he was doomed. “That river’s gonna’ eat you,” she said. But Dobson had just finished a ten week walk to Montana from Kansas City and the Missouri was his way back home.

At the time of his journey in the summer of 1995, Dobson was tired of a dead-end job and feeling empty inside. His journey was a search for redemption and a way to help him reconnect with his life.

Reptile Gardens

When the United Nations was born in November of 1945, it didn’t have a home. Rapid City businessman Paul Bellamy thought the Black Hills would be the ideal place for world delegates to deliberate in peace and quiet. He even flew to war-torn London to make his case for making the Black Hills the Capitol of the World.

South Dakota Civil Air Patrol

The Civil Air Patrol was born one week before Pearl Harbor after volunteers with a love for aviation lobbied for an organization to put their planes and flying skills to use in defense of the country. After World War Two, the Civil Air Patrol was given the mission areas of aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services.

Where can you find the best barbecue in the country? Kansas City? Austin? Memphis? Missouri writer and Navy Reserve Officer Johnny Fugitt wanted to find out. So, he quit his job and spent a year touring the country searching for the best barbecue joints.

During this weekend’s annual history conference of the State Historical Society in Pierre, Jean Kessloff will receive a Governor’s Award for History. She’s being recognized for her work in historic preservation in Rapid City. Kessloff is president of Historic Rapid City and has been a member of the Rapid City Historic Preservation Commission since 2003.

With summer season officially underway, many South Dakotans are making plans for camping. In the May/June 2015 issue of South Dakota Magazine, special projects coordinator Rebecca Johnson writes about a few of the state's “primitive” campsites for those who want a more rugged adventure. The magazine also features a cover story about John Lopez’s “bone yard sculpture” and some advice for graduates from a South Dakota perspective. Johnson and managing editor John Andrews joined Dakota Midday and discussed a few of the current issue's highlights.

Chynna Lockett SDPB

The Pine Ridge Reservation is struggling with a rash of youth suicides. There have been at least 10 since December. And according to the federal Indian Health Service, there have been 103 attempts by people ages 12 to 24 this past December through March. In February, Oglala Sioux Tribe president John Yellow Bird Steele declared an emergency on the reservation in response to the suicides.

Millennials Asked To Capture State's Beauty In Photo Contest

May 26, 2015
Chad Coppess / SD Department of Tourism

With the passing of Memorial Day Weekend the official start of tourism season is here.   
But if you notice strangers snapping photos of your favorite places in South Dakota this summer there is a chance they are not visitors but locals.  
Officials with Black Hills State University and the South Dakota Department of Tourism are sponsoring a photo contest for students this summer.    The contest aims to help celebrate South Dakota as a vacation destination.

Click play below to hear the rest of the story.

Deadwood History Part Of Blue Star Museums

May 23, 2015
Courtesy NEA

Museums across the country will offer free admission to active duty U.S. military personnel and their families beginning on Memorial Day. The nationwide program is part of an effort to provide military families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after relocating to a new duty station.Deadwood History, Inc. is among the 2,000 sites across the country involved in the launch of “Blue Star Museums”.

Over the past two decades, the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series has compiled inspirational, true stories from regular people’s lives. The latest edition in the series, Time to Thrive: 101 Inspiring Stories about Growth, Wisdom and Dreams, includes a story by Marsha Warren Mittman about her bold decision to move to Spearfish. Friends and family took bets on how quickly she’d return home to New York City. 17 years later, she’s still in South Dakota.

In his book, Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder, Minnesota writer Kent Nerburn reluctantly agrees to a meeting with Dan, a Lakota elder who asks him to construct a book from a motley collection of notes and commentaries written over seven decades and kept in an old shoe box. Dan and his friend Grover take Nerburn on a ride through Lakota country in Dan's Buick.

Dakota Midday: Tim Giago's Boarding School Memories

Apr 29, 2015
Tim Giago

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, many American Indian children were sent away from their homes and families to attend government or church-operated boarding schools. Students were forced to cut their hair, give up traditional clothing and forbidden to speak their own language. The idea was to assimilate them completely into American culture. As the founder of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School Richard Henry Pratt said in 1892, “… all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man."

Running Wild Films

South of Hot Springs, some 600 mustangs run free in the 11,000 acre Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. It was established in 1988 by rancher, author and conservationist Dayton O. Hyde as a home for wild mustangs that were being rounded up and sometimes sold for slaughter.

Spearfish Canyon Tours

After taking a guided tour of Glacier National Park in Montana, Jon Pochop was struck by the lack of a guided tour of the natural beauty of the northern Black Hills. So last year the Spearfish businessman started Spearfish Canyon Tours. He worked with local author and historian Paul Higbee to give guides the local stories and historical background of the Spearfish area.

Black Hills State University

Local writer and historian Paul Higbee says Spearfish is the most western town he knows. Although it doesn’t dress “cowboy,” it was founded on the gold mining, cattle and lumber economies of the Old West and prospers in the farming and tourism economies of the New West.

Associated Press

In April of 1975, the North Vietnamese Army was closing in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance was crumbling. The United States had just a skeleton crew of diplomats and military operatives left in the country in the wake of the Paris Peace Accords. With a North Vietnamese victory inevitable and the U.S. prepared to withdraw, many Americans on the ground worried about the safety of South Vietnamese allies, family and friends and scrambled to get them out of the country. After the Tan Son Nhut airport was hit by rockets, Vietnamese were evacuated via helicopters from the U.S.