Rapid City

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Rapid City is not hiring city employees starting May first. The City is implementing a temporary freeze to save money after sales tax collections came in lower than expected.
In a letter to city aldermen, Mayor Steve Allender says people simply aren’t traveling or spending as much money this year. That’s prompting a revenue shortfall in city coffers.
City departments will have to wait at least thirty days to replace people who resign, retire, or get promoted… depending on the department, some positions may remain open for three months.

Cuts Loom With Rapid City Budget Concerns

Apr 18, 2017

For two months in a row Rapid City sales tax collections have fallen behind earlier projections.

According to the February 2017 Sales Tax Report, collections are down by two percent from last year. This year’s budget projected a two percent increase.

Alderman Steve Laurenti sits on the Legal and Finance committee with the city.

Miss Weiss

On Saturday South Dakotans joined millions of people across the world for a one-day rally. The Women's March on Washington was established as a show of solidarity and a rallying cry that women's rights are human rights. Companion marches took place in all 50 states and across the globe.

In Rapid City, protesters filled the City Administration parking lot, marched through a few blocks of downtown, and then gathered in Memorial Park.

Rapid City Middle School Receives $900,000 Grant

Jan 12, 2017
Katy Urban / Rapid City Area Schools

Rapid City school district leaders say a $900,000 improvement grant for North Middle School will help students achieve proficiency in math and reading levels.

North Middle School is a Title One, focus school. That means its population is made up largely of students from low income families and other subgroups that score low proficiency scores in state assessments.

RCPD Investigating Ellsworth Airman's Death

Jan 4, 2017

Officials at Ellsworth Air Force Base just outside Rapid City say an active-duty airman of the 28th Bomb Wing was found dead at his residence Jan. 3.
They will not release his name until 24 hours after his family is notified.  
Second lieutenant Miranda Simmons says the death is a loss for the entire base community.

Rapid City Area Schools

A $1.8 million grant awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to researchers at the University of New Hampshire will focus on evaluating and implementing violence prevention programs in Rapid City schools.

Officials say the four year grant continues work on reducing violence among teens and adolescents.  

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s two largest cities are breaking building permit records again. Rapid City is more than $50 million ahead of the previous top year. Sioux Falls is setting a record for the fourth year in a row, and the year isn't over yet.

Right now building permits in Rapid City are worth more than $310 million. Division manager of building inspections Brad Solon says Rapid City hit its previous record in November, so every permit since pushes the landmark higher.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

People across the country took part in protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline on Tuesday.   The event billed as a National Day Of Action included events in Rapid City, Sioux Falls as well as major cities across the country.

Demonstrators are calling for a halt to construction of the pipeline.  The Army Corps of Engineers says it needs more time to study the project before it permits the compay to cross under the Missouri River.
Pipeline proponents are hopeful that president elect Donald Trump will push to see the project completed.

South Dakota Eligible For National Grant

Nov 3, 2016
Youth & Family Services Inc.

Receiving funds for a charitable organization can be tough work. Usually you have to rely on private donations or various government funding. But one Rapid City group is asking for help on the national stage.

The State Farm Insurance Company is giving away Neighborhood Assist grants to charities across the nation. Over 2,000 submissions were narrowed down to 200 and now people can vote online for the causes.  Each of the top 40 groups will receive a $25,000 grant.

Charles Michael Ray / SDPB

The superintendent of Rapid City Area Schools says the district needs a strong strategic plan. Lori Simon says education leaders are working to develop the plan to give direction and establish the district’s priorities.

"It gets everybody in the district working on the same page toward common goals," Simon says. "A strong strategic plan that you keep alive and working really guides decision-making as well as drives the alignment of actions and resources across the district."

Dakota Midday: Geno Church At OTA: Black Hills

Oct 18, 2016
Brains on Fire

Author Geno Church, creative director of Brains on Fire, speaks at OTA: Black Hills this Friday. He joins Dakota Midday to talk about authentic conversation, how a brand can spark conversation, and how to focus on people so people can tell the story of your business. Church's most recent book, The Passion Conversation: Understanding, Sparking and Sustaining Word of Mouth Marketing, was released in 2013.

Wacipi 101 Educates People Ahead Of Weekend Pow Wow

Oct 4, 2016
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The 30th annual Black Hills Pow Wow is this weekend at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. 

While the event is open to all, many non-natives may lack a basic understanding of what happens at a pow wow. A Wacipi 101 course was given Tuesday night to educate those interested in learning more. 

Wacipi means “to dance.” And there will be plenty of dancing at the Black Hills National Pow Wow this weekend.

Stephen Heidenreich

Stephen Heidenreich is a Watertown native as well as a former 1976 Olympic track and field team hopeful. During training for the event, Heidenreich was victim to a hit and run incident that left him with the mental age of a 2 year old in a 22-year-old’s body.

Now, Heidenreich travels across the country to share how his traumatic brain injury propelled him to success.

NWS Embarks On $150 Million Radar Upgrades

Sep 21, 2016
National Weather Service - Rapid City

Officials say the three National Weather Service radars located in the state are due for upgrades.
The four phase project is set to cost around $150 million  and take around five years to complete.


Cardiologists in Rapid City are using a new pacemaker that is fully implanted inside a person’s heart. The FDA only recently approved the technology. Doctor Kelly Airey with Rapid City Regional Hospital performed the first procedure to place the pacemaker.  Her patient is impressed.

Paul Baldwin has had two traditional pacemakers to normalize and regulate his heartbeat. When his latest device’s battery was up for replacement, he talked with Dr. Kelly Airey about his options. Baldwin says she recommended a tiny pacemaker that’s self-contained within his heart.


Layne Putnam's new EP (as the indie rock duo LAYNE) is called The Black Hills. Putnam joins Dakota Midday to discuss her current tour, the inspiration of her childhood home, and the energetic music scene of Los Angeles.

LAYNE plays The Seed Theater in Rapid City on Monday, August 22.

Haley Bonar Releases "Impossible Dream"

Aug 17, 2016

Rapid City native Haley Bonar released her new CD "Impossible Dream" earlier this month. In early September, she embarks on a tour that takes her through the Midwest and North Eastern United States, followed by 13 dates in Europe. Recently, she returned to her childhood home and sat down with SDPB News Director Charles Michael Ray to discuss her new CD and where she's at in her career as a singer, songwriter and musician.

Programming Competition Comes To South Dakota

Aug 2, 2016
International Collegiate Programming Contest

This year two South Dakota college teams travelled halfway around the world for an international computer programming competition. However next year’s competition is a little closer to home.

Morocco . . . Japan . . . China . . . Sweden . . . Thailand . . . and South Dakota?

Vivian Fullerlove

The roar of the crowd and adrenaline rush from flipping on two wheels is a familiar setting for live action sports athlete James Carter.  Carter grew up in Rapid City, dreaming of becoming a professional motocross athlete. He stops by Midday to discuss the lessons he has learned throughout his career, including staying focus, finding a positive mindset through accidents and tragedy, and interacting with fans of all ages.

Charles Michael Ray

Erik Bringswhite is a former Rapid City gang member who now works to stop meth use in South Dakota.  Bringswhite uses Lakota culture and spirituality to reach out to those who are struggling with addiction.

Bringswhite is a meth prevention coordinator with the Oglala Sioux Tribe.   He stopped by the Rapid City studio for an interview with a group of individuals working to curb the use of the addictive drug in the state.

Native POP Art Market Set For Rapid City

Jul 14, 2016
Victoria Wicks / SDPB

A Native American art and culture event in Rapid City is part of a push to expand the plains art market in the Midwest.

Rapid City’s Main Street Square hosts the fourth annual Native Peoples of the Plains art show July 16.

Native Peoples of the Plains or POP began as an effort to increase the availability of Native American art in Rapid City. This year, around 50 artists display their works.

Giving Meters In Rapid City Hope To End Panhandling

Jul 13, 2016
Rapid City Police Department

Officials in Rapid City are attempting to curb panhandling with what they call giving meters. The converted parking meters are painted red and yellow and located in downtown Rapid City. Officials say they hope the meters spark a chain of giving in the area.

The giving meters are the result of a joint effort between the Rapid City Police Department and Destination Rapid City.

New Project Aims To Employ At Risk Teens

Jul 5, 2016

There is a stereotype that teenagers like to do reckless and dumb things.  Some research  backs up this notion.  Neurologists have found that teenage brains don’t process risk the same way adults do.

This might be why many teens are drawn to extreme sports… take the X Games for example.

But extreme sports are not usually sanctioned by schools and they require gear, like rock climbing shoes, downhill mountain bikes, and snowboard pants.   

SD Honors Native Literature Month

Jun 24, 2016
Lily Mendoza

June is Indigenous Book Club Month.

It’s part of an effort to promote Native Literature throughout the U.S. and Canada. A proclamation by Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender to honor the month in South Dakota coincides with the anniversary of the Battle of Greasy Grass also known as the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Lily Mendoza is the owner of Word Carrier Trading Post, a bookstore in Rapid City.

Rapid City Chamber of Commerce & Community Conversations

The Rapid City Chamber of Commerce met Thursday morning to reveal a new initiative to promote racial equality in the workplace. It’s a pledge, called “In the Spirit of Mitákuye Oyás’in or We Are All Related” and comes after a yearlong process of identifying social issues in the city.

The pledge to end discrimination in Rapid City businesses came after the Chamber was approached by Community Conversations, an organization formed to address racial inequality.


Some researchers say the West River economy could be headed for trouble. An economist is sharing his thoughts at an upcoming talk in Rapid City.

  You are going to die, say Don and Lindsay Frankenfeld. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

The father-daughter pair have prepared a TEDx talk that explores questions of life, death, and leaving loved ones behind. They join Dakota Midday  for a conversation about denial and faith, bucket lists and love.

Don Frankenfeld is a forensic economist. He’s a former South Dakota state senator and was named a Bush Leadership Fellow in 1987. Lindsay Frankenfeld is startup community advocate, a teacher, and a former reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Charles Michael Ray / SDPB

The 2016 North American Unicycle Championship and Convention comes to Rapid City next month.  Shawn Hayford is the outreach director for the YMCA in Rapid City.  He’s also the coordinator for this year’s unicycle competition.

South Dakota Hosts 2016 Great Race

Jun 20, 2016

This week a line of vintage, open-faced race cars are taking off on the 2016 Great Race. South Dakotans can experience the car rally at three stops across the state.

Participants of the 34th annual Great Race plan to make stops in Rapid City, Chamberlain and Sioux Falls June 23 and 24. Jeff Stumb is the director of the Great Race. He says this year’s theme is based on the Lincoln highway, but cars will deviate off of that route to visit Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands.

Trio Accused Of Contract Killing Plead Not Guilty

Jun 14, 2016

Three men accused of stabbing a woman to death last year and hiding her body in a shallow grave near Rockerville have pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges against them, including first-degree murder.