Black Hills

The Special Consensus To Perform In Sturgis

Jun 24, 2013

The Special Consensus plays June 28 & 29 at the Black Hills Bluegrass Festival at Elkview Campground in Sturgis. They'll also play June 27 at 5:30 pm at Main Street Square in Rapid City. The Special Consensus received a 2012 Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for "Scratch Gravel Road." Greg Cahill plays banjo and sings baritone and tenor harmony vocals. Chicago born and bred, he has been playing bluegrass banjo since the early 1970s.

Lieutenant Colonel Les Snyder (USAF-Ret.) is talking about his bombing missions during the Korean War in a presentation to the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group in Rapid City on Saturday at 9 am at Western Dakota Technical Institute. Snyder flew the required 50 missions in about six months in a B-26 as a navigator. He retired from the USAF Reserve in 1972 and became a pilot. Snyder is Professor Emeritus at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. For more information about the presentation, go to:

The Black Hills Playhouse is a 68 year old professional summer stock theatre company located in Custer State Park at the site of an old CCC camp. It's one of the oldest continuously operating summer stock theatres in the nation. Every summer the playhouse brings artists from all over the nation to create theatre productions for residents and people visiting the Black Hills, and educational experiences for students of theatre. The Black Hills Playhouse is affiliated with the University of South Dakota. Each summer 4 to 6 plays are offered covering musicals, dramas, and comedies.

Nugget Replica To Auction September 28

May 28, 2013

A replica of the most famous Black Hills gold nugget is being auctioned off for charity in late September.

A cast of the famed Potato Creek Johnny Nugget made last year with donated gold is set to auction on September 28th in Deadwood.  

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray reports that organizers are hoping to stir up excitement around the auction.

Mary Kopco is the Executive Director of Deadwood History.  It's one of the organizations behind the auction. She says the effort is now underway to attract the kinds of bidders interested in the nugget replica.  

Cabin For Injured War Veterans

May 28, 2013

Larry Zimmerman, South Dakota Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Pat Baird, founder and director of Operation Black Hills Cabin, detailed Operation Black Hills Cabin.  The 1200 square foot cabin located in a secluded area near Custer is available to injured war veterans and their families so they can enjoy a free week-long vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Revisting The Drive-In Theater

May 17, 2013
Photo by Jim Kent



As traditional movie theaters have gotten larger – and, yet, smaller – at the same time, the ability to enjoy a night out with the latest Hollywood has to offer has become a bit too impersonal. At least, that’s what folks sitting in their vehicles told us when we made the rounds at Roy's Black Hills Twin Drive-In Movie Theater – on today’s Dakota Digest. This is the sound of a movie theater before the film starts - wind.  

Casting Director Rene Haynes

May 2, 2013

Casting director Rene Haynes is leading a casting seminar at Hill City High School Sunday morning in conjunction with the Black Hills Film Festival.  Haynes is a two-time Emmy Nominee for the TNT/Dreamworks mini-series "Into the West" and the HBO feature "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."  She is recognized in the entertainment industry as one of the foremost experts in Native American and First Nation casting and consulting on projects both foreign and domestic.

"Tiger Eyes"

May 2, 2013

"Tiger Eyes" is a film adaptation of Judy Blume's 1981 young adult novel directed by her son, Lawrence Blume.  It follows a 17-year old girl named Davey who moved to New Mexico with her mother and brother after her father is killed.  Climbing in the Los Alamos Canyon, Davey meets the mysterious Wolf, played by Tatanka Means, the only person who seems to understand the rage and fear Davey feels.  Lawrence Blume and Means joined Karl Gehrke from the Harley-Davidson dealership in Hill City during the Black Hills Film Festival.

"Running Wild: The Life Of Dayton O. Hyde"

May 2, 2013

Suzanne Mitchell, director of "Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde," visited about the documentary during the Black Hills Film Festival in Hill City.  The film screens Friday night at the Hill City High School.  It explores the compelling life of Dayton O.

KKK Activities In The Black Hills In The 1920s

Apr 19, 2013

When Charles Rambow was deciding on the subject for his masters paper in 1970, he found the topic in some old clothes has mother had cleaned out of his grandparent's closet.  Rambow was shocked to learn that what he thought was a choir robe was actually his grandfather's Ku Klux Klan initiation robe.  Rambow's research led him to find out more about KKK activities in the Black Hills during the 1920s.  The longtime Sturgis teacher will present "The KKK in the Black Hills: 1920" later Thursday afternoon at Black Hills State University.

South Dakota Mountain Lions

Apr 2, 2013

The mountain lion hunting season in the Black Hills has come to an end.  This year hunters were allowed to harvest up to 100 lions.  However, Game Fish and Parks officials say the fact that hunters harvested just 61 mountain lions likely shows the numbers of the big cats are now down in the Black Hills.  They say the lions are a renewable resource and their numbers will again return.  But critics see a red flag.  They say the GF&P allowed over-hunting of the cats. 

Short Lion Harvest Sparks Critics

Mar 31, 2013

The mountain lion hunting season in the Black Hills has come to an end.  This year hunters were allowed to harvest up to 100 lions.   But for the first time since the lion hunting was brought back to the hills hunters failed to achieve the quota set out by the Game Fish and Parks Commission.

GF&P officials say the fact that hunters harvested far fewer lions than the limit likely shows the numbers of the big cats are now down in the Black Hills.  They say the lions are a renewable resource and their numbers will again return.

Resilient Landscapes

Mar 25, 2013

Tuesday, at 7:00 p.m., the Journey Museum in Rapid City presents "Resilient Landscapes: The History and Future of Black Hills Floods."  The immersive program uses scientific data to visualize the 1972 Black Hills flood, paleo "mega" flooding and more recent flooding from extreme weather.  Media artist and theorist David McConville and Journey Museum Executive Director Raymond Summers described the program which is a partnership with the Worldviews Network, a NOAA-funded collaboration including the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the California Academy of Sciences, NOVA/WGBH in Boston,

Spelunking In South Dakota

Mar 21, 2013

Don Kopp has written about his experience exploring rarely seen reaches of Jewel Cave in the cover story in the March/April 2013 issue of South Dakota Magazine.  Kopp accompanied Black Hills caving pioneers Herb and Jan Conn on a journey to Metrecal Cavern several years ago.  The route passed through openings only a few inches wide.  Kopp, a spelunking enthusiast, explored dozens of caves during his 29-year career with the state Division of Forestry.  Kopp was joined on Dakota Midday by South Dakota Magazine editor Katie Hunhoff.

High Temps And Drought Bring Early Burn Ban

Mar 14, 2013

The temperature in Rapid City topped 70 degrees on Thursday.   While many city residents donned shorts and T-shirts—city officials enacted a burn ban.   The warm weather pushed the wild land fire danger into the very high category.

The city-wide ban includes all outdoor burning such as appliances, fire places, and fire pits.  Officials say gas and propane grills remain acceptable. 

The burn ban remains in effect until the fire danger falls below the very high category. 

Beetles Kill More Trees

Feb 13, 2013

The annual survey of beetle killed trees in the Black Hills is now complete.  

Each year the Forest Service completes the aerial survey to count the number of pine trees with red needles.     

Officials report that between 2011 and 2012 the beetles killed about 10-thousand additional acres of ponderosa pines.   

Scott Jacobson is with the U.S. Forest Service.   He says the new beetle response plan now in effect aims to reduce the spread.

Black Hills Chocolates Debut At GRAMMYS

Feb 8, 2013
Courtesy Chubby Chipmunk Hand-Dipped Chocolates

A product made in the heart of the Black Hills is scheduled to make a backstage appearance at the Grammy Awards on Sunday. Truffles made by a Deadwood chocolate shop are part of the Presenter and Performer official gift bags at the annual music awards event.

Uranium Bills Fail In Committee

Feb 7, 2013

The State Senate Ag and Natural Resources committee killed three bills aimed at providing more government oversight of uranium mining.
The committee meeting included heated testimony from those who say the current law doesn’t go far enough to protect South Dakota’s water from exploitation by mining companies.
But opponents challenged that current law is adequate, they say the proposed legislation is an effort to kill uranium mining in the state altogether.

Lawmakers Hear Uranium Mining Company-Opponents Cry Foul

Jan 10, 2013

State Lawmakers heard testimony from a Powertech mining company representative in Pierre.  The testimony favored a proposed uranium mine in the Southern Black Hills.

Mark Hollenbeck  an area rancher who is also a Project Manager for the Powertech Mining Company tells state Lawmakers that in-situ uranium mining outside Edgemont can be done safely.

Forest Service Begins New Beetle Attack Plan

Dec 17, 2012

Forest Service Officials are rolling out a new plan to deal with the extensive Pine Beetle infestation going on in the Black Hills.

The Mountain Pine Beetle Response Project intends to streamline the attack on new pine beetle infestation areas.  

It uses about $70-million dollars of existing funds over the next five to seven years and targets over 240,000 acres.

A South Dakota mining company has been approved to search for gold and other minerals in the northern Black Hills. South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources has given the VMC, LLC rights to search in two private locations. But, as South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s Jilanne Doom reports, the company hopes to uncover things other than just gold.

"The Needles of Rushmore" Not Just for Climbers

Nov 5, 2012

This week a new book about South Dakota is on the shelves-but it’s not a western romance or a new take on Great Plains politics–rather it’s a rock climbing guide.  SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray spent some time with the authors as they were making their way up some Black Hills granite.  He reviews the new guide on today’s Dakota Digest—and reports that even if you’re not an avid rock climber this book has something to offer, stunning photographs and views of the Black Hills impossible to capture without a rope and harness.

Writer Adrian Ludens

Oct 31, 2012

Adrian Ludens, he’s the author of the new book “Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles.” In this debut collection of dark short fiction, Adrian Ludens has revised nineteen of his favorite previously published stories. A horde of insects invade one unfortunate man's stomach and make it their home, a blind woman guards a cavern full of Civil War-era zombies, and a troubled teen digs up her father's corpse, hoping to get some closure.

Winds Fan West River Wildfires and Force Evacuations

Oct 18, 2012

High winds are fanning wildfires around the Black Hills area. Crews have responded to sixteen reported fires since this morning.

The biggest, called the Fork Fire, is burning on about 100 acres near Custer and has forced the evacuation of a sub-division located on Renegade Pass Road.   The fire is zero percent contained.  A separate, but smaller fire is also threatening homes in the Custer area at the same time.  The North Pole Road near Custer is closed to general traffic from Highway 16 to the Custer Limestone Road.

Victoria Wicks

By Victoria Wicks
Bruce Raisch, who calls himself the Ghost Town Hunter, says he comes to South Dakota once or twice a year because the state is rich with abandoned towns and landmarks. On his constant travels, he gathers material for his books, which include Ghost Towns and Other Historical Sites of the Black Hills. During a recent trip, he stopped to visit with SDPB’s Victoria Wicks about his exploits and what he’s learned over the years.