Mayor Steve Allender

Roughly 100 high-risk cancer patients and 12 healthcare providers may have been exposed to COVID-19 in Rapid City.

A Monument Health caregiver tested positive for the disease after recently traveling outside of the state. 

The Meade County resident’s test result came back positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Monument Health President and CEO Paulette Davidson says the health system immediately enacted protocol to protect their employees and patients.  

File photo by Victoria Wicks

A new human relations task force has been appointed in Rapid City. Their job is to analyze the human relations commission. That’s a group that was established more than ten years ago to focus on resolving discrimination issues in the city. The task force will determine whether the commission needs to be reformed or shut down. 

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender picked six people to participate in the task force. They’re a mix of political affiliations, races and genders. Allender says there are problems the way the commission operates. 

Mayoral Candidates Respond To Racist Graffiti

Jun 3, 2019

  Graffiti reading “no Indians”, “whites only” and displaying swastikas was recently discovered in a public playground in Rapid City. Officials with the police department painted over the writings, calling them ‘extremely racist’.

Both Rapid City Mayoral candidates respond to the vandalism.


Incumbent Mayor Steve Allender condemned the graffiti in a long Facebook post. One line read ‘It is important to acknowledge feelings of racism exist in this country wherever there are human beings and Rapid City is no exception.’

A business improvement district board for downtown Rapid City is approving $20,000 for ambassadors in the area.

The Rapid City mayor says ambassadors would be pedestrian kiosks with pamphlets and recommendations downtown. He says they would also interact with anyone who brings discomfort to shoppers.

The vote is unanimous to invest $20,000 to the group Destination Rapid City for four part time ambassadors to walk around the downtown core.

RC Mayor Seeks Money For Ambassador Program Downtown

May 6, 2019
Charles Michael Ray / SDPB

Tuesday morning, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender will pitch an ambassador program for the downtown area.

Allender says the ambassadors could be pedestrian kiosks of information about what to do downtown. He says they will also keep an eye on any problems that arise in the area.

Mayor Allender says he sees an ambassador program for downtown as a compliment to a law enforcement presence. He says typically the request is for more police in the area.

Visit Rapid City

On June 5, Rapid City voters decide whether to build a new arena at the Rapid City Civic Center complex.
The $130 million for the new arena would come from a unique funding source, in fact, it’s the same fund created to build the civic center in 1975.
However, just like in 2015, the last time voters turned down a new arena, not everyone is convinced on the project.

City leaders must at least repurpose the Barnett Arena and make the 40-year-old building comply with current accessibility requirements.

In The Moment ... January 17, 2018 Show 257 Hour 1

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender joins us for an in-depth look at pubic discussions regarding revitalization or replacement of the aging Barnett Arena.

Tieszen Remembered As 'The Ponderer' At Funeral

Dec 4, 2017
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

State Representative Craig Tieszen was buried on Monday.
He died on Thanksgiving during a kayaking incident in the Cook Islands while attempting to save his brother in law.
Tieszen leaves behind a statesman’s legacy.

RC Mayor Supports Building New Arena

Sep 15, 2017
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The Rapid City mayor says he supports constructing a new arena in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center complex.

Thursday night, he gave a presentation outlining his vision to expand the concert hall and sporting complex just north of downtown.

There are two different futures for the Barnett Arena.

It’s the last complex in the civic center to meet Americans With Disabilities compliance. Following a failed campaign for a new civic center in 2015, the city signed an agreement with the federal government to bring the arena into ADA compliance. That deadline ends this month.

Rapid City Property Taxes Increase By 1 Percent

Sep 7, 2017
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The Rapid City Common Council is approving a property tax hike as a part of crafting this year’s budget.

According to city documents, the one percent rate hike will generate an additional $160,000 dollars for city coffers.

Meanwhile, the mayor is vetoing funding for a city program that coordinates seniors for volunteer opportunities.

Since 2011, anytime the city wants to raise property taxes it must be debated separately. According to officials, prior to then property taxes would increase with the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation.

Rapid City Mayor Says City Is Too Reliant On Sales Tax

Aug 16, 2017
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The Rapid City Common Council held the first of at least two fiscal year 2018 budget hearings last night, which calls for a three percent increase in city spending.

That increase is coupled with Mayor Steve Allender’s push for the city to diversify how it is funded. According to city documents, forty three percent of the city’s revenue comes from sales tax collections.

Allender says the city is too reliant on that funding stream, which he says is volatile.

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.

Victoria Wicks file photo

A package of legislation designed to address mental health issues in criminal justice has been presented to the legislature in Pierre. House Bill 1183 is assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

Chief Justice David Gilbertson has led the effort to reduce recidivism and increase services to mentally ill people who often end up in jail.

Rapid City Council Approves $160 Million Budget

Sep 8, 2016
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The Rapid City Council passed a $160 million operating budget for 2017. Residents can expect property taxes to remain the same.
Mayor Steve Allender says he took a different approach to crafting next year’s city budget.

File photo by Victoria Wicks

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender has worked for the city for 35 years, first as a beat cop and then moving up the ladder to become Chief of Police. After he retired in May 2014, he ran for mayor and won the election held in June this year.

As a police officer, Allender saw a range of sociological issues, one of them homelessness, a condition that in itself encompasses a range of sociological issues.

Victoria Wicks

Ground was broken Thursday for the First Nations Sculpture Garden planned for Halley Park in Rapid City. In the works for almost two years, the garden will hold busts of four 20th Century Plains Indian leaders and have space for four more. SDPB’s Victoria Wicks has followed the sculpture garden’s progress.