Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

A new Ace Hardware store has opened in the 21,000-square-foot space left vacant in Lead's Twin City Mall for more than a year, reports the Black Hills Pioneer

The space had been empty since January 2015 when the Alco store closed. The new store will carry standard hardware inventory plus pets, clothing, soft goods and other inventory. 

The store will employ 17 people and plans a grand opening celebration in May. 

Read more about Work and Economy on the Black Hills Knowledge Network


Published in News

The Rapid City Journal created a timeline of Black Hill Corporation's recent acquisitions.  In the 2000s Black Hills Corporation began acquiring other companies and now serves over 1.2 million customers reports the Rapid City Journal.  Black Hills Power, now Black Hills Energy, was a founding block of the company.  Black Hills Corporation is building their $70 million headquarters on Catron Boulevard.  This facility will be the home base for employees.  After the recent acquisitions, Black Hills Corp. now serves customers in 8 states and has over 3,000 employees.

For more information on Black Hills Corporation, visit our news archives or their website

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An 103-acre land sale on a hilltop on Deadwood's northern outskirts makes way for the construction of a new family resort by Ramkota Properties, reports the Rapid City Journal

The oft-discussed site of the would-be Dunbar Resort was to have been home to movie star Kevin Costner's vision of a destination resort, but throughout the 1990s building seasons came and went with no resort buildings going up. In 2003, Costner installed an elaborate sculpture of buffalo being hunted by Native Americans as the Tatanka: Story of the Bison tourist attraction on part of the Dunbar property. The sculpture had originally been commissioned to be part of the grander resort. 

The new resort will include an indoor water park, conference space, a full-service restaurant and lounge, vacation cabins and a casino. Plans are expected to be complete in 12-18 months, with construction beginning in 24 months, reports the Black Hills Pioneer

Read more about Deadwood on the Black Hills Knowledge Network


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The Rapid City Journal reports that the proposed expansion of the Pennington County Jail, part of the MacArthur Foundation Grant, could include adopting a Risk Assessment Instrument (RAI) to help offenders who cannot afford bail or bond await their pretrial hearing outside of a jail cell.  On average, it costs taxpayers $80 per day to house an inmate at the Pennington County Jail.  

The Rapid City Journal reports that if grant is received, some of the money will help with funding 17 new positions.  Three of these jobs will be temporary training jobs that will expire when the grant is gone.  The other 14 jobs would hopefully be funded by savings from lowering the jail population after the use of the grant.  Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom says that if the grant is not awarded, or the amount is less than requested, the committee will look at other funding options available.

For more information about the Pennington County Jail, visit our news archives or their website.  

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Croell Redi-Mix Inc. owns the Perli Quarry South of Rapid City near Highway 16 and hopes to expand.  The Rapid City Journal reports that the Pennington County Commission decided the format for today's hearing regarding the quarry expansion at their latest meeting.  The hearing will include statements by the Planning Department, State's Attorney's office as well as speakers from both sides.  Opponents and supporters will get equal time and the commissioners will have a chance to discuss the issue and ask questions.

The hearing will take place in the commissioner chambers at the County Administration Building, 130 Kansas City St. in Rapid City.  

For more information about Pennington County government, visit our news archives or Knowledge Network resource page about work and economy in the area.


Published in News
Tuesday, 01 March 2016 00:00

Deadwood Casinos Post January Gains

Gamblers wagered $85.2 million at Deadwood slot machines and table games in January 2016, a 1.71 bump up from January 2015, reports the Black Hills Pioneer

Gaming officials credited the newly legal table games of keno, craps, and roulette for the increased betting, but slot machines continue to draw the lion's share of gamblers. In January 2016, $79.2 million was bet in slot machines, with more than $57.1 million coming from penny slots. At table games, $5.1 million was bet. Of that, $2.4 million came at blackjack tables and $1.9 million at poker tables. The three new games accounted for less than $682,000. 

Casinos took in $7.5 million and paid 9 percent in tax, or $678,918, that was distributed to the state general fund budget, Lawrence County, the South Dakota Gaming Commission and the South Dakota Tourism Department.

Read more about gambling on the Black Hills Knowledge Network


Published in News
Thursday, 25 February 2016 00:00

Medicaid Expansion May Be Postponed

The Rapid City Journal reports that the Medicaid expansion that Governor Daugaard proposed will now have to be approved by Legislature according to HB 1234.  This bill comes into effect as a precaution even though many legislators say they trust the Governor's word that he will seek approval before moving on.  Governor Daugaard's administration is working with President Obama's administration to expand coverage.  

For more information in regards to Medicaid, visit our news archives.  To read more about the 2016 legislative session, visit our Knowledge Network resource page or news archives.

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A building constructed in 1923 as First National Bank in downtown Lead is for sale after Wells Fargo closed its branch in the historic gold mining town, reports the Black Hills Pioneer

The building, with more than 5,800 square feet on its main level, sits on the corner of Highway 85 and Julius Street. Wells Fargo closed its operations there on Feb. 12. Before the bank building went up, the Miner's Union Hall and Opera House was built on that spot in 1892.

The seven Wells Fargo employees who split time between the branches in Lead and Deadwood will now work from the Deadwood bank. 

Read more about Lead on the Black Hills Knowledge Network


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More than 1 million tourists visited Badlands National Park and the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in 2015, thanks largely to an attractive new visitor center visible from Interstate 90, reports the Rapid City Journal

With the visitor center complete at the end of 2014, visitation to the missile site increased more than 60 percent -- to more than 100,000 visitors -- in 2015. Both the missile site and the Badlands are east of Rapid City and accessible from I-90 Exit 131. Visitation to the Badlands increased 14 percent and topped 1 million in 2015. 

In 2016, the missile site plans to unveil exhibits to show the role the network of underground missiles played in the Cold War

Read more about tourism on the Black Hills Knowledge Network


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Croell Redi-Mix owns the space known as Perli Quarry, on U.S. Highway 16 near Reptile Gardens and Bear Country USA, and hopes to expand their mining operation reports the Rapid City Journal. The site is on the main route from Rapid City to South Dakota's Mount Rushmore monument which could be an issue with increased travel and dust in the area.

On February 8, the Pennington County Commission approved a construction permit, which area residents opposed. The Pennington County Commission will consider an appeal at a hearing scheduled for 4 p.m. March 2 in the County Administration Building in Rapid City. 

Croell's mining location in Wyoming had several environmental violations in recent years. 

For more information about environmental issues, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's news archives.  

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The Black Hills Knowledge Network and Black Hills State University are working to hire a highly qualified regional economist who will serve the Black Hills and western South Dakota.

The economist will join the faculty in the Economics Department at BHSU and teach three courses per year. In addition, the economist will serve as project director for the Black Hills Knowledge Network and South Dakota Dashboard.

Find a detailed job description and information about how to apply and obtain more information on our BHKN page.


Published in News

The Black Hills Knowledge Network (BHKN) and Black Hills State University (BHSU) seek a highly qualified regional economist who will serve the Black Hills community and western South Dakota. The economist will join the faculty at BHSU and teach three courses per year in the Economics Department. The economist will also serve as project director for the Black Hills Knowledge Network/South Dakota Dashboard, a research and data-oriented regional information service based in Rapid City, South Dakota. These partners are seeking a social entrepreneur with strong communications skills interested in helping to build an economic consulting practice anchored in a nonprofit institution to help sustain a variety of initiatives benefitting policymakers and engaged citizens in the Black Hills region.

Position Information
WORKING TITLE: Instructor of Economics/Regional Economist & Project Director 
CITY: Rapid City
DEPARTMENT: 6SBUS1-School of Business 
SCOPE OF SEARCH: External (includes Internal)
SALARY: $65,000 total (BHSU-40%/BHKN-60%)  In addition, BHKN will offer performance-based bonuses of up to $30,000 in each of the first 3 years based on consulting revenues. Benefits negotiable.
POSTING DATE: 02-12-2016 
CLOSING DATE: Positions close at midnight CST 03-13-2016 or until the position is filled
Black Hills State University and the Black Hills Knowledge Network seek applicants for a Regional Economist/Project Director & Instructor of Economics position. This individual is responsible for the overall management and strategic direction of the Black Hills Knowledge Network, including both the project's public programs and services and its consulting practice. As a 2/3 employee, the Regional Economist/Project Director will work with the BHKN board of directors and will develop a strategic plan for the organization. He/she will coordinate staff operations and maintain close relationships with key stakeholders including libraries and economic & community development entities. The successful candidate must have strong organizational skills, and an ability to manage many projects at once, working with a wide variety of stakeholders.

Under a separate contract with Black Hills State University this individual will be employed as a faculty member in the School of Business (Instructor, Economics). Responsibilities will include teaching at least 3 courses/year and participating in School of Business affairs, specific duties negotiated at the time of contract.

  • Develop an economic consulting practice serving specific industries, public sector agencies & nonprofits in the region
  • Monitor and publish data & analyses on trends in the regional economy
  • Conduct research & analyze economic issues to be presented to various stakeholders
  • Investigate & prepare reports and formulate plans to address economic problems for public and private stakeholders and clients
  • Analyze, collect & process economic and statistical data using sampling techniques and other econometric methods
  • Prepare easily understood reports, tables and charts that are presented to stakeholders throughout the City
  • Interpret & forecast market trends including but not limited to the effect of taxes, inflation, interest rates, employment levels, business cycles, exchange rates, cost of products, environment and business climate
  • Advise important regional policymakers on economic topics * Respond to media inquiries on economic issues
  • Produce & deliver annual "state-of-the-region" for business and civic leaders
  • Support efforts to strengthen local policy making with fact-based analyses of regional trends
  • Provide leadership & direction on which indicators will most impact the region & provide possible solutions on current issues Primary
  • Teach 3 economics-related undergraduate or graduates courses per year
  • Serve as an advisor to the University on economic issues
  • Participate in University forums and convocations related to economics
  • PhD in Economics or related field. ABDs considered for a term contract with expectation of completion of doctorate degree within a maximum of two years
  • Willingness to teach online
  • Evidence of scholarly potential
  • PhD from an accredited institution
  • Successful experience in teaching at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels
  • Strong collegial and collaborative skills
  • Experience teaching online
  • Published in peer-reviewed journals
  • Consulting & business management experience
  • Strong communications and public speaking ability

Position closes at 11 PM MDT on 3.13.16. Applications must be made online. To access the online portal, please go to, then to BHSU (or University) job/position openings. Each applicant must attach a cover letter, CV, names/contact information of at least 3 references, and graduate transcripts. For application assistance, contact HR at 605.642.6549.

For position-specific information, contact Ron DeBeaumont, Chair, School of Business at 605.642.6236. BHSU is an AAEOC employer.  Department Description and Cultural Expectations

Black Hills State University offers 75 academic programs at the associate, bachelor and master degree levels. Located in the northern Black Hills, the university serves a population of more than 4,000 students. BHSU's business administration, professional accountancy and MBA programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. Economics and Finance are a part of the School of Business.

The Black Hills Knowledge Network is an innovative, online regional data and information service that connects people to relevant, credible and useful local information to strengthen communities and grow our economy. The project aggregates, organizes and summarizes information to facilitate access to content developed by local government, non-profits and media throughout the region. Staff also works with local government, economic development organizations and nonprofits to promote and teach data-driven decision-making. To meet a growing market demand, the Black Hills Knowledge Network is developing a non-profit economic consulting practice to help public and private sector organizations in our region with strategic planning and budgeting, regulatory reporting, and economic forecasting.  


Published in News

KOTA TV and the Rapid City Journal report that Rapid City Area Schools will need to consider options including renovations and closing some schools in future years.  MGT of America, a consultant, unveiled their blueprints for the upcoming changes.  They list two possible plans.  The Rapid City Journal reports that the plan could cost $333 million over a decade, but Jim Hansen, School Board President, says the board of education will decide what advice to follow and what changes to make. KOTA TV reports Wilson, Robbinsdale, Canyon Lake and South Canyon are among the schools that would close while other schools would need to be expanded.  

For more information about Rapid City Area Schools, please visit our news archives or Knowledge Network topic hub.  

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Discovered by brothers Frank and Albert Michaud in 1900 as part of a mining claim, the cave's entrance was too small for human entry. The Michauds blew it open with dynamite and began exploring.

They discovered "crawlways and low-ceilinged rooms coated with beautiful calcite crystals that sparkled like 'jewels' in their lantern light," according to the Jewel Cave website. A local movement to set Jewel Cave aside for preservation culminated in the proclamation of the cave as a national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt on Feb. 7, 1908. The Michaud brothers eventually moved away and their family sold the claim to the government for about $750.

In May 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corps established a camp at Jewel Cave, located about 13 miles west of Custer. Twenty-five men, with a budget of $1,500, accomplished several projects for the National Park Service.

A three-room cabin and comfort stations were built. Sewage and water connections were completed for the cabin and public campground. The cave entrance was altered to provide easier access, and a surface trail of about 800 feet was constructed, along with a new stone stairway.

The Michaud's original log building was removed at this time.

In 1939, a National Park Service ranger was stationed at the monument and began conducting cave tours and providing visitor services. The cabin became home to the monument's first permanent ranger in 1941.

Except for a brief period of closure during World War II, National Park Service rangers staffed the cabin and cave tour operation.

In the late 1950s, significant discoveries were made within the cave, which led to development of a new visitor center and cave tour route.

Read more about recent discoveries at Jewel Cave on the Black Hills Knowledge Network


Published in Home
Wednesday, 27 January 2016 00:00

EAFB Airmen Return From Deployment

About 350 U.S. Air Force airmen returned home from a six-month deployment in the Middle East, reports KOTA-TV and Ellsworth Air Force Base

Hundreds of family members greeted the airmen as their plane landed after six months of B-1 bomber combat operations in what the military refers to as "the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility." 

B-1 bombers from EAFB have been credited as a key part of the U.S. military's ongoing war efforts in the Middle East. 

Read more about Ellsworth Air Force Base on the Black Hills Knowledge Network


Published in News

The Rapid City Journal reports that a committee of House of Representative members passed a plan that would allow veterans to alert potential state, county, municipal and school jobs about their veteran status.  This plan would include interviewing each veteran meeting a job's minimum qualifications. HB 1056 could be decided on as early as Wednesday by the House of Representatives.  

For more information about the 2016 Legislative news, visit our news archives or Knowledge Network resource page.  

Published in News

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department released a 211-page resources management plan for Custer State Park governing management practices from 2010-2025 on Jan. 12, 2016, with 30 days for public comment, reports KOTA-TV and a GF&P news release

The plan addresses forestry, rangeland, fire, wildlife and bison management. It calls for increasing prescribed burns from 1,500 acres per year to 3,700 acres per year. It also calls for keeping older bison cows in the park's herd, since the older cows play a leadership role in matriarchal buffalo society. Cows had been sold once they reached 10 years old. 

Find the complete plan online and attached to this post as a .pdf document. 

Comments can be submitted to GF&P through Feb. 12 by emailing [email protected] or writing to: 

Custer State Park Resource Plan

13329 US Hwy 16A

Custer, SD 57730 


video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player


Published in News

The Rapid City Journal reports that a state Senate committee endorsed changing the distribution of alcohol tax funds.  Currently municipalities get 25% of the revenue and the state gets the remainder.  The endorsed change would give state government 50% of the funds while municipalities and county governments would each receive 25%.  One reason for changing the distribution is the rising cost of courts.  The additional court costs are covered by county governments and many court cases are alcohol related.

For more information about current legislative issues, visit our archives or Knowledge Network resource page

Published in News

At a public meeting in the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, a large group of residents gathered to give ideas to the consulting firm that is in charge of creating a master plan for the future of downtown Rapid City. According to the Rapid City Journal article, the consultants spoke about national and world trends and then sought input from locals about what they wanted to see downtown in the future or how the ideas presented could be implemented.

KOTA-TV reports that a city planning committee aims to increase affordable living downtown, promote entrepreneurship, make the area east of Fifth Street an innovation district and to connect the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology campus to downtown.

Read more about economic development in Rapid City in the Black Hills Knowledge Network online archives.

For more information on the city's economy and its development, check out this Knowledge Network resource page. To view the powerpoint presentation shared at the meeting mentioned above, see the attached pdf. 

Published in News

While Rapid City has tried to create an image as the gateway to the West, the city has been named as a top-12 finalist by Midwest Living magazine. According to the Rapid City Journal article, the winning city will be put on the cover of the magazine and have a large feature story. For the tourism-dependent economy of the area, winning the cover will help draw in more visitors to see what the Black Hills have to offer. Click on this link to cast your vote, which can be done once per day until the contest ends.

Click on this archives link for past news articles related to tourism in the Black Hills.

For more information on tourism and its impact in the state, check out the homepage of the Department of Tourism.

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