Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

The Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) presented its three-year strategic plan to the Spearfish City Council, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The vision and mission of the SEDC were clarified and four goals were outlined in the strategic plan.

Under the strategic plan, the first goal of the SEDC is to create an internship program through Black Hills State University in order to retain and expand area businesses. The second goal involves drawing 30 new, full-time jobs to Spearfish by recruiting businesses and marketing the city to target markets and industries. The SEDC’s third goal aims to lease the entirety of the Atlas Building as well as securing space for a new business park for the City of Spearfish. The four and final goal involves increasing the SEDC’s marketing and communication strategies with new businesses and current SEDC members.

The full strategic plan is available on the SEDC’s website. For more news from the City of Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

Published in News

Following a record-breaking year for building permits, Rapid City posted its second-largest building permit valuation last month at $35 million, reports KOTA News. The addition of a Culvers Restaurant on Mount Rushmore Road, renovations at 321 Kansas City Street by Pennington County, and new apartments on Tablerock Road were cited as large contributors to January’s valuation.

Last year, Rapid City posted its highest building permit valuation at $320 million. 2011 was the previous record-holder, with $258 million in building permits.

To learn more about Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile or online news archive.

Published in News
Thursday, 09 February 2017 16:57

Community Resources

Are you looking for a helping hand in your community?  Need help learning a new skill? The community resource pages below will assist you with everything from registering to vote to starting your own business. Are you looking for help with something you don’t see listed? We’re always looking for new ideas, so feel free to email us

Economic Assistance (clothing, food, utilities, rent)

Pennington County Health & Human Services
725 N. Lacrosse St. Suite 200, Rapid City, SD 57701
Hours: Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Services: Economic, Funeral and medical assistance. Veterans Service Office. Appointments: Required; an emergency walk in time may be available in some circumstances. Call for eligibility requirements.

Salvation Army
405 N. Cherry Avenue, Rapid City, SD 57701
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Services: rental assistance, rental deposit, utilities, economic assistance (grocery, clothing, household items).
Appointments: required for rental/utility assistance. First-come, first-serve basis for other economic assistance.

Church Response
30 Main Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
605-342-5360 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (food assistance).
Services: Utilities , food, official papers. Appointments: Required for utilities.

Community Action Program (CAP)
1844 Lombardy Drive, Rapid City, SD 57701 605-348-1460
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Services: Clothing, food, garden kits, school supplies, home weatherizing. Cost: Free.

Lifeline/Link-Up and Tribal Lifeline/Link-Up (for residents living on tribal lands)
Services: Phone deposits and lowered phone rates for low-income families.
Eligibility: Each program has income requirements. See websites for more information.  

Love Inc.
140 North St, Rapid City, SD 57701
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Services: Adult education classes, furniture and household items, moving and transportation assistance, home repair, clothing.

909 E. St. Patrick Street Ste 7
Services: Health screenings for children 0-5 years, WIC vouchers for purchasing nutritional foods.

Subsidized and Section 8 Housing Pennington County Housing
1805 West Fulton Street Suite 101, Rapid City, SD 57702
Services: Includes information about Section 8, shelter plus care, and more. List of subsidized and section 8 housing in Rapid City

Health and Medical Resources

S.D. Department of Health
909 E. St. Patrick Street St. 7

Services: community education, school screening, WIC, immunization, nutrition services. Sliding scale fees.

Children's Special Health Services - Health KiCC
Services: financial assistance for children with chronic conditions.

Sioux San Indian Health Services
3200 Canyon Lake Drive
Services: General medical, inpatient and outpatient adult, pediatric and prenatal care.

Good Shepherd Clinic, Inc.
Our Savior's Lutheran Church
1020 State Street Spearfish, SD 57701
Services: Free walk-in medical clinic. Must be uninsured and live in Northern Hills.
Appointments: No appointments available. 


Rapid Transit System
333 6th Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
Services: Transporation anywhere within corporate limits of Rapid City.

Prairie Hills Transit
2015 Tumble Weed Trail, Spearfish, SD 57783
Services: Provides transportation in and around Butte, Custer, Meade, Pennington, Fall River, and Lawrence Counties. See website for fares and schedules

Oglala Sioux Transit 
P.O. Box 335 Pine Ridge, SD 57770
(605) 867-2332 
Services: Provides transit within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 

Shelter and Housing

Working Against Violence 527 Quincy Street Rapid City, SD 57701
605-341-3292 | Crisis Line: 888 716
Services: Temporary shelter for women and children escaping violent environments, sexual assault and domestic voilence support groups.

HOPE Center
615 Kansas City Street, Rapid City, SD 57701-3640 (605) 716-4673
Services: Drop-in day center, mail, phon, short and long-term storage, document storage, free laundry program, haircuts, clothing vouchers, hygiene kits, and adult education. 

Disability Services

Vocational Rehab Services
111A New York Street
Services: assists people with disabilities in finding employment.

SD Advocacy Services for Disabilities
1575 LaCrosse Street Ste K 605-342-3808

SD School for the Blind and Visually Impaired - Outreach Vision Consultant
3618 Canyon Lake Drive Ste 112 605-394-6638

Counseling/Mental Health

Catholic Social Services
918 5th St., Rapid City, SD 57701
605-348-6086, 800-727-2401
Services: counseling, adoption, youth prevention services.

Front Porch Coalition
401 3rd Street, Ste #4 Rapid City, SD 57701
Services: suicide prevention, survivors of suicide support.

Lutheran Social Services
2920 Sheridan Lake Rd., Rapid City, SD 57702
605-348-0477, 800-260-1439
Services: Counseling for individuals and families.

Rapid City Veterans Center
610 Kansas City Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
Services: Counseling for any war theatre vets.

Voter Resources

Voter Resource Guide
Rapid City Election Information
2017 South Dakota Legislative Session

Training and Education 

Web Literacy
Resources for Investing
Starting a Business

Employment Resources

Employment and Job Search Resources

Published in Issues Hub

A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) call center recently opened in Hot Springs, reports KOTA News. Approximately 20-30 individuals are currently being trained in how to assist veterans with questions concerning benefits, enrollment and more.

The call center is part of the reorganization of the Black Hills VA Health Care System. While most of the VA medical services will be relocated from Hot Springs to Rapid City, the call center was located in Hot Springs as part of an effort to keep jobs in the city. The call center hopes to hire on 120-130 individuals by this spring.

To read more on the Black Hills VA Health Care System, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

Published in News

The South Dakota Board of Regents has set a goal for 65 percent of state residents between the ages of 25 and 34 to have a post-secondary degree by the year 2025, reports the Rapid City Journal.

Currently, South Dakota has around 45 percent of its residents with post-secondary degrees. The reasoning behind this goal is the projection that by 2020 at least 65 percent of the jobs in South Dakota will require a post-secondary degree. In the past few years, South Dakota has tried to made it cheaper to obtain a degree by reducing the number of credit hours necessary. The number of degrees and minors offered also changes according to relevance, older degrees eliminated and newer degrees added.

For more information on education in the Black Hills, please visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archive.

Published in News

A sharp decline in Deadwood’s gaming revenue closed out 2016, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Revenue from December 2016 was down 25 percent when compared to December 2015.

The total 2016 Deadwood gaming revenue of $1.1 billion was down five percent from 2015. Adjusted gross gaming revenue was $99,110,350 in 2016—the lowest reported since 2007.  Nine percent, or $478,007, of taxable adjusted gross revenues was collected as state tax in December.

The general manager of the Celebrity Hotel and Casino, Ken Gienger noted that warmer than expected temperatures may have contributed to the drop in gaming revenue in in December. He noted that December 2016 occupancy rates were higher than December 2015 at his hotel, but guests were not gambling as much as they had in previous years.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

Published in News

President Donald Trump has signed orders to advance the construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines as reported by the Rapid City Journal. Both projects were placed on indefinite holds after the Obama administration delayed final decisions on both projects until further studies could be done. A decision on the Keystone XL pipeline has been up in the air since 2015 while the Dakota Access pipeline was nearly completed before a combination of protests and a decision from the Army Corps of Engineers to not approve the construction of a section of pipeline beneath Lake Oahe in North Dakota delayed its completion. Both pipelines cross through South Dakota at different points.

To read up on past and current news articles related to the Keystone XL pipeline, click on this archives link.

For more information on the Keystone project, be sure to check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network resource page.

Published in News

At the close of 2016, the City of Spearfish realized $43.7 million in building project valuations, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. In 2016, 453 permits were issued which fell just shy of the 458 permits issued in 2015.

The total valuation was also slight down from the $46.4 million reported in 2015, and well below the record $49.1 million reported in 2014. However, a record 632 contractor licenses were issued in 2016, up from 560 in 2015. Nearby Rapid City issued 649 contractor licenses in 2016.

To learn more about Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive. To learn more about the economy in South Dakota, visit the South Dakota Dashboard, a sister site of the Black Hills Knowledge Network. 

Published in News

The Spearfish Chamber of Commerce has begun hosting a networking event every Thursday from 8-9 a.m., reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The idea for the event arose after Chamber Director Melissa Barth was visiting with a chamber member at the rec center while the two waited for their children’s activities to conclude.

The member conveyed that it was difficult to attend most networking events as they occur directly after work, when school and other events often take place. The new time allows for chamber members to network with each other at a more convenient time of day. While the event is currently an opportunity for conversation, Barth added that programs may be added in the future.

To read more about Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

Published in News
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 00:09

Amazon To Collect SD Sales Tax In February

This February, Amazon will begin collection South Dakota sales tax, reports Keloland News. South Dakota will be the 35th state which receives sales tax revenue through Amazon sales.

The new agreement was announced by Governor Daugaard during his 2017 State of the State Address. He also noted that the agreement with Amazon was voluntary. Remittance of the sales tax is slated to begin in late March.

 In December 2016, the Black Hills Knowledge Network conducted an analysis of sales tax revenue lost through online sales in the Black Hills region. The analysis found that in the Black Hills alone, internet sales may be costing South Dakota $13.8 million annually.

To learn more, read the full analysis of the impact internet sales have on South Dakota Sales Revenue. Visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s sister site, the South Dakota Dashboard, to learn more about the economy in South Dakota

Published in News

Mayor Steve Allender requested over $62,500 to hire consultants to analyze the Rapid City Fire Department, reports the Rapid City Journal.  This amount does not include travel costs for the consultants.  Acting Fire Chief Rod Seals indicated the funds may come from the Wildland Fire Budget.

The objective would be to study the workloads, response times, communication, among other factors.  Mayor Allender says the process should take 105-135 days and will help determine best practices.

For more information about the Rapid City Fire Department, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network online news archives or resource page.  

Published in News

In January 1998, the Homestake Gold Mine announced a major restructuring of mining operations to help maintain operations during a time of low gold prices, according to an annual report by the United State Geological Service. The mine suspended operations until April 1998.

When operations resumed that spring, only 280 workers were brought back, down from the 850 prior to the restructure. Gold production also decreased to 4,300 kilograms in 1998 from 12,400 in 1997.

Less than three years later, the Homestake Mining Company announced that the Lead gold mine would permanently close. The mine operated for 124 years, before officially closing at the end of 2001. The mine currently serves as a neutrino research center.

Learn more about the Homestake Gold Mine by reading previous stories on the Black Hills Knowledge Network. 

Published in Home

People were far more likely to move to South Dakota than move away, according to a new report from United Van Lines. This report is good news for the Rushmore State, but not for the reasons currently reported.

South Dakota is not the most popular destination for people to move to—in actuality, California had the most number of inbound moves at 12,259 compared to South Dakota’s 341 total inbound moves. However, California had 12,488 outbound moves, resulting in California’s balanced migration. Conversely, South Dakota reported only 163 outbound moves.

A couple of factors likely play into South Dakota’s top ranking, including retirees who want to live in the inter-mountain west. The United Van Lines report notes that one in four inbound moves nationally was for retirement reasons. With no income tax and a high quality of life, especially in the Black Hills, this may be a key factor.

Second, people across the nation are less likely to move based on economic opportunity and more based on personal reasons, such as a desire to be closer to family or for retirement purposes. Additionally, the age of the internet has made working remotely a possibility—a substantial aid to those wishing to relocate to South Dakota.

Within the Great Plains region, South Dakota had more inbound moves than North Dakota and Wyoming, states with struggling economies in 2016, but fewer inbound moves than Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota.


Total Shipments From To Percentage From Percentage To Ranking
South Dakota 504 163 341 32.3 67.7 1
North Dakota 626 337 289 53.8 46.2 36
Wyoming 599 290 309 48.4 51.6 16
 Nebraska 1,468 762 706 51.9 48.1 27
Iowa 1,509 793 716 52.6 47.4 30
Minnesota 3,704 1,813 1,891 48.9 51.1 18
Published in News
Thursday, 05 January 2017 20:03

2016 Sets New Record for City Building Permits

As 2016 ended, Rapid City continued to show steady growth in the valuation of building permits it had issued. With a new record established by the end of the October for the yearly valuation of permits, several other projects were added in November and December to close out the year with over $320 million in building projects as reported by the Rapid City Journal. This tops the previous high mark of $258 million from 2011. 

To read up on past news articles related to the economic development of Rapid City, click on this archives link.

For more information on the work and economy of the city, check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network resource page.

Published in News
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 16:54

Bison Industry in SD Ranks No. 1 Nationally

South Dakota maintained its no.1 spot in the nation’s bison industry in 2016, reports KOTA News. South Dakota produced over 10,000 head more than any other state in the nation.

The bison industry is much smaller than similar industries, such as cattle. The beef industry slaughters approximately 60,000 head per day, while the bison industry processes nearly that many on an annual basis.

To read about bison in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

Published in News
Friday, 30 December 2016 14:40

Cadillac Jack’s Expansion Moves Forward

The Deadwood City Commission recently approved the first tax increment financing (TIF) for Cadillac Jack’s second expansion, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The city allocated $2 million for public work associated with the project, which is slated to begin in January 2017.

RCS Construction of Rapid City won the contract with a bid of $2.8 million to begin work on the expansion. As the city is only allocating $2 million, the owners of Cadillac Jack’s will need to pay the remaining $790,000.

The city’s allocation toward the renovation will need to be spent on public work, which includes improving, maintaining or repairing public infrastructure around the project. Projects could include installation of sidewalks, storm drains or sewers, or crosswalks in the TIF district.

To read more about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

Published in News
Thursday, 29 December 2016 20:50

Half Cent Sales Tax Increased Teacher Pay

With the half cent sales tax increase passed by the state legislature, Rapid City teachers have now received a 6.5 percent raise in pay. KOTA reports that this has helped lift the state teacher pay scale out of last place in the nation and provided some property tax relief to locals. Officials from Rapid City Area Schools are now looking to bring in top teachers to the area thanks to better teacher salaries.

To read up on past news articles related to teacher salaries in the area, click on this archives link.

For more informaiton on education in Rapid City, check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network resource page.

Published in News

Deadwood's gaming revenue in November edged up 1.25 percent when compared to November of last year, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. This month’s slight increase marks a break from previous months in which gaming revenue was down from 2015 numbers.

In November, gamblers in Deadwood spent a total of $79.9 million at slot machines and tables, resulting in $626,703 in state sales tax. Table games were up 2.9 percent from November of last year, while slot machines were down 4.0 percent over the same time period. To date, gaming revenues from both slot machines and tables are down 3.3 percent from the same time last year.

To read more about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

Published in News

The South Dakota Department of Health approved a contract with CSI Aviation, Inc. for medical flight missions reports KOTA TV.  CSI Aviation is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and works to provide aviation services meeting a variety of consumer needs.  

The contract between the SD Department of Health and CSI Aviation, Inc. includes flexibility.  Marc Ramthun, Vice President of Sales, said that CSI arranged medical transport for years and will town have more capabilities by using their own employees and aircraft.  The flights will have accredited medical personnel and the top air safety.

For more information about health and wellness in South Dakota, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network online news archives or health and wellness topic hub.

Published in News

The Rapid City School Board voted to send a petition to the South Dakota Department of Labor to decertify the paraprofessionals union, reports the Rapid City Journal.The decision was made at their last executive session, and now the Department of Labor will set a date for the paraprofessionals to vote whether or not they want to continue to be represented by the Rapid City Education Association

Last year, the paraprofessionals did not have a contract negotiation because an intent to negotiate letter was never filed.  Union supporters say that isn't enough to terminate the arrangement.  There are state and federal laws regulating contract bargaining between employers and collective bargaining groups, but those laws do not apply outside of those entities.  Groups which have changed from union representation to a "meet and confer" arrangement have not found it easy to know who is representing them, and when meetings are happening.

For more information on education, please visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archive.

Published in News

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525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]