Searchlight staff

Searchlight staff

A May 2023 aerial view of Deadwood. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight, via EcoFlight)

Deadwood sports betting has its first million-dollar month

By: - November 27, 2023

Monthly sports wagering in Deadwood topped $1 million for the first time in October, according to new data from the Deadwood Gaming Association. Gamblers bet $1.02 million on sports, a 19% increase over the prior October. About half the bets were placed on professional football. College football and professional baseball were also big draws, followed […]

The busts of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln tower over the Black Hills at Mount Rushmore National Memorial on July 2, 2020, near Keystone. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Park Service tightens restrictions on air tours at Rushmore, Badlands

By: - November 22, 2023

The National Park Service has adopted new restrictions on commercial air tours at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Badlands National Park. The tours will have to stay at least a half-mile from each site’s boundaries. The Rushmore plan will “provide a peaceful setting for visitors to enjoy and experience,” Mount Rushmore Superintendent Michelle Wheatley said […]

Pine trees in the Black Hills National Forest. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

New supervisor hired for Black Hills National Forest

By: - November 15, 2023

The Black Hills National Forest will soon have a new supervisor, its sixth different leader this year and 11th in the past seven years. The new supervisor, who’s been hired to take the job on a permanent basis, is Shawn Cochran. He’ll start Jan. 14 after departing his job as supervisor of the Monongahela National […]

An apartment building under construction on June 13, 2023, in eastern Rapid City. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

Latest round of state housing infrastructure aid totals $19 million

By: - November 14, 2023

The South Dakota Housing Development Authority Board signed off on another $19 million in housing infrastructure funding for 19 projects on Tuesday. The ultimate beneficiaries of the grant funding will include seniors in Watertown, students and residents in Vermillion, along with home buyers or renters in Worthing, Miller, Beresford, Centerville, Canton and Aberdeen. One project […]

The Department of Justice in Washington D.C. (Getty Images)

Hotel will apologize to Native Americans as part of Justice Department agreement

By: - November 13, 2023

A woman will step away at least temporarily from the operations of a Rapid City hotel and bar to resolve allegations of discrimination against Native Americans, and the business will also issue a public apology, according the U.S. Department of Justice. The department announced over the weekend that it entered into a consent decree with […]

The South Dakota State Capitol, pictured on Nov. 2, 2022. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

State board awards $2.38 million in low-interest business loans

By: - November 9, 2023

The state Board of Economic Development approved two business loans this week totaling $2.38 million. The board met Wednesday and approved a $1.8 million Revolving Economic Development & Initiative (REDI) loan for Southfork Investments LLC to buy and improve a building, and a $575,000 SD Works loan for Harris Machine Co. to buy equipment. Harris […]

Gov. Kristi Noem delivers her annual budget address Dec. 6, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/SD Searchlight)

Noem foreshadows ‘back to normal’ budget

By: - October 27, 2023

Gov. Kristi Noem says state revenues are falling “back to normal.” Noem focused her weekly column Friday on fiscal matters. She’s preparing to deliver her annual budget address to the Legislature on Dec. 5. “It is important to realize that this year’s budget will look more ‘normal’ than it has the last several years,” Noem […]

A summer night in Deadwood. (Photo by Travel South Dakota)

Deadwood gamblers wager $140 million in September

By: - October 25, 2023

A new monthly report shows gamblers wagered $140 million in Deadwood last month, which was down about 5% from the same month last year. About 90% of that money — roughly $127 million — went back to gamblers as winnings. Casinos kept the rest, about $13 million. Most of the gambling in Deadwood happens at […]

A sign is posted in front of Meta headquarters on April 28, 2022, in Menlo Park, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

State joins lawsuit accusing Meta of fueling children’s social media addiction

By: and - October 24, 2023

South Dakota has joined 32 other states in a federal lawsuit that accuses Meta of designing Facebook and Instagram to intentionally addict children and teens, in violation of state and federal laws that protect consumers and children’s online privacy. The states say that Meta knew its platforms psychologically harmed youth but hid those harms and […]

(John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

South Dakota ranks fourth in payments from conservation program

By: - October 17, 2023

South Dakotans are the fourth largest recipients this year from a federal program that pays agricultural landowners to keep environmentally sensitive land out of production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Conservation Reserve Program has sent $129.5 million to South Dakotans. That trails Iowa ($402.5 million), Illinois ($172.7 million) and Minnesota ($150.8 million). […]

Bison graze on a snow covered pasture in Corson County. (Makenzie Huber, South Dakota Searchlight)

Federal pilot project will buy local bison meat for tribal food aid

By: - October 12, 2023

A federal pilot project to put more locally raised bison on the plates of Native American people is starting with meat produced in South Dakota. The U.S. Department of Agriculture made the announcement Thursday in Rapid City. The department has awarded contracts to four producers — totaling nearly $500,000 — with connections to tribal reservations […]

The logo of the South Dakota NewsMedia Association.

Statewide group representing news organizations rebrands

By: - October 11, 2023

The association representing the state’s newspapers and other news media outlets has changed its name to the South Dakota NewsMedia Association (SDNA), according to a news release. For the past 35 years, the association was known as the South Dakota Newspaper Association. “The change in the name of our association reflects the changes occurring in […]