Rapid City

U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, conducts his inaugural Level Up Youth Conference on Oct. 30, 2023, at Western Dakota Technical College in Rapid City. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

Congressman preaches civility to hundreds of high school students

BY: - October 30, 2023

Members of the other political party aren’t evil, journalists aren’t the enemy, and watching a lot of cable TV news isn’t a good idea. That’s a sampling of comments Monday from U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, who hosted his inaugural Level Up Youth Conference at Western Dakota Technical College in Rapid City. Hundreds of […]

Rapid City Mayor Jason Salamun, left, poses with real estate agent and developer Rob Poeppel in front of a spec home. Poeppel wants to build smaller-than-average homes for first-time homebuyers. (Courtesy of Jami Poeppel)

Big prices drive interest in small homes, but lot-size rules stand in the way

BY: - October 27, 2023

Rob Poeppel wants to build illegal houses. Or at least they would be illegal if he hadn’t gotten a waiver from the Rapid City Council. The 165 houses the Rapid City developer and real estate agent hopes to build and sell aren’t designed for drug dealers or meant to be used for otherwise unscrupulous activity, […]

From left, Pennington County Sheriff Brian Mueller, South Dakota Secretary of Corrections Kellie Wasko and Ryan Brunner, senior policy adviser and director of legislative relations for Gov. Kristi Noem, participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for a women's prison Oct. 16, 2023, in Rapid City. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

State breaks ground on $60 million women’s prison in Rapid City

BY: - October 16, 2023

RAPID CITY — While controversy continues over the site of a proposed new penitentiary near Sioux Falls, the state Department of Corrections is proceeding with a plan to build a new women’s prison on the other side of South Dakota. State officials broke ground for the women’s prison Monday in Rapid City. “I’m very happy […]

A photo of the Rapid City Indian School's women's basket ball team of 1929 is featured in the Remembering the Children Exhibit in downtown Rapid City. (Photo by Amelia Schafer, ICT/Rapid City Journal)

‘Trauma associated with not knowing’: Uncovering the history of Rapid City Indian School

BY: - October 10, 2023

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details about residential and boarding schools. If you are in crisis, here is a resource list for trauma responses from the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition in the U.S. In Canada, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Hotline can be reached at 1-866-925-4419. RAPID CITY — Ben Sherman, Oglala Lakota, […]

A drawing of a Rapid City apartment complex that would generate enough solar energy to offset all of its electricity usage. (Courtesy City of Rapid City)

Rapid City apartments would offset all their energy use with solar panels

BY: - September 9, 2023

In what’s being described as a rare project for South Dakota, a developer is planning a six-building apartment complex in Rapid City with enough solar panels to offset all of its energy use. The housing will be available to those earning 60% or less than the average income in the area. The project — one […]

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally Sept. 8, 2023, at The Monument in Rapid City. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

Trump rally highlights Republican division with booing of absent Thune, Rounds, Johnson

BY: - September 9, 2023

RAPID CITY — A Friday event intended to rally the South Dakota Republican Party around Donald Trump’s visit to the state instead showcased division at the party’s highest levels. The state’s all-Republican, three-member congressional delegation — Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds, and Rep. Dusty Johnson — did not attend the event in the ice […]

A collage of photos of Acey Morrison at a younger age. Morrison was killed on Aug. 21, 2022 by a man who claimed self defense. (Photos courtesy of Cheryse Hawkins, illustration by Josh Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

One year later, no decision in slaying of transgender woman in Rapid City

BY: - August 22, 2023

It’s been a year since a Rapid City man shot Acey Morrison to death in a trailer home north of town. Pennington County prosecutors have yet to decide whether to charge the shooter or close the investigation into her death. Morrison, a transgender Native American woman, was shot after meeting a man on the dating […]

Hundreds of people attend the Aug. 17, 2023, grand opening of a Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Rapid City. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

With reorganization plans squashed for now, VA celebrates new Rapid City clinic

BY: - August 17, 2023

RAPID CITY — The long-debated, evolving plans for veterans’ health care in the Black Hills took a step forward Thursday with the grand opening of a new outpatient clinic. The 49,000-square-foot Rapid City facility is triple the size of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ previous clinic in the city. That’s a welcome development for Ricky […]

Gov. Kristi Noem speaks as President Donald Trump listens during a meeting about the Governors Initiative on Regulatory Innovation in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Dec. 16, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Noem, Trump and the politics of inaction

BY: - August 3, 2023

Gov. Kristi Noem’s rise to national prominence began on March 23, 2020. Fear and speculation were rampant as the coronavirus swept into the state. Noem issued an executive order with instructions for South Dakotans and held a press conference to discuss it.  Her choice of language was peculiar. She told South Dakotans what they “should” […]

A voter fills out a ballot on Nov. 8, 2022, at a polling place in Sioux Falls. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

SD election roundup: Rapid City’s new mayor, Mitchell’s new athletic facilities, wastewater nuisance vote

BY: - June 7, 2023

South Dakotans across the state cast ballots in local government elections Tuesday, making decisions that will decide the trajectory of their cities and schools in years to come. Elections included Rapid City’s mayoral race — where South Dakota’s second largest city will be led by a new mayor for the first time in eight years […]

Assistant Professor Shan Zhou holds a model of a triangular pyramid, the shape of the nanoparticles in his research samples, at South Dakota Mines on Feb. 8, 2023. (Nicole Schlabach/For South Dakota Searchlight)

South Dakota researcher aims to create gold material that heals itself from damage

BY: - May 16, 2023

Imagine a piece of shrapnel denting a service member’s combat helmet. What if the dent in the helmet could heal itself?  Shan Zhou’s research might make that a reality. He’s an assistant professor in the Department of Nanoscience and Biomedical Engineering at South Dakota Mines in Rapid City. Zhou hopes to create a gold material […]

A section of Rapid Creek just west of Silver City in the Black Hills. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

Tardiness in recognizing water needs could lead to ‘unacceptable consequences’

BY: - May 4, 2023

As recently as nine years ago, I thought Rapid City had enough water for decades to come. I got that idea from covering an event in 2014 where then-Mayor Sam Kooiker spoke. “Unlike many other cities in the West, Rapid City does not have a water supply problem,” he said, adding that the city of […]