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Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Community center seeks volunteers
Published: Thursday, August 27th, 2015

The Custer YMCA is in search of 25 to 30 volunteers over the next five weeks to help with demolition work in the future Custer Community Center. Work has already begun on the project, which was recently given the green light by the Custer City Council, but YMCA director Rex Jorgensen said the initial phase of the volunteer labor will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. and last throughout September.

“We have until Oct. 1 to complete the first floor assignment,” Jorgensen said. “There will be additional work done as we progress up through the building, but the work will be done in phases to prepare for the support braces and spinkler systems, initially.”



Thursday, August 27th, 2015

County wants to cut budget
Published: Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Although its final budget won’t be voted on until September, the Custer County Commission is set to trim 1.75 percent of its budget as compared to a year ago, when it finalized a $7,983,517 budget for 2015.

For 2016, the commission has crafted a budget totaling $7,843,594, despite a projected deficit in the county highway budget of $594,838 and an increase in insurance rates of 12 percent for county employees.

The highway department expenditures for 2016 as of now is projected at around $2.6 million, with around $2 million in projected tax revenue. Unlike other county departments, the highway department has no way to generate revenue, other than the occasional inspection of approaches. Even then, that money goes into the county’s general fund.



Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Harney name still up in air
Published: Thursday, August 27th, 2015

The campaign to change the name of Harney Peak continues, this time with the decision to come from the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN).

The next meeting of the BGN is Thursday, Sept. 10, at which time a discussion of the Harney Peak issue may be held. 

According to Jennifer Runyon, a research staff member with BGN, a public presentation may be made during the meeting, but the board will not vote on the proposal.



Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Olson honored by school association
Published: Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Custer School District Board of Education member Tanya Olson is feeling a range of emotions: shock, honor and dedication, not at all unexpected for the recent School Board Member of the Year recipient. 

Olson was named South Dakota’s School Board Member of the Year at the convention in Sioux Falls by the state School Board Association. Her name and was submitted by Custer School District superintendent Mark Naugle.

“In the last year, I was able to work with Tanya very closely and recognized some of the great traits she had – among them, leadership, courage, compassion, intelligence, as well as her true desire to serve the students of the district,” Naugle said. “I was very excited for her. I feel that she is very worthy and I’m glad to see others agreed.”



A�kid, a cowboy &...
Published: Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Around 15 members of the local “corral” of The Westerners International were at the ranch of Don Husted just south of Custer last Sunday afternoon to hear Husted talk about his days growing up as a horse-breaking cowboy and the way farm and ranch work was done prior to tractors and other machinery.

Husted entertained the group with a variety of stories on the deck of the bunkhouse at his ranch before taking the group on a tour of his barn, while some visitors took a ride in a horse-drawn wagon.



Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Economic development refocuses
Published: Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Working together, key players in the City of Custer can drive economic development within the City of Custer and Custer County. That was the message delivered by leaders of the Custer Area Economic Development Corp. (CAEDC) at the Aug. 17 meeting of the Custer City Council.

Three members of the CAEDC board were at the council meeting to report where CAEDC has been, where it is now and where it hopes to go in the future. CAEDC president Terry Reetz said the board is “starting fresh,” is more focused, organized and accountable for what it does with its money from the city and other sources.

“When we request this (money), we want to be able to tell you what we’re going to do with it,” Reetz said. Reetz said CAEDC would soon request $3,000 each for 2015 and 2016 from the council, which he said could get projects rolling.



Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Solution = $1.5 million
Published: Thursday, August 13th, 2015

A solution for solving the West Dam dilemma in the City of Custer that is being thoroughly studied by the Custer City Council could cost between $1.5 and $1.95 million, according to estimates provided by engineers working on the project. However, at the Aug. 3 meeting of the Custer City Council, city public works director Bob Morrison said those estimates could be high, as the engineers seek to avoid sticker shock for the council when real numbers are figured.

The option, known as “Option 3A,” was one of several options presented to the council at its final meeting in July that ranged from doing nothing to rebuilding it to practically what it once was—albeit at a lot of expense and effort.



Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Most deadly Rally
Published: Thursday, August 13th, 2015

The 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Rally set a record in that 13 people died, with 152 more injured. The old record was set in 1990 during the 50th anniversary gathering. Eleven bikers were killed during that golden anniversary.

Two accidents involved Custer County residents and one person from Hill City was numbered among the fatalities.

The following is a summary of Rally-related accidents that happened within Custer County since Aug. 4 (and one from Aug. 3 that was previously unreported) as well as fatal accidents statewide during the Rally to date. 



Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Rally was one for the record books
Published: Thursday, August 13th, 2015

The 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, for which both local and state officials spent a calendar year preparing for, is now in the rearview mirror. As the roar of motorcycles dwindled to a murmur and visitors made their way home to points across the globe, both local merchants and government officials say this year’s Rally was one for the record books — both good and bad.

Barb Edwards, owner of Frontier Bar & Lounge and Gold Pan Saloon, was ecstatic with the way the week unfolded, saying both her properties had their best year ever.

“We did fantastic. Phenomenal,” she said.â��“No problems whatsoever. It was really good.”



Thursday, August 6th, 2015

County fair to kick off
Published: Thursday, August 6th, 2015

The Custer County Fair and Achievement Days begin this week at the Custer County Fairgrounds in Hermosa and is once again full of education and interactive events for the entire family. The fair will run from Aug. 6-9.

Custer County Fair officials say they are especially looking foward to the second annual bull riding as well as a new event, the antique car show, on Sunday. There are several opportunities to bring the family and share in the kids’ carnival, see other children showing their 4-H animals and projects to the community while enjoying county fair food and fun in the new concession area.



Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Custer blasted for racism
Published: Thursday, August 6th, 2015

It hasn’t been unusual to see Custer in the news  lately. From torrential rains and a freak July hailstorm — the town has been making plenty of headlines this summer. However, the latest headline is stirring up controversy.

The controversy started when Billy Mills, the only American to win Olympic gold in the 10,000 meters and second Native American to win a gold medal, posted about his time in Custer. Mills and his family stopped in Custer while on a family trip through the Black Hills. On his public Facebook page he posted:



Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Traffic surges with 75th Rally
Published: Thursday, August 6th, 2015

The familiar sight and sound of motorcycles is nothing new for the people of the Black Hills. However, it’s the volume of this year’s crowd that has people talking.

“The traffic we saw a week before we usually equate to Rally time,” said Custer County emergency management director Mike Carter. “It’s really heavy.” 

Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler agrees, saying some minor, non-injury accidents have occurred earlier than in years past.



Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Dam options wide-ranging
Published: Thursday, July 30th, 2015

The Custer City Council wants to fill West Dam with something. What is less clear is just how much money the city wants to throw into the dam to fill it.

At its July 20 meeting, the council looked at a bevy of options for dealing with the dam from Banner Engineering that range in cost from no money to $2.6 million. 

Six options were presented, with the first option being to do nothing and leave the dam as it is. That option is unlikely, as neither the citizens nor the state want the dam to remain as is. Leaving the dam as is could eventually mean a notice of violation, fines and even a breach of the dam by the state.



Thursday, July 30th, 2015

On the road to refusal?
Published: Thursday, July 30th, 2015

When the Custer County Commission voted earlier this year to keep all the wheel tax it collects from vehicle licensing instead of continuing to distribute some to the communities within the county, it did so to help replenish a continually dwindling county highway budget. Now the commission may reject future road district applications to put even more money in the highway coffers.

At its July 22 meeting, county auditor Nancy Christensen said the county lost $148,000 in secondary road tax money last year because of the 52 incorporated county road districts.



Gold Discovery Days winners announced
Published: Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Results for the 92nd annual Gold Discovery Days are as follows:

Gold Discovery Days Parade

All-Around first place — The U.S. Forest Service 

People’s Choice — Lynn’s Dakotamart

Gold Discovery Days Annual Bed Races

First Place — Jersey Boyz (Clayton Wahlstrom, Chase Glazier, Kenneth Myers, Brennan Witt and Wyatt Dooley), purchased by Jared Webster



Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Ready or not, here they come
Published: Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

With the 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally — and the unprecedented crowds expected to come along with it  — city and county officials say they are ready as can be for the crush of people set to swarm the Black Hills.

From Edgemont to Newell, the Black Hills is expected to see numbers of bikers never seen before during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, with estimates of the numbers of bikers expected to descend on the Hills — many of which already are — ranging from 700,000 to over 1.5 million. The average Rally sees around 300,000 to 400,000 bikers in the Hills.



Royalty ready to serve
Published: Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

You can’t celebrate Gold Discovery Days properly without a royal court.

This year, three Custer girls will serve as queen and princesses, reigning supreme over the three-day celebration.

Serving as queen this year is Billie Wicks, a life-long Custer resident. 

Wicks said, as a young girl, she remembers seeing the Gold Discovery Days royalty receiving their crowns and sashes, which she loved. 



Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Gold Discovery Days starts
Published: Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

The 92nd annual Gold Discovery Days will take place this weekend, with a large lineup of events scheduled for the three day festival.

As always, festivities get underway Friday, with the arts and crafts festival at Way Park and the Custer Piecemakers Quilt Show at the Armory, both beginning at 10 a.m. The arts and crafts festival runs until 7 p.m., while the quilt show runs until 5 p.m. Admission to the quilt show is $3.



Thursday, July 16th, 2015

County battles sloppy, rutted roads
Published: Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Many roads in Custer County are less than ideal for driving, having either been washed out, made too muddy or riddled with potholes, thanks to the barrage of rain Mother Nature has thrown at Custer County. At the July 8 meeting of the Custer County Commission, commissioners and county highway superintendent Gary Woodford discussed the state of the roads and how to address the problem.

“We get caught up and then we get behind again really quick,” Woodford said of working on the roads, saying more rain cancels out the progress made in repairing the roads.



Thursday, July 16th, 2015

FLDS water request decision postponed
Published: Thursday, July 16th, 2015

A hearing held in Pierre concerning a recent request for more water from members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) compound in Custer County ended without a decision.

The Water Management Board as part of the South Dakota Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) held its hearing Thursday, July 9, at 8:30 a.m. 

The board was split on the application, according to Sara Rabern, spokeswoman for the South Dakota Office of the Attorney General.  Several  board members were  displeased with Seth Jeffs’ inability to answer the question regarding the population of the compound, she said. 



Thursday, July 16th, 2015

New school year off to a blazing start
Published: Thursday, July 16th, 2015

It was a fairly light agenda for the Custer School District Board of Education Monday, July 13.

In addition to four board members — Tom Martin, Jeff Prior, Peter Thorp and Alan Webster — taking their oath of office, a new board president and vice president were selected. Martin will serve as president of the Custer School District Board of Education while Tanya Olson will serve as vice president. Both candidates were unanimously elected to their positions.



Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Custer still soaked by rains
Published: Thursday, July 9th, 2015

If there was any doubt that this spring and early summer has been unusually wet, let this sink in:�May 2015 was the wettest May in recorded history for the lower 48 states in the U.S. with record- keeping that dates back to 1895. This is according to a recent State of the Climate report released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

According to weather.com, precipitation across the country overall averaged 4.36 inches in May 2015 — 1.45 inches above average. That beat both the previous May record of 4.24 inches in 1957 and the previous wettest month on record of 4.29 inches in October 2009.



Thursday, July 9th, 2015

New mayor takes over
Published: Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Jared Carson spent his first half hour on the job as the mayor of the City of Custer Monday night at the Custer City Council’s July 6 meeting. After outgoing Mayor Gary Lipp called the meeting to order and handled the early part of the meeting, he turned over his chair in the center of the council dais to Carson, who was sworn in by city finance officer Laurie Woodward. Also sworn in as a new council member was Nina Nielsen, who will be the newest Ward II alderwoman, taking over for the departed Angie Kothe.



Thursday, July 9th, 2015

All about viewpoint
Published: Thursday, July 9th, 2015

According to the U.S. Forest Service, approximately 1,700 people were part of the event at the peak of the Rainbow Gathering which ended on July 7.

“I think the gathering went well,” said Capt. Jay Evenson of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Department. “It was smaller than expected, which kept issues down.”



Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Trash unsightly, expensive to clean up
Published: Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Trash dumping has been a problem in the Black Hills public lands for decades. While it may be a convenience to some — dumping trash in a remote location on Forest Service land — it is costly for everyone else. From taxpayers, Forest Service employees and the volunteers who spend hours cleaning up the mess, it costs more than just money.

“It’s really a Forest-wide problem. It’s not confined to just one area.” said Bonnie Jones, acting Forest recreation program leader for the U.S. Forest Service. Jones said two places with chronic trash problems are Spearfish and Beretta Road just outside of Rapid City. There have also been issues on Forest Service land by Custer over the years. 



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