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Thursday, December 18th, 2014

In-town camping ordinance proving tricky for city
Published: Thursday, December 18th, 2014

The first reading of a revised version of the City of Custer’s ordinance dealing with the occupancy of camping trailer, tent, travel trailer and motor home outside of commercial campgrounds has been sent to the drawing board after questions regarding it were raised at Monday evening’s meeting of the Custer City Council.

The council has been wrestling with revising the ordinance for several months, feeling the ordinance in its current form is too hard to enforce and too “open to interpretation.” 



Thursday, December 18th, 2014

County researching water needs
Published: Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Before Custer County sinks money down a hole to bring water to its soon-to-be-constructed shop on the eastern side of the county, it needs to figure out how high of quality—and how much—water it needs out of any well it drills.

At the Dec. 10 meeting of the Custer County Commission, that topic was broached again after representatives from both the Town of Hermosa and Southern Black Hills Water System, Inc., expressed interest in purchasing water from the county.



Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Arrests made in burglaries
Published: Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Several arrests and a warrant have been issued after an investigation by the Custer County Sheriff’s Department in two investigations, including the break-in and burglary of Claw, Antler & Hide and a Custer cabin. 

In the Claw, Antler & Hide break-in and burglary, which occurred over Easter weekend in March, a warrant for Tyrell Legerski, 22, has been issued. Legerski also has other multiple charges and warrants against him in connection for burglaries in Gillette, Wyo., Spearfish and Lawrence County and is suspected in the Custer break-in/burglary, as well as the break-in and burglary of a museum in Hot Springs. 



Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Planning makeup heads to council
Published: Thursday, December 11th, 2014

The constitution of the City of Custer’s planning commission will include five full-time members, one temporary member and two alternates, if a recommendation approved for the makeup of the commission by the city’s current commission is approved by the Custer City Council at its meeting Monday. The makeup recommendation passed unanimously at a planning commission meeting Tuesday evening.

The temporary member of the commission will be a representative of the city’s three-mile jurisdictional area outside of city limits. State law says municipalities can—but do not have to—have control over land three miles outside the city limits for planning purposes. Towns can opt to have control over less than three miles, as well. Under the new set-up, that three-mile representative—which is currently Andy Kelford—will vote only on issues that affect that area.



Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Deck the halls with useful tips
Published: Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Just like the famous carol, it’s time to deck the halls.

While decorating for Christmas can elicit reactions anywhere from joy and excitement to frustration and confusion, it can also be stressful. That’s why the Chronicle has talked to some pros when it comes to decorating to make your holiday simple, easy and worry-free.  

“Where we live, there is an abundance of cheap materials,” said Jenny Behlings of Jenny’s Floral in Custer, who has decorated homes at Hart Ranch and in Rapid City, as well as the state capitol through the South Dakota Floral Association. “Pine cones are outside and make for great ornaments or decorations. Permits for trees from the Forest Service are pretty cheap. Then, if you trim your tree, you can use the branches for swags or wreaths. Add some ribbon and tinsel and you have a nice, rustic tree.” 



Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Dr. Joy takes on new role
Published: Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Dr. Joy Falkenburg of Custer has added another achievement to her list of accomplishments: Crime-fighter.

On Saturday, Nov. 22, she and a good friend, Michelle Lehman, along with Joy’s children decided to stop at the westside Safeway in Rapid City after attending a YMCA basketball game in Rapid City (which Custer won, she  notes).

They had just entered the store on the south side by the deli and Joy was in the process of grabbing a cart when she heard a woman about 10 feet away screaming, “He stole my purse! He stole my purse!”



Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Custer Cruisin’ committee nixes beer garden
Published: Thursday, December 4th, 2014

There will be no beer garden at the 2015 Custer Cruisin’ Rally after business owners and community members voiced their opposition to the idea during the Custer Cruisin’ Committee’s meeting on Friday, Nov. 21. 

“The beer garden is a bad idea. It’s bad for the other businesses who sell beer, for one,” said Matt Furse, pastor at Mountainview Baptist Church, which has had a tent at the rally since 2002. “We should (look at bringing in) unique vendors that are already not on the street. We don’t want to be like Sturgis; families come here to experience the bikes without experiencing what Sturgis has.”



Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Holiday events kick off this week
Published: Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Custer will once again be bustling with Christmas spirit this weekend, when the city hosts a variety of holiday events, including the annual Custer Christmas Parade and and other downtown activities.

The parade is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m., sponsored by the Custer Area Chamber of Commerce and Black Hills Power. Floats and entries will be judged in three categories — Best Use of Lights, Best Musical Entry and Judges’ Choice.



Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Merchants question snow removal policy again
Published: Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The City of Custer’s often-lamented policy of snow removal in the downtown business area came under question again at Monday night’s city council meeting when a pair of downtown merchants came before the council to discuss the parameters of the ordinance.

Robert Paceley of Custer Industrial said he recently received a letter from the city telling the downtown merchants of the city’s ordinance, which states the merchants must have their sidewalks cleared off by 9 a.m. each morning, regardless of how much snow fell during the course of the day and night. Paceley took exception to the seven days a week part of the ordinance, feeling it is more of a burden on business owners and employees to have to shovel their walks on weekends or major holidays or hire someone else to do the shoveling. Paceley said it costs $100 each time Custer Industrial hires someone to shovel its walk.



Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Riders, Forest Service come to agreement
Published: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Come spring, a number of Custer horseback riders should once again be able to cross French Creek in the Upper French Creek-Limestone riding area they love.

After an hour and a half in a sometimes contentious meeting between the riders and Sherri Schwenke, Hell Canyon District Ranger for the U.S. Forest Service and Les Gonyer, hydrologist for the Forest Service, the riders and Forest Service officials appear to have a handshake agreement to meet in the area in the spring to see how the trail can be made more accessible to those on horseback.



Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

County shop is back on burner
Published: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

The long-stalled plans for the Custer County highway shop on the eastern side of the county appear to be gaining steam, as the Custer County Commission authorized having county highway superintendent Gary Woodward put out for bids for the facility after discussing its layout at the commission’s Nov. 19 meeting.

Woodford presented a rough floor plan for the shop, which would include offices for the South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation and the Custer County Sheriff’s Department. The main area of the shop would be large enough to house two motorgraders, a plow truck and at least one pickup. Woodford said the county weed and pest department would use the facility to work out of in the summer, and three employees would be at the shop periodically.



Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

$2k reward offered for burglary information
Published: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

A $2,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the latest—and probably most expensive—in a string of burglaries that have occurred in and around Custer.

The money is being offered by the victims of the most recently discovered burglary, Gary and Nancy Hirt, part-time Custer residents who had thousands of dollars in merchandise stolen out of their cabin located in the Big Rock Park area. Among the items taken from the home that are known so far are a John Deer Gator UTV, a Yamaha Grizzly 660 four-wheeler, a Winchester 1894 lever action rifle, a Ruger Mark iii­­­­ hand gun, a 1978 Kawasaki K175 motorcycle, a Henry Golden Boy lever action, ammunition, alcohol and a Samsung TV.



Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Green leaves county
Published: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

When David Green packed his belongings and moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota on Christmas Day 2006, he didn’t expect to spend nearly a decade in Custer.

However, seven years and 11 months after he was first hired by the Custer County Commission to work in the planning department under then-planning director Mike McMahon, Green has worked his last day for the department, officially ending his run with the county Nov. 14—although his last day in the office was Nov. 7. Green has moved to Minnesota to pursue another career opportunity.



Thursday, November 20th, 2014

January weather envelops region
Published: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Many Custer residents were shocked to wake up the morning of Nov. 11 and find thermostats reading subzero temperatures on their outdoor thermometers. While the weather itself may not be shocking, the fact that the January-type temperatures are coming in November had people talking.

But according to Alex Calderon, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Rapid City, this type of extreme cold isn’t unusual.

“We don’t normally see cold like this until December and have it happen later during winter, but it has happened before,” he said. “When we go into winter, temperatures can drop pretty quickly in the fall. It just happens.”



Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Buffalo prices up, revenue down
Published: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Prices were up across the board for the buffalo offered to the highest bidder at the 49th annual Custer State Park Fall Classic Buffalo Auction last Saturday, Nov. 15, although the total money the park raised was lower than a year ago.

This year’s auction brought in $380,325, down from last year’s number of $476,655. Those numbers are deceiving, however, as the park sold only 224 buffalo this year, as compared to 324 a year ago.



Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Board approves theatre seating
Published: Thursday, November 13th, 2014

When the second half of the school year kicks off in 2015, Custer Jr./Sr. High School will have a brand new theatre — well, sort of. 

On Monday night, the Custer District School Board of Education approved the theatre project, which would remove 17 seats to create an aisle down the middle of the theatre. The cost for the project would be $845.

“It’s a safety issue and people want it used that way,” said superintendent of schools Mark Naugle. “There were strong opinions to (do it this way).”



Thursday, November 13th, 2014

CSP buffalo to be auctioned
Published: Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The 50th Annual Custer State Park Fall Classic Bison Auction will take place this Saturday, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m. at the Custer State Park Corrals. Registration begins at 9 .m.

Up for sale this year are six young burros, seven mature bred cows, 21 open mature cows, eight 2-year-old bred heifers, four open 2-year-old heifers, 36 yearling heifers, 50 heifer calves, 61 bull calves, 36 yearling bulls, three 2-year-old grade bulls and a 21-year-old appaloosa gelding.



Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Landowners seek access to own property
Published: Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Ongoing access issues on land adjacent to Forest Service land within Custer County prompted an appearance by Sherri Schwenke, Hell Canyon District Ranger, along with Scott Haas, recreation program manager for the Forest Service, at the Nov. 5 meeting of the Custer County Commission, to discuss those issues with the commission.

A number of county property owners having landlocked property adjacent to U.S. Forest Service land and the Forest Service refuses to give easements across its land. Instead, the Forest Service is telling the property owners to negotiate easements with their neighbors, which in some cases is much more cumbersome and expensive than going across Forest Service land would be.



Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Korean, Vietnam vet recalls service
Published: Thursday, November 6th, 2014

When Dick Dieter watches the news of the ongoing War On Terror, he sees a lot of similarities between that war and the war he helped fight for 51 months of his life—Vietnam.

“Technically, it’s the same,”â��he said.â��“We don’t belong there. We don’t have any business there. It’s the politicians. If those people want to kill one another, who are we to judge them?”

Dieter, 77, spent over four years of his life entrenched in the Vietnam War, serving in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.



Thursday, November 6th, 2014

City seeks leaks
Published: Thursday, November 6th, 2014

It was a short meeting for the Custer City Council on Monday, Nov. 3, at which council members approved requests, purchases and ordinances. 

In his department report, public works director Bob Morrison told city council members that a couple of leaks were found by South Dakota Rural Water.

“They did some leak detection with a correlator, which can hear leaks in a pipeline. It was successful and we did find some leaks,” he said.



Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Republicans sweep mid-term election
Published: Thursday, November 6th, 2014

It was a good night for the Republicans, after sweeping the election races Tuesday, Nov. 4.

In local races, Custer County voters elected incumbents Phil Lampert, Travis Bies and Jim Lintz to the county commission, each to serve a four-year term. Lampert had the highest percentage of the four with over 30 percent, while Lintz was next with 27 percent and Bies third with 22 percent. Challenger Steve Price finished with 17 percent of the vote.



Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Business potential to be studied
Published: Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Custer County is officially in line for a free service from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture that will highlight areas with the potential to become home to a business that involves the agriculture industry. This comes after the commission gave the go-ahead to county auditor Nancy Christensen to apply for the program after hearing about it from Ty Littau, agricultural development representative with the Department of Agriculture. 

Littau, who was at the commission’s Oct. 22 meeting, was hired into his position April 2 and said he has been going to each of the county commissions is his area (western third of the state) to introduce himself  and to discuss the project, which he said studies the feasibility of putting agricultural-related businesses into Custer and other counties.



Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Cruisin’ may add a beer garden
Published: Thursday, October 30th, 2014

While there weren’t enough committee members to take action at the Oct. 17 Custer Cruisin’ meeting, that didn’t stop them from discussing  future events and upgrades of the Custer Cruisin’ Rally. 

After attending a meeting for vendors, Don Herren, committee chair, reported back with their comments and suggestions for the next event. Suggestions included live music, a “food court,” or an area with a group of picnic tables covered with a tent, as well as seating. The suggestion of a beer garden was also brought up by committee member R.E. “Rock” Roeck. 



Thursday, October 30th, 2014

The Hills are alive with ghosts
Published: Thursday, October 30th, 2014

With such a deep and colorful history, it should be no surprise that the Black Hills has had its fair share of scares, mysterious sightings and odd occurrences. It should also be no surprise that each community has its own urban legends — myths, tales and legends often formed from folklore and stories that may or may not actually be true. 

In Rapid City, the stump of a large old oak tree on Skyline Drive is said to be the remains of “the hanging tree,” which according to historical records, several people were hung for crimes they committed. Given the fact that many of the hangings occurred in the late 1800s — a fairly common practice in western South Dakota — it’s not unlikely that the spirits of those killed still lurk in the area. 



Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Picking up the pieces
Published: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Editor’s Note: Two years ago, we interviewed Shelby (not her real name) while she was staying in the W.E.A.V.E. shelter in Custer. She had been in three abusive relationships. Her first husband hit her in the face and broke her nose when she believed she had been overcharged at a fast food restaurant and asked for a receipt. 

Her second husband, although well-off financially, was very controlling, causing her to lose all sense of who she was and her individual worth. She ended up with an old boyfriend from high school who was physically, emotionally and mentally abusive. That relationship ended with him beating her for two hours.

She had 31 bruises, a concussion, a sprained ankle and a torn ligament in her knee, all from the beating. The next morning, Shelby couldn’t walk or even stand up. 




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