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Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Peak name still not determined
Published: Thursday, June 30th, 2016

The fate of Harney Peak is still up in the air, as the debate over the potential new name is just getting started.

While the U.S. Board of Geographic Names (BGN) has not yet decided on whether the Harney Peak name — named after Gen. William Harney — will remain the same, the debate has been over the two possible names to replace it: Black Elk Peak or Thunder Peak. The Harney Peak case is still classified as “review listed,” meaning it is an ongoing discussion.



Thursday, June 30th, 2016

City to request water rights
Published: Thursday, June 30th, 2016

If West Dam is to become what the people of Custer want it to become, next Wednesday, July 6, is the most pivotal turn in the long and winding road to turn the dam from an eyesore into the sparkling gem painstakingly planned for.

It is on that day that representatives from the City of Custer — including Mayor Jared Carson, public works director Bob Morrison and David LaFrance of Banner Engineering — will go before the S.D. Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources Water Management Board to request the rights to 77.5 acre-feet of water from French Creek to fill the West Dam pond and return it to what it once was.

West Dam began to leak in 2012 after its outlet structure broke. The dam eventually lost all of its water and has sat in its semi-weed-covered, semi-boggish state ever since.



Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Some think Custer going to the (prairie) dogs
Published: Thursday, June 30th, 2016

On June 14, Ramona Flaig looked out the window of her home in Custer, and couldn’t believe her eyes. There, out near the road, sat a prairie dog.

Flaig took a photo of the critter and contacted the City of Custer. City staff thought Flaig was confusing a woodchuck for a prairie dog. When she contacted the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks, they thought it was the same thing. Flaig said she knows the difference between a woodchuck and a prairie dog and used photographic evidence to back it up.



Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Lodge has ribbon-cutting
Published: Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

After completely disappearing last October and being rebuilt since last November, a brand new Legion Lake Lodge had its ribbon-cutting last Friday morning in Custer State Park.

Area American Legion and VFW members raised the American flag in front of the lodge for the first time as Miss S.D. Outstanding 2016 Teen Hunter Widvey sang the National Anthem.



Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Lyle Jeffs flees custody
Published: Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) polygamous leader Lyle Jeffs has fled from home confinement federal custody in Utah and is on the run.

This comes just two weeks after a federal judge in Salt Lake City released him from jail where he was awaiting trail on charges he helped facilitate a multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud scheme.

“There is a good possibility he will come here,” said Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler.



Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Actor visits Custer
Published: Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

For many, picking up hitchhikers in this day and age is considered the easiest way to be attacked, robbed, killed or even a combination of the above. But when actor Shia LaBeouf asks his Twitter followers to take him anywhere, suddenly fans from across the country are keeping their eyes open on the side of the road. 

LaBeouf’s newest collaboration project, titled #TAKEMEANYWHERE, brought him to Custer Tuesday, June 14, for a night’s stay before departing for his next location. The project, part of an ongoing collaboration with artists Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner, took the trio across the U.S. with the help of LaBeouf’s Twitter account. 



Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Primary election ballot count questioned
Published: Thursday, June 16th, 2016

What is generally routine post-election business was anything but at the June 8 meeting of the Custer County Commission, as the commission did not approve the canvas of the vote of the June 7 general election.

After each election the county canvasses the vote, as it is the county auditor who is in charge of the election. To canvass a vote, the commission looks at how many ballots the county’s tabulation machine counts versus how many ballots the workers at the various precincts say have been counted to determine whether the number of ballots cast is accurate.



Simianer seeks to suppress statements
Published: Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Former Custer City planning director Scott Simianer was back in court last Thursday morning at the Custer County Courthouse, with his defense attorney, Randy Connelly, indicating he plans to file one, and possibly two more motions before the next court date. One would see Connelly asking to suppress a pair of conversations Simianer had regarding the case, with the other seeking an investigator to be hired to assist the defense in the case.

Connelly said he is still pouring over “voluminous”â��material regarding the case and is still trying to obtain records from the Black Hills Children Home, where the alleged victim is staying and has stayed in the past. Connelly said he also seeks a deposition from an employee at the home and that he and states attorney Tracy Kelley will meet with the employee rather than have a formal deposition.



Tornado hits north of Hermosa
Published: Thursday, June 16th, 2016

The National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday morning that a tornado touched down three miles north of Hermosa as part of a series of thunderstorms that hit Custer County Monday afternoon.

Matt Bunkers, science and operations officer with the National Weather Service in Rapid City, said the tornado started to develop around 4:30 p.m. about three miles northwest of Hermosa and moved about seven miles northeast across Hwy. 79, causing damage on both sides of the highway.

“The tornado was close to the radar. We had a pretty good sampling of it after it developed,”â��Bunkers said.



Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Albertson is state Trooper of the Year
Published: Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Highway Patrol Trooper Todd Albertson, who has earned praise for his work with both colleagues and citizens, has been named as the 2016 South Dakota State Trooper of the Year.

Albertson, who is based in Custer, was recognized during an awards luncheon Tuesday in Sioux Falls.  Sponsored by AAA South Dakota, the award is presented to a trooper for continued demonstration of exceptional service to the agency, citizens and communities.



Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Public works forms union
Published: Thursday, June 9th, 2016

A collective bargaining agreement between the City of Custer and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was officially adopted by the Custer City Council at its meeting Monday night, culminating a several-year process by the city’s public works employees to unionize.

Mayor Jared Carson said after the meeting the agreement takes place 20 days after being approved and that not all of the members of the department are in the union, which requires its members to pay dues.



Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Hartman, Sorenson win commission seats
Published: Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Mark Hartman will retain his seat and will serve another four-year term on the Custer County Commission after emerging victorious from the four-person Republican field in last night’s primary election. He will be joined on the board by newcomer Jesse Sorenson, who finished second in the county commission race.

Hartman received 725 votes, while Sorenson received 688 votes. Incumbent Oonagh Wood finished third with 656 votes, while Wally Steele was fourth at 364 votes.



Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Mammography services celebrated
Published: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

While mammography services at Custer Regional Hospital began April 6, the opening of the unit was officially celebrated Monday, May 23, with an open house. 

The Custer Area Chamber of Commerce — with gold ribbon in hand — officially opened the service with a ribbon cutting, which drew a crowd of volunteers, supporters and Regional Health employees. 

“It’s impressive what a small group of individuals who are dedicated and passionate about something  can get done,” said Veronica Schmidt, president of Custer Regional Hospital and Custer market.



Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Liquor license in limbo
Published: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Frustrated by what it feels is unnecessary hoops to jump through for the Town of Hermosa and the looming possibility of a fee, the Custer County Fair Board wants to bypass the Hermosa Town Board in its pursuit of a malt beverage license for the Custer County Fairgrounds. Instead, the fair board has asked the Custer County Commission to issue the license.

At the May 25 meeting of the commission, fair board treasurer Betty Dikoff was before the commission reaffirming the request, saying that although the Town of Hermosa does not charge the fair board for its license, it could implement one at any time. The license, which could cost $325 annually, would cut into the fair board’s attempt to improve the fairgrounds, she said.



Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Tewell: FLDS on total lockdown
Published: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

“Essentially, we’re looking at re-creating the underground railroad,” Custer City Mayor Jared Carson told a core group of people who are interested in helping the people at the Custer County compound of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) last Thursday evening. “We need people to step up for humanity.”

It was all business when Carson hosted the brainstorming group at city hall, which included residents who live next to the compound, Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler, Brenda Warfel, who started the Custer County Citizen Coalition Facebook page, Tim Goodwin, candidate for the South Dakota House of Representatives, and Kyle Krause, a Rapid City attorney who became interested in helping after attending the documentary “Prophet’s Prey” in Rapid City during the Black Hills Film Festival. 



Thursday, May 26th, 2016

The importance of thank you
Published: Thursday, May 26th, 2016

The importance of a simple thank you was hammered home at the annual customer service hospitality training May 17 at Crazy Horse Memorial.

“Customer service people must work hard to get along with people,” said professional motivational speaker V.J. Smith of Brookings. He was the featured speaker at the annual event sponsored by the Custer Area Chamber of Commerce.

After relating a number of nightmarish encounters with those in the hospitality business, Smith gave some advice to the group of about 100 people.



A beginning to an end
Published: Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Fifty-eight seniors finished a major chapter of their lives when they walked across the stage, diploma in hand. 

Custer High School’s annual commencement ceremonies were held Saturday, May 21, at the Custer Armory. 

The first to give his well wishes was Ben Marchand, fellow graduate and master of ceremonies.



Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Info sought on alleged Simianer victim
Published: Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Former City of Custer planning administrator Scott Simianer was back in Seventh Judicial Circuit  Court last Thursday morning before Circuit Court Judge Craig Pfeifle, with Simianer’s attorney, Randy Connelly, requesting information on psychological assessment done on the alleged victim in the case of a civil proceeding several years ago.

Connelly said he was still going through the “voluminous materials” regarding the civil case, and said the requested assessment may reveal information pertinent to the case.



Thursday, May 19th, 2016

West Dam plan gets approval
Published: Thursday, May 19th, 2016

The resuscitation of West Dam took another step forward at Monday evening’s meeting of the Custer City Council when the council unanimously approved the master plan for the reconstruction of the dam, lake and surrounding area.

At the meeting, David LaFrance of Banner Associates and Randy Fisher of Design Works, Inc., presented the master plan through paper copies and a computer slide show. The plan is a result of months of meetings and discussion between the city’s West Dam Task Force and the engineering firms.



Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Putting the pieces together
Published: Thursday, May 19th, 2016

The Custer School District Board of Education will spend $11.4 million for the 2016-17 school year if the budget proposed at the most recent board meeting remains unchanged before adoption.

The budget, which was laid out by school business manager Lisa Fluck during a budget hearing that preceded the board’s May 9 board meeting, is around $50,000 higher than last year’s budget, which was also in the $11.4 million range. The budget can still be changed prior to its official adoption June 13, however. The May 9 look at the budget was not a final review and no vote was taken to adopt the budget.



Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Buffalo gores park visitor
Published: Thursday, May 19th, 2016

A Missouri woman learned firsthand the devastating consequences of ignoring posted signs warning about buffalo. 

The 50-year-old woman had to be Life Flighted to Rapid City Regional Hospital Thursday, May 12, after being gored in the stomach by a 5-year-old bull buffalo. Pictures of the woman show her out in a field on Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park, hand outstretched in an attempt to touch the buffalo.

The woman, whose name has not been released, remains in the hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. She will not face any charges for her actions.



Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Visitor Center dedicated
Published: Thursday, May 12th, 2016

It was only fitting last Friday at Custer State Park that Gov. Dennis Daugaard was at the business end of the scissors that cut the ribbon for the opening of the new Peter Norbeck Visitor Center.

In his 2013 State-of-the-State address to the Legislature, Daugaard proposed the state set aside $1.5 million toward the $6 million cost of a new visitor center in Custer State Park. Legislators agreed.



Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Child dies after fall into tank
Published: Thursday, May 12th, 2016

The Custer community is in mourning following the death of a 2-year-old girl last Friday morning.

Evelyn Estelle Ferraro was reported missing at a trailer park three miles west of Custer at 9:06 a.m. last Friday, May 6. Members of the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, Custer County Search and Rescue Team  and Custer Ambulance were immediately dispatched to the scene.  



Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Prophet’s Prey packs ‘em in
Published: Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Two Black Hills Film Festival showings of the documentary “Prophet’s Prey” were well attended last week in Rapid City and Hot Springs.

The film, named after a book of the same name authored by private investigator Sam Brower, details the history of the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

The sect still practices polygamy and has a secretive, fenced compound in Custer County. Its prophet, Warren Jeffs, is currently serving a life-plus-20-year sentence for child sexual abuse convictions.



Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Chronicle is top award winner
Published: Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Staff members of the Custer County Chronicle won the top Sweepstakes Award in its circulation class at last weekend’s annual S.D. Better Newspaper Contest awards ceremonies.

The contest was part of the annual S.D. Newspaper Association’s annual convention held in Mitchell.

The Sweepstakes Awards are given to the newspaper in each circulation category that accumulates the most points based on individual and staff awards earned.



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