Our Community Articles
Published: Thursday, April 17th, 2014
The board of trustees of the 1881 Courthouse Museum has announced the appointment of Gary Enright of Hill City as its new director. Enright recently moved to the Black Hills after retiring from a long and varied career in management and administering various state and national organizations.
“The board completed its search for a replacement of Sandy Ackman who retired in January after serving as director of the museum since 2008,” said Leon Nepper, chairman of the museum’s board of trustees.
Enright began his duties on April 15.
Published: Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Every Monday, Glenda Jones does the same thing: gets up, gets ready, drives to Rapid City and visits with patients in Hospice. That’s nearly every Monday for 15 years.
“I just do it for my patients,” she said. “I like the time I spend with them, the conversations we have and the things I learn. I love doing (what I do).”
Published: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Whether it’s pancakes, a bowl of fruit or cereal, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And now that one Custer restaurant’s breakfast has been featured nationally, breakfast may just get a little more popular.
Baker’s Bakery, located in downtown Custer, was featured in the March 2014 issue of “Every Day with Rachael Ray” magazine for its annual breakfast issue. In the magazine, breakfast items from across the nation were put together to form a map of the nation, with one restaurant from each state featured in the article. Baker’s Bakery was selected to represent South Dakota.
Published: Thursday, March 20th, 2014
The Custer Volunteer Fire Department held its annual banquet last Saturday evening at Crazy Horse Memorial. Fire department members were joined by friends of the department, including spouses, firefighters from neighboring agencies and other guests.
Published: Thursday, March 20th, 2014
“This session went by faster than normal for me,” Rep. Mike Verchio said. “The somewhat lighter bill load made it much easier to study and research bills.”
The final days of the session saw legislators spending leftover funds in the budget on a variety of projects, including $500,000 to The Ellsworth Air Force Base authority, whose members work to preserve the future of the base, and $464,000 for a shale research program at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City.
Published: Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Jenny Behlings will always remember the day she turned 50.
Behlings and her group of friends went to Rapid City, where they celebrated in style. After a night on the town, the group spent the next afternoon shopping downtown, stopping by the Suzie Cappa Art Center, which supports artists with different abilities.
Published: Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Rick Weiland, the lone Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in South Dakota, came into a Saturday afternoon meeting in Custer “fired up and motivated” in his quest to win the seat being vacated by Democrat Tim Johnson who is retiring this year.
“We used to have government of, for and by the people. Now it’s big corporations. We need to take back our government and our country,” Weiland, 55, told a group of 20 Democratic supporters at Bitter Esters.
With his second Custer campaign visit, Weiland is fulfilling a campaign promise to visit all 311 incorporated towns in the state.
Published: Thursday, March 6th, 2014
The rainforests from around the world came to Custer Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the form of exotic animals, ranging from small and terrifying to large and cuddly.
Melissa Fugit with Wonders of the Rainforest brought the animals for Custer Elementary students to see up close.
Before bringing out the animals, Fugit talked a little bit about rainforests — both tropical and temperate — and what kind of habitat the animals live in.
Published: Thursday, February 27th, 2014
After a week of being closed, the Custer County Library will have a slightly new look when it reopens Monday. While not a major renovation per se, the removal and improvement of the carpet has been a long time coming — 32 years, to be exact.
“The carpet has been here since the library was built in 1982,” said librarian Doris Ann Mertz. “The carpet was high quality and withstood the high traffic in the library quite well over those 32 years.”
Published: Thursday, February 20th, 2014
It was a little messy Tuesday evening at Custer YMCA’s child development center. Messy and purple — thanks to the hard working staff at the YMCA.
Surrounded by staff members and a couple tubes of hair dye, Rex Jorgensen, director of the YMCA, underwent a hair color change, from grey to purple and gold.
“I’ve been at the YMCA for 26 years and this is the most insane thing I have done,” he said.
Published: Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
Two years ago, the average day for Justin Burke consisted of going to work, coming home, playing with his kids and doing other things that a normal, active 31-year-old would do.
Two years later, Burke is fighting for his life.
That’s because Burke, 33, has been diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)—a disease in which tissue deep in the lungs becomes thick and stiff or scarred. The formation of the scar tissue is called fibrosis.
Published: Thursday, February 6th, 2014
On Feb. 8, Custer area lovers of story, dance, theatre and music will be able to enjoy their favorite genre combined in the perennial classical favorite, Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” ballet.
The ballet, featuring a fantasy world of childhood fairy-tale dreams and a young girl’s awakening to love, premiered in December 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia, and remains one of the most popular ballets of all time. It will be performed at 7 p.m. at the Custer High School theatre.
Published: Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Dr. Joy Falkenburg had a message for the audience attending Monday evening’s Reclaiming the Brain seminar: It’s never too late.
“I think it takes a village to raise children. I think a lot of us recognize that drug and alcohol problems exist around us,” she said. “This issue will affect all of us at one time or another. It’s insidious and slow — that’s the thing that’s scary about it; you don’t see it coming.”
In her 12 years working in Custer, Falkenburg has saved people from drugs, seen addicts who are still struggling and has even seen people die from the addiction.
Published: Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Even though Operation Black Hills Cabin (OBHC) has been helping wounded veterans and their families for three years, it only recently began hosting families for a week-long stay in its 9-month-old cabin. To date, 12 families have spent a week of fun in the cabin and, hopefully, more will follow. But in order for that to happen, help is needed.
“This time last year, there wasn’t a cabin, so it was the board and their spouses doing what needed to be done,” said Pat Baird, OBHC co-founder. “It was so crazy over the summer we didn’t know how to start committees, so most of us did the work. Now that we have time to re-group, we’re looking for volunteers to help.”
Published: Thursday, January 16th, 2014
It’s a new year for everyone. While many are making resolutions, Rosemary Arp is making a promise.
“I feel like 2014 is going to be a good year. I am really excited for this year and I want to be able to enjoy it,” she said.
One way Arp plans to enjoy the year is by getting healthier — and joining the Custer County Chronicle’s Biggest Loser contest.
Published: Thursday, January 9th, 2014
The ranching life isn’t cut out for everyone. But thanks to Amy Kirk’s book, “A Ranchwife’s Slant: Cowboys, Kids and Ranch Life,” everyone can experience life on a ranch without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.
“Writing a book has always been on my bucket list,” Kirk said. “I never thought I was ready for that, but when I was approached to do so, some of the pressure was taken off.”
Published: Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
Amid the members of the 235th Military Police Co. sat hundreds of family members, friends and community supporters at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City Dec. 23 to welcome home 124 soldiers from the South Dakota Army National Guard (SDNG) unit. The 235th just returned from a nine-month deployment to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
Among the soldiers were Corey Virtue of Custer and David VanVleck of Hermosa.
The ceremony in their honor included speakers Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker and Maj. Gen. Tim Reisch, adjutant general of the SDNG.
Published: Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
The following is a list of the top 20 items in the Custer County Chronicle’s Sheriff’s Log for 2013, as selected by the staff of the Chronicle. The Sheriff’s Log is written weekly by Custer County sheriff’s deputy Seth Thompson. Numbers 20-11 will be listed this week.
“Stop butt dialing us.”
Wednesday, June 5
12:09 a.m.: Numerous 911 pocket dial calls came from the area of Camp Bob Marshall east of Custer. Two deputies spent a fair amount of time attempting to locate the phone, with no success. So, the next time you ask, “where are the cops when I need them?” you’ll know. Oh, yeah…and lock your phone when you put it in your pocket.
“Severe weather is the sh...the craps.”
Wednesday, Sept. 4
6:58 p.m.: A person called from a porta-potty near the Custer sign to report they were trapped by a hailstorm. The person was advised to stay put until the hail stopped.
Published: Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Some Custer County churches will hold special services and programs in honor of Christmas. The churches holding special services are as follows:
• Crossroads Church: There will be a special Christmas service on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 9:45 a.m. There will also be a Christmas Eve service from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Custer Community Church United Church of Christ: There will be a Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m.
• Custer Lutheran Fellowship ELCA: There will be two services on Christmas Eve, beginning at 4 and 7 p.m.
Published: Thursday, December 12th, 2013
Second graders in the Hermosa school have been getting their hands sticky for the sake of helping others.
Second grade teacher Becky Lowe and her students spent two afternoons making over 1,000 popcorn balls for people across Custer County, raising $1,019 for the Black Hills Children’s Home.
“We had great donations — some being $50 for a popcorn ball — and great support,” Lowe said.
Published: Thursday, December 5th, 2013
The cost of hunting, camping and fishing in South Dakota will go up in 2014, after the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (GFP) Commission unanimously approved the fee increases at its most recent meeting.
The Wildlife Division of GFP does not receive any general support from the state legislature, while the Division of Parks and Recreation gets a small share. That means pay raises and health insurance increases passed by the legislature for state government generally have to come from within the GFP budget. It is estimated the license increases would generate about $2 million.
Published: Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
If you’re ever searching for Bonnie Brouillard and can’t seem to track her down, try looking at Custer Regional Senior Care (CRSC). She spends a lot of time there.
Brouillard isn’t a resident at CRSC, but rather one of a handful of local citizens who volunteer at the various senior care facilities in town. Brouillard spends Mondays at CRSC playing cards with a resident at the facility, and also spends Wednesdays there calling bingo numbers.
Brouillard’s relationship with CRSCâï¿½ï¿½started several years ago, when her mother spent the final year of her life as a resident there. She said the staff was so kind to her mother, that she decided to continue to visit CRSCâï¿½ï¿½after her mother died in 2008.
Published: Thursday, November 21st, 2013
In most cases, they’ve raised their families, had a career and been involved in their churches, their communities and their schools.
In many cases, their mates are now gone, their children live elsewhere and they are not able to get around like they used to.
Not only have they seen sweeping changes in the world around them in their decades on this earth, but they have also experienced changes in their bodies that limit their interactions with that world.
When they move into a nursing home, out of sight and often overlooked and forgotten, the elderly in our society now are largely dependent on volunteers to provide the social interactions that give meaning to their lives.
Both nursing homes in Custer — Custer Regional Senior Care and Rose Haven — welcome volunteers and there are many opportunities to do so.
Although Custer Regional Senior Care has about 50 people who volunteer, probably about one third of those people volunteer only two times a year, according to Linda Holmes, activities director.
“We definitely have opportunities for people to volunteer,” Holmes said. That includes volunteering for not only organized activities, such as parties, bingo and church services, but also walk-in volunteers, she said.
The numbers of volunteers have lessened, she noted, “because they are now our clientele and the new generation is different.”
Published: Thursday, November 14th, 2013
Kat Craig, who used to help take care of the residents at Custer Regional Senior Care, remembers sitting during a church service with one of the women there, holding her hand.
“And then her family came in to join us," she said. "For them to see someone spending time with their loved one is a happy thing. They live far away or what not, but know (their loved one is taken care of). That makes them feel good.”
Sadly, some of the residents don’t get a lot of interaction.”
Published: Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Whether it’s buying a veteran a meal at a restaurant or creating a nonprofit organization that allows injured war veterans a free vacation in the Black Hills, Custer County is no stranger to paying thanks to those who served the United States. Custer County and serving veterans go hand in hand.
From the Hermosa and Custer American Legions to the Custer VFW and VFWâï¿½ï¿½Auxillary, Custer has many heroes who have served and fought for the freedoms we enjoy today. To honor those heroes, Custer County has a large number of selfless individuals, businesses and clubs that are ready to sacrifice a meal, an entrance fee or some of their time for those who have sacrificed so much more.