Recent News


State Historical Society’s “Picturing the Past” paperback now available
A new paperback edition of “Picturing the Past: South Dakota’s Historic Places” from the South Dakota State Historical Society celebrates iconic historic buildings.


Western Writers honor South Dakota Historical Society Press
The South Dakota Historical Society Press has been named the 2020 John M. Cleary Homestead Honoree for its outstanding support of the Western Writers of America (WWA) and the literature of the American West.

Roadside Mowing: Hold off until after July 10
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Departments of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and Transportation (DOT) want to remind individuals there are laws and rules governing when mowing right-of-way ditches can begin on the state highway system.

Unemployment Initial Weekly Claims Decrease
During the week of May 24 through May 30, a total of 1,435 initial weekly claims for unemployment benefits were processed by the Department of Labor and Regulation.

Highway 27 East of Langford Closing for Construction
The South Dakota Department of Transportation will begin pipe replacement work on Highway 27 approximately two miles east of Langford on Monday, June 8.

I-29 Exit 246 Interchange Ramp Closing for Construction
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says the contractor reconstructing Interstate 29 will be closing the I-29, Exit 246 interchange on Monday, June 8.


The South Dakota State Fair Continues Planning for 2020 Event
The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) announces the South Dakota State Fair, scheduled for September 3-7, 2020, will continue.

DOT Seeking Nominations for Transportation Hall of Honor
The South Dakota Department of Transportation is accepting nominations for consideration to be inducted into the South Dakota Transportation Hall of Honor.

Construction on Highway 18 North of Pine Ridge
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says a box culvert replacement project on Highway 18 two miles north of Pine Ridge will begin Monday, June 8.

Public Universities Adjust Fall Semester Schedule
South Dakota’s six public universities will begin their fall semester Aug. 19 and conclude classroom instruction by Thanksgiving, the South Dakota Board of Regents said today.


Gov. Noem Congratulates Justice Jensen on Selection as Next Chief Justice
Governor Kristi Noem today issued the following statement congratulating Justice Steven Jensen on his selection as the next Chief Justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court

New Historical Society book offers personal look at life during Great Depression
“A Dust Bowl Book of Days, 1932” by Craig Volk, the latest book from the South Dakota Historical Society Press, invites readers into the day-to-day life of a Mitchell woman and her family as they struggle to survive.


State Prison Inmate Lorenzo Benallie Dies
State prison inmate Lorenzo Benallie has died following an extended illness unrelated to COVID-19.

Grant Will Help Expand Public Hunting and Fishing Access Opportunities on South Dakota’s Private Lands
Public access opportunities for hunting and fishing on private lands will be expanded thanks to a grant awarded to the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP).

Culvert Repairs and Replacements in Butte & Meade Counties
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says work is beginning this week to replace box culverts under Highway 212 at mile markers 48, 49 and 50, east of Newell.


Gov. Noem Activates National Guard to Assist in Sioux Falls
Governor Kristi Noem has activated the National Guard to immediately assist with violent riots in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Sioux Falls
State Health officials announced Sunday, May 31, that a patron of Planet Fitness at 1509 West 41st Street in Sioux Falls has tested positive for COVID-19.


South Dakota: Beautiful and Free
I may be biased, but I think South Dakota is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Governor Noem Signs Emergency Declaration for Day County
Yesterday, Governor Kristi Noem signed an emergency declaration for Day County, South Dakota.

Special education report now available online
Information regarding school districts’ performance on improving the educational outcomes of students with disabilities is now available online. The Special Education Report is released annually by June 1.

Chip Seal Project on Highways 34 and 79
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says a chip seal will be applied to highways 34 and 79 in the Belle Fourche and Castle Rock areas beginning Monday, June 1.


Unemployment Initial Weekly Claims Decrease
During the week of May 17 through May 23, a total of 3,410 initial weekly claims for unemployment benefits were processed by the Department of Labor and Regulation.

Temporary Extension Extended Again For Driver License Expiration Dates
PIERRE, S.D. – A temporary extension of the expiration date for certain South Dakota driver licenses has been extended until March 30, 2021 by Gov. Kristi Noem.

Construction Work on Highways 79 and 18
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says highway pipe culvert upgrades followed by a micro mill and asphalt overlay will take place on highways 79 and 18 in the Custer area beginning Monday, June 1.

Chip Seal and Fog Seal Project on Highways 16A and 18
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says a chip seal and fog seal application will be applied to highways 16A and 18 in the Custer area beginning Monday, June 1.

Highway 25 Grade Raise
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says work will begin to raise the grade on Highway 25 east of Roslyn on Wednesday, June 3.

Chip Seal and Fog Seal Projects in the Sioux Falls Area
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says chip seal and fog seal applications will be applied to several highways in the Sioux Falls area of the state starting Monday, June 1.

Concrete Surface Repairs on Highway 18 Bypass in Hot Springs
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says work on Highway 18 Bypass in Hot Springs will begin on Monday, June 8.


Wildfire Awareness Month Coloring Contest Winners Announced
The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Wildland Fire Division announces the winners of the South Dakota Wildfire Awareness Month’s Coloring Contest.

State Library recognizes 21st Century School Libraries
The South Dakota State Library has announced the 2020 recipients of the 21st Century School Library Award. This award recognizes school libraries as Effective, Enhanced or Exemplary, based on performance in three areas: place, which refers to the learning environment (both physical and online), programming and the professional.

South Dakota seeking to join online SNAP pilot
South Dakotans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may have the option of buying groceries online in the future, the Department of Social Services announced today.


Governor Noem Signs Executive Orders to Fight COVID-19
Today, Governor Kristi Noem signed two executive orders to help in South Dakota’s fight against the spread of COVID-19.

Name Released In Gregory County Fatal Crash
BURKE, S.D. – A Burke juvenile male has been identified as the person who died Friday night in a two-vehicle crash east of Burke.


Gregory County Fatal Crash
BURKE, S.D. – One person died and another person was seriously injured in a two-vehicle crash Friday night east of Burke.


Thanking the Fallen
This Memorial Day we once again have an opportunity to say “thank you” to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that the United States remains the greatest country in the world.

State Historical Society awards three historic preservation grants
Historic preservation projects in Huron, Sisseton, and Yankton recently received matching grants from the South Dakota State Historical Society.

Celebrate 605 Day Across South Dakota
The fifth of June is more than just a day in South Dakota. It’s 605 Day! On June 5, 2020, join the South Dakota Department of Tourism in celebrating the fifth annual 605 Day.

Box Culvert Installation East of Nisland
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says work is starting today, May 22, on Highway 212 four miles east of Nisland over Owl Creek.


DENR Announces Compliance Incentive Program for Petroleum Underground Tank Systems
The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is pleased to announce a new Compliance Incentive Program to encourage tank owners to comply with the new federal petroleum underground storage tank (UST) regulations.

Unemployment Initial Weekly Claims Decrease
During the week of May 10 through May 16, a total of 3,806 initial weekly claims for unemployment benefits were processed by the Department of Labor and Regulation.

DPS: Safe Driving Is A Priority This Memorial Day Weekend
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety is encouraging people who decide to travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend to be safe drivers.

Governor recognizes service of foster families
Foster families play an important role in caring for children in communities across South Dakota and Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed May as Foster Parent Appreciation and Awareness Month to recognize their selfless dedication.

Board Recognizes Departing Regent and Special Schools Superintendent
In a web conference meeting today, the South Dakota Board of Regents bid farewell virtually to departing Regent Lucas Lund and retired special schools’ superintendent, Marje Kaiser.

Special Resolution Gives Thanks to Board of Regents’ Employees
A special resolution adopted Thursday by the South Dakota Board of Regents recognized faculty and staff of the regents’ system for their efforts in response to COVID-19.


GFP Commission Changes East River Antlerless Deer Tags
PIERRE, S.D. – In an effort to reduce mule deer doe harvest during the east river deer hunting season, the Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission passed an administrative action converting all “any antlerless deer” licenses to “antlerless whitetail deer” licenses.

Name Released in Grant County Fatal Crash
BIG STONE CITY, S.D. – A Milbank, S.D. man has been identified as the person who died Saturday night in a motorcycle crash in Big Stone City.


Unemployment Claimants Must Request Weekly Payment
The Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) reminds unemployment insurance claimants to request a weekly benefit payment by calling 605-626-3212 after 6 p.m. CDT or by filing online at RAclaims.sd.gov any time.

Funding available to DSS-regulated child care programs
The Department of Social Services (DSS) will use newly received federal funding to help support child care programs and the families they serve. The funding will help with the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

26th Street Bridge Patching over I-29
The Mitchell Region DOT Bridge Crew will be completing patchwork on the 26th Street bridge over I-29 in Sioux Falls on Thursday May 21.

Intersection Improvements on U.S. Highway 16 at Croell (Perli) Pit
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says a project to improve the intersection on Highway 16 at the Croell (Perli) Pit south of Rapid City began on Monday, May 18.

Construction To Begin On Northbound Interstate 29 Bridge Over 12th Street
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says work to place a high surface friction treatment on the northbound driving lane of the Interstate 29 bridge over 12th Street in Sioux Falls will begin Tuesday, May 26.

SDDVA Secretary Whitlock’s May Column – Let Us Never Forget!
Let us all pause this Memorial Day to remember great and brave Americans – to recognize their valor and applaud the blessings their bravery has secured.


Governor Noem Signs Executive Order to Give Flexibility in Fight against COVID-19
Today, Governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order to give flexibility in South Dakota’s fight against the spread of COVID-19.


Grant County Fatal Crash
BIG STONE CITY, S.D. – One person died Saturday night in a motorcycle crash in Big Stone City.


Potential COVID-19 Exposure at Rapid City Business
State Health officials announced Saturday, May 16, that an employee at Super 8 on 2520 Tower Road in Rapid City has tested positive for COVID-19.

Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Rapid City
State Health officials announced Saturday, May 16, that a Rapid Ride Transit driver has tested positive for COVID-19.

Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Aberdeen
State Health officials announced Saturday, May 16, that a patron of Lager’s Inn and the Zoo Bar in Aberdeen has tested positive for COVID-19.


Our Plan to Ramp Up Testing
As communities work their way back to normal, one of the tools in our fight against COVID-19 that we will continue to ramp up is mass testing.

Fur trade focus of new State Historical Society book
The latest book from the South Dakota State Historical Society looks at the history of two fur trade posts on the upper Missouri River.

Bush’s Landing Access Road to Open Late Friday
The Bush’s Landing access road and boat ramp is planned to be open for use by the end of the working day Friday, May 15.


GFP Commission Extends Youth Pheasant Season
PIERRE, S.D. – At their May meeting, the Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized their proposal to extend the youth pheasant season.

GFP Commission Creates Length Limit for Flathead Catfish on Border Waters
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Park (GFP) Commission finalized a regulation change proposal creating a length limit for flathead catfish on waters shared by Nebraska and South Dakota.

GFP Commission Denies Petition on Livetrap Removal
At their May meeting, the Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission received a public petition to amend the date of livetrap removal from September 1 to July 1.

GFP Commission Modifies Archery Deer Season, Adds Units in some Municipalities
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized the 2020 archery deer season at their May meeting.

GFP Commission Changes Age Restrictions for Youth Waterfowl Season
PIERRE, S.D. – The Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission modified the eligibility for participation in the youth waterfowl season to those who have not reached the age of 16 to youth who have not reached the age of 18.

GFP Commission Votes to Keep Sage Grouse Season Closed
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission agreed to keep the sage grouse hunting season closed at their May meeting based on the data collected supporting the department’s recommendation to retain the season closure.

GFP Commission Finalizes Removal of River Otter from State Threatened List, Proposes Conservative Otter Trapping Season
PIERRE, S.D. – The Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized the action to remove the river otter from South Dakota’s list of threatened species at their May teleconference meeting.

Lost License Proposal Discussed
PIERRE, S.D. – At their May meeting, the Game, Fish and Parks Commission discussed their proposal to remove the $20 administrative fee for lost or destroyed licenses, permits or game tags. However, the license agent’s fee established by SDCL 41-6-66.1 would still be charged by license agents and the department.

Fall Turkey Season Proposal Discussed
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission discussed their proposal to slightly decrease the number of licenses available for the 2020 and 2021 fall turkey hunting seasons.

Unemployment Initial Weekly Claims Increase
During the week of May 3 through May 9, a total of 5,131 initial weekly claims for unemployment benefits were processed by the Department of Labor and Regulation.

U.S. Highway 212 Work to Switch Lanes in Watertown
Reede Construction will be switching to the westbound lanes to complete the remaining work on Highway 212 between Highway 20 and Highway 81 in Watertown on Monday, May 18.


Flags at Half-Staff on Friday for Peace Officers Memorial Day
Governor Kristi Noem today ordered that flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day from sunrise until sundown on Friday, May 15, 2020.

Names Released in Turner County Fatal Crash
PARKER, S.D. – A Sioux Falls, S.D. man has been identified as the person who died in a two-vehicle crash Saturday morning near Parker.

Pavement Marking Project on Sturgis Road
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says new pavement marking paint will be applied to Highway 231 (Sturgis Road) near Piedmont beginning Tuesday, May 19.

Pavement Marking on I-90 Near White Lake
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says durable pavement marking will be placed in the eastbound lanes of I-90 from about Exit 296 (White Lake) east for 13 miles starting Monday, May 18.


Governor Noem Signs Executive Order to Give Flexibility in Fight against COVID-19
Today, Governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order to give flexibility in South Dakota’s fight against the spread of COVID-19.

Driver Licensing Program Begins “Back to Normal” Plan May 18
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s Driver Licensing Program will begin Phase One of its “Back to Normal” plan by offering services to the public through scheduled appointments at 10 exam stations statewide starting Monday, May 18.

Names Released In Pennington County Fatal Crash
SCENIC, S.D. – A 29-year-old woman has been identified as the person who died in a one-vehicle crash Thursday night near Scenic.

Structure Replacement Project to Begin Near Whitehorse
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says structure replacement and approach grading will begin on Dewey County Highway 7 one mile east of Whitehorse on Monday, May 18, 2020.

Sales and property tax refund program open to senior citizens and citizens with disabilities
South Dakota senior citizens and citizens with disabilities have until July 1 to apply for sales or property tax refunds under South Dakota’s Tax Refund Program.


Turner County Fatal Crash
PARKER, S.D. – One person died and three others were injured in a two-vehicle crash Saturday morning near Parker.


A Message and a Thank You
I have two things that I’d like to share with you this week: a message about South Dakota tourism, and a personal thanks to a dear friend of mine.

Governor Noem to Tribes: Remove All Checkpoints
Governor Kristi Noem today sent letters to Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and President Bear Runner of the Oglala Sioux Tribe demanding that checkpoints be removed from State and US Highways.

Governor Noem Announces House District 22 Legislative Appointment
Governor Kristi Noem today announced that she is appointing Lynn Schneider of Huron to represent District 22 in the South Dakota State House of Representatives.

DENR Installs Water Level Monitoring Equipment Near Lake Thompson
In April, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Watershed Protection Program installed new water level monitoring equipment on a bridge near Lake Thompson in Kingsbury County.

Geigle Named Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year
PIERRE, S.D. – The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators has named Adam Geigle the 2020 Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year. Geigle is a conservation officer for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and is stationed in Rapid City.

GFP Seeking Comments on River Otter Plan
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is seeking comments on a draft revision of the river otter management plan, which was first established in 2012.

Pennington County Fatal Crash
SCENIC, S.D. – One person died and three others were injured in a one-vehicle crash Thursday night near Scenic.

Shoulder Work To Begin on Interstate 90
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says shoulder work will begin in the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 between Exit 40 (Tilford) and Exit 32 (Sturgis) on Monday, May 11.

Work Begins on East North Street
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says pavement repair work will begin on East North Street in Rapid City on Tuesday, May 12.

BRIDGE WORK BEGINS ON HIGHWAY 16B
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says bridge work will begin on Highway 16B at mile marker 67.98 in the east and westbound lanes near the intersection of Highway 79 on May 11.

Bridge Work To Begin on Interstate 90 Near Sturgis
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says bridge work will begin in the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 near Sturgis on Tuesday, May 12.


South Dakota Wildland Fire Division Annual National Guard Helicopter Training
South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Wildland Fire Division in conjunction with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and the South Dakota National Guard Aviation Unit will be conducting their annual wildland fire recertification training.

Northern Fort Playhouse Cancels 2020 Summer Season
ABERDEEN, S.D. – Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 virus, the 2020 summer theater season for Northern Fort Playhouse has been canceled.

Spend Mother’s Day Outside!
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is offering free fishing and park entrance Sunday, May 10, to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Unemployment Initial Weekly Claims Decrease
During the week of April 26 through May 2, a total of 3,756 initial weekly claims for unemployment benefits were processed by the Department of Labor and Regulation.

APPLICATION SYSTEM OPEN FOR CARES ACT RELIEF
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Arts Council is now accepting applications for CARES Act emergency relief funds designated for South Dakota arts and cultural organizations.


GFP Announces Dates for Tail Submissions
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has scheduled three tail submission opportunities for the Nest Predator Bounty Program. Tails can be submitted until July 1 or until the $250,000 cap is reached. Due to COVID-19, special guidelines and submission dates are in place for the safety of participants and GFP staff.

Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Sioux Falls
State Health officials announced Wednesday, May 6, that an employee at AT&T on 700 S. Highline Pl. in Sioux Falls has tested positive for COVID-19.

Rail Crossing Work on Highway 18 in Canton
Starting Monday, May 18, the South Dakota Department of Transportation will close and detour a portion of Highway 18 in Canton.

INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS ON HIGHWAY 16 AT COSMOS ROAD
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says a project to improve the intersection on Highway 16 at Cosmos Road will begin Monday, May 11, 2020.

Highway 18 Bypass Turn Lane Construction
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says work on the Highway 18 Bypass in Hot Springs began May 4, 2020.

CONCRETE SURFACE REPAIRS STARTING IN HOT SPRINGS
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says work on Highway 18 in Hot Springs will begin on Friday, May 8.

Crack Seal to Begin West of Pierre/Fort Pierre
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says asphalt concrete crack seal operations will start Monday, May 11, on Highway 14 from the west edge of Fort Pierre at the junction of Highway 1806 and proceed west 23.5 miles.