5th Annual LUNAFEST Film Festival in Custer


February 13, 2016
LUNAFEST® is a fundraising film festival dedicated to promoting opportunities for women and awareness of women’s issues. The festival features short films by women filmmakers from all over the world. This unique film festival provides a showcase for the artistry, craftsmanship and creativity of women filmmakers. Films cover a variety of topics and subjects and are suitable for all audiences.

The 5th Annual Custer LUNAFEST will be hosted by the Zonta Club of the Southern Black Hills at Custer High School on February 13, 2016.
All proceeds from LUNAFEST will benefit the Breast Cancer Fund and Zonta Club of the Southern Black Hills. The mission of the Zonta Club is “Women helping women – Women worldwide working through leadership and service to address issues fundamental to the advancement of women”.

This year’s event in Custer will start at 9:00 AM with an Expo featuring exhibitors representing local businesses and services. The expo will be open to the public from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The entire group of films will be shown continuously beginning at 10:00 AM with the final showing at 3:00 PM.

Space is currently available for exhibitors. Fee for exhibitor space is $25 for businesses. There is no charge for non-profit exhibitors. Space is limited. Register early – first come, first serve. Those unable to exhibit but interested in supporting this event are encouraged to become sponsors. Anyone interested in exhibiting and/or sponsorship may contact Peg Ryan (605-517-1664, ultrapeg@yahoo.com) or Sherry Raffael (custervet@gwtc.net, 605-673-2167).

SDDOT Completes $50 Million Payout to Counties and Cities

PIERRE, S.D. January 4, 2016– The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) paid out nearly $50 million in state highway funding to counties and Class I city governments in 2015.

These state funds replaced federal highway fund dollars, allowing counties and cities greater flexibility for funding road and bridge projects. Funding for these payouts came as a result of the road and bridge funding bill passed during the 2015 legislative session.

A portion of the federal highway funds South Dakota receives is allocated to local governments. However, these dollars are restricted for use only on federally approved routes.

Following the passage of 2015’s Senate Bill 1, SDDOT began exchanging those locally available federal funds for state funds, placing the burden of meeting federal requirements on the state and allowing more options for counties and cities. The state funds paid to local governments in lieu of the federal funds are not restricted to particular highway projects or segments of road. Custer County received a total of $558,362.54.

“These funds will provide counties and Class 1 cities more resources to improve their highways and bridges,” said SDDOT Secretary Darin Bergquist. “It should help them to immediately address critical infrastructure needs.”


Additional state funds will be provided to local governments and exchanged with federal funds over the next several years.


Highway Patrol to be First Agency to Have New License Plate

Thumbnail_19702PIERRE, SD. — South Dakota’s Highway Patrol will ring in 2016 by having its vehicles be the first in the state to sport the newly designed South Dakota license plate.

The new license plates will be available on-demand beginning Friday, Jan. 1, using self-service terminals and the SD Cars system found on the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division’s website, or Monday, Jan. 4, at County Treasurer offices statewide.

But officials of the Highway Patrol have worked with the Department of Revenue to make sure the Patrol’s trooper vehicles could have the new license plates before Friday. Copies of the new plates were shipped to the Patrol’s offices statewide this month. Starting Friday, troopers will make sure the new plates are installed on their vehicles before they begin duty for the first time in 2016.

“It is an honor to be the first state government agency with the new plates,” says Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol.  “I want to thank Revenue Secretary Andy Gerlach and the Department of Revenue for helping make this work. “

South Dakota’s new license plate design, announced in October, was a cooperative effort led by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, the Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicle Division and the Department of Tourism.


Homeland Security Urges Public to Watch for Terrorism Signs


PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s Homeland Security Office is encouraging citizens to watch for eight signs that could indicate possible terrorist activity.

State Homeland Security Director Steve Pluta stresses that while there are no current terrorism threats identified in South Dakota, people still need to be observant.

“The recent terrorist events throughout the world have shown that such activity can take place anywhere,” he says. “By knowing these signs, citizens can  identify behaviors  possibly associated with terrorist activity and notify law enforcement if they see anything suspicious.”

Pluta says the eight signs and related examples are:

  •  Surveillance:  If people are conducting a survey of the target to determine security strengths and weaknesses.  This may include taking pictures of access points, security personnel, and security cameras.
  •  Information Gathering: If an individual is asking probing questions about security or operations related to an intended target.
  •  Testing Security: Are they trying to find out how long and from where law enforcement or security will respond to an incident?  This may include leaving behind an unattended package or trespassing.
  •  Funding:  Collecting money needed for weapons and supplies. Ways to raise funds include drug trafficking  or soliciting fake charitable contributions.
  •  Acquiring Supplies: This may include weapons, transportation and communications equipment.  Those involved may stockpile items, make strange purchases or bulk purchases of chemicals such as household cleaners, fertilizer or beauty supplies.  They may pay for large transactions with cash or pre-paid credit cards.
  •  Impersonation:  This includes the use of aliases or impersonation of first responders, maintenance workers or employees. They may present false documents or identification and wear incomplete uniforms.
  •  Rehearsal: They may rehearse the incident several times to include testing weapons, putting their people into place and testing emergency response times.
  •  Deployment:  Getting into position and ready to execute the operation.


“All of us need to be watching for suspicious or unusual behavior,” he says. “If you notice somebody paying repeated close attention to a particular building or any other unusual activity as mentioned, you should call law enforcement.”

Since July, South Dakota has participated in the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. It was originally implemented by the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority and licensed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a nationwide campaign. Pluta says it is another way to encourage people to report possible suspicious or unusual behavior.

To alert authorities of any suspicious behavior, call 844-373-7233 (844-3SD-SAFE). The tip line is not a substitute for 911.  Citizens should still call 911 for emergencies.

For more on the national program, click onto https://www.dhs.gov/see-something-say-something .

The South Dakota Homeland Security Office is part of the state Department of Public Safety.



Western Skies Real Estate on The Move

December 28 2015Dustin
Herb Ryan
In the spirit of the old west, friends and family came together in Custer today. They came together to help Pattie Hauschildt owner of Western Skies Real Estate, move her business at 503 Mt. Rushmore Rd, two buildings down to 523 Mt. Rushmore Rd, Formerly Shanklins Carpets and Gifts.
When asked if the move would be very disruptive to business Hauschildt said, “Business goes on as usual, we have both our phone system, cell phones and computer terminals on line at the new location”. Thanks to the community spirit in Custer. “Jerad Webster and members of the wrestling team along with staff and their families and friends all helped to make the move much easier”

Craig Reindl, a broker with Western Skies Real Estate said, “It’s an exciting transition for all of us here at Western Skies, starting a new year in a new location, just incredible excitement” “The new space while not totally complete does have four broker offices that are set up and will be ready to go  this afternoon” said Hauschildt.


You can contact Western Skies Real Estate at:
Business: 605-673-2433
Web: www.westernskiesre.com
Located at: 523 Mt Rushmore Rd. Custer SD, 57730


General Contractor: Dave Stenwall — 712-389-2858
Lead Carpenter: Josh Scheck


South Dakota Department of Public Safety Officials Urge Holiday Safety

PIERRE, S.D. 23 December 2015 – With both the Christmas and New Year’s holidays occurring in the next week, officials of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety are encouraging people to be safe with their celebrations.Many people will travel during the next week. Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, says drivers need to be patient and watch for others.“We know many people will be traveling not only on the holidays themselves, but also on the days before and after each holiday,” says Price. “As always, Highway Patrol troopers will be out there, helping remind motorists to be safe.”

In 2014, five people died in fatal crashes during the Christmas reporting period but none during the New Year’s period. Lee Axdahl, director of the Office of Highway Safety, says with all of the activities surrounding the holidays, people need to still practice road safety.“There are few things worse than having a holiday end in sadness after a loved one dies in a fatal crash,” Axdahl says. “Our reminders to the motorists are the same: Slow down, be mindful of changing road conditions in case of bad weather, always wear your seatbelts and put the cell phone out of reach to eliminate the temptation to text while driving.”

The need to be safe goes beyond just traveling. State Fire Marshal Paul Merriman says the holiday season brings increased fire risks to the home as well.

“With so many lights, decorations and special meals that are part of the holidays, it is important to be aware of additional fire hazards that are present in the home,” Merriman says. “Be careful with fires of any kind and make sure they are not unattended. And of course, having a working smoke alarm on each floor of your home is essential.”

All three DPS officials say despite all of the activities that come with the holidays, people still need to make sure they and their families remain safe.