Sculpture in the Hills will feature 22 local and regional artists working in bronze, stone, wood, infused metal, blown-glass, hand-beading, mixed media, and hand-forged metals. Artist demonstrations will be offered throughout the show, and the sculptors will be on hand to discuss their work.

The show is free to the public, family friendly, and accessible to people with disabilities. Free art program on Saturday at 1- 2PM for kids ages 6 – 12.

Visit us in the big, white tent on Hill City’s Main Street.

Sculpture in the Hills is brought to you by the Hill City Arts Council with the help of our generous sponsors. Thank you!



ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – An airman first class assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing will face a general court-martial scheduled to begin on May 30, 2018.

Airman 1st Class David E. MacDonald is facing one charge in violation of Article 118, of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, for murder. The charge is in relation to the death of his infant son on Nov. 7, 2016. An Article 32, pretrial hearing, occurred at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, Oct. 26, 2017.

The convening authority directed referral of the charge to a general court-martial, after the Article 32 hearing.

Military members under investigation or facing court-martial for any offense, are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Air Force and the 28th Bomb Wing takes all criminal allegations seriously and pursues appropriate action through the military justice system.



Drew Hanson of Hill City, SD at the American Legion Post #22 parking lot in Rapid City, SD Photo: Mark Mills

By Mark Mills

Custer City, SD, May 28, 2018– Early Memorial Day morning at a quiet parking lot in Rapid City, Drew
Hanson eagerly awaits his bus. Hanson, of Hill City, SD was selected by Hill City Post #160 and sponsored
by Custer Post #46 to participate in the American Legion’s South Dakota Boys State program. He and over
200 high school junior classmen from across the state will spend an intense week at Northern State
University in Aberdeen, SD learning about government in South Dakota. They will do so by creating a
fictitious 51st state and all its levels of government, run for those government offices, and then run that
government. This “learning by doing” is combined with athletic, musical, and patriotic activities
culminating in personal meetings with top South Dakota government officials and its federal
Congressional Delegation. Then Drew and his fellow Boys State citizens will return home, far better
prepared to be responsible United States citizens.

Sleepy and excited on Memorial Day morning, Drew and the boys on this and similar busses across South
Dakota are our investment in the future of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”.

Poets Table Mystery Solved – Custer County Sheriff’s Office Refuses to Release Names of Vandals

Custer County Sheriff’s Office Release’

Park Law Enforcement is in process of retrieving the items removed from poets table area, including the table. The people involved contacted Park Law enforcement this morning.

Once everything is collected, it will be returned to the park for determination as to what will happen with it.

We will NOT be releasing any names!! Custer State Park will be releasing any further information.


File 20180524 51091 3z8wr9.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Preparing to decorate graves, May 1899.
Library of Congress

Richard Gardiner, Columbus State University

In the years following the bitter Civil War, a former Union general took a holiday originated by former Confederates and helped spread it across the entire country.

The holiday was Memorial Day, and this year’s commemoration on May 28 marks the 150th anniversary of its official nationwide observance. The annual commemoration was born in the former Confederate States in 1866 and adopted by the United States in 1868. It is a holiday in which the nation honors its military dead.

Gen. John A. Logan, who headed the largest Union veterans’ fraternity at that time, the Grand Army of the Republic, is usually credited as being the originator of the holiday.

Yet when General Logan established the holiday, he acknowledged its genesis among the Union’s former enemies, saying, “It was not too late for the Union men of the nation to follow the example of the people of the South.”

I’m a scholar who has written – with co-author Daniel Bellware – a history of Memorial Day. Cities and towns across America have for more than a century claimed to be the holiday’s birthplace, but we have sifted through the myths and half-truths and uncovered the authentic story of how this holiday came into being.

Generous acts bore fruit

During 1866, the first year of this annual observance in the South, a feature of the holiday emerged that made awareness, admiration and eventually imitation of it spread quickly to the North.

During the inaugural Memorial Day observances which were conceived in Columbus, Georgia, many Southern participants – especially women – decorated graves of Confederate soldiers as well as, unexpectedly, those of their former enemies who fought for the Union.

Civil War Union Gen. John A. Logan.
Library of Congress Glass negatives

Shortly after those first Memorial Day observances all across the South, newspaper coverage in the North was highly favorable to the ex-Confederates.

“The action of the ladies on this occasion, in burying whatever animosities or ill-feeling may have been engendered in the late war towards those who fought against them, is worthy of all praise and commendation,” wrote one paper.

On May 9, 1866, the Cleveland Daily Leader lauded the Southern women during their first Memorial Day.

“The act was as beautiful as it was unselfish, and will be appreciated in the North.”

The New York Commercial Advertiser, recognizing the magnanimous deeds of the women of Columbus, Georgia, echoed the sentiment. “Let this incident, touching and beautiful as it is, impart to our Washington authorities a lesson in conciliation.”

Power of a poem

To be sure, this sentiment was not unanimous. There were many in both parts of the U.S. who had no interest in conciliation.

But as a result of one of these news reports, Francis Miles Finch, a Northern judge, academic and poet, wrote a poem titled “The Blue and the Gray.” Finch’s poem quickly became part of the American literary canon. He explained what inspired him to write it:

“It struck me that the South was holding out a friendly hand, and that it was our duty, not only as conquerors, but as men and their fellow citizens of the nation, to grasp it.”

Finch’s poem seemed to extend a full pardon to the South: “They banish our anger forever when they laurel the graves of our dead” was one of the lines.

Not just poems: Sheet music written to commemorate Memorial Day in 1870.
Library of Congress

Almost immediately, the poem circulated across America in books, magazines and newspapers. By the end of the 19th century, school children everywhere were required to memorize Finch’s poem. The ubiquitous publication of Finch’s rhyme meant that by the end of 1867, the southern Memorial Day holiday was a familiar phenomenon throughout the entire, and recently reunited, country.

General Logan was aware of the forgiving sentiments of people like Finch. When Logan’s order establishing Memorial Day was published in various newspapers in May 1868, Finch’s poem was sometimes appended to the order.

‘The blue and the grey’

It was not long before Northerners decided that they would not only adopt the Southern custom of Memorial Day, but also the Southern custom of “burying the hatchet.” A group of Union veterans explained their intentions in a letter to the Philadelphia Evening Telegraph on May 28, 1869:

“Wishing to bury forever the harsh feelings engendered by the war, Post 19 has decided not to pass by the graves of the Confederates sleeping in our lines, but divide each year between the blue and the grey the first floral offerings of a common country. We have no powerless foes. Post 19 thinks of the Southern dead only as brave men.”

Other reports of reciprocal magnanimity circulated in the North, including the gesture of a 10-year-old who made a wreath of flowers and sent it to the overseer of the holiday, Colonel Leaming, in Lafayette, Indiana, with the following note attached, published in The New Hampshire Patriot on July 15, 1868:

“Will you please put this wreath upon some rebel soldier’s grave? My dear papa is buried at Andersonville, (Georgia) and perhaps some little girl will be kind enough to put a few flowers upon his grave.”

President Abraham Lincoln’s wish that there be “malice toward none” and “charity for all” was visible in the magnanimous actions of participants on both sides, who extended an olive branch during the Memorial Day observances in those first three years.

The ConversationAlthough not known by many today, the early evolution of the Memorial Day holiday was a manifestation of Lincoln’s hope for reconciliation between North and South.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.



Administration to Increase H-2B Workers by 15,000 for Fiscal Year 2018

WASHINGTON, DC U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to allow an additional 15,000 H-2B workers for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, which ends September 30.

“While we would have hoped this news would have come sooner from the administration, it may still help a number of our businesses in South Dakota. South Dakota’s tourism and construction seasons are already underway, and employers across the state have been left without the temporary work they need to fully operate. While we hope today’s announcement will help, the lack of adequate help has already had an adverse impact on these small business owners’ livelihoods, as well as the entire economy of our state. Moving forward, finding a long-term fix for the H-2B visa issue is vital. As jobs are created and our economy grows, we must utilize highly effective, thoroughly vetted programs such as the H-2B program if we are to ever fully reach our economic potential.”

The omnibus appropriations bill, which was signed into law in April allowed the DHS to increase the number of H-2B visas if it is determined that the needs of American businesses cannot be satisfied in fiscal year 2018 with domestic workers.

On February 27, 2018, USCIS determined that it had received sufficient H-2B petitions to meet the full FY 2018 statutory cap of 66,000.

Starting immediately, eligible petitioners for H-2B visas can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Eligible petitioners must submit a supplemental attestation on Form ETA 9142-B-CAA-2 with their petition.

Details on eligibility and filing requirements will be available in the final temporary rule and on the Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2018 webpage to be published on uscis.gov when the final temporary rule is posted for public inspection.

South Dakota Wants City Dwellers, Native Americans To Work For Medicaid

Just a few days after Michigan Republicans walked back their controversial plan to exempt several majority-white counties from its proposed Medicaid work requirement after a widespread backlash and accusations of racism, South Dakota unveiled its own proposal that wades into a similar legal and political fight.

The draft waiver the state released this week proposes the implementation of a Medicaid work requirement for a five-year period only in the state’s two most populous counties, Minnehaha and Pennington, home to Sioux Falls and Rapid City respectively. While the both the state and its largest cities are overwhelmingly white, more than two-thirds of the state’s black residents and nearly half of the state’s Hispanic residents live in the two counties where the work requirements would take effect.

The state’s waiver justifies singling out the two counties by arguing that they were selected “based on population and access to employment and training resources,” and says other counties may be added “based on the initial outcomes of the pilot.”

If residents in those two counties who depend on Medicaid aren’t able to prove that they’re spending at least 80 hours per month working, studying, or searching for a job, they could lose their health care coverage.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced he would be pursuing the waiver back in January, saying the new rules would “connect those who can work with jobs that give them that sense of self-worth and accomplishment.” Because South Dakota never expanded Medicaid under Obamacare, the work requirement would be imposed upon people in so-called “traditional Medicaid,” which in South Dakota means people earning up to 58 percent of the federal poverty level.

South Dakota’s waiver also steps squarely into the fight over whether Native Americans should be exempt from the new requirements. American Indian tribes and their supporters in Congress on both sides of the aisle have argued that it would be a violation of tribal sovereignty to force the work requirements on them, but the Trump administration has asserted that exempting Native Americans would be granting an illegal racial preference, and has empowered states to make the call.

South Dakota, which has the fourth-highest percentage of Native Americans in the country, writes that when they consulted with Native American groups while drafting the waiver: “Some of the tribes expressed concern or opposition to the demonstration and requested an exemption for American Indians.” Neither those concerns nor the threat of legal action, however, were not enough to persuade the state from plowing ahead.

“The counties included in the pilot do not include Indian reservations,” the waiver notes. “In addition, the State’s understanding is that CMS has determined that it cannot legally exempt American Indians.”

But Jerilyn Church, the CEO of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (GPTCHB) in South Dakota, told state officials in a conference call in April that by not granting American Indians an exemption, they were pursuing a policy that was both harmful and illegal.

“Medicaid is an extension of the treaty obligation,” Church said, according to the meeting minutes. “Most American Indians want to work; but, on the reservation there is limited opportunity. … Data is clear that it is harder for American Indians to obtain jobs off the reservation compared to other populations.”

Healthy Eating Research: Building Evidence to Promote Health and Well-Being Among Children

2018 Call for Proposals

    Release Date: May 23, 2018 | Application Deadline: July 18, 2018, 3:00 p.m. ET
Healthy Eating Research (HER) is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program, which supports research on policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) strategies with strong potential to promote the health and well-being of children at a population level. Specifically, HER aims to help all children achieve optimal nutrition and a healthy weight. HER grantmaking focuses on children and adolescents from birth to 18, and their families, with a priority on lower-income and racial and ethnic minority populations that are at-risk of poor nutrition and obesity. Findings are expected to advance RWJF’s efforts to ensure that all children and their families have the opportunity and resources to experience the best physical, social, and emotional health possible, promote health equity, and build a Culture of Health.

Healthy Eating Research issues calls for proposals (CFPs) to solicit scientifically rigorous, solution-oriented proposals from investigators representing diverse disciplines and backgrounds. This CFP is for two types of awards aimed at providing advocates, decision-makers, and policymakers with evidence to promote the health and well-being of children through nutritious foods and beverages. The award types are Round 11, small- and large-scale grants. The two funding opportunities are described in more detail beginning on page 2 of the CFP.

You can learn more about Healthy Eating Research at www.healthyeatingresearch.org.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

For All Grant Opportunities

  • Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. The Foundation may require additional documentation.
  • Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.
  • The focus of this program is the United States; studies in other countries will be considered only to the extent that they may directly inform U.S. policy.

Key Dates

May 23July 18, 2018 (3 p.m. ET)
RWJF online system available to applicants for concept papers.

June 6, 2018 (3 p.m. ET)
Optional applicant webinar. Registration is required. Please visit the program’s website for complete details and to register.

July 18, 2018 (3 p.m. ET)
Concept papers due. Those submitted after July 18, 2018 (3 p.m. ET) will not be reviewed.

August 13, 2018
Applicants notified whether they are invited to submit a full proposal.

March 13–15, 2019
Healthy Eating Research Annual Meeting

For all grant types, see table in the CFP for separate key dates/deadlines for small-scale vs. large-scale grants.

Total Awards

Approximately $2.6 million will be awarded under this CFP for the two award types. The anticipated allocation of funds is as follows:

  • Approximately $1.6 million will be awarded as small-scale grants, resulting in the funding of up to eight small research grants through this solicitation. Each grant will award up to $200,000 for up to 18 months.
  • Approximately $1 million will be awarded as large-scale grants, resulting in the funding of two large-scale grants through this solicitation. Each grant will award up to $500,000 for up to 24 months.

U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Section 232 Investigation into Auto Imports


Today, following a conversation with President Donald J. Trump,  U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross initiated an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended.  The investigation will determine whether imports of automobiles, including SUVs, vans and light trucks, and automotive parts into the United States threaten to impair the national security as defined in Section 232.  Secretary Ross sent a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis informing him of the investigation.

“There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, imports from abroad have eroded our domestic auto industry,” said Secretary Ross. “The Department of Commerce will conduct a thorough, fair, and transparent investigation into whether such imports are weakening our internal economy and may impair the national security.”

During the past 20 years, imports of passenger vehicles have grown from 32 percent of cars sold in the United States to 48 percent.   From 1990 to 2017, employment in motor vehicle production declined by 22 percent, even though Americans are continuing to purchase automobiles at record levels.  Now, American owned vehicle manufacturers in the United States account for only 20 percent of global research and development in the automobile sector, and American auto part manufacturers account for only 7 percent in that industry.

Automobile manufacturing has long been a significant source of American technological innovation. This investigation will consider whether the decline of domestic automobile and automotive parts production threatens to weaken the internal economy of the United States, including by potentially reducing research, development, and jobs for skilled workers in connected vehicle systems, autonomous vehicles, fuel cells, electric motors and storage, advanced manufacturing processes, and other cutting-edge technologies.

Following today’s announcement, the Department of Commerce will investigate these and other issues to determine whether imports of automobiles and automotive parts threaten to impair the national security.  A notice will be published shortly in the Federal Register announcing a hearing date and inviting comment from industry and the public to assist in the investigation.

South Dakota Named the “Most Promising Destination” by Chinese Tourism Group


PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota was recently named the “Most Promising Destination” in the United States at a National Tourism Award Ceremony held by Tourism Media Group, an official partner of the China Travel Service Association.

“The partnership with our Chinese tourism marketing agency East-West Marketing has brought us tremendous growth in this market,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “This award demonstrates that South Dakota is a destination that Chinese travelers want to visit and experience. We are excited about the potential for growth in the number of Chinese travelers coming to South Dakota in the years and decades to come.”

For seven years, the Department of Tourism has been building relationships with traditional travel agencies and online travel agencies in the Chinese market. The department has launched tour routes to meet outbound travel demand from Chinese tourists, and engaged with Chinese media to keep them informed of the latest South Dakota offerings. Unique marketing campaigns have been launched, including a partnership with DiDi Rental Car, a ride-sharing company similar to Uber and Lyft, that targets tourists who have an interest in road trip vacations.

“In the past seven years, South Dakota has seen a steady increase of Chinese visitors to our state,” said Hagen. “China is the fastest growing group of visitors to the United States and, within a few years, more Chinese visitors will be traveling to the United States than from any other country.  It’s an important market for our state, especially since Chinese travelers stay in our country longer and spend more money than other international visitors,” continued Hagen.

Hagen notes that the Department of Tourism is continuing to monitor the Chinese market for potential investment of marketing dollars since the Chinese are typically interested in South Dakota’s monuments, memorials, and Old West and Native American cultures.

The National Tourism Award Ceremony is held by Tourism Media Group, the official media partner of the China Travel Service Association. National Tourism Magazine is a leading tourism industry magazine in China and produced by National Media Group. The magazine produces and distributes 15,000 issues each month, 80 percent of which go to travel agencies. Readers of the magazine include millions of Chinese tourism professionals.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The department is led by Secretary James Hagen.