Getting ready to burn the beetle

Mountain pine beetles and their famous assault on the Black Hills and over 50 million acres of Western pine forests, from Mexico to Canada, is over or winding down. While that’s never true, the intensity of attacks in the Black Hills has declined to the point of endemic or normal levels of less than one […]

College degrees and their debt

There’s no doubt students who decide to pursue higher education at one of the many universities and colleges throughout the United States are making a significant investment in their future, but a vast majority of them end up trading their cap and gown for a mountain of debt and uncertainty. In fact, 70 percent of […]

Your governments need you

Whether you’re reading this on a couch in Custer, a futon in Fairburn, a Barcalounger in Buffalo Gap, a hammock in Hermosa or a Papasan in Pringle, your local government is looking for you. I would add the Uncle Sam point for effect, but you wouldn’t see it. In this week’s issue of the Chronicle, […]

Imitation a form of flattery?

Maybe it’s the endless distractions that come with summertime — like the flies buzzing around my head and the front door open to all sorts of vehicular and pedestrian sounds — but sometimes it’s hard to think of what to write for this space. Call it writer’s block. Call it sleepiness. But when a deadline […]

The progress never stops in Custer County

Welcome to our 17th annual Progress Edition of the Custer County Chronicle. Just when you thought there was little or no good news to go around, along comes our annual “Good News Edition” highlighting everything that is going on in, and around Custer County. We’ve had more of our share of bad news lately, so […]

A plea for supporting Marsy’s Law

In the coming weeks leading up to the election, we’re going to hear a lot of talking. Talking about emails, walls, borders and making America great again. Face it, with the magnitude of this year’s election, there’s just no way around the talk. But while all that talking is going on, let’s not forget about […]

My Mayberry moment

Gold Discovery Days are here already!

It’s a sure sign that summer is more than half over when we start celebrating the annual Gold Discovery Days again this coming weekend in Custer. We are not going to recap the tremendous series of events on tap for you because that information can be found in a front page story and two-page spread […]

Revitalizing rural South Dakota

Hometowns are the heartbeat of South Dakota. I’m proud to be from a rural hometown. It’s where I learned the values of hard work...

Confronting another lean year

The capitol building was a busy place on Dec. 5 when lawmakers came to town for the annual Budget Address. They packed the state House early that afternoon to hear about our current economic situation and my proposal for the upcoming budget year. With revenue trending below projections, I doubt legislators were surprised when I […]

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