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Local
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Caution: Road work ahead in Rapid City
Expect lane, ramp closures along I-90

Lane and on-ramp closures along Interstate 90 in Rapid City will become the norm this summer as road work on two overpasses begins April 16.

Bridges on I-90 passing over Haines Avenue and North Maple Street are the focus of improvements by the South Dakota Department of Transportation slated for this spring and summer, said John Gerlach, project engineer with the state DOT.

Specifically, ride quality issues at both bridges and settlement issues at Haines Avenue will be addressed, including the application of a high friction service treatment — an epoxy resin applied to pavement to increase traction — at the Haines Avenue overpass. In past winters, Gerlach said accidents on the eastbound lanes of the Haines Avenue overpass have been caused due to settlement issues and a slick driving surface, which the high fricton treatment will look to remediate.

Additionally, both bridge’s driving surfaces and approaches will be improved, Gerlach said, characterizing the North Maple Street bridge work as a precursor to the anticipated redesign and reconstruction of the Lacrosse Street intersection less than half a mile east.

But the most immediate and noticeable result of the improvements will be a slew of lane closures.

Next week, one eastbound I-90 lane will be closed as work begins. The Interstate 190 northbound to eastbound I-90 onramp will also be closed beginning Tuesday along with the exit 58 eastbound onramp, Gerlach said.

“One of the biggest issues with this is going to be the impact to the traffic on I-90,” he said. “We will see some delays, some traffic backup.”

Closing the exit 58 onramp will help prevent rear-end accidents as drivers speed onto the highway and into traffic caused by the lane closure, Gerlach said. Detour signs will direct drivers around the closures and onto the highway elsewhere.

A series of digital message boards with radar capable of detecting the speed of traffic will dot I-90’s eastbound lanes ahead of the road work areas to notify drivers of impending delays.

The bridge improvements will take much of the summer, with a break during the Sturgis motorcycle rally before road crews return in mid-August to work on the bridge’s westbound lanes. That work is expected to be completed by mid-November. Funding for the project comes from state and federal coffers.


Local
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Philanthropy can start with a dime, expert tells Rapid City audience

One of the nation’s leading philanthropic thinkers and practitioners said Thursday in Rapid City that philanthropy is not a practice people begin after they’ve made a fortune; rather, it’s a way of life that can start in childhood.

Dwight Burlingame said a philanthropic spirit was instilled in him by his Catholic mother when he was a child growing up on a Native American reservation in rural north-central Minnesota.

“At age 6, I needed to start contributing on Sunday at church and put in a dime,” Burlingame said.

Eventually, he was expected to make his own money, and he did so by trapping gophers. Local township authorities paid 25 cents for a pair, and his mother continued to enforce the dime-a-week donation rule at church. Once a year, the required amount was raised to a dollar.

“So that really was my first introduction to philanthropy,” Burlingame said. “It was required. It was not voluntary — you can be quite assured, I was not too happy.”

Burlingame spoke to an audience of 90 at The Garage as part of the Morning Fill Up speaker series at the downtown co-working space.

His early introduction to philanthropy influenced his later career choices. He entered the philanthropy field as a fundraiser for the Bowling Green (Ohio) State University library and later served as president of the university's foundation. He was eventually recruited to the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy — the world’s first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of the subject — where he developed bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. He is currently a professor and the Glenn Family Chair at the school.

Burlingame said he defines “philanthropy” not merely as the giving of money but as “voluntary action intended for the public good.” He said voluntary action can include giving, volunteering, advocating or other forms of societal participation that contribute to the betterment of humankind.

Burlingame said he has spent much of his life trying to teach others about philanthropy who may not have been steeped in it like he was as a child. Although he has worked with many other philanthropists, Burlingame said it was his mother’s insistence on giving — even when the family had little to give — that made her probably the most important philanthropist in his life.

“It was that requirement,” he said, “and it was the expression of thinking about, ‘We’re not in the absolute worst situation, and there are other people that need your dime more than you.'”


Crime-and-courts
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In laser case, Lytle lands in jail for alleged violation of release conditions

A Rapid City man who is awaiting sentencing for his role in a nearly $17 million medical laser scheme has been arrested and is in jail for allegedly violating the conditions of his release.

Larry Lytle, 83, was booked into the Pennington County Jail at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday. Federal court records say the arrest was made pursuant to a report of an apparent violation of Lytle's pretrial release conditions. 

The records pertaining to the arrest do not specify the nature of the violation, but other public records in Lytle's case file show that he recently sent an allegedly threatening letter to a prosecutor.

Lytle pleaded guilty in January to the crimes of contempt and conspiracy. He admitted that beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2015, at least $16.67 million worth of his laser devices were sold without scientific evidence of their effectiveness and without adequate clearance from the FDA. In marketing materials, Lytle claimed the devices could treat hundreds of medical conditions ranging in severity from headaches to AIDS.

Lytle's arrest came just days ahead of his scheduled sentencing, and the warrant for his arrest said he is to remain jailed pending a sentencing hearing scheduled for next week. 

Earlier this week, Lytle filed a motion attempting to withdraw his guilty plea and fire his lawyer. 


Local
breaking top story
Body of missing Spearfish man found at Deadwood

DEADWOOD | The body of a Spearfish man who had been missing since January has been found, according to the Deadwood Police Department.

The body of Christopher Oien, 28, of Spearfish, was found at approximately 6:15 p.m. Wednesday in a remote area southwest of The Lodge at Deadwood by someone searching for deer antlers, according to a news release issued Thursday by the Deadwood Police Department.

Deadwood Police Chief Kelly Fuller told the Rapid City Journal that "there were no obvious signs of foul play," but an autopsy is pending.

"At this point I wouldn't want to speculate on the cause of death," Fuller said.

Oien was reported missing on Jan. 16, and had been the subject of intense search efforts during the past several months, including the use of drones and horseback riders. The release said the body was found in a steep, rugged area.

Responding agencies included not only the Deadwood police, but also the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, Lawrence County Search and Rescue and the Deadwood Volunteer Fire Department.