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The Northern Black Hills certainly generated its share of news, both sad and glad happenings, during 2018.

Among the top stories: the city of Deadwood and South Dakota lawmakers mourned the Oct. 20 death of Mayor Chuck Turbiville, 75, who died at his home from an apparent stroke.

Turbiville had been mayor of Deadwood for the past six years. He served 10 years in the Legislature — first from 2005-13, then returned to the House in 2017 — and was seeking re-election when he died.

Mourners from across the state filled the Deadwood Mountain Grand event center for his public funeral on Oct. 29. Deadwood's city trolleys ferried mourners to Black Hills National Cemetery for his interment.

He won re-election posthumously in the Nov. 6 general election.

Earlier this month, Governor-elect Kristi Noem appointed Dayle Hammock of Spearfish to fill Turbiville’s seat in the Legislature.

The Deadwood City Commission elected Commissioner David Ruth to finish Turbiville's term as mayor.

Lead saw a renaissance of economic growth with openings of several new food-oriented businesses including Java Joint Coffee House, Gold Mine Pizzaria, High Country Grub & Waterin’ Hole and El Jefe Fresh Mex Cantina.

The Sanford Underground Research Facility is preparing for major underground work at the former Homestake Gold Mine as part of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, involving the building of a detector for sub-atomic particles at the 4850 level of the mine.

A pair of tragic structure fires caused four deaths in the Northern Hills in October.

Sturgis Assistant Fire Chief David Fischer died as a result of a propane tank explosion at a residence in the rural community of Tilford, which is eight miles east of Sturgis.

An occupant of the home, 85-year-old Raymond Joseph Bachmeier, a retired bus driver, also perished in the fire that investigators said was caused by the use of smoking materials during use of a home health oxygen tank.

Additionally, a mother and her son were identified as the two people who died Oct. 6 in a morning house fire in Lead.

Delores Butcher, 85, and Keith Butcher, 62, were both found on the second floor of the house and died of smoke inhalation, the Lawrence County Coroner's Office said.

Weather created havoc in the region during 2018. A rare tornado outbreak on June 28-29 felled trees and caused damage to a home in Spearfish Canyon.

According to the National Weather Service, there were two other reports of tornadoes: one near Newell, and a second twister on U.S. Highway 212 close to the South Dakota-Wyoming state line.

A June 29 hailstorm caused heavy damage to buildings, street lamps and cars in Lead-Deadwood, including broken windows and roof damage to area school buildings.

The storm continued to pummel a swath east, delivering a direct hit to homes in the Piedmont-Tilford area.

Jack’s Campers in Piedmont saw the majority of its inventory of travel trailers and motor homes heavily damaged, if not totaled in the storm.

And on nearby Interstate 90, about two dozen vehicles had windshields smashed and side and rear windows shattered by up to baseball- and softball-sized hail.

But a prolonged period of winter snowfall and spring rains led to a strong summer growing season in the area. Ranchers cut plentiful hay for their livestock after a meager crop in 2017.

In Belle Fourche, a $4 million project to replace nearly a mile and a half of storm sewer, sanitary sewer and water lines wrapped up in early September after months of construction, hampered by weather and engineering challenges.

The $4 million project started in the fall of 2017 to add more than than 7,000 feet of new sewer and utility lines, which will increase fresh water flow and storm runoff collection capacity and ease system maintenance of the sewer system.

Also, at the Black Hills Roundup rodeo grounds, the new arena grandstand will replace the historic wooden structure that had fallen into disrepair.

The new stands will be in place in time for the 100th anniversary Roundup rodeo in July of 2019.

Roundup organizers also celebrated the Black Hills Roundup being named Medium Outdoor Rodeo of the Year for 2018 by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

The Roundup committee was also inducted in the RRCA Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2018.

This year saw a newcomer to the local sports scene with the Spearfish Sasquatch of the Expedition League, a summer league for college-age baseball players, as part of a nine-team league with franchises in Nebraska, Wyoming and North Dakota.

Ryan Wright, an assistant coach from Montana State University-Billings, coached the Sasquatch to a 24-38 record, with home games played at Black Hills Energy Stadium in Spearfish.

In Sturgis, an estimated 495,000 visitors attended the 78th Sturgis motorcycle rally, a slight increase over 2017 attendance levels.

Officials said the 2018 rally was the second most attended rally in the last year, only surpassed by the record 739,000 visitors during the milestone 75th event in 2015.

(Editor's Note: The above story has been changed to correct the level where the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment detector will be built at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead.)

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