Business of the Week: Norther Hills CASA

NHCASA is a 503 c3 nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors. Kate Kelley serves as the executive director. She has been with the program for 9 years. A native of Redfield, SD, Kate traveled the world with her husband, John, an Army officer, for 20 years before returning to South Dakota. They have lived in Spearfish for the past 12 years. Kate and John have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.

NHCASA was started in 1986 by Judge Warren Johnson (ret) and a task force made up of community members. NHCASA is an affiliate of the National CASA program and abides by its guidelines.

NHCASA serves Butte, Corson, Dewey, Harding, Lawrence, Meade, Perkins, and Ziebach counties.

The philosophy NHCASA differs from that of most other nonprofit organizations which advocate within the court system. We recruit and train volunteers to become a powerful voice within abuse and neglect cases. CASA volunteers are everyday people who do what no other volunteers do: In court, they speak solely in the interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. The commitment required of CASA volunteers is unique, and one of the most intense in the realm of volunteer service. After undergoing a through screening process and 30 hours of training, CASA volunteers are sworn in as officers of the court and matched with a child or family of children. CASA volunteers are expected to be active from the beginning of the case until the end, with the average case lasting about one and a half years.

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to be the voice for abused and neglected children in court. They recommend what is best for the children at this crucial point in their lives. The result is the child is placed into a safe, loving home where he or she can thrive. It is the vision of NHCASA to provide a volunteer for each and every abused and neglected child who needs one.

NHCASA provided 35 trained volunteers serving over 6,300 hours to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the 4th Judicial Circuit last year. In each of these cases, the CASA volunteer offered to the court information on behalf of the child, which would not otherwise have been offered. The CASA volunteer is often the only consistent person in the life of a child who is being placed in multiple foster homes and may have many different service providers. The consistency of CASA is invaluable in order to foster trust and to successfully advocate for the best interests of the child.

In addition to advocating for children in the context of court, we also have a goal of educating the public about CASA, abuse and neglect issues children face, and ways to intervene and make a difference for children. We regularly speak to organizations and civic groups on the function of CASA and the needs of children. All of these activities not only raise awareness of the purpose of CASA and the needs of the children, but they also are preventive in nature, as people learn more about the issues of child abuse and become educated in ways to recognize and prevent it. We also sponsor monthly public education forums on topics relating to the needs of children and families.

NHCASA seeks to promote and protect the best interests of abused and neglected children involved in court proceedings through the advocacy efforts of trained volunteers.


Business of the Week: Bennett Main Gubbrud & Willert, P.C.

Bennett Main Gubbrud & Willert, P.C. law firm was started by Dan McCutchen in the Hampton Hotel building, which was located on the lot occupied by Wells Fargo Bank.  The firm has provided legal services to the Tri-state area for over a century.

The firm brings together over 60 years of practicing law for clients in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado. Partners in the firm handle complex legal issues relating to real estate, business, natural resources, mining, oil & gas, water, family, criminal, military, school, and municipal law. Lawyers from the firm have served as Lt. Governor, a South Dakota Supreme Court Justice and Presidents of Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, an organization dedicated to the study of legal systems and issues affecting domestic and international mineral and water resources.

Bennett Main Gubbrud & Willert, P.C. state that their mission is “to be zealous advocates for our clients and provide high quality legal services.”


Belle Fourche Development Corp Ribbon Cutting

Photo by Milo Dailey, Butte County Post Staff

Belle Fourche Development Corporation director Hollie Stalder make the cut on a Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce ribbon to officially open the new Fifth & Grant Plaza that includes the BFDC and NeighborWorks offices, a conference and seminar room, and rental office and retail spaces.

At the mixer before the ribbon cutting, Jack Wells told the history of the building that had long been a car dealership, and during the prohibition, even a distribution center for illegal alcohol. It was also once home to Wells Plumbing, which later moved and is currently out of the business district on Fifth Avenue.

Stalder said finish work is still continuing on the building, but that the ribbon cutting offered a last look at the longtime brick exterior before it is covered with a more energy-efficient exterior.


Business of the Week: Love That Shoppe 


Owner of Love That Shoppe, Betty Wolf first ran an antique store in Dickinson, ND, prior to moving to Belle Fourche in 1989. After moving here, Betty said that in 1992 she saw there were only two antique dealers in town, figured there was room for one more and opened the doors to Love That Shoppe.

Open six days a week, Love That Shoppe offers buy – sell & trade, and boasts a large collection of rare & specialty items. Everything from retired Swarovski crystal animals to collectable comics.

Love That Shoppe recently expanded into the store next door, which Betty is keeping mostly for furniture, and hopes to add new items to the store daily.

Love That Shoppe has claim to fame for being the largest independently owned antique shop in South Dakota.


From the Director: Shopping on a Saturday

Spring has sprung here in Belle Fourche.  It is wonderful to see the green grass again, and fresh lambs and calves in the fields. Spring activity is taking place all over the county.

The Chamber ended the first quarter welcoming twenty new members and receiving seventy one renewals, for a total membership of two hundred thirty.  We are grateful to all our members for their support!

Thanks to additional radio sponsors, the Chamber radio report on the Country Twins (KBFS 1450 am & KYDT FM at 103.1) can now be heard not only on Tuesday 8:50 a.m. but also Thursday 8:50 a.m.  If community members have special events, please let the Chamber office know and we will be glad to announce them.

We also want to remind everyone that our W2BF (Welcome to Belle Fourche) website has been updated for the summer months. You can visit it at: www.w2bf.com. As spring progresses and summer arrives, Belle Fourche will be welcoming more visitors and this is a handy tool for them. W2BF cards with a QR code are available at the Chamber.  Come by the Chamber office and pick up some cards for your summer visitors.

Our April Chamber luncheon is Wednesday the 12th, 12pm at the Branding Iron. David Ollila, Sheep Field Specialist with SDSU, will be our featured speaker as part of the Chamber’s 2017 campaign ‘We Produce – Lamb’.  This luncheon is in conjunction with SDSU’s field promotion taking place that day in Butte County and participants in the field day will be joining us for lunch. In March the Chamber received a $750.00 grant from the American Lamb Board for our promotion of lamb in our area.  This luncheon featured lamb kabobs and was held at the Branding Iron meeting room.


Business of the Week: Office Emporium LLC & Gone To Pieces Quilt Shop

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Business of the Week: Office Emporium LLC & Gone to Pieces Quilt Shop

Tom and Mary Riley purchased the existing Office Emporium from Ferne Wenckus(?) in October of 1996. Since then they have expanded the business to include a quilt shop, services such as providing UPS Shipping, a FedEx drop, and a Western Union Agent.  Mary prides the business as being a “one stop shop; large enough to serve & small enough to care.”


Business of the Week: Express Yourself!


Business of the Week: Express Yourself! at The Olive Branch

A life long resident of Butte County, LaRae Hanson is owner and creator behind Express Yourself!, located in The Olive Branch.

A busy homeschooling mother of two, LaRae had been making her handcrafted greeting cards for herself and friends for several years when she was approached by Deb McCart to join forces with her and a few other creative women to create a co-op that went on to become The Olive Branch. Since then LaRae sells her handmade cards and other creations, taking custom orders, and also offering a selection of Christian books & gifts.

“I make one of a kind cards, rarely making the same design twice. All of my crosses I cut and create myself so no two are alike. I take several custom orders throughout the year and specialize in etching names and brands on glassware. I’ll try any project – once!”

LaRae points to her customers who request special orders for helping grow her creativity and business. “I have wonderful, loyal customers who stretch me to my creative limits in so many areas. I am so thankful for them and their custom orders. This business has been such a blessing to me.”


Business of the Week: Northern Hills Training Center


In the mid-1970’s, in the Northern Hills of South Dakota, there were few options for adults with developmental disabilities.  Because of this, a group of families came together with the desire to start a community in Spearfish to provide residential and work opportunities for people who might otherwise be living in an institution.  In 1976 Northern Hills Training Center was founded as a community based option for supported living and working in the Black Hills.  Four of the original six people supported at NHTC are still living in Spearfish.

The first residential services were based in a four bedroom house at 1005 Canyon Street.  Six months later the first workshop was started in the Snapper’s Club at the city campground.  By that time, there were already between 15 and 20 people receiving support from NHTC.  Over the next three decades, steady demand for services offered by NHTC increased the number of people being supported, and the variety of options for living and working in Spearfish.

The first job placement in a community business was made in 1976.  Since that time, many people have achieved employment, both individually and as part of small crews.  In 1992, NHTC opened the Job Shop, working closely with Rehabilitation Services, to help people with a variety of disabilities to find and gain employment.

In addition to the home at 1005 Canyon, NHTC has built houses at 1015 Canyon and 34th Street. Apartments have been built on Ryan Road and Hill Street.  Additionally, NHTC supports people in their own homes in Spearfish, Belle Fourche, and Sturgis.  In 2003 the administrative offices of NHTC moved from the eastern edge of Spearfish (their home for nearly 20 years) into new offices on Harvard Street.

Northern Hills Training Center is one of 19 South Dakota Community Support Providers (CSPs), certified by the Division of Developmental Disabilities.   Community Support Providers provide services which may include residential, vocational, service coordination, and nursing care. Community Support Providers provide residential options for people, such as group homes and supervised apartments.  Community living training and residential expanded follow-along are also provided for those who are living on their own or are working toward that goal. Vocational opportunities may include working in the agency workshop, job coaching and pre-vocational training for individuals looking for community jobs and vocational expanded follow-along for those working in the community.    Northern Hills Training Center supports between 143-145 individuals.


‘We Produce’: 2017 Chamber Annual Meeting & Extravaganza

Thank you!

Thank you to all who came to the Chamber Annual Meeting & Extravaganza Saturday, March 18th! What a fantastic night of food, friends, and fun! We ended up with no less than nine Member food businesses participate, serving up hearty samples of their best, and over 25 silent auction items and 15 door prizes!

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The Chamber recognized outstanding members in the community with awards:

Retail Business of the Year – CBH Cooperative

Employer of the Year – Jim & Lisa Grapentine

Service Business of the Year – Hill’s Interiors

The Faye Kennedy Award – Hometown Thursdays Committee

Lifetime Achievement Award – David Pummel

The Chamber also recognized Kay Cooper, Mark Reese, and Cass Heimbaugh with the ‘Extra Mile Award’, thanking them for going above and beyond for the Chamber in 2016-17.

Special thanks to the generous sponsors who made this evening possible:

Pioneer Bank & Trust  –  Life Light Creative LLC  –  Scott Peterson Motors  –  My Mission Travel  –  First Interstate Bank  –  The Olive Branch  –  Black Hills Vision Care  –  Hersrud’s of Belle Fourche  –  Black Hills Energy  –  Black Hills FCU  –  Montana-Dakota Utilities 


March Chamber Luncheon


Larry Prager of Center of the Nation Wool Warehouse spoke at our Chamber Luncheon on Wednesday, March 8. Luncheon goers learned many interesting facts about wool production and processing in the Belle Fourche area.

Belle Fourche wool is consistently ranked highest in quality, competing with wools from across the globe. Two major factors in producing top quality wool are genetics and environment. Because sheep have been raised in this area for generations, ranchers have selected for the best quality genetics for this area. The range environment and heavy clay in the soil is good for wool production.

Wool fiber is rated in microns. Finer wool fiber is higher in value. 30 microns is a rough fibre, while most Belle Fourche wool comes in at 22-20 microns in diameter and so is much softer and preferred for its strength and softness.

• 50% of the wool used to make U.S. military dress uniforms is grown in the region

• In China, “Belle Fourche” is known as the best wool the USA has to offer

• Center of the Nation Wool is the largest wool warehouse in country, and serves South Dakota, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and has even received a small shipment from Hawaii.

• Center of the Nation Wool handles between 4.5-5 million pounds of wool annually, with sales of $8-$12 million dollars depending on the year

As the Chamber prepares to launch the 2017 campaign, ‘We Produce’, future Chamber Luncheons and events will have more speakers along the lines of Pager who are producers in agriculture, manufacturing, and business in Belle Fourche.