Happy Wednesday! Megan here.

A quick note to say thank you to everyone who has supported Sioux Falls Simplified in its development. It's beyond exciting to bring you this initial issue!

And now, news:

The Sioux Falls Police Department saw more out-of-state applicants for open jobs in 2020.

Why the change?

The increase in applicants coincides with an increased push in some parts of the country to reallocate funds away from police departments.

Some current and aspiring officers are seeing Sioux Falls and South Dakota as more favorable work environments, said Kim Stulken, who works in human resources for the City of Sioux Falls.

To put it in context, in 2019 about 1 in 4 applicants came from out of state. In 2020, the number rose to 1 in 3, according to Stulken.

Why Sioux Falls?

Stulken gives some of the credit to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's messaging inviting law enforcement to come to the state. Stulken has seen a particular increase in applications from officers who are already certified to work in other states.

"South Dakota in general has been pretty supportive of law enforcement," Stulken said.

Hear from an officer who moved to Sioux Falls last year here.


Harrisburg plans to build two new schools by 2023

Harrisburg School District plans to add a third middle school and the start of a second high school by 2023, Superintendent Tim Graf said.

It's the fastest-growing district in the state, and for years that growth has been at the elementary level. As those kids age into middle and high school in the coming years, the existing buildings are projected to fill up.

What are people saying?

"It's not like a 'Oh this would be cool to do this,'" school board member Mike Knudson said of the new buildings. "This is like, 'We have to have this.'"
"We just can't afford to wait," Graf said.

What's the timeline?

School board members could vote on a referendum date as early as next week. If voters agree to spend the needed $60 million, construction could start as early as this fall, Graf said.

Read the full story here.


Meet the Burger Battle's intrepid soldiers

The Downtown Sioux Falls annual Burger Battle has a winner, but for a few folks in town, the competition was one of man (or woman) vs. food.

Meet three Sioux Fallsians who ate all 24 burgers during the competition.

And drool over this photo of the winning burger, The Uptowner from Papa Woody's:

The Uptowner burger from Papa Woody's won the 2021 Downtown Sioux Falls Burger Battle.


Take stock of your wellness at Selah Space

It's time to think holistically about your wellness.

What does holistic wellness mean?

It means you need to think about physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and how those work together. A great place to start is a wellness consult at Selah Space.

How does a wellness consult work?

Owner Jada Dobesh will walk you through a series of questions about everything from your nutrition to your sleep to your spiritual wellness.

From there, she makes recommendations for which of Selah Space's services (reiki, massage, spiritual direction, mental health counseling, yoga – just to name a few) might be the best place to start.

Is it scary?

Nope. Selah Space is comfortable, welcoming, and it smells amazing. The wellness consult feels like a coffee meeting with a new friend (and they even have coffee!)

Schedule your free wellness consult at selahspacesd.com.

*Simplified Presents shares paid content from Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors. Want to be a sponsor? Email megan@sfsimplified.com to get involved.


Covid-19: Are we out of the woods yet?

No. But doctors at both Sanford and Avera say the road to normalcy is paved with vaccines.

They also weighed in on the risk levels for various activities based on where we're at with case counts and vaccine rates in Sioux Falls. More on that here.

What we're falling* for this week:

*Get it? Sioux Falls? Falling? Ok, I earned that groan.

What are you falling for? Let us know at megan@sfsimplified.com, and you could be featured in an upcoming newsletter.

A couple of things to watch:

  • Sioux Falls has about $20 million in federal funding from the CARES Act that is yet unaccounted for. City Finance Director Shawn Pritchett said city councilors will be briefed later this month on some options for using that money.
  • The Link Community Triage Center has set a timeline for opening. They were initially targeting an early 2021 open date, but the pandemic slowed access to construction materials. It's now set to open in May, Project Director Steve Lindquist told the City Council Tuesday.
  • The weather. The National Weather Service is predicting single-digit temperatures later this week. On the plus side, the days are getting longer!

What story do you want to see simplified?

Let me make understanding your community easier. Send story ideas, questions, complaints, news tips, attaboys and pictures of your dog to megan@sfsimplified.com.