Happy Wednesday! Megan here.

First things first: This issue is sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls.

  • Habitat for Humanity aims to build a world where everyone has a decent place to live. They do that by constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes, advocating for fair housing policy and helping families improve their shelter conditions. They're also building the workforce through local partnerships. Support their work today.

Weather check: Mostly mild

Checking in with you: How are you? Are you feeling smarter having read this newsletter? If yes, please consider buying in to a smarter Sioux Falls to ensure this locally owned local news outlet is here to stay.

This week, I'll give you a closer look at the design for the new Lincoln County courthouse. You'll also get an update on plans to get more people downtown. Plus, don't forget to check out our Simplified Gift Guide, as well as some Super Simplified Stories


Your Simplified Gift Guide is here

Simplified: Did you catch our locally sourced local gift guide last week? There's still time to get all of your holiday shopping done – and support local business owners in the process.

Why it matters

Unique local businesses are what makes Sioux Falls cool. By supporting them, we not only ensure they're here to stay, but we also can find cool stuff we wouldn't find anywhere else.

Show me the guide


How folks are working to get more people downtown

Simplified: From new events to paid helpers to pulling weeds, there's a lot of work going into making sure downtown is a destination year-round. Here's a look at why that's especially important as downtown grows.

Why it matters

  • Downtown is in the midst of massive expansion, between the Steel District, Jacobson Plaza, and an expanded Cherapa Place. Not to mention projects in recent years like Washington Square and the Cascade Building that have made it possible for more people to live downtown.
  • But, shop owners say they still see a dip in traffic when the weather gets cold – a trend various groups are working to combat with winter-specific activities like the new Winter Weekends events.
  • It's also all in line with a broader long-term plan to make downtown more desirable, from increasing walkability to ensuring visitors feel safe to ensuring businesses have what they need to survive.
"We don't want to build all of these things and then say, 'Oh that's nice,' and then not show up and enjoy them," DTSF, Inc. Marketing Director Tenley Schwartz said.

What are some of the goals for downtown?


This long-time local printer is evolving with new acquisition

This is a paid piece from Panther Premier Print Solutions.

Simplified: An acquisition earlier this month is bringing two long-time Sioux Falls businesses under the same roof. Here's what you need to know about the new service offerings and future growth coming to Panther Premier Print Solutions.

Why it matters

  • Panther Premier Print Solutions has been a family-owned company since it opened in Sioux Falls in 1984. What began as a print company more focused on paper products has since evolved to offer branding on just about anything – from pamphlets to clothing to large-format signs.
  • The acquisition of 74-year-old Advertising Arts is the third acquisition in company history. Advertising Arts brings with it equipment and expertise in providing signs, apparel and other promotional solutions – and all six team members will join the Panther team.
  • The growth of the company will also mean a growing physical footprint for Panther within a couple of years, President Aaron Mell said, noting that the business is look at a 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot addition, having just doubled their physical space in a new 20,000-square-foot facility in 2013.
“We’ve always got our eye on diversifying our product and service offerings,” Mell said. “It’s so important to do that in today’s economy and in the rhythm of business. You’ve got to be aware of and adapt to the changes around you. It is how we have built a profitable and sustainable business for our customers and employees.”

Tell me more about Panther


Super Simplified Stories

  • Local golf tournament wins PGA Tour award. The annual Sanford International event in Sioux Falls won a PGA Tour Champions Fan First award, Sanford Health announced Tuesday. Learn more about the tournament here.
  • No more 'good and decent' rule for license plates. An ongoing lawsuit between the American Civil Liberties Union and the state's motor vehicles division has been settled, according to South Dakota Searchlight. That means it'll no longer be the job of the state to determine what is "good and decent" – a win for free speech, according to the ACLU.
  • City Council staffers get raises. The Sioux Falls City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to approve a 3.5% cost of living adjustment to the staffers that work for the City Council, namely the city clerk, budget analyst, internal auditor and chief of legislation and policy.


The design for a new, $45M Lincoln County courthouse is taking shape

Simplified: Lincoln County Commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve design concepts and, more significantly for taxpayers, the maximum price tag on a new courthouse.

Why it matters

  • The current Lincoln County courthouse building has been in the center of town since Canton was established as the county seat in 1875, and while the existing building has seen several remodels since then, it's still an aging facility with not enough space to meet the needs of a fast-growing county.
  • The new building is expected to be off of Highway 18 on the west side of town, near 480th Street. A unanimous vote from the commission approved Henry Carlson Construction's guaranteed maximum price of $45.6 million.
  • DLG Group Architects presented commissioners with a look at the new facility's design, including materials used and generally what both the inside and outside of the building will look like.
"A lot of our inspiration came from the landscape in the area," DLG Group architect Michelle Graham told commissioners on Tuesday.

Tell me more about the new facility


What I'm falling for this week


More Simplified Stories

How Midco works to be a force for good in the community
Midco Foundation grant applications are open, but the company focuses on empowering team members to be a force for good all year round.
Why hundreds of kids are at risk of going hungry at school
The Sioux Falls School District will no longer be serving food to kids who have a negative balance of $75 or more on their lunch account. It’s a tough decision, officials said, but the alternative could be up to half a million dollars in debt by the end of the year.
The Outdoor Campus is almost ready to expand
The designs are in the works. The funds are nearly raised, and the Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus is looking to break ground on a $6.7 million expansion as early as next spring.


How to support Sioux Falls Simplified

Has Sioux Falls Simplified made you feel smarter about where you live?

Here are a few ways to ensure this smarter, easier local news outlet is here to stay:

  • Become a member. Consider buying into a smarter Sioux Falls by becoming a member and offering financial support to the no B.S. journalism you've been reading here.
  • Give a one-time gift. Not ready to commit to a membership? That's OK! If you want to help in a smaller way, you can give a one-time gift via buy me a coffee. :)
  • Advertise with us. Tell the "simplified" story of your business to your target audience. Want more info? Reach out to Sales & Socials Director Olivia Bertino at olivia@sfsimplified.com or check out our media kit.
Want the process to be even simpler? You can schedule a newsletter or event sponsorship right here with just a few clicks and a few questions.

Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or motivation to mail my holiday cards to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Sioux Empire United Way, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance and Voyage Federal Credit Union. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.

Special thanks to Habitat for Humanity!

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls' end of the year giving campaign theme is "Revitalize." Help them revitalize housing in the Sioux Falls area to ensure everyone has a safe and secure place to call home. Donate today!