Happy Wednesday! Megan here.

First things first, this issue is brought to you by Panther Premier Print Solutions/Ad Arts.

  • Panther Premier Print Solutions is committed put your brand on anything, anywhere. The company recently acquired Ad Arts, and now both long-time Sioux Falls businesses are operating under one roof. You can learn more here.

Weather check: Hanging in above freezing

Giveaway check: You've got one more week to enter our giveaway to win a three-night stay in the Black Hills! Do that here.

This week, you'll find the latest on the City Council's response to the childcare crisis, how to find winter fun, some Super Simplified Stories, and of course, our weekly event guide. Plus, don't miss Friday's issue for a sit-down with the Sioux Falls superintendent (and some important cookie-related news).

And now, news:


Councilor suggests 'immediate action' in childcare

Simplified: Several Sioux Falls City Council members on Tuesday voiced support for funding a full-time position dedicated to focusing on childcare and other early childhood issues in the city.

Why it matters

  • The council's regulatory oversight committee has met several times this month to discuss Sioux Falls' ongoing childcare crisis – including a meeting last week when they heard from several providers just how challenging things are for them right now.
  • Councilor Alex Jensen – the chair of the committee – suggested on Tuesday that the group was ready to take "immediate action" to help by creating a dedicated, full-time position working day-to-day to coordinate further childcare solutions.
  • It's too soon to say if this full-time person would be a city employee, or if perhaps they would work for an outside organization receiving some funding from the city. But councilors are expected to have a job description ready for review within a couple of weeks.
"If you look at some of the research that has already been done ... the office of a childcare coordinator, or whatever you want to call it, is necessary," Jensen said. "We can do better, and we should do better, from my perspective."

What happens next?


Super Simplified Stories

  • People don't want to live by a prison. The fight from landowners opposed to the state building a new men's prison in Lincoln County continued this week in court. Essentially, folks don't want to live by a prison, but a lawyer representing the state Department of Corrections said it'd be "absurd" to think the county would out-rank the state in all this. South Dakota Searchlight unpacks all the drama.
  • Corn for food. The South Dakota Corn Utilization Council this week announced a $100,000 donation to Feeding South Dakota – the second large donation from the council in as many years.
  • The geese are back. The Sioux Falls Humane Society will be working with state wildlife officials to scare geese away from the airport so they don't damage planes or get themselves killed. The sound cannons – a humane method of scaring geese – will be used during the day starting Wednesday. They will not go off at night.


How Great Bear is making winter fun accessible for everyone

This is a paid piece from Great Bear Ski Valley.

Simplified: Winter weather doesn't have to just be tolerated – it can be celebrated. That's the philosophy Great Bear Ski Valley is bringing to its already record-breaking season. Here's what you need to know.

Why it matters

  • Great Bear has seen its number of season pass holders more than double over the last five years, with more than 1,600 people buying passes before there was even snow on the slopes this year.
  • There's a common misconception that skiing and snowboarding are sports that only wealthy people can participate in, Director of Communications Alexa Jerstad said. But Great Bear has a number of promotions to make winter sports accessible for everyone.
  • Great Bear also offers ski and snowboarding lessons, as well as an adaptive program to help people of all physical abilities experience the slopes.
"Humans were never meant to hibernate," Jerstad said. "We want to encourage people to embrace the winter, bundle up and find outdoor fun at Great Bear that they can enjoy with the whole family."

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Stuff to do: Jan. 24-30

  • Talk pools. The City of Sioux Falls is hosting a public input session where community members can weigh in on ongoing plans for a new outdoor pool on the south side of town near Harrisburg's Freshman Academy. The event takes place 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the freshman academy. More info here.
  • Talk education. Join the Community Revitalization Coalition at 10 a.m. Saturday for a Quality of Life Forum on education. The forum encourages collaboration and problem-solving in a family-friendly environment. Get the details here.
  • Take a candlelit hike. Hop over the Minnesota border Saturday evening for a candlelit hike at Blue Mounds State Park. Enjoy a self-paced hike along a path lit by hundreds of luminaries starting at the picnic shelter, and warm up with some hot cocoa in the park shelter. Details here.
  • Drink in space. The Washington Pavilion is hosting an adults-only "Cosmos and Cocktails" event to give grown ups a chance to enjoy the Kirby Science Discovery Center and the newly renovated Sweetman Planetarium. There'll also be cocktails, including "Galaxy Lemonade." Tickets and more details here.
  • Meet puppies. Covert Artisan Ales is teaming up with the Rescue Network to host a puppy meet and greet event Saturday afternoon starting at 2 p.m. There won't be same-day adoptions, but you can go meet adoptable pups and start the process. Details here.
  • Try lots of taps. It's a tap-stravaganza (sorry) at the Convention Center on Saturday for this year's Sioux Empire on Tap event. Sample 80+ beers, seltzers, and ciders, and enjoy some live music. Details here.
  • Support Emily's Hope. The nonprofit Emily's Hope – which is dedicated to stopping the stigma around addiction and preventing overdose deaths – is hosting an art show and auction Saturday evening at Monick Yards. Find event details, and an option to donate, here.


What I'm falling for this week:


More Simplified Stories

Councilors get a snapshot of the childcare crisis
The city regularity oversight committee on Tuesday heard from about a half-dozen people in the childcare industry about why their industry is struggling, as well as the resulting affect on parents.
How folks are strategizing the month-long burger battle
Sioux Falls Simplified chatted with several folks about how they’re approaching the battle (and is anyone going to eat all 37?).
This group is working to make doulas more accessible statewide
A nonprofit is working to bring prenatal, birthing and postpartum doula services to more people statewide by advocating for legislation to ensure these services are covered by Medicaid. Meet South Dakota Doulas.


How to support Sioux Falls Simplified

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Reach out

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

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including Dakota Adventure Supply, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Panther Premier Print Solutions, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, and the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.

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