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Weather check: Winter temps are officially here. Bundle up, folks.

This weekend, I'll give you a deeper dive into voter turnout. You'll also find an update on how the Union Gospel Mission is turning unusable clothes into roofing materials (and cash). Oh! And of course, we have our weekly event guide.

And now, news:


Analysis: Sioux Falls has more registered voters, but fewer showing up at the polls

Simplified: The number of active registered voters has increased at a faster rate than population growth, but when it comes time to cast a ballot, an increasing percentage of registered voters aren't voting, according to a Sioux Falls Simplified analysis of two decades of turnout data.

Why it matters

  • The majority of people who live in the Sioux Falls area aren't voting in midterm elections.
  • The combined population of Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties grew by 50% over the last two decades. In the same period, the number of ballots cast in midterm elections grew by 33%.
  • It's worth noting that this data is limited to midterm elections – think governor's races, not presidential ones. That said, it still shows a trend that even as the Sioux Falls area grows, a smaller and smaller group of people is choosing the region's elected leaders.

Show me the numbers

And then tell me what they mean. More here.


How the mission turned a truckload of unusable clothes into $10,000

Simplified: The Union Gospel Mission bought a baler about a year ago to help turn unusable clothes into roofing materials. Now, it's sent its first truckload of clothes to a Tennessee organization in exchange for $10,000 to support the mission's work.

Bales of clothes at the Union Gospel Mission

Why it matters

  • While the baler's been in place for some time, the mission wasn't able to really get started on this project until it acquired a forklift with the help of local donors. Once that happened, it only took about three months to fill a semi truck with bales of clothing.
  • This new project is also giving the people who stay at the mission a chance to gain practical workforce skills by learning how to operate both the forklift and the baler.
  • In its first load, the mission saved 45,000 pounds of clothes from going to the dump, said Elly Heckel, communications and marketing director for the mission.
  • And, the mission in return got $10,000. Right now, the money is going toward paying off the baler, but once that's accomplished, it'll all be profit, CEO Eric Weber said.
"If we can bring in $10,000 every three months, that feeds thousands of people," Weber said.

How did this project get off the ground?

And what happens next?


Stuff to do: Nov. 11-17

Compiled by Olivia Bertino

  • Get Crafty. Head to the fairgrounds for a holiday craft show featuring artisans of all kinds. The fair runs from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Admission and more info here.
  • Honor our veterans with a dance. The El Riad Shrine's Honor Ball is this Friday at 6:45 p.m. You can take dance lessons with admission or just hang around for the music. Details here.
  • Peek at the Pettigrew house. Join the 10 a.m. Saturday tour of the Pettigrew Home and Museum to see all the "nooks and crannies" of the building, including history and construction. Details here.
  • Find a job on the go. DLR Sioux Falls Job Service is hosting a recruiting and hiring event stroll at their location off of 10th street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday. Stop by for on-the-spot interviews with local employers. Details here.
  • A night at the Orpheum. Head to the Orpheum Theater for a performance of "The Sound of Music" by the Dakota Academy of Performing Arts. Opening night is 7 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets and more info here.


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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 extra blankets to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including Millennium Recycling, the Great Plains Zoo, Midco, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance, Selah Space and Silverstar Car Wash. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.