Charles Michael Ray
Charles Michael Ray grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota on the banks of Boxelder Creek downstream from the town of Nemo.
He began working for SDPB Radio as a reporter in 1992 at the age of 19. He worked his way through college at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and received a degree in Geology in 1997. He then worked as a freelance journalist in the Czech capital of Prague, covering major stories in Central Europe. After a year overseas he returned home to continue his work at SDPB-Radio and to get back to the Black Hills.
Over the years his work has been recognized with numerous awards and fellowships. He's won two national Edward R. Murrow awards and a National Scripps Howard News Service award. In 2006 Ray was a finalist in the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. In 2009 he was selected as a Logan Science Journalist Polar Fellow, he spent three weeks above the Arctic Circle at a scientific research station reporting on the impacts of climate change. He has won 20 regional Murrow Awards since 2004 and over 40 awards from the Associated Press since 1993.
Ray and his wife Andrea live in Rapid City. He still enjoys spending time at the family home in the Black Hills. He's an avid whitewater kayaker and also enjoys ice hockey, mountain unicycling, backpacking, and several other outdoor activities.
Racial tensions are high in Rapid City, S.D., as police investigate an incident where white men allegedly shouted racial slurs and dumped beer on a group of Native Americans at a recent hockey game.
What's being called one of the worst storms in South Dakota's history has killed tens of thousands of cattle. Ranchers need to bury the piles of carcasses littering the fields. The disaster comes amid the government shutdown that closed USDA programs aimed at helping livestock producers recover.
A conflict over alcohol is escalating in the tiny town of Whiteclay, Neb., which sells millions of cans of beer annually to residents of the nearby Pine Ridge Reservation. While protesters are trying to block beer deliveries to the town, some tribal leaders are considering legalizing alcohol at Pine Ridge.
Federal officials are working to send out $1,000 checks in the next few weeks to hundreds of thousands of Native Americans. The money stems from a settlement of the Cobell case, a landmark $3.4 billion settlement over mismanagement of federal lands held in trust for Native American people.
The liberal senator from conservative South Dakota lost the 1972 presidential race to Richard Nixon by a landslide, carrying only Massachusetts. But his candidacy and opposition to the Vietnam War were embraced by a new generation of voters. McGovern died on Sunday. He was 90 years old.
More consumers are turning to buffalo meat as a healthier choice that's often better for the environment. South Dakota is the biggest producer of buffalo, and ranchers there say their biggest challenge is keeping up with the demand.