National Journal's Amy Sullivan recently visited Sioux Falls, S.D., and is still regretting passing up the chance to eat a mashed-potato-stuffed hotdog wrapped in bacon at a café in Falls Park overlooking the arresting falls for which the city is named. She did, however, take Instagram photos of people and places around town in order to capture the city and its surprisingly diverse economic life.
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The falls, for which the city of Sioux Falls is named. Falls Park also features large quantities of exposed pink quartzite, as well as the ruins of the old Queen Bee flour mill, built in 1881.(Amy Sullivan)
Pat Herr, an RN who directs Avera Health's eICU program, demonstrates the video display that connects Avera's medical professionals in Sioux Falls with ICUs in rural settings across seven states in the region. At a time when rural hospitals and clinics are understaffed and struggling to attract doctors, telemedicine can fill some gaps and even improve best practices.(Amy Sullivan)
Pete Vitiello, a toxicologist from Staten Island, was part of a team recruited to Sanford Health from the University of Rochester. At the time, academic colleagues told him the move would be career suicide.(Amy Sullivan)
The medical research facilities at Sanford Health, where teams are working to find cures to type 1 diabetes and breast cancer, among other projects. The research institute opened in the mid-2000s following a $500 million investment from Denny Sanford, a local businessman who founded and owns First Premier Bank.(Amy Sullivan)
"Monarch of the Plains" is a granite sculpture in Falls Park. Buffalo roamed the Sioux Falls area in the 1800s before they were slaughtered by the U.S. government.(Amy Sullivan)
The headquarters of Citibank's credit card operations. The international banking giant's decision in 1981 to relocate its credit division from New York--in response to the loosening of South Dakota's usury laws--led to the city's transformation at a thriving financial sector. Today, $2.5 trillion in bank assets are held in South Dakota, more than any other state.(Amy Sullivan)
Steve Hildebrand, longtime Democratic political operative and deputy campaign manager of Obama's 2008 race, left politics to open Josiah's Coffeehouse and Cafe in downtown Sioux Falls, where he has lived for three decades.(Amy Sullivan)
The fireplace at Josiah's, which is named for Josiah Phillips, founder of Sioux Falls. His portrait hangs over the mantle, and the fireplace itself is made from local pink Sioux quartzite.(Amy Sullivan)
Raven Industries is a local company started in 1958 to make hot air balloons. Its product lines have since diversified, and Raven now produces what's known as precision agriculture equipment, which is GPS-guided to help farmers increase their efficiency and crop yield.(Amy Sullivan)
Raven's headquarters is housed in a gorgeously-renovated former biscuit factory on the east bank of the Big Sioux River.(Amy Sullivan)
The John Morrell meat-packing plant opened in 1909 and launched Sioux Falls' first population boom. It has been a cornerstone of the local economy ever since, albeit an occasionally troublesome one. The plant has been penalized multiple times over the years for dumping slaughter waste and other pollutants into the Big Sioux River.(Amy Sullivan)
The old Minnehaha County Courthouse, built from the pink Sioux quartzite quarried in the region.(Amy Sullivan)
Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether spent 15 years as a Citibank executive and another decade at First Premier Bank in Sioux Falls before running for his current position. He faces challenges other mayors would give their right arms for--low unemployment and high population growth.(Amy Sullivan)