If you're wondering what's up in the Sioux Empire? I tell you what's up, gas prices, and they are WAY UP!

If you've pulled up to a gas pump over the past 48 to 72 hours, I'm guessing you left in a state of shock!

On Friday after work, I needed to get some gas, so I pulled into a gas station close to work to top off my tank. I wasn't really paying attention until the damage was done. When I looked at the final tally I almost passed out at the pump. Somehow, the price of unleaded gasoline had gone from $3.69 to $4.09 a gallon overnight.

You better have an EMT crew on standby if your car requires premium! That's 6 cents shy of $5.00 a gallon right now at most places in the Sioux Falls area.

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I've seen some significant spikes before, but .40 cents a gallon in a 24-hour period! WTF!!

I had heard some rumblings that gas prices might be going up, but this latest spike is beyond ridiculous. And what's even scarier, word has it, fuel prices are supposed to keep climbing until the switch is made to cheaper winter gasoline later this month.

According to the gang at GasBuddy, here in the Corn Belt states of South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas, we can expect to see gas prices increase anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar over the next several days.

What's powering our latest pain at the pump?

Supposedly the latest increase can be attributed to a refinery outage. Details beyond that are a little vague. Go figure.

In theory, until the switch is made to winter gasoline sometime after September 16th, the folks with GasBuddy say we should prepare ourselves for continued spikes at the gas pump.

The good news, if there is some, this recent gas hike is supposed to be relatively short-lived.

Let's hope the so-called experts are right on this one.

Source: GasBuddy 

Dives Worth a Drive in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota

Almost every small South Dakota town has a watering hole. It’s where the locals go to kick back a few brews and engage in conversation.

Some of these establishments are located in buildings almost as old as the town itself. There might be a fresh coat of paint on the walls or new vinyl on the booth seats, but the ambiance is still reminiscent of a good ol’ dive.

If you think a "dive" is all about the sketchy clientele, the smell of the Devil’s lettuce, and stale Grain Belt, you’d be wrong. Not every dive has a bad reputation.

What makes a dive, a dive?

A dive has character. Neon beer signs and local memorabilia adorn the walls.

You might find a pool table, dart board, and a few video lottery machines.

The bartender knows the regulars by name and they know what you drink.

Some dives don't even serve food except for bags of chips and pickled eggs that sit in a jar of brine on the bar.

Dives aren't fancy. You might see 70's-style wood panels on the walls and wobbly tables leveled with a folded napkin.

Finally, the bathrooms. The bathrooms in dives are in a class by themselves and could be a whole topic on its own. 

There are several small-town dives in our area with friendly faces, cheap booze with a burn, and even really good food! We use the term "dive" in the most affectionate way.

Here are some of the best and why you should go there.

11 Things You’ll Only Understand After Living in South Dakota

From soda to pop to sloppy Joes, different parts of of the country have their own local quirks and language. Simple phrases can have totally different means, local events may seem weird, and food may go by a unique name.

If you're new to South Dakota here is a sort of translation guide for some odd things you may see or hear.