News stories can contain a lot of information, making them seem daunting to read through and figure out what’s actually important to know. 

Award-winning journalist Megan Raposa wanted to make it easier for people in the Sioux Falls area to keep up to date with their community.

But she didn’t look into creating her own news platform until the fall of 2020 brought her to Google News Initiative Startups Boot Camp.

“My goal is to make it easy for people to feel smart about where they live,” said Raposa. “Local news can feel like the community you’re living in, and local news can be easy to understand and even enjoyable to read.”

Enter Sioux Falls Simplified, Raposa’s news outlet and weekly newsletter with to-the-point stories about the news that she feels are essential to know. Each story is typically a one-minute read to a three-minute read. 

“I recognize that most people (okay, all people) are busy, and many aren’t taking the time to read in-depth news stories or tune in to a TV news program,” she said. “So I wanted to simplify the news and bring the headlines and bullet points to people in their inbox.” 

Raposa shared with the 605 team her favorite places to frequent in Sioux Falls and the surrounding areas that may not be journalistically newsworthy, but that she deems noteworthy. 


Anytime someone asks me where I want to meet for lunch downtown, I’m picking M.B. Haskett. I love their Brie on Baguette sandwich, but most often I’m choosing whatever they’ve got for a daily special. 


If you’ve seen a lean, curly brown dog that’s faster than all the other dogs at Spencer Park, chances are it’s my half poodle, half German wirehaired pointer, Harper. She’s also often not far from my actual human child, who spends her time at the dog park pointing at every pup we see and saying, “Dog!” 

Recipe: Wassail

A cold-weather drink from the Sonsalla-Raposa household


+ ½ gallon of apple cider
+ 1 quart of cranberry juice
+ 2 cups of orange juice
+ 1 quart of hot tea (we use 3 tea bags of earl grey tea in 4 cups of water)
+ ½ cup sugar
+ 3 cinnamon sticks
+ 12 whole cloves 


Add all the ingredients into a slow cooker, and let it make the entire house smell amazing. Then after about three to four hours, slice up an orange and float the slices in the wassail. Serve and enjoy! 


Augustana [University]’s campus is one of my favorite places. I’m biased, as an alumna myself, but I also live not far from campus and get to walk around it almost daily. 


I’m also a big fan of all of the walking and hiking trails around the city. During the pandemic, my family hit the trails almost daily, alternating mainly between Good Earth State Park, Palisades State Park, and Great Bear Ski Valley

“Sioux Falls is lucky to have multiple news outlets, but -as we’ve seen news outlets across the state and country close- it’s important to remember it may not always be that way.” -Megan Raposa 


Speaking of Palisades State Park, it’s the most beautiful natural phenomenon in the area. [Falls Park is] great, but there’s something about the giant rock formations that just hit differently for me. It’s also where my husband and I had our wedding ceremony, so, again, maybe I’m just biased. 


There’s never a bad time of day to have a meal at Giliberto’s [Mexican Taco Shop]. It’s one of those places where I could probably eat there every single day and never get sick of it. My go-to is the enchiladas with beans and rice on the side with lots of their green and red hot sauces. 


Though I work from home now, downtown Sioux Falls will always feel like my home away from home. My first (and only other) job was as a reporter and then editor at the Argus Leader, and I have such a special place in my heart for that building and its proximity to all of the arts, entertainment, food, and coffee in downtown Sioux Falls. 

5 Random Facts 

+ I met my husband, Royal, because we both sold Cutco knives when we were in high school and early college. We were standing next to each other at a sales conference and struck up a conversation, and the rest is history.   

+ I’ve always loved storytelling. As a kid, I would write little stories—real and made-up—about my friends or kids from school. When I was really little, too small to write, I would dictate stories to my mom to write down for me. 

+ I started thinking about starting my own news outlet while I was on maternity leave with my daughter, Margot. She’s only about seven months older than Sioux Falls Simplified, so it’s basically like her sibling. 

+ I’ve inherited my mom’s love of art, and one of my favorite things to do on vacation is to find an art museum. My absolute favorite was seeing the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam while Royal and I were on our honeymoon.  

+ My dream job is to write the descriptions on wine bottles. They’re always so cheesy and over the top, and it would be so fun to just make up ridiculous turns of phrase to describe wine, which, let’s be real, just tastes like wine. 

“Journalists work hard to ensure you know about the forces at work shaping your community: from how your taw dollars are spent, to the success of your kids in school, to the folks in town who need help and the folks who are helping.” -Megan Raposa 


Here’s where my geeky journalist side comes out, but I really enjoy sitting in on local government meetings. It’s fascinating to see how decisions are made, and I spend a good amount of time either in person or virtually attending school board, city council, and other public meetings. 


Another place that feels like home to me is barre3. I’ve been going to their workout classes for about three years now, and everyone is so friendly. The whole vibe is about taking care of yourself and modifying [workouts] to fit what your body needs, and I love that approach to exercise. 


My favorite date nights involve going to see a local play, especially a smaller-scale production from a local theater company, like Monstrous Little Theatre Company or Bare Bodkins [Theatre Company]. There’s so much talent here—it’s great. 

For more information, visit SFSIMPLIFIED.COM

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