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Education
3:00 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Dakota Midday: Young Musicians Win Symphony Competition

This Saturday’s Black Hills Symphony Orchestra concert features Rapid City Central High School junior Paige Werner as soloist in a performance of an oboe concerto by Alessandro Marcello. Werner is the senior division winner of this year’s Young Artist Competition, sponsored by the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra and Symphony League. Violinist Ingrid Anderson won the junior division for her performance of Ernest Bloch's "Improvisation No. 2 from Baal Shem."

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Health
2:37 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Dakota Midday: Preventing Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in the U.S., but it’s also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Nine out of 10 colorectal cancers could be prevented or successfully treated with regular colon cancer screenings.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Studies show that people who are screened have a 90 percent reduced risk of developing colon cancer. Yet nationwide only about 50 percent of people who are eligible take advantage of regular screenings.

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Politics
2:28 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Dakota Political Junkies

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Watertown Public Opinion managing editor Roger Whittle and Rapid City Journal reporter Seth Tupper joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed proposals before state lawmakers, including bills exempting youth from the minimum wage hike, allowing cities to impose additional sales tax, and establishing water management districts in the northeastern part of South Dakota. Other topics included the selection of Pam Roberts as the new Republican state party chair and next week's election on expanding the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.

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News
2:00 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Thune, Rounds Support Failed Veto Override Of Keystone XL Pipeline

The United States Senate has failed to override the President’s veto of Keystone XL oil pipeline legislation. Wednesday afternoon, the number of lawmakers who voted to override the decision was 62. That’s not the two-thirds majority necessary for the measure to pass.

Last month President Barack Obama vetoed legislation authorizing construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, but the administration is still reviewing the pipeline proposal. Six years into consideration, United States Senators tried and failed to override the president’s veto of the nearly 1,200 miles of line.

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News
1:58 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Representatives End Jolene's Law Task Force

Lawmakers have voted to end what’s called Jolene’s Law Task Force. The Legislature created Jolene’s Task Force last year to study child sexual abuse and propose laws to help combat the issue. Senate Bill 71 would have continued funding the task force, however, the bill was killed in committee. 

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News
4:00 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Lawmakers Kill Measure Requiring School Safety Plans

A measure requiring schools to create safety plans and lockdown procedures failed to pass the House. Senate Bill 89 required superintendents to appoint school safety teams who would work with local law enforcement officials to construct a safety plan. The measure also required schools to run a lockdown drill at least once per year. Representative Scott Munsterman of Brookings says it’s unfortunate but because of a rise in school shootings schools have to be prepared.

"We need to have this in statute so we can insure consistency in the safety of our kids," says Munsterman. 

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News
8:33 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Senate Approves Speed to Pass Bill

Lawmakers are supporting a bill allowing drivers to speed in some circumstances. House Bill 1124 authorizes travelers to go ten miles per hour over the speed limit when passing a vehicle moving slower than the limit on two lane roads posted at 65 miles per hour or more. Senator Brock Greenfield is a prime sponsor of the bill. He says it’s a safety measure.

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News
8:29 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Firearm Certification Bill Killed in Committee

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee killed a bill that makes a change to the certification process when transferring certain firearms.

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News
6:16 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

PUC Approves Half Of BHP Rate Increase Request

Downed power lines in the October 2013 blizzard known as storm Atlas are part of the reason Black Hills Power requested a rate increase.

Residents in Rapid City and the surrounding area are about to see their electric bills go up.

But the rate increase may not be as high as the power company would like. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission approved half of the 9.27 percent  increase Black Hills Power requested.

P.U.C. Commissioner Chris Nelson says rate increases are never easy.   Nelson says the factors the PUC can consider when company requests a rate increase are set by state law.  

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News
4:21 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Transgender Bill Dies In Senate Committee

Lawmakers have rejected a measure dealing with high school sports and transgender students. House Bill 1195 bars the South Dakota High School Activities Association from making policies regarding sexuality or gender identity. The SDHSAA adopted a transgender policy in June of 2014. The policy outlines procedures if a student identifies as transgender and wishes to participate on a sports team opposite of his or her birth gender. 

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Environment
2:12 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Dakota Midday: Researchers Identitify Cover Crops to Lure Deer

Winter rye, Daikon radish and Austrian winter peas are on the menu for this deer at the SDSU Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Research Facility, as part of a Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration study to determine which fall cover crops the animals prefer.
Credit SDSU

During tough winters, hungry deer often eat hay and other stored livestock feed. South Dakota State University researchers are currently exploring fall cover crops that will attract deer and provide nutrient-rich winter forage. Preliminary results show that turnips and radishes are the top two choices followed by peas.

The research project is in its final year and focuses on eastern South Dakota. It’s funded by a three-year grant from the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration, administered by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

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Business
1:50 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Dakota Midday: Consumer Protection

Credit Charles Michael Ray SDPB

This is National Consumer Protection Week. The South Dakota Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division is joining federal, state and local government agencies and national organizations in a coordinated campaign encouraging consumers to take full advantage of their rights and make better-informed decisions.

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News
1:25 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

SF Database For Kids With Special Needs

Authorities in Sioux Falls are launching a program to help identify children with special needs who go missing. Parents can enter details about their kids in a Sioux Falls police database. That can make it easier to distribute information to officials if a child is lost. 

Police in Sioux Falls now have a database to house information on children with disabilities so they have quick access if a child is missing. Parents can use an online form to register in the Special Needs Directory. Details include name, height, weight, disabilities, any means of tracking the child – and a place to add a photograph.

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Arts
3:15 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Dakota Midday: Longtime Pierre Educator Honored for Support of Arts

Jeannette Beemer

Last month, longtime Pierre music teacher Jeannette Beemer was honored for her lasting legacy with a 2015 Governor’s Award in the Arts for Outstanding Support of the Arts by an Individual.

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Arts
2:36 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Dakota Midday: Poet Tells Stories of Hiawatha Asylum

Hiawatha Asylum
Credit South Dakota State Historical Society

In the early 20th century, hundreds of Native Americans from tribes around the country were sent the Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians. Located in Canton, South Dakota, the institution wasn’t so much a place to treat people with mental health problems as a place for Native Americans who refused to assimilate in white society.

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Business
2:20 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Dakota Midday: Economic Growth Ahead in Midwest

Mid-America Business Conditions index

A new survey of business leaders in South Dakota and eight other Midwest and Plains states suggests that economic growth lies ahead over the next three to six months. That’s according to the latest monthly report  from Creighton University’s Mid-America Business Conditions Index.

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News
1:15 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

High Court Won't Overturn Death Sentence

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A South Dakota death row inmate’s conviction and sentence stand. A ruling from the United States Supreme Court Monday denies Rodney Berget’s request to overturn the state court’s decision. This puts an end to any direct appeals to his murder conviction and capital sentence.

Correctional Officer Ron Johnson died a violent death in May of 2011 when two inmates at the South Dakota State Penitentiary tried to escape from prison. Eric Robert and Rodney Berget were caught, tried, and convicted in the killing.

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News
4:00 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Early Budget Estimates Show Revenues Down

It’s the last two weeks of legislative session and budget discussions are heating up at the Capitol. Lawmakers say early revenue figures are down from initial projections meaning lawmakers may have some tough budget decisions ahead. However, Jason Dilges with the state’s Bureau of Finance and Management says even though revenues are weaker than expected state expenditures are also down. He says the lower expenditures offset reduced revenues. 

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News
2:34 am
Sun March 1, 2015

All Votes Support Juvenile Justice Reform

A Pierre committee is moving forward with reforms to South Dakota’s juvenile justice system. Legislation that changes the way the state handles young offenders has now passed three of four steps to getting on the governor’s desk.

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News
9:51 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Bill Requiring Certain Distance between Bikes and Cars Passes Senate Committee

A bill requiring a certain distance be left when vehicles are passing a bicyclist is one step closer to becoming law. House Bill 1030 says drivers must leave three feet of separation when the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less, and a minimum of six feet of separation when the limit is more than 35 miles per hour. Bill Nevin is the legal counsel for the Department of Transportation. He says law currently requires a safe distance, but he says that’s hard to define. He says safe should mean absolutely no chance of a collision.

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News
5:02 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Study of Actual Use Property Valuations Dies in Senate

Democrat leaders say they are disappointed in discussions around property taxes at the legislature. A measure that would set up a study of actual use property valuation and its effect on state revenues died in the Senate last week. Currently, valuations are based on a productivity model. This means if soil on land is rated for cropland it gets taxed as cropland even though it’s being used to graze cattle. Senator Bill Sutton of Burke says an actual use model is more fair because it assesses land for what it’s currently being used.

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Science
4:51 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Innovation: Dr. Gareth Davies And Dorret Boomsma

Dr. Gareth Davies, Chief Scientific Officer and Scientific Director at the Avera Institute for Human Genetics.  He was listed as a co-author in Nature, the international weekly journal of science for an article titled “Common Genetic Variants Influence Human Subcortical Brain Structures” which was released Jan.

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Arts
4:23 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Union Grove Pickers & Tree Party

Tree Party.

A pair of performances from the 35th Annual Sioux River Folk Festival highlight this week's show.

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Science
11:29 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Innovation: Rapid City Stevens Team Goes to National Science Bowl

Stevens Science Teacher Lisa Weisbeck and the State Championship Team set to represent South Dakota in the National Science Bowl.
Credit Charles Michael Ray

A team from Rapid City Stevens High School will represent South Dakota at the National Science Bowl in Washington DC this April.

Stevens won the state competition beating out other schools in South Dakota -- now they go up against the best in the country.  

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray caught up with Stevens Science Teacher Lisa Weisbeck and two students on the winning state team --  Junior Rachel Fenenga and Senior James Donhiser.

To escape the noisy school hallways the three stepped into a quiet science storage room, filled with beakers and instruments…  

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Culture - MStSquare - Beach
3:49 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Main Street Square Beach Party

Ice skaters of all ages are expected for the 4th annual Last Day to Skate Beach Party at Rapid City's Main Street Square.
Credit Courtesy Main Street Square

The weather’s supposed to be “seasonable” in Rapid City this weekend…which, if you’ve lived here for any length of time you’ll realize, can mean almost anything. But some people think it’s actually a perfect opportunity for…a beach party.

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News
8:07 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Bill Allowing Craps, Roulette, and Keno in Deadwood Passes House

A bill allowing craps, roulette, and keno in Deadwood is one step closer to becoming law. In November voters approved an amendment giving the legislature the ability to authorize the games. Representative Brian Gosch spoke in favor of Senate Bill 57. He says the city of Deadwood was on the decline after the closing of Homestake Gold Mine, and gambling has helped revitalize the city.

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News
8:04 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Bill Allows Tech Schools to Receive Names and Addresses of Middle and High School Students

Members of the Senate Education Committee passed a bill that provides information regarding technical institutes be given to parents and guardians of students in middle and high schools. Each year, school districts give a list of names and addresses of students to the Board of Regents, used to send information about preparation for college. House Bill 1072 allows postsecondary technical institutes to receive student information as well. Proponents say it helps students know what is available, and helps keep them in state. Senator Mike Vehle is a prime sponsor of the legislation.

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News
7:23 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Ellsworth Could Face Cuts In 2015

Ellsworth Air Force Base Commander Colonel Kevin Kennedy during his "State of Ellsworth" address.

Ellsworth Air Force Base Commander Colonel Kevin Kennedy says tough budget decisions may be ahead this year.  
 
Kennedy gave his “State of Ellsworth Address” on Thursday morning.  
 
Ellsworth narrowly escaped closure in 2005 during the last round of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission or BRAC.   

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News
7:08 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Protests Against Racism Continue In Rapid City

Parents and students form American Horse School at the front of a protest march from the Civic Center band shell to City Hall.

Roughly 100 people took part in a peaceful march against racism in Rapid City this Thursday afternoon.

Protestors expressed anger over what they see as unfair treatment of Native people in the justice system and unfair economic conditions.

Marchers included 77 year old Dennis Banks-who was a founding member of the American Indian Movement.  

Banks took part in the Wounded Knee occupation of 1973 and says he’s had to come back to Rapid City too often over the years to join in protest marches like this.

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News
5:59 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Talking Tickets As SF Concerts Sell Out

Premier Center General Manager Terry Torkildson shows how many people try to purchase tickets and how many seats are available. / February 26, 2015
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Leaders of Sioux Falls’ events center want to help ticket buyers understand why shows sell out so quickly, and some concert-goers want officials to do more. The general manager of the Denny Sanford Premier Center says special sponsors receive perks, but they’re the same that anyone who signs up for the newsletter also gets, and everyone is capped at the number of tickets they can buy. The reassurance that leaders are trying to keep fraud out of the system still leaves thousands without tickets.

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