Kealey Bultena

SDPB News Reporter

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).

Pages

News
2:02 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Experts Weigh In On Avian Flu Spread

Avian flu is spreading across the country, and it’s shown up at six South Dakota turkey operations. Those farms are in counties including Beadle, Kingsbury, McCook, McPherson, Roberts and Spink. The virus moves rapidly when birds catch the H5N2 strain.

Avian flu viruses commonly exist in wild bird populations, and the latest version is spreading onto farms. It hits quickly. John Clifford is the Chief Veterinary Officer for the USDA.

Read more
News
4:40 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Ad Comparing SD To Mars Part Of New State Image Campaign

A new workforce plan from the State of South Dakota aims to change the Rushmore state’s image around the region. Economic development leaders are launching a media campaign in surrounding states on May first. Radio and television ads are set to air in specific communities, and a companion website launches that day. One of the videos promoting the state is already garnering attention.

Part of a new campaign to promote quality of life in South Dakota draws some contrast with people who want to travel to Mars without any hope of returning.

Read more
News
4:12 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Lemmon Man Arrested For Manslaughter

A weekend shooting left one man dead and another person in custody for manslaughter. Saturday night 32-year-old Leon Paulson died after he was shot.

Authorities say 22-year-old Brady Hooker is accused of shooting and killing a man at his home in Lemmon, South Dakota during an argument that escalated. Hooker faces first-degree manslaughter.

Attorney General Marty Jackley says the difference between murder and manslaughter charges mainly applies to intent.

Read more
News
1:25 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Study Shows Food Insecurity By County

Credit Feeding America

The latest information from Feeding America shows more than 1 in 10 South Dakotans lacks consistent access to enough healthy food. A recent study shows that, in the past year, more than 12 percent of people in South Dakota didn’t have access to enough food. 

Every county in South Dakota suffers from food insecurity. The numbers prove hunger affects children, and it’s more likely in certain parts of the state.

Read more
News
1:47 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Man Arrested Friday For 1989 Murder

A man living in Florida is in custody for a murder near Sioux Falls that happened in November of 1989.  Law enforcement responded to a shooting and found a woman dead. A grand jury Thursday indicted the man and a judge issued a warrant.

Read more
News
12:42 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Study Show Economic Impact Of Renewable Fuel

Corn stalks in late summer / 2012
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Advocates for renewable energy say the industry brings economic benefits to the Dakotas. A new report from a coalition supporting renewable fuels shows the industry is responsible for jobs, wages and output in the billions of dollars.

Read more
News
8:42 am
Wed April 15, 2015

SF Vote Sets School Start After Labor Day

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Sioux Falls voters say they want public school to start after Labor Day. More than 14,000 people cast ballots Tuesday in a vote to elect school board members and decide when the school calendar should start.

Nearly 7,000 voters approve of school start dates in mid- to late-August, but even more people say they want the first day of school scheduled after Labor Day. Fifty-two percent of voters filled in the ballot's bubble to push the start date later.

Parent Wendy McDonnel supports the move to start school into September. She says community members want to be heard. 

Read more
News
12:09 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Six Arrested For Soliciting Child Sex

Six men face felony charges for soliciting sex with children. A sting operation based in Sioux Falls targeted potential predators.

The state’s division of criminal investigation worked with city and county law enforcement on Thursday Friday and Saturday on a sex trafficking investigation. They posted ads online selling sex with children, and six men showed up for a meeting. They range in age from 25 to 35.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says two of the men charged are from Sioux Falls, three live in Iowa, and one is from Guatemala.

Read more
News
11:07 am
Mon April 13, 2015

SF School Start Date Vote Tuesday

Sioux Falls voters get to decide Tuesday whether public schools must start after Labor Day. A vote NO forces the district to schedule the first day of class after the holiday. A vote YES supports the approved calendars, which start in mid- to late-August.

Parent Wendy McDonnel says she would rather have time in August than the second half of May, when she says it’s still chilly outside.

Read more
News
4:47 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

SF Launches Website To Recruit Workers

The City of Sioux Falls is unveiling a new campaign to attract workers to job openings. It’s complete with a website to collect all local career opportunities – from business to non-profits to city government. The website is the center of a workforce recruitment effort.

"Our economy in Sioux Falls and in this region is about as red hot as it gets," Smith says. 

Read more
News
11:30 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Students Network With Industry Professionals

Kealey Bultena SDPB

Some people say it’s not what you know but who you know. That’s one of the reasons Sioux Falls education leaders are connecting students with professionals in local industry. Students in the city can take specialized classes at the Career and Technical Education Academy. Options range from health care to welding, construction to culinary programs. Now students are networking with are sponsors in their favorite fields.

Read more
News
3:56 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Sioux Falls Sets Building Permit Record

Credit City of Sioux Falls

The value of Sioux Falls building permits in March is higher than the city has ever seen in one month. It comes in at more than $110 million. That’s $20 million more than the previous record set in April two years ago, and that came from a partial permit for the events center. 

Let’s break down the numbers. Two years ago, construction valuation for building permits in Sioux Falls during March was $64.2 million. In 2014 it was $63.6 million.

Read more
News
10:07 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

SD Interstate Speed Increases Wednesday

Starting Wednesday drivers on South Dakota interstates can legally cruise at 80 miles per hour. State lawmakers included the five mile an hour increase in a transportation funding bill. Governor Dennis Daugaard signed the measure. 

Read more
News
4:52 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Sioux Falls: State Of The City

Mayor Mike Huether delivers his State of the City address. / March 25, 2015
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The mayor of Sioux Falls is laying out a list of accomplishments and areas he sees need improvement. Mayor Mike Huether detailed the two sides in Thursday’s State of the City presentation.

An invocation in Sanskrit starts Thursday’s special meeting of the Sioux Falls City Council. Mayor Mike Huether presents his perspective on the State of the City. Huether praises leaders for supporting projects like the events center and indoor pool. He says leaders must focus on preserving and improving infrastructure.

Read more
News
12:27 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

FEMA Allocates $250K For Non-Disaster Food & Shelter Assistance

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The federal government is directing $250,000 to South Dakota to help people with food or shelter in emergencies. That is the same amount the state usually receives from FEMA. The grant money can be used for problems housing and food problems that aren’t related to disasters.

FEMA distributes Emergency Food and Shelter Program money based on a state’s current unemployment, food insecurity and poverty data. In South Dakota, that equates to the minimum amount FEMA can provide a state.

Read more
News
4:57 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

DUI Crash Victim's Father Reacts To Vehicular Homicide Sentence

The Spindler family stands at the sign marking Maegan Spindler's death. / March 23, 2015
Credit Gregg Spindler

The family of one victim in a violent car crash nearly two years ago says the punishment for the driver is insufficient. This week Ron Fischer, Junior was sentenced for vehicular homicide in two deaths. The judge ordered the maximum sentence, but the victim’s father says that isn’t enough.

In July of 2013, a drunk driver ran a stop sign near Pickstown, drove the minivan into a parking lot, and slammed into two people. US Fish and Wildlife workers 46-year-old Robert Klumb and 25-year-old Maegan Spindler both died in the gruesome crash.

Read more
News
12:17 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

SF Employees' Insurance Costs Steady

City of Sioux Falls Human Resources Director Bill O'Toole discusses how managers have kept health and dental costs steady over ten years. / March 24, 2015
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Health and dental insurance premiums for Sioux Falls employees are the same now as they were 10 years ago. The details are cumbersome, but officials cite three main reasons they have managed to avoid increases. Leaders say the situation is unusual and it probably won’t last long-term.

The health plan for the City of Sioux Falls has about $14 million in claims every year. Compensation and benefits manager says, despite that price tag, employees haven’t paid higher costs for coverage for a decade.

Read more
News
11:47 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Sioux Falls Polls Citizens

About 900 people responded to this spring’s citizen survey in the city of Sioux Falls. Ninety-three percent of people rank their neighborhoods as safe, and 87 percent say their quality of life in the city is either good or excellent. 

Read more
News
3:58 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Governor Signs Bills, Including 2016 Budget

South Dakota’s governor has signed more than one dozen measures into law. He’s approved the state’s general funding bill and a measure that increases scholarship money for certain South Dakota students.
Read more
News
4:36 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Noem, USDA Secretary Disagree On School Lunch Nutrition Standards

A South Dakota Congresswoman and the leader of the US Department of Agriculture are at odds over nutrition standards in school lunch programs. Representative Kristi Noem is providing lawmakers legislation that eases the dietary guidelines for meals provided by schools.  

Read more
News
4:33 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Trafficking Bill Stalls In US Senate

Anti-human trafficking legislation is stalled in the United States Senate, and that frustrates South Dakota’s representation in Washington, DC. Democrats in the US Senate blocked debate again Wednesday over one provision in the bill.

Legislation in the United States Senate establishes a fund to help victims of sex trafficking. Money from fines on convicted traffickers would support it. The bill includes language that stops the dollars from being used on abortions except for rape, incest, or to protect the life of a woman.

Read more
News
1:45 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Biodiversity Advocate To Speak At SDSU

An advocate for sustainable agriculture is bringer her perspective on feeding the world to a South Dakota college campus. Vandana Shiva is set to discuss her challenges with industrial agriculture and genetically modified crops. Shiva says people need to prioritize their health and the planet.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are common in modern agriculture. India-based scientist and advocate Vandana Shiva says companies claim to want to produce more to feed people, but that doesn’t happen.

Read more
News
1:26 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

SF Guard Unit To Deploy To Kuwait

A Sioux Falls National Guard unit is preparing to serve overseas. It’s part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The soldiers with the 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade are set to deploy to Kuwait next February, and they are already training for the mission.

Thirty-nine South Dakota Army National Guard members are preparing for a tour in the Middle East. The soldiers are spending the next year training for the deployment. Before they leave for Kuwait, Major Anthony Deiss says Guard members will spend a few weeks at Fort Bliss in Texas for more specific training.

Read more
News
4:00 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Sioux Falls Adds Human Rights Role

Sioux Falls has a new position in the city attorney’s office. It’s the Human Rights Community Coordinator. City leaders say the role is important in a city with expanding diversity. 

The first ever Human Rights Community Coordinator for the City of Sioux Falls is Vandhana Baireddy, and she’s uniquely qualified for a job that includes outreach to members of multiple ethnicities and communities.

Read more
News
3:54 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

SD Childhood Obesity Rates Stagnate

State health experts say that more than one third of South Dakota’s children are overweight or obese. That’s according to the most recent sampling from schools across the state. The numbers aren’t much worse than the previous year but they also aren’t any better.

Read more
News
12:08 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Innovation: Hundreds Of Girls Attend Women In Science Event

Women In Science / March 11, 2015
Kealey Bultena SDPB

More than 660 middle school girls from southeastern South Dakota are learning about careers in science and math. The Women in Science group hosted a conference Wednesday for its eleventh year. Professionals at dozens of break-out sessions and exhibits at Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls want girls to know that women can have successful careers in STEM fields. STEM stands for Science, Technololgy, Engineering and Math. 

Read more
News
11:46 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Meth Found At SF In-Home Daycare

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Police arrested two people Thursday after they found meth in a house with an in-home daycare near a Sioux Falls elementary school. Authorities say they discovered 5.9 grams of meth divided into seven baggies. Officer Sam Clemens says police received a specific, credible tip Thursday morning and decided not to wait.

Read more
News
11:34 am
Thu March 12, 2015

The Process Of Replacing SD's US Atty

US Attorney Brendan Johnson announced his resignation on February 18, 2015.
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota now has an interim United States Attorney this week after Brendan Johnson left office. Randy Sieler is leading the office for now. Multiple factors contribute to the appointment of a new permanent federal prosecutor.

The process of replacing a United States Attorney lies in the hands of the White House Administration. Sandy McKeown is an assistance professor in political science at the University of South Dakota. She says the president fills the US Attorney position with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Read more
News
12:45 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Lawmakers Eye Late-Session Options

Lawmakers in Pierre are keeping pieces of legislation afloat until they have final funding numbers. That sometimes means they’re using stop-gap measures to keep legislation alive.

The 2015 South Dakota State Legislative Session ends on Friday, and lawmakers are on deadline. The House Appropriations committee passed 14 separate measures during Monday’s meeting alone, but some of the bills are incomplete – and that’s part of the strategy.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages