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
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
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
News
5:49 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Thune, Noem, Rounds On FCC Vote

As the FCC moves forward with a controversial decision to regulate internet providers in the name of fairness, commissioners must answer to a South Dakotan. In fact all three people who represent the state in Washington D-C say they stand against the agency’s move to expand its power. Yet that doesn’t mean they have the same reason for resistance.

Three members of Congress advocate for the interests of South Dakotans in the nation’s capital, and all three condemn the Federal Communication Commission’s vote to expand its regulatory power to internet service.

Read more
News
12:52 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

TRIP: Road Conditions Impact Economy

TRIP Researcher Rocky Moretti and Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce President Evan Nolte discuss a recent report on SD transportation infrastructure. / February 25, 2015
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A national transportation group says South Dakota’s roads and bridges are deteriorating and a major contributing factor is lack of funding. Researchers for the group called TRIP say numbers from local reports and studies show the state’s roads and bridges continue to break down. The report shows the condition of pavement is getting worse, and it could take the economy with it.

Read more
News
9:30 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Senators Shoot Down Legis. Pay Bill

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State lawmakers on the Senate Local Government committee say they don’t want to set up automatic pay raises for the legislature. Supporters of House Bill 1150 say the measure treats state lawmakers like all other state employees. That means they would receive a pay increase at whatever rate applies to South Dakota workers – whether that’s a large increase or none at all.

Read more
News
3:11 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Statehouse Crossover Day Looms

Credit Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

Wednesday is crossover day. It’s the last chance for a bill started in one chamber to gain approval and be up for consideration by the other side. If that doesn’t happen, the measures die.

In the 2015 session, South Dakota lawmakers introduced 429 bills. That’s not counting resolutions. 236 measures are House Bills. 193 come from the Senate. But if any one of those is to survive the week, the bill has to gain approval from its original chamber by Wednesday. That’s crossover day.

Read more
News
2:55 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Panel Kills House Bill For Roads/Bridges

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lawmakers in Pierre now have one piece of legislation aimed at funding repairs to South Dakota’s roads and bridges. Members of the House State Affairs committee Tuesday killed one of two bills that increase taxes to support state infrastructure. 

In January lawmakers had two different plans for raising enough money to support roads and bridges across South Dakota. Legislators quickly amended the State Senate’s version of the transportation bill to look like the one introduced in the House of Representatives.

Read more
News
1:49 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Smokeouts Possible Tuesday In Pierre

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lawmakers in Pierre this week are on deadline if they want certain legislation to survive. That’s because Tuesday is the last day committees can approve bills from their own chamber and send the measures to the full body. Committee members hear dozens of bills they don’t support. But some lawmakers may use a particular tool to force bills out of committee and to consideration on the House or Senate floor.

Read more
News
1:05 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Panel Okays Email, Texts As Open Meetings

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A panel of South Dakota lawmakers supports a move to include certain email and text message conversations as official meetings. That means the content would be recorded and open to the public. Thursday’s questions center on privacy.

South Dakota meetings operate under an open government concept. All material is considered public unless a group provides a reason it is off limits. That includes discussion among members of boards when they’re outside of regular meetings.

Read more
News
1:04 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Brendan Johnson Announces Resignation

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

After more than five years as South Dakota’s United States Attorney, Brendan Johnson is stepping down. Wednesday Johnson held a news conference to announce that March 11th is his final day in the office.

Brendan Johnson says he set goals when he became South Dakota’s U-S Attorney five and a half years ago. He says he’s proud of accomplishments made under his leadership. Johnson says tribal communities are safer, violence against women and children has decreased, and South Dakotans are cracking down on sex trafficking.

Read more
News
3:55 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Noem Hosts Town Hall In Sioux Falls

Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R)
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakotans are asking the state’s lone United States Congresswoman about national issues they see affecting South Dakota. Tuesday US Representative Kristi Noem held a town hall meeting in Sioux Falls. 

People meeting with Congresswoman Kristi Noem in Sioux Falls want to know how Washington, DC sees topics important to them. One of those is the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would run through western South Dakota. Both the Senate and the House passed a measure approving the pipeline. Noem says the decision now rests with President Barack Obama.

Read more

Pages