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
5:20 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Delmont Accepts Volunteers In Tornado Recovery

People who want to volunteer to clean up after a weekend tornado in Delmont can start Friday. Officials now have a volunteer reception centers that opens at 8 o-clock in the morning near the baseball field just outside of the small southeastern South Dakota town.

Volunteers must register with a valid ID before can enter Delmont to help. Authorities say volunteers should wear clothes, boots, gloves and eye protection for working with debris from Sunday’s storm.

Read more
News
5:17 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Bird Flu Found In Chickens On SD Egg Farm

This map shows SD counties where birds tested positive for H5N2 avian flu as of May 14, 2015.
Credit SD Animal Industry Board

More than one million chickens are now at-risk for avian influenza after tests prove the disease has infected an egg-laying operation. Dakota Layers in Moody County discovered the disease in one of nine barns on the farm. That more than doubles the number of birds affected in South Dakota.

The deadly H5N2 strain of bird flu has invaded operations in nine South Dakota counties. Eight turkey farms in separate counties have tested positive for the virus. State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven says now the infection is confirmed in chickens.

Read more
News
6:02 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Photos, Stories: Delmont Recovers

Delmont, SD / May 12, 2015
Kealey Bultena SDPB

The mayor of Delmont says she doesn’t know what the future holds for the small town. A tornado ripped through the southeastern South Dakota community Sunday, and community members are just starting to tackle cleanup. Below are a series of reports from the southeast South Dakota town of about 200 residents.

Past the quiet area where law enforcement officials guard the entrance to town, Delmont is a noisy place. National Guard troops use bobcats and dump trucks to clear branches and brush off the streets.

Read more
News
4:22 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Red Cross Works In Tornado Aftermath

Access to a town hit by a weekend tornado is still restricted. About 200 people live in Delmont. The community is in the southeastern part of the state. Emergency management officials continue to assess the damage from a Sunday storm that hurt nine people and damaged homes and other buildings. Meanwhile the American Red Cross is working with state and local officials to keep safety the priority.

Read more
News
11:07 am
Mon May 11, 2015

Delmont Tornado: Monday AM Update

People in the town of Delmont are now able to sift through the rubble after a tornado. The storm struck the tiny town in southeast South Dakota on Sunday morning. Crews are working to restore basic necessities and assess the damage.  

Initial assessments after Sunday’s storm show 20 buildings sustained damage after an EF-2 tornado tore through Delmont. Kristi Turman is the Division Director of Emergency Services for South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety.

Read more
News
9:13 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

President Obama Speaks In Watertown

President Barack Obama encourages South Dakotans to focus on service opportunities. Mister Obama spoke Friday at Lake Area Tech's commencement. The president highlighted personal stories of LATI workers and graduates including Staff Sergeant Joe Wiskur. The airman deploys shortly after graduation, and Mr. Obama says his education makes him a better soldier.

Read more
News
12:10 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Vandals Target Sioux Falls High School

Sioux Falls police have arrested two teenagers in connection with a vandalism Wednesday at a Sioux Falls High School. Police say staff members recognized Addison Park, 18 and Alex Engel, 18  in surveillance video. They both face 3rd degree burglary charges, and Park faces petty theft for stealing backpacks. 

The Sioux Falls School District is working with police after people broke into Lincoln High School. Officer Sam Clemens says a custodian noticed the damage sometime after 5:00 a.m.; police think it happened between midnight and 3:00 a.m.

Read more
News
4:07 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

M'haha County Chooses Med-Star Service

Commissioners in Minnehaha County say Med-Star is the new ambulance service provider for rural areas. Leaders started discussing the switch weeks ago. All five members of the panel voted Tuesday to award the county’s contract.

The medical director for Minnehaha County says both Med-Star and Paramedics Plus could handle ambulance service to areas outside of city limits. That left five commissioners to decide which service they prefer.

Read more
News
2:56 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Burn Ban Lifted In Minnehaha County

Officials in Minnehaha County have lifted a burn ban. Commissioners issued a burn ban a few weeks ago because dry weather contributed to small planned fires quickly spreading.

Emergency Management Director Lynn DeYoung says the conditions are different now.

Read more
News
12:52 am
Mon May 4, 2015

114th Fighter Wing Deploys To South Korea

114th Fighter Wing Mobilization / May 3, 2015
Kealey Bultena SDPB

Two-hundred fifty South Dakota soldiers are deploying to the Pacific Theater. The men and women are military members with the 114th Fighter Wing in Sioux Falls. The Air Force National Guard unit is tasked with using tactical fighters to destroy enemy forces, supplies and equipment. Soldiers gathered Sunday for a mobilization ceremony. 

The thick soles of tan-toned boots hit smooth concrete at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls.  The boots match the fatigues of the men and women who lace them up. Hundreds of pairs shuffle together in the din of the crowd.

Read more
News
12:59 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Fire Rescue Holds Training For Big Crashes

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue crews train for crashes involving large vehicles and equipment. / April 2015
Kealey Bultena SDPB

Firefighters in Sioux Falls are learning how to safely cope with crashes between cars and big vehicles. Rescue crews spend half a day in the classroom learning about the scenarios. Then they apply their education by moving real semi trucks and trailers in mock situations.  

A tow truck drones and metal crunches as crews in fire gear work on a semi truck. They use specialized equipment to stabilize the rig which is smashed on top of a mangled car.

Read more
News
3:59 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Free STD Testing In Sioux Falls As SD Infection Rates Rise

A recent surge in sexually transmitted diseases in South Dakota is prompting free screenings in Sioux Falls. Planned Parenthood is providing tests for four STDs at no charge this week. The advocacy group and a doctor with the state agree that STDs are a growing public health concern.

The state epidemiologist says South Dakota had record numbers of STDs in 2014. By the end of the year, 4,170 cases of chlamydia were found in South Dakota. That’s the most ever reported in the state in one year.

Read more
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

Pages