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).

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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
1:25 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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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
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
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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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News
3:35 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Legis. Panel Examines State Budget

Members of the committee that examines the state’s budget are about halfway through hearing from state departments. Tuesday legislators looking at next year’s state budget hear from the departments of Human Services and Health.

The Joint Appropriations Committee is scrutinizing the budgets of different departments statewide. State senators and representatives on appropriations spend the entire legislative session determining which programs and personnel get taxpayer dollars.

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News
11:57 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Names Released In Lennox Shooting

Police block driveways to Sioux Steel Pro-Tec in Lennox after a shooting. / February 12, 2015
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Officials have released the names of people involved in Thursday’s shooting at a Lennox business. Police say the shooter argued with a Sioux Steel Pro-Tec worker at 9:30 a.m. He came back with a gun that afternoon.

Law enforcement officials say 45-year-old Jon Richter of Lennox was shot and killed Thursday while he was working in an office area at Pro-Tec around 2 p.m. Lincoln County Sheriff Dennis Johnson says, that morning, the shooter argued with Richter about a trailer that needed to be driven to another state before the shooting in the afternoon.

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News
11:31 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Gunman Kills One, Hurts Two In Lennox

Law enforcement officials block driveways to buildings in the Lennox industrial park.
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

At least one person is dead in a shooting at a southeast South Dakota business. It happened Thursday afternoon in Lennox. Police are withholding the names of three people hurt in the shooting and the identity of a body found in a burned semi truck a few miles from town. 

At about 2 p.m. Thursday, the sole police officer on duty in Lennox responded to a call in the town’s industrial park. In the Pro-Tech building owned by Sioux Steel, law enforcement from several agencies found two people shot and a third physically assaulted by a gunman.

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Education
2:20 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Dakota Midday: SDEA President

We are in the middle of American Education Week. This is the National Education Association’s 93rd celebration of public schools and the people who make quality education possible across the country.

Mary McCorkle is the new president of the South Dakota Education Association. She assumed that position this summer. She worked as a teacher at the Mobridge-Pollock School District for 32 years before moving to Pierre to lead the state teachers union.

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News
3:12 am
Thu November 20, 2014

SDEA Pres: Good Education Is A Right

The South Dakota Education Association’s new president wants people to understand how the state fits into the country’s conversations about public schools. This is American Education Week. The purpose is to celebrate all people who make quality education possible. The new SDEA leader says good schools require input from everyone.

The 93rd annual American Education Week theme is "Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility."

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News
10:06 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Businesses Commit To Hunger Relief

Dan Murphy speaks to a crowd about ties the business community has to hunger relief in South Dakota. / November 21, 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Business leaders in the southeastern part of the state are committing to raising $1.2 million for Feeding South Dakota. The money is more than a third of the cost of a capital campaign to expand facilities in Sioux Falls. Members of the business community say the issue of hunger is personal.

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News
9:46 am
Wed November 19, 2014

SF School Holds Large Evacuation Drill

Students leave school and load a bus for transport to the planned safe location during an evacuation drill at Mark Twain Elementary.
Kealey Bultena SDPB

School leaders and emergency responders are hoping to learn from a mock evacuation drill held Tuesday in Sioux Falls.

All fourth and fifth graders from Mark Twain Elementary emptied their classrooms, rode busses to a safe location and waited for parents to pick them up. The reunification exercise puts school district policy in action.

Classroom telephones ring at Mark Twain Elementary. In this drill, teachers learn their students need to evacuate an unsafe building.

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News
4:09 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Cold/Flu Season Brings Antibiotic Risk

The season of sore throats, the flu, and coughs is upon us, and doctors say the search to feel well again can actually hurt your health. Using antibiotics too often or when they can’t help…leads to superbugs that resist treatment, and health care professionals are working to curb antibiotic overuse.

When a sore throat or sinus infection strikes, some people rush to the doctor hoping to get antibiotics to wipe the sickness away. But many winter ailments are viral – some statistics show up to 90 percent – and most medicines are not effective remedies.

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News
1:21 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Soldier Presents SF Fire Chief With Flag

The flag flown in Kandahar, Afghanistan presented to Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Chief Jim Sideras.
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

On a day set aside to acknowledge members of the Armed Forces, one soldier honors his civilian heroes back home. A member of the US Army Reserves 315th Engineer Battalion provided a gift to Sioux Falls Fire Fighters this Veterans Day. 

Michael Havlovic is a Fire Apparatus Operator for Sioux Falls Fire Rescue. He is a Sergeant 1st Class currently serving in Afghanistan. Havlovic had a United States flag flown over a command post at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan on September 11th. Two months later on Veterans Day, a fire captain presented that flag to Fire Chief Jim Sideras.

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News
1:14 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Cold Temps Settle In SD

It's still technically fall, but winter has arrived in Sotuh Dakota. Weather experts says this week’s cold temperatures are sticking around. In areas hardest hit by a winter storm Monday, South Dakota communities are dealing with 10 inches of snow and freezing temps. The blast of winter weather is somewhat unusual for mid-November, but the forecast isn’t changing any time soon.

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News
11:19 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Family Donates $1M To Custer State Park

Members of the SDPWF stand with Governor Dennis Daugaard, First Lady Linda Daugaard, Eloise Elmen and her son, Richard Elmen / November 7, 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Sioux Falls foundation is donating $1 million to help construct a new visitor center at Custer State Park. The grant comes from the James and Eloise Elmen Foundation.

Governor Dennis Daugaard calls it a substantial gift to constructing a $5 million world-class visitor center.

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News
11:05 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Johnson Ends 'Tour Of Thanks' In SF

Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether discusses Johnson's political and personal journey / November 6, 2014
Kealey Bultena SDPB

United States Senator Tim Johnson is finished with his Tour of Thanks. The retiring public servant has traveled to South Dakota communities meeting with people before his term ends in January. He ends the tour with a stop in Sioux Falls. Leaders of local organizations say Johnson is an instrumental part of the area’s success.

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News
12:12 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Daugaard Announces Leadership Team Changes

Now that he's won re-election, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard is making changes on his senior leadership team. The governor’s Chief of Staff Dusty Johnson is leaving his post this week. That opening prompts Daugaard to find a new chief of staff and make an addition to his executive committee. 

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News
5:05 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Man Exonerated From Death Row Speaks In Sioux Falls

The first man found innocent using DNA evidence after being sentenced to death is sharing his story with South Dakotans. Kirk Bloodsworth is telling students at the University of Sioux Falls how he came to find himself convicted of rape and murder and sentenced to die when he had no connection to the crimes. He spent years in a Maryland prison before science proved him not guilty. Now Bloodsworth works to reform the criminal justice system.

"This whole thing started by a next door neighbor saying, ‘The composite sketch looks like my neighbor Kirk,'" Bloodsworth says.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Candidates For US House Debate

Democratic challenger Maj. Corinna Robinson and Repblican Congresswoman Kristi Noem debate on SDPB / October 16, 2014
Credit SDPB

Candidates for the United States Congress met Thursday night on SDPB Television for a debate that covered more than one dozen topics. Both women are offering their perspectives on the federal government’s relationship with Native American tribes.

Democrat Corinna Robinson says members of Congress must focus on the issues people in Indian County find important. 

"They are not getting the funding they need to continue their language training, their cultural training in their institutions, their colleges, and they would certainly like some help with that," Robinson says. "They would like better health care. They have to drive a long ways sometimes to get to a nearby clinic, or, when an emergency happens, there’s not an ambulance close by.  They certainly struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. And we certainly need to do a better job at listening and visiting hearing their concerns."

Robinson is running against incumbent Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Both women say federal officials need to respect tribal sovereignty. Noem says she wants to ensure Native Americans don’t fear that federal organizations can come into businesses and claim jurisdiction on reservation land.

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News
5:03 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Hunhoff: Open Gov Laws Require EB-5 File Release

A state legislative leader says decisions surrounding economic development in South Dakota go against recent open government commitments. Five years ago, lawmakers passed legislation that says South Dakota documents are assumed public unless they fit into a list of exceptions. But one legislator says the way the state is handling questions about the EB-5 program goes against those rules. 

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