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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Kealey Bultena

A group from the Sioux Falls area is back in South Dakota after distributing wheelchairs to people in need in Guatemala. The Dispatch Project team members worked at a wheelchair seating clinic. They adjusted chairs to fit the needs of children and adults with disabilities.

SDPB's Kealey Bultena participated in the trip to Central America. Listen to her description of the experience as she talks with In The Moment host Lori Walsh here, and read select stories below.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota schools are getting a minimal budget increase to cover inflation. State law requires lawmakers provide schools the money, but in tight budget years – like this one – they override that mandate. Education funding plans changed throughout the session.

One month ago, State Senators approved a bill that offers K-12 education a one percent increase. With a week left in the session, State Representatives decided they could offer no increase – not even one to cover inflation.

On the final day, Republican State Senator Deb Peters says lawmakers found a compromise.

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South Dakota lawmakers have finalized the state’s budget that starts on July 1, 2017 (Fiscal Year 18). State Senators and Representatives approve of a measure they call the general bill. It lists numbers for all revenues and all budgets in balance.

State Representative David Anderson is chair of House Appropriations.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

South Dakota lawmakers have revised the current budget based on falling revenues. Both chambers of the legislature approve Senate Bill 32. That measure balances spending with revenues coming in lower than anticipated.  

Appropriators say they scaled back spending and found money in department budgets that would have been reverted to the general fund at the end of the fiscal year.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Judges, attorneys, and law enforcement endorse a bill in South Dakota’s Statehouse that aims to ease mental health problems for people entering the justice system. House Bill 1183 is a measure that changes competency assessments, creates training for people who work in criminal justice, and encourages works that helps people avoid unnecessary arrests or extended time in jail.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

As educators incorporate best practices, utilize new projects in certain subjects, and incorporate innovative techniques into their lessons, one constant remains: you can’t teach students who don’t attend. Truancy is an evolving issue in South Dakota’s schools. State lawmakers are working to pass legislation to change state law regarding penalties for being out of school, and school leaders are using every tool they can find to convince kids to class.

http://www.spartanburg2.k12.sc.us/StuServices/attendance.html

In The Moment... February 22, 2017 Show 035 Hour 2

This week’s Dakota Political Junkies are Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter and Rapid City Journal enterprise reporter Seth Tupper. 

Kealey Bultena

In The Moment... February 22, 2017 Show 035 Hour 1

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In The Moment... February 21, 2017 Show 034 Hour 2

The New Colossus

In The Moment... February 21, 2017 Show 034 Hour 1

http://www.npr.org/people/4462099/lourdes-garcia-navarro

In The Moment... February 16, 2017 Show 032 Hour 1

Lulu Garcia-Navarro is the new host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. She talks with Lori Walsh about taking the helm of a legacy program on NPR, how an intimate conversation creates a drivway moment, and how the role of American journalists hasn’t changed as much as some people think.  

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Governor Dennis Daugaard gets to decide whether certain medical professionals must collaborate with doctors for licensing. Right now certified nurse practitioners and nurse midwives must have an official connection to a physician to get their own licenses. Now lawmakers endorse a bill changing the requirement.

Both chambers of South Dakota’s legislature support Senate Bill 61.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

In The Moment... February 13, 2017 Show 029 Hour 2

South Dakota Republican Party elected Dan Lederman of Dakota Dunes has been elected by the South Dakota Republican Party to lead the SDGOP for the next two years. Chair Lederman will begin his term immediately and has called a Special Central Committee Meeting to be held at the end of February to adopt a budget and goals for 2017.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A measure that automatically allows South Dakota’s home schooled students to participate in public extracurricular activities is dead. A legislative committee considered House Bill 1123 for nearly two hours Monday before decided not to support it.

The New Colossus

In The Moment... February 2, 2017 - Show 022, Hour 1

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Supporters of a bill in South Dakota’s Statehouse say it maximizes academic freedom in the classroom, and its opponents say the measure is anti-science. Senate Bill 55 has passed two of the four hurdles to Governor Dennis Daugaard’s desk.

The bill is one sentence long. It says, “No teacher may be prohibited from helping students understand, analyze, critique, or review in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information presented in courses being taught which are aligned with the content standards established pursuant to § 13-3-48.”

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Researchers at Sanford Health want to know whether stems cells from abdominal fat can help with shoulder injuries. An FDA-approved trial is in the works with 18 patients between Sioux Falls and Fargo, North Dakota. Meet the first patient enrolled in the study, find out how it works, and hear an in-depth conversation with Sanford's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allison Suttle about what the clinical results may reveal.

"I really don’t know what I did," Mike Duncan says.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Some South Dakota lawmakers want to loosen regulations on nursing home beds. One measure allows nursing homes to move certain beds within organizations or sell them. A split committee in the State House is sending the legislation to the full chamber.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A drug that reverses opioid overdose is available in South Dakota without a prescription. The option is a response to national trends in painkiller abuse. Pharmacists at Walgreens can dispense the drug. Starting February 1st, Avera and Hy-Vee pharmacies also offer the medication to keep in case of emergency.

A medicine called naloxone reverses the toxic effects of taking too many painkillers. It’s the generic drug for the brand-name Narcan.

Dr. Matthew Stanley with Avera Health says using the nasal spray is the first step in saving someone who overdoses on opioids.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Participants in the Women's March in Sioux Falls have different reasons for demonstrating. Some say it's political; others say the gathering was not about how a person votes. Others say they gain inspiration from being around people who stand up for women's rights, gay rights, Native American rights, and more. In this discussion, SDPB's Kealey Bultena talks with In The Moment's Lori Walsh.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Leaders use the phrase "workforce shortage" often as South Dakota sees low unemployment and a mismatch of skills with job openings. Local hospitals and clinics are not immune. One area health organizations is paying to train students for positions they can’t fill. In turn, students learn on-the-job during internships and commit to staying in town for a few years.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

It’s the start of this year’s legislative session, and leaders are already split over how to budget new money coming to South Dakota. Online retailer Amazon is starting to collect sales tax on South Dakota purchases next month. Its timing could pose a planning issue.

Amazon begins charging both state and local sales tax for South Dakota purchases in February. Democrat and State Senator Billie Sutton says lawmakers should include those dollars in the budget that starts July first.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State lawmakers say they want to adjust parts of last year’s education overhaul. The governor says the current reform is working, because a sales tax for teacher pay is pushing average educator salaries up.  

One piece of vast K-12 education reform from 2016’s legislative session involves declining enrollment. Schools now must use the final number of students enrolled in the fall to determine their share of state dollars. Before they could average the previous two years to ease into lower funding.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s governor says he wants to fight methamphetamine by punishing bad behavior and reinforcing the good.

Governor Dennis Daugaard says he wants to offer incentives to beat addiction. He says he supports allowing offenders who complete court-ordered treatment in a year one opportunity to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor. Daugaard says he also supports mandatory jail time for people on probation or parole who fail drug tests.

Roger Bultena family

Some stories stay with a reporter long after they've aired. A recent story about organ donation from SDPB's Kealey Bultena has her reconsidering how she listens to stories from her grandfather. She wrote about her personal experience growing up with tales from her grandpa's corneal transplants in a post called The Vision To Listen, and she talks with Lori Walsh on In The Moment about how her reporting has changed her personal perspective.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Mitchell teacher has won a prestigious national award that comes with $25,000. An assembly this week surprised the fourth grade educator with the honor.  

Local and state leaders gather at Longfellow Elementary in Mitchell to recognize a teacher. Students and staff attend the assembly under false pretenses before they find out the real reason they gather. Greg Gallagher with the Milken Family Foundation announces that one of the educators in the gym is set to receive a celebrated award.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s two largest cities are breaking building permit records again. Rapid City is more than $50 million ahead of the previous top year. Sioux Falls is setting a record for the fourth year in a row, and the year isn't over yet.

Right now building permits in Rapid City are worth more than $310 million. Division manager of building inspections Brad Solon says Rapid City hit its previous record in November, so every permit since pushes the landmark higher.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The "shop local" cause has a high-profile advocate this holiday season. South Dakota’s governor is encouraging people to do their last-minute shopping in communities across the state instead of with retailers outside of South Dakota.

Governor Dennis Daugaard is popping into different retail shops and restaurants in downtown Sioux Falls. He asks a local restauranteur what the best meal on the menu is. The owner says the governor can't go wrong.

Daugaard says he’s finished shopping for Christmas gifts in Pierre and in Sioux Falls.

City of Sioux Falls

Builders are launching $15 million worth of projects in Sioux Falls to increase the city’s affordable housing options. Most of the funding comes through the state’s housing development authority. The City of Sioux Falls is lending the projects hundreds of thousands of dollars. The two projects appeal to people in different circumstances.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Sioux Falls middle schoolers are playing music with a world-renowned rock orchestra violinist. Mark Wood is in town to perform Saturday night. More than 2,700 students are set to accompany him.

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