Live! 9/17, 7PM CT:

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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7:23 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Atty: EB-5 Leader Masqueraded As Legal Rep.

Attorney Patrick Duffy / September 18, 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The attorney for the South Dakota Democratic Party says the man who ran the EB-5 program fraudulently acted as a legal representative for the state.

It’s the latest in on-going discussions related to the way South Dakota used to administer an immigrant visa program. Federally-authorized EB-5 operations give foreign investors green cards when they put money into American enterprises.

Attorney Patrick Duffy says former state employee Joop Bollen masqueraded as a lawyer when an investor headhunter sued his business – and dragged the state of South Dakota into the lawsuit.

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5:15 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Inmate Indicted For Murdering Cell Mate

Douglas Ipsen / Photo Taken 09/27/2010
Credit SD Sex Offender Registry

An inmate at the South Dakota State Penitentiary is charged with murdering his cell mate. Staff discovered Kent Davidson dead in his cell after midnight on September 8, 2014. The 37-year-old was serving life in prison for the fatal shooting of his girlfriend. Davidson’s death certificate shows he died from asphyxia and ligature strangulation.

A grand jury Thursday approved an indictment. Douglas Ipsen, 28, faces alternative counts of first degree murder, second degree murder and first degree manslaughter in the death of fellow prison inmate Kent Davidson.

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News
2:54 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Education Funding Talks Held In SD

One analysis of state education funding shows South Dakota puts less money into schools now than a generation ago. A series of public meetings is offering South Dakotans a glimpse at funding trends. The discussions include details about South Dakota’s education policy and offer an opportunity to collaborate with other people in the community.

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1:45 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

USDA Secy Highlights SD Grant Project

The United States Secretary of Agriculture says a federal grant should increase efficiency for shipping grain in part of South Dakota. More than $12.6 million is going to rehabilitate a stretch of railroad the state owns in south-central South Dakota. The overall cost of the reconstruction is nearly $30 million. The project is one of 72 efforts across the country aimed at improving infrastructure and creating jobs.

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1:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Poli Sci Prof Examines EB-5 In Election

One political scientist says election activity revs up after Labor Day. An increasing number of press conferences, debates, news releases and campaign stops prove his point. As more stories make the air and the papers, it may seem like election overload. 

With less than two months until election day, South Dakota candidates are becoming more active in the political process. Northern State University Professor Jon Schaff says that’s typical for this time of year.

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News
4:49 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Dems Claim SD Millions At Risk In Lawsuit

The leader of South Dakota’s Democratic Party says court documents from a years-old lawsuit show an on-going threat for taxpayers. Executive Director Zach Crago says a suit related to South Dakota’s EB-5 foreign investor visa program puts state dollars at risk. He admits the documents are not new and cites filings from a California court in 2009.

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News
4:45 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Former Senate Hopeful Arrested

A former US Senate hopeful already charged with election law violations is in custody. Authorities say they arrested Clayton Walker of Black Hawk Wednesday, and he’s being held until an initial arraignment.

Walker faces six counts of election fraud from his attempt at running for South Dakota’s open US Senate seat. Now he’s in jail. Attorney General Marty Jackley says his office received several reports of Walker calling or showing up at multiple state agencies.

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News
12:21 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

No EB-5 Discussion At Exec. Board Mtg

Members of one legislative committee are not discussing the administration of the EB-5 program in South Dakota. Executive Board members are meeting/met in Pierre Tuesday, and one lawmaker wanted to put an EB-5 discussion on the agenda. State Representative Kathy Tyler made the motion, and State Senator Larry Lucas seconded it. Both are Democrats.

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News
7:14 am
Tue September 9, 2014

SD Lawmaker Accuses EB-5 Leader Of Fraud

A state lawmaker says South Dakota taxpayers lost out on $140 million because of the way the state handled the EB-5 investor visa program. Democratic State Representative Kathy Tyler says South Dakota leaders allowed a state employee to create a private company to take over administering EB-5. She says she has documents that prove the company charged millions in fees that could have gone into state coffers. 

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News
12:21 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Senate, Gov Candidates Talk Energy

Hundreds of people gather to listen to candidates for statewide office debate at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron. / August 29, 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Candidates in two high-profile South Dakota elections are meeting this summer to debate issues important to voters. Friday the South Dakota Farmers Union hosted the most recent discussions among candidates for governor and US Senate. Both debates generated ideas about energy in South Dakota.

A member of the debate audience at the State Fair in Huron wants to know whether U-S Senate candidates support building the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed route runs through western South Dakota, and the pipe would carry crude oil from Canada to Texas refineries.

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11:35 am
Thu September 4, 2014

SD Death Row Inmate Commits Suicide

Prison officials say a man convicted of murdering a Sioux Falls woman apparently hanged himself in his cell. Authorities pronounced James McVay dead at the state penitentiary Thursday morning after CPR attempts failed. 

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10:06 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Econ Prof. Analyzes State Workforce Plans

Credit Lake Area Technical Institute

The governor is promoting new strategies to enhance the strength of South Dakota's workforce, but not everyone thinks the state should be active in connecting job seekers with employers. This week Governor Dennis Daugaard revealed findings from South Dakota Wins workforce summits, and he lays out a plan for the state to strengthen South Dakota’s workers and businesses.

Secretary Marcia Hultman leads the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. She says it’s time for the state to help businesses fill openings with skilled workers.

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News
3:42 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Candidates For Gov, Senate Question EB-5

Democrat Susan Wismer, Independent Mike Myers, moderator Jerry Oster, Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard / August 20, 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Political hopefuls in two major races are questioning fellow candidates about their involvement with the EB-5 program. Dakota Fest in Mitchell is host to both a gubernatorial debate and a US Senate candidate forum. The Wednesday debates took questions submitted by people in the audience. Both debates included discussions about uncertainties surrounding a foreign investment program. 

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5:34 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

US House Candidates Debate In Mitchell

Candidate Corinna Robinson, moderator Jerry Oster, and Congresswoman Kristi Noem at Dakota Fest in Mitchell / August 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

During their first debate, candidates for South Dakota’s only seat in the US House of Representatives clash over the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline and the Affordable Care Act. They answer audience questions for an hour Tuesday at Dakota Fest in Mitchell.

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5:11 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Dems Want Deeper EB-5 Investigation

Democrat State Sen. Jason Frerichs, State Rep. Kathy Tyler, and State Rep. Paula Hawks listen as State Rep. Bernie Hunhoff addresses the crowd / August 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Democratic lawmakers are calling to subpoena state and business leaders who were involved in the EB-5 program before and during the embezzlement of government funds. State lawmakers overwhelmingly supported a resolution to hold hearings relating to the Governor's Office of Economic Development. A legislative panel is reviewing audits and asking questions, but not all lawmakers say the committee is delving deep enough.

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News
4:38 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Judge: Print Hubbel's Name On Ballot

Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers stands with his new running mate, Lora Hubbel.
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A federal judge says November’s ballot must include the name of the new independent candidate for lieutenant governor. Independent candidate for governor Mike Myers’ first lieutenant governor withdrew from the race. He picked a second nominee, but the Secretary of State hasn’t formally filed the paperwork because state law doesn’t address the replacement.

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4:23 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Victim #1 In Sandusky Case Speaks In SD

Aaron Fischer, who was sexually abused by Jerry Sandusky, speaks to hundreds of people in Sioux Falls. / August 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The first person to reveal a famous football coach molested him says the justice system should better help victims of sex abuse. Aaron Fischer was a high school student when he told authorities Jerry Sandusky sexually abused him. Fischer is in Sioux Falls for the Violent Crime and Sex Trafficking conference to share his story with advocates and health workers, and he admits he’s not done healing from the abuse.

Dawn Hennessy says she knew something was wrong when her respectful teenager became unrecognizable.

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News
4:04 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Berget Death Sentence Upheld

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s Supreme Court says convicted killer Rodney Berget’s death sentence stands. Berget and Eric Robert were inmates at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in April of 2011. They tried to escape and murdered correctional officer Ron Johnson during their attempt.

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4:40 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Elizabeth Smart Speaks In Sioux Falls

Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart speaks in Sioux Falls. SD US Attorney Brendan Johnson and ND US Attorney Timothy Purdon listen to her perspective. / August 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart is sharing a message of hope at A South Dakota conference. Smart is one of this week’s speakers talking about violent crime and human trafficking. Smart says everyone needs to pay attention to trafficking – not just potential victims.

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12:14 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Men Arrested For Sex Crimes In Sturgis

Five men face felony charges for trying to have sex with children following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The number is down from the nine arrested during last year’s rally in the Black Hills.

The men arrested for sex crimes at Sturgis this year are from all over: Nebraska, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and California. One even lives in Canada.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says officers with the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit set up fake ads online offering sex with kids in exchange for money.

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News
11:50 am
Wed August 13, 2014

New Protocol Could Help ID Sex Trafficking Victims

SD United States Attorney Brendan Johnson discusses a conference in Sioux Falls focused on human trafficking. / August 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Health care professionals at one of the state’s major health systems have new protocols if they suspect patients are victims of sex trafficking. Sioux Falls hosts this week’s Violent Crime and Human Trafficking Conference. Health care workers are gaining new tools to help them recognize trafficking.

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News
4:14 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Thune: Support Hwy Trust Fund

John Thune takes questions during a luncheon for members of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. / August 4, 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

US Senator John Thune says supporting the country’s vast transportation system is a legitimate and valid use of taxpayer dollars. The Highway Trust Fund neared fallout this summer. Congress approved a stopgap last week that provides funding for states through May of next year. Thune says Congress needs to find a reliable funding source soon. 

Congress has propped up the Highway Trust Fund for another nine months, so states can get their reimbursements for federal bridge and road projects throughout construction season.

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News
3:28 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Myers Sues Secy. Of State Over Ballot

Independent candidate for governor Mike Myers stands beside his newly-announced running mate Lora Hubbel. / July 8, 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The Independent candidate for governor of South Dakota is suing to get his running mate replaced on the ballot. The lawsuit asks a federal judge to certify Mike Myers’ new pick for lieutenant governor on the ballot. Myers filed the paperwork Monday.

Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers says not replacing his running mate on the ballot discriminates against Independents and violates his constitutional rights.

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News
9:26 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Mayor Proposes New SF Budget

Credit City of Sioux Falls

The mayor of Sioux Falls proposes a new city budget of $406 million. The budget includes utility improvements and capital program recommendations already announced.

Now Mayor Mike Huether presents the operating expenses he sees ahead for Sioux Falls. The general fund totals more than $149 million. It's the second-largest budget in the city's history.

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News
12:07 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

SF Growth Estimates On Track

Credit Jaden Miller / SDPB

New numbers in Sioux Falls show the city is growing on pace with recent years. Leaders estimate that more than 2,000 new people call Sioux Falls home compared to one year ago. City planners consider building permits and recent census data to assess the trend.

Sioux Falls’ average population growth over the last decade shows 2,371 people move to the city each year. The latest local number shows a slightly slower increase in population since July of 2013. The new total indicates Sioux Falls has 166,700 current residents.

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News
4:37 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Lawmakers Hear EB5, Theft Testimony

South Dakota lawmakers are reviewing what happened after an investigation revealed hundreds of thousands of state dollars went missing. Lawmakers spent 45 minutes with Attorney General Marty Jackley behind closed doors consulting about a possible legal situation. Otherwise Jackley and economic development leaders talked with legislators in an open meeting about the state and federal investigations.  

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News
3:18 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Jackley: Benda Arrest Close Before Death

South Dakota’s attorney general says his office had prepared a criminal complaint against Richard Benda just weeks before he died. The former Secretary of Tourism and Economic Development is linked to federal and state investigations into misconduct involving hundreds of thousands of dollars. The legislative Government Operations and Audit committee is evaluating results after officials discovered the missing money.

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News
4:15 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

New Teaching Scholarships Awarded

Credit Kealey Bultena

Nineteen South Dakota college students are the recipients of a brand new scholarship program for future teachers. The Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship Program covers two years of college tuition for people who commit to teaching in South Dakota in certain subjects. 

State leaders identify four main areas of critical need in South Dakota schools for the scholarship: career and technical education, math, science and special ed.

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4:19 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Gov't Loans Available After Storms

A tornado struck Wessington Springs in June 2014.
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Small Business Administration professionals are in South Dakota this week and next helping connect people suffering from storm damage with government resources. The SBA has loans available to people directly harmed by June’s tornadoes and flooding, and some low-interest loans are open to organizations the storms impact indirectly.

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5:02 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Senate Candidates Address Outside Ads

A candidate for South Dakota’s open US Senate seat says he wants everyone in the race to help prevent outside money from influencing the campaign. Democratic candidate Rick Weiland says the public move would benefit voters, but not everyone in the race agrees with Weiland’s perspective.

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