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
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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News
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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News
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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News
11:31 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Congress Considers Hwy Fund Fixes

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota lawmakers in Washington are considering different proposals to keep money flowing to states for transportation projects. Experts predict a Highway Trust Fund shortfall this summer, which could stop payments to states for roads and bridges.

The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approves a bill to extend highway funding through May 2015. South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem casts one of the 367 votes supporting the legislation.

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News
11:56 am
Fri July 11, 2014

FEMA Denies Ind. Disaster Aid

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

The government says homeowners in South Dakota impacted by June’s severe weather don’t qualify for federal assistance. FEMA officials say the storms didn’t cause enough damage for individuals to receive emergency aid.

More than one dozen tornadoes spawned in Jerauld County in June; one of those hit Wessington Springs, destroying and damaging homes and businesses.
People in Lincoln and Union counties experienced flash flooding that inundated houses.

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News
3:12 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Ind. Candidate Hits Ballot Change Snag

Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers announces Republican Lora Hubbel as his running mate. / July 8, 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s Independent candidate for governor has announced a new running mate.  Mike Myers says registered Republican Lora Hubbel is his pick for the Lieutenant Governor spot.

Hubbel ran in the Republican primary against the sitting governor, Dennis Daugaard. She replaces Caitlin Collier who bowed out of the race due to a family health problem.

Myers says Hubbel is officially part of the independent ticket, but her name might not make it on the ballot.

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News
3:34 am
Tue July 8, 2014

FEMA Requests Follow Tornadoes, Flooding

Wessington Springs homes were crushed when a tornado hit the town on June 18, 2014.
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota leaders are beginning the long process of assessing and repairing damage from June’s severe weather. Multiple tornadoes touched down in east-central South Dakota, and the western and southeastern parts of the state experienced flooding.  Officials are requesting help from the federal government to restore mother nature’s destruction.

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News
1:04 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Mobile Meth Lab Explodes In SF

A mobile meth lab explosion in Sioux Falls is drawing more attention to the hazards of manufacturing drugs. Two people were burned when their one-pot meth lab burst Friday evening, starting a car on fire.

JayJay Coronado, 29, suffered chemical burns so bad he was airlifted to a burn unit in Minnesota. Kristy Wilker, 38 years old, was treated in Sioux Falls. Both face charges including possession and manufacturing of a controlled substance.

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News
3:36 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

$40K In Rural Business Grants Awarded

Four entrepreneurs in rural South Dakota each get $10,000 to develop and expand their businesses. The money comes through grants from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. The money comes with other opportunities to foster their work in the community.

Leaders of the Dakota Rising program say their goal is to cultivate economic growth in rural South Dakota by supporting and encouraging local businesspeople. The organization is designating $10,000 each to four people to expand their businesses.

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News
1:41 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

VA Auditors: No Issues With Sioux Falls Scheduling

US Senator Tim Johnson speaks next to Sioux Falls VA Director Darwin Goodspeed. / July 1, 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The director of the VA Health Care System in Sioux Falls says South Dakota doesn’t have the wait list problems plaguing other veterans hospitals nationwide.

The Veterans Affairs inspector general believes the scandal is systemic. Federal reports show workers at some VA locations around the country lied about treatment for veterans and falsified records to reflect shorter wait times than veterans encountered.

Sioux Falls VA Health Care System Director Darwin Goodspeed says that didn’t happen – and isn’t happening – in his hospital.

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News
4:17 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

FEMA Tallies Wessington Springs Damage

Wessington Springs / June 2014
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota leaders are examining which dollars from where can help places like Wessington Springs recover from storm damage. Citizens in the town of 1,000  people are cleaning extensive damage from a tornado on June 18th.  

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard is impressed with the progress he sees in Wessington Springs one week after a tornado destroyed more than two dozen homes. He says some state resources and block grants may help the city with major municipal projects. That way Wessington Springs leaders can use city money to restore groundwork damaged in the storm.

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News
3:00 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Patterson Bond Set At $1M Cash

Joseph Patterson / October 2013
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The man charged with murder in the death of a two-year-old boy faces new charges including felony kidnapping and assault. Joseph Patterson, 28, was out of jail on bond since October because his father paid $750,000 cash.

Patterson made his initial appearance in a Minehaha County courtroom Wednesday afternoon.

A judge set bond for Joseph Patterson at $1 million cash. He’s behind bars for first degree kidnapping, which is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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News
4:27 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Tornado Cleanup Includes Demolition

Wessington Springs / June 22, 2014
Kealey Bultena SDPB

People in Wessington Springs are making progress getting rid of debris after last week’s tornado. Right after the storm, families began picking through the debris for belongings they could salvage. As they get close to finding anything to save, residents transition to hauling out truckloads of trash.

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News
7:06 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Ways To Help Wessington Springs

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Officials are coordinating ways for people to help residents of Wessington Springs after last week’s devastating tornado. People who can help with general debris cleanup can register at a volunteer reception center. It’s at the Wessington Springs Elementary School. Registration starts at 8 a.m.

The American Red Cross is serving three meals each day for residents and people helping pick up after the tornado. Volunteer leader Nancy Young says the organization has served more than 4,000 meals and handed out over 11,200 bottles of water since Wednesday’s storm.

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News
6:28 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Wessington Springs Tornado Damage

Wessington Springs, June 2014
Kealey Bultena SDPB

More than 50 homes and businesses were damaged by a tornado that ripped through Wessington Springs Wednesday evening. Twenty-four of those homes and three businesses are destroyed.

The severe weather hit the around 7:40 p.m. on June 18, 2014. The attached photos were taken the morning of June 19, 2014. People in the town are just beginning extensive work cleaning up after the EF-2 tornado.

Listen to this report from Wessington Springs as city residents and their families assess the damage and tackle the rubble that used to be their homes and property.

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Health
12:03 am
Thu June 19, 2014

SD Recieves Ranking In Long-Term Care

The latest national ranking on meeting the needs of older people who require long-term care puts South Dakota right in the middle. The AARP Scorecard shows the state is 24th overall in long-term care. But the average rating doesn’t necessarily reflect success or failure in multiple categories.

Despite its overall rating of 24th in the country, South Dakota ranks 5th in the nation in a dimension of care labeled Quality of Care and Quality of Life. Erik Nelson with AARP South Dakota says people in the state take pride in their commitment to long term care.

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Education
1:25 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Lawmakers Start Two-Year Edu Study

State lawmakers are beginning a two-year study examining education in South Dakota. They plan to establish several areas of focus, and one is likely to be the connection between school funding and student achievement.

Members of the legislative planning committee want to improve educational outcomes in state schools. The 11-member panel begins that process with an in-depth examination of how South Dakota funds K-12 education. It includes details about the current funding mechanism and its history to deep analysis of property tax assessments.

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Environment
10:05 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Canton Battles Flooding; Cleanup Begins

Floodwater tipped this chest freezer in Art & Racine Kimball's basement in Canton.
Kealey Bultena SDPB

Southeastern South Dakota communities are cleaning up after severe thunderstorms dumped rain and hail across the region. Some places received more than eight inches of rain in just one day, and that’s leaving homeowners in Canton and nearby towns with serious damage. In this story, visit one of the hardest hit areas as residents try to dry out.

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Arts
1:46 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

New High School Events Approved

The South Dakota High School Activities Association now includes new events in fine arts. Board members at the June meeting Wednesday approved additional fields in show choir and visual arts.

Assistant executive director James Weaver says neither of those areas had opportunities for state championship events before this week’s approval.

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Education
11:43 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Activities Board Approves Transgender Policy

South Dakota schools have a new policy regarding transgender students who want to participate in extracurricular activities.

The South Dakota High School Activities Association board adopted language Wednesday to establish protocol for approving participation requests.

James Weaver is the assistant executive director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association. He says the organization wants a policy in place so students avoid unnecessary hassle.

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Education
11:08 am
Thu June 12, 2014

SDHSAA Budget Overages, Savings

The group that guides high school fine arts and sports events in the state went way over in some parts of its budget, but the South Dakota High School Activities Association also saved money in other areas. The organization’s leaders say this year’s financial fluctuations balance.

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Politics
9:22 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Wismer Wins Dem. Nomination For Gov.

Susan Wismer

Representative Susan Wismer is the Democratic nominee for the general election in South Dakota. The Associated Press called the race at about 9:15 p.m. central Tuesday night.

Wismer faced fellow Democrat Joe Lowe in the primary election. The state lawmaker and accountant says the primary election is good for the Democratic party and thanked Lowe in her victory speech.

She faces Republican nominee Governor Dennis Daugaard and Independent candidate Michael Myers in the general election this November.

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Politics
8:40 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Rounds Wins Primary In US Senate Race

Gov. Mike Rounds

Less than 40 minutes after the last polls closed in South Dakota, the Associated Press names former governor Mike Rounds the winner of the Republican primary in the race for US Senate.

Rounds was widely favored as the winner. He faced four other Republicans who wanted the nomination for the open Senate seat. Those include State Representative Stace Nelson, State Senator Larry Rhoden, Jason Ravnsborg, and Dr. Annette Bosworth.

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Culture
11:51 am
Tue June 3, 2014

SF Mayor To Travel To Germany

Sister Cities Assoc. Sioux Falls President Ginny Beck, Mayor Mike Huether, and Augustana German Instructor Monica Lhotzky offer details about Potsdam, Germany.
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A German streetcar is slated to be christened with the name "Sioux Falls." The ceremony happens next week in Potsdam, Germany – which is a sister city of Sioux Falls. Mayor Mike Huether is traveling to Europe for the dedication and a short visit.

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Politics
11:14 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Republicans Who Want To Be Governor

Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Lora Hubbel both want to be the Republican nominee for SD's statewide gubernatorial race in 2014.

South Dakota's primary elections happen Tuesday, and both Republicans and Democrats must decide which candidate they want to represent them in the general election for Governor of South Dakota. Below are long-form interviews with both candidates facing off in the Republican primary election.

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Politics
3:47 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Candidate Spotlight: Susan Wismer

In Tuesday's primary, voters decide which candidates advance to the November election. One of those contests is Democratic nomination for Governor of South Dakota. One state lawmaker says she’s the right person for the job.

Susan Wismer is no stranger to South Dakota politics. The Britton native is on her third term in the state legislature; now she wants to be governor. She champions more focus - and funding - for education and social services.

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Politics
3:34 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Candidate Spotlight: Joe Lowe

With less than one week before South Dakotans vote in primary elections, candidates are giving final pitches. Two Democrats face off for the gubernatorial nomination to take on the Republican candidate and an Independent. One of them is Joe Lowe.

Lowe has seen South Dakota through some challenging times. He led wildland fire suppression in the state for more than a decade, during which he tackled some of the most threatening natural disasters South Dakotans have ever seen. Lowe also managed the frenzied preparations as floodwaters loomed during the 2011 Missouri River flood.

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Politics
4:14 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Forum Planned In US Senate Race

Days before the primary election, a Republican candidate for South Dakota’s open US Senate seat says she’s arranging her own candidate forum.

Annette Bosworth says she has purchased ad time on television and plans to post the full discussion on YouTube. She says one fellow candidate has expressed interest, but she doesn’t have details about the debate’s participants, format, time or date. Bosworth says the one statewide forum with all five Senate candidates on SDPB-TV lacked topics important to South Dakota Republicans.

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News
9:36 am
Wed May 28, 2014

SD High Court Hears Death Sentence Appeal

Justices on SD's Supreme Court consider Rodney Berget's death sentence appeal
SDPB

For the second time, a convicted killer’s death sentence is in front of South Dakota’s Supreme Court. Rodney Berget won an element of his first appeal to the high court, but his attorney returns with arguments that the process and procedures of his sentencing aren’t fair.

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Politics
4:12 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Candidate Spotlight: Lora Hubbel

In one week, voters choose which candidates represent their parties in the 20-14 general election. The primary happens June 3, and two Republicans want the nomination in the race for governor of South Dakota. This feature offers a campaign snapshot of the woman challenging South Dakota’s incumbent governor.

Lora Hubbel is a former state lawmaker, a registered nurse, former substitute teacher and a realtor. She also wants to be South Dakota’s next governor, and Hubbel doesn’t shy away from contrasting her position on key issues with those of her primary opponent.

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