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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South Dakota’s largest city now officially bans texting while driving. A Sioux Falls city ordinance goes into effect Friday that makes it illegal to text or email when behind the wheel.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota lawmakers are examining economic issues facing Native Americans. Legislators have several months – and an election – before the new session begins, but they’re holding interim meetings and work sessions. Lawmakers on the State and Tribal Relations committee heard testimony Thursday about stimulating growth in Indian Country. But some businesses are attracting scrutiny.

Kealey Bultena

Out of every one hundred South Dakota high school students, 16 of those won’t graduate on time. Earlier this week, SDPB Radio examined some high schools’ efforts to keep kids in class. The methods show promise, but they don’t work for every student. This Dakota Digest explores what happens when a student can’t complete their coursework in four years, even with their educators’ help.

Kealey Bultena

South Dakota won’t establish its own health insurance exchange. That’s the decision from Governor Dennis Daugaard. The Affordable Care Act requires each state have an exchange in place by 2014, and all states have the option of creating their own or using one set up at the federal level.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A new report released Tuesday shows South Dakota’s unemployment rate is better than other states around the country, but that doesn’t mean the state is thriving during this economic recession.

As part of a national voting movement, South Dakota’s Secretary of State tours some area colleges this week. Tuesday marks National Voter Registration Day, and Secretary of State Jason Gant has events scheduled at four southeast South Dakota locations.

Starting Friday, South Dakotans who have made up their minds can vote. State law allows people to fill out their choices on the ballot any time between now and November’s election day. The early-voting option applies to any of the state’s 500,000 registered voters.

Forty-six days before the polls open across South Dakota, registered voters can cast their ballots for November’s election. Secretary of State Jason Gant says absentee voting benefits more voters than only people out of the area on election day; he says anyone who votes in the state can consider voting ahead of time.

Kealey Bultena

Click the first "Listen" option above to hear the Dakota Digest that airs on SDPB Radio. Select the second "Listen" option to hear complete interview with Doctor Carl Hammerschlag. The conversation includes one of his experiences with legendary physician Patch Adams.

Health care as we understand it is changing. That’s the message a nationally recognized psychiatrist offers hundreds of South Dakota health care professionals. Doctor Carl Hammerschlag explains that he welcomes a new perspective in health care.

Seniors seeking information about Medicare programs can find help in Sioux Falls this week for free. Area Medicare experts are holding meetings to educate seniors and their families about the intricacies of the program. The sessions are geared toward people will all levels of Medicare knowledge.

Free seminars in Sioux Falls seek to inform people about Medicare rights, options, and benefits. Dan Kurtz with Kurtz and Associates in Sioux Falls says some people have specific questions about different parts of the program.

Kealey Bultena

Sioux Falls police have released details of Tuesday afternoon’s deadly shooting. Police say gunman 38-year-old Tyrone Smith spent Sunday night in jail after strangling a woman at their home. She got a protection order against him for herself and their children. But Smith violated the order on Tuesday and killed a woman.

Sioux Falls authorities say Smith showed up at his children’s babysitter’s home on Tuesday afternoon, even though he wasn’t supposed to be near the kids. He showed the babysitter a gun, tied her to a chair and took the children. They’re both under the age of two.

Kealey Bultena

In just more than two weeks, the current Farm Bill expires. The legislation encompasses crop producer provisions along with food and nutrition program adjustments. The Senate passed a version of the Farm Bill, but House leadership hasn’t schedule a vote due to concerns it won’t succeed. South Dakota’s representative says she’s imploring colleagues to support the farm bill.

Kealey Bultena

Two people are dead after a gunman shot a woman in Sioux Falls and later turned the gun on himself. Police say Amanda Connors died after the man shot her while she was inside a car in a strip mall parking lot on 41st street. Police haven’t released the name of the suspect, but they confirm he is dead. 

Sioux Falls police say a gunman took his two children from their babysitter at gunpoint, then wound up at a Sioux Falls Cost Cutters where the children’s mother works. Sergeant Loren McManus says another employee, Connors, died after the man shot her in the parking lot. 

Kealey Bultena

Sioux Falls parents are considering whether their children are better off in older, revitalized school buildings close to home or in a new building that combines two current elementary schools. 

Kealey Bultena

In one week, northwest Iowa hosted two of the men who hope to win November’s presidential election. First, President Barack Obama hosted a rally in Sioux City. On Friday, Governor Mitt Romney made a campaign stop in a nearby college town. Thousands of people found their way to Romney’s event in Orange City.

The crowd leaps up as a band ushers in presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. He strides out on a stage built in the middle of Northwestern College’s gymnasium.

Kealey Bultena

The president of the United States spent part of Labor Day weekend just across the border from South Dakota. President Barack Obama made a stop in Sioux City, Iowa as part of his Road to Charlotte tour for the Democratic National Convention.

President Barack Obama hops onto the podium to deafening cheers about 45 minutes before the crowd expects him.

"And it was important for me to begin that journey right here in Iowa, because this is where it all began four years ago," Mr. Obama says.

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