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SD Department of Corrections

It has been 17 years since Dottie Poage lost her son to murder. Three men were convicted of killing Chester Poage, and all three men have had different outcomes.

One of them is Briley Piper, waiting on death row in the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, he failed to have his death sentence overturned by a state judge in the Fourth Circuit.

Dottie Poage tells SDPB's Victoria Wicks that she has had to be patient all these years, watching Piper go through years of appeals to avoid execution.

Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

The importance of punctuation and grammar was at issue in the South Dakota Supreme Court on Wednesday. In a case involving open records, justices heard from lawyers representing the Argus Leader and the City of Sioux Falls. The dispute revolves around the wording of one short paragraph in the open records chapter and whether it allows government entities to keep records closed when they've entered into a contract. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

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.

Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

South Dakota inmate Daniel Charles came up before the South Dakota Supreme Court on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Charles' attorney asked for reconsideration of his 92-year prison sentence. Charles was 14 when he killed his stepfather in Meade County. He's now 32. He'll be 60 before he comes up for parole. His attorney argues that parole at retirement age doesn't allow Charles to have a meaningful life on the outside. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Burning Down To Rebuild In Rockerville

Jan 2, 2017

A prescribed fire in the small Black Hills town of Rockerville burned a significant number of historic buildings on Main Street and adjacent areas to the ground. SDPB’s Jim Kent was at the scene as more than 60 firefighters from companies across Pennington County took part in the event.

Rockerville is located in the heart of the Black Hills….just south of Rapid City.

Photo by Jim Kent

A prescribed fire in Rockerville burned down a significant number of buildings considered hazardous to the public from both a fire and safety perspective. We spoke with the property owner and with a local restaurateur about the benefits of destroying the buildings.

Victoria Wicks

Children at the Rapid City Public Library celebrated the new year a day and a half early. The "half" day comes about because they rang in the NOON year, counting down to 12 noon on Friday instead of 12 midnight on Saturday.

Children gathered on the second floor to make masks and crowns and then moved to the first-floor lobby for bagpipes, balloons, and a ball drop.

As SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports, the reviews were a rave: the first-time event was "awesome."

7 pm CT/6 pm MT Newscast

Dec 28, 2016

6 pm CT/5 pm MT Newscast

Dec 28, 2016

5 pm CT/4 pm MT Newscast

Dec 28, 2016

4 pm CT/3 pm CT Newscast

Dec 28, 2016

In a tightly divided decision, the South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that plaintiffs in a medical liability case may see the records of patients who are not parties to the lawsuit. Three justices say state law allows release of records as long as the patients can't be identified. But two justices say state law is clear that there are no exceptions to privilege.

Photo illustration by Victoria Wicks

In Rapid City during Hanukah, Jews gather at Main Street Square for eight nights to light the menorah. The first night was Dec. 24, and the last night is Dec. 31. People gather just before sunset to sing Hanukah songs and celebrate the resiliency of the Jewish people.

The menorah lighting occurs every night at sunset, at about 5:10 p.m., ending with Dec. 31.

To hear a longer interview with Steve Benn, click on the audio below:

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.

Courtesy Black Hills National Cemetery

The Black Hills National Cemetery is taking part in the 10th annual holiday Wreaths Across America.  The event held on Friday is a wreath-laying ceremony to honor and remember our nation’s military veterans. The public is invited to attend the Wreaths Across American ceremony at Sturgis.The Worcester Wreath Company has donated wreaths for grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery since 1992.

courtesy photo

A federal judge has ordered Seventh Circuit and Pennington County officials to stop violating the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Judge Jeffrey Viken's order affects emergency hearings held within 48 hours of the removal of children from their parent or guardian's care.

The judge's order responds to a lawsuit filed in Rapid City in March 2013 and resolves seven of eight issues. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports on this latest development.

Courtesy Black Hills National Cemetery

The Black Hills National Cemetery is taking part in the 10th annual holiday "Wreaths Across America".   The event is a  wreath-laying ceremony to honor and remember our nation’s military veterans. The event is postponed in Sturgis due to weather conditions. The future will be announced. The event in Hot Springs is scheduled for Sunday, December 18. The public is invited to attend the Wreaths Across American ceremonies.

Unified Judicial System

David Gilbertson has been chosen by his colleagues on the South Dakota Supreme Court to serve another four years as Chief Justice.

Gilbertson says one priority is to expand mental health services for addicts and defendants.

Gilbertson was appointed to the court in 1995 and has presided since 2001. In that time, he says, the state's drug and alcohol courts have grown but so have the state's problems with addiction and mental illness.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

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