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News
1:15 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

High Court Won't Overturn Death Sentence

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A South Dakota death row inmate’s conviction and sentence stand. A ruling from the United States Supreme Court Monday denies Rodney Berget’s request to overturn the state court’s decision. This puts an end to any direct appeals to his murder conviction and capital sentence.

Correctional Officer Ron Johnson died a violent death in May of 2011 when two inmates at the South Dakota State Penitentiary tried to escape from prison. Eric Robert and Rodney Berget were caught, tried, and convicted in the killing.

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News
4:00 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Early Budget Estimates Show Revenues Down

It’s the last two weeks of legislative session and budget discussions are heating up at the Capitol. Lawmakers say early revenue figures are down from initial projections meaning lawmakers may have some tough budget decisions ahead. However, Jason Dilges with the state’s Bureau of Finance and Management says even though revenues are weaker than expected state expenditures are also down. He says the lower expenditures offset reduced revenues. 

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News
2:34 am
Sun March 1, 2015

All Votes Support Juvenile Justice Reform

A Pierre committee is moving forward with reforms to South Dakota’s juvenile justice system. Legislation that changes the way the state handles young offenders has now passed three of four steps to getting on the governor’s desk.

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News
9:51 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Bill Requiring Certain Distance between Bikes and Cars Passes Senate Committee

A bill requiring a certain distance be left when vehicles are passing a bicyclist is one step closer to becoming law. House Bill 1030 says drivers must leave three feet of separation when the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less, and a minimum of six feet of separation when the limit is more than 35 miles per hour. Bill Nevin is the legal counsel for the Department of Transportation. He says law currently requires a safe distance, but he says that’s hard to define. He says safe should mean absolutely no chance of a collision.

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News
5:02 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Study of Actual Use Property Valuations Dies in Senate

Democrat leaders say they are disappointed in discussions around property taxes at the legislature. A measure that would set up a study of actual use property valuation and its effect on state revenues died in the Senate last week. Currently, valuations are based on a productivity model. This means if soil on land is rated for cropland it gets taxed as cropland even though it’s being used to graze cattle. Senator Bill Sutton of Burke says an actual use model is more fair because it assesses land for what it’s currently being used.

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News
8:07 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Bill Allowing Craps, Roulette, and Keno in Deadwood Passes House

A bill allowing craps, roulette, and keno in Deadwood is one step closer to becoming law. In November voters approved an amendment giving the legislature the ability to authorize the games. Representative Brian Gosch spoke in favor of Senate Bill 57. He says the city of Deadwood was on the decline after the closing of Homestake Gold Mine, and gambling has helped revitalize the city.

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News
8:04 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Bill Allows Tech Schools to Receive Names and Addresses of Middle and High School Students

Members of the Senate Education Committee passed a bill that provides information regarding technical institutes be given to parents and guardians of students in middle and high schools. Each year, school districts give a list of names and addresses of students to the Board of Regents, used to send information about preparation for college. House Bill 1072 allows postsecondary technical institutes to receive student information as well. Proponents say it helps students know what is available, and helps keep them in state. Senator Mike Vehle is a prime sponsor of the legislation.

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News
7:23 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Ellsworth Could Face Cuts In 2015

Ellsworth Air Force Base Commander Colonel Kevin Kennedy during his "State of Ellsworth" address.

Ellsworth Air Force Base Commander Colonel Kevin Kennedy says tough budget decisions may be ahead this year.  
 
Kennedy gave his “State of Ellsworth Address” on Thursday morning.  
 
Ellsworth narrowly escaped closure in 2005 during the last round of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission or BRAC.   

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News
7:08 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Protests Against Racism Continue In Rapid City

Parents and students form American Horse School at the front of a protest march from the Civic Center band shell to City Hall.

Roughly 100 people took part in a peaceful march against racism in Rapid City this Thursday afternoon.

Protestors expressed anger over what they see as unfair treatment of Native people in the justice system and unfair economic conditions.

Marchers included 77 year old Dennis Banks-who was a founding member of the American Indian Movement.  

Banks took part in the Wounded Knee occupation of 1973 and says he’s had to come back to Rapid City too often over the years to join in protest marches like this.

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News
5:59 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Talking Tickets As SF Concerts Sell Out

Premier Center General Manager Terry Torkildson shows how many people try to purchase tickets and how many seats are available. / February 26, 2015
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Leaders of Sioux Falls’ events center want to help ticket buyers understand why shows sell out so quickly, and some concert-goers want officials to do more. The general manager of the Denny Sanford Premier Center says special sponsors receive perks, but they’re the same that anyone who signs up for the newsletter also gets, and everyone is capped at the number of tickets they can buy. The reassurance that leaders are trying to keep fraud out of the system still leaves thousands without tickets.

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News
5:49 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Thune, Noem, Rounds On FCC Vote

As the FCC moves forward with a controversial decision to regulate internet providers in the name of fairness, commissioners must answer to a South Dakotan. In fact all three people who represent the state in Washington D-C say they stand against the agency’s move to expand its power. Yet that doesn’t mean they have the same reason for resistance.

Three members of Congress advocate for the interests of South Dakotans in the nation’s capital, and all three condemn the Federal Communication Commission’s vote to expand its regulatory power to internet service.

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News
4:52 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Senators Pass Measure Restricting Payments For Abortion Procedures

A measure dealing with abortion payments is on its way to the Governor’s desk. House Bill 1130 prohibits abortion providers from accepting payment prior to the state’s informed consent period. Proponents of the measure say making a payment prior to an abortion procedure puts financial pressure to go through with an abortion when a woman may be reconsidering her decision. Senator Angie Buhl O’Donnel spoke against the measure. She says House Bill 1130 does nothing to prevent abortions and is insulting to women.

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News
4:44 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Lawmakers Ban Female Genital Mutilation

A measure banning female genital mutilation or FGM has passed the Senate. FGM is the act of removing a part or all female genital organs. Currently, FGM is a federal crime. Proponents say making it a state crime creates another level of protection for victims and gives victims another avenue to seek justice. Senator Deb Soholt of Sioux Falls says House Bill 1089 takes a stand against a practice that is no longer tolerable.

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News
2:45 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Lawmakers Hear From Environmental Stewardship Award Winners

Lyle and Garnet Perman are national winners of the Environmental Stewardship Award. The Permans are 4th generation farmer/ranchers and run the Rock Hills Ranch with their son and daughter-in-law. The Permans are the first South Dakota ranchers to receive this award at the national level. They have also received the state Leopold Conservation Award. Lyle and Garnet Perman talked with lawmakers about the importance of promoting conservation practices. 

Lyle Perman says his family takes a holistic approach to running Rock Hills Ranch which is about 80 miles west of Aberdeen.

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News
12:59 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Rapid Race Relations Meeting Tackles Tough Issues

About 80 people attended a meeting in Rapid City on Wednesday intent on healing racial divisions following an alleged attack on Native children attending a minor league hockey game in January and a police shooting that left a Lakota man dead in December.   

The meeting began in a large circle, participants then broke into small groups and worked through a series of questions, at the end they gathered back into a circle to share ideas.

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News
10:53 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Bill Revises Social Work Licensure Provisions

A bill making its way through the Legislature revises certain social work licensure provisions. Currently, a person can become a social worker with a baccalaureate degree in that field. They can also have a degree in another field plus two years of experience and completion of courses equivalent to a social work program. House Bill 1013 removes the second option. Representative Steve Hickey spoke in favor of the legislation.

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News
4:56 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Legislation Establishing Youth Minimum Wage Passes House Committee

Members of the House Commerce and Energy Committee passed a bill establishing a youth minimum wage.

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News
12:52 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

TRIP: Road Conditions Impact Economy

TRIP Researcher Rocky Moretti and Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce President Evan Nolte discuss a recent report on SD transportation infrastructure. / February 25, 2015
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A national transportation group says South Dakota’s roads and bridges are deteriorating and a major contributing factor is lack of funding. Researchers for the group called TRIP say numbers from local reports and studies show the state’s roads and bridges continue to break down. The report shows the condition of pavement is getting worse, and it could take the economy with it.

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News
9:30 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Senators Shoot Down Legis. Pay Bill

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State lawmakers on the Senate Local Government committee say they don’t want to set up automatic pay raises for the legislature. Supporters of House Bill 1150 say the measure treats state lawmakers like all other state employees. That means they would receive a pay increase at whatever rate applies to South Dakota workers – whether that’s a large increase or none at all.

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News
5:00 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Representatives Will Not Debate Common Core Measure on House Floor

House lawmakers have stopped an effort to force debate on Common Core education standards. House Bill 1123 gets rid of Common Core education standards in the state. 

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News
4:01 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Measure Funds Hydrologic Study of Lower Big Sioux River Basin

Senate lawmakers are discussing a measure which funds a hydrologic study of the lower Big Sioux River Basin in southeastern South Dakota. Tim Cowman is with the Department of Natural Resources. He says when flooding occurred in this region last year the state’s current hydrologic model predicted that flood waters would cover Interstate 29 in North Sioux City. Cowman says the Governor shut down the interstate and spent time and resources building a levy over the interest but the flood waters did not reach that far.

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News
9:33 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Lawmakers Consider Wind Farm Tax Incentives

A bill before state lawmakers the session intends to increase wind farms in the state with new tax incentives.

A bill before state lawmakers intends to increase the development of wind energy in South Dakota with tax breaks for large scale wind farms.

Those backing changes to the law argue that the tax system set up in 2008 for wind farms is limiting development in South Dakota—and surrounding states are more competitive in the wind energy sector.   

But opponents counter the proposed bill goes too far and hurts taxpayers.

You can hear more by clicking play below.

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News
3:28 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Senate Committee Kills Conceal Carry Bills

South Dakota Lawmakers killed two measures that deal with concealed weapons.  House Bills 1096 and 1116 were deferred to the 41st Legislative day by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Lawmakers objected to what might happen with the passage of the legislation

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News
3:11 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Statehouse Crossover Day Looms

Credit Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

Wednesday is crossover day. It’s the last chance for a bill started in one chamber to gain approval and be up for consideration by the other side. If that doesn’t happen, the measures die.

In the 2015 session, South Dakota lawmakers introduced 429 bills. That’s not counting resolutions. 236 measures are House Bills. 193 come from the Senate. But if any one of those is to survive the week, the bill has to gain approval from its original chamber by Wednesday. That’s crossover day.

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News
2:55 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Panel Kills House Bill For Roads/Bridges

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lawmakers in Pierre now have one piece of legislation aimed at funding repairs to South Dakota’s roads and bridges. Members of the House State Affairs committee Tuesday killed one of two bills that increase taxes to support state infrastructure. 

In January lawmakers had two different plans for raising enough money to support roads and bridges across South Dakota. Legislators quickly amended the State Senate’s version of the transportation bill to look like the one introduced in the House of Representatives.

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News
1:26 am
Mon February 23, 2015

For Road Repairs in Brown County, Funding is Often Too Little, Too Late

Rogers says although it may be hard to tell by looking at it, this bridge is in need of repair. County officials are using local money to fix the bridge, because they can't wait for federal funding to come through.

There are 142 federally recognized bridges in Brown County, plus around 400 miles of paved roads and 200 miles of gravel. And they don’t take care of themselves. Funding for upkeep comes from various levels of government, but the need is often greater than the funding.
 

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News
4:38 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Church Sex Abuse Statute Of Limitations Stands

Those who say they suffered childhood sexual abuse by clergy will have to comply with 2010 statute of limitations after a narrow vote by a state legislative committee.

In 2010, with the backing of church lobbyists, state lawmakers approved a new statute of limitations restricting some types of civil litigation in childhood sex abuse cases.  Proponents testified that alleged abuse in Catholic Indian Boarding Schools happened so long ago few of the accused are alive to defend themselves.

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News
1:25 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Lawmakers Consider New Tests To Infant Screening

Heel prick used in newborn screening
Credit google images

  An effort to add more newborn screening tests is moving through the legislature.  A House Committee approved Senate Bill 60 that adds inherited and genetic disorders to the list of diseases tested on infants.

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News
12:15 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Parental Consent Required For Minors Who Want To Tan

A legislative committee has approved a proposal that requires parental consent for minors to use indoor tanning beds at salons.

The House Health and Human Services Committee voted 8-5 on Thursday for the amended plan, which originally banned minors from using tanning facilities at all.

Republican Rep. Lana Greenfield of Doland says she thinks the proposal interferes with small businesses and requires something that’s already being done.

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News - Cheyenne River - Art
2:20 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Rediscovering Native Art on Cheyenne River

Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation Visitor Guide created by the Four Bands Community Fund - to be updated as the “Rediscovering Native Art on Cheyenne River” project expands.
Credit Courtesy Four Bands Community Fund

A Native American nonprofit organization plans to boost the economy of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation by promoting cultural tourism. The Four Bands Community Fund will implement a project to assist 100 Native Americans in building an art business by providing access to loan capital, equity injections, and professional development training.

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