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Victoria Wicks

The legal status of birth control and abortion has evolved over the years, resulting in an established right to privacy that continues to play out in the courts.

A Black Hills State professor led a panel discussion on that topic on March 28 in Rapid City.

About two dozen people came together inside the Dahl Arts Center meeting room, as about the same number of protesters stood outside the window.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Manlove Psychiatric Group

A two-day conference called New Paradigms in Mental Healthcare starts Friday in Rapid City.

The conference will highlight emerging treatments for mental health issues, treatment-resistant depression, and brain injuries.

The conference is hosted by the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center and the Manlove Psychiatric Group. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

The conference runs Friday and Saturday, March 24-25, at the Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza, with six presentations per day. The conference is open to the public with a fee of $100 each day.

http://equalmeansequal.com/

Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment failed by just three states in 1982. As a result, women today are not protected equally in a number of areas, including employment, criminal justice, and healthcare. That's the message of a documentary titled Equal Means Equal, screened at the Journey Museum in Rapid City Wednesday night. Democracy in Action sponsored the film to observe Women's History Month. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

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Courtesy U.S. Mint

Seventeen Standing Rock Sioux tribal members will receive posthumous Congressional Gold Medals today for their service as code talkers during  World War One. The men’s native language was critical in shielding sensitive information from the enemy. 

Standing Rock Sioux Veterans Service Officer Manaja Hill says the tribe’s World War One code talkers served to defend their people and ancestral lands.

Unless the legislature says otherwise, owners of flooded land can keep hunters, fishers, and boaters off their property. The South Dakota Supreme Court issued that opinion this week in a Day County case.

Game, Fish & Parks has maintained that members of the public may use the water as long as they get to it by legal means. But landowners say it's up to the legislature to enact a statute, and so far lawmakers have declined to do so.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

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Victoria Wicks

The Keystone XL pipeline has had a long history for something that so far does not yet exist. It's future has not been decided either.

South Dakota's Public Utilities Commission first permitted the pipeline to cut diagonally across the western half of the state in 2010.

But TransCanada did not complete the project within four years, and so state law required the company to make assurances that it could still meet the requirements of the permit.

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Victoria Wicks

The Keystone XL pipeline is at issue once again, this time in a South Dakota courtroom. Opponents filed an appeal in 2016 after the Public Utilities Commission gave the go-ahead for the pipeline the previous year. On Wednesday in Pierre, a Sixth Circuit judge heard oral arguments in the case.

Opponents say the PUC didn't do its job to ensure that TransCanada can build a safe pipeline.

But the PUC and TransCanada say the outcome followed state law.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks traveled to Pierre to get this report.

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U.N. Special Rapporteur Weighs In On DAPL

Mar 6, 2017
Courtesy UNSR Victoria Tauli-Corpuz

A U.N. representative who focuses on Indigenous issues around the world spent two weeks in the U.S. visiting Native American tribes in the Southwest and on the Northern Plains. We spoke with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People about what she plans to file in her official report about her visit.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz travels the world from her home in the Philippines to investigate issues of concern for Indigenous peoples.

Seabees Celebrate 75th Anniversary

Mar 2, 2017
Courtesy U.S. Navy

March 5 marks the 75th anniversary of the United States Naval Construction

Forces…more commonly known as “The Seabees”. Although the relatively small unit has played an integral part in support of America’s military operations around the world many people have never heard of them.

SDPB’s Jim Kent sat down with a couple of these servicemen who were trained to build…and to fight…and shares their story.

Victoria Wicks file photo

Paul Dean Jensen spent 20 years in prison, serving life without parole for a murder he committed in 1996 at the age of 14. In June, a judge reconsidered that penalty and imposed a 200 year sentence, with parole eligibility in 2021.

Now Jensen is appealing that second sentence. He says the sentencing judge abdicated his responsibilities to the parole board.

The South Dakota Supreme Court will consider this case on briefs during its March term. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

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In 2014, South Dakota committed to using the services of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC. The consortium is located at UCLA and provides testing of K-12 student achievement.

On Tuesday, Feb. 14, the South Dakota Supreme Court heard oral arguments from its opponents. Two South Dakota taxpayers filed suit through the Thomas More Law Center, an organization in Michigan that battles Common Core standards. The plaintiffs claim the consortium is an interstate compact requiring consent of the U.S. Congress and violates state and federal law.

In 2011, prison officer Ron Johnson was murdered by two inmates who were trying to escape. His widow, Lynette Johnson, sued the South Dakota Department of Corrections and certain of its employees, in particular then-Warden Doug Weber. She holds that prison officials knew the inmates were planning an escape, but concealed that information after the incident.

The suit has been dismissed by both a federal court and state court. Now Lynette Johnson has appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

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