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Photo illustration by Victoria Wicks

In the final concert of the Chamber Music Festival of the Black Hills, held last weekend, musicians explored overlapping influences on composition. Festival organizers called this last concert "Bach, Brahms, and Brothels, a provocative title guaranteed to draw interest.

Festival director Michael Hill says musicians, including Brahms, often found work playing in bars and brothels. That more relaxed style had a deep influence on classical composers of the Romantic era and the 20th Century.

The art of Maurice Sendak is on display at the Rapid City Public Library through Sept. 1. Sendak is known for rather dark children's stories, illustrated with finely detailed drawings of fantastical beasts. The artist and writer has appealed to children and adults for generations. He died in 2012 at the age of 83, after a 65-year career. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story from the kickoff party this weekend.

Annette Bosworth

The South Dakota Supreme Court has overturned Annette Bosworth's perjury convictions but upheld other charges.

Bosworth ran for U.S. Senate in South Dakota in 2014, and lost in the primary election.

To get on the ballot, she submitted nominating petitions to the Secretary of State with a sworn verification that she had personally circulated them. But a subsequent investigation showed she was in the Philippines at the time the signatures were gathered.

The supreme court found that the state misinterpreted the statute it applied when charging Bosworth with perjury.

Victoria Wicks

An alliance of tribal leaders from the United States and Chiefs of First Nations from Canada came together in Rapid City to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and tar sands expansion.

On the Fourth of July, tribal leaders signed agreements to also oppose the Dakota Access pipeline and to stop the Interior Department from removing Yellowstone grizzly bears from the endangered species list.

Kevin Hart, a representative from Manitoba, says that 150 years of treaty violations have led to environmental destruction.

Victoria Wicks

Not all soils are created equal. Just inside Rapid City's boundaries, for example, the northeast soils are much more challenging to gardeners than those on the west side of town. And what's a gardener to do? Amend, amend, amend. Some gardeners build their own compost piles or buy soil amendments. Others head to the landfill, where not only lawn and yard waste is composted, but also household garbage.

INFORMATION ON GARDEN WALK:

The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the state Department of Corrections. DOC was sued by the widow of Ron Johnson, the corrections officer who was killed in 2011 by inmates trying to escape.

Lynette Johnson said penitentiary officials had advance notice that the two inmates presented an escape risk but moved them to a less secure facility anyway. Among other claims, Mrs. Johnson sued DOC for wrongful death and infliction of emotional distress.

Victoria Wicks

Traditional art, or folk art, is now featured at The Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City. An exhibit titled "Black Hills Bounty" opened this weekend with a Friday night reception and Saturday demonstrations by some of the artists.

Folk art is characterized by identifiable methods of creation, some of them reaching back into antiquity. Weavers use a loom, spinners use a wheel, and indigenous artists use native materials.

Victoria Wicks file photo

Last year a federal judge in Rapid City ruled that the rights of Indian parents have been systematically violated in Pennington County.

At issue are hearings held within 48 hours of the removal of children from their homes on allegations of abuse or neglect. At those hearings, judges determine whether the child returns home or stays in state custody pending further hearings.

Judge Jeffrey Viken found that officials violated parents' due process rights and the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA. He ordered officials to change their practices to fix the problems.

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Victoria Wicks

The School of Mines and Technology is hosting a conference to discuss research at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. The event started Friday, May 12, and continues to Tuesday, May 16.

This is the second conference of this sort. The first was held in 2015. Associate physics professor Richard Schnee chairs this year's conference organizing committee. He says holding the conference every two years seems to be the right timing.

The state Supreme Court has ruled that South Dakota's Common Core assessments are constitutional and follow state law.

The court heard arguments in February from the Thomas More Law Center in Michigan, representing two South Dakota taxpayers.

Plaintiffs argued that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC, is an interstate compact requiring consent of Congress. And they said the testing process violates state law.

However, the high court disagrees.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

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South Dakota Game Fish & Parks has asked the state Supreme Court to define what constitutes public interest. The high court heard arguments on Tuesday, April 25. GF&P maintains that townships in Day County did not serve the public interest when they vacated roads leading to certain public lands or water. A Fifth Circuit judge ruled for the townships, and GF&P appeals.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Buffalo Chip Campground became an incorporated city after the Meade County Commission authorized an election in May 2015. The city of Sturgis and local landowners challenged the incorporation, and a Fourth Circuit judge nullified it. He found that the Meade County Commission erred when it allowed the election to go forward. Meade County appealed that decision to the South Dakota Supreme Court, who heard arguments on Tuesday, April 25.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Unified Judicial System

The South Dakota Supreme Court had a majority of female justices for one case on Tuesday, April 25.

Justice Steven Zinter disqualified himself from a case involving incorporation of Buffalo Chip Campground as a city.

Retired Justice Judith Meierhenry sat in on oral arguments, joining Justices Janine Kern and Lori Wilbur to make a 3-2 majority of women.

Chief Justice David Gilbertson announced this historic event to the audience in the courtroom:

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Victoria Wicks

Saturday's March for Science in Rapid City was part of an international Earth Day movement.

Scientists typically don't get involved in politics, but according to national news feeds, they're feeling threatened by proposed federal budget cuts to the EPA, NASA, and other science-based programs.

Some Rapid City signs referred to politics: "Science Trumps Opinion," "Science Is Not an Alternative Fact," "Save the EPA."

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