Governor Kristi Noem

South Dakota’s lone representative in the US House is part of a bi-partisan group unveiling a coronavirus relief package amidst stalled congressional negotiations.

The 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats call themselves the Problem Solvers Caucus. Their package includes aid for individuals, unemployment assistance, state and local government money and a new round of paycheck protection plan loans.

Note: This story was updated 5:32 pm 9/15/2020

It’s not clear if the governor has the legal authority to put Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg on leave during the investigation of his fatal collision over the weekend. The state constitution puts impeachment authority for certain state officers with the legislature, but it doesn’t say if the Attorney General can be removed on a temporary basis otherwise.

Governor Kristi Noem told reporters she hasn’t yet considered putting Ravnsborg on leave.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was involved in a car crash on Saturday night that resulted in one fatality. Ranvsborg says he’s fully cooperating with the investigation. 

The incident happened around 10:30 Saturday night on Highway 14 just west of Highmore in central South Dakota.

Governor Kristi Noem says law enforcement is working on identifying the person killed and notifying the family. 

Krystal Schoenbauer / SDPB

The South Dakota State Fair is officially underway, despite the rising number of new COVID 19 cases.

Officials say it’s hard to gauge how many will attend this year’s state fair in Huron.

A typical fair brings in anywhere from 200,000 to 217,000 attendees.

The state fair is one of many large scale events held in the state, despite the global coronavirus pandemic.

From fireworks at Mt. Rushmore to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the Sioux Empire Fair, South Dakota is one of the only state’s in the country bringing together large groups of people.

Screenshot / Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary

Governor Kristi Noem says she anticipates considering calling a special legislative session to spend more than $900 million in coronavirus stimulus money.

During an interview with the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary, she says that’s something she might do if the federal government does not extend a December deadline to spend the funds.

The CARES Act gives governors latitude to spend those relief dollars.

On the Other Hand: Governor Noem's RNC Speech

Aug 27, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment … August 27, 2020 Show 890 Hour 1

Governor Kristi Noem spoke at the Republican National Convention last night, invoking the legacy of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. Here at home, she's calling for the men enshrined on Mount Rushmore to be represented once again, this time in the alcoves of the Capitol dome. Kevin Woster writes about the history of the idea on his blog On the Other Hand. You can find it on our website at sdpb.org/woster

Dakota Political Junkies

Aug 26, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment … August 26, 2020 Show 889 Hour 2

Governor Kristi Noem is on the schedule to speak today during the Republican National Convention. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is infiltrating our schools and universities before fall classes have much of a chance to get off the ground. Are we experiencing a "second wave" of the coronavirus? The Dakota Political Junkies return to our regular time and we welcome Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader. Also appearing today is Michael Card, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

Meet the Candidates: Jessica Castleberry

Aug 26, 2020
Jessica Castleberry

In The Moment … August 26, 2020 Show 889 Hour 1

We're about to check in with two more candidates for the South Dakota Legislature as part of SDPB's Meet the Candidates series. First, we travel to District 35 where Jessica Castleberry is an incumbent in the South Dakota House of Representatives. She was appointed to that position by Governor Kristi Noem on December 31st, 2019. Castleberry is a Republican from Rapid City.  As a small business owner, Castleberry won the Small Business Administration's South Dakota Woman Owned Small Business of the Year in 2018.

 

Kevin Woster: Talking with Daugaard

Aug 6, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment … August 6, 2020 Show 875 Hour 1

Governor Kristi Noem's first term in office is defined by a pandemic. But if she follows in the footsteps of Governor Dennis Daugaard, there are smoother days ahead. SDPB's Kevin Woster talks about his conversation with the former governor online at sdpb.org/woster. He also writes there about another well-known Woster. 

Governor Kristi Noem’s office is clarifying her stance on mask wearing among students, after a campaign email last week says she’s encouraging them return to school “without masks.”

A governor’s spokesperson calls the fundraising email “in-artfully written.” They say Noem believes if people want to wear a mask, that is their own prerogative. The spokesperson says she has—and continues—to oppose mandatory masking, but she has never discouraged wearing them.

NPR

The three major healthcare systems in South Dakota all agree—masks help slow the spread of COVID 19.

Each system requires a mask to enter its hospitals and clinics. They all recommend that people wear a mask in public, especially when social distancing is not possible.

However, there are some political leaders who still aren’t sure.

President Donald Trump has questioned masks. He’s refused to wear them in public, until recently. In fact, now, he occasionally mentions them.

State of South Dakota

Governor Kristi Noem says the state will follow Centers for Disease Control guidance on policy decision surrounding COVID-19.

The CDC recommends people wear cloth face covering in public settings when around people outside their household, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Noem, however, says the science is mixed on their ability to slow the spread of the disease.

On Friday, thousands of attendees waited hours for a glimpse at the sitting president of the United States and the return of fireworks at Mount Rushmore.

The event was billed as a celebration and is one of the largest gatherings of Americans since the coronavirus pandemic reached the country.

Fireworks explode over Mount Rushmore and attendees sit in awe, capturing video of the spectacle as patriotic music blares from an immaculate stage at the base of the national monument.

"Back to Normal Long-Term Care Reopening Plan"

Jun 25, 2020
Good Samaritan Society

In The Moment … June 25, 2020 Show 846 Hour 1

Governor Kristi Noem has released her "Back to Normal Long-Term Care Reopening Plan." The multi-phase guidelines are used by nursing homes and assisted living facilities to shape policies for keeping residents safe during the pandemic.  Nate Schema is the executive vice president and COO of the Good Samaritan Society. He joins us to talk about the potential application of the plan in South Dakota facilities. 

Health reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health of Rapid City

 

News: Jun 13 - 19

Jun 19, 2020
SDPB

In this weeks podcast we get a COVID-19 update, hear about the issues with having a newborn during the pandemic, and a couple Political Junkies breakdown the top headlines from the week.

John Nguyen / SDPB

Governor Kristi Noem says the state has resources pre-staged in cities across South Dakota to respond if any planned protests get out of hand.

Meanwhile, the governor is calling on governing bodies and community leaders to have discussions on policing policies.

Governor Noem says her office is looking at resources and tools available to her to address what’s happening across the state and country following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck.

Noem says she’s open to solutions

Governor Kristi Noem

May 14, 2020

In The Moment … May 14, 2020 Show 817 Hour 2

As the rest of the nation seeks ways to reopen the economy, South Dakotans were never on a statewide shelter-in-place order or lockdown. Many business owners and faith community leaders are seeking CDC and South Dakota Department of Health guidance to inform and support their individual decisions about what "Back to Normal" looks like. Governor Kristi Noem is with us today. 

Kevin Woster: Gov Noem & The Press

May 7, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment … May 7, 2020 Show 812 Hour 1

Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

Governor Kristi Noem says a special session in June is unlikely.
 
That’s when the state will report April tax collections—when economic activity across the country slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Noem says she anticipates a serious budget shortfall because of the virus.
 
She says all options are on the table, including dipping into reserves.
 

SDPB

Some employees of the Smithfield meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls are back at work. A COVID-19 outbreak shut the plant down in mid-April. More than a thousand cases are connected to the plant. At one point it had the largest cluster of cases in the nation. 

Governor Kristi Noem says President Trump’s executive order to keep meatpacking plants open puts federal departments in charge of overseeing Smithfield’s operations. 

Office of Governor Kristi Noem

A new national poll asks people how they feel their governor is handling the COVID-19 response.
 
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and President Donald Trump each have approval ratings below 50 percent.
 
However, researchers say there’s a wide margin of error.
 

Political Junkies: The "Back to Normal" Plan

Apr 29, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment ... April 28, 2020 Show 806 Hour 2

Sanford Research On Hydroxychloroquine

Apr 17, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment ... April 17, 2020 Show 798 Hour 1

This week, Governor Kristi Noem joined South Dakota Public Broadcasting for an hour-long conversation about Sars-CoV2 and COVID-19 in South Dakota. We asked for your questions, and you responded. Many of those questions were about hydroxychloroquine and the statewide clinical trial of the anti-malarial drug on South Dakotans. Joining us for more on the clinical trials, we welcome Lora Black, senior director of Clinical Research, Sanford Research. 

 

Office of Governor Kristi Noem

Governor Kristi Noem continues to defend her decision not to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.
 
She says more South Dakotan’s are staying at home than in some states that require it.

South Dakota is one of eight states without a stay-at-home order.

Noem says any order she puts in place needs to be sustainable for a period of time. In the past, she’s suggested a stay-at-home order could have to last until October.

The number of COVID-19 cases among Smithfield workers at the Sioux Falls meatpacking plant continues to rise. The plant now accounts for 44% of the state’s COVID-19 cases.

Governor Kristi Noem is denying Sioux Falls mayor Paul TenHaken’s requests for a state-led response to the spike in cases.  

The situation is getting national attention and furthering criticism of Governor Kristi Noem’s refusal to issue a statewide stay-at-home order. 

The governor continues to defend her decision.

fda.gov

South Dakota is launching the first statewide trial of a possible treatment for COVID-19 in the nation. The trial drug typically treats malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.   

President Donald Trump has pointed to hydroxychloroquine as a potential therapeutic for COVID-19, though its effectiveness has not yet been confirmed.

Governor Noem says she’s been asking the president and other members of his administration to allow South Dakota to launch a statewide trial. This weekend, the state received a shipment of the drug.

Smithfield Foods is closing its Sioux Falls meatpacking plant indefinitely after hundreds of its employees contracted COVID-19. Over the weekend, Governor Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken asked the company to close the plant for at least two weeks. 

Smithfield had already announced a three-day closure through Monday to sanitize the plant and add physical barriers. On Saturday, Governor Noem requested the company to follow the recommended 14-day isolation period for potential COVID-19 exposure.

fda.gov

Gov. Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken want Smithfield Foods to close its Sioux Falls meatpacking plant for two weeks. The plant is in Minnehaha County, which reports 438 COVID-19 cases. Of those, 238  cases are identified as Smithfield employees.

Gov. Noem says the request also asks Smithfield to pay its employees while the plant is closed. 

Mike Wagner: Medical Information Privacy

Apr 10, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment ... April 10, 2020 Show 793 Hour 1

Dakota Political Junkies

Apr 8, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment ... April 8, 2020 Show 791 Hour 2

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