Jackie Hendry

Deb Soholt online

South Dakota laws related to certified registered nurse anesthetists—or CRNAs—haven’t been updated since 1979. But a bill to give CRNAs broader practice outside of hospital settings is now moving to the senate floor.

Senate Bill 50 brings South Dakota CRNA practices up to par with national standards. It also expands collaboration to non-physician care providers like dentists, and gives them authority to prescribe controlled substances for pain management based on their training.

Jackie Hendry

LifeScape—a nonprofit that serves people with disabilities—is leasing more than 30 acres from the USD Discovery District in Sioux Falls. The site will serve as LifeScape’s new hospital, school and rehab facility.

USD and LifeScape leaders expect the partnership to advance research and fill workforce needs in disability care.

CEO Steve Watkins points to a picture of children with polio breaking ground for the current LifeScape hospital back in 1948. He says specialized care isn’t the only thing that’s changed since then.


In The Moment ... January 2, 2020 Show 725 Hour 2

Palliative care helps relieve symptoms of serious illnesses, but it's not a one-size-fits-all method of specialized care. It's also not always accessible in areas where it's needed most. 

Jackie Hendry

Talking with loved ones about death is difficult, and some conversations about end-of-life arrangements are put off until it’s too late. But students at Dakota Wesleyan University have the chance to practice discussing mortality with loved ones and total strangers at the Death Café.  

Office of Governor Kristi Noem

Sixty-three of South Dakota’s 66 counties submitted disaster declarations after this year’s devastating blizzards, floods, and tornadoes. In Governor Kristi Noem’s budget address for fiscal year 2021, she outlines a plan to recover from this year’s disasters and mitigate future damages. 

The governor’s budget proposal includes a partnership between state and local governments to manage the high cost of this year’s natural disasters. The state already offers some assistance, but Noem says local governments have expressed concerns in the face of record-breaking damages.  

Sioux Falls Mayor Proclaims Small Business Saturday

Nov 27, 2019
Jackie Hendry

According to the Small Business Administration, 99% of businesses in South Dakota are small businesses. That includes everything from family farms to specialty boutiques.

In Sioux Falls, Mayor Paul TenHaken issued a formal proclamation recognizing tomorrow as Small Business Saturday.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving has been an occasion to support local and small businesses for about ten years. But after the press conference at Luca—an Italian leather goods store in downtown Sioux Falls--Mayor TenHaken practiced what he proclaimed.

Dakota Wesleyan University

Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell is going global with its first international recruitment office in Nigeria.

Dakota Wesleyan is hoping to capitalize on partnerships with one of Africa’s fastest-growing countries.

Dakota Wesleyan has a long history of hosting international students. Dr. John Ifediora graduated from Dakota Wesleyan in 1979. After working as a professor in the University of Wisconsin System, he’s now on faculty at American University in D.C. He’s also leading Dakota Wesleyan’s first international recruitment office in his home country.

Jackie Hendry

  Note: This story originally aired on 11/12/19

Ten employers and more than 70 inmates participated in the Second Chance Job Fair at the South Dakota State Penitentiary. The event helps men who are currently incarcerated prepare for the next chapter of life and envision a place in their community beyond the penitentiary.

This is the first job fair of its kind at the penitentiary, and it’s the result of nearly six months of partnerships and preparation.

Jackie Hendry

On Sunday, the new Avera Addiction Care Center in Sioux Falls is hosting a community open house. The voluntary 28-day treatment center offers a variety of treatments for alcohol and drug addiction.

But the new center also highlights the importance of community in the healing process.

Avera used to refer up to 25 patients a month to residential addiction recovery facilities—some of them hundreds of miles away. Assistant Vice President for Avera Behavioral Health Services Thomas Otten says that’s one of the reasons this new addiction care center is here now.

The American Cancer Society estimates more than four-thousand South Dakotans will receive a cancer diagnosis this year. But that’s not the only number advocates bring to elected officials to make the case for research funding.

During its annual South Dakota Policy Luncheon, the state American Cancer Society chapter highlighted the economic impact of cancer research. 

In the last fiscal year, the National Institute of Health invested nearly $24 million in South Dakota. That resulted in $71 million of new economic activity, and more than 500 jobs.

Jackie Hendry

Education majors at Augustana University have the opportunity to experience cutting-edge classroom tools through Makerspace workshops. Robots, iPads and circuit boards help students of any level engage with a variety of subjects in a way that feels like play.

The three Makerspace workshops this semester are financed with the Oliver Innovation Fund through Augustana to encourage creativity throughout the university. Assistant Professor of education Michelle Powers applied for the grant to help future teachers learn to incorporate Makerspace in their classrooms.

In The Moment ... November 7, 2019 Show 696 Hour 2

Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA therapy, is one of the most effective treatments for children with autism. But South Dakota families lost health insurance coverage for the expensive therapy earlier this year. After a bill to require coverage failed in the last legislative session, the state added ABA therapy to its benchmark plan under the Affordable Care Act for 2021, leaving a one-year coverage gap.

Jenifer Jones

Six nursing homes in South Dakota closed over the last year and a half--including the Hudson Care and Rehab Center within the last month. The closures are driven by low Medicaid reimbursement rates from the state. 

The legislature approved a 10% reimbursement increase earlier this year. But testimony during last week's Government Operations and Audit Committee meeting shows the problem is far from solved. 

Brady Mayer

Haunted Houses are serious business. Just ask the volunteers at Jaycees FEARgrounds in Sioux Falls. 

Haunted attractions are an industry---spawning national conferences, associations, and even safety certifications. However, a good scare can offer camaraderie, whether you’re the one giving or receiving the spook. 

We stand in line at  the Jaycees FEAR-grounds, and there’s no ignoring the screams of other visitors deep within the haunted house. To distract myself, I check in with my friends Brady Mayer and Megan Gayer.

Jackie Hendry

A language program on the Pine Ridge reservation is teaching a new generation to speak Lakota. That work is starting with the youngest voices and providing new preschool opportunities in a part of the state where early childhood education is limited.

The Lakota Immersion Preschool began as a small daycare in Peter Hill’s home. 

“It was my daughter and four other kids, and we operated like that for the first year.”

That was in 2012. 

In The Moment ... October 17, 2019 Show 681 Hour 2

SDPB Health and Education reporter Jackie Hendry joins Lori Walsh to preview the discussion on early childhood education (Pre-K) on SDPB-TV's South Dakota Focus with Stephanie Rissler.

Education and healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Regional Health, helping patients and communities live well

Sioux Falls Teacher Surprised with $25,000 Award

Oct 17, 2019
Jackie Hendry

The Milken Educator Award is known as “the Oscars of Teaching.” Each year a task force appointed by each state’s department of education considers teachers who go above and beyond in their classrooms. The recipients are then surprised with a 25-thousand dollar award.

Wednesday morning, a high school teacher in Sioux Falls joined the ranks of Milken Educators across the nation. 

Jackie Hendry

The Head Start program serves pre-school kids and their families across the country. It’s often one of the only preschool options in rural areas. The goal? To help get kids from low-income households ready for school. However, in one central South Dakota town, a partnership between Head Start and the local school district is providing  preschool for any child.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The South Dakota Supreme Court ended its term with a hearing on Mid-Central Educational Cooperative’s handling of federal GEAR UP funds. The lawsuit in question followed investigations into Mid-Central business manager Scott Westerhuis, who murdered his family and set his house on fire before killing himself in 2015.

The case considers if two former GEAR UP students can be considered third-party beneficiaries of the contracts between the South Dakota Department of Education, Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, and the American Indian Institute for Innovation. 

South Dakota Board of Regents

Fall enrollment for full-time equivalent students at South Dakota’s six public universities is down three percent. That’s nearly a full percentage point lower than last fall. This is the fifth year in a row fall enrollment has shown a decrease in full-time students. 

The Board of Regents is the governing body over the state’s public universities. BOR Executive Director and CEO Paul Beran says the decline in students signals a strong job market that encourages some students to choose the workforce over education.

Jackie Hendry

South Dakota is no stranger to public art on a monumental scale. From the four presidential faces on Mt Rushmore to the Dignity statue overlooking the Missouri River, these pieces become part of a state’s broader identity.  



An estimate from the Sioux Falls School District shows about 350 children per year exceed federal poverty limits to attend Head Start, but preschool is too expensive for their families. The Sioux Falls Hope Coalition is a non-profit that partners with pre-schools and local businesses to provide that opportunity. With 150 students enrolled in pre-k in its third year, the Coalition’s leadership believes it won’t be long before it can give all Sioux Falls students a chance to prepare for kindergarten.

South Dakota Department of Health

The South Dakota Department of Health has confirmed two cases of mumps in southeastern South Dakota. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed 30 cases in bordering parts of the state. Many of those Nebraska cases were traced to people attending a wedding. 

Avera Health Communications Coordinator Nathan Johnson says at least one of the mumps cases is in Yankton County, but Avera has not seen any cases at their hospital.

In The Moment ... August 21, 2019 Show 642 Hour 2

The Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum continued Tuesday in Sioux City, Iowa. SDPB's Jackie Hendry provides coverage of the event on In The Moment.


In The Moment ... August 20, 2019 Show 641 Hour 1

The Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum is taking place in Sioux City through today. SDPB's Jackie Hendrie spends the hour reporting on the first day of the gathering named for LaMere, an activist, Nebraska lawmaker and seven-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Matt Kapust, courtesy of Sanford Underground Research Facility

Researchers at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead say they’ve taken a huge step forward in the quest to confirm the existence of dark matter. Late last month, they finished assembling the key piece of the LUX-ZEPLIN experiment’s xenon detector. 

Proving the existence of dark matter requires enough precision to catch two flashes of light that would be undetectable to human eyes. Scientists believe those flashes happen if a dark matter particle collides with a xenon atom.  

Augustana University is partnering with Flandreau Indian School and the Washington Pavilion for a project that brings Native American perspectives into historical archives. Augustana is one of 25 independent colleges in the country to win a grant for the Humanities Research for the Public Good initiative. 

Photographs and other documents in archival collections may include Native Americans, but these items are rarely created by Native Americans.

“—and that’s a huge discrepancy in terms of representation of a population that has been silenced in a way.”

Jackie Hendry

Less than a year after Sioux Falls voters approved a $190-million bond for three new schools, the district breaks ground on its new high school. Thomas Jefferson High School is set to open in time for the 2021 school year. City and district leaders say the occasion marks growth not just for Sioux Falls, but for the entire state. 


In The Moment News is a new podcast recaping news of the week. Find it every Friday afternoon.

USD School of Education

During his time as dean of the University of South Dakota's School of Education, Donald Easton-Brooks formed a partnership with the Sioux Falls School District to launch the Teacher Pathway Program, which seeks to recruit a diverse pool of future teachers from its own student body. Easton-Brooks is a scholar of education policy and culturally responsive teaching. His book Ethnic Matching: Success of Students of Color was released earlier this year.