Jackie Hendry

Lori Walsh

President Donald Trump made his first appearance in South Dakota today. He stopped in Sioux Falls for a private fundraising event in support of U.S. Representative Kristi Noem’s bid for South Dakota Governor. 

Air Force One touched down at the Sioux Falls Airport shortly after 3 p.m. A group of about 50 supporters greeted the president, who shook a few hands before heading to the motorcade.

Jackie Hendry

The rates for both suicide deaths and drug overdoses are highest in rural America, and those statistics continue to rise in South Dakota. On Thursday in Sioux Falls, Avera Health and the Department of Justice held a conference to help community members respond to the ongoing crisis. 

This is the fifth year that Avera and the DOJ have partnered for a conference on a particular topic. U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons says this year’s theme suggested itself.

Adria Botella

In The Moment ... September 6, 2018 Show 416 Hour 1

Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50—a  statistic that was not true even five years ago. In South Dakota, opioid related overdoses are also on the rise. Last year brought 10 opioid-related deaths in Minnehaha County alone, and this year that number is already higher.

The merger between Sanford Health and the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society is now set to start two months before initially scheduled. But joining two of the area’s largest employers signals a change in the healthcare industry both at home and around the country. 

Sanford Health Chief Administrative Officer Randy Bury says healthcare is an evolving industry. He says it used to be that clinics were separate from hospitals, and long-term facilities like nursing homes were separate from acute-care providers.

In The Moment ... August 9, 2018 Show 397 Hour 2 

Suicide rates continue to rise throughout the country, and here in South Dakota. How can we help our neighbors--and ourselves--as many begin to consider the state to be in a mental health crisis.

SDPB's Jackie Hendry joins In The Moment host Lori Walsh to discuss the most recent numbers, and how two communities are responding to the growing need.

Jackie Hendry

Project Stand Up was first used to text anonymous drug tips to law enforcement. Now it’s expanding to cover concerns about school safety, making South Dakota the 7th state in the nation with such a program. 

By texting the word SAFE to the Project Stand Up number, users answer prompts about the potential threat. Those messages are monitored in real time and sent to appropriate law enforcement and school administrators.

Adria Botella

In The Moment ... July 30, 2018 Show 389 Hour 2

The school supplies are on the shelves, and changes are ahead for South Dakota High School Graduation requirements.

SDPB's Education reporter Jackie Hendry joined In The Moment with an update on the new policy. 

South Dakota Breaks Record for Suicide Deaths in 2017

Jul 24, 2018
South Dakota Department of Health

In 2017, South Dakota saw the highest number of suicides in state history. This is the second time the state has broken its own suicide record in less than five years.

The state Department of Health reports 192 South Dakotans died by suicide in 2017. State epidemiologist Dr. Josh Clayton says the last time the state broke this record was in 2015 with 173 suicide deaths.

“In 2017 we did see about 80% of the suicides from male individuals," he says. "The highest rate of suicides did come among the population of 20 to 24 year-olds.”

Adria Botella

In The Moment ... July 19, 2018 Show 382 Hour 2

If your kids are at a loss for things to do this summer, don't count out your local library.

Many South Dakota libraries are taking part in national summer programming, and the state library has just released the list of finalists for this year's Young Adult Reading Program.

SDPB's Jackie Hendry joined In The Moment with a look at what's happening around the state. 

SD Department of Education

The South Dakota Board of Education Standards unanimously approves changes to the state’s high school graduation requirements after a public hearing in Pierre. The changes allow students more flexibility without changing the number of credits required for a diploma. 

The changes include three endorsements that can be added to a student’s high school transcript. Each endorsement requires particular courses to fulfill existing credit requirements, but students don’t need to choose an endorsement in order to receive a basic high school diploma.

Lower Brule Research Wins STEM Action Grant

Jul 10, 2018
Society for Science & The Public

A group that encourages teens in Lower Brule to do community research is receiving a grant from the Society for Science & the Public. Lower Brule Research works with middle and high school students who are interested in science and culture. 

Hubers Found Not Guilty on All Counts

Jun 29, 2018
Jackie Hendry

The jury finds a defendant connected to Mid-Central Educational Cooperative not guilty on all counts. They deliberated for more than five hours before bringing the State v. Hubers trial to a close. 

The verdict brought relieved sighs from several members of Hubers’s family who were also present for the reading—as they had been for most of the trial. The case ends on Hubers’s 46th birthday, but also hours after word that her mother in law has passed away.

The jury is deliberating after hearing closing arguments for the State v. Hubers trial this morning in Sioux Falls. The defendant Stephanie Hubers is accused of receiving more than $55-thousand worth of checks from her boss Scott Westerhuis for work she didn’t perform. 

State v. Hubers Trial Update from SDPB's Jackie Hendry

Jun 28, 2018

One of the defendents connected to the Mid-Central Educational Cooperative investigation is facing trial in Sioux Falls this week. Stephanie Hubers has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of grand theft and alternate charges of receiving stolen property. SDPB's Jackie Hendry joins the program with an update on the trial. 

The State v. Hubers case continues with a denial of the defense’s motion to acquit. The motion comes after the state rests its case. 

The state’s final witnesses were the agent who interviewed Hubers after the Westerhuis deaths, two former board members at Mid-Central Educational Coop, and a founding member of the American Indian Institute of Innovation non-profit. Jurors also heard a second recorded interview between Hubers and law enforcement from early 2016—about five months after the housefire at the Westerhuis residence in Platte.

Jury Selected in First Mid-Central Trial

Jun 25, 2018

One of the defendants connected to the Mid-Central Education Cooperative investigation is facing trial in Sioux Falls this week. Stephanie Hubers has pleaded not guilty to felony charges that include grand theft or alternative counts of receiving stolen property. The jury reports Tuesday morning. 

Jackie Hendry

Every morning behind the Turtle Creek Crossing grocery store just west of Mission, South Dakota, a growing group of young people plants the seeds of a healthier community. The Rosebud Economic Development Corporation—or REDCO—is the largest employer of interns on the Rosebud Reservation. Most of their interns work in the community garden. 

Jackie Hendry

Officials with Avera health hope their new hospital on 69th and Louise in Sioux Falls becomes more than a place for patients to receive care. They’re looking to make it a gathering place for a growing community

The new hospital is set to open next year, and will include operating rooms, addiction care, a meditation room and a restaurant. The $130 million undertaking is the most expensive construction project in the history of Sioux Falls. But for now, steel beams and concrete floors only hint at what’s to come.

What is America's best loved novel? South Dakota Public Broadcasting and PBS bring you The Great American Read. The choices have been narrowed down to a list of 100 fiction books, and you can find the list and vote for your favorite here. Vote daily and tune in throughout the summer to In The Moment as we discuss books and all their many wonders. 

SDPB's Jackie Hendry took a look at the list to tell us about one of her best loved novels:

South Dakota’s rural communities often lack resources to combat drug and alcohol addiction. Thanks to a new grant, Avera Health is looking to expand its telehealth services in some under-served areas. 

The Health Resources and Services Administration is awarding Avera a $750,000  grant to expand its addiction recovery services. The project starts with the Avera clinics in Flandreau and Aberdeen.

Malia Holbeck is the outpatient manager for Avera’s addiction recovery program. She says telemedicine can help bridge the gap for areas that lack certain services.

Mary Stadick Smith

In The Moment ... June 12, 2018 Show 356 Hour 1

People stay in their careers for more than a paycheck. They seek purpose and a positive work environment, benefits and continuing education.

Mentorship can play a big role in not only improving outcomes at work, but in retaining staff. SDPB's Jackie Hendry has been exploring how mentorship works with South Dakota teachers.

DSU Media Relations

The Kennedy Space Center in Florida is hosting the first Rocket Girls Cyber Space camp later this summer for high school junior and senior girls. Of the camp’s 16 initial participants, 14 are from South Dakota. That’s largely thanks to a partnership between the new camp and the CybHER program at Dakota State University. 

Proposed changes to South Dakota’s high school graduation requirements are now open for public comment. The total number of credits are the same, but the changes could provide students more flexibility and additional opportunities for post-high school credentials. 

Sanford Announces Great Shots Golf Center

Jun 7, 2018
Jackie Hendry

Sanford Health is expanding its Sports Complex in Sioux Falls with a facility focused entirely on golf. The space will include an interactive driving range and the Sanford POWER Golf Academy. 

Sanford Health President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft says the upcoming facility is called Great Shots. He says the $12 million project will combine sports medicine research with a year-round golfing facility, restaurant, and spaces for kids and corporate meetings.

DSU Media Relations

Computer science has tended to be a male-dominated field, but Dakota State University is seeing a shift in the numbers. The school has seen a nearly 300% increase in female computer and cyber science majors over the last five years. 

The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences at DSU includes majors like cyber operations and network security and administration. Five years ago, 26 undergraduate students in the Beacom College were women. By 2017 there were just over a hundred.

How do we create communities where our children grow up to live and innovate close to home?

We bring you a special In the Moment. We break down the numbers behind generational migration. We probe the outer reaches of the battle against Brain Drain. We ask the questions: Who are we and Who are we becoming?

This hour we meet educators and innovators, business leaders, policy makers, and advocates.

South Dakota The Next Generation

USD Announces Sheila Gestring as New President

May 1, 2018
Jackie Hendry

After a nation-wide search, the University of South Dakota has a new president. USD's current chief financial officer Sheila Gestring takes over for outgoing President James Abbott in June. 

South Dakota Community Foundation

Dakota State University is receiving a $3,500 South Dakota Fund grant to support a mixed-reality teaching simulation for its education students. The Virtual Avatar Learning Experience—or VALE—gives DSU students a chance to experience classroom management before dealing with real live kids. 

The VALE at DSU is the only program of its kind in the state. During a VALE simulation, education majors stand in front of a flat screen TV that displays a classroom with five avatars representing middle-school aged students.

Heather Benson

In The Moment ... April 26, 2018 Show 324 Hour 2

Jackie Hendry is SDPB's healthcare and education reporter. She's been working on a monthlong series about international students in higher education in South Dakota.


Management of the Rapid City Indian Health Services Hospital is in the early stages of transferring from the federal government to area tribes. The Oglala Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux and Rosebud Sioux Tribes all authorize the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board to operate the facility. 

The Sioux San hospital is a secondary care unit for members of those three tribes. Poor federal inspection results and last year’s proposed closure of the inpatient and emergency departments prompted the tribes to investigate other management options.