Mark Vargo

Victoria Wicks file photo

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul has overturned a Rapid City federal court's finding that South Dakota agencies systematically violated the Indian Child Welfare Act.

In March 2013, tribes and parents brought a class-action suit against the state Department of Social Services, Seventh Circuit Court, and the Pennington County State's Attorney.

Federal Judge Jeffrey Viken found for the plaintiffs in a partial summary judgment, but state officials successfully appealed his decision to the Eighth Circuit.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has more of this story.

Victoria Wicks file photo

Reports of hate crimes to the FBI have gone up over the past two years. But what constitutes a hate crime is frequently misunderstood. If the intent behind a crime can be proven to be hatred of a victim for certain characteristics, that's a hate crime. But not all hateful actions are crimes.

At a recent forum in Rapid City, criminal justice officials came together to discuss hate crimes and take questions from local residents.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks

The Pennington County State's Attorney is adding four new employees to handle additional responsibilities of working with crime victims.

The expansion of county government comes on the heels of Amendment S, or Marsy's Law. It was passed by South Dakota voters and takes effect this week. The law offers rights to victims of all crimes and to some of their relatives.

Victoria Wicks

Drunk-driving laws have been on the books for more than a century. But after all those years of legislation and case law, the bugs still haven't been worked out.

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the opinion in Missouri v. McNeely. The court ruled that before compelling a blood test, law officers at routine stops have to get consent or a warrant. That changed procedures that had been in place nationwide for almost 50 years.

And it invalidated parts of states' implied consent laws, including South Dakota's.

Victoria Wicks

The American Indian population in Rapid City is about 12 percent, but Native people account for almost 60 percent of arrests. And because of societal factors such as poverty, homelessness, addiction, mental illness, and unemployment, Native people end up staying in jail when more fortunate people would be released. Tuesday SDPB’s Victoria Wicks sat in on a Native American Outreach meeting of officials in the process of applying for a MacArthur grant to fund solutions.