Native Americans in South Dakota are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. But the state Secretary of Tribal Relations says the virus is NOT the biggest healthcare issue tribes are facing.

Secretary David Flute is a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and is part of Governor Kristi Noem’s administration. He told the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary Club that his office has received complaints from tribal citizens about lockdowns and checkpoints related to the pandemic.  He says the methamphetamine problem is the biggest healthcare crisis tribal nations in the state are facing.  

News: Dec 14 - 20

Dec 20, 2019

In this week’s South Dakota news, we'll learn about how Governor Kristi Noem wants lawmakers to approve more than three and a half million dollars for intensive meth treatment and enforcement. Her request comes just weeks after the state debuted a campaign called "Meth. We're On It." Some say treatment is not enough.

State Advertising Group Responds To Meth Campaign

Nov 20, 2019

The South Dakota Advertising Federation is responding to the state’s new meth prevention campaign.

The campaign is drawing widespread criticism across media landscapes, but state officials say they were looking for an ad agency that would get noticed.

In a statement delivered the day after the “Meth. We’re On It” public service announcement premiered, the South Dakota Advertising Federation wants to remind the public the state awarded a large advertising budget to an out-of-state company.

Dakota Political Junkies: Interim Studies

Apr 3, 2019

In The Moment ... April 3, 2019 Show 548 Hour 2

The South Dakota Legislature will conduct interim studies of industrial hemp and the meth epidemic as they look ahead to the 2020 session.

And, Representative Scyller Borlum is traveling the state and talking with people about how to make education in rural South Dakota more accessible.

Rapid City Journal

In The Moment ... October 17. 2018 Show 443 Hour 2

Incarcerating people struggling with addiction is not only expensive, it's proving to be ineffective. It's a situation certain to become worse as the meth and opioid epidemics sweep the nation.

South Dakota News Watch journalist Bart Pfankuch has written about the dramatic growth of female inmate numbers. He joined In The Moment to talk about his investigation.

In The Moment ... January 22, 2018 Show 260 Hour 1

As we enter the third week of the 2018 South Dakota legislative session, we continue to catch up with state leaders for a look at their legislative priorities. Today, we welcome South Dakota Secretary of Corrections Denny Kaemingk

He began his career as a patrolman in Mitchell and was appointed to his current position in 2011 by Governor Dennis Daugaard.

Meth Arrests Up in South Dakota

Nov 1, 2017

South Dakota officials says meth arrests are up by thirty two percent, statewide, from this time last year.

Several counties experienced a substantial increase in meth arrests, including Minnehaha, Pennington, Fall River and Oglala Lakota counties.

Bryan Gortmaker is the Director of the Division of Criminal Investigation with the Attorney General’s office in South Dakota.

He says law enforcement has only busted six meth labs this year. He says that means most of the meth is trafficked into the state.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard says he wants the legislature to update the state’s wiretapping laws.

The move is part of an overall attempt to address the state's methamphetamine epidemic. Daugaard says the update allows police to monitor drug trafficking.

Daugaard says right now law enforcement can use court orders to tap into landline phones.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s governor says he wants to fight methamphetamine by punishing bad behavior and reinforcing the good.

Governor Dennis Daugaard says he wants to offer incentives to beat addiction. He says he supports allowing offenders who complete court-ordered treatment in a year one opportunity to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor. Daugaard says he also supports mandatory jail time for people on probation or parole who fail drug tests.

South Dakota Eligible For National Grant

Nov 3, 2016
Youth & Family Services Inc.

Receiving funds for a charitable organization can be tough work. Usually you have to rely on private donations or various government funding. But one Rapid City group is asking for help on the national stage.

The State Farm Insurance Company is giving away Neighborhood Assist grants to charities across the nation. Over 2,000 submissions were narrowed down to 200 and now people can vote online for the causes.  Each of the top 40 groups will receive a $25,000 grant.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Sioux Falls doctor says insurance status often dictates resources available for meth users who want to break free from the drug. Health leaders say meth is a dangerous substance with devastating physical, mental, and social ramifications.

A typical poster condemning meth use displays a disheveled person with a miserable gaze, ashen skin and open sores. Doctor Jennifer Tinguely with Falls Community Health in Sioux Falls says meth affects every system of the body. She says the drug triggers a rush of hormones including dopamine, adrenaline, and serotonin.

Charles Michael Ray

Erik Bringswhite is a former Rapid City gang member who now works to stop meth use in South Dakota.  Bringswhite uses Lakota culture and spirituality to reach out to those who are struggling with addiction.

Bringswhite is a meth prevention coordinator with the Oglala Sioux Tribe.   He stopped by the Rapid City studio for an interview with a group of individuals working to curb the use of the addictive drug in the state.

Meth, according to Sgt. Dale McCabe, is a drug without barriers. McCabe has worked with the Rapid City Police Department since 1990, overseeing all violent crime cases the past eight years. Rapid City has seen a record number of homicide and violent crime cases in 2015, directly connected with increased illegal drug use. McCabe joined Dakota Midday to discuss meth, criminal justice reform, and how to the cycle of meth addiction and crime through deterrence, education and prevention.

SD Attorney General Calls For Drug Awareness Campaign

Apr 19, 2016

A South Dakota resident has died of a heroin overdose. Attorney General Marty Jackley is rolling out a meth and heroin public awareness campaign this summer. Jackley says now is the time to focus on the issue, before more problems occur.