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Victoria Wicks

Climate activist Greta Thunberg attracted a large crowd to Rapid City's Memorial Park on Monday, Oct. 7. Part of the focus was stopping the Keystone XL pipeline.

At that same time, environmental and federal lawyers were preparing for a hearing in Montana that happens on Wednesday, Oct. 9. There a federal judge will consider placing an injunction on construction of the pipeline.

One of the rally organizers talks about the importance of the Montana hearing with SDPB's Victoria Wicks.

Victoria Wicks

An engineer with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources testified for hours on Thursday, Oct. 3, in Pierre. The Water Management Board is hearing testimony to determine if the state's water can be used for the Keystone XL pipeline.

During the hearing, two children named as intervenors came forth to cross-examine the witness but were not allowed. Their mother, also an intervenor, took up their case and then did the cross herself.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks is in Pierre covering this hearing.

Victoria Wicks

Two people spoke this morning during the public testimony segment on water use for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The state Water Management Board is hearing five days of testimony in October, two of them Thursday and Friday, Oct. 3-4, and the other three at the end of the month.

One of the people testifying says it's time to put an end to the use of fossil fuels before time runs out.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports from Pierre.

SD Department of Corrections

The South Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments for a shorter sentence on Tuesday, Oct. 1, from a murderer who was 17 years old when he committed the crime.

As his sentence now stands, Carlos Quevedo comes up for parole when he's 62 years old. He wants the court to expand the leniency for juvenile offenders established in a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court opinion, Miller v. Alabama.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

SD Department of Corrections

One year ago Chance Harruff was convicted of strangling his former girlfriend in her home at Dallas, S.D.

Prior to her murder, she had told friends and relatives details about the abusive relationship. Several of them were called to testify at trial.

The defendant appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court, saying the jury was prejudiced against him after hearing too many witnesses testify to the same details.

The high court heard the case on Monday, Sept. 30.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

SD Department of Corrections

A property owner in Hamlin County says the sheriff there destroyed his trailer house in an unreasonable search.

The sheriff says he has immunity for damages caused when he's just doing his job.

A lower court refused to issue a summary judgment, saying it's a question for a jury, and the sheriff appeals that decision to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court will issue a decision at a later date.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports on this case.

Kristina Barker, Wall Street Journal, PBS

Stanley Patrick Weber was convicted Friday, Sept. 27, of 11 counts of sexual abuse against four Pine Ridge boys who were his patients. The former Indian Health Services pediatrician was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney, and trial took place in the federal courthouse in Rapid City.

Weber was previously convicted in Montana of similar charges and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Weber's crimes garnered national attention, in particular in a joint investigation by PBS's Frontline and the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. Attorney

Stanley Patrick Weber was convicted on Friday, Sept. 27, of 11 counts of sexual abuse against four Pine Ridge boys who were his patients.

The former Indian Health Services pediatrician was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office, and the trial took place in the federal courthouse in Rapid City.

Weber was previously found guilty in Montana of similar charges and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks sat through the trial and reported during the week.

SD Department of Corrections

The execution date for South Dakota inmate Charles Rhines is set for the week of Nov. 3. The warden will announce an exact day and time 48 hours ahead of time.

Rhines is seeking clemency from the governor and wants mental health experts to examine him to bolster his case. The prison warden has refused to allow it, and a federal circuit court upheld the warden's position.

Rhines took the issue to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis on Thursday, Sept. 26.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Testimony has ended in the federal trial of Stanley Patrick Weber, the former IHS pediatrician accused of sexually assaulting Native boys at Pine Ridge. The trial started Monday, Sept. 23, in Rapid City.

Seven witnesses testified that Weber raped them or made sexual contact with them when they were under the age of 16, going as far back as 1995. All of them are now grown men. Weber is charged with crimes in South Dakota against only four of them.

Weber has chosen not to testify.

PBS Frontline

Jurors in the trial against Stanley Weber heard testimony on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from two men from Montana. They say the former IHS pediatrician sexually assaulted them when they were boys.

Weber faces similar charges in South Dakota from his time at Pine Ridge.

One of the Montana men was transported to Rapid City by federal prison officials from Kentucky, but the other did not answer his subpoena. The parties circumvented the problem with a courtroom version of readers' theater.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

Tuesday, Sept. 24, was the second day of the trial against Stanley Patrick Weber, and we'll start with a warning: This story contains language necessary to tell of allegations of child sexual abuse.

Three men took the stand and testified that the former Indian Health Services pediatrician raped them when they were children. Their stories are similar: Weber first had contact with them when they were patients at the IHS clinic at Pine Ridge.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

A jury has been selected in the trial of a former Indian Health Services pediatrician accused of sexually assaulting young male patients.

The trial began Monday, Sept. 23, at the federal courthouse in Rapid City.

According to federal prosecutors, Stanley Weber, now 70, served at Pine Ridge IHS between 1995 and 2001.

Prosecutors say Weber gained access to children when they were patients in his clinic and eventually invited them to his home, where he gave them food, alcohol, and money, grooming them for sexual activity. The boys ranged in age from 9 to late teens.

Buffalo Chip Campground near Sturgis became Buffalo Chip City in 2015, after local voters approved the move and the Secretary of State filed the papers.

The city of Sturgis and local landowners challenged the process, but the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled that it's up to the state to challenge incorporation.

And so it did, and a Fourth Circuit judge ruled for the state and nullified Buffalo Chip's status as a municipality.

News: Sep 14 - 20

Sep 20, 2019
SDPB

Welcome to this week’s news podcast. This week you’ll hear about The Oglala Lakota Tribe becoming the first in the region to pass laws adding protections for LGBT people, House Minority Whip Erin Healy and House Speaker Steve Haugaard join us to talk pre-k, the Political Junkies discuss STAR Academy and more.

Wikimedia

Many of the provisions of South Dakota's new riot boosting laws have now been put on hold. Federal Judge Lawrence Piersol issued a preliminary injunction on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The order prohibits the governor and attorney general from enforcing aspects of the legislation passed in 2019, as well as two old statutes criminalizing the support of activists whose conduct turns violent.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks

One of the defendants in a lawsuit against South Dakota's newly-enacted "riot boosting" law has been dismissed. That order came out on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom was listed as a defendant along with Governor Kristi Noem and Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

ACLU filed suit on behalf of indigenous and environmental activists who say the law squelches their right to free speech.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

The President of the United States has the ongoing treaty obligation to protect tribes and their land from damage and encroachment. That's the argument made by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community in a federal courtroom in Great Falls, Mont., on Thursday, Sept. 12.

The tribes have sued President Donald Trump and other federal agencies for giving TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline to cross the U.S./Canada border into Montana.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Department of Corrections

In January 2007, Brad Reay was convicted of killing his wife by stabbing her more than three dozen times and slashing her throat.

He enlisted his twin brother in a failed attempt to frame his wife's lover for the murder.

At trial, he tried to convince the jury that his young daughter had committed the crime.

On Tuesday, Aug. 27, Reay tried to convince the South Dakota Supreme Court that his trial attorney should have hired experts.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

A lawyer for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe says the Keystone XL pipeline presents the same threats to Indian Country as did wagon trains and the transcontinental railroad.

Rosebud and Fort Belknap Indian Community have sued President Donald J. Trump for violating treaties when he issued a permit for the pipeline earlier this year.

A hearing on the issue has been set in Montana Federal Court for Sept. 12.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

In other Keystone XL news, the Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld that state's granting of a permit for the pipeline.

NARF

A federal judge in Montana will hear arguments on Sept. 12 on the merits of a lawsuit brought by tribes against President Donald J. Trump.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community hold that the president unconstitutionally violated treaties when he issued a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year.

TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, filed a motion asking Federal Judge Brian Morris to dismiss the case.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks

The history of bison in North America isn't just the story of an indigenous animal. Its existence is tied politically, economically, and spiritually to the indigenous people.

This story is told in a traveling exhibit at the Journey Museum in Rapid City. The exhibit opened with a reception this weekend. "Bison" is on display through Oct. 14.

The traveling exhibit was created by the Kauffman Museum in Kansas, in conjunction with the National Buffalo Foundation.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

Victoria Wicks

This week the Black Hills is hosting an international conference on indigenous water rights and protection. This is the third gathering of the Mni Ki Wakan World Indigenous Peoples Decade of Water.

One of the keynote speakers is Kelsey Leonard, a lawyer from the Shinnacock Indian Nation.

She told participants on Tuesday, Aug. 13, that indigenous people need to find their own political power and fight for equal participation under international law.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

Victoria Wicks

South Dakota farmers have suffered some weird weather this year, with late snows, a cold spring, and lots of rain. The weather has affected not only major crops but also produce from truck farms that supply the state's farmers markets.

The Black Hills market in Rapid City has lots of produce now, but much of it arrived late, and some crops failed completely.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks talks with a couple of producers to find out how they fared.

Photo by Victoria Wicks

This weekend, July 20 and 21, people gathered at Sioux San in Rapid City to celebrate the opening of the Oyate Health Center.

At midnight Saturday, the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board assumed primary control of management at the Indian Health Services facility.

The celebration started with a reception at 11 p.m. and a ribbon cutting and smudging ceremony an hour later.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

A South Dakota Water Management Board meeting ended abruptly on Wednesday, July 17, after a commenter yelled at the board, and the chairman called for a motion to adjourn. The board met to plan future hearings on water permits for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The business end took about an hour, and then public comments extended the hearing another hour.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

The family of murder victim Donnivan Schaeffer has waited 27 years for justice. Schaeffer was killed in March 1992 when he walked into his Rapid City workplace and found Charles Rhines burglarizing the donut shop.

Now a Seventh Circuit judge has issued a warrant for Rhines' execution to occur in early November.

After the warrant hearing held Tuesday, June 25, Donnivan's mother, Peggy Schaeffer, talked about her son and what his loss has meant to the family.

file photo John Murphy

Charles Rhines is one of two inmates on death row in South Dakota, and if his last appeals fail, he will die in November.

In a short hearing in Rapid City on Tuesday, June 25, a judge granted a warrant of execution while Rhines watched by a videoconference hookup from prison.

Rhines was sentenced to death in 1993 for murdering 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer, an employee of the donut shop Rhines was robbing.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has more of this report.

In the Moment News: June 15-21

Jun 21, 2019
SDPB

SDPB's David Scott reports on Representative Dusty Johnson's Feed Act. We go over the annual Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E Casey Foundation with Carole Cochrane. Talk about a picture that created havoc at this year's Girls State with Dakota Political Junkies Noel Hamiel and Jon Hunter. Cory Heidelberger explains his petitions aimed to protect the ballot question process. SDPB's Chynna Lockett reports on the opening of the Thunder Valley Community Center.

 

Victoria Wicks

South Dakota's "riot boosting" laws faced judicial scrutiny on Wednesday, June 12, in a Rapid City federal courtroom.

The riot boosting law that was passed in the 2019 legislative session works with old rioting laws to threaten protestors and their supporters with criminal and civil penalties.

Opponents say the laws violate free speech.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks was in the courtroom.

To hear long coverage of the riot boosting legislation, click on this link:

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