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File photo Texas Attorney General

The legal status of the Indian Child Welfare Act is again going before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2018, a Texas federal court found the Act known as ICWA to be unconstitutional.

But this summer a panel of three Fifth Circuit judges reversed that finding. Now the full panel of appellate judges will hear the case, with oral arguments tentatively scheduled for the week of Jan. 20.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has more.

SD Department of Corrections

The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the 2007 conviction of an inmate convicted of murdering his wife in Pierre in February 2006.

Brad Reay says his trial lawyer should have called forensic experts to bolster his claim that his adolescent daughter committed the murder.

But the high court says Reay's lawyer used solid strategy.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Chris McLaughery, SDPB

The South Dakota Supreme Court ruled in January 2018 that an oversized house built in a Sioux Falls historic district must be torn down.

Now the high court has been asked to determine if the state-law definition of "damages," for insurance purposes, includes the cost of construction and demolition of that new house.

The question comes out of a lawsuit in U.S. Federal Court, where the homeowners are suing Liberty Mutual.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this ongoing story.

SD Legislative Research Council

South Dakota's Water Management Board is holding hearings on the Keystone XL pipeline during the week when a Keystone oil spill in North Dakota is making national news.

Reports say 383,000 gallons of oil spilled before containment, contaminating wetlands but not drinking water.

State Senator Troy Heinert told the board on Thursday, Oct. 31, that he's concerned about potential damage to South Dakota's agriculture and tourism industries if water is polluted.

Victoria Wicks

The Water Management Board has set certain guidelines to consider water use for the Keystone XL pipeline. The board is hearing one legal consideration at a time for each of three rivers individually.

On this fourth day of hearings, testimony still centers on the first consideration, water quantity and availability.

However, when a witness is not available to come back for each of the considerations, he or she can be heard out of turn and address such topics as public good and beneficial use.

Wednesday morning started with one such witness.

Victoria Wicks

South Dakota Water Management Board hearings continued on Tuesday, Oct. 29, to determine if water should be allocated to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Two initial days of hearings took place at the beginning of the month.

A witness for TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, spent much of the day on the stand, agreeing with conclusions of a DENR engineer who has recommended issuing the permit.

Toward the end of the day, a witness from the Yankton Sioux Tribe stepped up, and the hearing took a contentious turn.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

Victoria Wicks file photo

South Dakota Water Management Board is hearing three more days of arguments for and against water use for the Keystone XL pipeline project. Those hearings start Tuesday, Oct. 29, in Pierre.

Permit requests come from TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, and from landowners who will host pipe yards and worker camps.

Two days of hearings have already been held earlier this month. This second round is scheduled to last through Thursday.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

SD Department of Corrections

Death-row inmate Charles Rhines has exhausted his direct appeals in court and is scheduled to die sometime in the first week of November.

But his attorneys are still working on a couple of potential legal roadblocks.

Rhines goes to court on Tuesday, Oct. 29, in Sioux Falls to challenge drug protocols.

And an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals panel says he can still plead for leniency from the governor.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks

The state has settled a lawsuit against its riot-boosting laws passed at the end of the 2019 legislative session. Those statutes are designed to hold activists and organizations civilly and criminally liable if protests turn violent.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline was the catalyst for the legislative action.

Last month a federal judge placed a temporary injunction against unconstitutional portions of the laws. If the judge accepts the settlement, the injunction becomes permanent.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

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.

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