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.

Avera Health

Avera Health plans to build an Addiction Care Center on its new campus at 69th and Louise in Sioux Falls. Avera psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Stanley says an estimated 10%-15% of the general population struggles with some kind of chemical dependency. 

Ranch Families Face Lost Cattle, Hay, Fences In Cottonwood Fire

Oct 18, 2016
Erin Fitzgerald

The Cottonwood Fire that started Sunday near Wall burned  almost 60 square miles of western South Dakota rangeland and killed more than 130 cattle.

The fire burned across both public and private land.  Local officials say about 15 families ranch in the burned area. Besides cattle losses, miles of fencing are burned and tons of hay that was set aside for winter are now gone.

Kealey Bultena

Last fall a student shot and wounded the principal at Harrisburg High School.  Last week school officials looked back to evaluate the safely plan used during that event.

They shared what changes they’ve made at the school during the Associated School Board and Administrators Convention in Sioux Falls August 5th. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The mayor of Delmont says she doesn’t know what the future holds for the small town. A tornado ripped through the southeastern South Dakota community Sunday, and community members are just starting to tackle cleanup. Below are a series of reports from the southeast South Dakota town of about 200 residents.

Past the quiet area where law enforcement officials guard the entrance to town, Delmont is a noisy place. National Guard troops use bobcats and dump trucks to clear branches and brush off the streets.

Pallid Spawning Confirmed in Mighty Mo

Jan 20, 2015
Army Corps of Engineers.

Biologists have found evidence that pallid sturgeon are breeding in the lower Missouri River. 

The fish, informally called a living fossil, can live up to 40 years and grow up to six-feet in length—as a species sturgeon once lived alongside dinosaurs.    

Today, pallid sturgeon are endangered.  So far there’s been little evidence that sturgeon were spawning in the wild.    

But, recently two pallid sturgeon in the larval stage were found near Saint Louis.     

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray reports that the finding opens a host of new scientific questions.

SD Economic Recovery Not Across The Board

Jun 10, 2014

The economic recovery following the 2008 recession is still progressing in South Dakota.   
Overall, the state’s job growth following the recession is above the national average, but some sectors of the state economy still face challenges.
SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray reports on the numbers and on the difficulty some employers face in attracting skilled labor.