The reorganization of South Dakota’s Cooperative Extension Service won’t be easy.
Not only is Extension a valuable resource for farmers and ag professionals, but it’s also a tradition dating back generations.
The restructuring, announced recently by Barry Dunn, dean of the School of Agriculture at South Dakota State University in Brookings, will move Extension Services from county-by-county service to regional centers and offer more online service.
Right sentiment, wrong idea
Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s patriotic heart was in the right place when he offered to use state resources to keep Mount Rushmore open in the event of a federal government shutdown.
He didn’t want to rain on the tourism that is so important to our state by closing the monument gates — especially when some people plan trips far in advance, travel great distances and can’t easily return at another time.
New courtroom policy will mean no change in practice
The South Dakota Supreme Court has approved a new policy regarding cameras and electronic recording equipment in trial-level courtrooms, but the result will be no change from the present.
A bit of background: In 2001, the state Supreme Court decided to allow cameras and other recording devices into its courtrooms. Policies were established, including the use of “pool” equipment (one TV camera that all TV stations would share). The decision has been declared a broad success.
We were surprised last week to learn that, if you should end up with a counterfeit bill, you really are out of luck.
An Aberdeen woman found out the hard way. After she discovered she was in possession of a fake $100 bill, she tried to return it to the bank where she said she got it. The bank, First State Bank of Warner, refused to accept it.
Senate Bill 104 requires each school district to develop a policy prohibiting bullying that meets certain requirements.
Senate Bill 118 expands Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women and to provide an appropriation.
Senate Bill 149 establishes policies for youth athletes with concussions resulting from participation in sports.
As state leaders wrestle with competing plans to plug South Dakota’s budget deficit, now is the time for legislators literally to put money where their mouths are.
Do more to track victims before granting clemency
Former Gov. Mike Rounds did not receive all the necessary information when he granted clemency for a convicted killer in late December.
So he has done what he can to try and remedy that. Acting upon a recommendation from state corrections officials, Rounds granted clemency to Joaquin Jack Ramos, who had been sentenced to life in prison after shooting his fiancee, Debbie Martines, during a drunken fit of rage.
Ramos had been a model prisoner, according to the recommendation, prompting Rounds to reduce his life sentence and make Ramos eligible for parole in 2013.
Inmate workers cut costs
State corrections officials have assigned some inmates to work on the construction of a new minimum-security prison in Rapid City.
It’s a simple concept that should be put to greater use.
Putting inmates to work supports rehabilitation of prisoners while saving taxpayers money.
Proposed cut to education funding is just too much
Funding for K-12 public education shouldn’t be seen as untouchable, but it does deserve special consideration when compared with other state-funded services.
So it’s disappointing to see the final budget proposal of Gov. Mike Rounds’ administration fail to acknowledge that distinction.
Heed public’s will on ban
Today’s a great day for South Dakota.
Because the state’s smoking ban extends to almost all remaining indoor businesses, employees in bars, restaurants and casinos will be able to breathe fresh air.
South Dakota’s new Republican congresswoman, Kristi Noem, won a hard-fought battle by a hair, defeating U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin by a mere 2 percent of the vote.
Conservative West River voters tipped the scales in Noem’s favor as election night wore on, prompting Noem to proclaim: “My heart is in West River.”
Hill City paleontologist Peter Larson has sounded an ominous warning about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. He fears construction of the oil pipeline will destroy fossils, which are especially abundant in Harding County.
Larson knows what he’s talking about when it comes to fossils. He was the first to identify bone fragments found near Faith in 1990 as a Tyrannosaurus rex.
Booster seats should be required in South Dakota
South Dakota is one of only three states without a law mandating the use of child booster seats.
That embarrassing distinction borders on child neglect. Last week, it also, prompted the National Transportation Safety Board to call for a change.
Cabin shouldn’t be perk
A unique piece of South Dakota history named Valhalla sits in the middle of Custer State Park. For many years, use of this historically-significant summer home of a former South Dakota governor and U.S. senator, Peter Norbeck, has been restricted to a select few South Dakotans — mostly governors and their inner circle of family, friends and colleagues.
We think that’s wrong and urge Gov. Mike Rounds and Custer State Park officials to change the policy.
Good use for distillers grain
The push for a homegrown, sustainable, renewable form of energy has made the production of ethanol a hit in many rural states. Farmers like it because the production of ethanol provides a couple of uses for the corn they grow.
The first is the production of ethanol itself while the second is a byproduct of ethanol production, dried distillers grain, which is often used as feed for livestock.
When Gov. Mike Rounds reorganized his Cabinet offices in 2003, he had a good idea. He combined the Department of Tourism, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the state-tribal relations office, the history and cultural affairs branches and the South Dakota Housing Authority under one new superagency.
Its new name became the state Department of Tourism and State Development. The goal was to bring together the overlapping interests and provide a coordinated approach.
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