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.
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.
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.
Solutions getting tougher as state’s budget hole remains
On Dec. 7, Gov. Mike Rounds will make his recommendations for the 2012 state budget to the Legislature. Those recommendations will provide a starting point for the 2011 session of the South Dakota Legislature, which is staring at a budget shortfall of at least $39 million. When that shortfall is dealt with — and it will be because state law requires a balanced budget — lawmakers already know there is another $37 million projected deficit for the next (2013) budget.
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.
Job of Herseth Sandlin’s husband no laughing matter
It’s less than reassuring that U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin finds questions about her husband’s job to be “laughable.”
Max Sandlin, a former Texas congressman who married the congresswoman in 2007, is a political lobbyist.
Kristi Noem, who is challenging Herseth Sandlin for South Dakota’s only House seat, says the situation generates improper influence.
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.
Rounds’ budget cuts are a good place to start
South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds is completing his final months before leaving the governor’s chair to a new occupant. Rounds is near the end of his second term and, because of term limits, cannot seek a third consecutive term. ... The governor is tackling the projected state budget deficit for the next fiscal year and is looking for ways to help the new governor and the next Legislature deal with it.
State Fair is becoming what S.D. residents want it to be
The 125th edition of the South Dakota State Fair recently opened, and we’re pleased to see it in better financial health.
For most of the last decade, the future of the State Fair has been vigorously debated in the state Legislature. Financial troubles, scheduling challenges and the changing demographics of South Dakota all played a role.
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.
Debates will define 2010 South Dakota elections
The two highest-profile races in South Dakota this year will be defined by the joint appearances and debates by the candidates.
The State Fair is often the symbolic beginning of the intense part of campaigns in South Dakota, but the races for governor and the U.S. House of Representatives are making headlines every day in August.
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.
Same-party affiliation hinders bipartisanship in S. Dakota
News about a Sioux Falls businessman switching his political party affiliation was a small item in Tuesday’s local news cycle, but the reasons for the change should make every South Dakotan a little disappointed.
The concern isn’t that Ben Arndt, who was nominated by gubernatorial candidate Scott Heidepriem to be his running mate, officially changed from being a Republican to a Democrat in order to accept the nomination. Arndt certainly isn’t the first candidate to make that kind of switch for politically expedient reasons.
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