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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program land in the Dakotas and Montana in response to drought. Perdue says that without alternative forage options, ranchers could be devastated economically. The emergency grazing is authorized to begin immediately, and extends through Sept. 30 unless conditions improve. Parts of all three states are experiencing severe or extreme drought.
MELLETTE (AP) — A school in Mellette is the second in South Dakota to allow approved employees to carry guns. The American News reports that the Northwestern Area School Board approved the move unanimously this month. South Dakota lawmakers passed a school sentinel law in 2013, a few months after the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. The Tri-Valley School District last summer became the first district in the state to take advantage of the law.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's attorney general blocked state-funded travel to Texas and three other states on Thursday in response to what he considers anti-LGBT rights laws enacted this year.
PIERRE (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Thune says drought aid is coming to ranchers with cattle in six counties of South Dakota. Thune said Thursday the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates those counties are now categorized as being in extreme drought. That triggers three months of payments under the Livestock Forage Program to eligible producers with grazing livestock. The counties are Campbell, Dewey, Walworth, Potter, McPherson and Edmunds. Thune says grazing livestock producers who experience extreme drought need quick assistance to provide additional feed and grazing.
TEA (AP) — The organization responsible for a system that delivers water to towns and rural water systems in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota has awarded a contract to construct a pipeline. The Lewis and Clark Regional Water System board of directors said Thursday that a roughly $2.2 million contract has been awarded to Winter Brothers Underground, of Sioux Falls, to construct the 3.8-mile MCWC-East service line along Six Mile Road in southeastern Sioux Falls.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says cuts to Medicaid in the U.S. Senate Republicans' health care bill may be the sole opportunity to reduce the federal deficit in Congress. The Republican governor told the Argus Leader on Thursday that cutting Medicaid funding for low-income Americans could offer savings the government needs. Senate Republicans released their plan the same day to eliminate much of former President Barack Obama's health care law.
WILMOT (AP) — A Big Stone City man hurt in a vehicle crash Monday has died of his injuries. The Highway Patrol says 77-year-old Roland Karels lost control of his vehicle on state Highway 123 Monday afternoon and it overturned south of Wilmot. Karels was flown to a Sioux Falls hospital, where he died Wednesday.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A federal judge says a lawsuit brought by a student expelled from a Sioux Falls university for an alleged sexual assault that was later dismissed can move forward. Koh Evan Tsuruta (sur-OO'-tah) is seeking unspecified damages from Augustana University for loss of educational opportunities, emotional injury and loss of future income. He alleges that the university employees handling his case weren't properly trained in investigating and adjudicating allegations of rape.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether says he will not seek the U.S. House seat being vacated by Kristi Noem. Huether's second term as mayor ends next May, and there had been some speculation that he might make a run for Congress. He announced Wednesday that he will not do so, despite encouragement "from folks all across the great state of South Dakota." Huether did not say what his plans are after he leaves the mayor's office. The one-time Democrat announced earlier this year that he was changing his affiliation to independent.
CASTLEWOOD (AP) — Storms caused extensive damage to a senior living facility in Castlewood. The Associated Press reports the Castlewood Assisted Living facility was evacuated when hail and strong winds moved through the area Wednesday night. Hamlin County sheriff's officials are advising against travel in the community because of so many downed trees and power lines. The storm temporarily knocked out power in the area.