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DEADWOOD (AP) -- The 2013 South Dakota Festival of Books comes to Deadwood this weekend. The event running Thursday through Sunday will allow thousands of book lovers and readers to meet authors, poets, playwrights, book reviewers and media personalities in the historic Black Hills town. Festivities kick off with an author reception at 7 p.m. today at the Historic Homestake Opera House in Lead. The festival is based at the Deadwood Mountain Grand with events in several other locations in the area. Most events are free.
SIOUX FALLS -- A South Dakota task force says expanding Medicaid in the state would improve access to preventative care and lower mortality rates, but it would also overload doctors and nurses and limit the state's flexibility in expanding health coverage. The 29-member Medicaid Opportunities and Challenges Task Force, appointed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard to investigate the pros and cons of expanding Medicaid in the state, issued its final report this week.
RAPID CITY (AP) -- Groups concerned about the impact of proposed uranium mining in the Black Hills of western South Dakota are unhappy with rulings issued in advance of state public hearings next week. The state Board of Minerals and Environment and the Water Management Board each have rejected a motion to delay the state permit hearings in Rapid City until after federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission decide whether to approve Powertech Uranium Corp.'s plans.
ELK POINT (AP) -- Authorities in the southeast South Dakota city of Elk Point say an arson suspect with ties to some students prompted them to lock down the building for a couple of hours. KDLT-TV reports Elk Point-Jefferson School was put on lockdown around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday as a precaution after a house fire was intentionally set. Authorities say the suspect has family ties to students at the school. Police Chief Ryan Fleek and school Superintendent Brian Shanks say students were not under any immediate danger and classes were held as normal.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The deadly attack at the Washington Navy Yard was carried out by one of the military's own: a defense contract employee and former Navy reservist who used a valid pass to get onto the installation and started firing inside a building, killing 12 people before he was slain in a gun battle with police. The motive for the mass shooting — the deadliest on a military installation in the U.S. since the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 — was a mystery, investigators said.
SIOUX FALLS — A 1950s-style throwback basketball court with a dark parquet floor and retro scoreboards is the centerpiece of a $19 million indoor athletic complex set to open in Sioux Falls next month. The Sanford Pentagon will make its prime-time debut Oct. 10 with an NBA preseason game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Milwaukee Bucks at the 3,250-seat Heritage Court.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Police say at least 12 people have died in the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said during a news conference Monday that 12 people were confirmed dead. Lanier says people are being told to stay in their homes and out of the area as authorities search for two other possible suspects. One of the shooters has died. The police chief says officers are searching for two other people with firearms wearing military-style uniforms. She says there is no indication of a possible motive at this time. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE.
PIERRE — Scattered across South Dakota, mostly on lightly traveled gravel roads, 127 bridges carry dual designations that indicate they have problems. The bridges are deemed "fracture critical" because they don't have redundant protections and are at risk of collapse if a single vital component fails. They also are designated "structurally deficient," in need of rehabilitation or replacement because at least one major component has problems that have led inspectors to rate their condition as poor or worse.
RAPID CITY (AP) — A 30-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder after being indicted by a federal grand jury in the stabbing death of man outside an Eagle Butte bar. The Rapid City Journal reported witnesses told authorities they saw Jared Slader fight with Lester Peneaux outside the Golden Rule Bar in the early morning hours of Aug. 31. According to documents, Peneaux died during surgery at Rapid City Regional Hospital several hours after the fight. If convicted, Slader faces a maximum penalty life in prison. He remains in the U.S. Marshal's custody.
GENEVA (AP) — After days of intense negotiations, the United States and Russia reached agreement Saturday on a framework to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons by mid-2014 and impose U.N. penalties if the Assad government fails to comply. The deal, announced by U.S.