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VERMILLION (AP) — Former university administrators and community leaders in Vermillion say both the University of South Dakota and the city would be negatively impacted if the university moves its law school to Sioux Falls. Monday marked the first formal gathering of the University of South Dakota Law School Relocation Task Force.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The city of Sioux Falls and the state Department of Corrections are looking at ways to improve safety on the road that leads to South Dakota's largest prison. The Argus Leader reports the city painted a bike lane and narrowed driving lanes this spring along the road to the South Dakota State Penitentiary. The city will collect data over the next month with traffic counters to see if the changes make a difference in average speeds.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department on Monday unveiled a plan to protect the threatened sage grouse that gives Western states greater flexibility to allow mining, logging and other economic development where it now is prohibited. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the strategy for the ground-dwelling bird that has suffered a dramatic population decline across its 11-state range. Zinke insisted that the federal government and the states can work together to protect the sage grouse and its habitat while not slowing economic growth and job creation.
SPEARFISH (AP) — A Spearfish man who embezzled from his nonprofit employer has been sentenced to serve five years in prison and ordered to pay back the money. Authorities say 43-year-old Rocky Rardon over the course of about three years stole nearly $50,000 while serving as finance director of Prairie Hills Transit and Child Care Center. The Black Hills Pioneer reports that Rardon was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison with five years suspended on the condition that he make restitution.
PIERRE (AP) — A second person has pleaded guilty in the beating death last fall of a 5-year-old girl on the South Dakota side of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Thirty-one-year-old Matthew St. Pierre of McLaughlin pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Friday. South Dakota U.S. Attorney Randolph Seiler says St. Pierre could face up to life in prison when sentenced Nov. 20. St. Pierre and Desarae Makes Him First were charged last October in the killing of Makes Him First's daughter. Court records say the girl died of blunt force trauma to her abdomen.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The South Dakota Air National Guard has its first female wing command chief. Chief Master Sgt. Zona Hornstra officially took over at a ceremony Saturday as wing command chief of the 114th Fighter Wing. Hornstra has been with the South Dakota Air National Guard since 1997. She spent 17 years in a medical capacity and rose to the superintendent of A1 at the South Dakota Air National Guard's headquarters. The Argus Leader reports she is now the senior enlisted leader in the organization.
NEMO (AP) — After proposing to give a small South Dakota town filters for well water contamination potentially caused the U.S. Forest Service, the agency has shifted to implementing a $1.9 million permanent water supply system. The agency released a plan this month to upgrade the temporary water system that installed 20 years ago in Nemo and make it a permanent system to serve about a dozen affected locations for free. The system will be operated by and at the expense of the Forest Service, the Rapid City Journal reported.
MADISON (AP) — Madison police have two suspects in a string of concession stand burglaries. The Madison Daily Leader reports that concession stands at three area ballparks were broken into last weekend, and money and other valuables were stolen. Police on Tuesday arrested an 18-year-old man and a juvenile girl for being in an airport terminal illegally, and later connected them to the burglaries.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Gov. Dennis Daugaard says the state should begin eliminating some unneeded occupational licensure requirements, including massage therapists. The Republican governor made his comments in Sioux Falls Thursday where U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta told members of the Western Governors' Association to streamline or eliminate unnecessary licenses that create barriers to jobs.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A judge is agreeing to a short trial delay for a Utah polygamous sect leader caught recently after a year on the run. U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart said in a Friday ruling he will give defense attorneys an extra month to determine if Lyle Jeffs suffered brain damage in past accidents. Jeffs is now set to face charges in a suspected multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud scheme on October 23. Defense attorneys had wanted a longer delay, citing the complexity of the case and Jeffs' possible memory loss.