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SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Economic development leaders in South Dakota are holding an event for former state residents in hopes to persuade them to return and help address a worker shortage amid a thriving economy. The Argus Leader reports that leaders in Sioux Falls are hosting a free event on Saturday called "Back to SoDak." The event is being held at the Denny Sanford Premier Center and will showcase a flourishing Sioux Falls, highlighting its entertainment and dining industry as well as job opportunities.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — South Dakota's Department of Social Services has named an interim director for the state-run mental health hospital in Yankton. Independent health care consultant Marcene Dickes is a registered nurse with a master's degree in health services administration. She has 35 years of administrative experience at Sanford and Avera, as well as at hospitals in Chicago and Kansas City. Dickes will assume leadership at the Human Services Center on Aug. 14 and remain in the post until a permanent administrator is hired.
RAPID CITY (AP) — A Rapid City man has been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. Forty-one-year-old Michael John Vinton admitted to having hundreds of photos and some videos of child pornography on his computer last year. The Rapid City Journal says investigators from South Dakota's Crimes Against Children Task Force received the images from Vinton through peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.
RAPID CITY (AP) — A South Dakota man accused of stabbing another man to death using a bayonet has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Authorities accused 27-year-old Joseph Rich of killing 21-year-old Juan Legarda Jr. on New Year's Day in Rapid City by stabbing him five times with the bayonet, a blade attached to the muzzle end of a gun. The stabbing happened after Rich's brother became involved in a fight with other men outside Rich's home. Rich maintained he was protecting his home and family.
PIERRE (AP) — Supporters of a constitutional amendment that would replace a voter-imposed government ethics overhaul that South Dakota lawmakers repealed this year plan to start building support to put the amendment before voters in 2018, the sponsoring group said Tuesday.
PIERRE (AP) — An official accused of stealing from the Oglala Sioux tribe has pleaded not guilty. Fifty-seven-year-old Charles Cummings, of Martin, faces theft and embezzlement charges in federal court. U.S. Attorney Randolph Seiler says Cummings entered his plea late last week. Cummings is accused of embezzling more than $1,000 from the tribe while serving as a district vice chairman. He faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution if convicted.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The South Dakota Division of Banking says it's investigating whether a short-term lending company's new loan product complies with state limitations on interest rates. The Argus Leader reports that Dollar Loan Center is offering the new loans in Rapid City and Sioux Falls. CEO Chuck Brennan said in a statement to the newspaper that the new loan product conforms to a voter-approved measure capping interest rates at 36 percent annually. The ballot measure caused many short-term lenders to leave South Dakota.
REDFIELD (AP) — A herd of 75 neglected and starving cattle seized from an Ashton man's property will be sold by the state. Spink County Sheriff Kevin Schurch tells the American News that livestock owner Rex Spear didn't appear for a court hearing Monday to contest the move. Authorities seized the animals late last month and charged Spear with felony animal abuse and misdemeanor animal neglect. He doesn't have a listed phone number. He's due in court July 17.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A former Pine Ridge Indian Health Service administrator is due in court next week on charges she failed to disclose a $5,000 gift from a pediatrician. Wehnona Stabler was the hospital's CEO from 2011 to 2013. She has been indicted on charges of making a false statement to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Argus Leader reports Stabler said on a disclosure report that she hadn't accepted a gift of more than $350 from any one source.
PIERRE (AP) — The federal government is allowing emergency haying of Conservation Reserve Program acres in South Dakota counties dealing with drought. Certain CRP acres earlier were opened to grazing. Haying is now being added, starting Sunday. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows more than half of South Dakota in some stage of drought. Some areas in the north are in extreme drought.