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HARRISBURG (AP) — More than five dozen middle school students from Harrisburg will get a firsthand civics lesson when they travel to Washington, D.C., to witness the presidential inauguration. The group secured tickets to the inauguration through Republican U.S. Sen. John Thune, Harrisburg North Middle School teacher Tamra Huffman told the Argus Leader. Huffman said her students studied the presidential election and understand the significance of having a chance to see history in the making at the inauguration.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard expressed frustration in his State of the State speech that few school districts are using a college readiness testing program that aims to help reduce the need for remedial classes. Some things to know about the problem, the program and why it matters: THE PROBLEM
PIERRE (AP) — The state Supreme Court's chief justice used his legislative address Wednesday to pitch proposals meant to improve public safety and the treatment of mentally ill people in the criminal justice system. Lawmakers should broaden the pool of people authorized to perform mental competency evaluations and expand infrastructure to offer a telehealth option for the assessments, Chief Justice David Gilbertson said in his State of the Judiciary address.
PIERRE (AP) — The city of Sioux Falls has defended to the state Supreme Court its decision not to disclose details of a $1 million settlement over faulty siding at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. The high court heard arguments Wednesday in the case filed by Argus Leader Media against the city. The city in 2015 announced the settlement with contractors over the bulging panels but didn't provide details, citing in part a confidentiality agreement.
PIERRE (AP) — A South Dakota legislative panel has voted down a proposed rules change that would have explicitly barred legislators from sexual contact with legislative interns and pages. The Joint Legislative Procedure Committee voted 9-5 Wednesday against the change. Republican Sen. Stace Nelson, of Fulton, argued the current rules aren't clear enough. But Rep. David Lust, of Rapid City, countered that those rules plus the legislative code of conduct are sufficient.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The front lines of the battle against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline are shifting away from the dwindling encampment in North Dakota, with main opposing groups asking for activism to be spread around the U.S., a call heeded when a banner was unfurled during an NFL game on New Year's Day. The message also has evolved from a struggle against a single four-state pipeline to an effort to advance the rights of Native Americans, the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe says.
PIERRE (AP) — The chief justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court is set to deliver an address to a joint session of the Legislature. Chief Justice David Gilbertson's fifteenth State of the Judiciary speech is scheduled for Wednesday. His message will focus on the issues that have affected the judicial system during the past year and discuss the Unified Judicial System's goals for this year. Last year, he advocated for adding more drug and alcohol courts and expanding existing programs to accommodate more participants.
PIERRE (AP) — Secretary of State Shantel Krebs has proposed a rewrite of state campaign finance laws that could replace an embattled voter-approved government ethics overhaul. The two bills introduced this week would create a campaign finance ethics commission, tighten financial disclosure requirements and allow organizations to contribute directly to candidates, among other provisions.
RAPID CITY (AP) — A Rapid City man asked two young boys he molested for forgiveness as he pleaded guilty to criminal charges in Pennington County court. Twenty-nine-year-old Zachary Swisher entered guilty pleas Tuesday in 7th Circuit Court in an agreement with prosecutors. Swisher could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison instead of the potential for life behind bars on the previous charges.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A judge has set bond at $1 million cash-only for a man accused of fatally stabbing a transgender woman in Sioux Falls. Twenty-five-year-old Joshua Rayvan LeClaire appeared in court Tuesday on murder and other counts. LeClaire is charged in the death of 28-year-old Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, whose body was found in her apartment Friday night. Police say the killing does not appear to be a hate crime.