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RAPID CITY (AP) — Family and friends of a South Dakota woman are still looking for answers after police deemed her death last year an accident. Investigators say 21-year-old Mariah High Hawk died of hypothermia. Her body was found under a utility trailer in Rapid City last February. But High Hawk's family and friends are calling for an independent investigation, saying she died after being abused because she had bruising on her head, arms and shoulders.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — When Carol Johnson landed a position as a legislative assistant in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, she saw it as an exciting step toward her goal of serving in elected office herself someday. But the experience soon soured, Johnson says, when the member she worked for began remarking on her figure and her attire, and later asked her to send him nude photos of herself.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A dozen South Dakota doctors have gone to court claiming they were given false information about a hospital in which they invested. The doctors invested in Progressive Acute Care, a company that owned three hospitals in central Louisiana. PAC executives came up with a plan to buy a fourth hospital in Louisiana. The doctors say they were told a return of ten times their investment was possible.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A weekend fire that killed a woman in Sioux Falls has been ruled accidental. Battalion Fire Chief Mike Top said Monday the fire apparently was caused by smoking materials, such as cigarettes or ash trays, but investigators are still working to find the exact cause. The victim is identified as 64-year-old Karanne Kaye Miller. The Argus Leader reports firefighters found Miller just inside the front door of the mobile home. The fire was reported early Sunday by a police officer on patrol.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Monday refused to stop construction on the last stretch of the Dakota Access pipeline, which is progressing much faster than expected and could be operational in as little as 30 days. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled after an hourlong hearing that as long as oil isn't flowing through the pipeline, there is no imminent harm to the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux tribes, which are suing to stop the project. But he said he'd consider the arguments more thoroughly at another hearing on Feb. 27.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A faith ministry in Nebraska has started a fundraising campaign to buy out four stores that sell millions of cans of beer each year in a tiny village next to a South Dakota Indian reservation plagued by alcoholism. The Lakota Hope street ministry in Whiteclay is looking to raise at least $6.3 million to close the stores, which are only about 200 yards from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The officially dry reservation is plagued by high rates of fetal alcohol syndrome and encompasses some of the nation's poorest counties.
RAPID CITY (AP) — An artist is creating a bronze statue of former President Barack Obama for downtown Rapid City. City of Presidents Foundation co-founder and artist liaison Dallerie Davis told the Rapid City Journal the group hopes to have a grand unveiling by September. Artist James Van Nuys said he wants to have a final concept drawn up by the end of this month. He said he's fairly certain Obama will be in a standing pose.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two American Indian tribes have asked a federal judge to stop construction of the last stretch of the four-state Dakota Access pipeline, adding a religious freedom component to their argument that it would endanger their cultural sites and water supply. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., is scheduled to hear arguments Monday afternoon. The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux have asked for a temporary restraining order that would halt work on the disputed section of pipeline until their lawsuit seeking to stop it is resolved.
PIERRE (AP) — A bill making its way through the South Dakota Legislature would protect faith-based foster care and adoption agencies that deny a child's placement with same-sex couples and single people. The agencies could still benefit from state funds and contracts without fear of retribution from government officials. The Argus Leader says the bill's sponsors say the legislation is needed to protect the agencies' religious freedom. Opponents say it discriminates against those who don't hold the same values or don't meet the "traditional family" model.
RAPID CITY (AP) — The number of homicides on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation nearly doubled in 2016. Data from the FBI shows there were 17 homicides in 2016, compared with nine in 2015. In addition, authorities have expressed concern because five of the homicides in 2016 involved firearms, while none involved firearms a year earlier.