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RAPID CITY (AP) — The South Dakota Department of Health is claiming success in fighting childhood obesity despite numbers that show an unchanged percentage since it began tracking the rate nearly two decades ago. The Rapid City Journal reports the department announced Tuesday that 32.1 percent of South Dakota children ages 5 to 19 years were either overweight or obese during 2015 to 2016 school year. The results are compared to the previous year of 32.2 percent.
RAPID CITY (AP) — A Rapid City man accused of killing one man and injuring two others with a bayonet has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges. Twenty-six-year-old Joseph Rich is charged with first-degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of Juan Legarda Jr. on New Year's Day. Rich is also accused of using the bayonet, which was attached to a gun, to attack two other men. The Rapid City Journal says Judge Jane Pfeifle denied a defense request to reduce $100,000 cash bond to about $25,000 during an appearance in 7th Circuit Court Thursday.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's Republican U.S. senator is among a group of party members urging President Donald Trump to get tough on Russia. Susan Collins joined a group of senators that sent a letter to Trump calling for the administration to take a "tough-minded and principled police" toward Russia. The letter says the U.S. should condemn Russia's aggression toward Ukraine.
RAPID CITY (AP) — A man charged with a fatal beating at a Rapid City motel has pleaded not guilty to charges. Thirty-four-year-old Clifford Gilbert is accused of using a walking stick to violently beat Robert Smith at the Stardust Motel Dec. 27. Prosecutors say Gilbert then used his fists and feet to deliver the fatal blows while the 61-year-old victim was on the floor. Court documents say Gilbert told investigators he "snapped" in anger while he was in a motel room with Smith and a woman.
PORCUPINE (AP) — Authorities say the frozen body of a missing woman was found near her mother's grave on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. An initial investigation found 49-year-old Donna Scout died from exposure on the property of Lakota Mennonite Church in Porcupine Tuesday. Scout was last seen the last week of January. Oglala Sioux Police say Scout wasn't reported missing initially because she was supposed to be on her way to some relatives. When she failed to reach her destination, a search began.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine Sen. Angus King is co-sponsoring a bill aimed at improving the quality of rural communications. King, an independent, says persistent dropped calls are a major problem in rural communities around the country. He cites a 2012 test call project that found nearly one in five calls to rural areas delayed, incomplete, or of poor quality.
PIERRE (AP) — Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Thursday threatened to veto bills that would allow guns in the state Capitol and let people carry concealed handguns without a permit if the proposals are approved by the Legislature. The Republican governor praised South Dakota's "reasonable" gun laws, saying that some states are much more restrictive. Daugaard's position is a steep obstacle for lawmakers pushing the bills.
PIERRE (AP) — Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed into law a measure meant to make sure the state's retirement system is solvent into the future. The Republican governor on Thursday signed the bill, which ties cost-of-living adjustments for recipients more closely to actual earnings and inflation. The law also requires more immediate attention if there are problems with the retirement plan. Daugaard says it's another measure to strengthen the South Dakota Retirement System.
PIERRE (AP) — A South Dakota board has voted to withhold payments to the company upgrading the state's 911 emergency system because of recurring bugs. The state's 911 Coordination Board sent a letter to NextGen Communications Inc. (Comtech) of Annapolis, Maryland, Thursday saying the monthly payments of $259,000 wouldn't be sent until the company fixes the issues. The South Dakota Department of Public Safety says the company started upgrading the system in 2015 and has collected $7.4 million for design, construction and maintenance.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The former state's attorney for Bennett County has been charged in federal court with evading business taxes. Kenneth Orrock, 48, was charged with willful failure to collect and pay over tax in 2015 as owner of the Black Hills Patrol security agency, The Rapid City Journal reported. The newspaper said Orrock was expected to plead guilty on Friday.