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SIOUX FALLS (AP) — South Dakota conservatives stymied on recent high-profile measures by Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard are eyeing the end of his last term in early 2019, betting their preferred policies will fare better under either of two Republican front-runners looking to replace him.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A psychologist who was the sole defense witness in a Montana first-degree murder trial had been indicted on drug charges days before she testified, prompting the defendant's attorneys to consider asking for a new trial. Federal defenders representing 20-year-old defendant Dimarzio Swade Sanchez said they were unaware of the indictment. They said their client could have been acquitted or convicted of a lesser charge if another expert had testified.
PIERRE (AP) — South Dakota has recorded its first flu death of the season. The Department of Health reports that the victim was a Day County resident in his or her 70s. Further information about the patient is not being released. But State Epidemiologist Joshua Clayton says the case is a reminder that influenza can be a very serious illness.
RAPID CITY (AP) — Authorities say a man was killed when the van he was driving collided with a charter bus that had stalled on Interstate 90 in western South Dakota. The South Dakota Highway Patrol says the bus carrying 56 passengers was eastbound on the freeway when it lost all power and came to a stop in the middle of both lanes 20 miles east of Rapid City Thursday night. No lights were operating on the bus.
BELLE FOURCHE (AP) — The newest member of the Belle Fourche City Council was indicted on felony charges on the same day she was sworn in. Court documents show that 55-year-old Toni Moncur was indicted Monday on charges of witness tampering and simple assault. She also took office Monday. Moncur's attorney, Matthew Kinney, told the Rapid City Journal on Friday that "there appear to be political implications with this prosecution," but did not elaborate further.
RAPID CITY (AP) — A man accused of trying to kill a South Dakota state trooper following a traffic stop has been convicted of attempted murder. A Pennington County jury found 35-year-old Donald Willingham guilty on Thursday. The Rapid City Journal reports the verdict comes two years after Trooper Zachary Bader stopped an SUV along Interstate 90 near Box Elder for speeding.
BERESFORD (AP) — Two people have died in a crash on Interstate 29 north of Beresford in southeastern South Dakota. The Department of Public Safety says a pickup truck was northbound just before 12:30 p.m. Thursday on I-29 when the driver lost control. The truck left the roadway, rolled through the median and across the southbound lanes, landing on top of an SUV. The 79-year-old man driving the SUV died at the scene. The 78-year-old female passenger was pronounced dead at a Sioux Falls hospital.
BROOKINGS (AP) — A South Dakota State University spokesman says criminal charges won't be filed against a campus police officer accused of using excessive force against a juvenile. The Argus Leader reports that SDSU spokesman Mike Lockrem says the university doesn't comment on personnel matters and couldn't disclose if officer Jason Baker had been reprimanded. Melissa Mentele, the teenage girl's mother, said previously that her daughter's wrist was dislocated. Mentele declined to comment to the newspaper this week, citing approaching court hearings.
WAGNER (AP) — Federal officials have determined that there weren't civil rights violations after an excessive police force claim from the family of a Yankton Sioux elder who had rushed to a Wagner nursing home to see his dying mother. The Argus Leader reports FBI agents reviewed state law enforcement's report on the incident, and U.S. Attorney Randolph Seiler examined their reports.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A former Division of Criminal Investigation agent hopes a jury's $1.2 million verdict in her favor sends a strong message about the need to believe sexual harassment victims. Laura Zylstra Kaiser says her case wasn't so much about sexual harassment but retaliation for reporting it. She says it's also about the actions of South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, who oversees the DCI and is running for governor.