PIERRE—The hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline's proposed route through South Dakota took a U-turn into the past Tuesday, as a landowner testified about her family's repeated misfortunes dealing with TransCanada's original Keystone pipeline project. Sue Sibson, of rural Howard, told members of the state Public Utilities Commission that invasive plants the family's cattle won't eat now grow in place of the native pasture that was torn up to lay the oil line underground through Miner County in 2009. Her husband, Mike Sibson, brought a sample of spikeweed from the easement area to show th
PIERRE—The Keystone XL oil pipeline through western South Dakota poses a risk to water supplies because its proposed route would cross many aquifers, streams and rivers in terrain where slopes sometimes give way, a witness said Monday. The testimony at the state permit hearing came from Arden Davis, a longtime professor of geological engineering who retired in June at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He was one in a series of opposition witnesses who took the stand during the hearing's seventh day.
PIERRE—How much Lawrence and Schiller will retain from the $950,000 advertising budget of the South Dakota Lottery isn't clear. But the new contract the state Lottery Commission approved, without seeing, is now on public file. The commission, in a split decision on June 11, chose the Sioux Falls-based company, upon the recommendation of lottery officials. Chuck Turbiville, of Deadwood, the commission's chairman, said at the commission's meeting Thursday the members subsequently received information "that clarified a lot of the issues." The contract took effect July 1.
PIERRE — Two legislators from different political parties and different parts of South Dakota have been digging into the intertwined issues of public school funding and teacher salaries. Rep. Lee Schoenbeck distributed a think piece that analyzes how we reached this point. One solution the Republican from Watertown offers is an additional 1 percent of state sales tax that coincides each year with the summer tourist season. Rep. Ray Ring prepared an analysis of South Dakota's tax revenues used for public schools and a comparison with neighboring states where pay is higher for teachers.
A story on Page A3 of Friday's edition of The Daily Republic incorrectly reported newly proposed Powerball odds. A proposed rule change for Powerball would alter the odds of winning from one in about 175 million to about one in 292 million.
PIERRE — Sales of Powerball lotto tickets sagged 18 percent in South Dakota during the past year. The reason: People won jackpots too often. The effect: Jackpot amounts never grew large enough to stir more people to buy more tickets. The South Dakota Lottery Commission agreed Thursday to try to change that. Commission members voted 7-0 to adopt rule changes that will make winning the Powerball jackpot more difficult. Come Oct. 4, assuming the Legislature's rules review committee agrees, the odds will become one in 375 million.
PIERRE—More time will be needed to complete the permit hearing that began this week for the Keystone XL oil pipeline proposed through South Dakota, state Public Utilities Commission chairman Chris Nelson said Thursday. Nelson told the various parties they should expect to work Saturday and could be working Wednesday through Friday of next week if needed. The hearing began Monday and was scheduled to conclude Aug. 4. "We're game to work nights.
PIERRE—Two South Dakota landowners along the proposed route for the new Keystone XL oil pipeline questioned the accuracy of the company's property tax estimates during the project's state permit hearing this week. John Harter, of Colome, and Paul Seamans, of Draper, pointed to the example of the original Keystone pipeline that runs down the James River Valley in South Dakota. Why, they asked, have property taxes for that first Keystone pipeline been less than half of the $9 million annually that TransCanada initially estimated? One of the state Public Utilities Commission members, Gar
PIERRE—The Daugaard administration considers a recent ruling by the South Dakota Supreme Court to be the new state law regarding worker's compensation for employees who hold multiple jobs, Lt. Gov.
PIERRE—The state panel that oversees emergency communications systems in South Dakota decided Monday to possibly withhold from a contractor a scheduled $259,000 monthly payment. Members of the South Dakota 911 Coordination Board agreed to send a letter notifying NextGen Communications Inc. and its parent company, TeleCommunication Systems Inc. of Annapolis, Md. Dissatisfaction with the progress of the new system, and some of its features, which have been tried in Rapid City this summer, led to the letter.