For voters who want to be better informed about their choices in the Nov. 4 elections, South Dakota Public Television is one place to check Thursday nights this month. SDPTV hosts the three candidates for governor in a 60-minute forum on Thursday. The even starts at 8 p.m. The show will be simulcast live on the Internet at www.sdpb.org . It will rebroadcast on South Dakota Public Radio's midday program at noon Friday and repeated on TV at 1 p.m.
PIERRE — Wharf Resources will need to post more financial assurance against possible damage to water and land in the Black Hills to continue mining gold there. The South Dakota Board of Minerals and Environment increased two of Wharf's bonds Thursday. The cyanide spill bond is going up $17,100 to a new total of $597,800. The additional amount reflects inflation based on the construction-cost index. The reclamation bond is climbing $1,393,000 to reflect 62 additional acres that have been disturbed by the mining operations at Terry Peak.
PIERRE — The state Railroad Board received the 2014 South Dakota rail plan Wednesday with 27 projects recommended and a price tag estimated at $455 million. The study by Cambridge Systematics, a Massachusetts-based consulting firm, began in July 2013 at the direction of Gov.
PIERRE -- The leaders, asset managers and staff at the State Investment Office are getting more than $4.7 million of performance incentives in addition to their salaries for the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to the chairman of the South Dakota Investment Council. Jon Hunter, of Madison, said the office added more than $1.6 billion to the value of the South Dakota Retirement System in fiscal 2014 with a net gain of 18.90 percent taking it to $10.6 billion as of June 30. He said the investment office is coming off the best four years in its 41 years of history. Several trust funds
PIERRE -- Some of the South Dakota legislators who traveled at public expense outside the state this year went to a broader variety of events than in the past. One was a national gathering of people who seek a national constitutional convention because they want amendments made to the U.S. Constitution.
PIERRE -- South Dakota's two most populated counties received funding approval Thursday so they can further attempt reducing the percentages of minority youth who have contact with the criminal justice system. Minnehaha County and Pennington County each will get $60,000, the state Council of Juvenile Services decided. Lutheran Social Services will play large roles in both projects. In the Sioux Falls area, the non-profit agency will establish a "functional family therapy" program. One counselor will be hired and trained.
PIERRE — The Legislature might be asked to clarify a worker-compensation insurance issue that recently developed in South Dakota. A company that sells worker-compensation insurance reportedly has told some general contractors on construction projects they must pay for coverage of subcontractors. The dispute is whether the subcontractors are independent contractors who don't have to have carry workers' compensation insurance under South Dakota law. Property owners, taxpayers and consumers generally could ultimately pay higher prices if contractors have to factor higher work-comp insura
PIERRE -- This is the month, one year ago, when the legal noose began to tighten around a suspected criminal. State government's top law enforcement official was preparing to bring felony charges against a former state official for embezzlement. The general public didn't know it yet. In fact none of it would be known, not until after Richard Benda evidently killed himself on Oct. 20. When he didn't show up for work the next day, the questions began about where he was. His body was found the day after that on Oct.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Lottery is shifting its marketing away from individual products such as specific games and is promoting more play of video lottery terminals that are privately owned. The state agency has $100,000 earmarked in its budget this year for advertising video lottery and is asking for $100,000 next year, too. Until recently the lottery spent almost nothing on promoting video lottery, in part because it made so much money already and because it was so politically volatile.
PIERRE -- The Pew research center distributed results this summer showing South Dakota has the smallest corps of news reporters assigned to covering the statehouse. There are two of us. The other reporter works for The Associated Press and is temporarily assigned to Pierre, while AP looks to make a permanent hire. Chet Brokaw retired earlier this year. Officially I work for the Aberdeen American News. But my stories and columns are shared simultaneously among seven daily papers at Aberdeen, Watertown, Mitchell, Yankton, Pierre, Rapid City and Spearfish. Six papers pay Aberdeen.