PIERRE — South Dakota's election-assistance board recommended grants up to $9,000 apiece for eight counties from the federal Help America Vote Act fund Thursday. They are Brule $9,000; Davison $9,000; Fall River $9,000; Hughes $9,000; McCook $9,000; Potter $9,000; Sully $8,770; and Ziebach $6,300. The board voted to not-recommend Help America Vote Act assistance of $9,000 sought by Jackson County. The board also endorsed a second round of money for three counties in Indian country — one being Jackson — to operate in-person satellite voting centers.
PIERRE — Gregg Greenfield, of Sioux Falls, replaced Linda Hilde, of Madison, as secretary for state government's Board of Minerals and Environment on Thursday. Hilde hasn't attended any of the five meetings held in 2017. She wasn't at the final six meetings in 2016. She last took part by telephone Jan. 21, 2016. She was a regular participant before then. Board members chose Greenfield to succeed her Thursday. He often served as acting secretary in her absence.
PIERRE — Members of the Legislature's task force on initiatives and referendums talked Wednesday about again moving the deadline for filing voter-signed petitions that seek changes to South Dakota laws. The only decision reached, however, was setting aside legislation that would limit the number of proposed constitutional amendments, referred laws and initiated measures that could appear on a ballot. The task force chose Aug. 23 to meet for a third time, starting at 9 a.m.
RAPID CITY — The members of state government's new Board of Technical Education finished their first official meeting Tuesday with a 14 percent bang. That's how much more — $3,848,215 to be exact — they want in additional ongoing support for public technical institutes at Watertown, Mitchell, Rapid City and Sioux Falls. The board also decided to ask for $6 million of one-time funding for equipment at the four campuses. The amounts came recommended by Tiffany Sanderson, state director for career and technical education.
PIERRE — South Dakota's two interstate highways have fewer rest stops open to travelers this summer. State government's Department of Transportation locked up the sites after the maintenance contracts ended Oct. 31 last year. Department officials closed the Hidewood northbound and southbound rest stops on Interstate 29 at mile marker 160 between Brookings and Watertown. They also shut down the Tilford westbound and eastbound rest stops on Interstate 90 at mile marker 41 between Sturgis and Piedmont.
PIERRE — State government's Board of Education Standards gave more flexibility to school superintendents in evaluating their principals and assistant principals Monday. State board members made rules broader because superintendents said they wanted more local control. School districts would still need to adopt an evaluation system based on standards that are in state rules, according to Becky Nelson. She is division director for learning and instruction in the state Department of Education.
PIERRE— State government regulators are pursuing revocation of grain buyer licenses held by a company based in Kingsbury County. Staff members want the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to take the licenses from H & I Grain, of Hetland. The commission plans to consider the request at its meeting Friday. The state agency supervises grain activity in South Dakota. The commissioners suspended the financially troubled company's state licenses June 23 for Hetland, De Smet and Arlington.
FORT PIERRE — A stronger relationship took shape Friday, when leaders for the planning section of state government's Division of Parks and Recreation met with members of the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission. "Hopefully today is a start of a new trend," planning specialist Nancy Surprenant told commissioners. Surprenant and Al Nedved, an assistant division director, talked about the strategic planning process. Nedved said 200 to 400 capital development projects are under way at any time. "It's a very integrated, very fast-paced process," he said.
FORT PIERRE — Landowners could ask that parts or all of the water in some public lakes and sloughs in South Dakota be declared off-limits to recreational users, under a rule proposed Thursday by state government's Game, Fish and Parks Commission. To qualify, the water would have to be in a non-meandered lake or slough, and be above the applicant's private property. The landowner wouldn't be required to appear when the commission considered the request.
PIERRE — Duties of state government's Water Management Board didn't change last month when the Legislature approved a law that for the first time regulates non-meandered waters in South Dakota, according to the board's chief engineer. "The way it is written now, I do not believe so," Jeanne Goodman told board members Wednesday about whether the legislation affected water rights. Goodman said language that would have changed South Dakota's water rights laws wasn't part of the final legislation. She said state officials "watched that closely."