PIERRE — There's no formal retirement announcement yet. But something seemed afoot in recent months. Doug Hofer no longer attended meetings of the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission. For 30 years he had been a constant presence—until November and December came along this year. The official story is Hofer, the long-time director for the state Division of Parks and Recreation, is simply taking an extended break to use paid leave he's accumulated. Both he and new GFP Secretary Kelly Hepler said Hofer would return for the 2016 session of the Legislature that opens Jan. 12.
PIERRE — The state Transportation Commission agreed Friday to add 10 highway projects totaling $42 million to South Dakota's 2016 work plan. Seven of those projects originally were scheduled for 2017 or 2018. The accelerated pace is possible because the South Dakota Department of Transportation is receiving additional money. An estimated $15 million more is coming next year from the federal government, state Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said. President Barack Obama signed the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act into federal law Dec.
PIERRE — The state Public Utilities Commission will decide Tuesday whether to dismiss the permit for TransCanada to build its Keystone XL oil pipeline through South Dakota. TransCanada currently is...
PIERRE – The latest segment of reconstruction along the Mitchell-Rapid City railroad line saw solid progress this year before main contractor RailWorks had to shut down for winter, a South...
PIERRE — It doesn't take much pawing to unearth this truth in South Dakota. Many Republican elected officials don't like President Barack Obama. Overcoming that hate is the challenge facing Gov. Dennis Daugaard this winter. The Republican has looked during his five years in office for ways to better use state government's revenue. One situation he hasn't been able to correct deals with the federal Indian Health Service. The federal agency is supposed to provide health care for American Indian people.
PIERRE—The state panel overseeing South Dakota's conversion to a new system for receiving emergency calls discussed Thursday the first draft of a report analyzing whether a temporary surcharge on phone lines should be permanent. The Legislature decided in 2012 to increase the surcharge from 75 cents to $1.25 per month to help fund the project. As part of the same legislation, lawmakers decided the surcharge would be reduced to $1 per month on July 1, 2018. The distribution formula also would change under the law in mid-2018 so that none of the surcharge went to the state 911 coordinat
PIERRE — The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission decided Thursday to waive the rental fee for the convention center lease next to Cedar Shore resort. The city of Oacoma has leased the public land since 2004 when the convention center was built along Francis Case Reservoir on the Missouri River. The lease calls for the city to give 2.5 percent of gross revenue to the Game, Fish and Parks Department, but the fee doesn't kick in until the bonds for the center are repaid. Bond repayment is scheduled to be complete in 2020, according to Sean Blanchette, concessions manager for the state
PIERRE — The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission set the 2016 season for hunting Black Hills bighorn sheep Thursday. The commission agreed there wouldn't be any changes from this year's regulations. That means the commission doesn't need to hold a public hearing. The commission will make three licenses available for the 2016 hunt.
PIERRE — The state Board of Water Management decided Wednesday landowners don't need gates in their fences any longer across much of Firesteel Creek in Davison County. Gates will still be required on fences that cross the stream between Lake Mitchell and Loomis Oil Road northwest of the city. That segment of about two miles receives the highest traffic from kayakers and canoeists, according to testimony. There also aren't any landowners raising livestock along that stretch. It was the first time in 21 years that the board changed any waterway's gate designation. Landowners led by Ga