The South Dakota Supreme Court holds three days of oral arguments next week on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Here are summaries of the nine cases. Monday, Oct. 2 Menard, Inc., is appealing a court award of $2,295,971.97 to Ronald Jensen for an accident at the Mitchell store in 2012 that left him a quadriplegic and prevented normal breathing. Jensen died of his injuries.
PIERRE — The Legislature should consider requiring people and firms to tell the public they are unlicensed if they're operating as accountants or auditors in South Dakota without state government's approval, a panel recommended Wednesday. The South Dakota Board of Accountancy unanimously endorsed the proposal in a teleconference. A violation would be a class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. The move comes as legislators and officials tightened state laws after several scandals involving government programs.
PIERRE — State government's regulators decided Tuesday the first round of testimony would be due Wednesday in the Crocker Wind Farm application. Geronimo Energy, based in Edina, Minnesota, wants permission to build as many as 200 wind turbines in northern Clark County around the community of Crocker. The site would be about eight miles northwest of the county seat of Clark. "We've been working feverishly for ten days," the company's lawyer, Brett Koenecke, of Pierre, told members of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Aeronautics Commission approved tapping its state fund Tuesday to help pay for projects at six public airports, state Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said. Martin receives $15,833.33 of state assistance for its $316,666.67 airport master plan study. Pierre gets $44,444.44 of state help to purchase a passenger boarding bridge and make other changes at an estimated total cost of $888,888.89. Redfield receives $196,000 of state assistance for runway construction and related work costing an estimated $3,920,000.
PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard backs a plan by U.S. Senate Republicans to let each state design a system to replace Obamacare health insurance, a spokesman said Friday. The proposal would provide some advantages to South Dakota, according to Tony Venhuizen, the governor's chief of staff. He listed these reasons for Daugaard's support: • It brings parity in funding between expansion and non-expansion states by 2026, which is favorable to SD as a non-expansion state; • It has a high level of state flexibility for use of the funds;
PIERRE — State government's Board of Minerals and Environment unanimously accepted findings of fact and conclusions of law Thursday regarding a failed attempt by Quartz Operations to drill an oil well near Wasta in eastern Pennington County. The hearing focused on whether Woodford Construction Co. could collect $58,617.16, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, from $130,000 of surety that Quartz posted. Board members dismissed the construction company's request.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Aeronautics Commission is scheduled next week to discuss six proposals for improving public airports. They are: • Martin $316,666.67 for an airport master plan; • Pierre $888,888.89 for a boarding bridge; • Redfield $3,920,000 for runway construction; • Rosebud $228,000 for snow removal equipment; • Sisseton $170,000 for runway reconstruction design; and • Watertown $895,000 for construction of hangar taxilane expansion, including design.
PIERRE — State government's Judicial Qualifications Commission sent six names for Gov. Dennis Daugaard to consider as the successor to retired Justice Lori Wilbur on the South Dakota Supreme Court. The governor traveled to Sioux Falls last week and interviewed each of the six. On Tuesday, he announced his choice. South Dakota Supreme Court's new justice will be Circuit Judge Steven Jensen of Dakota Dunes.
PIERRE — Property values set this year by equalization directors for farms and ranches were close to the mark in most South Dakota counties, a state official said Monday. The laggards for cropland were: • Butte 16 percent; • Campbell 18 percent; • Corson 55 percent; • Harding 22 percent; and • Perkins 15 percent. • Lake was 33 percent behind for non-cropland. South Dakota has 66 counties.
South Dakota's new system for school accountability moved forward Monday. State government's Board of Education Standards approved the proposed rules. No one testified during a public hearing at Northern State University in Aberdeen. The proceeding was available to listeners through a teleconference and the Internet. The final step is consideration by the Legislature's Rules Review Committee. That will come at one of the committee's remaining meetings Sept. 25 and Nov. 14. The rules conform to the federal government Every Student Succeeds Act.