PIERRE — The state Transportation Commission awarded access grants to seven South Dakota communities Thursday to help with larger projects. They are Arlington $200,000; Burke $200,000; Groton $200,000; Ipswich $183,500; Menno $55,800; Sully County for a road in Onida $81,000; and Wessington Springs $200,000. The grants total $1,120,000 and will be used toward $3,724,673 of work.
PIERRE -- The state Transportation Commission reshuffled its western South Dakota projects schedule Thursday. Higher prices for projects in Rapid City and Deadwood in the past year forced changes to be made. "We cannot bond," said Mike Behm, who oversees the projects plan for the state Department of Transportation. "We only have a certain funding pod." The commission followed the recommendations presented by Behm and took several projects off the current four-year plan. The projects were switched to long-term status for consideration after 2018. One is reconstruction of U.S.
PIERRE -- The federal government's highway trust fund will run out of highway money this summer, putting road and bridge projects into financial uncertainty, South Dakota Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said Thursday. He told members of the state Transportation Commission that the fund could be empty as early as July unless Congress provides an injection of general funds. This isn't new.
PIERRE -- One rite of spring in South Dakota in even-numbered years is early voting in the county and statewide primary elections. Officially known as absentee voting, citizens may go to the courthouse or request a ballot by mail and vote before primary election day. We've asked but haven't found that statistics were kept for absentee voting in the 2012 primaries. The secretary of state office posted the absentee voting numbers for the 2010 primary and general elections and for the 2012 general elections. For this spring's primary elections, updates are posted on absentee activity.
PIERRE -- Six South Dakota communities, a county and a business saw their requests approved Thursday for loans and grants to help pay for water system improvements and waste disposal projects. Freeman will get a loan of $1,536,000 at 3 percent interest for 20 years.
PIERRE — Time for a confession: As a human being, I don't understand why so many people want to repeal Obamacare. The whole point of the Affordable Care Act, I thought, was to require that almost everybody have health coverage, either through insurance or the government. If you don't like President Barack Obama, or you don't like Democrats, or you don't like features of Obamacare, I understand. But tell me this: Why don't you want to increase the number of people covered by health insurance? Obamacare should be a godsend to South Dakota insurance businesses. Our Legislature passed a
PIERRE -- I often turn off my cell phone for hours at a time. I often don't take it with me around town. Seldom do I text. I have no apps. I once put a friend's phone number in its memory. He now has a different number. But when I travel outside Pierre, I take my cell phone. That's why I truly fear -- and support -- South Dakota's texting ban that takes effect July 1. There I was, pushing up against the speed limit on Interstate 29 out of Fargo on a pouring-rain Sunday morning two weekends ago, and I was getting texts from home. The windshield wipers could barely keep pace.
PIERRE -- Five years of annual data indicate positive results from academic reforms adopted at South Dakota public schools and state universities during the past decade. The state Board of Regents received the latest high school transition report last week.
PIERRE -- The Wharf mine produced fewer ounces of gold in 2013, a company official said Thursday during a presentation to the state Board of Minerals and Environment. Wharf is South Dakota's only large-scale gold mine still operating. Environmental Manager Ron Waterland said Wharf mined 2.3 million tons of ore and generated 56,237 ounces of gold and 57,167 ounces of silver. The company paid $2.7 million in state severance taxes last year, along with $1.1 million in state sales and use taxes and $437,000 of Lawrence County taxes, he said. Wharf produced about 68,000 ounces of gold in each o
The state Board of Education eliminated a fees cap for students at South Dakota's four technical institutes Monday. The cap limited fees for payment of lease purchase agreements to 20 percent of total tuition and fees. The board took its action during a meeting at Northern State University in Aberdeen. State Department of Education official Tiffany Sanderson said the repeal was necessary.